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How to Stretch Out Knee Pads? (Simple Directions)

Fact checked by Andrew Carnegie

how to stretch out knee pads

Are knee pads supposed to be tight? No, they’re not. Improperly fitted pads can make people feel uncomfortable when moving, impede blood circulation, and cause skin irritation.

So, don’t forget to stretch them to protect your legs better in case you purchased a super tight pair.

Do you know how to stretch out knee pads effectively? This useful article will give detailed instructions and tips for loosening them. Furthermore, you will know the standards of perfectly-fitting knee pads.

Steps to Stretch Out Knee Pads


If you have too tight knee pads on hand, follow these simple and effective methods to get knee braces in a perfect and suitable size.

Method 1. Wash knee pads in cold water.


What to prepare

  • Cold water
  • Detergent (optional)
  • Big shoes – You can pick other things that are larger and broader than your leg.
  • Large container

Step 1: Pour clean cold water into the container. In this step, you can add a little bit of detergent to make your knee pads cleaner.

Step 2: Soak your knee pads in cold water and wash them with your hands or a soft brush. It’s better to wash the pads carefully to remove any stains.

Step 3: Rinse your knee braces with clean water after washing them.

Step 4: Wear knee pads around big shoes or other large objects to stretch your knee pads.

Step 5: Wait for 2 to 3 hours to let them loosen and dry.

Step 6: Take the pads out of your shoes and try them on.

Method 2. Rolling knee braces around big shoes


What to prepare

  • Large basketball shoes or other big shoes

Step 1: Place your basketball shoes on a large and even surface.

Step 2: Pull the knee braces over the large shoes. It’s necessary to use clean shoes to keep your pads from getting dirty.

Step 3: Leave your shoes and knee pads overnight to make your braces wider and looser.

Step 4: Use your hand to remove the knee pads from the shoes and put them on the legs to check. In addition, you can repeat the process above if the pads are still tight.

Note: To prevent your knee pads from shrinking, don’t expose them to high temperatures or dryers, since the high heat is not friendly to the material for making knee braces.

What is Tight or Perfect-fitting for a Knee Pad?

Are you wondering “how are knee pads supposed to fit?” The best way to get a perfect-fitting knee pad is to measure your knee. Below are the must-followed steps to get measurements for a suitable knee brace.

What to prepare


  • Body measuring tape

Detailed steps


Step 1: Choose a flat floor and stand upright on it.

Step 2: Place the tip of the measuring tape at the center of the left knee and measure the distance from it to the shin. Do this step for the other leg as well, then pick your pads according to the measurements you got.

Different brands often have their own sizing charts, but usually, up to 13 inches is considered small, while 14 inches is medium, and 15 to 17 inches are large.

Furthermore, tightness will vary depending on different activities, such as strongman, running, powerlifting, CrossFit, or bodybuilding.

For example, you shouldn’t purchase knee pads that are too tight for running to make the blood circulation process easier.

Meanwhile, the heavier the lifting force, the tighter the knee braces should be.

Frequently Asked Questions


Do knee pads stretch over time?

Over time, the knee pads will stretch. However, this stretch is not too significant, so remember to pick the most suitable size for your leg.

Should knee braces be tight?

Don’t use knee pads that are too tight. You should break in your leg pads to create the most comfortable feeling for work or movement.

Do knee pads shrink?

Yes, it’s possible. One of the most common reasons your knee sleeves shrink is high heat. Therefore, remember to keep your knee braces away from the dryer or high-temperature places.


In short, selecting the most suitable knee pads is an important thing that active individuals and athletes must consider. However, it’s not a big deal if you get too-tight knee pads, since you can learn how to stretch out knee pads in the ways I recommended above.

How about you? Do you have any other ideas for stretching knee sleeves effectively? Feel free to leave your thoughts and recommendations in the comment section. I’m looking forward to seeing them. Thanks for sharing and reading!

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