The 4 Best Football Shoulder Pads for Linebackers

best football shoulder pads for linebackers
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Playing as a linebacker is perhaps one of the most challenging positions to play in football. In football, a linebacker is a defensive leader who takes on the task of calling defensive plays while also providing cover for the defensive backfield, stopping running backs, and providing assistance to perimeter players on passing plays.

It takes extraordinary instincts to do tasks like blocking passes and assessing the movement of the opposing offense, among other things. A linebacker needs to be able to take as much punishment as they can deal to keep their teammates safe and succeed in the position.

Speediness, agility, durability, and pure strength are just a few of the essential attributes that linebackers must possess. A high level of motivation, courage, and rugged resolve to keep you on top of your game every time you’re out in the field doing their duties is also required in addition.

What Should the Best Football Shoulder Pads for Linebackers Feature?

Firstly, given that linebackers are the players that take the most chest impacts, it is recommended that the pads be plated at the front rather than laces in order to provide forward strength and more significant impact absorption.

Because there are no laces in the front, the pads are secured under the arm with a system of vinyl and elastic straps, and hence they don’t need to be readjusted after every hit.

Shoulder pads for linebackers should fit incredibly well and be secure. They should be able to provide considerable protection while not impeding fast mobility. They should also be lightweight, comfortable, and durable.

A good shoulder pad should also protects against severe impacts and absorb shocks to keep the user safe. Linebacker shoulder pads should be a little weightier than the ones made for quarterbacks and running backs but still light enough to allow agility and quick movements.

Best Football Shoulder Pads for Linebackers

In addition to enhancing your natural abilities, investing in the best football shoulder pads for linebackers will also help you improve your mental approach to the game, as you know you will be well prepared for the game at hand. So, let’s look at some of the best football shoulder pads for linebackers.

Douglas Legacy RD Football Shoulder Pads
9/10RD Score
  • Great for OL, DL, LB, DE, TE
  • Air-Management Technology
  • Flat Pad Design with 1" Belt and Buckle System
  • Removable Channels and streamlined plastic
  • The RD's larger epaulets, reverse cups, and solid front, gives the player more stability to give and receive hits.

The first shoulder pads on our list are the Douglas Legacy RD Adult Football Shoulder Pads. The Douglas Legacy RD’s are great for linebackers due to the larger than usual epaulets and low-profile cups for an amazing range of motion. These shoulder pads allow an incredible range of motion while also providing the protection you need.

The Legacy RD is also very breathable due to its air management system, which is composed of open-cell foam, a top redundant, soft removable channel system, a streamlined plastic shell, and 1″ belts and buckles. This air management system also makes a FLAT PAD design which offers high levels of protection by dissipating the energy of a collision.

Sports Unlimited Stealth Football Shoulder Pads
9/10RD Score
  • Air Management foam cushions allow more energy dispersed over a broader area
  • Flat pad design has a low profile and combines with swivel front and back connectors to promote a greater range of motion
  • Adjustable and removable deltoid pads to set up pad how you prefer
  • Removable liner system for easy washing
  • Built in clavicle pads

The Stealth Adult Football Pads by Sports Unlimited is another great shoulder pad for linebackers. It is highly rated due to its impressive impact absorption as a result of its air management foam technology. Its open-cell foam allows impact energy to disperse over a wider area, lessening the impact the user feels.

The Stealth Pad also features removable and adjustable deltoid pads for easy washing and customizable protection. The inner lining is also removable for easy washing. Its FLAT PAD design also allows for a perfect and snug fit while also allowing a good range of motion.

Schutt Sports Varsity XV HD All Purpose Shoulder Pads
9/10RD Score
  • High performance arch design to minimize weight
  • Raised corrugations for additional strength and increased air flow
  • Lightest varsity shoulder pads while maintaining high performance standards
  • High density EVA foam for greater impact absorption and durability, ventilated arch has raised corrugations and 7mm vent holes, and pre-drilled holes for accessory attachment
  • The All Purpose pad has a longer cut to accommodate multiple athletes playing various positions on the field, while maintaining maximum comfort and coverage

Another shoulder pad on our list is the Sports XV HD from Schutt. This shoulder pad is incredible for all positions in football. It features high-density EVA foam for very good impact absorption and incredible airflow. The shoulder pads also manage heat and moisture to keep the player’s body cool and dry during a game.

The XV HD is designed to allow a high range of motion, and to be lightweight, while still offering high levels of protection. Its clavicle channel system helps protect the AC joint by reducing impacts around that area. Its design also features pre-drilled holes and vents to make additions and customizations depending on the players.

Xenith Element Hybrid Varsity Football Shoulder Pads
8/10RD Score
  • ALL-PURPOSE COVERAGE: Hybrid is a balance of movement and coverage for the modern position-less player. If you're a defensive end, but often drop into coverage or an H-back tasked with blocking down on d-lineman and catching a wheel route down the sideline Element Hybrid was designed for you.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT PROTECTION: Xenith shoulder pads are designed for the committed athlete; lightweight and low profile allowing for a full range of motion without sacrificing protection.
  • EASY MAINTENANCE: Removable padding makes cleaning and maintenance simple.
  • DURABILITY: Laceless design and buckle straps provide durable and dependable wear every season.
  • RELIABILITY: Belt and buckle size adjustments system eliminates unnecessary bungees and straps and ensures a lock-down fit, every time.

Our final pick is this product from Xenith. Just as linebackers are hybrids of defensive linemen and defensive backs, these hybrid shoulder pads are just perfect. Their press-molded plates offer great protection while being incredibly lightweight. The pads are very free and don’t restrict too much movement, which is essential for a linebacker.

The antimicrobial foam used in the padding is breathable and also possesses moisture-wicking properties to keep you dry during your game. This shoulder pad’s protection is also customizable due to its ‘channel system’ pads that can be removed and added depending on how much protection you want.

All pads, including the deltoid, clavicle, and interior padding, are removable for custom protection and to make the washing and cleaning as easy as possible. The chest pad is also a lace-less design with buckles for ultimate protection and durability.

Our Final Thoughts

All of the shoulder pads on our list are great for playing in the position of a linebacker. What’s more important to ensure you get the most out of your shoulder pads is getting the right fit. Without the right fit and the right size, you won’t be getting the right protection or the right range of motion.

A well-fitting shoulder pad shouldn’t pinch your collar or neck and should sit snugly on your shoulders. It should completely cover your sternum and your upper shoulders. To ensure the coverage is right, try on your shoulder pads and lift your hands above your head.

A well-fitting shoulder pad should cover your shoulders and chest even when your hands are above your head. After all of this, just make sure the shoulder pad you choose is comfortable for you. Move and jump around after trying them on to better understand how they will fit during a game.

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