Why Do Dancers Wear Kneepads?

Years ago, kneepads were not common to see on a pole dancer’s legs – whether it was lack of availability, club policy, or aesthetic preference, it just wasn’t in practice.

The wear a dancer can put on their knees – especially if they frequently perform floorwork or knee-intensive movements – can cause serious damage or injuries to the knee over time if left unchecked.

Kneepads specifically made for pole dancers have emerged in the last few years and gained in popularity as a way of keeping our knees safe while staying stylish. Kneepads are most important during practice sessions, where you might be repeating the same move dozens of times on the same part of the body.

Protecting your knees during these times will help protect your body from experiencing the wear that comes with repetitive use of the same body part, and pole manufacturers began to respond to the individual needs of the community.

 

A Review of the Best Kneepads for Dancers

In this pole dance kneepad review, we’ll cover some of the most popular brands available today based on our experience wearing and testing the kneepads, each with several days of heavy use.

We cover the breathability of each product, overall style, comfort, and most importantly: padding.

Paradise Chick – Superhero Sticky Socks

Breathability: 3/5
Style: 4/5

Comfort: 4/5
Padding: 4/5

Pros

  • Very comfortable and stylish. Fits accurately according to measurements.
  • Great for lowflow moves and spins that require just a little bit of extra grip
  • Excellent padding provides cushion for impacts common to floorwork and lowflow.

    Cons

    • Fabric is sticky to the touch but doesn’t grip very well on chrome poles.
    • Not much stretch by necessity – measure according to size guide before ordering
    • No extra padding available

    Paradise Chick – Animal Velvet Socks

    Breathability: 5/5
    Style: 4/5

    Comfort: 5/5
    Padding: 4/5

    Pros

    • Very comfortable and stylish. Fits accurately according to measurements.
    • Won’t slip or roll down even with dynamic movement
    • Excellent padding provides cushion for impacts common to floorwork and lowflow

      Cons

      • Folds in the inner knee can chafe after a few hours of wear
      • Not much stretch by necessity – measure according to size guide before ordering
      • No extra padding available

      Paradise Chick shipped the socks promptly. The fast international delivery was a delight, and doubled by the fact that the packaging was secured to prevent any damage to the product or the branded box, so there’s a perfect display or storage container that comes right along with them, and they can be placed in their own individual Paradise Chick sock bags.

      The customer service was prompt and friendly, and they were quick to resolve any issues, answering the several questions we had about sizing and product quality.

      Both products, the Superhero Sticky Socks and Animal Velvet Socks are stylish and comfortable, featuring cutouts for the heel and foot, making it easy to pivot and turn. They are both easy to pull on and take off and remain secure when worn. Neither product rolled down during wear, and both excelled in the best soft-shell padding out of the brands we reviewed.

      The Animal Velvet Socks did chafe the inner knee after a few hours of use, but for typical classes or polework that shouldn’t become an issue. These were by far our favorite when it came to comfortable wear, with the Superhero Sticky Socks coming in a close second.

      The Superhero Sticky Socks were grippier than fabric, but there wasn’t enough grip to secure inverted moves. The grip is best for moves that require just a little bit of extra grip in lowflow polework. They are stylish, however, and perfect for cold weather days.

      Mighty Grip – Padded Kneepads

      Breathability: 3/5
      Style: 2/5

      Comfort: 5/5
      Padding: 5/5

      Pros

      • Padding shape helps cover all parts of the knee, making it a good choice for dynamic movements
      • Several colors, styles, and sizes available 
      • Padding conforms to your knee for a custom fit

        Cons

        • Fabric can fold over itself during movement
        • Fabric is rough – can chafe sensitive skin if worn for long periods

        Mighty Grip – Pro Tack Knee Sleeve

        Breathability: 3/5
        Style: 4/5

        Comfort: 3/5
        Padding: 0/5

        Pros

        • Backside is very grippy for polework
        • Easy to slip over other items like pants or kneepads for extra grip

          Cons

          • No original padding or liner to add padding
          • Large logo in front is distracting in videos

          Mighty Grip’s customer service was phenomenal as they wanted to ensure we received exactly what we needed, and all questions were answered promptly.

          All items from Mighty Grip come with a 100% warranty, and they offer 12 styles and designs, from long to short kneepads, padded and non-padded. They also offer 12 color options and multiple padding styles.

           

          Both products, the Padded Kneepads and Pro Tack Sticky Sleeve are designed in-house and are handcrafted. They are easy to wash on cold/light settings and should be air-dried.

           

          Originally, the fit of the Padded Kneepads could feel uneven at first with the pad itself feeling tighter than the rest of the fabric, leaving a gap at the top where the fabric is loose; however, Mighty Grip is releasing a new size line that works with the measurements above and below the knee instead to provide more accurate sizing. New sizes include 2-3XS and 6-7XL.

          The padding earns a 5/5 rating because the ability to conform to your individual kneecap, as well as how well it protects your knee from impacts all around the kneecap. The padding will conform to your knee between 3-5 times of wear.  

          If you have sensitive skin, it can take a few wears to get used to the rough fabric, which can chafe if left on too long.

          The Pro Tack Sticky Sleeve is perfect for when you want a little extra stick while wearing pants, but this product isn’t designed to protect the knees. It can, however, fit over kneepads if sized accordingly.

