Players that tend to move a lot, and take all kinds of positions while playing paintball, will find that it doesn’t take much to get banged up knees. This is especially the case if you are playing outside on rough terrain. I invested in a pair because I often find myself shooting in the prone position on all kinds of terrain. I also tend to rest on my knees and shins alone. Doing that on a rocky surface isn’t the most comfortable thing. In fact, just ask a friend of mine. During Oklahoma D-Day he tried to slide on the hellish Oklahoma terrain, and ended up bruising a ligament in his knee, which put him through some pain for the rest of the week. Much like a neck protector, knee pads are just one of those things you don’t consider getting until you’ve had one of those experiences.
Some players will only need straight up protection for their knees. I can understand this, as my knee and shin protectors do get pretty hot in the summer. Empire Paintball makes a quality knee protector for players that just want to comfortably kneel and cushion their knees.
Other players don’t mind the heat, and want padding that covers the shins as well as the knees. Getting a set of pads that offer this is a must if you crawl, kneel or sit on your heels a lot while playing. I tend to do all of that, so my legs took a massive beating before I invested in a pair of knee and shin pads.