What are the Different Types of Basketball Padding Gear?

Basketball is a very physical sport, so some players would often protect themselves from injuries by wearing protective gear on various parts of their bodies. The protective gear is composed of numerous pieces of equipment that are designed to shield body parts against the impact that occurs when falling on the basketball court or bumping against another player.

The pieces of equipment for protection on the basketball court can come in different types, and each type is made for a specific body part. To know more, here are the different types of basketball padding gear and their features.

Compression Sleeve

basketball player wearing compression sleeves

One of the common types of basketball padding gear is the compression sleeve, which is specifically designed to compress a body part, particularly the legs or the arms, in order to improve blood circulation while also protecting that body part against scratches and other types of wounds.

In the National Basketball Association or NBA, you would often see a lot of players wearing compression sleeves on their arms, and some of these players would even say that the sleeve improves their shooting. Although there is no padding in most compression sleeves available on the market, there are some that do have a little bit of padding on the knee or elbow part of the sleeve.

Knee and Elbow Pads

In addition to compression sleeves, NBA players would often wear knee and elbow pads as well. These pads are made to protect the knees and elbow from blows that occur when bumping against a player or falling on the floor.

The knees and the elbows are typically the ones that are prone to get injured, so it is a no-brainer for many basketball players to protect those body parts by wearing knee and elbow pads. The pads are also beneficial if you want to protect your knees and elbows from scratches, bruises, and abrasions.

Rib Protector

The rib protector is a shirt-like garment that is usually worn beneath a basketball jersey. The rib protector looks like a normal shirt, but it actually has two pieces of padding on the upper section of the hips to serve as protection for your ribs.

The upper section of the hips is usually the body part that bumps against an opposing player guarding you, so adding padding to that section will prevent your ribs from getting bruises. What’s great about rib protectors is that they are lightweight, so they wouldn’t add extra weight to your body and would still allow your torso to move quicker on the court.

Padded Shorts

Besides the ribs, another section of the body that often gets bruises is the thigh. Luckily, there are padded shorts that you can buy that have paddings on the thighs and on the groin section. These padded shorts are also fairly lightweight, so they wouldn’t hinder your movements on the basketball court.

The shorts are also form-fitting if you get the correct size, so they would flex with your movements and won’t stop you from doing anything. Wear these padded shorts along with regular basketball shorts for the ultimate protection for your thighs and groin.

Safety Goggles

Safety goggles are rarely worn by basketball players since the accessory can be quite uncomfortable to wear, although there are some players with eye conditions that wear them for protection and for better eyesight. These goggles would have padding on the frame so that the rigid parts of the goggles wouldn’t hurt your eye.

Those that had injuries in their eyes would wear safety goggles so that the injuries wouldn’t happen again on the basketball court, and there are also players that wear the goggles to improve their eyesight since the lenses of the goggles can be customized to be graded. But, if you have poor eyesight and you don’t want to wear goggles, you can opt to wear contact lenses instead, although you may need to re-apply them every now and then.

Ankle Braces

Ankle braces are very popular among professional basketball players, as it is very effective in protecting their ankles from overextensions, which can lead to severe injuries. Much like the knees and the elbows, the ankle is incredibly prone to injury, although ankle injuries are usually much more severe in basketball since it would take weeks and months to heal.

The ankle braces primarily serve as external support for your ankles, which can often overextend and cause plantar inversion or flexion. With ankle braces, you will have limited movement on your ankles, and while this may be a drawback for many, the limitation of movement is important to prevent injuries. So, you would need to get used to wearing ankle braces to prolong your career as a basketball player or to prevent injuries that won’t let you play the sport for months.

Basketball Shoes

lacing up basketball shoes

Technically, basketball shoes are a type of padding gear since they provide protection for your feet and they are also heavily padded on the upper and the midsoles. The basketball shoe is a kind of footwear that is specifically designed to enhance the movement of a player on the court while also offering protection and support for the feet to avoid injuries.

The upper of a basketball shoe would be made from various materials that protect your feet from scratches, splinters, and other kinds of wounds. In addition, there are high-top basketball shoes that have padding on the ankle area for extra support alongside ankle braces. The midsole of the basketball shoe provides cushioning for the feet that are effective for shock absorption.

The different materials used to make the upper and midsole of basketball shoes would each have pros and cons, so you would need to know which materials are suitable for your playstyle on the court.

These are the different types of paddling gear that you can wear while playing basketball on indoor or outdoor courts. These pieces of padding gear are produced and sold by many brands, so you may need to consult reviews online to see which brands have the best protective equipment for basketball players.