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Age 10 is a pivotal point in any young football player’s career in the sport. By then, young players have figured out how to gain speed and build momentum so they can HIT ball carriers with gusto. Those collisions can be perilous for still-developing brains, so it’s time to talk about the best helmets for this age of footballers.
We researched deeply into the matter, and reviewed dozens of current models. We looked closely at each model’s safety, protection, padding, face mask, chin strap, weight, and other fine details.
With all that information gathered, we put together our suggestions for the best football helmet for a young player at the important age of 10.
- The Riddell SpeedFlex Youth Football Helmet tops our list and offers the utmost in quality, comfort, and protection for 10-year-old football players.
- Safety features propel the Schutt Vengeance A11 Youth Football Helmet and its quality TPU cushions to the upper echelon of our list.
- The Xenith Youth X2E+ Football Helmet is the coolest-looking helmet ~ and that speaks volumes for the players. That it’s comfortable and protective adds to the package.
- We point out the extra attention to the rear and sides with the Schutt F7 LX1 Youth Football Helmet, for those who prefer a more well-balanced safety design.
- Old-school dads will dig the traditional look of the classic Riddell Victor Youth Helmet. but make no mistake, this well-priced option is plenty protective
As stated above, these middle ages of the youth football spectrum (generally ages 9 to 12) are important in terms of properly protecting body parts. Kids at this age finally gain enough size, weight, and strength to make the act of tackling treacherous at times. Certainly more so than when they were younger and smaller.
Football helmets, of course, are there to protect players’ heads. Specifically, parents want safety for the skull brain, and also connecting neck bones and tissues.
In recent years, more and more attention in football has been given to concussions, and injuries related to leading too much with the head when tackling. The coaches can help perfect the technical side of tackling; they can’t protect every young player from freak accidents.
Hence the importance of a quality football helmet, especially from age 10 and up. It may not seem imperative for bodies weighing about 100 pounds, but it’s not just the weight at this age division to worry about.
Not all youth football helmets are made the same. Some are, in reality, toys, meant for backyard play or just for the feeling of having a football helmet over the head. Some belong only on shelves, to be honest.
By age 10, football players need real-world helmets, to protect a brain and spine as it goes through a serious development phase. A quality helmet also could help improve a little player’s game.
Here are details to look for in football helmets for the middle youth division ages (9 to 12):
- Pads. The insides of football helmets have their own types and styles of padding, the cushions between the hard outer helmet shell and the skull. Some models may cost more due to more foam pads, or very high-tech pads. Some helmet padding is air-filled, which some players prefer, but which need periodic maintenance. See if pads are removable and washable, which helps keep odors in check.
- Weight. While protection is paramount, you also don’t want a player weighed down too much from any single piece of equipment.
- Mask. Football face masks come in various sizes and configurations. Breaking a face mask is extremely rare in youth football, but as they hit around age 10, players will kind of know which ones they like to allow better vision for their positions, and which ones seem to get in the way. (Note: Some helmets do not come with face masks.)
- Shell. The outer shell of a football helmet will provide the immediate layer of protection, but also could add a lot of weight. Very low-cost youth football helmets can be made of inferior plastics, which are cheaper and lighter, but less safe.
- Style. The days when every player is wearing a fully spherical helmet are gone. New styles can have extra holes, or even ridges that kind of look like the brain, designed to allow air flow, or enhance protection ~ or both.
- Miscellaneous. Other details to look for can include special chin straps (size, number of snaps, ease of adjusting); expanded venting to keep the player cool; and high-density foam for pads. Location of pads is important, too, as not all helmets have proper protection of the jawbone and area near the ears.
1. Best Football Helmet for a 10-year-old Overall ~ Riddell SpeedFlex Youth Football Helmet
While the Riddell SpeedFlex Youth Football Helmet carries an upper-range price tag, we just can’t see a better helmet for 10-year-old football players. By this age, the player should be getting more serious about the sport, and here is a model that is built for safety and made to last.
The big sale point is the balance: you get lots of protection, without hindering performance. Riddell is a brand well-established in the football safety realm, and here its patented side-impact protection system seriously protects the vulnerable jaw bone to limit the force on hard impacts. This is an advancement not found on many other helmet models.
Many other details aim squarely at head safety, like special outer shell connections with the face mask made to give some on impacts to reduce shock. This helmet is plenty comfy, too, with a Ratchet-Loc chin-strap attaching system, easy to self-adjust on the field.
- Weight: 5.4 lbs.
- Material: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) shell; expanded Polystyrene interior
- Style: Air Fit Liner System
- Special Feature(s): High-tech side-impact protection
What We Like
- As protective as you will find with a football helmet for this age
- Looks darn cool!
