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Pads to protect body parts while playing football are essential in the game ~ even more so for young adult players and their still-developing physiques. Not all football pads are made the same, and we wanted to explore just which ones are best for high school football play.
For this list we aimed to provide an assortment of types of pads, to hopefully cover every pertinent part of a player’s body. We also offer insight into what to look for with football pad products, and explain why good pads are crucial to this age level of play.
- Quality as well as utility puts the What we really like about the TOUYR Men’s Padded Compression Shirt and Pants on top of our list of things that protect high school footballers well.
- We once again applaud the NEENCA Professional Knee Brace for its design, quality manufacturer, and attention to detail in protecting young knees.
- Protect those vulnerable hip spots with the Exxact Sports Touchdown 5-Pad Youth Football Girdle, a well-designed article with pads in the right places.
- For elbow protection, check out the Bucwild Sports Padded Elbow Arm Sleeves. And its special Dome Shield Technology pad right over that exposed bone.
- Want a light and simple undershirt to add a little padding in key spots? Check out the CHAMPRO Bull Rush Football Compression Shirt and its integrated cushion system.
High school football is an interesting time for a boy or girl to play the sport, for many reasons. Many people may be unaware of the top reason: it’s a time in a person’s life when major changes to the body occur.
What it means is this: bones aren’t fully grown, joints remain immature, major organs are still very vulnerable, from puberty into the mid-20s of ages. That means these still-maturing bodies are more apt to sustain significant damage if jolted or crunched severely.
Like during a hard football play.
Besides the especially vulnerable body parts, there also is inexperience to consider. Longtime and savvy football players know better how to arm their body for protection ~ and also how to move in certain situations to lessen the power of impacts.
Not many high school football players have this knowledge, and as a result, sometimes they run right into horrific collisions.
Might as well pad them well, for the most peace of mind possible. Here’s how to help:
1. Best Football Pads for High School Overall ~ TOUYR Men’s Padded Compression Shirt and Pants
What we really like about the TOUYR Men’s Padded Compression Shirt and Pants, on top of the quality, is the utility. This pair of sleeveless and legless sporting goods items can be used together, or 1 at a time, and even when there’s no painful body part to protect. That’s due to great comfort built in, and a light weight.
They market this as a “Ribs Back Thighs and Buttocks Elbow Knee Protector,” which summarizes quite well what every football player wants in their gear bag. These are kind of like having a Swiss army knife with you on rugged journeys: it sure provides peace of mind.
Top it all off with other attractive features like super-elastic fabric to wick sweat away from the body. For protection, look at the 10mm professional pads, said to protect against 95% of sudden impacts and minor injuries. They are lightweight but still plenty thick to absorb energy from impacts.
- Size: Small, medium, large, XL, XXL, and 3X-Large.
- Weight: 1 lb.
- Materials: Polyester and Spandex; pads are EVA Lycra foam
- Unique Feature: 6 pads on top
What We Like
- Number of pads and placement
- An item that comforts to have, to use when needed to pad up any body part at any moment
2. Best Football Pads for High School Runner-Up ~ NEENCA Professional Knee Brace
We have written before about how the NEENCA Professional Knee Brace is the best knee protection for football players. At an acceptable price, this piece of sports equipment is very well-designed and manufactured, and the attention to detail in terms of comfort and fit are to be applauded.
We really like the strap-on style that’s different from the usual knee wraps, because it provides options for players to make it as tight (or not tight) as they need. To give you an idea about its protective prowess, it is designated as a Class 1 Medical Device.
Note the minute details aimed at comfort, like the very soft fabric with lots of ventilation holes; open design over the front and back of the knee joint to provide cooling; and a nice and easy adjustable system of Velcro straps that are handy in case of swelling. The gel padding over the knee cap is the chef’s kiss on this item.
- Weight: n/a
- Length: 7 inches
- Material: Blend
- Special Feature(s): 4 spring stabilizers to strengthen support from the outer sides
What We Like
- Fairly priced for the protection
- Backed by professional medical organizations
3. Best Football Pads for High School Runner-Up II ~ Exxact Sports Touchdown 5-Pad Youth Football Girdle
An often-overlooked body spot that can give football players trouble is the hip, either on the straight outside where the joint is exposed, or at the top area of the pelvic bone. To protect from pain in those areas, check out the Exxact Sports Touchdown 5-Pad Youth Football Girdle.
This pad-filled compression shorts item provides cushioning right where it’s needed most, at the sides and up at the top of the hips. Most other checkmarks are there: 4-way stretch moisture-wicking Spandex to keep cool and dry;
The integrated 5 pads cover the hips as well as the front of the thighs, and tailbone (another vulnerable spot for young football players). The foam is high-quality EVA, supplemented by a soft plush elastic for a snug fit.
- Size: Youth small to extra large
- Weight: 8.1 oz.
- Materials: 88% Polyester, 12% Spandex
- Unique Feature: Pocket built in for protective cup
What We Like
- Location of padding, and 5 pads overall
- Super lightweight
4. Best Football Pads for High School Elbows ~ Bucwild Sports Padded Elbow Arm Sleeve
There are many products to protect the open bony elbows of young football players, but we’re particularly fond of the Bucwild Sports Padded Elbow Arm Sleeves. It’s all in the design of the actual padding over that exposed bone, and we really like what we see here.
What the company calls Dome Shield Technology provides a lot of why you buy elbow pads in the first place: protection. Add to this plenty of comfort, with the 4-way stretch fabric, and ability to shift the thick pad to where it’s needed most, and you have a superb elbow-protecting football pad.
- Size: Youth medium and large; adult small, medium, and large
- Weight: 4 oz.
- Materials: Silicone
- Unique Feature: Fabric is UPF 50, the highest rating for protecting skin from harmful sun rays
What We Like
- Super-neat design of the padding pod
- 100% perfect fit guarantee
5. Best Underwear Football Pads for High School ~ CHAMPRO Bull Rush Football Compression Shirt
We point to the CHAMPRO Bull Rush Football Compression Shirt because of its integrated cushion system. We do this because a lot of parents or even young players either underestimate or do not understand how light items under the pads can make a world of difference out on the field.
This is a no-nonsense item with all the required ingredients, like DRI-GEAR technology to wick moisture from the skin to keep the player dry and cool. The padding is compact, low-profile, and in the excellent spots of the ribs and top of the shoulders. The tank top style and 4-way stretch fabric only add to the package.
- Size: Small to 4X
- Weight: 10.3 oz.
- Materials: 92% Polyester, 8% Spandex
- Unique Feature: Wrap-around padding
What We Like
- Lightweight and very compact
- Hardly noticeable extra padding atop prone bones
Q: Why are specific pads, like the ones mentioned, especially important for high school players compared to professionals?
A: High school players are still in their developmental stages, both physically and in terms of skill. High-quality pads designed for their age group ensure that they receive the right amount of protection for their still-developing bodies. It also helps them train confidently, knowing they are well-protected, which can enhance skill acquisition and reduce the risk of injuries.
Q: How does wearing the appropriate football pads impact training sessions and skill development?
A: Using the right football pads during training sessions allows players to engage in more realistic and rigorous drills without the fear of getting injured. It ensures that players can simulate real-game scenarios safely. Furthermore, proper padding can prevent unnecessary injuries during training, ensuring that players spend more time on the field improving their skills rather than recovering.