The Importance of Choosing the Right Football Shoulder Pads

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While football is an exciting sport that teaches a number of essential skills, it’s inherently dangerous. Whether you have a child trying out for a youth team, or you’re a football player yourself, it’s vital that you have the right safety gear. Your helmet is the most important part of football safety, providing protection against brain injuries and other issues, but you shouldn’t neglect your shoulder pads.

The Importance of Shoulder Pads

Shoulder pads are vital pieces of football safety equipment for all skill levels and ages. Even flag football players should have protective, high quality shoulder pads. Their role is to protect your shoulders, upper chest and back during collisions, which can happen even when you’re not playing tackle football.

However, not all shoulder pads are created equal. While they all offer some degree of protection, they don’t necessarily perform to the same standards. There are several areas of concern when choosing a set for your player or yourself.

Weight: Weight is a significant consideration here. The heavier the shoulder pads, the more they’ll wear the player out, and the lower their performance will become during the course of a game. The real challenge for manufacturers is adding rigidity without adding additional weight.

Rigidity: While certain parts of the shoulder pads should be rigid, there must also be enough flexibility that the player can move with ease during the game, whether running, throwing, catching or tackling.

Contact Dispersion: Shoulder pads are supposed to absorb some of the shock of impact, but they must be able to disperse that energy without affecting the player. Not all pads can manage that.

Range of Motion: Shoulder pads should provide the utmost range of motion for players (particularly their arms) without sacrificing protection or weight considerations.

Choosing Your Shoulder Pads

While it is important that the right quality and protection be found, it’s also vital that the right fit is chosen when buying shoulder pads. It’s different than clothing, and there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach here. It’s also important to consider the position of the player on the field. To check for the proper fit, follow this brief guide:

  • The player’s collarbone should be covered
  • The neck opening should provide sufficient room
  • Shoulder joints should be covered
  • Deltoid padding should extend to the outside shoulder edge
  • Scapula should be covered
  • When player’s hands are raised, there should be adequate clearance on each side of the neck roll
  • Anterior deltoids should be covered
  • Pads should not slip when straps are tightened

Choosing the Best

At Safety First Sports, we believe in providing you with the highest quality sports safety gear, including Douglas and Schutt Shoulder Pads. From practice to the field, we have you covered.

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By PJ. 06/19/18

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By Ronald A. 04/27/18

Youth Speedflex - 5 Stars !!!

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By William V. 04/09/18

Schutt F7

Looks great! Very sturdy. No impacts yet because spring drills and camp are in a few weeks but my son likes the fit and feel. I picked a mask from the choices given and it was supposed to be titanium but it feels heavier than a titanium mask of similar size. Otherwise very light compared to the Riddell Revolution he was issued by his high school team. The F7 and Xtech shoulders pads I purchased for him pair very well

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Great Product and Customer Service

I bought my Riddell Speedflex and received an email about how my selection was not available. The customer service rep worked with me to get what I wanted. It was a great experience and shipping was fast. 10/10 would recommend.

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