          This product has an incredible amount of stick that actually grips to the pole. Mighty Grip was awarded a US patent for Gripping and Assistive Gear in early 2000, making them one of the first companies to produce sticky polewear.

          PoleDancerKa Kneepads

          Breathability: 4/5
          Style: 4/5

          Comfort: 3/5
          Padding: 2/5

          Pros

          • Very stylish fabric and design
          • Liner allows you to replace or add extra pad inserts
          • Easy to wash after removing padding

            Cons

            • Fabric can fold over itself easily during movement
            • Original padding is very thin
            • Sticky inside has little grip

            These PoleDancerKa Kneepads arrived quickly in recyclable shipping material. The kneepads are beautiful, giving them such a high rating in style. They’re comfortable and breathable, available in multiple colors, and the customer service is prompt and friendly.

            The original padding that comes with these kneepads is unfortunately thin; however, that’s all a part of their design and purpose. This makes them great for a gentle amount of padding, but it does mean that heavy impacts should be avoided unless you have the with pocket kneepads. These kneepads are a newer design that feature a liner where you can add additional PoleDancerKa padding.

            The inner side of these kneepads feature a PU – or faux leather – material, which is often seen as a grippy material. It has added grip compared to fabric but does not support bodyweight during inversions or other dynamic moves.

            The top line of fabric has a habit of folding over itself during movement, but this is hardly noticable on video. Overall, this kneepad is stylish and will stay up well, but shouldn’t be relied on for kips or other hard impacts. 

            BeesKnees Kneepads

            Breathability: 4/5
            Style: 2/5

            Comfort: 3/5
            Padding: 5/5

            Pros

            • Easy to wash to remove odors
            • Shapes to your knee for custom support and padding
            • The thickest and most supportive padding, with the ability to replace or add extra pad inserts

              Cons

              • Strap extenders are an excellent just-in-case purchase. Without them, the velcro can pop off with movement
              • Not widely available

              When we first received these kneepads, it was a little unnerving because the padding was as hard as Styrofoam and it didn’t seem comfortable.

              Once the padding was molded to the knee, it was a completely different story. They were quite comfortable, and by far the best padding out of all the kneepads we reviewed, protecting the knees against even hard impacts.

              The design is simple, which is perfect since your kneepads aren’t supposed to be the star of the show. These kneepads are also easy to wash; throw in with your lingerie bag and air dry.

              The strap extenders are a must have; without them, being on the larger end of the Small size, the velcro was a little difficult to get to stay. Without the strap extenders, movement was a little awkward, but this did get easier over time as the padding shaped to the knee.

              The fabric is made with a compression mesh, which felt strange at first, but it adds plenty of support and security.

              BeesKneesKneepads is also an advocate for body positivity, offering four different sizes plus extenders to accommodate a range of bodies, and four shades of nude kneepad colors for different skin colors. It arrived the fastest compared to other brands and the owner Sara has excellent customer service and response times.

              Luna Polewear – Sticky Silicone Kneepads

              Breathability: 3/5
              Style: 3/5

              Comfort: 2/5
              Padding: 4/5

              Pros

              • Padding shape helps cover all parts of the knee, making it a good choice for dynamic movements
              • Excellent padding thickness for common impacts during floorwork and lowflow

                Cons

                • Sweaty knees! The silicone material doesn’t breathe very well
                • Uneven fit for some body types

                When we first received these kneepads, the packing slip didn’t contain a business or brand name, so it was a moment of confusion about who the kneepads were from. The shipping took the longest out of all the brands.

                The material is a bit tight around the knee, while both below and above the knee felt a little loose in comparison, though it looks to conform very well.

                After a few hours of wear, the kneepad didn’t seem to mold to the knee very well. The upside is that the padding was thick and can cushion common impacts easily, protecting the full knee, where many kneepads tend to target the front of the kneecap alone.

                The silicone grips easily to the pole for lowflow movements, which may be due to how closely the silicone dots are spaced, but the opening in the back of the knee is prone to folding over itself or sliding down, making it difficult to hook onto the pole with a proper kneepit grip.

                Overall, if you need support around the whole knee and you aren’t worried about much polework, then these kneepads are a wonderful addition to your pole gear, and the silicone helps you grip the pole for lowflow moves.

                These kneepads were provided to PolePedia in exchange for an unbiased and unaltered review. These opinions and ratings are the result of heavy wear over the period of a week, testing the kneepads on and off the pole.

                 

                Other Dancer Kneepad Brands

                In addition to the brands you see here, we also contacted Super Fly Honey and Creatures of XIX. Both of these manufacturers were unresponsive through all available channels despite multiple attempts. We cannot vouch for their product or customer service; however, if that changes, we will update this review to accurately reflect our experience.

                We also reached out to Queen for Dance, but the experience with their customer support team proved frustrating and cyclical over the month we were in communication. Despite stating we were not interested in ordering wholesale products, we were pitched multiple times on making a wholesale order, and attempts to clarify the communication just led us back to square one, leaving us feeling concerned about the state of their customer service. No order was placed, and we were unable to review the quality of their kneepads. If this changes in the future, we will update this review to reflect those changes.

                 

                Didn’t see a brand here that you know?

                If you know a company or individual who is working hard to provide the pole dance community with kneepads, contact us or leave a comment below! We would love to expand this guide and include all brands.