New Kneewear Needs Help

Good for some jobs, Crocs not ideal.


At a recent boat show,

Practical Sailoreditors ran across some interesting kneepads made by Crocs, the manufacturer of those annoyingly popular brightly colored, clog-like shoes. Still sore from some serious knee time during spring maintenance, we decided to see whether the Crocs kneepads were an improvement over our homespun design (Duck tape and sponges).

Croc Knee Supports

The Crocs are lightweight and made of the same thick, foam-like material as the shoes, which the company claims is buoyant, non-marking, anti-microbial, and odor-resistant. The stretchy elastic straps are adjusted with plastic buckles.

We sent the Crocs kneepads to

Practical Sailorcontributor Skip Allan, who was busy prepping his 27-foot custom Tom Wylie-design sloop for the Singlehanded TransPac. This is what he had to say about the kneewear:

“The kneepads often wind up as ankle pads, but they work very well in the pool. (Before, when I used to try to float on my back, my legs would sink.) I also tried the kneepads in the garden while pulling oxalis, but then I remembered the magazine is

Practical Sailor, so I screwed them onto the foredeck, just aft of the headstay. Here, they serve double-duty: as kneel pads-for when Im changing headsails-and as lightweight spinnaker pole chocks. Ultimately, I think the most appropriate use will be strapping them around the wine bottles in the bilge, so the bottles don’t go clink.”

In our opinion, the kneepads are decent for jobs that don’t require moving quickly-lest they slide to your ankles-like stripping varnish. But they lack the freedom of movement needed by, say, foredeck crew. If you know of something better, let us know. You can find the Crocs kneepads for $12 at

Also with this article...
Darrell Nicholson, editor of Practical Sailor, grew up boating on Miami’s Biscayne Bay on everything from prams to Morgan ketches. Two years out of Emory University, after a brief stint as a sportswriter, he set out from Miami aboard a 60-year-old wooden William Atkin ketch named Tosca. For 10 years, he and writer-photographer Theresa Gibbons explored the Caribbean, crossed the Pacific, and cruised Southeast Asia aboard Tosca, working along the way as journalists and documenting their adventures for various travel and sailing publications, including Cruising World, Sail, Sailing, Cruising Helmsman, and Sailing World. Upon his return to land life, Darrell became the associate editor, then senior editor at Cruising World magazine, where he worked for five years. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.


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