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Fox Enduro D30 Elbow Pads Review

Fox Enduro D30 Elbow Pads

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Fox Racing has made a big name for itself in the industry, so I was wondering if the Fox Enduro D30 elbow pads live up to all the hype.

Going into this, my expectation is that they would be a little above average with a cost much above average.

After trying them out for awhile, I found myself liking them more and more and I can say that they are among my very favorite elbow pads even though they are a little pricey.

So read on for more about these elbow pads to learn how well they are made and why they are a pretty decent elbow pad if you are looking for one.


The first stop when looking at a new set of mtb elbow pads is the information provided by the manufacturer. Things like certification level and closure are among the most important details you’ll need. So here are the vital stats on the Fox Enduro D30 elbow pads:

  • Padding Type: D30®
  • Certification: CE EN 1621-1 Level 1
  • Weight: 8.6 oz.
  • Sizes: S-XL
  • Material: Cordura®
  • Closure: Slip-on with elastic cuffs
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year
  • Recommended Use: Trail / Enduro
  • Rating:

    4.5 out of 5 star rating

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Key Features of the Fox Enduro D30 Elbow Pads

By far the most important feature of these elbow pads are the D30 protection inserts that are the heart of the protection they provide your elbows. D30 is a non-Newtonian compound which is a fancy way of saying it is flexible and pliable until there is a sudden impact. On a sudden force (such as a crash), they harden up instantly to give you an armor plate for your elbow. You’ll want that when you’re talking rocks and trees. As you can imagine, with that level of protection they are easily CE Certified to Level 1 protection.

Fox isn’t the only ones in the game that have that special type of compound. POC has the VPD, and TLD elbow sleeves also have D30. So let’s look at what else these offer to justify the price tag.

The Cordura (nylon-like) material for the sleeves itself is moisture-wicking and is pretty durable as you would expect. It goes a lot way to keeping your arms cool while you’re out on the trail. These pads are also anti-microbial which helps them from building up bacteria and getting a smell.

These elbow pads slip on and have dual elastic cuffs to keep them in place. It’s very important to measure your arm to get correct sizing as you can imagine.

These are on the lighter side for weight so they work well for normal trailing riding, enduro, and cross-country.

Hands-On Experience

Let’s jump right into the most important part, how good are these when you are actually wearing them while riding. I put these through their paces on a variety of terrains to see how well they stay put and feel in the real world.

Overall, I would have to say these met my expectations knowing the Fox Racing name and that they turn out high-quality products. These elbow pads are no exception.

I was able to move around with plenty of freedom of movement with these on. Maybe not quite the same as having none on, but that’s always the case. I was able to move my arms like normal without these hindering, and even in chilly weather my arms didn’t get drenched in sweat any more than usual.

I did catch them on a couple of trees. Not the hardest hit, but enough that I probably would have been grabbing my elbow if I didn’t have them on. So the D30 material felt like a plate over my elbow more or less. You still get the vibration but not the sharp hit.

I will say that the attention to quality is there on these. The stitching and quality of craftsmanship is there and they feel like a pair that will last quite a few seasons even with regular washings.

The only downside I can see is the same downside that many other slip-on elbow pads or guards have, is that if your arms are wet or sweaty, they don’t slide that well and take more effort to move and adjust. That might just be part of what keeps them in place, not sure. They go on pretty easy though before the run starts.

I only had minor adjustments so I can say that generally they stayed in place and I didn’t have to fidget with them during the ride.

Material and Construction

The Fox Enduro D30 elbow pads are made mainly from Cordura, which is a breathable neoprene-like material that forms the breathable mesh that is a majority of these. They breathe well and do a good job keeping you cool.

Keeping the pads in place are silicone grippers are both ends. They do a good job of keeping the pads in place even with all of the movement and flexibility you have on a normal ride.

The stitching is well done and exudes quality. The material lines up like it should and there aren’t loose strands or material. They feel solid and well made.

The main elbow protection is provided by the D30 inserts. They are removable so that you can wash the rest of the elbow pads without damaging the protection inserts. You can even wash them on delicate in the washer. Make sure to check the latest recommendations with Fox Racing.

These elbow pads have the material and build quality to keep up with strenuous and muddy riding and if you take care of them you’ll have them for a good long time.

Fox Enduro D30 Elbow Pads - Back View

Rear view of the Fox Enduro D30 Elbow Pad showing the breathable mesh and fit.

Comfort and Fit

If you’re going out riding for hours, you definitely want a set of elbow pads that you can wear for hours comfortably.

The Fox Enduro elbow pads doing a top-notch job in this department.

You just slip them on and they stay on snug, and the grippers keep them from sliding. It’s a pretty simple tried-and-true design and Fox Racing did a good job with following through.

On all normal riding, both easy trail riding as well as more enduro-style of hills and such, they stayed in place as well as can be expected with only periodic adjustments. I was able to move without feeling like the pads were holding me back.

The key is to make sure you measure your arm and elbow properly so that you can choose the right size per the manufacturer. Sized right, these pads do a great job.

Protection Level

The protection level is where the Fox Racing Enduro really shine. The D30 protection pads are flexible and pliant until they take a sudden hit against something, then they harden like a plate.

These elbow pads are certified to the EN 1621-1 Level 1 which is about as high as you can get with mountain bike elbow pads.

For trail riding, cross-country (XC), and such, these are more than enough to give you elbow protection as well as keeping your arms from getting scratched up by branches and such.

These are not meant for extreme riding, but for the vast majority of riders these are perfect.

Price and Value

The Fox pads give you a lot of bang for your buck. Yes, they’re more expensive than basic elbow pads. But they use special D3O padding that hardens on impact to protect you better when you crash.

