Best Football Helmets for Wide Receivers

6 Best Football Helmets for Wide Receivers for 2024

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You see football played on television or live out on the field, and you see lots of helmets. New fans of the game are apt to wonder about the differences between football helmets, for each position played. Is a football helmet for a wide receiver the same as that of, say, a quarterback?

We wanted to offer buyer guidance, so we will begin with the best football helmets for wide receivers ~ those fast, less bulky players who start wide on the field and catch balls passed to them for big plays.

Football helmets for any level above pee-wee are quite similar, but those who have played for any amount of time understand the nuances and differences. Aside from sizing differences, football players eventually develop styles or features they prefer, like air vs. foam padding inside, or view-wide-open face masks.

For those buying your first football helmet, we also provide a section to hopefully help with sizing.

Summary of Our Best Football Helmets for Wide Receivers

What to Look For in a Wide Receiver Helmet

The wide receiver position on a football field is quite unlike most of the other positions, mainly due to the size of the player. Wide receivers must be fast on foot, to outrun and out-maneuver defenders to get away and open to catch a pass from the quarterback.

While receivers can be involved in horrific collisions during play, overall their helmets are impacted fewer times than, say, linemen. Receivers also do not take the consistent helmet-to-helmet punishment that running backs and linebackers suffer through.

Why might a wide receiver need a special helmet? Here are a few factors to keep in mind while looking at football helmet models:

  • Weight. Remember, wide receivers must be fast, and to do that they cannot carry extra weight on the field. Already they are weighed down by pads on the shoulders and elsewhere; too much at the very top can only slow a receiver down.
  • Padding styles. Wide receivers should pay attention to padding on the sides (around the ears and over the cheeks), and in the very back. The very back? Yes, wide receivers’ heads take most of their beatings hitting the turf during tackles, meaning they smack the sides or back of the helmet hard to the ground.
  • Padding fit. See below for tips on sizing for football helmets, but overall, players want the helmet quite snug, but not overly tight. For receivers this is important because loose helmets can bounce side-to-side during full sprints ~ which can impede the vision that receivers depend upon for catches and running moves. Receivers want perfectly snug padding, or pads designed to reduce or eliminate slipping.
  • Venting. Old-school helmets had small holes on top or on the side to let out the heat the body produces during play. Modern helmets have slices and wedges and other newfangled designs to keep players cool. Receivers sprint a lot, so they need the venting ~ but beware of too many holes, especially those running ear-to-ear, which could produce wind drag.
  • Face mask. Note up front that some models do not come with a face mask. That can be quite okay, as the right mask style might not come with helmets on store shelves. It is imperative for receivers to see as well as possible, whether for a ball in the air, to locate a defender, or see the quarterback’s eyes. Look for masks with decent openings for the eyes, and less vertical bars that pinch view on the sides or from the top.
  • Chin straps. Whether or not these come with the helmet, wide receivers perhaps more than other positions should get decent chin straps that cover the entire chin (for protection from hitting another player’s helmet, a common injury), and adjustable to maintain snugness throughout the game.

Broadly, receivers want to be light, and for their uniform and helmets to be tight, to give defenders less to grab on to for tackles.

This can be applied to the face mask, too, if a design looks as though fingers could hook through it too easily. Sure, grabbing a face mask is a penalty; but why leave yourself open to lose a big play because of it?

Overall though, helmets are pretty much the last thing defenders may use to grasp a receiver. The hard helmets of football players are designed for protection, though until recent years they also were used as weapons against opponents.

It’s not just other helmets your helmet will be colliding with. There also are elbows, knees, feet, and even fists; the hard ground; and fast-moving hard shoulder pads to contend with.

Note: All football helmets should be stamped with an approval from the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (on helmets usually abbreviated in logo form to NOCSAE. This is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing standards for sports equipment. Most youth leagues and schools require football helmets to meet NOCSAE standards.

Our Choices: Best Football Helmets for Wide Receivers

1. Best Football Helmet for Wide Receivers Overall ~ Riddell SpeedFlex Youth Football Helmet


Riddell has been making quality football helmets for youths and adults for many years, and we have no hesitation in placing the Riddell SpeedFlex Youth football helmet atop our list for wide receivers. This model checks the boxes for performance along with protection; and is priced nicely in the middle of the pack.

