Best kids kneepads for skating

Skating is a rough-and-tumble activity. And beginners are prone to lots of spills. One way to ensure your child is safe tearing it up on the asphalt is with the proper protective gear. This means pads — especially kneepads. Not only do they protect sensitive bones and joints, but they also inspire the confidence necessary to improve as a skater.

Which kneepads you choose depends on your child’s age and ability. There are plenty of cool designs to excite all ages to skate safely. 

Skating with kneepads

Purpose of kneepads

Kneepads are pieces of safety equipment designed to slide over or strap around each knee. Used for a number of extreme sports, they protect the vulnerable ligaments and bones in your knees from strain and impact. 

Types of skating that require kneepads

Wheeled action sports involve lots of falls, especially if you’re learning tricks. Skateboarding is one of the world’s most popular action sports, but if your child instead loves roller skating or blading, they should also wear pads. Likewise, any kid who enjoys longboarding or just cruising around should have them, too. Impacts while falling are a given, but longboarding and cruising can lead to wicked road rash that kneepads can prevent.

Other protective gear

While kneepads are crucial, a safe skater should also have the following:

  • Elbow pads: These work like kneepads, protecting your arm’s major ligaments and bones from strain and impact. 
  • Wrist pads: When falling our instincts tell us to catch ourselves with our hands. But by stiffening our wrists, we risk breaking a number of bones. Wrist pads provide a protective, supportive barrier to this sensitive area by covering the palms and preventing flexion. They not only protect against broken hand bones and wrists, but also nasty scrapes.
  • Helmet: A helmet is the number-one piece of safety equipment to protect against head trauma. Look for a helmet with a multi-directional impact protection system. These are some of the safest helmets out there.

Choosing the right kneepads

A good pair of kneepads fits comfortably without restraining your child’s range of motion. To get the sizing right, it should account for their weight and leg size.  

Overall size

Kneepads use alpha sizing, which corresponds to the wearer’s weight.

  • Small: Under 125 pounds. 
  • Medium: 125-150 pounds
  • Large: 150-180 pounds
  • Extra-large: Over 180 pounds

You’ll also find pads sized according to the “child, youth and adult” spectrum. Child sizes typically fit age 5 and under, youth 5-10 and adult 10 and up.

Center circumference 

This measures the diameter of your child’s leg from the center of their kneecap. To get the center circumference accurately, try using a soft tape measure or a piece of string you can mark and measure when laid flat. 

  • Junior: Universal sizing for under 12 inches
  • Small: 12-14 inches
  • Medium: 14-16 inches
  • Large: 15-17 inches
  • Extra-large: 17-20 inches

Hard vs. soft shell

Choosing between a hard- and soft-shell kneepad depends on the level of protection you’re after. While soft-shell pads are more comfortable, they won’t provide enough protection in case of a big fall.

For kid skaters, hard-shell pads are your best bet. These are reinforced with foam padding to provide superior protection against big impacts and abrasion. They can be a little bulky, so make sure you size right. Opt for straps so you can adjust them easily and wear them over clothing. 

Best kneepads for kid skaters

Best kneepads for young kids

BoneShieldz Youth Cruiser 3000 Multi-Sport Protective Set

BoneShieldz Youth Cruiser 3000 Multi-Sport Protective Set

This complete set of pads has your little skater covered from wrists to elbows to knees. With black sleeves, metallic gray hard shells and red accents, your kid will feel like a superhero rocking their matching set. The adjustable straps and lightweight design help with comfort and breathability. These are also available in pink for toddlers with discerning taste. 

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Bosoner Kids-Youth Pads

Bosoner Kids/Youth Pads

Available in a fun array of colors, this complete set of pads is sized for little ones but is cool enough for big kids who love to shred. These plastic hard-shell pads are padded with airy foam and secured with comfortable elastic straps, making them great for long rides.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best kneepads for youth

Bosoner Kids-Youth Protective Gear Set

Bosoner Kids/Youth Protective Gear Set

Bosoner upgrades their kids pads for youth users who take bigger and harder falls. This full set of heavy-duty hard-shell pads provide ample coverage over sensitive areas with a shock-absorbing design that distributes impact forces away from the center cap. You have your choice of seven colors.  

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

DBX Youth Inline Protective Set

DBX Youth Inline Protective Set

This full set of pads is designed to cover your kid’s knees and elbows above and below the olecranon and patella. They come in a sleek black design with foam padding and a mesh layer to wick moisture. They’re great for older youth skaters who want to upgrade to more serious, adult-like pads. 

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Best kneepads for teens

Gonex Skateboard Protective Gear Set

Gonex Skateboard Protective Gear Set

This full set of pads should fit most teens. You have your choice between all-black and pink-and-black pads. The studded hard-shell design is particularly adept at absorbing big falls when skating vert ramps. You can wear them as a sleeve for extra support, or strapped over clothing for maximum comfort.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

JBM Adult-Child Kneepads Elbow Pads Wrist Guards 3 In 1 Protective Gear Set

JBM Adult/Child Kneepads Elbow Pads Wrist Guards 3 In 1 Protective Gear Set

This set comes in five mature yet trendy colorways for older skaters who want the protection of an adult set but don’t want to settle for plain old black. Though they only come in two sizes, they’re adjustable for comfort, and the large shell bubbles not only provide ample room to grow, but can also take a beating. Most teens and tweens fit in the adult size.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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