Looking for the best cricket pads? Well, best thing to look for is not the density and design but the comfort and protection the pad has to offer!
Nowadays, there is a vast variety of cricket batting pads available with different levels of protection for one to choose from. Most of the batting pads are constructed using cane or foam, or by using a precise combination of the two. Batting Pads made out of foam are normally lesser in weight as compared to the ones built with “cane”. However, the ones made with “cane” offer a superior protection.
When it comes to comfort, the first thing that is ought to come to mind is perfect size, not something a little loose, nor something too tight, but just perfect! Finding a cricket batting pad which would keep your movement pattern natural and easy relies greatly on your choice of the correct size and the comfort level that comes with it. In order to check for the perfect size, the best way is to check that the “knee roll” is centrally aligned on your knee cap. If that is not the case and your knee is apparently either above or below the “knee roll”, it is best that you try on a different size. If you have spotted a batting pad that fits to your need but are looking to adjust that slight half an inch of the extra length, try to position the batting pad under the tongue of your shoe which would automatically provide you an excessive half an inch for a perfect fit!
So, what are the best cricket batting pad you ask! In such a competitive world of today, you would find numerous batting pads that would fit your needs and preferences. Some outstanding brand names in the industry are Kookaburra, Gunn & Moore, Hammer and SS Millenium. The higher the price bracket for bating pads, the following elements grow not only in quality but in aesthetic as well, including but not limited to; premium mesh and polyurethane, thigh, knee and vertical bolsters for optimum comfort. Branded batting pads aimed at club to country level cricketers range from £45 to upwards of £120. Puma have made a name for themselves in the industry with some excellent cheap options with MRF and New Balance in the game as well.
International cricket demands ruthlessness, durability and comfort at the same time, which a lot of manufacturers out there have started focusing on all in one. Culmination of all these elements is the epitome of a masterful construction of patting pads. The industry standard for batting pads construction is based on cane, which has proven the test of time and cricketers expect nothing less. Proper ventilation, top hat angle, knee roll insert, High Density Foam layers are aspects that are kept on the forefront in consideration when purchasing a new pair. The evolution in this niche segment of the market is so much so that manufacturers are now producing ambidextrous pads that can be worn by both left and right handed batsman. We sure hope this field continues to evolve!
Best Cricket Batting Pads 2021
1. Puma Evo SE
These are one of the most protective pads available in the market. At a relatively high price point of £108, the Puma evo SE (Special Edition) are titled ‘ambi’ (for ambidextrous) as they can be worn in the field by either left or right-handed batsmen. From the asymmetrical design on the front knee padding and the embossed Puma logo at the bottom on the front, these pads are in a league of their own. A black and white theme follows throughout these pads, on the front and back.
The vertical 7 bar cane style is protected by top grade lightweight microfibre, which provides the rough and tough badge that Puma are extremely renowned for. The high density foam (HDF) in these pads is pre-moulded and angled so that running and leaning into shots is as easy as without the pads. The side wing is a HDF split into three panels with Puma branding. The black stitching on white give off an elegant design aesthetic that is carried over to the inside of the pads as well.
Protection for the knee is layers of HDF, an insert and additional padding where the knee can rest when angling into playing a drive. The thigh strap is also 25 mm as opposed to the 50 mm for the ankle and calf straps, which are padded as well. The instep has black piping along with buckle protectors. A plethora of features and high class protection offered by these pads is the reason they are well established choices in the market and endorsed by top notch players.
2. Kookaburra Kahuna 1000
The Kookaburra Kahuna, on the offset may seem ordinary but do not let the simplicity of the construction fool you. Offering grade 2 protection, these pads are extremely lightweight although they seem bulky from the outside since it uses High Density Foam (HDF) for the wings as well as the inside of the pads. The HDF that has been used in in the build is sculptured according to the design of the pads so that the cane rods that have been reinforced into the structure maintain the protection level promised by Kookaburra.
Knee-roll protection has three layers of bolsters that do not let the pad and the top hat move out of place during play or after impact. Thigh protection again has been looked after meticulously through mesh paddings. Internal shin guards are again contoured and made of pre-moulded foam that wraps around the legs without causing any kind of deformation in the shape of the pads.