If the devil is in the details, then pay attention to Riddell’s patented side-impact protection system, to protect the jaw bone and reduce the force of impacts. Add to that impact-reduction the flex system engineering for the shell connection with the face mask. The attachment system has hinge clips that lessen the force of hits.

A final touch is the Ratchet-Loc chin-strap attaching system, which lets players easily adjust the strap, whenever and wherever.


  • Weight: 5.4 lbs.
  • Material(s): Polycarbonate and plastic
  • Special Feature(s): Patented side-impact protection system

What We Like

  • Backed by research from over 2 million data points of impacts on fields
  • Flexibility in connections between helmet and face mask to reduce force of impacts
  • Riddell 3-year warranty (for normal use and proper maintenance including annual reconditioning)

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2. Best Football Helmet for Wide Receivers Runner-Up ~ Schutt Schutt F7 VTD Collegiate Varsity Football Helmet


This sporting goods manufacturer is pretty well-established for delivering solid helmets for multiple sports, and among its many offerings we like the Schutt F7 VTD Collegiate Varsity Football Helmet the best for wide receivers.

The focus here is on protection. Schutt will throw a few acronyms and capitalized words at you in its marketing, probably unnecessarily since it is quite clear that player safety is paramount. To start, in what it calls “the most advanced impact absorption system in football,” the thermoplastic urethane (TPU) shell is said to maintain performance regardless of temperature.

Tack onto that engineering for added protection in the rear (where vital brain functions rest), and a larger jaw pad situation for comfort, and you have a fine football helmet. Note: This football helmet is only compatible with carbon steel facemasks.


  • Weight: 3.6 lbs.
  • Material(s): thermoplastic urethane (TPU) shell
  • Special Feature(s): Helmet Stabilization System with high-performance impact foam for a very secure interior feel

What We Like

  • Multiple features focused on protection
  • Stabilization engineering to protect the all-important vision
  • Light in weight for all the features

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3. Best Football Helmet for Wide Receivers for Early Youth ~ Schutt F7 LX1 Youth Football Helmet


For brand new or very young football players, parents can hardly go wrong with a Schutt model, since the company spotlights its protection-related features more than competitors. In that vein, for very young wide receivers, we suggest the Schutt F7 LX1 Youth Football Helmet.

This football helmet engages the TPU cushioning noted in the Schutt model included above, but what makes this stand out is SureFit inflatable Air Liner on the helmet’s rear and sides. This feature provides a super snug and comfy fit, and reduces overall weight in the process.

However, the most unique feature has to be what Schutt calls Tektonic Plate Technology. These are “plates” ~ like the gargantuan tectonic plates under the Earth’s surface ~ which move independently when pressure is applied. The result is distribution of energy on impact, which lessens the potential for pain.


  • Weight: 3.4 lbs.
  • Material(s): thermoplastic urethane (TPU)
  • Special Feature(s): Tektonic Plate Technology

What We Like

  • Super-safe shell with Tektonic Plates and Flexural Resistance design and engineering
  • High-impact foam inside for very secure fit
  • Light weight

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4. Best Football Helmet for Wide Receivers Youth Runner-Up ~ Riddell Victor Youth Helmet


We return once again to a well-established football helmet maker with the Riddell Victor Youth Helmet. Seriously, so many parents will see this model out on the field anyway, it’s a wonder that Riddell has to market it at all.

Nicely priced, this plastic and foam helmet is extremely light, excellent for young players with undeveloped necks. Designed for players up through the middle school (junior high) level, this model also applies the company’s patented Side Impact Protection (PSIP) technology to protect against hard hits near either ear.

Once again, Riddell turns to research for added jawbone protection, and make note of the removable “moisture-resistant liner cover with antimicrobial properties.” Not many football helmets out there stick on a feature designed to fend off germs and fungi.


