Libero’s have to dive a lot to keep the ball in the air. This means that they need strong knee pads that offer a lot of protection. At the same time, these need to be comfortable so that the libero can remain agile and run around a lot. Finding the right balance between protection and comfort is not easy. Since you will use your knee pads often, it is better to stick with bigger brands. You can save when you buy unknown brands but the quality of them is often terrible. Let’s take a look at the most popular knee pads for libero’s and see which ones will work for you.
1/ Mizuno LR6
The following knee pads of Mizuno find the right balance between both. They have used a special pattern in the foam so that you can bend it in multiple directions while still maintaining the strength of the foam.
They come in several colors and sizes. These are 6 inches in length and cover a big part of the leg. There are also longer models out there that offer more protection. It depends on your diving technique and personal preferences what you like. A lot of players don’t use the right diving technique and land too hard on their knees, increasing the need for knee pads.
2/ Mizuno T10
These are the longer model of the one that we discussed before. They cover a bigger area of your knee and offer more protection. Mizuno is the brand that the Olympic volleyball players of team USA play with so it is a big brand that offers qualitative products. These knee pads are quite affordable. They use a special foam to offer more protection. Some people remark that they are not very durable but you slide a lot when you wear these so it is normal that there will be some wear-and-tear over time. They are mainly worn by newer liberos as they offer a lot of protection when you dive.
3/ Mizuno Ventus
Some liberos want to have a lot of agility and don’t mind if they hit their knee from time to time. These knee pads offer less protection but are a lot lighter. If your diving technique is great, you can get away with smaller knee pads as you are able to distribute the energy over your whole body. This is mainly worn by pro athletes that need to move really fast. This is not for beginning liberos as it doesn’t offer a lot of protection.
4/ Nike streak
These knee pads offer a great balance between comfort and support. Nike uses rubber in their knee pad and while these might be less flexible overall, they offer a lot of protection. They use special materials to drain the sweat from your knees. This can be handy when you want to wipe off your shoes.
These might be less durable than the options that we have discussed before. Nike hasn’t been offering volleyball products for a long period of time so they are still improving the products.
Let’s create an overview of these products to see which one will work the best for you. The knee coverage is important as this indicates how big the area is that is covered by this product.
|Product name||Materials||Size||Knee coverage|
|Mizuno LR6||50% Polyester with 22% Rayon and 28% Elastic||6″ sleeve length||Medium|
|Mizuno T10||50% Polyester with 22% Rayon and 28% Elastic||8″ sleeve length||Maximum|
|Mizuno Ventus||Polyester||4″ sleeve length||Minimum|
|Nike Streak||46% Polyester, 25% Nylon, 17% EVA, 12% Rubber||6″ sleeve length||Medium|
To conclude we can state that liberos need great knee pads as they slide a lot over the floor. There are a lot of knee pads on the market and each uses special foams and has a different size. It all comes down to the look and feel that you like and you might have to test several brands to see what you like. This might sound like a lot of work but once you have found a model that works, you can keep buying it. Volleyball players often have to buy six or more knee pads per season so it can be interesting to spend some time on seeing which ones work best for you.