What’s the most important safety equipment for dirt bikes?
I’m starting to think that knee pads are essential, especially after taking several crashes and watching several videos of dirt bike riders tumbling.
Yes, elbow guards and full-face helmets are critical, but motocross knee guards also rank high up there.
Personally, I’d even go as far as to say you shouldn’t get on that thing without your knee guards on- they’re that important.
See, several seasons ago, I had an incident. I wish it were a super elaborate and impressive story, but it’s not.
I was doing 30 on a relatively flat road, and when cornering, I think I over-leaned more than my wheels could handle.
I shifted my weight so much on the sideway that I lost traction on the wheels, and tumbled down. I was jolted away from my bike, ending up falling with my knees first, then chest and head,
The good news is, I had knee guards on, and they did a nice job of absorbing the initial impact.
But unfortunately, I hadn’t secured my left knee guard enough, so it slid, exposing my knee to some nasty rash.
It was a humbling experience, and while the knee pads didn’t save my knee entirely, they cut me some slack on the level of injury.
I don’t want to imagine what would have happened if I didn’t have a knee guard on-possibly a fractured bone, broken knee or a skin graft.
And from that day, I vowed never to play Russian roulette with my knees again, and today, I strongly advice that you always have knee guards as the bare minimum safety gear.
But with so many motocross bike knee guards in the market, choosing the right one for you can be nerve-wracking.
The good news is, I’ve prepared a guide below, outlining some of my favorite options in the market. I’m pretty sure they’ll be quite helpful.
Table of Contents
The Best Dirt Bike Knee Guards For The Money
#1 SCOYCO Racing Knee Guards - EDITOR'S CHOICE
SCOYCO Racing motocross knee brace opens up our list of the best motocross knee braces reviews.
It’s a nice purchase, tailored for the ultimate impact protection while offering incredible knee comfort.
I’ve used this motocross knee brace quite a dozen times for enduro racing in the trail, and what I can tell you is this pair does a great job in crashes.
The SCOYCO Braces fit well, too and offer a comfortable experience for the ultimate riding experience.
But how good is this knee brace?
Features and Benefits
Quality & Design
SCOYCO Racing Knee Brace comes at a slashed rate, and to be honest, I had some serious doubts about its quality.
But not for long.
My first impression is that the SCOYCO Racing Knee Brace is better than I thought.
It competes favorably with some of the reputable and high-end knee braces in the market.
SCOYCO’S quality is impressive by all means and has what it takes for proper and long-lasting protection.
While it doesn’t prevent lateral deflection or hyperextension, it’ll at least shield my knee from the blunt impact or at least the crashes before falling apart.
It covers my shin, knees and even extends a bit above the knee.
Plus, it’s thin enough at the bottom to be placed in the boot.
Of course, the ultimate test with any motorcycle knee brace is how well it keeps your knees safe in case of an accident.
The good news is I can vouch for the SCOYCO Racing Knee Brace.
The reason is I’ve wrecked twice riding my motocross bikes, and they did their job for sure.
One was when I got hit by a 4-wheeler, and the other one was a crash on the driveway.
Both were good impacts on the ground, and while the braces did crack, I know it would have hurt my knees more or even broken them if I didn’t have the guards on.
The polypropylene high impact plastic shell used on the exterior of the brace is impact, and crash-proof, resisting shock and impact. It offers your knee cap protection and keeps your anterior cruciate ligament from damage.
On top of that, I love having this brace on because I’ve a habit of touching the muffler with my knees. It keeps me protected from that as well.
SCOYCO Racing Knee Braces are among the most comfortable dirt knee guards I’ve tried.
I’m impressed with their triple mobile design that allows me to move freely, giving me up to 180 degrees of motion. They’re comfortable to wear and walk, which is quite unusual for most bike knee braces.
Secondly, they’re lightweight and don’t add much bulk to my knees. In fact, they’re barely noticeable and ideal for use when adventure riding for extended periods. No fatigue.
While still in comfort, I discovered a metal mesh on the exterior and plush material on the interior.
