Best Football Shoulder Pad Reviews 2023

Football is an action-packed game that’s both enjoyable to play and watch. For players, efficiency and overall performance highly depends on your gaming gear. Because of this, we’ve done an extensive research on football sports gear and presented our findings in the form of reviews on the best shoulder pads, football rib protection and football gloves which you may find interesting and helpful when searching for the right gear. In addition, we’ve checked the best football shoulder pad brands in the market, picked out five top manufacturers and reviewed some of their awesome products which we think are worth your consideration. "What is the Best":: What makes shopping for any item easy is your knowledge of what to look for. This isn’t different when it comes to football protective pads. With the knowledge of these tips, it’s easy to go through our review and pick out product features that are relevant to your needs. Our hope is that by the time you’re done reading this review, you’ll find a football shoulder pad that suits you.
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Our Top Choice
Schutt XV HD QB/Wide Receiver
Schutt has embraced technology to produce dependable protection gear for high impact games such as football, softball, and baseball.
Flexible arch design for added mobility. Built for multiple play positions. Durable construction. Ventilated arch with raised corrugations. Lightweight.
It can feel wide and bulky for small-bodied players.
Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers
High performance arch design
Small – X-Large
High density EVA foam
Best Value
Gear Pro-Tec Z-Cool Youth/JV Shoulder Pad
Gear Pro-Tec embraces patented technology to produce sporting equipment that is highly functional, cost-efficient and built to suit elite athletes.
Highly breathable. Easy to wash and maintain. Versatile design for different play positions. No-snag buckles. Rigid plastic sternum protection. Light weight.
Its rib section isn’t well-padded.
Multi-Purpose Players
Moisture wicking design
X-Small – 3X-Large
Plastic, foam
TAG ALT II 744 Youth Football Shoulder Pad
TAG is a leading manufacturer that prides itself in providing sports gear that helps athletes stay safe on the field and display spectacular performance.
Adjustable fasteners for easy fitting. Machine-washable for easy cleaning. Designed to absorb high impact energy. Durable. Comfortable. Flexible. Lightweight.
It may not perform as good as specialized pads.
Multi-Purpose Players
Antimicrobial treated
Small – X-Large
EVA foam, stainless steel, fabric
Barnett Mark III Football Shoulder Pad Pro
Barnett has more than two decades’ experience in manufacturing sports products. Its top-notch products are very popular among American and European markets.
Highly breathable for easy body cooling. Offers great shock absorption. Can be used for FB, LB, TE and DE positions. Comfortable and lightweight. Anti-microbial treatment.
Its back plate is bought separately
Multi-Purpose Players
Lightweight and breathable
Small – XX-Large
EVA, PU foam
Douglas JP 32 Football Shoulder Pad
Douglas has a heritage of providing sports gear that inspires confidence and courage among athletes who engage in tough games such as football.
Extended upper-arm protection. Flexible and simple design. Suitable for junior and youth players.
Little kids may find it difficult to move in them.
Multi-Purpose Players
Single sternum hook-up
Small - Large
Hard plastic, foam

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Watch Our Football Shoulder Pad Review
Our Top Choice
The Schutt XV HD QB/Wide Receiver Football Shoulder Pad features an arch design that gives you lots of flexibility for increased mobility. Shopping for an intermediate level shoulder pad? Check out the Schutt Sports Youth Flex 2.0 All Purpose Shoulder Pad. It comes with antimicrobial treatment for odor control.

Schutt Sports Varsity XV HD QB/WR Football Shoulder Pad – Available in Multiple Sizes

If reliable protection that doesn’t feel cagey is what you’re looking for, then we’re happy to let you know that Schutt has got your back. The dynamics of a game can go overboard and become dangerous if the necessary precautions are not taken. Schutt football shoulder pads are made to ensure maximum protection while allowing you to attack the game squarely to your victory.

For instance, the Schutt XV HD QB/Wide Receiver Football Shoulder Pad is built with high-density EVA foam that offers adequate protection against high-impact collisions. It features a tough exterior and a soft interior that gives you comfort even through the toughest games. This allows you to focus on the game for superior performance. In addition, its design and quality of materials used in construction make it highly durable and suitable for pro-level football competitions.

These additional features make the XV HD Shoulder Pad a great choice:
  • Designed with quarterback and wide receiver players in mind thus cares for their specific needs
  • Arches are well-ventilated to ensure that you stay cooled down through the game
  • Comes with pre-drilled accessory attachment holes for easy dressing
  • Low profile design for enhanced mobility
  • Uses a clavicle channel design at its AC joints to reduce the force of impact during play for added safety
Best Value
The Gear Pro-Tec Z-Cool Youth/JV Shoulder Pad comes with a superior moisture transfer mechanism that keeps you dry during play. Need a shoulder pad for defense position? Check out the Gear Pro-Tec X2 AIR X-SOBF OL\/DL\/DE\/TE Football Shoulder Pads. It features a Pro-Loc epaulet system for maximum arm flexibility.

