Your knees – that marvel of human evolution that’s allowed us to be the only species to walk on two legs. They’re valuable assets that are worth protecting, especially during a fall.
Whether you want to upgrade your current inserts or buy slip-on protection, here’s our guide to the best knee pads for motorcyclists.
Best Motorcycle Knee Guard Reviews
Icon D30 LP2 Knee Impact Protectors
The Icon D30 LP2 knee protectors are some of the best knee protectors money can buy.
D30 technology and construction ensure that they are comfortable when riding. As the material warms up, the protectors mould to your knees, but on impact, they stiffen up for effective impact absorption.
Lightweight and breathable, the pads aren’t too bulky to fit into most jeans, trousers, and leathers, and thanks to the construction, you’ll be able to walk around off the bike, too, with no bother.
The protectors are built to slip into a knee pocket, so they’re not equipped with straps for independent wear.
- CE Level 2 rated
- D30 technology
- Insert only, no straps
Alpinestars Bioflex Knee Protectors
Alpinestars Bioflex Knee Protectors are lightweight and highly flexible. As a result, they are comfortable both on and off the bike.
These guards have a slim profile, so they should fit into most riding trousers and leathers, whether they’re Alpinestars or not.
They have CE level 1 certification and are a good choice for everyday riding protection.
- CE Level 1 certification
- Flexible design
- Slim profile
- Insert only, no straps
Held Quattrotempi Knee Protectors
The held inserts come at a great price. This is surprising given that they are made from high-quality SAS-TEC armour with full level 2 certification.
The armour is lightweight, flexible, and can be “persuaded” into most garments.
They also work as shoulder or elbow protectors for added flexibility.
- Light and comfortable
- Great upgrade option
- None, simple and effective
Spada Knee Armour
Another set of slip-ons from Spada, again with an unspecified material. These simple kneed protectors are the cheapest slip-on items in our review.
They’re machine washable, and the armour can be removed to save you from fishing pieces of armour from your partner’s underwear.
Users’ feedback suggests they do slip down, with no anti-slip banding on the upper part of the sock.
- Low price
- Velcro retention strap
- Edges can irritate after prolonged use
- Can slide down the leg
Resurgence D3O Knee Armour
These inserts are crafted from D3O, so they are supple and mould well around the protection area. They’re CE level 1 approved and also come with additional hip inserts.
The knee inserts have a ‘hook and loop’ system, allowing further Velcro securing in compatible trousers. However, many users have suggested that they fit in many other jeans and trousers. The D3O material is easy to trim and adjust to smaller pockets, making them compatible with differing brands.
With their CE level 1 rating, velcro retention system, and hip armour, these offer decent protection at a reasonable price.
- Comes with additional hip inserts
- Hook and Loop retention system
- Compatibility, can be trimmed
- Higher end price
- Not great value if you only want knee inserts
So how do you know if your armour will do its job? It can be a mind-numbing area when you get into the detail, but there are essentially two primary certification standards that manufacturers can apply to their products:
CE Level 1: The armour has been tested to provide reasonable protection for general use.
CE Level 2: Offers almost double the protection of CE1 and, with recent advances in materials technology, can remain light and flexible. Always go for level 2 if you can afford it.
Read more about armour standards.
Inserts or strap-on?
As with all armour, knee protection is available in insert of strap-on options. The latter is available as a sock-style pull-over or a motocross/track-style strap-on guard.
These are best to upgrade existing armour. However, they are not always compatible with every type of trouser/jeans. Softer materials such as D3O and SAS-TEC can be trimmed.
Strap-on and pull-over armour
It’s less convenient but better at holding armour closer to the area it’s protecting, mostly in a pull over sock type form.
A further enhanced range of protection is also available, consisting of knee guards and sliders for more specialised track/adventure/MotoCross riders.
Your height and ride type will also affect your options.
Knee armour in jeans/trousers is set in a static position. This can create misaligned armour for the vertically challenged or sportbike riders in a very folded position. This is where Pull-over armour offers an effective solution.
When you fall, you will have momentum, and in turn, your knees are an extremely vulnerable body part that demands protection.
Pull-Over armour is a better option for holding armour in place, but it is a bit more of a ‘faff.’ Ultimately It will all come down to personal choice, but whatever you go for, make sure you back it up with a decent pair of abrasion-resistant strides.