Kookaburra have stuck with the traditional cane construction of batting pads and that makes these one of the more popular brands that professional cricketers prefer. Attention to detail is evident from the sizing of the straps where the calf and ankle straps are 50mm in contrast to the thigh strap which is 25mm. All three straps are hook and loop.
The overall ergonomic design of these batting pads make them a popular choice and have made a name for themselves in the market through an elegant design and robust construction.
3. Gray-Nicolls Prestige
If you have read some of my other articles then you will know that I love this range especially their batting gloves. They are known for making very durable products that are made with high quality materials. This was also the pads used by former England captain Alastair Cook.
These batting pads come with multiple levels of protection. What is interesting about the Prestige is that it sits right underneath the elite in the range making it a very popular bating pad. For its price, it’s made in Australia and it looks absolutely fantastic. It has got everything you want from one of the specialist pads. The combination of cane rods and high density foam ensures impact absorption.
The full length diffuser side wing and lightweight vapour foam makes it highly maneuverable while giving it great looks. The vertical bolster offers additional armour to the leg. It features gel-zone knee cups and side wings that provide impact resistance. The additional foam around the ankle helps to increase fit and comfort.
The price might be slightly higher than some of the other options but I always say to people that you can’t go wrong with Gray-Nicolls when it comes to their quality and craftsmanship.
4. New Balance TC 860
New Balance are relatively new to cricket gear compared to some of the other brands but they have made a huge statement in the market. They are known for producing gear that is extremely comfortable that do not disappoint. The New Balance TC 860’s are also quite popular especially their cricket bat because it’s the one I used last year.
Now these pads are picked-cane construction style batting pads. There are the traditional 7 cane bars on the front with a 9mm cross foam padding. The front material is extremely high grade PU (polyurethane). The three-way split side wing provides bendability that helps you wrap the pads around the legs in a more protective fashion and leave no room for any space that the ball may sneak through. The high-end front protection is carried up towards the top hat that also consists of picked cane and PU padded covering.
The backside of the pads present an incredible design. Behind the knee-roll, on the inside is a knee cup, which helps the knee, lock into the pads and not move about. The high quality PU is coupled with a quilted design that has HDF (High Density Foam) mesh paddings and act as shin guards as well. The three-piece bolster design on the inside is covered with PU and mesh. The instep is covered with PU and piping at the bottom which ensures that these pads offer test quality protection.
An additional feature that these pads offer are buckle pads on the edge of the padded nylon straps on the inside. That makes this pair of pads, end up higher up in the market spectrum for batting pads for professional players. The protection these offer is top notch, the design is spot-on and the light weight makes these one of the most popular pads available in the market.
5. Adidas XT 4.0
These are probably the most popular Adidas pads and they are absolutely great value for money. Again, not a massive brand when it comes to producing cricket equipment but they are really making waves in the industry.
Adidas XT 4.0 batting pad features a flex joint knee that provides improved maneuverability. This batting pad will not only defend your legs but allow you to play your natural game. It combines high density foam construction and a traditional cane design to provide you with lightweight protection at the crease.
It features sculpted wings that help to increase coverage. The classic 3-piece knee roll on this batting pad gives players the necessary flexibility needed to play all kinds of shots. The internal TPU board gives added protection behind the vertical bolster.
What is unique about the XT 4.0 is the low and high density foam for maximum comfort and weight reduction. The full cane vertical protection molds tighten to the legs so they are very comfortable.
6. MRF Genius Grand
The MRF Genius Grand batting pads are a combination of class and exquisite construction as well as styling. These pads are by no means cheap. They come at a price point higher than the competition in the market at £77. The higher price is partly justified by Singapore cane that has been used in the construction. The style is reminiscent of the traditional 7 bar cane style with a triple layer covering the knee and a top hat with cane as well.
The side panels of the pads have the MRF logo embossed in their custom red. The premium quality PU covering the wings is wipe-able which in turn increases the durability and longevity of the pads. The top hat is angled back so that is fits extremely well against the knee and does not flap about when running.
Moving to the backside of the pads, the knee roll has an insert like any other high end pads but this one is adjustable. The inside knee protection makes the knee, slot in the space built so that when strapped in, it wraps around the knee and the leg tightly. The angled top hat helps in the fit as well.