- 3-year warranty (for normal use, with proper maintenance including annual reconditioning)
2. Best Youth Helmet for a 10-Year-Old Runner-Up ~ Schutt Vengeance A11 Youth Football Helmet
We have this helmet high up our list specifically for its safety measures. The Schutt Vengeance A11 Youth Football Helmet engages quality TPU cushions for about the most protection you can find inside. Many fine details, like the raised-brow design up front and top, hint at a focus on head safety.
The interior foam pads are non-inflatable and are set in a system that’s comfortable while super snug and protective. With this model, we always point to the special design of the jaw pads, which inter-link for an especially snug feel. You might be surprised at how important comfort is for players this age.
So the kid will love the feel, while the parents will appreciate the peace of mind that their little player’s head is as protected as possible. For style, know that this model is available in 22 different colors ~ often a big deal for young players!
- Weight: 2.95 lbs.
- Material(s): Plastic
- Style: Old-style sphere shell; non-inflatable foam interior
- Special Feature(s): Raised eyebrow protection elements up top and in the front
What We Like
- Schutt’s impact absorption applications
- Neat appearance kids will like
- Very light in weight
3. Best Football Helmet for a 10-year-old Runner-Up II ~ Xenith Youth X2E+ Football Helmet
The Xenith Youth X2E+ Football Helmet just looks cool. This model from a burgeoning brand in youth sports brings with those aesthetics plenty of comfort and protection, including its carbon steel XRS21X face mask.
Just flip this helmet over and you’ll get a different type of pattern of shapes: dominated by medium-sized circles in a design that touches the scalp in enough places, but not more than enough. The large vents run down the center-rear to let in cool air as it allows sweaty hot air to escape.
A proprietary polymer shell is 10% lighter than typical youth football helmet shells, which makes this model very comfortable to wear for spells at a time. And it takes nothing away from the protection, as the X2E+ top-rated for safety across the board. This is a cool and effective football helmet.
- Weight: 3.8 lbs.
- Material: Polymer shell; carbon steel face mask; rubber, foam, and plastic parts
- Style: Foam pads (non-inflatable)
- Special Feature(s): Super strong steel face mask
What We Like
- An appearance that differs from the so many Riddels and Schutts out there
- Strongest face mask you will find
- Nice design to blend the individual pads around the lengthy cooling vents
4. Best Football Helmet for a 10-year-old for Side & Rear Safety ~ Schutt F7 LX1 Youth Football Helmet
Among this brand’s offerings, we take note of the Schutt F7 LX1 Youth Football Helmet for its extra attention to the sides and rear ~ areas of the head often short-changed with all the attention to the front and forehead. Head injuries can come from any angle, after all.
You might say that of the Schutt models out there, the F7 LX1 is for 10-year-olds on the larger size. It also may be preferable for kids with bigger heads, with its SureFit inflatable Air Liner on the rear and along the sides. This helps keep weight down while at the same time ensuring a nicely snug fit.
Protection-wise, there’s Schutt’s TPU (thermoplastic urethane) cushioning, said to be the most advanced system to absorb impact among football equipment items. Bolstering is the design in 3-Dimensional Tektonic Plates, carefully placed and set to move independently upon hard impacts. This helmet has plenty of additional features and is available in a plethora of colors, making it a fine option for mid-age youth football players.
- Weight: 3.4 lbs.
- Material: TPU cushioning; blend elsewhere
- Style: Blend of air-filled and non-air pads
- Special Feature(s): Flexural Resistance design and engineering for broad strength and durability
What We Like
- High-tech modern engineering in the outer shell for the utmost protection
- Seriously cool design and use of high-quality pads
- Light in weight for the safety provided
5. Best Classic Football Helmet for a 10-year-old ~ Riddell Victor Youth Helmet
Go traditional and no-frills with the classic Riddell Victor Youth Helmet. This more affordable option from the previously mentioned Riddell model is very light, plenty protective ~ and clean in its look. This no-nonsense style is plenty fine for this age, and yes, the pure sphere look is still cool.
Parents will dig the low pricing, and get comfort in noticing that yours is not the only kid with this particular Riddell helmet on. Honestly, it’s because so many dads grew up playing with helmets just like this on their heads. Some will argue there was nothing wrong, to be changed, with the old perfectly round helmets.
The super lightweight helps younger football players with still-developing necks to play with comfort while avoiding quick fatigue. Riddell;s patented Side Impact Protection (PSIP) technology is there, for real attention to the jawbone and tender areas around the ears.
- Weight: 4.4 lbs.
- Material: Plastic
- Style: Old-style pure sphere outer shell; air-filled lining
- Special Feature(s): Moisture-resistant liner cover to prevent mold and odors
What We Like
- Superb pricing for such quality
- Extra jawbone and ear protection
- 3-year warranty (for normal use with annual maintenance)
All youth football helmets should be stamped indicating approval from the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (on the helmets, almost always abbreviated in logo form, to NOCSAE). This independent, nonprofit organization is dedicated to setting standards for sports equipment. Most youth leagues and schools require football helmets to meet NOCSAE standards.