  • Weight: 4.4 lbs.
  • Material(s): Plastic
  • Special Feature(s): Specially designed pump for jaw pad inflation

What We Like

  • Nicely priced for the quality and peace-of-mind protection
  • Proprietary side-impact protection technology
  • Riddell 3-year warranty (for normal use and proper maintenance including annual reconditioning)

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5. Best Football Helmet for Wide Receivers for Low Weight ~ Schutt Vengeance A11 Youth Football Helmet


Once again turning to Schutt, we had to include this model on the list because it is the lightest found, and also because it comes in a choice among 22 colors! The Schutt Vengeance A11 Youth Football Helmet offers the same TPU-cushion protection expected in this company’s models ~ and then some.

Also included here are inter-link jaw pads for secure and snug interior fit; flexural resistance engineering to strengthen the shell in key locations; and non-inflatable foam liners inside

What is different in this particular model is a raised-brow design, yet another layer of protection to deflect energy from impacts away from the all-important forehead area. Schutt is all about the best impact absorption possible, and this model is no exception.


  • Weight: 2.95 lbs.
  • Material(s): Plastic
  • Special Feature(s): Raised-brown design up front and up top

What We Like

  • Schutt’s attention to protective features
  • Super lightweight
  • Looks cool

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6. Best Football Helmet for Wide Receivers: Honorable Mention ~ Schutt Youth Recruit Hybrid Football Helmet


With solid features for a wonderful price, we point to the Schutt Youth Recruit Hybrid Football Helmet for parents of children brand new to the game. Designed to be light in weight and comfortable to wear, or, basically, for young players.

The non-inflatable comfort liners inside are the basis of this comfort, joined by inter-link jaw pads, for an overall feel of security. It is important for young football players to feel good in their equipment, which usually seems extremely bulky at first. This helmet strikes right at that point.

The “hybrid” refers to this model’s blend of interior cushioning materials. This uses thermoplastic urethane (TPU) cushioning in the front and over the head’s crown; while the sides and back have cushions made with the special D30 material. The D30 is a type of shear-thickening fluid made of a polymer substance, known to absorb and dissipate impacts. Pretty high-tech stuff at this price point.


  • Weight: 2.8 lbs.
  • Material(s): Plastic and thermoplastic urethane (TPU) 
  • Special Feature(s): Mix of materials for interior pads, each placed for specific purposes

What We Like

  • Affordable for the price
  • Special interior padding targets comfort
  • Special jaw pads for snug fit

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Tips for Fitting Football Helmets

Finding a comfortable football helmet is not like buying a baseball cap, where the main consideration with sizing is the band around the head. The human head comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and it’s important to find a football helmet that fits your head, well, like a glove.

That is, as we stated above, snug, but not too tight. That said, first let’s look into the pressure points on a football player’s head, where he or she may find trouble with the helmet:

  • Very top interior. Old football helmets had an air bag at the very top, which if inflated wrong would start to hurt as games progressed. Look for interior padding up top evenly spread around the dome, perhaps with nothing in the dead center.
  • Forehead pad. This pad right above the eyebrows is extremely important to protect the frontal portion of the brain, but also for comfort and visual protection. This pad should be soft and at least a little flexible for comfort; and maybe somehow keep moisture from dripping down into the eyes.
  • Ear pads. Almost nothing is more annoying for a football player than a faulty ear pad in a helmet, whether that means it’s pinching the ear or cheek, or just plain got loose or fell off. There’s not a lot of space there to work with, but if ear protection is important to you, look for the most padding there that can fit.
  • Mask security. How is the mask attached to the helmet? Is it firm? Are there joints that may be too soft, or too loose? The last thing a football player wants in a game is a face mask failure. It is not easy to just find a “backup” helmet.
  • Weight. Too-heavy helmets will cause neck or upper shoulder pain or fatigue, especially for youth players.

Football Helmet Sizing

In general, football helmets come in a size designed to fit a range of circumferences around the head:

Small =   Up to 20 ⅜”

Medium =       20 ⅜” to 22″

Large =   22″ to 23 ½”

Extra Large =         23 ½” and up

Aside from dome circumference, one might consider whether the player has a very long and/or narrow face, and if so consider helmets with significant padding at the sides or along the mandible (jaw bone).

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