Best Shoulder Pad Reviews 2018

In contact sports such as lacrosse, hockey, and football, one of the main concerns of players and their fans is safety. In as much as people want to excel in the game and have fun while playing, there's a chance of ending up in the hospital if safety precautions are not taken. This makes it necessary to invest in the proper protective gear for different body parts and vital organs. But choosing suitable gear for your needs isn’t a walk in the park. To make your search effortless, we’ve looked at the best shoulder pad brands on the market. We selected five awesome products used in different sports and featured them in this review. If you're specifically interested in football, make sure to check our reviews on football shoulder pads, football helmets, football gloves, football rib protection, knee pads, and football knee pads.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Design
Sports
Size/s
Suitability
Material
Our Top Choice
Schutt Sports Y-Flex 4.0 Shoulder Pad
Schutt has a century of experience in providing quality football, baseball, softball and lacrosse sporting gear.
Lightweight design that doesn’t weigh you down. Classy and elegant design. Universal shoulder pad.
It may not perform as well as its specialized counterparts.
All-purpose design
Football
3XS – 2XL
Youth
Plastic, foam, breathable fabric
Best Value
Warrior Rabil Next Shoulder Pad
Warrior, as the name suggests, charges players to fight for victory and empowers them by providing quality protective gear.
Reinforced rib cage protection. Stretchable part connection for added flexibility. Aids better sports performance.
It doesn’t allow you to customize it to suit personal preferences.
Floating shoulder caps design
Lacrosse
YXS – ML
Youth
Foam, plastic
Maverik Lacrosse Rome RX3 Shoulder Pad
Maverik Lacrosse has the advantage of being run by professional lacrosse players. It takes the job of producing quality sports gear very seriously.
Highly convertible design. Fast cooling mechanism. Versatile and can fit multiple functions. Easy to use.
It’s somewhat expensive compared to most shoulder pads.
Convertible design
Lacrosse
Medium, Large
Adult
PORON XRD™ foam
Bauer Junior Nexus 4000 Shoulder Pad
Bauer has a long history in the manufacture of reliable ice hockey equipment such as player skates, helmets, and other protective gear.
Protects upper body vitals. Water-resistant inner liner. Adjustable arm plates for added flexibility and comfort.
It’s best suited for beginners and may not work well for pros.
Segmented chest plate design
Ice Hockey
Small, Medium
Junior
High density foam
STX Stallion 50™ Shoulder Pad
STX takes pride in providing top-notch sports gear sporting. The company enjoys a global customer base for both hockey and lacrosse equipment.
Lightweight and easy-fitting design. Adequate protection for better part of the body. Perfect for training young players.
It isn’t suitable for high school/high-level games.
Expandable design
Lacrosse
XS - L
Junior
Fiber, foam

(Updated )
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Watch Our Shoulder Pad Review

How Do I Choose the Best Shoulder Pad?

Originally, American football was played without any safety gear. It was not until the 1870s when L.P. Smock, a Princeton football player of the time, saw the need to protect the shoulder blades from impact and created the first shoulder pads. However, these pads only offered limited protection. They just involved a simple layer of quilted cushion stitched onto the player’s shirt around the shoulders, and the thighs and knees of knee pants used by Princeton’s football players.

The designs used today resemble the models of the 1930s, which protected the chest and shoulders and had large laces at the front for tightening. Shoulder pads have evolved over time, and today’s models cover most parts of the body. They can withstand rough use, and are lighter than the former designs. Additionally, there are now also shoulder pads for different sports, including football shoulder pads, lacrosse shoulder pads, and ice hockey shoulder pads, which you’ll find in this review.