This combo is nice for wicking the sweat away and doesn’t leave my knees with a funky smell.
Personally, I can’t get enough of this feature because I sweat a lot and love riding with my shorts. The skin-to-skin contact with this pair of braces is comfortable and has a superior bike feel to it. But if you wear them over pants, it’s still comfortable.
Ease of Use/ Adjustability
Donning and using the SCOYCO Racing Knee Brace is fun.
I’m impressed with the adjustable elastic straps with a buckle that helps with easy adjustment for your unique leg size and shape.
Personally, I’ve been using them to ride my Silverado bike, and I’ve not had to adjust the upper and lower cuffs since the first day I put them on.
They don’t slide down the knees as most knee braces do, and I can even use them for walking without any inconvenience.
Overall, the SCOYCO Racing motocross knee brace is a nice product and will go a long way in keeping your knees protected.
I encourage and highly recommend these motocross knee braces, especially if you ride motorcycles, fast e-scooters, dirt bikes, or ATVs.
#2 Leatt Shin Guard Dual Axis - Premium Motocross Knee Brace
For my second motocross knee brace, I was looking for an alternative to the Klim Jeans.
I’ve nothing against jeans; they’re good and warm.
But they’re super expensive and too warm for my liking.
So, I needed an alteration that would offer a nice fit, keep me comfortable, and most importantly, something that feels protective.
After thorough research, I settled for the Leatt Shin Guard Dual Axis Sport. And not just of the numerous positive customer ratings, but I chose it because I could effortlessly strap them on over my bike jeans.
And I’m glad I made the Leatt Shin Guard Dual Axis sport purchase because they are working gear.
They move well, are super-adjustable, and stay where you want them to.
Have I mentioned protection?
I can now ride with more confidence with these.
Features and Benefits
My first impression of the Leatt Shin motocross knee Guard is they’re built to handle the extremes.
They provide maximum protection, shin coverage, and comfort for what they look like.
At first glance, they may seem pretty bulky. In fact, most users shy from these motocross knee braces from their perceived bulkiness.
But that’s far from the truth.
On my first try, I could barely notice their presence.
I’ve also put them to the test, and even after suffering a few falls here and there, they still hold up well.
On top of that, I’ve used them for several seasons, and they show little signs of wear up to now. Save from a few dings here and there and picking up some dye from my trousers.
One of the key features of the Leatt Shin Guard Dual Axis is the dual pivot.
It’s a design that mimics your knee’s natural movement. I couldn’t believe how this anatomically correct knee guard provided a range of motion, blowing the normal motocross knee braces out of the water.
One of the things I love with Leatt Shin Guard Dual Axis’s maximum protection is the larger coverage.
See, unlike the smaller brand pairs, I’m confident that should I fall, the Leatt Shin Guard Dual Axis won’t slide over an impact.
It offers protection in all possible angles, and this is good because I often ride over small sharp rocks, and you’re likely to hit your knees from all directions if you go down.
I didn’t notice any gaps, and I got a lot of protection in that sense.
The guards also seem quite durable and solid to me. The High-Density Polyethylene HDPE used here doesn’t seem like it would buckle in case of a crash, even those directly onto rocks.
Along with the great protection, I’m also impressed by the secure fit. This is necessary for avoiding knee twists or further knee injuries.
Overall, the Leatt Knee Brace protection is a good one, and I would highly recommend it.
Initially, I thought these motocross knee braces would be bulky and fatiguing.
But contrary to what is in the picture, they’re truly comfortable and can be worn all day.
The longest I’ve had them on is 12 hours, and they didn’t rub or anything. And unlike the flimsy options that have their straps start to dig into the backside of my leg, this one remained comfortable.
A generous amount of padding keeps your knees comfortable all through.
On top of that, the padding has moisture-wicking abilities, so I can comfortably wear them with shorts even in warm weather.
And the best part with the Leatt Brace comfort is that it starts with your knees’ comfort before building around that.
Ease of Use/Adjustability
The Leatt Knee Brace is barely noticeable and won’t result in any hindrance when walking.
