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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.

I-Gel Stabilizer Kneepads [Irwin]
Street Pricing [Froogle]
Buy It Now from Amazon [What’s this?]


4 Responses to Finds: Irwin’s i-Gel Stabilizer Kneepads

  1. I recently “upgraded” my knee pads as well. I know it may sound rediculous, but I just shelled out $169 for a pair from proknee.com. A co-worker has used them for years and I’ve always been jealous. Before you disregard them for being way to pricey, consider a few things: As a professional carpenter, I spend way too much time on my knees, and I’m going to need them to stay healthy if I want to keep working. All parts of the pad can be replaced, including the no-mar, non-skid outer pad. They are custom sized for the length and diameter of your legs. They DON’T strap behind the knee, those that do cause significant pain after an hour. They span 16″ on center joists for kneeling on open framing. Somedays I wear them for 6-8 hrs and I almost forget they are there. As for looking dorky, I think they look hardcore. Check ’em out.

  2. nrChris says:

    I know quite a few carpenters and they all have different opinions on knee pads. After doing a few floors, I was ready to drop some serious dough on a pair–and I am only a hobbyist. The guys doing the real work, Matthew, are smart to invest in something that will keep them going year after year.

    For me, the $8 pair from the big box store was adequate for an afternoon of flooring.

  3. Rob says:

    I used to do a lot of raised floor work and the plastic cap pads were great. Being able to slide around was a lot faster and easier than having to crawl each step when running cables and such, plus it was fun to come up at a run and slide into place. For roofing, I’d opt for the grippier ones. Of course my skateboarding pads are another story.

  4. AggieMike says:

    I used these while tiling a whole house. I was on my knees for close to four days, the gel insert was very comfortable, but found that it was hard to move over the tile and concrete because of the grip they had. It was also awkward to lean over tiles with them on because they don’t allow your knees to roll from side to side. But as others have stated they would be great for roofing and other applications where grip is important.

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