anyone know a good knee pad


Original Post
Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 40

I had knee surgery a few weeks ago and am going to start climbing again soon. Because my knee is still a bit tender, I want to get a knee pad to wear while climbing.

Has anyone used a knee pad that stays in place and works well for climbing? 

Rock and Resole has one that looks like it might be good. Has anyone used it? (and does anyone have their phone number?...lol). 

https://rockandresole.com/climbing-gear/knee-bar-pads/

Crossing · · Breinigsville, PA · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 1,121

Those knee bar pads typically cover your thigh, not so much your knee.  Your best bet is to get one of those knee braces from the drug store, ultimately it will offer a similar amount of padding to your knee as a knee bar pad, but it will cover the knee as opposed to the bottom of your thigh.  That being said the knee brace still won't provide very much padding and you should be vigilant of movements where you might hit your knee.

Billcoe · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 655



Hey Jim. Welcome back.  I own those. 1st is they take a neoprene knee brace like an old person without cartridge in their knee might wear for medical reasons (insert smiley face here) and they affix some c4 rubber on it, it's crazy nice for knee barring in offwidths, but if you were to wear it all day on like the Steck Salathe, you'd be sweating under there terribly. It's very uncomfortable.  For like Cadillac crack in red Rocks, 1 pitch, it's the bees knees. If you have any residual pain from your surgery, I suspect these will cause you pain just wearing them. Try them on first before you buy them is my advice if you want them anyway.

2nd version, climbers take the ones wrestlers use that you can get at a sporting goods store, which are a lighter, fabric material and wrap some duct tape on it for walls. Maybe some issues with sweat management but look at the heavy ones that X-C bike racers use. Fox makes one that is soft, full wrap around the knee and doesn't sweat too bad. I think the soft Fox ones would make you happy. They make ones that have plastic as well, I have avoided those so can't tell you much on them. https://www.backcountry.com/fox-racing-launch-pro-knee-pad You might not want to put out $53 though. Might check out a store like Big 5 and see what they have. 


Lastly,  Harbor Freight Tools and Home Depot sells a few versions for construction - both of which are OK for light use, and they are dirt cheap. It's just a light fabric style on the knee side with the classic hard shell outside that has a couple velcro strips to hold it on. These are great cause they stuff down small anywhere into a crowded backpack. They work well for rap bolting as they go on and off easy and quick. They're dirt cheap too and would most likely work to keep your knee from getting banged up. Might not ride well if you are high stepping though. 


Good luck! 

Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 40
Crossing wrote:

Those knee bar pads typically cover your thigh, not so much your knee.  Your best bet is to get one of those knee braces from the drug store, ultimately it will offer a similar amount of padding to your knee as a knee bar pad, but it will cover the knee as opposed to the bottom of your thigh.  That being said the knee brace still won't provide very much padding and you should be vigilant of movements where you might hit your knee.

Thanks. I don't need anything for support- just looking for padding over my patella. I don't need anything that covers my thigh either.

Kauait · · Sandy Utah · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

Not really a knee pad! It's a knee bar pad, more for your lower thigh/high knee. And there number is on the link you posted. Is that why your lol? I like to use the volleyball knee pads that have front and side padding, You can get them at your local athletic store.

Edit. Looks like I was slow on the typing! Good stuff above.

Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 40
Billcoe wrote:

Hey Jim. Welcome back.  I own those. 1st is they take a neoprene knee brace like an old person without cartridge in their knee might wear for medical reasons (insert smiley face here) and they affix some c4 rubber on it, it's crazy nice for knee barring in offwidths, but if you were to wear it all day on like the Steck Salathe, you'd be sweating under there terribly. It's very uncomfortable.  For like Cadillac crack in red Rocks, 1 pitch, it's the bees knees. If you have any residual pain from your surgery, I suspect these will cause you pain just wearing them. Try them on first before you buy them is my advice if you want them anyway.

