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How to Wear Knee Pads for Work? – 2 Ways (w/Pictures)

Fact checked by Andrew Carnegie

how to wear knee pads for work

Knee pads are not exclusively for professional athletes or workers. If you’re kneeling for extended periods when doing chores or DIY projects, you can wear them to perform your tasks comfortably or prevent injuries.

However, not all knee protectors are created equal. Each type is designed with unique features that suit specific activities. For instance, knee pads for exercise are not supposed to be worn in places that expose you to sharp debris.

To ensure maximum comfort and protection, you need to select the correct type and know how to wear knee pads for work properly. Let’s get into it.

Ways to Wear Shell Knee Pads for Work


What are shell knee pads?

Featuring a plastic hard shell, these knee pads are designed for kneeling on hard surfaces or debris. They can also be used as knee pads for sliding on concrete.

However, do not use them on wood flooring as they can scuff the surface. In any case, there are two ways to wear shell knee pads.

</p> <h3>Method #1: Wearing shell knee pads</h3> <p>

Step 1: Preparation


When putting on hard shell construction or mechanic knee pads, we recommend that you sit on a chair so you can reach your knees without losing your balance.

Next, adjust the length of the straps to ensure that they can reach the buckle or snap button on the other side of the pads.

Step 2: Put on knee pads


While holding the knee pad in one hand, use the other hand to wrap the bottom strap around the back of the knee. Hook it up to the top snap button or buckle and tighten.

Then, bring the top strap to the back then fasten it onto the bottom snap button or buckle. Don’t forget to tighten it.


As a result, the two straps would form an “X” on the knee’s backside. Repeat the process to wear the other pad.


 Though this technique ensures that your knee pads are securely in place, it may not be suitable for designs that include thigh support and shorter straps.

</p> <h3>Method #2: Donning hard shell knee pads with thigh support</h3> <p>

Step 1: Hold the hard shell in position


Make sure that the knee protector is centered on the knee and the thigh support rests on the thigh.

Step 2: Connect the straps


Attach the thigh straps first. Often, the thigh straps are made of two webbings lined with velcro. Flatten the bottom strap underneath so the top strap can latch on without any slack.

Once the velcro is attached, connect the buckle.

Use the same steps when hooking up the calf straps. Then repeat the process with the other knee pad.


This technique is not just for hard shell knee protectors. You can use the same method with soft underpants knee pads for work that are designed with top and bottom velcros.

How to Insert Removable Knee Pads in Double-front Work Pants

Another way to protect your knees is to wear work or garden pants with knee pads. Typically, these designs come with knee pockets where you can insert the foams.

Workwear brands like Carhartt and Lee Cooper typically manufacture removable knee inserts to suit their line of double-front pants, but these items are sold separately.

For this tutorial, let’s use Carhartt products as an example.

Step 1: Make sure the knee pads are correctly positioned


Here’s what you need to remember: The yellow side must face your knee.

Looking at the shape, you will see that the pad looks as if it is made of two polygonal shapes combined—one of which is smaller than the other.

Note that the smaller polygon should be placed at the bottom. In effect, the pad should look like a bold yellow exclamation point.

Step 2: Insert the knee protector


Once you’ve located the opening below the pant’s knee, roll the upper portion of the pad then slip it in. Ensure that the black side of the foam is facing you.

Shove the entire knee pad in and then flatten the fabric with your hands. Work on the next pad using the same technique.

How to Wear Pull-on Knee Pads for Sports


Volleyball knee pads can be used for any exercise that subjects your knee to the impact of bending, jumping, or lunging.

Slip your foot through the sleeve pad. Pull it up until the padded area is positioned just below your kneecap.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I wear knee pads all day?

No. By nature, knee pads are supposed to fit snugly to prevent dislocation. Wearing them for prolonged periods can restrict blood flow and reduce the strength of the muscles around your knees.

How do I keep my knee pads from falling off?

To keep knee pads from sliding down, select models with adjustable straps that allow you to tighten the fit.

Moreover, certain types of padding tend to cling more securely to the knees than others. For instance, gel pads take the shape of the knee, which enables them to hold their position steadily.

Another factor to consider is moisture. If your knee pads are directly in contact with your skin, your perspiration can also cause them to slip. In this case, you can try wearing the mechanic knee pads over shin tights to absorb some of the sweat and increase friction.

Note that worn out knee pads can loosen up and flatten out over time, which is probably also why they are sliding down your legs. If that’s the case, take it as a sign that you need to replace them.

How are knee pads supposed to fit?

Knee pads must fit snugly and securely. At the same time, they should not hinder your movement or constrict blood flow, like how you would wear elbow pads.


The methods on how to wear knee pads for work can vary depending on the model. Generally, they don’t take a lot of time to put on. You don’t need a manual to figure out how to use them.

Just keep in mind that any slack around the straps can move the pads off-center whenever you kneel or crawl, making them unable to cushion or protect your knees. Always make it a point to adjust the knee protectors to fit your thighs and calves well.

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