Gear Pro-Tec Z-Cool Youth/JV Football Shoulder Pads – Available in Multiple Sizes

If you actively participate in sporting activities, it’s important to consider investing in quality gear. This is because the right gear will help you achieve maximum output without overworking yourself. With Gear Pro-Tec, you get the right protective gear for your body size. This plays a major role in raising your confidence levels throughout the gaming period.

The Gear Pro-Tec Z-Cool Youth/JV Shoulder Pad is designed to dry up within two to three hours. This allows you clean it frequently, thus helping you maintain high levels of personal hygiene. While this pad has a lightweight design, it doesn’t compromise its purpose to protect. It’s also suitable for all play positions and this improves the dynamics of a team as players can switch positions without the need for changing their protective gear.

Here are other amazing features of this shoulder pad:
  • Has deltoid pads that are adjustable for easy fit
  • Tough plastic sternum plate for adequate chest protection
  • Comes with an inch wide belt that just holds tight without suffocating the wearer
  • Has a one year limited manufacturer’s warranty
The TAG ALT II 744 Youth Football Shoulder Pad is built with top-notch technology that enhances high absorption of energy from collision impact during play. Need a shoulder pad for both offensive and defensive positions? Consider the TAG ALT II 765 Football Shoulder Pad.

TAG ALT II 744 Youth All Positions Football Shoulder Pad – Available in Multiple Sizes

Although football is a very enjoyable game, it’s power-packed and can be dangerous as collisions among players have the potential of turning fatal. It’s therefore normal for players to wear protective gear to avert the effects of tackles by opponents. Besides protection, quality shoulders pads may come in a stylish design that improves a player’s looks. TAG appreciates the intricate combination of swagger and performance. This has brought the company to design attractive football shoulder pads that are appealing to customers.

The TAG ALT II 744 Youth Football Shoulder Pad boasts of a highly lightweight and flexible design that allows you to play without any restrictions to your movements. This stunning gear is wonderfully built with an antimicrobial treated mesh lining which fights against bacteria and fungus thus ensuring no awful smell stems from your precious shoulder pads. While microbes cause stains and degradation on fabrics, your shoulder pads will not suffer such due to this treatment.

The following are other features of this football shoulder pad:
  • Has a hassle-free, secure and easy fit system designed to offer you maximum comfort
  • Machine-washable for easy cleaning and maintenance
  • Comes in a variety of sizes to accommodate a wide range of player body shapes
  • Three-layered and adjustable collarbone padding for adequate protection and easy fitting
The Barnett Mark III Football Shoulder Pad Pro is specially built for high-level competitions and is suitable for FB, LB, TE and DE positions. Shopping for QB or WB positions? See the Barnett Football Shoulder Pads VISION II. It’s built with player protection in mind.

Barnett Mark III Pro Football Shoulder Pad – Available in Black or Red & Multiple Sizes

If you are a supercharged, high-level player looking for a gear as powerful as you, then today is your happy day! Barnett had you in mind when they made the remarkable Mark III Football Shoulder Pad Pro, which will get you ready to play the game in minutes. As a professional, you need sports gear that brings the best out of you without compromising your safety.

This shoulder pad is designed to allow you withstand dangerous tackles as if you were engaged in child’s play. The EVA and polyurethane foams used in its construction are not only lightweight to allow you swift mobility but also of excellent absorption to high impact forces for safe collisions/falls. This boosts your courage in the field and allows you to explore your creative moves with confidence.

Here’s a look at other features of this Pro level football shoulder pad:
  • Has good air circulation that cools the body fast for peak performance
  • Infused with anti-microbial treatment to ensure the pad remains clean and free of bacterial growth
  • Designed for multiple positions to allow easy switching of positions during play thereby boosting team dynamics
  • Comes in multiple colors to allow you a variety of options to choose from
The Douglas JP32 Football Shoulder Pad features a single sternum design that makes it flexible and easy to wear. Need added protection around your torso? Try out the Douglas Football Youth JP Series Removable Back Plate. It comes in a single size design meant for junior players.

Douglas JP 32 Series All Positions Youth Football Shoulder Pads

Whether you’re a youth or professional football player, you need shoulder pads that not only protect you while in the field but must also be easy to use. With over two decades’ experience in manufacturing sports protective gear, Douglas company understands these facts very well. For this reason, the company pays attention to detail in order to cater to the needs of both the young and experienced players. This makes sure that most of its customers are satisfied, and we think you will be too!

