Endura’s MT500 Hard Shell pads use an impact-reactive D3O insert behind a solid but flexible plastic outer shell to provide a decent level of protection.
This padding is attached to a sleeve that extends quite high above the knee. An elasticated band at the top, furnished with silicone gripper, helps hold it in place. This is backed up by a broad Velcro strap.
A second strap just above the broadest part of your calf muscle lets you tailor the fit further, and there’s more silicone at the bottom.
All this means that, despite these not being the lightest pads out there, I had no issues with them slipping down or with material bunching behind the knee. They’re incredibly comfy too, even on lengthy rides with a lot of pedalling.
Protection from the plastic shell and D3O insert feels solid and coverage plentiful, and there’s also some PU foam padding for the side of the knee. Some testers found this didn’t hug the knee at all times.
My only other niggle is that if you stand up for extended periods, the bottom of the D3O pad can start to dig into your shin, but this never occurred while riding.
The MT500s do get a bit warm, but that’s the trade-off for the protection on offer. Endura’s sizing is pretty much spot-on, and I’m a big fan of the pads’ understated look.