While they may look like something that a knight or a gladiator would have worn for protection during combat, today’s modern worker uses the knee pad to help protect from job-related injuries.
Are you in the construction field or any other type of profession that requires you to rest your weight on your knees throughout the workday?
Many jobs and professions require workers to sit in a lower position to perform their duties, and knee pads can help prevent you from wearing holes in your work clothes and your skin.
In our guide, we’ll highlight some of the best knee pads for work-related purposes and help you understand what to pay attention to as you shop for some.
Our Top Pick: NoCry Professional Knee Pads
If you want comfortable and multi-purpose knee pads, we recommend the NoCry Professional Knee Pads. They are ideal for construction work, working on linoleum, concrete and hardwood floors, flooring, welding, stocking shelves, tiling the roof, plumbing, and so many more.
Top 10 Knee Pads for Work Comparison Table
Details to Consider as You Compare Products
We’ve tried our fair share of knee pads throughout the years, and after trying so many, we have realized that these are the most important things to take into consideration before you purchase.
- How You Wear Them. Will you be wearing the pads under your pants, over your pants, or on bare skin?
Keep in mind that you’ll feel the straps and hardware less if you wear the pads over the top of your jeans or pants, but they might not be as comfortable when you wear them with shorts or under your pants.
- Fit. It is important to choose the right size for your shape and the right style for your profession. We have listed suggestions in our table to give you an idea of what professionals in certain fields have success with, but make sure you find the right size for your knee so you don’t end up with some that are too tight or too loose.
- Outer Material. Make sure you choose pads that can handle the surfaces you’ll be working on.
Those with a hard outer shell offer the highest level of durability and protection from punctures, but they are also a bit too slippery for some surfaces and might leave scuff marks.
Leather, neoprene, and other fabric-coated material are softer and smoother but will rip and tear if you drag your knees across the floor. For occasional kneeling throughout the day, they provide you with comfort and cushioning for your knees.
- Care and Maintenance. Is the material machine washable? If not, how does the manufacturer recommend that you clean and care for the knee pads?
Those made from a mixture of fabric and plastic might need to be hand-washed while others like the TroxellUSA Leatherhead Knee Pads require a special leather cleaner.
Tips for Professionals Who Lay Flooring
Those of you who lay different types of flooring in your profession need to choose knee pads carefully, especially when it comes to wood. While many of the products we suggest are suggested for professionals who lay flooring, check to see the specific type of surfaces that the manufacturer recommends before making any assumptions.
The last thing you want to do is have to pay for material that you ended up scratching on the job.
Some of the best knee pads for flooring on our list are those from Crain, featuring a generous amount of padding and soft outer material to prevent scuffing and scratches on the hardwood.
For other hard flooring surfaces such as concrete, tile, and brick, consider the DeWalt Professional Knee Pads (DG5204) instead.
Top 3 Best Knee Pads for Work Reviews
The best knee pads for work vary from user to user because not all of our jobs require the same level of protection.
Out of all the products we tried, these three stood out from the rest, but if you’re looking for something in a specific profession, use our table to help you locate the right pair.
NoCry is a great choice if you lay flooring, install carpet, work on concrete, work in lawn and garden care, or if you’re busy stock shelves in a warehouse.
The rigid outer shell provides a protective barrier between you and any sharp debris, and it is much more durable than any fabric or leather material. The inside is lined with a comfortable layer of EVA foam and soft gel, and there are also mesh panels that make the material breathable.
Most find the fit to be comfortable and the straps unobtrusive, but if you’re on the petite side, you might need to wear these with jeans to prevent them from slipping down.
Speaking of straps, the adjustable straps use slip buckles rather than velcro. You can easily tighten the straps and they stay on much better than velcro.
Tip – If you lay hardwood flooring, don’t use these. The manufacturer says that, when used properly, the plastic doesn’t damage hardwood, but if you slide your knee across the floor and there happens to be a sharp object underneath, you’ll be paying for the damaged goods.
These heavy-duty knee pads are designed for the roughest of jobs, which is why the HVAC technicians, construction workers, home inspectors, and flooring professionals all highly recommend them.
The entire outer shell is made of hard plastic, lined with a ½-inch layer of foam on the inside. You’ll be able to bend and straighten your knees easily since the plastic is hinged in the middle, much like those in a suit of armor.
They sit higher on the thigh than most knee pads, so debris is less likely to fall inside and get lodged between the padding and your skin.
Other co-workers might give you a hard time when you first start wearing these because they do look rather silly, but who cares! They are comfortable, durable, and protect your knees your entire shift.
Welders really enjoy these leather knee pads, as do home builders and homeowners who do their own repairs.
The padding is comfortable on the inside, and the leather is durable within reason. With regular use, you will eventually wear down the leather in the most heavily used areas, but that’s to be expected with this material.
People who have been in the business for years swear by these pads thanks to the level of comfort they provide. These would be great for installing hardwood floors since the leather is soft and supple.
Any of you who happen to work outdoors in the summer in shorts will find these to be the perfect knee pad. The straps are comfortable and snug enough that they won’t slip down the calf when you walk.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Choose Knee Pads?
If you spend most of your time in rugged mountain terrain or taking on technical climbs, then stick with hardshell models. Don’t worry though, they’ll still give plenty of protection when you’re scrambling over rock fields or down that next loose scree slope.
On the other hand, if you do most of your climbing in the gym or spend weekends at local crags or boulders, then a pair of flexible foam pads will work better for you. They might not be as protective but they’ll still offer adequate knee coverage and are also far more comfortable to wear.
Don’t go mad with size (especially if you’re looking for adjustable models). Some brands tend to exaggerate measurements so always check them against your own leg length before making a purchase.
Too long and they’ll feel awkward and uncomfortable. Too short and they won’t provide enough support. Save money and buy sets. They’re cheaper than buying a pair individually.
Do You Wear Knee Pads Over or Under Pants?
It depends on the type of pants you wear and the type of knee pads you buy. If your pants are loose, you can wear them underneath. If you wear jeans or have the bigger knee pads, most likely they won’t fit beneath your pants.
How Tight Should Knee Pads Be?
The knee pads should have a snug fit. There should not be any discomfort when you wear it. You may want to have it a bit tighter so they won’t slip down. You can always adjust them later on if they feel too tight.
What are the Best Knee Pads for Concrete Work?
DeWalt Professional Knee Pads (DG5204) are good kneepads for concrete work because they strike the right balance of firmness and softness. They provide plenty of cushions. The straps hold tight and stay in place.
If you work in a profession that requires you to rest your weight on your knees, then it’s important for you to protect yourself from potential injuries. Knee pads can help relieve pressure and discomfort while also protecting the skin on your knee caps.
In our guide, we highlight some of the best knee pads for work-related purposes so be sure to read through each product before making a purchase decision.