The Douglas JP32 Football Shoulder Pad is specially designed for the youth. It comes in sizes ranging from small to large. This accommodates any player with these body sizes and any other in between. Its shoulder pads are covered with hard plastic caps in a shell shape. These caps are fixed to the collarbone section and extend to cover the shoulder area for added safety. This design also gives a player the much-needed mobility to attack the game. In addition, their outer shell is riveted to its soft padding with stainless steel bits for rust-free years of service.

How Do I Choose the Best Football Shoulder Pad?

American football has made huge gains since its maiden game on the 6th November 1869 between New Jersey and Rutgers. At that time, protective gear was unheard of, a situation that led to the death of numerous players in subsequent years. While a lot was done to make the rules of the game less violent, it’s the introduction of safety gear such as helmets, gloves and shoulder pads that made football a less lethal endeavor. This doesn’t mean that injuries and fatalities can’t happen, but the right protective gear reduces the probability of such serious accidents.

For example: tackles focus on the mid and upper body sections of the ball carrier. On the other hand, the tackler makes contact with ball carrier’s body with his collarbone. For both parties, the body parts involved in the collision are delicate and can easily suffer life-threatening damage on impact. This is where quality football shoulder pads come in. In addition, rib protectors can be attached to these pads to ensure that the rib cage is well cushioned from every tackle.

Football shoulder pads are designed to suit various needs of junior, youth, and professional players depending on their level of expertise. There are all-purpose pads that allow players to take up any position while others are designed for specific football positions. Therefore, as you shop for shoulder pads, it’s important to make sure that your final pick has the qualities that meet your unique needs.
The price of a football shoulder pad depends on its size, construction materials used and its design features. For instance, a quality small sized junior shoulder pad can cost about $40 while the price of extra-large adult pads with a flexible design, added rib cage protection, sternum, and spinal plates can go up to about $200. This means that the more sophisticated the protective gear is, the more expensive it gets.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t cheap football shoulder pads in the market. However, you’ll need to be careful with them since they are probably made of low-quality materials with poor impact absorption capability. This means that more force from a tackle collision or a fall finds its way to your body thereby exposing you to injuries. The good news is that the products we’ve featured in our review don’t include such and therefore there is no need to worry.
As you shop for football protective gear, it’s important to focus on qualities that not only ensure your safety but also give you the flexibility you need for superior performance. Moreover, consider pads that will give you value for your money.

Here are the important features to look for in a football shoulder pad:
  • Type – Player positions they’re designed for
  • Design – Distinguishing feature and color
  • Size/s – Sizes that the shoulder pads are available in
  • Suitability – Relevant player level such as junior, youth and adult
  • Construction materials – What the pads are made of
  • Care and maintenance – How you care for/clean the shoulder pads
With these features, it’ll be easy to identify protective pads that meet your needs and are within your budget.
Construction and Design
When it comes to the construction of football shoulder pads, the materials that are commonly used include hardened plastic, EVA and polyurethane foams, breathable fabric, and stainless steel accessories. The plastic is used for the outer section while foam is used for the inner parts of the pads. Depending on its type, a shoulder pad will have varied levels of padding on specific body sections. These match the areas that are likely to be impacted during a tackle.

It’s also common for these pads to come in varied, adjustable designs that accommodate different body shapes of players. The inner sections of these pads feature a lining that’s made of a breathable fabric. Some manufacturers go ahead and incorporate wicking technology and antimicrobial treatment to enhance the performance of these pads. All these features are aimed at making a player comfortable therefore helping them focus better on the game.
Performance and Ease of Use
Just like any other product, a football shoulder pad should be easy to use and comfortable on you. For example, adjustable designs are easy to fit as they allow you to determine how tight or slack you want them to be. In addition, the soft padding on the inner side of the protective gear makes soft contact with your body for added comfort.

Antimicrobial treated liners wade off bad odor and stains resulting to a fresh and cleaner feel. Considering that football is a highly active game, your body will definitely heat up. The breathable fabric combined with vents on shoulder pads allows free air circulation that helps your body to cool during play time. When it comes to caring for your protective gear, machine-washable brands make for hassle-free cleaning. There are also fast-drying pads that you can wash and use within three hours. So, as you shop, go for gear that won’t make your life a nightmare.

Get the Best Football Shoulder Pad of 2023!

Now that you’ve gone through our review on the best football shoulder pads, it’s our wish that you’ve come across one that tickles your fancy. If you still wish to sample more protective gear from these trusted brands, please click the links on this page and have fun shopping.

Our Top Choice
Schutt XV HD QB/Wide Receiver
Best Value
Gear Pro-Tec Z-Cool Youth/JV Shoulder Pad
TAG ALT II 744 Youth Football Shoulder Pad
Barnett Mark III Football Shoulder Pad Pro
Douglas JP 32 Football Shoulder Pad