First, the Continuous Cable Routing System on the straps is easy to adjust, and I love that I can dial them to whatever pants I’m wearing or the size of my calf and knee.
Secondly, the outer hinge on this knee brace is perfect for precise movement and protection. And the good thing is it provides size for users with big legs like mine.
On top of that, they work well for pocket riding where my knees are constantly extremely bent,
They hardly slip and stay in position for long without the need for constant adjustment. The braces should be in your travel kit bag.
#3 Gute Knee Pads – Budget Option
The Gute Knee Braces are the most affordable knee braces I could get, and after several seasons of riding on them, I don’t feel any difference between the premium and high-end options.
They don’t feel out of place, are comfortable, and are quite protective.
I love their nice coverage, offering protection from above the knee to just inside the boot.
Features and Benefits
I’m impressed with Gute Knee Brace’s design.
See, I ride with Fox comps, which are generally tall, but I’m glad there’s complete coverage with this knee brace.
On top of that, the shin guard plastic used here isn’t curved too steeply, and this helps with how well they conform to my legs.
The straps are of high quality, and the hinged knee joint seems quite nice.
My only concern with the Gute motocross knee braces is the plastic buckles seem a bit cheap, and I can see them breaking pretty quickly.
Otherwise, everything else with this budget purchase is nice.
Gute Knee Brace is a budget purchase, and at first, I’ve to admit I was a bit skeptical, especially with its performance.
But several seasons and crashes with this, I can say they offer better protection than Hockey pads.
I’ve ridden with them thousands of miles, and it feels great to have them on and provide that sense of security if you fall.
The High impact PE plastic and EVA shield will come to your rescue if you are wiped out riding.
This pair will work great on branches, rock deflecting, bumping into tailgates, and definitely the crashes on the ground.
In addition, I can’t get enough of the plastic clips that have held up so far and come in handy with over-extension.
The heavy plastic knee stops are sturdy and will protect you from a lot.
But as mentioned earlier, the anatomically correct hinges are plastic and seem like they would break; I only wish they were metal.
But all in all, I would buy them again.
Comfort on these bad boys is great.
It feels a bit stiff at first, but once you break into them, you’ll enjoy unmatched comfort.
The foam padding feels plush, offers superior support, without compromising on maximum mobility.
Meanwhile, the new innovative knee pads will help with a wide range of motion, making these knee braces quite useful for any activity.
Plus, they’re flexible and possible to wear under the jeans, especially the loose ones.
Over the jeans, perfect!
Ease of Use/Adjustability
Walking around with these motocross knee braces, you’ll notice that they tend to slide down.
But not a problem if you’re riding on a bike or motorcycle.
On my motocross bike, I don’t see the need of having to pull them up now and then. The straps are long enough to tighten them around my lower leg and offer a secure and tight fit.
Gute knee braces usage goes beyond dirt motocross riding.
They’re among the most versatile knee braces we’ve been around, appropriate for use in different disciplines, including dirt bikes, ATVs, skating, and scooters.
On top of that, they’re suitable for both males and females, and people of all ages.
Overall, I’m quite happy with the Gute Knee Brace purchase.
They’re quite a bargain for the price.
While they don’t feel comfortable walking around in, you’ll find a lot of joy using them on a bike.
They also seem to be pretty much reliable, sturdy, and protective, especially for the price.
#4 KING SHOWDEN 4Pcs Adults Motorcycle Pads – Value Purchase
KING SHOWDEN 4Pcs Adults Motorcycle Pads offer the best bang for the buck.
The reason is that it’s not only inexpensive, but it comes as a knee brace and knee guard combo.
Purchasing the KING SHOWDEN 4Pcs Adults Motorcycle Pads means you no longer have to buy a separate elbow guard.
But it must be unreliable and flimsy, right?
Many a time, combo purchases are sketchy, but not the KING SHOWDEN 4Pcs Adults Motorcycle Pads.
I’ve been using them for several seasons now, and I’m impressed by the overall performance so far.
