Can you ask them if they got any softer after using/washing them when you see them around next (assuming you remember)?
Haven't really had any complaints about my PE pads.. I woulda probably stuck with my first pair of PE knee pads even though they are beat to **** had they not been blown apart by that stake.
Thought about getting the 2013 empire chest thingum for bounces @ IMS and when reffing >
but I'm too cheap to spend money on that.. Especially since a back player don't usually get shot in the chest too often.