The different types of pads come in sizes suitable for junior, youth, and adult players. So, next time you are preparing for that hockey match or collecting your accessories for a lacrosse game, don’t forget to find the right protective gear. Some designs not only protect the shoulders, but can also help prevent your ribs from getting broken!
Price
The prices of sports shoulder pads may range from $25 to $150. The cost depends on the materials and technology used on the shoulder pads, as well as their possible applications. For instance, a basic sports shoulder pad that’s designed with plastic and breathable padding may cost as little as $25, while a multifunctional pad with convertible design and sophisticated materials such as PORON XRD foam may cost up to $150. Some designs also combine ease of use and flexibility with adjustable parts and antimicrobial enhancements. Such additional qualities may call for higher pricing.

You’ll still find cheap shoulder pads on the market. However, some of these pads may not match up to the required standards, and will only serve to lower your level of protection while using them. Don’t worry, though; we haven’t featured such products in our review. We only want you to get the best so that you can go and play with confidence.
Features
We want you to find effective protection for playing your sport without compromising on your performance. To make sure you bring home protective gear that offers excellent performance, what should you look for?

Consider these features to make sure you are going home with the best sports shoulder pad:
  • Design – Floating shoulder caps, convertible and all-purpose
  • Type of Sport – Is it designed for football, hockey, or lacrosse?
  • Size – May be small, medium or large
  • Suitability – Is it designed for junior, youth or adult players?
  • Material – Plastic, foam, or fiber
  • Comfort – Consider how well it fits, air circulation, and quality of padding
By looking at all these features keenly, you’ll find protective gear that works as desired at an affordable price.
Construction and Design
The way sports protective gear is designed and constructed will affect its performance. Today’s shoulder pads are constructed with materials including fiber, plastics, and foam. The kind of material used will affect the pads' weight and shock absorption ability. To ensure free air circulation, manufacturers may use open cell foam or cut vent holes in different parts of the materials used.

There are also versatile designs that allow adjustments for users of different sizes to wear them comfortably. These pads may use adjustable buckles, plates or detachable accessories such as bicep, chest, and back guards. Players can adjust or assemble their gear to suit their size and the body parts they want to protect.

Another important aspect of sports shoulder pads is their sweat- and odor-fighting ability. You don’t want to ride home stinking, or have to throw away your favorite pads because they've grown mold. Some manufacturers use antimicrobial enhancements to absorb sweat and keep bad odor away. Other brands make the pads removable and washable for easy care.
Performance and Ease of Use
Think about the level of protection, comfort, and performance you are interested in, as well as the sport or position you are going to play. Some designs are built to cover only the shoulders and the breastbone, while others are suited for quarterback, defense, or wide receiver positions. Designs that extend to offer back support and kidney cushions can be used by inexperienced players of games such as lacrosse. They're also good for playing highly active positions such as linebacker, and, in some cases, they have multipurpose functions.

Always buy the right size. A small size will feel tight and hinder your movement, hence limiting your performance. Small sizes won’t absorb contact shock properly. On the other hand, oversized pads may not stay in place during play. Depending on the position you play, make sure you consider the weight as well. Bulky shoulder pads will hinder your mobility and your overall performance.

It is also necessary to check the adjustment aspects of your pad. For instance, if you're buying pads for a young player, you don’t want to be shopping every other season because they’ve outgrown the previous choice. In this case, it would help to find versatile shoulder pads that they can grow with.

What is the Best Shoulder Pad?

The best shoulder pad is one that can offer effective protection without interfering with your performance. Now that you are equipped with the points to consider when looking for such a pad, we can delve into the specific features of our selected products. See how each matches your requirements, so you can pick a shoulder pad that will offer good protection and performance.
Our Top Choice
The Schutt Sports Y-Flex 4.0 Shoulder Pad is specially designed for youth and is built for use by players of all football positions. Shopping for shoulder pads for quarterback positions? Check out the Schutt Sports Varsity XV HD QB\/WR Shoulder Pad. It’s available in multiple sizes and comes in a lightweight design.
Schutt Sports Y-Flex 4.0 All Purpose Shoulder Pad – Available in Multiple Sizes

Schutt Shoulder Pad 801058040657 - Medium


Features
When it comes to playing football, your safety is as important as winning. Football is not for the faint-hearted, as every tackle has the potential of resulting in an injury. For this reason, Schutt is focused on helping players give their best by providing the right gear to keep them safe while playing. Its shoulder pads are exceptionally built to meet specific player needs such as age and body size.

