The Best Kids’ Knee Pads

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Young boy standing at the top of a ramp at the skate park with one foot on his skateboard, close up of his feet in colorful blue and yellow sneakers.

Buying Guide for Kids’ Knee Pads

Girl and boy learn to roller skate in summer park.

Why buy knee pads for kids?

Knee pads are a crucial piece of safety equipment that all children should wear during certain outdoor and indoor activities. Knee pads reduce the impact on the knees during a fall, protect against scrapes, cuts, bruises, and sharp objects, and make it more comfortable to kneel. Kids of all ages should wear knee pads for bike riding, skateboarding, rollerblading, roller skating, and riding a scooter. These pastimes come with the risk of falling onto pavement, court, or rough terrain, which may lead to bruising, scraped knees, shallow or deep cuts—and other, more serious injuries, like fractures and breaks. A good quality set of knee pads greatly reduces the risk of your child getting hurt.

What should you look for in kids’ knee pads?

  • Size: Knee pads don’t do your kid(s) any good if they don’t fit onto their knees properly. Too big, and the pads slide around, exposing the skin and joint they’re supposed to be protecting. Too small, and they might break or pop off mid-play or cut off circulation. Fortunately, there are knee pads for kids of all ages, from as young as toddlers up through their teen years. Check the listed age range on a pair of knee pads before buying to ensure they’re suitable for your child. Also, keep an eye out for sets with adjustable straps, as they give you a little more breathing room, so you’re not buying a new pair for your child every year.
  • Comfort: You want your kid(s) to be as comfortable as possible while wearing their knee pads so they can enjoy themselves while playing. Knee pads that are lightweight are important so as not to weigh down the wearer. A pair with a degree of adjustability is also important, so the straps aren’t too tight or cut into your child’s knees. Many kids’ knee pads are lined with foam, which provides an extra layer of cushiony protection while enhancing your child’s comfort.
  • Design: Kids love to wear gear in their favorite color or feature their favorite animals or cartoon characters. Fortunately, many knee pads made for children are very colorful and decorative. Solid colors, multiple colors, ombre, stripes, polka dots, glitter, flowers, animals, animal prints, stars, cartoon characters, and more can be found on kids’ knee pads. You shouldn’t have any issue finding a pair of knee pads that your child will love to wear and show off.

Are there other activities besides biking, etc., where kids should wear knee pads?

While activities like biking or skateboarding are the most common times kids wear knee pads, there are other instances where knee pads should be worn or are considered a necessity. Knee pads are required safety equipment for kids who want to play certain sports, such as hockey and volleyball. These knee pads tend to be specially designed for that particular sport, so they’ll be labeled as such or look slightly different.

Our Picks for the Best Kids’ Knee Pads

Pros: These knee pads are great for kids of most ages, for most sports, from biking to ice skating and more. Their construction features inner lightweight, ventilated foam that’s nice and breathable, with a hard plastic outer shell for better protection against abrasions and cuts. They also come with matching elbow pads and wrist guards, so you get a better bang for your buck coupled with an already low, reasonable price tag. The elastic straps are adjustable to fit your child better and grow alongside them. And there are six possible color options, including several multicolors, from which to choose.

Cons: These pads’ actual surface area is on the smaller side; coverage doesn’t extend far above the knees, elbows, and wrists. And while the two sizes are listed as suitable for ages three to 15, if your teenager is bigger or taller than average, these pads may not fit them properly.

Bottom Line: These classic hard-shelled knee pads feature a colorful, unisex design available in two sizes that can fit kids as young as three and up through their early teens.

Pros: Kids of all ages love to wear their favorite colors everywhere, to the park or bike riding. Thanks to the 10 different color options of this set of knee pads, you shouldn’t have any issue finding a shade they like. The lightweight, adjustable elastic straps are tightly secured for safety reasons, extend to grow with your child, and will keep them protected during pretty much any sporting activity. The inner layer is made of comfy mesh padding that’s nice and thick but ventilated for better airflow. Not only do you receive knee pads at a low price but matching elbow pads and wrist guards and a handy mesh carrying bag—ideal for both bringing gear to the park or a friend’s house and for keeping everything together in storage when not in use. As a bonus, this set is sized based on the child’s weight—33 to 55 pounds for the small size, 55 to 99 pounds for the medium—so you won’t have to guess the right size for your kid based on their age alone.

Cons: Note that the knee and elbow pads are the same, interchangeable pad. All four pads will protect both those areas, but they don’t meld and move with the specific body parts the way most knee and elbow pads do.

Bottom Line: This set of gear is available in 10 different colors, including multicolored options, and provides kids with knee pads and elbow pads, and wrist pads for complete protection. It is specifically designed for active kids who are into biking, skating, and other extreme sports.

Pros: These climate-neutral knee pads are great for growing kids, preteens, and teenagers of all sizes. Sizes run from an extra small to a large, and the large can fit even fully grown adults. So even if you have a teen who is extra tall or big for their age, the large size should fit them properly. And the knee pads in all sizes, plus the matching elbow pads and wrist guards, are extra customizable thanks to the adjustable loops and adjustable straps. Once they’ve been properly personalized to your child’s comfort and needs, you’ll be amazed at how well these knee pads and the rest of the gear will mold to fit your child’s body like a glove.

Cons: There are only three color options, which is pretty limited.

Bottom Line: Fortunately, these knee pads and their matching gear are highly adjustable and offer larger sizes than many other kids’ knee pads, providing more room for even the largest teens to grow into them.

Pros: Kids tend to love bright colors and fun patterns on their gear, and this set of knee pads and matching elbow pads will fit the bill nicely. There are 26 different patterns to choose between to boot, so there’s almost guaranteed to be a design for every child. The outer protective layer is also decorated with the same pattern as the rest of the pads. Both the knee and elbow pads stretch further up and down your child’s limbs to offer greater protection against abrasions and cuts. A handy mesh carrying bag for portability and storage comes included with your purchase, as do some cute stickers for your child’s enjoyment.

Cons: These knee pads do not come with extra-protective gear like wrist guards. Also, note that these knee pads aren’t size-adjustable.

Bottom Line: These flexible knee pads are great for young elementary-aged kids, no matter what outdoor activities and sports they like to partake in. Between the pads’ soft feel, flexibility, and breathability and the cute colors and patterns, you shouldn’t have any issue coaxing your little one into putting their protective gear on.

Pros: Most kids love it when their gear features their favorite cartoon characters. If your child is one such, consider these cute little knee pads and matching elbow pads and bike gloves. They offer three different design options that showcase popular kids’ cartoon characters in bright, vivid colors. You won’t be able to get over how cute your little one looks zooming around in this protective gear. The velcro straps allow for adjustability and make them a cinch to get on and off—useful not just for parents’ convenience but for anyone who has a particularly independent child who always insists on putting on their own gear. The price is on the lower side, too.

Cons: These pads are meant only for young kids, mainly toddlers. The maximum recommended age is five years old, and there aren’t any alternate size options.

Bottom Line: Little kids often can’t get enough of their favorite cartoons and cartoon characters, and these knee pads fortunately can offer that for when they are on their next adventure.

Final Thoughts

One of the most important jobs of a parent is to help their child are as safe as possible, including during playtime and outside time. A good, solid set of kids’ knee pads can go a long way towards this task, whether for biking, skateboarding, rollerblading, and other similar outdoor activities.


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