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10 Best Football Shoulder Pads – Comparison & Reviews

Last Updated: 04.07.22


The Essential Guide to Finding the Best Football Shoulder Pad + Reviews


Here you can find out what the best football shoulder pad is, especially if you are short on time, and you can’t take a look at all the product reviews we have prepared. After a thorough analysis of the value and quality offered by the critically acclaimed products in this line, we have concluded that the unit that you should consider is the Schutt Sports Y-Flex 4.0 Youth Football Shoulder Pads. This option boasts an all-purpose design that will benefit all youth players regardless of the position that they play. It features a dual-density foam padding that delivers improved comfort and protection from falls and impacts. Furthermore, the interior of the pad features an antimicrobial treatment to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. If our first pick is no longer available, but you’re still focused on getting youth football shoulder pads, we recommend the Schutt Sports XV HD Varsity Football Shoulder Pads.



Comparison table


The Good
The Bad



10 Best Football Shoulder Pads (Updated Reviews) in 2022



Whether you’re looking for affordable football pads or the top-of-the-line NFL football shoulder pads, we have selected a list of the critically and commercially acclaimed products. Take a look and see how easy it is to find the product that you need in our diverse selection below.



1. Schutt Sports Y-Flex 4.0 Youth Football Shoulder Pads 


This model is a great option for youth players not only because it has an all-purpose design that delivers optimal performance for all positions on the field but also thanks to its affordable price point. As you might expect, the design of this model puts a lot of emphasis on protection and comfort.

It features dual-density padding that can absorb impacts and falls to keep the wearer safe. The padding boasts a breathable mesh and 7mm vent holes that allow for maximum airflow. This way, the player can enjoy the benefits of wearing protective pads without the risk of overheating in the middle of a long game.

Another advantage that this model offers comes from the extra-long torso that delivers more protection without affecting the mobility that younger players need on the field. Furthermore, the fit is adjustable using the elastic belt that features attachments to the arches at three points for consistent protection and less movement of the pads.



The lightweight, all-purpose design of this model is great for youth players, and it is built to be used for all playing positions on the field.

The interior fabric features an antimicrobial treatment that will prevent the growth of mold or bacteria.

Finding the right fit is easy not only because the unit is available in eight different sizes, but also thanks to the adjustable elastic belt.

The dual-density padding delivers superior protection, and the breathable mesh combined with the 7mm vent ensures optimum comfort from the start to the end of the game.

This model comes in a new matte black with a bright green colorway, and it delivers the performance and protection that customers expect from Schutt products.



The buckle sticks out past the edge of the pads on small sizes, and this can cause bruising on the arms.

It runs a bit small, so for younger players, it might be best to order one size larger.

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2. Schutt Sports XV HD Varsity Football Shoulder Pads 


The longer cut of these pads will accommodate athletes playing various positions on the field while maintaining the comfort and coverage that are needed to perform well. This model also boasts a non-epaulet design that gives the wearer a clear advantage since it is much more difficult for opponents to grab onto the pads.

The unique design that this option uses succeeds in minimizing weight so that players of all ages can enjoy an impressive level of protection without their mobility being affected. If anything, with this option, players will manage to achieve a wider range of motion and faster movement.

As is the case with most Schutt shoulder pads, this option uses high-density EVA foam since it is a material that delivers greater impact absorption and durability. The pads have a clavicle channel system that is designed to help with the impacts that happen around the AC joint.



This all-purpose model is designed to be low profile, which means that it is lightweight, but it still provides the performance and protection needed to maintain pro-level standards.

The ventilated arch features raised corrugations and 7mm vent holes designed to keep fresh air circulation constantly, which allows the skin to stay dry and the body to cool itself down.

It comes with hook and loop pad attachments that can be repositioned to ensure a precise and custom fit and coverage in the areas that are most susceptible to getting hit.

This model features a longer cut to accommodate multiple athletes, and it is available in a multitude of sizes so that finding the right fit shouldn’t be a problem at all.



It is not a good choice for people who are on a tight budget since this model is a little pricey.