2nd version, climbers take the ones wrestlers use that you can get at a sporting goods store, which are a lighter, fabric material and wrap some duct tape on it for walls. Maybe some issues with sweat management but look at the heavy ones that X-C bike racers use. Fox makes one that is soft, full wrap around the knee and doesn't sweat too bad. I think the soft Fox ones would make you happy. They make ones that have plastic as well, I have avoided those so can't tell you much on them. https://www.backcountry.com/fox-racing-launch-pro-knee-pad You might not want to put out $53 though. Might check out a store like Big 5 and see what they have. 


Lastly,  Harbor Freight Tools and Home Depot sells a few versions for construction - both of which are OK for light use, and they are dirt cheap. It's just a light fabric style on the knee side with the classic hard shell outside that has a couple velcro strips to hold it on. These are great cause they stuff down small anywhere into a crowded backpack. They work well for rap bolting as they go on and off easy and quick. They're dirt cheap too and would most likely work to keep your knee from getting banged up. Might not ride well if you are high stepping though. 

Good luck! 

Thanks. Very helpful. I had thought about trying wrestling kneepads and then I saw the knee bar pads at R&R. I had a partial knee replacement and my knee is strong- I don't need any support- just padding. Going to Vedauwoo this summer and will need something to cushion my knee a bit 

Tombo · · Boulder · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 360

Walgreens has a great light weigth knee pad for about $12 each.  Fairly minimal but stay's in place well.

mstolorena · · Shelby, NC · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 95

I was going to recommend the fox pads as well, I use them for mtn biking and think they would work well if they fit you nicely. I think you could find something from the mtb realm that would work well for you.

Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 40
mstolorena wrote:

I was going to recommend the fox pads as well, I use them for mtn biking and think they would work well if they fit you nicely. I think you could find something from the mtb realm that would work well for you.

Thanks. That Fox one that Billcoe recommended looks pretty good. Not sure I want to spend that much but might be worth it 

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

Here you go:

https://www.sendclimbing.com/collections/all-products

Edit: I've never used this product, but it looks good (and expensive).

Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 40
FrankPS wrote:

Here you go:

https://www.sendclimbing.com/collections/all-products

Edit: I've never used this product, but it looks good (and expensive).

Those look like they would be really good for knee bars (but pretty expensive). 

Carl Schaefer · · Boulder, CO · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 258

I use McDavid 401s for canyoneering, sounds like what you might want  - https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0053D4JQ0/

Nate Doyle · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 10

Hey Jim, I've been looking into AIARE and they suggested bringing along a pair of BD TeleKneesis Kneepads for working in the snow. I realize that may not be relevant to your needs but, I thought I'd share just the same. I don't know, they don't look snow specific, per se. And well, they are more expensive too. And I'm not sure they are "rated" for what it is you're planning on using them for (as the reviewer in the video explains.)

One customer review said:

Like another reviewer, I use the knee pads for ski patrolling. I have all kinds of cartilage damage to my knees and they add the protection I need while kneeling with patients. It is the perfect, non-bulky, hard, but comfortable solution for me. I have used them in other situations, especially photography in austere environments and while rifle training and they are tough as nails.


rkrum · · Colorado or somewhere else · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 15

I use the mcdavid neoprene knee sleeves for OW... Surprisingly decent amount of padding for what they are.

If that isn't enough, an mtb knee pad might be your best bet.

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 525
rkrum wrote:

I use the mcdavid neoprene knee sleeves for OW... Surprisingly decent amount of padding for what they are.

If that isn't enough, an mtb knee pad might be your best bet.

The McDavid sleeves have a substantial reputation among the crack-climbing cognescenti  as the best for climbing.  The basic neoprene sleeve that many people use is http://www.mcdavidusa.com/knee-sleeve.  Two others to  consider are http://www.mcdavidusa.com/knee-sleeve-w-anterior-patch, which has an additional neoprene patch over the patella, and  http://www.mcdavidusa.com/knee-support-w-sorbothaner-pad, which has a gel pad over the patella.  The prices are $14.99, $19.99, and $24.99 and they ship free.