They’re sturdy, easy to use, and highly protective. Even after sustaining several crashes, I’ve not experienced serious knee injuries or anything.
Plus, they’ve lasted for quite a bit now, and I don’t see like I’ll be replacing them anytime soon.
Features and Benefits
I like the KING SHOWDEN’s design because it’s very stylish.
This pair of knee braces looks sharp, and from the first glance, they look like they’ll offer unmatched knee protection.
They’re also easy to handle and quite supportive.
I was also impressed at how well they fitted my leg, considering that I’m a big guy.
Overall, the KING SHOWDEN 4Pcs Adults Motorcycle Pads is a nice purchase and has a lot going on for it.
Protection-wise, I can’t get enough of these knee braces.
See, a few days ago, I crashed on my dirt hiking path.
During the crash, I jolted forward and landed on my knee.
The good news is, I had these knee braces, and they saved both my left elbow and knee.
Yes, the elbow guard was dented, and the knee brace cracked, but I’m glad I’m uninjured and felt no pain from the impact.
It would have been a disaster considering I’m a veteran and have frail bones.
The alloy steel casing and the floating knee cup have also come to my rescue severally from the falls in the rink.
The toughness and high ruggedness of the steel will reduce the collision problems in your riding and keep you safe at all times.
I sweat a lot, but this high-end knee brace seems like the ultimate life-saving knee braces.
They come with a nice and plush interior padding that wicks the sweat away.
Today, I can wear these knee braces with my shorts since the skin-to-skin contact won’t result in a funky plastic smell.
On top of that, these knee shin guards are ultra-lightweight.
I barely notice their presence, and I no longer have to tire from the sustained long-distance riding due to fatigue or bulkiness.
Finally, the ergonomic pre-curved design conforms to the natural knee movement for a natural riding position.
It no longer hinders my movement and allows for a range of motion. This makes it a great purchase for different sports like motorbiking, cycling, skating, and dirt biking.
KING SHOWDEN knee brace meets its characteristics.
It’s comfortable, and the Velcro straps feel well-secured to your body.
The one-adjust quick-release strap system allows for easy donning and doffing of the brace.
However, in some rare cases, you might need to add extra Velcro.
#5 Alpinestars Unisex-Adult Bionic Plus Knee Protectors - Best All-Around Knee Brace
Before getting the Alpinestars Knee Protectors, I had spent on some other brands that failed me pretty bad.
But have now found comfort in these.
They’re super comfortable, practical, and I have even taken some slides on them, and they still retain their great shape.
I’m also impressed with their overall fit and adjustability.
To give you an idea of how helpful they’ve been to me, I have an XL athletic thigh and always a couple of centimeters bigger than the largest size.
But the Alpinestars Knee Protectors offer a great fit, have an impressive stretch, and just keep me super comfy.
Features and Benefits
A big thumbs up to the Alpinestars designers.
In my opinion, the Alpinestars Knee Protector design is among the best motocross knee braces in the market.
These knee pads slide on fine without riding pants and don’t pinch the behind-knee area.
I’ve also ridden them for several miles, and they don’t seem like they’ll slide down from my knees to the ankles. Just the right contact.
Plus, they seem quite sturdy, and even after using them on abusive trails and dirt bike roads, they don’t seem like they’ll wear anytime soon.
Of course, they’ve a few dents here and there, but they seem to retain their structural integrity and will take a beating without falling apart.
Knee protection should be the last thing to worry about on these knee braces.
The upper shin and knee area are sufficiently padded for the ultimate protection.
Even before I gave the guards a try, I tested it with some golf club swings, and I loved how they shielded my inner calf and thing.
What about on the trail?
The knee protection performance isn’t any different.
Yes, they’re not the burliest guards out there, but a heavy fall is sufficiently cushioned, just like with the hard protectors.
It provides a safe landing, and the impact or crashes will do little if any harm to your knee—no knee injuries.
Hot knees have never been an issue for me.
This bike knee brace is well-ventilated, helping with the free flow of air. It also helps with the efficient wicking of moisture.