The sizing chart is inconsistent, and for some players, it might be better to order one size smaller.

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3. CHAMPRO Youth Scorpion Football Shoulder Pads 


This option boasts a cantilever design that will disperse impacts and shocks away from the player’s shoulders thanks to the use of a high-impact polyethylene construction that delivers superior strength and durability. The pads are capable of maintaining their shape and structural integrity match after match so that you can continue to use them for longer periods.

The unit features tempered steel springs that can disperse even the worst impacts. Another great feature of this model is the easy-to-release system that gives youth players total freedom. The straps are easy to unstrap without having to rely on assistance from other players or adults.

The list of features that this option offers is certainly impressive, but there’s yet another factor that makes this model so popular among youth players, and that is the value that it offers. This is a great product for budget-conscious players that are looking for a quality set for a good price.



The pads have pre-drilled holes that allow players to customize it with additional attachments, such as neck collars and backplates.

There are seven sizes available, and the shoulder pads are designed to fit young players who are up to 180 pounds, so it is safe to say that everyone can get a good fit.

It comes with a 1-inch elastic strap that allows for effortless custom fitting of the pad’s tightness so that players can enjoy superior comfort and protection.

It is a great option for buyers who are on a tight budget since this model delivers a great set of features for a very competitive price.



It delivers all the basic features that youth players require, but it lacks some of the advanced technologies found in more expensive models.

Though very rare, sometimes orders get mixed up, and you can receive the wrong size.

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4. Sports Unlimited Prospect Youth Football Shoulder Pads 


This model has been constructed to deliver maximum protection thanks to the double layer foam padding that will keep the wearer safe against hits, impacts, and falls. The foam also delivers a comfortable fit and feel so that even during long matches, players won’t feel slowed down by these shoulder pads, especially since they’re surprisingly lightweight.

As is the case with many of the high-quality options on the market, this one features an extended design that provides more protection. This is particularly useful for growing players. The body cushion extends beyond the arches so that it can keep the lower torso and the back protected from hits as well.

The universal design encourages a full range of motion so that it can complement the skills needed for all the different positions on the field. Furthermore, this model is adjustable, and it comes in seven different sizes ranging from XX-Small to XX-Large.



The unique design of this unit addresses heat problems by using ventilated channels that let cool air flow throughout the body cushion to keep the body from overheating and getting too fatigued.

The shoulder pads have a flat design that allows them to sit low on the shoulder, which leaves more room for players to move unhindered and to see more of the field.

It is a product that is well constructed and lightweight without seeming cheap, which is impressive considering the fact that this model is indeed a budget option.

The universal design allows this product to be used for all positions in the field.



The quality is great, but don’t expect to find any of the advanced features and technologies that some of the premium models boast.

The blue interior fabric gets dirtied up relatively fast, but, thankfully, the lining is very easy to keep clean.

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5. All Star Football Injury Shoulder Pad Cushion 


If you’re on a budget, but you still want to get a quality product that can keep you protected and comfortable, this option is a great choice. It might not come with all the bells and whistles like some of the other models on this list, but it makes up for this by delivering excellent value for your buck.

This model is made of durable yet comfortable materials that add extra protection when you’re out on the field without limiting your freedom of movement. It is designed to be worn in practice or to supplement your shoulder pads. Its versatility doesn’t end just here since this design is available in multiple sizes that can fit both youth and adult players.

The comfort level that the pads deliver is worth praising as well since the design features holes on the chest and shoulder area, and they’re placed strategically to reduce overheating and to wick away moisture.



The pads are made from high-impact materials that can handle hits and falls, and they’re also soft and feel good to the touch.

The fit of the unit can be adjusted easily using a simple lace system so that you can tighten or loosen the pads just as you would do with your shoes.

It is available in a stylish white color that will certainly go well with the rest of your gear, and that can complement most team colors.

Budget-conscious players can stop searching since this model delivers the protection and comfort that football players need for a very low price point.



Sizing is not very consistent, so unless you have prior experience with this brand, there’s the risk of having to try a couple of sizes before you find the one that will fit you best.

