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The lineman positions in football ~ the big guys who crash into each other every play at the line of scrimmage ~ demand their own special tools. Key among them is the helmet, and because of the different style of play up front, we wanted to offer some insight into buying these helmets.
We scoped dozens of models with linemen in mind, and judged them according to a variety of factors including protection, comfort, durability, padding, use of technological advancements, and price range. With all that information we deliver this, a list of our best football helmets for linemen.
- The most-popular helmet for NFL linemen, the Riddell SpeedFlex Football Helmet, tops our list for a number of reasons, super protection among them.
- The Schutt F7 VTD Football Helmet is a nice 1st runner-up, with its impact-absorbing technology in the shell, plus plenty of comfort features.
- Old-school players preferring the smooth shells should eye the Schutt Sports Varsity AiR XP Pro VTD II Football Helmet, which looks pretty but is plenty protective.
- Parents of brand new linemen players can go with the Xenith Youth X2E+ Football Helmet, as our choice for those who keep an eye on the price tag.
- For young players, we point to the Schutt Sports F7 LX1 Youth Football Helmet and its super light weight, easy adjusting system, and plenty of protective punch.
Either foam or air-filled pockets, pay attention to how the manufacturers describe the interior padding system. Young players might ask older players about which type they prefer, because a lot like the air-filled lining; but not all.
Linemen can get poked in the eyes more than other players, so you don’t want a face mask with the upper area left open too much. Side protection can do wonders, if available.
A cupped or padded cup in the middle of this strap is preferred, for comfort and protection because linemen get clobbered right on the chin a lot. The 4-point snap system is more secure, good for linemen who can get their helmets torn off from time to time.
As long as the padding system is adequate, linemen need the lightest helmets possible because stamina is required to make it through entire games. Too-heavy helmets can sap energy over time.
You want a shell made of the hardest yet lightest materials, and TPU is preferred by many pro linemen. Also, some shells are a single piece (looking like a smooth globe); while others have creases and elongated vents. The latter is the more modern style.
Our Choices: Top Football Helmets for Linemen for 2023 & Years Immediately Following
1. Best Football Helmet for Linemen Overall ~ Riddell SpeedFlex Football Helmet
It’s the most-worn head protection by National Football League linemen, so it’s hard not to top our list with the Riddell SpeedFlex Football Helmet. Anyone who has played football beyond pickup games knows the power of word-of-mouth, and this model earned positive praise quickly.
When Riddell says “state-of-the-art protection” look no further than the side-impact technology, the flex system between helmet and face mask, and the Air Fit Liner system inside. All of these elements work together in their prospective areas around the face and skull, producing a well-balanced and -designed football helmet.
It’s difficult to point to a single thing that makes this model the best football helmet for linemen. The PSIP research into protecting the jawbone is extremely important. Probably more so is the flex system in the shell, which lets hinge clips keep energy from impacts from the bones. There’s just too much quality here to ignore.
- Weight: 5.3 lbs.
- Materials: Plastic
- Padding: Air Fit Liner
- Special Feature(s): Comes with face mask and chin strap; Patented side impact protection research-based mandible protection; Cam-Lock chin strap system for easy adjusting on the fly; Air Fit Liner System
What We Like
- Depth of research put into side-impact protection system
- Favored by NFL linemen
- Limited warranty
2. Best Football Helmet for Linemen Runner-Up ~ Schutt F7 VTD Football Helmet
Enough top pro football linemen wear the Schutt F7 VTD Football Helmet to hint at this model’s strength and protection. Part of the company’s top-selling line of football head protectors, the VTD is most notable probably because of the impact-absorbing technology that makes up the shell.
This model gets the highest marks (typically the 5-star) in all the ratings systems for football helmets. Most attention is pointed at the 3-Dimensional Movement Tektonic Plates placed well in the areas most prone to hard impacts. These plates make up the shell and can move individually to absorb energy and power.
Inside there’s plenty to supplement the high-tech shell with comfort to go along with performance. The TPU cushioning means advanced absorption; a bigger jaw pad setup is more comfy than other helmets; and adjustable pads inside sure make it feel snug.
- Weight: 5.2 lbs.
- Materials: Polycarbonate (PC) shell;
- Padding: TPU
- Special Feature(s): Carbon steel face mask
What We Like
- Tektonic Plates design on shell
- Several layers of protection
- Brand trust for safety
3. Best Football Helmet for Linemen Runner-Up II ~ Schutt Sports Varsity AiR XP Pro VTD II Football Helmet
Many modern football players just don’t like the not-smooth modern shells with all the creases and weirdly shaped vent openings. For those linemen, we suggest the Schutt Sports Varsity AiR XP Pro VTD II Football Helmet.
For classicists, the shell here is perfectly round and smooth. Still, the hard thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) shell makeup is plenty hard and works with well-placed pads inside to ensure cushioning during hard blows. Ity garnered the best possible rating from the industry’s favored helmet-safety rating system.
Inside there’s plenty for comfort, including the SUREFIT air liner fortified with TPU; a SC4 cup chin strap; and ⅞” Inter-Link jaw pads. It is very light in weight, super good to preserve stamina for hard-working linemen.
- Weight: 2.8 lbs.
- Materials: TPU shell
- Padding: Inflatable
- Special Feature(s): Inter-Link jaw pads
What We Like
- Hard yet smooth and pretty TPU shell
- Super comfy jaw pads
- Brand trust for safety
4. Best Football Helmet for Linemen on a Budget ~ Xenith Youth X2E+ Football Helmet
We don’t envision many adult tackle football linemen worried about cost when it comes to protecting their head. Therefore, for our budget recommendation, we offer a model for the young with the Xenith Youth X2E+ Football Helmet.
For the nicest price among our list of models for linemen, this model provides plenty of protection to go along with a decently light weight. Linemen sweat a lot, and the big vents at front and back let hot air out and cool air in.
Regarding attraction points for young linemen, we point to the adaptive fit system which makes it easier to adjust in several places ~ an important factor with helmets for growing heads.
- Weight: 3.9 lbs.
- Materials: Polymer shell
- Padding: n/a
- Special Feature(s): Carbon steel XRS21X face mask
What We Like
- Low pricing
- Adaptable system to fit
- Compact and lightweight
5. Best Football Helmet for Youth Linemen ~ Schutt Sports F7 LX1 Youth Football Helmet
The F7 is the company’s top-selling line, and we really like the Schutt Sports F7 LX1 Youth Football Helmet for its customization for the younger players. What we liked most: very lightweight yet nothing sacrificed for safety. This is about the most-protective helmet you could put on a kid.
Why? The 3-Dimensional Movement Tectonic Plates that make up the shell and work with the padding inside. Like the plates on the earth’s crust, these separate pieces designed to move independently on impacts really lessens the power of blows to the head. It looks neat, too.
We also like the number of elements added for comfort. There’s a jaw pad design that’s bigger than most helmets and therefore less clumsy on the jawline. The pads and air liner are well-designed to really lock a player in to the helmet; and internal high-impact foam wrapped in soft synthetic leather leaves for a nice smooth feel.
- Weight: 3.2 lbs.
- Materials: Plastic, TPU padding; synthetic leather
- Padding: TPU; inflatable air liner
- Special Feature(s): Thermoplastic urethane (TPU) cushioning; SureFit inflatable Air Liner
What We Like
- Schutt brand trust for youth sports play
- Many color options
- Superb protection