Some people send the basic neoprene sleeve to their favorite resoler and get a patch of thin climbing rubber sewn (and maybe glued too) on.  I know Rock and Resole does this work but probably any of the resolers will.  I think the cost will be about $20.  If the sleeves are going to be used in back-and-knee chimneys, then remember that your thighs are typically splayed outward and so the pressure points are on the inside (medial side) of the patella, not directly on the patella.  Actually, this is true of narrower offwidth as well when you are heel-toeing with the outside foot and knee-barring with the inside foot. The pads should either be asymmetrically mounted or some extra extensions toward the insides included.

If your knees are at all dodgy, then sweating under neoprene pads keeps them warm and tends to make them feel better.

Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 40
rgold wrote:

The McDavid sleeves have a substantial reputation among the crack-climbing cognescenti  as the best for climbing.  The basic neoprene sleeve that many people use is http://www.mcdavidusa.com/knee-sleeve.  Two others to  consider are http://www.mcdavidusa.com/knee-sleeve-w-anterior-patch, which has an additional neoprene patch over the patella, and  http://www.mcdavidusa.com/knee-support-w-sorbothaner-pad, which has a gel pad over the patella.  The prices are $14.99, $19.99, and $24.99 and they ship free.

Some people send the basic neoprene sleeve to their favorite resoler and get a patch of thin climbing rubber sewn (and maybe glued too) on.  I know Rock and Resole does this work but probably any of the resolers will.  I think the cost will be about $20.  If the sleeves are going to be used in back-and-knee chimneys, then remember that your thighs are typically splayed outward and so the pressure points are on the inside (medial side) of the patella, not directly on the patella.  Actually, this is true of narrower offwidth as well when you are heel-toeing with the outside foot and knee-barring with the inside foot. The pads should either be asymmetrically mounted or some extra extensions toward the insides included.

If your knees are at all dodgy, then sweating under neoprene pads keeps them warm and tends to make them feel better.

Those look like they would work great and aren't so expensive. 

The only area I'm concerned about padding is my anterior patella, which still is a bit tender. Pretty uncomfortable to kneel.  The rest of my knee is fine and pressure on the side of the patella is not painful. 

Thanks for the suggestions. 

Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 40
Kauait wrote:

Not really a knee pad! It's a knee bar pad, more for your lower thigh/high knee. And there number is on the link you posted. Is that why your lol? I like to use the volleyball knee pads that have front and side padding, You can get them at your local athletic store.

Edit. Looks like I was slow on the typing! Good stuff above.

Yeah, I looked closer at the knee bar pads & not what I need. Volleyball pads maybe...

The Rock and Resole phone # thing is a long running MP joke....

Max Forbes · · Vermont & Colorado · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 114

I'm in a similar situation - I cut my knee pretty badly in February and now that I'm back to climbing again it's very tender, and needs padding somehow. The typical pull over brace doesn't cut it and they don't stay in place well. I'm curious to see if there's something sleek and effective out there. The BD pads look quite bulky. I bet there's a good MTB pas out there somewhere. 

Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 40

I just ordered a McDavid with the Sorbothane pad (the one recommended by rgold) and will post something once I have had the chance to try it out. 

England · · ? · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 260

Not helpful, but in the construction world these are known as promotion pads.

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 525
Jim Fox wrote:

I just ordered a McDavid with the Sorbothane pad (the one recommended by rgold) and will post something once I have had the chance to try it out. 

Jim, I hope it works well for you.  Just for the record, I didn't "recommend" it,  just mentioned that it was an option, so I'll be interested to hear your thoughts after you've tried it out.  If you are wearing shorts, I suspect the best approach is sticky rubber sewn on a plain sleeve.   For something that goes under pants, the sorbothane pad might be good if it doesn't end up restricting mobility by hanging up on the pant knee.

BITD, we padded our knees with 4" Ace bandages and let it go at that.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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