The way that the material is cut can create sharp ridges that, depending on their position, may scratch the skin.

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6. Adams USA SIP-29 Adult Shoulder Injury Pad 


This option is designed to fit right under your regular shoulder pads, and it will provide you with extra protection and comfort. The model is sized to fit adult players who weigh anywhere between 115 to 190 lbs. The adjustable fit is achieved using a laced system that is easy to use. Adjusting it is simple, and it won’t require assistance from another person.

The pad is covered in a vinyl coat, which is non-absorbent and easy to clean. This means that despite coming in a striking white color, this option won’t pose any trouble in the field since it won’t be a magnet for stains. Even if it does get dirty, cleaning it with warm water and soap is all it takes to remove the dirt away.

The vinyl foam is also very thick and is reinforced with a nylon screen so that it can absorb powerful impact from football-related collisions.



This model is designed to minimize the risk of injury or reinjury to the shoulder, and it is a great purchase for players who want extra protection.

The laced reinforcements found on the back and front of the unit allow you to adjust the sizing of the pad to meet your requirements.

It is very comfortable, and it comes with elastic underarm straps that will help you regain your full mobility, and the pads won’t hinder your freedom of movement in any way.

The vinyl foam isn’t there just to improve the feel of the pads, it also makes them non-absorbent and easy to clean.



While the materials deliver good performance, durability, and comfort, the pads still look cheap, and for players who care about aesthetics, this might be an issue.

While the lace reinforcements on the front and back are easy enough to use, having a snap or hook system would have been more convenient.

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7. BARNETT Vision I QB-WR Football Shoulder Pad 


This option is designed to enhance the mobility and agility of the wearer, which means that it is the perfect choice for quarterbacks, defensive backs, and wide receivers. It features a lightweight yet very resistant ABS shell and dual-density PU foam that delivers the comfort that’s needed for those long matches.

The padding is placed strategically to allow for flexibility in motion, and this is particularly useful for the skill positions where running fast is very important. The shell and the cushioning are flexible as well so that players can enjoy the full range of motion without any part of the pad getting in their way.

You won’t have to worry that the focus that this model puts on mobility means that it can’t provide the protection that you need, quite the contrary. The pads are solid, and they’re capable of distributing the force of any impact evenly so that you can always get back up on your feet.



The design of this model puts a lot of focus on mobility since the pads offer an unhindered range of motion that allows players to maintain their agility on the field.

These pads are specialized and designed to complement the skills needed at different positions, namely quarterback, defensive back, and wide receiver.

The dual-density PU foam is firm yet comfortable, and it works in combination with the ABS shell to keep the wearer protected from all types of football-related impacts.

It is available in multiple sizes, and the pads clamp together through two elastic strips that allow this model to achieve a customizable fit.



The flat backside tends to fold once strapped on a player, and it gives the impression of a sharply squared humpback.

The sizing runs a bit large, and this means that if you plan on getting a good fit, it might be recommended to order a size smaller.

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8. Sports Unlimited Prospect Pro Adult Football Shoulder Pad 


This option is designed to meet the needs of professional adult football players, and the shoulder pads are sleek and lightweight so that they can enhance the performance of the players and keep them protected. The flat design means that the pads will sit low on your shoulder to enhance mobility and to keep the wearer comfortable throughout the game.

The dual-density foam is lightweight and breathable yet tough enough to give ample protection throughout the torso area. To prevent the player from overheating, the pads come equipped with plenty of 7mm vent holes that can filter air away from your body and replace it with fresh and cooler air.

The unique design of this model also has the benefit of allowing the pads to be used for all key positions on the field since it encourages a full range of motion, and it delivers the protection that all players need. 



The deep arch design of this model allows for more head movement and a wider field of vision, which makes it suitable to be used at any position on the field.

The body cushion is removable for easy washing and air drying so that you can more easily keep the garment clean and fresh after a long game or practice session.

You won’t have to worry about overheating since this unit is constructed using breathable materials, and it comes equipped with 7mm vent holes. 