The Schutt Sports Y-Flex 4.0 Shoulder Pad is a perfect balance between the tough and the tender: tough on the hit, tender to the body. This intricate balance is necessary to make sure players are well protected while ensuring their comfort is not compromised. This pad is made of dual-density foam and just like a shock absorber, it is tough enough to create resistance on impact. In addition, it has seven-millimeter vent holes that deliver the necessary aeration to ensure that the player’s body is cooled during rigorous play.

Since this shoulder pad is designed for use in all game positions, it allows team members to switch positions with ease in case of a vacancy, without the need to change into a position-specific pad. This flexibility makes a team fluid, thus enhancing its performance. The effect is even greater for multitalented players, who will have the confidence that they can deliver an epic performance at whatever level.

Other amazing features of this shoulder pad include the following:
  • Three-point belt design that ensures a closer fit
  • Infused with an antimicrobial treatment to help keep mold and bacteria from growing
  • Dual color blend that gives it a classy look for added aesthetics
  • Available in a wide range of sizes to fit players with varied body sizes
  • Lightweight design that doesn’t weigh you down or hinder your movement in the field
Best Value
The flexible Warrior Rabil Next Shoulder Pad is built to offer superior support with its floating caps that give extra shoulder padding. Need adult lacrosse shoulder pads? Consider the Warrior Adrenaline X2 Hitman Adult Shoulder Pad. It comes with a sternum plate and is suitable for entry-level players.
Warrior Youth Rabil NXT Shoulder Pad – Available in 4 Sizes

Warrior Shoulder Pad RBNXTSP WH YMD - Medium


Features
We were born to win, but sometimes, all we need is support so that we can soar with the eagles. This truth is well embedded within the core values of the Warrior brand. This truth has seen the brand stand firmly on providing quality player kits, as in the case of the Warrior Rabil Next Shoulder Pad.

As a lacrosse player, you need all the flexibility you can get to help you maneuver your way around the field. This shoulder pad has its parts joined with stretchable bands, so your body movement is not restricted. It also has an elaborate rib cage protection design that’s reinforced with a breast panel, so that in the case of a hard impact, your vitals are not injured. This gives you as the player a good level of courage to take the bull by the horns, because you can trust in your protective gear.

The inner side of this lacrosse shoulder pad features soft padding that makes it comfortable on your body, thus allowing you to focus on the game. It comes in different sizes, to meet the needs of athletes with small, medium, or large body frames. If you don't like the featured color, no cause to worry, as this product is available in multiple shades.
The Maverik Lacrosse Rome RX3 Lacrosse Shoulder Pad has an exceptional convertible design that allows you to choose the amount of protection you need at any time. Shopping for a beginner level lacrosse shoulder pad? Try out the Maverik Lacrosse Charger Shoulder Pad. It comes with sternum protection and adjustable Velcro fitting fasteners.
Maverik Lacrosse Men's Rome RX3 Shoulder Pad – Available in 2 Sizes

Maverik Lacrosse Shoulder Pad 3001661 - Medium


Features
The lead designers at Maverik Lacrosse understand the importance of flexibility, and the need for players to play various positions without necessarily changing into new sports gear for every change in position. This enhances a team's dynamics and, consequently, its performance. To cater to such needs, Maverik provides versatile sporting gear such as shoulder pads that not only provide adequate protection, but also allow players to come to the rescue of teammates when the need arises.

The Maverik Lacrosse Rome RX3 Lacrosse Shoulder Pad is a great example. It has detachable bicep guards, shoulder pads, and chest and back guards that create room for multi-functionality. This versatility creates invaluable convenience, making the gear a favorite among many players. Besides being customizable, this protective gear is made of a foam like no other – the PORON XRD foam. It remains soft to the touch, but becomes tough on impact, helping keep you comfortable and safe in case of a collision.

