I first got addicted to kneepads when I picked up a set on sale at Harbor Freight for something less than $5. I thought, “Man, I’m sure gonna look like a dork in these, but I’m sick of my knees hurting.” It was a while before I gave ’em a try, but after just a bit I found myself using them more and more. Yes, you do look like a dork in them. Get over it. Look at it this way: you’ll be a mobile dork in your old age.
Recently, I’ve been thinking of “upgrading” to some higher-quality kneepads, and I’m considering these: Irwin’s i-Gel “stabilizer” kneepads. Besides the inclusion of a get pack to further soften the pressure on the body’s most complex and fragile joint, they also feature a textured, shaped rubber piece on the front to provide extra stability.
While this feature it primarily aimed at roofers and HVAC craftsmen — who generally spend a lot of time on roofs and in other dangerous locations — this look like they’ll be way more comfortable than the cheap-o plastic-cap variety when it comes to kneeling down working on the car and such. They also look like they’ll do less damage to floors and other items you might kneel on — a good compromise between plastic cap and gum rubber with the added benefit of increased stability.
Froogle finds these starting around $25-$35 depending on vendor, which seems like a reasonable investment for this kind of protection and functionality.