It comes with a 2-in-1 belt system that will sit snugly against your body to eliminate grab points that your opponents can use.



Sizing is very accurate for this model, but for bigger players, it can be a bit more difficult to find a good size since even the largest size can fit a bit too tight.

Compared to other models, it doesn’t have as much padding.

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9. CHAMPRO AMT-1000 Varsity Football Shoulder Pad 


This model comes in a low-profile design with a cantilever construction that offers a greater range of motion without affecting the protection that the pads offer. The varsity football shoulder pad is also versatile, which means that it can be used by players of every position, from lineman to receiver.

Freedom of movement is crucial for all positions, which is why this model is highly flexible and it features swivel front and back connectors that allow the pads to move and synchronize with the player. This makes wearing the pads feel more natural so that you can feel comfortable even during the most intensive moments of the game.

Buyers won’t have to worry about the fit since not only is this option available in seven sizes ranging from Small to 4X-Large, but it also comes with a wide T-Hook and strap attachment system. This adjustable strap system secures the pads firmly and allows for a customizable fit.



This model puts a big emphasis on protection since it features built-in deltoid and clavicle pads, as well as padded epaulets that do a very good job of keeping the wearer safe.

It comes with accessory attachments points that will let you install a neck collar and a backplate to the unit if you want to add even more protection. 

The pads are removable to make maintenance and cleaning easier, especially since dirt can be removed from the pads with a simple swipe.

It is available in seven sizes that range from Small to 4X-Large, which means that there’s a size for every player.

It is a great option for anyone who is on a tight budget.



The pads tend to ride up into the neck of the player, which means that the pads need to be tugged down occasionally since otherwise, they can rub on the jaw, which is not very pleasant.

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10. Xenith Flyte Youth Football Shoulder Pad 


If you’re looking for a new football shoulder pad to get for your child, Xenith has a great option that delivers excellent protection, comfort, and flexibility. It is one of the lightest options that the brand has ever made, and it allows kids to enjoy total freedom of movement and improved comfort.

You won’t have to worry that the lighter design has been achieved to the detriment of protection since this option comes equipped with double shoulder caps that are made of high-impact foam. This material may be light, but it does an excellent job of keeping the player safe from all the collisions that can be experienced on the football field. 

While performance, comfort, and protection are certainly important, kids also like to wear things that look and feel great. This model boasts a sleek design, and the caps contour the body to achieve a stylish look. The matte finish completes the look of this model and allows it to go well with most football gear.



The caps are made of high-impact foam, which helps keep the weight of the unit down while still providing the protection that’s needed to keep the player safe on the field.

This model embraces a very flashy design that looks quite different from most of the options on the market, and that will certainly please youth players.

The padding is flexible and is positioned strategically to allow players to enjoy unrestricted movement.

The fit is great, especially since this option comes with an adjustable belt that lets users customize the way that the pad fits and feels on the body.



While the sizing is consistent overall, this model is only available in four sizes ranging from X-Small to Large. 

If you’re purchasing this for a child that is new to the game and you’re on a tight budget, it can be difficult to justify the high price of this option.

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Our Comprehensive Buying Guide


Finding the best football shoulder pads can turn out to be more difficult than you first expected if you don’t have the time to research the market. This is where our buyer’s guide comes into play since we’ve analyzed the most popular models and looked at numerous football shoulder pad reviews to understand the needs of the customers.

Whether you’re looking for cheap football shoulder pads or the best youth football shoulder pads, the guide below will provide you with all the information you need to make an educated purchasing decision. 


Unless you’re looking for kid football shoulder pads, which are usually designed to benefit every football position similarly, the position that you play on the field will have a big impact on the kind of shoulder pads that you should be purchasing. 

Adult football shoulder pads are available in different configurations designed to complement the skills that are needed for each position. The good news is that finding the right product for the position you play is not that difficult since most manufacturers will mention what positions their model is suitable for on the product page. 

Quarterback and wide receiver pads need to offer increased mobility, range of motion, and agility. Running back and defensive pads are similar in weight and flexibility as quarterback shoulder pads, but they come with stronger cushioning and padding.