The Maverik Lacrosse Shoulder Pad also has:
  • Specially designed inner liner that’s fast-cooling and enhances quick evaporation of sweat
  • ANAFORM plates for the chest and spine for maximum management of forces during impact
  • Mesh straps that stretch in four different ways to maximize mobility
  • COMFORTFIT arch that is adjustable for easy fitting
The Bauer Junior Nexus 4000 Shoulder Pad has adjustable arm plates that allow you to adjust the gear to your size for added comfort. Need a shoulder pad with a belly pad? Get the Bauer Vapor X100 Shoulder Pads. They come with multi-segmented parts that enhance your flexibility during play.
Bauer Junior Nexus 4000 Shoulder Pad – Available in Small & Medium Sizes

Bauer Shoulder Pad 1043160 - Medium


Features
Nurturing talent among kids is highly advocated, as it enhances growth and continuity in the sports sector. At the same time, caution must be taken to ensure safety is maintained at all times. This is the responsibility that Bauer took upon itself nine decades ago. Over the years, Bauer has refined and expanded its product designs to include quality shoulder pads for both youth and adult ice hockey players.

The Bauer Junior Nexus 4000 Shoulder Pad has a segmented chest plate which ensures the muscles are not forced into the wrong shapes. This allows the gear to fit perfectly and feel comfortable on you. Its thermoformed hard plastic shoulder caps are designed to extend and overlay the upper chest region, so that no space is left uncovered. This enables the pad to exhibit maximum absorption of force in case of collision or a fall, to keep your body safer.

And that’s not all! Here are some other awesome qualities of this Junior Hockey Shoulder Pad:
  • Made of high-density foam that manages impact exceptionally
  • Classic fit for maximum mobility and comfort during play
  • Water-resistant liner that keeps you dry and comfortable
  • Available in different sizes, offering variety to choose from
  • Breast, kidney, and spinal panels to ensure that all vitals are well protected
The STX Stallion 50™ Shoulder Pad is exceptionally built to offer a wide area coverage of the player’s body. Shopping for intermediate level lacrosse protective gear? See the STX Lacrosse Cell 3 Shoulder Pad. It uses Geo-Flex technology to provide superior mobility.
STX Stallion 50 Shoulder Pad – Available in Various Sizes

STX Shoulder Pad PD SP05 02 BK/XX - Medium


Features
When learning to play any game, it’s important to invest in quality protective gear that allows you to play any position without the need for specialized outfits. STX understands the need for versatile products that ensure players get basic sporting skills without massive investment in protective gear. This makes it affordable for many lacrosse enthusiasts to sign up for training.

The STX Stallion 50™ Shoulder Pad is designed to allow learners to comfortably play attack, midfield and defense positions without changing protective gear. The expandable design enables it to fit a wide range of body shapes and sizes without compromising on efficiency. This is further enhanced by its availability in multiple sizes, ranging from XX-Small to Large. These shoulder pads also come with sternum and spinal fiber plates that give you adequate protection on your chest and back regions.

Other amazing features of the Stallion 50™ Shoulder Pad include:
  • Name tag holder that ensures the gear can be identified as yours
  • Pinnie holder to make changing for training sessions hassle-free
  • Velcro fasteners for easy fitting
  • Lightweight design suitable for young players

Get the Best Shoulder Pad of 2018!

It isn’t always easy to make a quick buying decision when faced with numerous choices from different brands. But, armed with the right information on the best shoulder pads for your needs, you can easily find a product that you won’t regret having bought. We hope that our guide and reviews have come in handy in making your shopping expedition a little easier.

Our Top Choice
Schutt Sports Y-Flex 4.0 Shoulder Pad
Best Value
Warrior Rabil Next Shoulder Pad
Maverik Lacrosse Rome RX3 Shoulder Pad
Bauer Junior Nexus 4000 Shoulder Pad
STX Stallion 50™ Shoulder Pad