How to Stop Basketball Knee Pads from Slipping

One thing I hate is playing basketball on a dusty court where every trip down the floor I am wiping my feet trying to find the grip on my new pair of basketball shoes. What’s worse is having to pull up my knee pads because they keep sliding down every time I run. This is annoying, but I am here to help with how to keep your knee pads from sliding.

How do I stop my knee pads from sliding? You can stop knee pads by using tape, providing an underlayer with the knee pad on top of it. Or keep your skin smooth of hair so the knee pad can grip the skin better preventing it from moving down. There are a number of reasons why knee pads move…

Hopefully, after reading this you understand what is causing your knee pads to slip down, in which I will also provide solutions for this issue, which means you can focus more on the game and not your knees.

If you want to skip to the best basketball knee pads for the best price click here to be directed to Amazon.

Types of Knee Pads

There are a couple of variations of knee pads we see on the market. Many people think that knee pads are for volleyball players and it doesn’t relate to basketball. Volleyball players use them when they dive for a ball and land on their knees doing so, the pad is there to protect the knees from injury and they work very effectively.

Those knee pads are not the same knee pads used for basketball, they are completely different. Knee pads used in basketball have pads and compression that are also known as knee compression sleeves. Many basketball players use these especially power forwards and the center’s for good reason.


When playing the big man position in basketball, posting up down low, players jockey for position which requires them to get down low using the power in their legs which also causes a lot of contact in the process, body to body.

That in turn can cause a lot of contact around the hoop which can result in bumps and bruises. Elbows and knees can get in the way and cause a lot of problematic and accidental injuries to the players.

This is why they use knee pads, to cushion the knee from receiving a blow or a knee to knee when legs get tangled up. Some players have a tendency to be all over the floor diving for balls and falling a lot and would also benefit from the Knee sleeve.

How to keep Basketball Knee Pads from Sliding Down

Keeping knee pads from sliding down can feel like a difficult task, the annoyance has you here reading this how-to article because you don’t want to have to worry about it during a game. I am going to be listing a few ways, in fact you have a couple of options all of which won’t cost much money at all.

Option 1 – Shave your legs

I know what your thinking what does shaving my legs have to do with my knee pads sliding down? Actually, a lot, coming from someone who has hairy legs, the knee pads slide down easier especially when there is hair in the way of the knee pad and skin. Shaving your legs will not only give you a better grip but will also make the knee pad stick better because of the sweat on the naked skin. If you don’t want to shave them completely I understand, you can just trim them down.

Understand that if you do decide to shave you will notice a difference in how much less they slide down when compared to when you didn’t shave.

The Cost – Razor and Shaving Cream, $2.00 to $15.00 Depending on what type of blade you use.

Option 2 – Second Layer

Wearing a second layer underneath the knee pad can help not only with comfort but to keep your knee pad more sturdy and in position on the knee. Leg sleeves or compression pants can help you with this and you may even find it much more comfortable. If the knee pad does still get loose you may find it is much easier to slide it back in place than if the knee pad was just on the skin. You may need to play around with it to see what suits your comfort on the court.

Sometimes a knee pad will irritate your skin, which the second layer can make it feel much better and more comfortable while not having to worry about irritating skin.

The Cost- $10.00 and up.

Option 3 – Tape

Using tape can help keep your knee pad from sliding, the downside of tape it is an extra cost every time you run out of athletic tape. The other issue is if you are taping on top of an area where there is hair on your leg, it may not provide the best grip to the leg as the hair is in the way where you need to get at which is the skin.

If the legs sweat or get wet, the tape may loosen up the grip it has on the leg and knee pad. Also when you pull off the tape you will find that it may hurt when it catches on the hair. The Solution! Shave your legs. Better grip with the tape and the knee pad.

You want to put tape where the start and end of the knee pad meet the skin and wrap it a few times around your leg, make sure it is not too tight that it cuts off circulation.

The Cost – A buck and up.

Knee Pads that Stay in Place

You may get lucky and not have to worry at all about your knee pads moving around if you find a good pair that suits your legs. I will say something I haven’t mention is that the bigger your legs are the more your pads will move as opposed to someone with skinner’s legs. Bigger rounder legs will move the compression sleeve over your leg with every step but good thing you now know what solutions to use to minimize that issue.

How to Make Knee Pads More Comfortable

One of the best things you can do when you purchase a brand new set of knee pads and make them as comfortable as possible when you’re on the court is to work them in before playing basketball.

Wearing them around the house is best or during your daily activities to break them in. This way you know what to expect when you do put them on during a game and if there is an uncomfortable feeling then it doesn’t take your attention away from the basketball game.

Working them in is going to stretch them out a bit and mold to your knee and leg. You really don’t want a knee pad that is too tight that it cuts off your circulation. If you think that a tighter knee pad will be less likely to slide down you may be half right but eventually, it will. I have worn a tight knee sleeve to play basketball in and it didn’t matter how tight it was it eventually moved down, it doesn’t help with all that hair on my legs. I just haven’t found the right knee pads I guess.

If it becomes too uncomfortable for you that you can’t wear it playing basketball, because it itches or rubs in a way that it irritates your skin, and you have no choice but to keep them because it’s too late to return them then try putting a compression sleeve on it by either buying compression leggings or the ones you can slide up and put around your knees.



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