Fullback, linebacker, and multi-position pads need to offer serious protection without limiting fast movement. They are heavier than running back shoulder pads, but they still need to be light enough to allow for quick movements. 

Lastly, lineman pads are the heaviest and most durable shoulder pads since they need to handle the hardest of hits. 



To get the most protection and comfort out of your shoulder pads, you need to make sure that you purchase the right size. If you’re purchasing for youth players, then you should focus your attention on kids football shoulder pads. Conversely, adults should get a model that has been designed from the ground up to fit a wide variety of sizes.

Most brands offer a sizing chart that makes it easier to find the size that will fit you best. Before you check the chart, you need to take the time to measure your chest, shoulder width, and to weight yourself since certain models are also sized by weight.

Make sure to check the sizing chart every time you make a purchase since each brand sizes their shoulder pads football differently. You can also check a football shoulder pad review of the product you have in mind to see if its sizing is consistent.



Even if you are looking to purchase a cheap football shoulder pad, you shouldn’t forget about the importance of comfort. The cushioning needs to be soft and, if possible, look for models that have an ample amount of ventilation holes.

This feature is becoming fairly common nowadays, so you shouldn’t have any issue finding it in affordable football shoulder pads. These ventilation holes are generally drilled directly into the outer shell and help release the hot air so that you don’t risk overheating.


Regardless of the position that you play on the field, the best shoulder pads for football need to offer a great range of motion since limited mobility can be the downfall of even the best football player.

Thus, the shoulder pads you get should be sturdy yet flexible so that you can easily move from one end of the field to the other. From what we’ve gathered, mobility has become a key focus for most manufacturers. Nowadays, buyers can find plenty of cheap football shoulder pads that can deliver superior agility without sacrificing protection.



Frequently Asked Questions: 


Q: Why are football shoulder pads smaller now?

Most football shoulder pads adults use in professional matches are becoming smaller for a couple of reasons. The first one has to do with the advancements in technology that have recently occurred. Nowadays, manufacturers can make better and lighter plastic that is just as good at absorbing shocks as the bulkier pads of the past.

Moreover, the tackling and blocking techniques have also evolved as the players have gotten bigger and today the offensive line can use their hands to block. Blocking the modern defensive lineman using the shoulder would only end up in him running around you.

Modern football also puts a lot more emphasis on speed and athleticism, and this can only be achieved by using lighter and smaller pads that don’t limit the player’s mobility and agility. Lastly, the smaller size of shoulder pads for football can also be attributed as an attempt to make it more difficult for a player to be grabbed by an opponent. 

Q: How long do football shoulder pads last?

It all depends on the quality of the product at hand since an affordable football shoulder pad that uses lower-quality materials will not last as long as a premium model. Similarly, usage also plays an important role, since the more that you use the shoulder pads, the more wear and tear they’ll experience.

On average, the lifespan of a shoulder pad is about one year. Lower quality products can be expected to last for about half the time, but it is hard to say if this is the case anymore. Even affordable options nowadays tend to use good-quality materials, and this allows them to last for even longer.

Lastly, if you’re purchasing shoulder pads for kids, then they may last for less time than an adult model, depending on the age of the player. This is because kids can outgrow their shoulder pads very fast, which is why it might be a good idea to invest in a product that comes with an adjustable strap system. 


Q: What size football shoulder pads do I need?

Finding the right football shoulder pads sizing may sound difficult at first, but the process is fairly simple. The first thing to do is to measure yourself, and for this, you will need another person since measuring yourself on your own can lead to inaccurate readouts.

You need to measure the chest using a flexible measuring tape around your upper torso. Next, measure the width of your shoulder. Stand upright and stretch the tape over the contour of your shoulder. Lastly, you’ll also need to weigh yourself since some shoulders pads are sized by weight class.

Once you have all these numbers, you can start looking for a product. Each manufacturer has its own sizing chart that will show which size will fit your chest and shoulder measurements the best. A good fit shouldn’t be too pinching on your collar, and the pads should sit comfortably on your shoulders.




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