Wicket keeping pads have gone through a bit of an evolution when it comes to modern day pads. I, myself, am not a wicket keeper but my dad was a wicket-keeper bastman back in his day so we still have some old school equipment laying around in the garage somewhere.
Wicket keepers use these pads to protect their legs and back in the day, they would simply use batting pads to provide them this protection. Now the problem with using batting pads for keepers, is the range of movement or more so the lack of movement. My dad would say that often, keepers would complain about how the top knee flaps would get in the way when moving and jumping about.
But, it’s not even funny, how you still get pads these days that are a bit chunky and really don’t help out with agility and interfere with the ability to catch. Here is a quick little guide from English Wicket Keeper Paul Nixon where he shares his insights and preferences for keeping pads.
That’s why I have done some research and put together what I think are most of the best pads available on the market right now. I’m not claiming it is the most accurate, but I’ve looked around different articles online and spoken to a few cricketers at the academy. Hopefully, it will provide a bit of help and also assist with making a better financial decision. So, lets dive straight in!
Best Cricket Wicket Keeping Pads 2021
|1. PUMA evoSpeed 1||Hinged Knee design||White/Blue Azur||Check Price|
|2. Gray-Nicolls Legend||X-Lite Foam||White||Check Price|
|3. New Balance TC 860||Five-panel comfort||White/Red||Check Price|
|4. Gray-Nicolls Shockwave 2000||Ultra-Lightweight||White/Blue||Check Price|
|5. Gunn & Moore Original||Comfort Foam||White||Check Price|
|6. Puma Evo Se||Premium Lightweight||White/Silver/Black||Check Price|
|7. Kookaburra 1200||Duo-Flex||White/Black||Check Price|
|8. Adidas Libro 1.0||Pre-curve||White/Blue||Check Price|
|9. Newbery Infinity||Ultra-wrap||White||Check Price|
1. PUMA evoSpeed 1
When I think of Puma and wicket keeping attire, I can’t help but think about Adam Gilchrist who I absolutely love. I loved seeing him swing his cricket bat but he also revolutionized wicket keeping and I’m sure Puma played some big part in that. These PUMA evoSpeed 1’s are a top-end wicket keeping pad with a ton of features.
It’s a very high density foam pad which helps with protection and keeping the weight down in it. It has a nice slightly different bolster design than what you see on some other pads which make it more comfortable.
It helps you keep your physical shin off the actual pad itself which allows more vent flow through for a cooler feel. The hinged knee design ensures it is flexible and comfortable. The vents in each side add breathability throughout the pad which helps cool you down.
The lightweight and modern design of this wicket keeping pads allow for easy movement around the stumps with ease. Also, the shape internal bolsters provide players with targeted cushioning. It has very nice padded velcro straps which are a nice feature for wicket keeping pads. PUMA evoSpeed 1 is top shelf high quality light wicket keeping pad.
2. Gray-Nicolls Legend
If you have ready any of my other articles then you will know that I love the Gray-Nicolls Legend range especially their batting gloves and thigh guards. The Gray-Nicolls Legend Wicket Keeping Pads has everything you will need in a wicket keeping pad and more.
It is lightweight and has a high density foam that provides enough protection for any wicket keeper at whatever level you are playing.
It has splits in the grooves that wrap around your leg nicely. It has also has a top hat which is a lot smaller than some other crowns in the wicket keeping pad.
It has a really slim nice fitting, and it is almost like an oversized soccer shin pad which is what you want because wicket keeping is all about flexibility in movement.
The Gray-Nicolls Legend Wicket Keeping pad is one of the few pads to use a tailed strap in the wicket keeping section. If you are after a top-end pad, this unit from Gray-Nicolls is the way to go.
3. New Balance TC 860
New Balance have made a name for them themselves in the sports equipment industry having been in the business for over 100 years. Their New Balance TC 860 wicket keeper pads are very light-weight and I found them ideal for taking difficult catches and for running into the stumps when required.
The five panel comfort flex design added to the overall comfort level when wearing the pad and I could feel there was some movement in the pad as I moved, which aided my freedom to dive and run.
When the ball struck the New Balance TC 860 wicket keeper pads the protection was very good thanks to the 9mm crosslink foam protection. The pads remained in place throughout using the nylon straps.
