Knee Pad vs Knee Brace For Volleyball

Volleyball demands a lot of jumping and quick movements, which can strain your knees. So, choosing the right type of knee protection is necessary, whether a knee pad or a knee brace. But what’s the difference between the two? And which one is better for Volleyball? Let’s take a closer look.

Knee Pads and Knee Braces: Features and Types

Knee Pads

Volleyball knee pads protect the knees from impact and abrasion during play. They are typically made of a padded material such as foam or gel and have a Velcro closure or strap to keep them in place.

There are two main knee pad types: Support knee pads and Cushioned knee pads.

  1. Support knee pads are designed to provide stability and prevent further injury. They are often used by athletes recovering from an injury or those who play high-impact sports.
  2. Cushioned knee pads absorb impact and protect the knees from bumps and bruises. They are suitable for athletes who want extra protection or play sports on hard surfaces.

Knee Braces

Volleyball knee braces are supports worn around the Knee to help protect the joint from injury. They are often made of flexible materials such as neoprene or elastic and may be padded for additional comfort.

There are three different types of knee braces: Supportive, functional, and rehabilitative knee braces.

  1. Supportive knee braces offer general support and are ideal for those with minor knee pain or recovering from an injury.
  2. Functional knee braces are created to stabilize the knee joint and are ideal for athletes or those with more severe knee injuries.
  3. Rehabilitative knee braces are typically used after surgery or for those with very severe knee injuries.

Benefits of Using Knee Pads and Knee Braces.

There are a number of benefits of using Knee Pads and Braces. Here are some of the reasons you should get them:

Knee Injury Avoidance

In the Timisoara Physical Education and Rehabilitation Journal Research conducted in 2017, it was found that the Knee is the 2nd most injured area in Volleyball, with around 17.38% of injuries. There are usually two types of Knee Injuries: Patellar Tendinopathy or Jumper’s Injury and Knee ligament Injury. Most of these injuries take a lot of time and medication to cure and take a heavy toll on a player’s performance.

You might have now understood how crucial knee injuries can be. That’s where Knee Pads and Knee Braces come into play. Knee Pads and Braces are designed to withstand the shock and hits during Volleyball. With Knee Braces and Pads, you can rest assured of being protected from most injuries. Moreover, even if you have a knee injury, you can play Volleyball comfortably with the help of these pieces of equipment.

Warming Knees

There’s nothing Volleyball players hate more than cold knees during Volleyball. Being warm is extremely important for good play, and in winter, or on any cold day, your knees may get cold, causing extreme discomfort in playing Volleyball. Moreover, certain injuries are more painful on cold knees.

Knee Pads and Braces can help you keep your knees warm, as they are built with padded materials which store heat. And thus, you won’t have to dedicate extra time to warm up and worry about your performance on a cold day.

Improved Performance

Knee Pads and Braces can improve performance by providing support. This is especially important for players with weak knees or prone to injuries. Knee Pads help to stabilize the knee joint and prevent it from moving around too much, improving power and accuracy when hitting the ball.

Another way that Knee pads and braces can improve performance is by absorbing shock. When the knees are protected from impact, they are less likely to be injured. This can help players stay on the court longer and avoid taking breaks due to pain. Knee pads and braces can also help improve jumping ability by absorbing some impact when landing.

The Differences Between Knee Pads and Knee Braces

A volleyball knee pad and a volleyball knee brace both protect your knees while playing Volleyball. However, there is a considerable difference between the two.

  1. The most significant difference between knee pads and knee braces is the amount of coverage they provide. Knee braces are designed to sit around the entire Knee, while knee pads sit on top of your Knee joint. This means that knee braces offer more protection than knee pads but take a bit more time to put on.
  2. Another difference between knee pads and knee braces is the type of material they’re made out of. Knee pads are usually made of highly breathable fabrics, while knee braces are typically made of thicker and more rigid fabrics. This means that knee pads are generally less warm, but they also don’t offer quite as much support.
  3. Finally, knee pads and knee braces offer different benefits for different sports. Knee pads are great for any sport where you might get your knees dirty, including Volleyball, basketball, and soccer. Knee braces are ideal for sports that require a lot of lateral movements, like tennis and badminton.

Which one should you use?

By now, you may know the differences and features between knee pads and knee braces. But which one is better for you? Well, that varies from factor to factor.

  • Breathability and Weight: Knee pads are more breathable than Knee braces. This means they’re less likely to make your knees hot and sweaty, which can lead to bacterial infections. Moreover, they are lighter than knee braces. This permits you to move more freely on the court.
  • Fitting and Cost: Knee pads are less likely to slip off than knee braces. This gives you calmness and peace of mind knowing that your knee pads won’t come off in the middle of a game. Additionally, they are a less expensive option than Knee Braces.
  • Level of Play and Ease of Use: Knee Pads are better for beginners, while Knee Braces are for advanced players. They are usually easier to put on and take off than braces. Also, knee pads generally are smaller and less bulky than braces.
  • Comfort and Cushioning: Volleyball knee pads are more comfortable and cushioning than volleyball knee braces.
  • Knee Pain: A Knee Brace can be worn even when you have knee pain, which is not something you can do with knee pads. They can help correct specific knee issues, including knee hyperextension and bow-leggedness.
  • Support and Durability: Knee Braces provide more support than knee pads, making them a better choice for serious knee injuries. Also, they are more durable than Knee Pads are don’t need to be changed regularly.
  • Protection: Knee Braces are generally thick and provide more protection than Knee pads.
  • Competitive Play: Many competitions restrict Knee Pads, but not Knee Brace. This means you can get the backing you need when it matters most.

The decision between knee pads and knee braces often comes down to personal preference and requirements. It’s also worth noting that knee pads can often be used in place of knee braces.

How to Care for Your Knee Pad or Knee Brace?

Now that you know everything about Knee pads and Knee braces, here are some tips on how to take care of them:

  • Don’t let your Knee pads and braces lying in your bag for long. This can cause bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Wash them frequently and wear them only after drying them.
  • Hang outside for added protection. Sunlight is the best source for killing bacterial growth.
  • Don’t put them anywhere near a heat source. Heat can heavily damage knee pads.


Volleyball knee pads and knee braces both have their pros and cons, so it comes down to personal preference. Some people find that knee pads offer more protection and support, while others find that knee braces are more comfortable and allow for more movement. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual to decide which type of support is right for them.