Are knee savers bad for catchers

Are Knee Savers Bad for Catchers: Reasons They Skip in MLB

If we enlisted baseball equipment for catchers, that would be a long one. Among them, the knee-saver is often considered an insignificant one. Indeed, most MLB catchers seem to skip this stuff in the match.

Players often have negative ideas about it. That would be a myth if people considered a knee-saver useless equipment. A knee saver is useful protective wear for catchers, but only if they use it properly.

This equipment helps a lot of previously injured catchers to reduce further injuries.

However, this confusing fact needs an explanation, right? If you think so, continue reading.

Also, if you recently bought a new pair of gloves, learn how to stiffen baseball gloves here.

Quick Summary

Knee savers, when worn correctly on the lower part of shin guards, are not bad for catchers and do not increase the risk of a knee injury. Indeed, it’s necessary for a catcher with a history of a knee injury.

Baseball Knee Saver Explained

A baseball knee saver is designed to provide comfort and support to catchers in baseball.

It consists of padded cushions that attach to the back of a catcher’s shin guards. These cushions help reduce the strain on a catcher’s knees. As well, it offers support for the lower back by letting them rest on their knees.

Baseball knee savers are made of different cushioned materials, like foam. The outer side comes with mesh cloth so that it can have proper breathability.

Why Knee Savers Are Helpful for Catchers?

A knee saver is not a very popular baseball equipment. Catchers often ignore this wear. Indeed, a large number of catchers don’t wear knee saver. 

This protective wear is very helpful when worn correctly. Also, it doesn’t increase the risk of a knee injury in any way when you have managed to buy a right knee saver and wear it properly. 

However, if you wear it incorrectly, that may create a wedge between the leg bones. As a result, it can cause stress on the knee joint.

Many doctors, trainers, and physical therapists indeed recommend a knee saver. They especially suggest it to a player with a knee injury history, while playing baseball in a catcher’s position.

Why Don’t Players Wear Knee Savers in the MLB?

You might see in the discussion that many catchers in the MLB don’t wear knee-savers. 

That’s not true. Nearly half of MLB starting catchers use knee savers, while the rest simply skip them. Some MLB players don’t wear knee Savers because they prefer not to use extra equipment.

Besides, players may have different preferences for sports equipment. Also, some of them don’t see the need for knee savers while playing in a catcher’s position.

Additionally, some catchers find them uncomfortable or restrictive. They might have concerns about the impact on their mobility and agility.

So, some of the MLB catchers skip wearing knee savers for all these reasons. But the rest value the essence of this stuff and wear a knee-saver regularly.

5 Benefits of Wearing a Knee Saver for a Baseball Catcher

You must be reading this because you are confused about whether to wear a knee-saver or not while playing in the catcher’s position. If so, you should have a clear idea of the basic advantages and disadvantages of wearing this stuff.

5 Benefits of Wearing a Knee Saver for a Baseball Catcher

Here we have added the common benefits of wearing a knee-saver for a catcher:

1. Reduce Knee Strain

Catchers need to squat behind the plate for long games. It causes enormous pressure on their knees. Knee savers work well to reduce this strain. It also helps catchers feel less tired and achy during and after games.

2. Improved Endurance

With knee savers, catchers can stay strong throughout the game and the season. They won’t tire out as quickly, and the knee saver helps them feel good with a perfect knee condition. It lets them perform at their best when needed.

3. Long Games and Seasons

In those extra-inning games or a season packed with matches, knee savers become a catcher’s best friend. They provide them with extra support on their knees. Thus, this sports stuff helps maintain energy and performance levels.

4. History of Knee Injuries

If a catcher has a history of knee injuries, knee savers are like bodyguards. They shield the knees from more harm and support a full recovery. As a result, it decreases the risk of similar injuries again.

5. Low Injury Risk

Even if there’s a low risk of a knee injury, who wants to take chances? Knee savers provide a safety net in this case. They ensure catchers can stay in the game without worry.

Compromises of Wearing A Knee Saver for A Catcher

Even though a knee saver has a lot of advantages, many catchers seem to avoid wearing this stuff. It’s because of the disadvantages. Let’s see why not all the catchers wear knee savers:

Reduced Mobility

Knee savers sometimes limit a catcher’s mobility to some extent. When wearing knee savers, it may be harder to move quickly, squat, and pivot. So, it can impact the catcher’s ability to react swiftly to plays.

Comfort Issues

Some catchers find knee savers uncomfortable. They may not fit properly or irritate. Especially when the knee saver covers the pressure points on the calf or back of the leg, it causes discomfort.

Interference with Equipment

Knee savers sometimes interfere with other gear, like chest protectors and leg guards. That makes it challenging to find a comfortable and efficient setup.

Added Weight

Even though knee savers are not overly heavy, they add some weight to the catcher’s gear. Over time, this added weight can lead to fatigue during long games. That’s why, to stay light, players avoid wearing a knee-saver.

Also, the discomfort is the result of wearing the knee protector in the wrong way. Indeed, appropriately wearing a knee-saver is essential. The next point will tell you why you should be careful while wearing a knee-saver.