4. Gray-Nicolls Shockwave 2000
Gray-Nicolls is one of the biggest names in cricket equipment and it was exciting to wear a brand used by so many professional players. The Gray-Nicolls Shockwave 2000 wicket keeper pads are clearly made to aid movement whilst providing protection to the leg.
The Gray-Nicolls Shockwave 2000 are an ultra-lightweight HD foam pad and you hardly notice they are there when playing cricket. The two straps allow the pad to fit securely to the leg and there was no problem with the pads turning or sliding when moving to make catches.
However, there is plenty of protection thanks to the HD foam and even when struck on the leg by a fast delivery, the pad offered enough protection.
5. Gunn & Moore Original
Gunn & Moore Original wicket keeper pads come with a high density foam in the face of the pad and this offers plenty of protection from on-coming balls.
The inside of the Gunn & Moore Original pads is complete with a vertical booster and although this looks as though it could add to the weight of the wicket keeper pads, it is made from a combination of comfort foam and low density foam. The wicket keeper pads were very light to wear and comfortable as a result.
Due to the light-weight nature of the materials used, the Gunn & Moore Original wicket keeper pads are great for manoeuvring behind the stumps. Taking catches and making stumpings was made a lot easier than wearing previous designs and they were comfortable to wear throughout an innings.
6. Puma Evo Se
Puma are a sports brand often featured in athletics and football so I was keen to see what they could produce for cricket. The Puma Evo Se wicket keeper pads look slightly different to many other pads on the market thanks to their innovative design.
There are vents in the face of the pads and this made keeping wicket comfortable on a hot day thanks to the increased breathability they provided. The shaped internal boosters offered plenty of protection while the hinged knee was great for running into the stumps and pushing off to take a diving catch.
A pair of Velcro straps ensure the Puma Evo Se pads stay in place and they are a very good choice for wicket keepers of all abilities.
7. Kookaburra 1200
Making spectacular catches is not always the most important thing when playing wicket keeper but can easily turn a game in favour of my team. Using the Kookaburra 1200 wicket keeper pads has given me a freedom to dive and make catches without any restrictions.
The Kookaburra 1200 have allowed me to grow more confident in my ability to take catches which have been out of my reach in the past. However, in addition to the light-weight design, the Kookaburra 1200 provide plenty of protection when standing close to the stumps thanks to the quad-flex integral shin bolster.
The durable premium PVC insteps should help to keep these pads in good condition for many years and the Kookaburra 1200 come highly recommended.
8. Adidas Libro 1.0
The knee joint is one of the standout features of the Adidas Libro 1.0 and perhaps the main reasons for investing in these wicket keeper pads. The knee joint provides maximum flexibility throughout various moments in a cricket match.
Whether it be diving to one side to make a catch or running in close to the wickets for a run-out, the Adidas Libro 1.0 deliver on both fronts and I have enjoyed using them in games.
The high density foam padding offers maximum protection yet does not make the wicket keeper pads feel clumsy by restricting my movement. The classic Adidas logo is printed on the top of the pads at the front and I feel confident knowing I am wearing a quality item.
9. Newbery Infinity
Newbery were new to me when I began wicket keeping for my team but were recommended by another player. The Newbery Infinity wicket keeper pads have wide straps and I found these help to keep the pads secure during play. There was never any danger of the Newbery Infinity twisting at a crucial time.
The high arch proved very useful as it never came into contact with my footwear when crouching behind the stumps. This allowed me to take off quickly without the feeling of them being caught on the top of my spikes.
The added padding around the knee helped me to feel comfortable when I stood up to the wickets and I never felt the ball was going to damage my legs at any point.
10. Salix Players
The Salix Players wicket keeper pads look very stylish and almost have a retro feel thanks to their simple, yet effective design. The Salix Players comes with a PU facing and pre-curved top hat which cushions the knee to provide plenty of comfort. This was great when in the field for long sessions.
The protection comes from a padded instep and the pre-shaped plastazote bars and having been stuck with the ball, there was no discomfort to report.
Both straps are also padded and this adds to the comfort level of wearing the Salix Players wicket keeper pads while also helping them to remain in place even when moving quickly or pushing off to take a diving catch.