Comfort-wise, these are some of the best pads out there. They fit nicely without restricting your movement. You barely notice you’ve got them on while riding. Breathability is solid too unlike pads that leave you drenched in sweat.

When looking at the whole marketplace, the Fox pads hit a nice sweet spot. They give you better protection than cheap pads but don’t cost nearly as much as hardcore body armor.

Bottom line – the extra money is worth it. The pads let you ride with confidence knowing your elbows are safe. No worries means more fun on the trails. And you get to ride carefree for longer thanks to the lack of fatigue and overheating. Considering all that, the Fox pads deliver good value for trail riders. They’re worth the investment in safety and enjoyment.

Fox Enduro D30 Elbow Pads Showing Material Details

Close-up on the Fox Enduro D30 Elbow Pad detailing the quality of the materials and the precision of the stitching, emphasizing durability and fit.

Comparison with Other Brands

So how do the enduro elbow pads do against competitors?

Looking at the Kali Protectives Mission Elbow Pads, they offer similar flexible protection (albeit lighter) to the Fox pads. Both absorb impact well while maintaining comfort. The Kali pads feature more adjustment points for dialing in the perfect fit. However, they also run warmer due to less breathable fabrics.

Meanwhile, the POC VPD Air elbow pads focus on keeping you cool and dry. The ventilation and heat management are superior. However, the level of impact protection falls slightly below Fox and Kali due to the different VPD foam formulation. It leaves the joints a bit more vulnerable on crashes.

Overall, the Fox Enduro D30 splits the difference nicely between Kali and POC. Impact absorption is on par with premium Kali pads thanks to D3O, yet breathability remains strong too. The Fox pads ultimately provide a bit more coverage and adjustability than the POC Air approach as well.

For most aggressive trail and enduro riding, Fox gives you the best well-rounded blend. Only downhill focused riders may need the extreme impact protection of Kali. And hot weather racers might prefer the total ventilation focus of the POC. For everything in between, Fox balances all the factors expertly.

Comparative Analysis of MTB Elbow Pads: Fox Enduro D30 vs. Kali Protectives Mission vs. POC Joint VPD Air
Features Fox Enduro D30 Kali Protectives Mission POC Joint VPD Air
Certification CE certified D3O® insert, EN1621-1 Level 1 Elbow Not specified Not specified
Impact Protection CE certified D3O® insert for world leading impact protection Flexible Shock Absorbant PU Padding Lightweight and highly impact absorbent VPD compound
Materials 70% polyurethane, 20% polyester, 10% nylon Not specified Reinforced stretch fabric, Neoprene anti-slip inner
Design & Comfort Moisture wicking, breathable design with Cordura® fabric for durability Breathable mesh back panel, Non-slip bands (top & bottom) Lightweight, low-profile, ventilated panels, crash retention strap
Care Instructions Machine wash cold & gentle, line dry, do not bleach/iron/dry clean Machine Washable Not specified
Additional Features Removable insert for easy washing, reinforced skid plate 3 Year Warranty Designed for flexibility, ventilation, and freedom of movement

User Reviews Summary

Lots of riders dig how these pads stand up to impacts. The D30 inserts harden on crash impact to protect your elbows from trail debris. Comfort is also a plus. The mesh helps ventilation to reduce sweating, though some think the sleeve runs long for short-armed folks.

But these aren’t hardcore body armor. While better than bare arms, the Fox pads aren’t built for huge impacts at speed. They work well for regular aggressive trail riding, but near the limits of downhill and enduro racing.

The fit can be tricky too. Some size down for a tight fit to prevent sliding, but go too small and the pads quickly get uncomfortable. Others get a looser fit that ends up too loose. Dialing in the ideal snugness without restriction is tough.

And style matters with pads too! You want protection that also looks cool on the trails. Some love the total package – safety, wicking fabric, and slick looks they can’t wait to show off. But that combo doesn’t quite happen for others.

Bottom line? The Fox Enduro pads rock for the ambitious trail rider. They deliver a bump up in padding from bare arms without going overboard. But for the hardest charging downhill shredder, beefier full body armor may remain the wise choice. The Fox option lands in the middle protection-wise but leads for comfort.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Wrapping up this wild ride of a review, the Fox Enduro D30 Elbow Pads have shown they’re a force to be reckoned with. With their CE certified D3O insert, they’re like having a personal bodyguard for your elbows, ready to stiffen up at the first sign of trouble. They’re breathable, easy to wash, and offer a freedom of movement that keeps you agile on the trails. However, they might play hard to get with sizing, and they’re not invincible in the face of hardcore hits. These pads are ideal for the trail riders who flirt with danger but don’t go steady with it – the ones who want protection without the feeling of being in a straitjacket. If that sounds like you, then the Fox Enduro D30 could very well be your next riding buddy.

If you’re curious about how these pads stack up against other top contenders, you might want to explore a curated selection of market leaders. For a deeper dive, check out our comprehensive guide on the leading MTB elbow pads that are making waves in the mountain biking community.

About the Author

Tony K

Senior Technical Writer,

Tony K is a technical editor at He has a focus on downhill bike riding but still loves xc bikes too.

With more than ten years of mountain biking experience and more than 5 years testing mountain bikes, Tony has ridden and tested hundreds of different bikes and products, everything from XC to enduro bikes. Tony regularly competes in mountain bike races while seeing how long those compontents can hold up which gives me a lot of insight.

When he isn't shredding down a mountain or camping out, he is writing reviews for Mountain Bike Experience.

Rides: Surly Lowside, Canyon Exceed