What Happens If a Catcher Wears the Knee Saver Incorrectly?

If you analyze all the disadvantages of wearing a knee-saver, you’ll find only two issues.

  • Not wearing the stuff correctly 
  • Choosing the wrong product

At the end of this article, I will tell you how you should choose the right knee saver. But now, let me explain what happens if you wear a knee saver incorrectly.

Reduced Effectiveness

Knee savers are designed to reduce strain on the knees. But it only works when worn correctly. If they are not positioned properly, they won’t provide the intended support. In this case, the catcher’s knees may still experience unnecessary strain.

Discomfort

Wearing knee protectors incorrectly can lead to discomfort during the game. They might dig into the legs, pinch, or rub against the catcher’s body. It can cause irritation and distraction.

Restricted Movement

Incorrect placement of knee savers can also limit the catcher’s mobility. Catchers need to move quickly to react to pitches and plays, and improperly worn knee savers can hinder their ability to crouch, stand, and move effectively.

Injury Risk

Wearing knee protectors in the wrong way might increase the risk of injury rather than reduce it. For example, if they press against the wrong areas of the legs, they could potentially cause pressure sores, chafing, or bruising.

Besides, catchers need to focus on the game and their responsibilities. If knee savers are uncomfortable or not fitted correctly, they can be distracted. As a result, they can lose concentration and miss opportunities on the field.

How to Wear a Baseball Knee Saver Properly

Just follow the steps below and try to see if you are comfortable with the baseball knee-saver. Simply put, the sign is that when you are comfortable, you are wearing it right.

Step 1: Prepare Your Shin Guards

First, you have to remove the bottom straps from your shin guards. Without removing the strap, you can’t attach the knee saver to it.

Step 2: Position the Knee Saver

Now, you have to place the knee saver on the back of the shin guards. Try to attach it with the gray side facing where your calf would be. Make sure the knee-saver logo is facing away from your calf.

Step 3: Secure with Straps

Once the knee saver is well positioned, you have to reattach the straps to it. For that, just thread the straps through the knee-saver loop. Then, pass them through the metal loops on the shin guards to secure them tightly.

Step 4: Comfort Matters

You have already worn the knee-saver. But now, you have to check whether it feels comfortable or not. This stage is the most important one. 

It’s because you can’t have time to remove it in the middle of a match if it doesn’t feel okay. So, try to feel it properly and make sure that it doesn’t cause discomfort.

Not just the knee saver, wearing the gloves correctly is even more essential. To learn, you can check out a discussion we covered recently on how to wear the gloves like a pro player.

How to Choose the Right Knee Saver for a Baseball Catcher

As I have said before, only two facts make a knee-saver worse for a catcher. We’ve talked about the first one, which is the proper use of it, and the second one, which is choosing the right knee sever. 

So, let’s see what to check while buying the right knee-saver:

  • Size: The knee saver you choose is the right size for your shin guards. It should fit snugly on the back of your shin guards without being too loose or tight.
  • Material: It should be made from comfortable and durable materials. You should choose one with foam or gel padding.
  • Design: Look for knee savers with a design that matches the shape and style of your shin guards.
  • Adjustability: Choose knee savers that offer adjustable straps that help you customize the fit and ensure they stay securely in place.
  • Brand Reputation: Trust reputable brands that produce high-quality catcher’s gear. You can check reviews and seek recommendations from experienced catchers or coaches.
  • League Regulations: Be aware of any league regulations regarding knee savers. Remember that some leagues may have specific rules for their use.
  • Personal Comfort: Ultimately, choose a knee-saver that feels comfortable to you. Every catcher has different preferences, so try on different options if possible to see which one suits you best.

Besides, you should choose a knee-saver that is durable and, most importantly, comfortable.

Wrap Up

As we see, the question ‘Are knee savers bad for catchers?- was raised because of the not-so-frequent use of this stuff in MLB. There’s nothing to do with it being harmful.

This baseball equipment is not mandatory, and that’s why some players choose not to wear it. Indeed, healthy baseball catchers don’t need it as mandatory stuff.

However, a knee save is no doubt good for many reasons. But it shows its good sides only when the player wears the right knee saver correctly. Eventually, the knee-saver pads protect the catcher’s knees by reducing the stress on this vital joint.

Wait a minute! Do you find it difficult to wash your baseball bat? If yes, you should learn how to clean your baseball bat properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do knee savers make catchers lazy?

No evidence supports the statement that a knee saver makes catchers lazy. Still, some catchers believe that this equipment makes a congested feel, which impacts the frequent movement of their knees. This is why it has become a myth that knee-saving makes them lazy.

Do young baseball players need knee savers?

Young baseball players generally don’t need knee savers unless they have specific knee issues. It’s more important for them to focus on developing proper catching techniques and strength.

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Behind Best Darn Product is Kevin Pena, a passionate blogger and e-commerce enthusiast based in Atlanta, Georgia. With his finger on the pulse of the ever-growing online marketplace, Kevin is dedicated to sharing his extensive knowledge and genuine enthusiasm for the products and services that shape our modern lives.

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