I love that I can wear them when summer is around.
On top of that, the knee shin guards are ultra-lightweight, and I hardly notice their presence.
It’s as if I’m not even wearing one, yet, I get the full benefits of a protective and reliable knee guard.
While the EVA foam backing here isn’t the softest, it feels plush and luxurious. It doesn’t chafe my knees, and I’ve no problem wearing it for extended periods.
Plus, there’s no bunching of fabric behind the knee.
I’m 6’1″, and these knee pads fit great.
They’re a bit tighter on the lower strap, but you can add some Velcro to help with that. I’m fine with their design.
Plus, they also go well under my jeans, and I no longer see the need to use insert pads that tend to move around.
The dual strap hook and loop closure offer more comfort and adjustment for an ergonomic fit.
Best Dirt Bike Knee Guards Buying Guide
Dirt biking is a fun sport but also a dangerous one.
But when it comes to dirt bike safety, many riders often prioritize the neck braces, and helmets, forgetting the knee guards.
However, they’re just as important, and in case you crash, these guards work well to protect against potential tears of your meniscus, ACL, MCL, or even spraining your knees.
Benefits of the Best Bike Knee Guards
Prevent knee injuries
The first reason you should have knee guards on is they help in preventing knee injuries.
In an accident, the guards will absorb the initial and subsequent crash impact and keep your knees safe.
Knee guards offer a snug fit and are also quite flexible.
If you get the right size, you’ll benefit from a range of motion and increased freedom.
Most of them are lightweight, comfy, and flexible, barely noticeable when you’ve them on.
The other reason you should have these knee protectors is they offer unmatched comfort and warmth.
They’re nice to wear, feel plush, and generally offer a wonderful wearing experience.
Knee Braces vs. Knee Guards vs. Knee Pads
Knee protectors come in different forms and designs.
The three most popular forms include:
1) Knee braces
Traditionally, knee braces were only ideal for serious knee injury protection or postoperative use.
But that’s not true.
While most of them are used for preventative measures, they also offer additional knee support to help prevent the direct impact and rotational forces.
I should also mention that they’re also a bit more expensive than other protectors.
2) Knee guards
Knee guards are generally cheaper but do a great job shielding your knees against direct impact and hard crashes from objects like rocks, branches, and even asphalt ground.
They’re also quite popular with enduro and trail riders because of their lightweight and simple design.
The knee guards are also quite flexible and comfortable.
3) Knee Pad
A knee pad won’t offer as much protection as the other two, but they’re better than having nothing.
Also known as cushion pads, they’ll offer some knee and shin protection, but they do little in terms of lateral impact or twisting.
Types of Knee Braces/Guards
There’re three main categories of knee braces, and they include:
The prophylactic braces offer preventive measures.
The lower risk of injuries and provide greater protection.
The functional braces are used for post-knee injury protection, especially ACL injury.
They limit the rotation of the knee and prevent the exacerbation of the existing injury.
The functional braces may also come in handy for riders with osteoarthritis or several knee issues.
The rehabilitative braces are similar to the functional braces and are ideal for a reconstructed knee by restricting the undesired knee movement.
This brace may also come in handy for those performing physical therapy.
How to Choose the Best Motocross Knee Braces
As we’ve already seen, the best knee braces are a crucial part of your bike gear.
But not every gear is as protective.
Knowing how to select the right motocross knee brace for your needs requires knowledge of the essential elements a reliable knee brace should come with.
And in the guide below, I’ll share the vital factors to consider in your next purchase.
It’s a no-brainer; the first reason you should consider a knee brace is protection.
So, with this in mind, start by considering whether your choice will offer the protection you need.
Generally, the choice of material used on a knee shin guard determines the level of protection.
The protective knee braces are usually made of reliable and robust materials such as carbon fiber and Hybrid combination 3D foam padded backing/ fiberglass-reinforced nylon.
Without crumbling, these materials will effectively stand up to whatever impact, crashes, or anything you throw at them.