The mesh shin guards on the inside are vented, the straps; padded, and buckle protectors are present as well so that the pads can be used for training too when you are not completely in kit. Overall, these pair of batting pads come highly recommended for amateurs and professionals alike.
7. Gunn & Moore Maxi
The Gunn & Moore are another fantastic brand when it comes to cricket equipment and I have always loved there wicket keeping equipment like the wicket keeping gloves. But is there batting equipment also up to scratch?
This batting pad offers players a great level of protection against high impact balls with its cane construction and traditional cotton for comfort, movement, and flexibility.
It features 3 strap system that ensures the pad stays securely in place, allowing you to focus on your performance. It also features comfort foam and low density foam for maximum protection. It features a reverse cane construction, PU facing, while also providing impact protection from quick bowlers. This will ensure you are protected if you miss out in those full deliveries.
The Gunn & Moore Maxi batting pad is available in two colors: navy and black. They are ideal for the shorter form of the game but beware if you are playing local cricket then it may raise a few eyebrows when walking into the middle.
8. Puma EvoPower 2
You never tend to go wrong with a couple of high-end Puma batting pads like the evoPower 2 here. At £45, these are relatively lower in the price bracket for professional batting pads. Puma has contributed to the knee roll, a material called 3D flex that is bound to add to the comfort these already provide during use.
The front of the pads has contoured vertical panels that have been designed predominantly to wrap around the batsman’s legs comfortably. The contoured panels on the outside are coupled with a pair of contoured shin guards on the inside as well.
The foam for the shin guards and the rest of the padding on the inside is all pre-moulded so that when all the panels are stitched up together, the execution and finish of the product shows class all around. The foam used throughout is high density which ensures maximum impact absorption.
There are the regular three straps for the pads, which are padded as well. These straps are designed to not push against the batsman’s legs and when padded up, the batsman will comfortably be able to lean into any shot they wish to play.
The elegant curvy design on the knee foam simply adds to the outlook of the pads. Black stitching on blue accents on either bottom on the front of the pads add to punchiness these already offer on a first glance on the aesthetic side of things.
9. Kookaburra Ghost 2.0
Another feature on the list for Kookaburra and this is one of their premium pads. The Kookaburra Ghost 2.0 is a full test spec level pad and it’s finished in an ultra nice PU. It comes backed by high-density foam and the Duo-Flex “Contour” knee roll that flexes really well around the leg, so this pad has an excellent protection. It features a fiber back area that gives it a bit of shape and extra protection.
The Quad-Flex integral shin bolsters on the side will help lock your knee into place. Kookaburra did things a little bit different with their bolsters this on this batting pad. The bolsters are stitched into the pad as opposed to the standard three-piece ones. They are also lined with a lycra down the center and mesh on the outside flanks which helps to wick sweat away, giving you a nice and comfortable feel.
The straps are also padded. The leather in this pad is super plush, it feels great, and it is also very durable. This pad comes with lot of features and it’s what you expect from a test spec level pad.
10. Salix Arma
A higher up the price bracket for batting pads, we find the Salix Arma pads with a price tag of £54. These pads appeal to the more traditionalist in you with minimal extra design elements that other manufacturers sometimes add for aesthetic purposes. Salix has kept it extremely simply when it comes to the Arma’s. These traditional PVC free pads are cane fronted which means, as was the custom with batting pads; cane has been used for the front with 7-bar construction. The 7-bar construction style pays homage to the earliest prototypes ever created as leg guards in Cricket. High-density foam layers follow the cane along with quilted sides to complete the look of the pad to which the embossed logos also add. Quilted sides ensure that the pads do not rub against the leg while running; combining this design feature with the traditional cane style construction is a feat that Salix should be lauded for.
Knee roll protection is enhanced with a protective insert that Salix has added to achieve a high grade among batting pads offered by various manufacturers. The straps for these are mesh with paddings and logos across the straps.
Black lining across these straps make them seem elegant and classy. The knee roll has three layers that have been coupled with merriskin, which makes the pad super lightweight and a first choice for many a cricketer playing the sport professionally.
The inside of the pads are lined with two shin guards as expected, with a navy, chrome and white color combination, highlighting each element prominently and exclusively.