Nukeproof’s new Downhill pads offer a lot of coverage. The kneecup itself is made from preshaped foam with a plastic cap on top, there’s additional padding stretching well over halfway down the shin plus smaller sections of foam on either side of the knee, and the entire front section is covered with tough, abrasion resistant Kevlar.
The stretchy sleeve hugs your leg tightly and the mesh panel at the rear helps you ditch heat. Velcro straps at the top and bottom, plus silicone gripper strips on the inside of both openings, meant we never managed to budge the Critical DH Pros, even after a good couple of knee-sliding tumbles.
The pads’ secure feel and impressive padding left us feeling well protected and confident that our legs would be OK should things go wrong again.
We did have one issue with the pads though. Because the lower strap is right at the bottom of the sleeve it tightens over the widest part of the calf muscle and can feel tight, restrictive and, after a while, uncomfortable. We’d prefer it if the strap sat higher on the pad and looped over the top of the calf muscle instead.