They’ll shield your knees and keep you safe, even in case of an accident.
Also, consider knee guards with double knee cups as these help with extra protection.
Next, after safety and quality protection, you need to consider comfort.
You’ll be having the knee guards on your body for the whole riding session, so you need them to be comfortable. Otherwise, they might be a cause of distraction.
At the very least, the most comfortable knee guards are lightweight. You barely notice their presence.
They also come with a cushion or plush material for extra comfort and some warmth.
On top of that, the cushion used here should be breathable and flexible enough not to restrict your natural rider movement.
Quality and Durability
While remaining protective and comfortable, your bike knee shin guard choice should also be sturdy and long-lasting.
Durable guards will perform well in different conditions and serve long without showing signs of wear.
Consider the material as it determines the overall quality.
I can’t mention enough the importance of a good fit.
A nice-fitting knee brace is important for a comfortable riding experience.
The good news is, knee braces are available in different sizes and shapes, so it’s easy to find an option that will accommodate your knee size.
While still on the sizing, consider a knee brace with a proper fitting system.
Straps will help keep the brace in place and avoid sliding down and exposing the legs.
They help to secure your knee brace more tightly on the leg. Some other straps even have grippy materials to hug the skin and ensure the brace doesn’t fall off.
Impact absorption is a sub-category of safety, but I thought I should include it as a separate segment.
This is because most knee injuries revolve around crashes and impacts.
The best dirt bike knee guard should have an exterior that can resist the crash. It should absorb the impact and shield your knee from any impact coming down.
Most of the knee guards with the best impact protection have proper padding that helps absorb the hits.
Quality knee braces feature a pivoting hinge for flexibility.
The hinges add to the overall comfort by allowing free and natural leg movement without exposing you.
The best knee braces with pivoting hinges allow the knee cap to move, corresponding to your leg motion.
Having a bike knee brace with a hyperextension lock is important.
A lockout system is essential to prevent your knee joints from bending the wrong way.
By restricting your knee movements, the best knee guards shield your knee from twisting, which is good for overall knee safety.
Finally, we always advise riders to consider the CE-certified knee guards, especially if you’re looking for reliable and complete knee protection.
The CE Certified knee guards have gone through rigorous and thorough testing to ensure quality and protective design.
It meets all the safety standards and protection criteria.
Best Dirt Bike Knee Guard Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Do I need to wear a knee shin guard?
A knee guard is necessary to keep your knees protected and safe against crashes, impacts, and other accidents.
Q: How should the knee shin guard fit?
A: Your knee brace should fit snugly, not too tight, and not too loose.
If you make your Guard too tight, it may restrict your legs’ natural movement and even cut off blood circulation on the lower legs.
On the other hand, if you make it too loose, the brace will likely slide off and keep on distracting you.
Q: Can I use a knee brace with an existing knee injury?
A: Yes, the rehabilitative knee braces will help with a quick recovery.
But it’s a good idea to use post-injury braces to help with a speedy recovery.
Q: What’s the best material for the best dirt bike knee guards?
A: Usually, the best material for knee braces is carbon fiber.
Carbon fiber is ultra-light, comfortable, and protective. However, it’s a bit expensive.
Other materials are popular with knee shin guards, and some of these include 3DF foam or fiberglass-reinforced nylon.
Q: Are cheap knee guards good?
A: In my opinion, cheap isn’t good.
See, a knee guard is there to protect and shield your body. And you only have one.
So, it wouldn’t make sense to gamble with a flimsy knee protector.
But again, it doesn’t mean you should use the premium options only.
They’re pretty affordable options that won’t dig deep into your pockets and still offer reliable protection.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our recommendation for the best dirt bike knee brace is the SCOYCO Racing Knee Brace.
I love it for its sheer strength, performance, and ease of use.
This pair of knee braces will keep your knees shielded and protected against direct impacts and ground crashes.
On top of that, they feel nice to wear, with a breathable material helping to wick away sweat and keep your knees comfortable.
And here’s the kicker!
This model comes at a pretty reasonable price.