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Best Football Shoulder Pads

One of the biggest challenges football players face is staying healthy for the duration of the long season.  The best way to stay 100% healthy is by having the right type of safety equipment for your position.

Shoulder pads are a critical piece of equipment for every player on the field.  Check out our detailed lists below for advice on finding the right type of shoulder pad for your age and position so you can stay healthy and protected throughout the season and post-season.

Schutt Air Maxx Flex 8008 All Purpose Shoulder Pad

It would be tough to deliver a list of the top five pieces of football safety equipment without including at least one entry from Schutt. The Air Maxx Flex 8008 all purpose shoulder pads not only deliver the highest level of protection, they also work well for athletes in a variety of positions. This makes them perfect for players who work both sides of the ball or those who spend some time on special teams in addition to their offensive or defensive position. The Air Maxx Flex 8008 also feature the high quality TPU cushioning that holds firm and dissipates impact to keep players safe from injury during violent collisions. These high tech pads are also very lightweight which makes them ideal for players who are in constant movement on the football field.

Douglas PS25 SP 25 Series Adult Football Shoulder Pads

Douglas has a full line of high quality shoulder pads for players at specific positions. The SP25 is one of their efforts that works particularly well for players at multiple positions. The SP25 features great flexibility and mobility to make throwing, catching and blocking passes easier than it would be in a more rigid or cumbersome pad. Quarterbacks, tailbacks, special teams players and players in the defensive secondary can all benefit from the unique features the SP25 were developed with. These pads are also very lightweight to make them a great choice for today’s much faster style of game play. If you play the read option or any style of hurry up offense these pads may be the perfect fit to help take your game to the next level.

Rawlings SRG Siege Series Football Shoulder Pads

Rawlings has taken protection on the field to the next level with their Siege series of football shoulder pads. The SRG SGE4 has a load of features designed specifically to keep any player on the field safe and performing at the highest level. The SRG SGE4 starts out with an ultra light and super low profile construction. This keeps football players quick, mobile and as fresh on the field in the final minutes as they were in the first quarter. These high tech pads are also designed with mobility in mind. The excellent range of motion makes throws, catches and tackles easier all while providing the highest level of protection for today’s fast paced game.

Schutt O2 Flex Adult Football Shoulder Pads

Schutt has scored another “touchdown” with their second entry in our top five adult shoulder pads. The O2 Flex are lightweight, have great air flow and are incredibly comfortable. Schutt has added large vent holes to this top notch effort to ensure that players stay as cool, dry and comfortable as possible during long games on the field. These pads also have a unique feature that makes them more flexible than other pads on the market. These pads are designed to allow players at a variety of positions to move freely and perform at their highest level on the field. Despite the heavy focuses on movement and comfort, Schutt certainly didn’t lose sight of the primary goal. These pads have all the necessary features to keep players safe on the football field.

Bike BASH74 X-Treme Lite Shoulder Pad

Bike BASH74 X-Treme Lite Shoulder Pad

The BASH74 X-Treme Lite Pads from Bike have some excellent features that make them a worthy competitor for some of the more expensive adult shoulder pads out there. These pads are easy to secure and adjust for a proper fit and are built for good mobility. The X-Treme Lite pads are very slim and low profile to allow for great on field movement with sacrificing the level of protection. These pads are durable, built well and work at a variety of positions. They also come in a bit cheaper than some of the other selections on our list making them a great choice for players who don’t have an abundance of money in their budget for the most expensive equipment.

Riddell EVX 18Y Youth Football Shoulder Pads

Riddell EVX 18Y Youth Football Shoulder Pads

Riddell is a company that knows player safety and they go above and beyond on this high quality youth shoulder pad. The EVX 18Y Youth Shoulder Pads are engineered for the highest level of shock absorption and durability. These rugged pads can stand up to hit after hit without breaking down and will continue to keep your players safe throughout the long and difficult season. The Riddell EVX 18Y also features a low profile design which allows for a high level of movement without diminishing the level of protection. These pads are also designed to work well for a number of levels – players from Pop Warner up through junior high school can benefit from the protection these high quality pads can provide.

Rawlings SPTNYF Youth X-Spartan Shoulder Pad

Rawlings designs equipment with both safety and performance in mind and they certainly hit the mark with the Youth Spartan Football Shoulder Pads. These pads are flat and very low profile allowing players to move freely around the field. The low profile design also makes the Youth Spartan pads one of the most comfortable pairs of youth shoulder pads available. To go right along with the low profile design, the Youth Spartan pads also feature an anti-microbial, moisture wicking interior which helps keep players cool and dry in all types of weather conditions. It isn’t just comfort that landed the Youth Spartan pads on our list, these pads also provide incredible protection for your players on the field.

Schutt Mid-Flex All Purpose Youth Shoulder Pad

Schutt specializes in producing top quality football safety equipment so it should really comes as no surprise that one of their efforts would land in our top five shoulder pads list. The Mid-Flex All Purpose Youth Shoulder Pads are very flexible and designed to fit youth players of all shapes and sizes. This allows you to keep every player at every position on your team well protected during the big game. The Schutt Mid-Flex All Purpose pads also feature large vent holes for maximum air circulation to keep players comfortable during all weather conditions. These pads are also easy on, easy off by way of a 3 point attachment system and elastic straps making them an excellent choice for both practice and game situations.

Douglas JP32 Series Youth All-Position Football Shoulder Pads

Finding the right shoulder pads for the taller players on your team can be a real challenge. That is exactly where the Douglas JP32 come into play. These durable, resilient pads work perfectly for the youth players on your team who are above average in height and work very well to protect those taller players at all positions. Despite being crafted with the taller player in mind, these high quality pads are anything but obtrusive. The JP32 have a low profile design for excellent arm mobility during catching, throwing or tackling. These pads are comfortable and rugged – two things you need in a good youth shoulder pad.

Douglas JP36 Youth All-Position Shoulder Pads

Douglas is known for producing top quality football safety equipment and the JP36 is their top youth shoulder pad. This pad fits well on taller youth players and has an extended shell to provide the best possible protection. The JP36 features a simple double hook up with elastic straps that allows for the best possible fit for every youth player on your team. In addition to being safe your players also need to be mobile in order to succeed on the field. These pads provide the ultimate in protection while allowing for the best possible mobility – making for the best possible situation for your players on the field.

Jeff Wilson
I started  competing in athletics 29 years ago at the age of 5, since then I've participated in a large number of team and individual sports including: baseball, soccer, running, boxing and cycling.  I've worked as a coach, a trainer and a personal fitness consultant and I've had health and wellness articles grace the pages of a number of popular websites and print publications.
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