Advertiser Disclosure: Rookie Draft earns commissions from qualifying purchases.

Best Shoulder Pads for Youth Football

Importance of shoulder pads

Intensive sports like football require the right gear for protection. Otherwise, children and adults alike would be at risk of being injured and that’s the last thing you want. When your children play a rigorous game of football, they would inevitably fall to the ground in different positions, which might end up injuring their shoulders and shoulder blades. This is why shoulder pads are especially useful for the youth who are perfecting their football skills. No matter what position you occupy in football, you will require shoulder pads as a safety measure.


Choosing the best shoulder pads for youth football is very important. While football is exciting and invigorating, it can also be inherently dangerous without the right protective elements like shoulder pads. Shoulder pads are vital pieces of equipment that people of all ages and skills need. Without these, children would incur the risk of having their potential football career cut short due to a serious shoulder injury.


This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about shoulder pads, including the factors that you should look out for when choosing the right shoulder pad and a list of some of the best shoulder pads for youth football in the market.


Factors to Consider When Choosing Shoulder Pads for Youth Football

Shoulder pads are extremely important for youth football so you don’t fall prey to a severe injury that could potentially keep you off the field for an indefinite time period. But you shouldn’t pick just any shoulder pads off the rack.


If you want the best shoulder pads to play your football game without a care in the world, you need to spend some time researching what would work best for your needs. There are many shoulder pads in the market, but not all of them will do a thorough job of protecting children from this rigorous game that presents chances of a shoulder injury.


Here are some of the things that you should consider so you can buy the best shoulder pads for youth football.


1. The Weight of the Shoulder Pads

Naturally, you should match the weight of the shoulder pads with yours. If there is no balance, it will interfere with your game. Therefore, you should consider the effect the weight of the shoulder pads will have on your body.


If the shoulder pads are too heavy for a young person’s body, it will slow them down. They won’t be able to perform at their optimum as a major chunk of their endurance will be dedicated to pulling the extra weight of the heavy shoulder pads.


Therefore, it is important to choose shoulder pads that offer sufficient protection without overburdening the person’s body.  You should look for designs and weights that are lightweight but have a solid construction so they are able to offer you the protection you need while you’re on the field.


2. The Quality of Construction

Shoulder pads are not the cheapest things out there, so you need a pair that is made of a solid structure. It is important to remember that your shoulder pads will go through a lot of wear and tear, including falls, bumps, drags and other kinds of abuse. They should be sturdy and durable enough to withstand this and still protect your shoulders.


This is very important to consider as this is the one factor that guarantees that the player is protected. After all, the last thing you want is a damaged shoulder pad that will fail to safeguard you on the turf. Moreover, the higher the quality of construction, the lower the chances that you will need to spend money on another set of shoulder pads anytime soon. The shoulder pads you choose should offer full protection in that they should cover the player’s collarbone, shoulder joints, scapula, as well as anterior deltoids.


3. Offer Full Range of Motion

Just like you’d consider the weight of the shoulder pads for young players, you also need to consider the range of motion that the pair will offer. After all, this will decide how well you’re able to play. Ideally, the shoulder pads should allow you a full range of motion without compromising on the level of protection they provide. This basically means that the youth football player should be able to move their arms, neck and head freely, as required in the game, without any construction or discomfort.


The shoulder pads you choose should have a neck opening that will offer enough room for the player’s neck to move without any constraint. When the player raises their hands, especially when playing defensive, the shoulder pads should offer sufficient clearance on either side of the neck roll. This will allow you to assess that you’re choosing a pair of shoulder pads that offer enough give.


4. Position

Given the importance of shoulder pads for youth football, now you have an array of shoulder pads that are position-specific. This basically means that now you can and you should choose a shoulder pad that is made for the position that you are occupying on the team.


To understand this, you will need to read the next section of this guide that talks about the different types of shoulder pads, what specific position they are made for and what purpose they serve.


Types of Shoulder Pads

Here is a list of shoulder pads that are designed for the position of the player.


1. Quarterback and Wide Receiver Shoulder Pads

Quarterbacks and wide receivers in football both prioritize mobility over protection, though both are equally important in a game of football. These shoulder pads are usually the sleekest kind of shoulder pads, as they are made for players who need more range of motion than impact resistance.


These shoulder pads are also extremely lightweight and flexible, allowing the players in these positions to catch the ball and pass it on without any restraint.


2. Offensive and Defensive Lineman Shoulder Pads

Given the huge task these players have in the game, their shoulder pads are usually heavy and provide a lot of protection, given they are more prone to collisions. However, when it comes to youth football, you should be careful you choose these shoulder pads only if they don’t overburden the body of the young player, as that would prove to be counterproductive. However, despite being heavier than other shoulder pads, they don’t hamper mobility.


3. Offensive and Defensive Back Shoulder Pads

These shoulder pads are kind of a balance between the other two aforementioned types of shoulder pads. Given the mobility and protection that defensive backs require, these shoulder pads are lightweight, provide ample range of motion and are also very durable against tackles and collisions. This is what makes them great all-rounder shoulder pads for youth football.


5 Best Shoulder Pads for Youth Football

Here is our pick of the 5 best shoulder pads for youth football to choose from. You will find the features that these shoulder pads have to offer and choose one that is best suited for you.


1. Xenith Flyte Youth Football Shoulder Pads for Kids and Juniors


This shoulder pad is specifically designed for youth football players in mind. It features varsity protection technology so that young football players are protected along with the right fit for their needs. The best part about these shoulder pads is that they offer lightweight protection to allow young players enough mobility while on the field without weighing them down. They also provide a full range of motion for a variety of football positions, making these an extremely versatile pair of shoulder pads. The Xenith Flyte Youth Football Shoulder Pads are reliable and will not pose the hassle of bungees and straps, ensuring a lock-down fit for your ease and convenience.  They are durable, so they will withstand all wear and tear in the tough game of football.


2. Schutt Sports Y-Flex 4.0 All-Purpose Youth Football Shoulder Pads


These are lightweight shoulder pads that are made for the athletic youth looking for varsity style protection. It features an extended body length for an added layer of security for young football players. It is a versatile and usable option and works for all positions in youth football.


It has dual density padding, which cushions the blow a player might receive on the field, enhancing the protection you receive. It aces in the protection area, safeguarding vulnerable body parts during a football game. The Schutt Sports Y-Flex All-Purpose Youth Football Shoulder Pads come in three different sizes, x-small, medium and x-large.  Its longer cut allows it to work for multiple athletes while maintaining a comfortable fit and full coverage on the field.


3. Champro Youth Scorpion Shoulder Pad


The Champro Youth Scorpian Shoulder Pad has a cantilever design, which makes it more durable than other options. This design helps to disperse the shock and impact, which helps to maintain the shoulder pad’s shape and structural integrity in the event of a fall. It also features a high-impact polyethylene construction for added resilience, making it a worthwhile purchase.


The shoulder pads have 1-inch wide elastic straps that allow ease in adjustment. The player will feel snug, secure and comfortable, all the while enjoying enough mobility. This product is also easy to unhook after a strenuous game of football. These shoulder pads are available in seven sizes.  They are also customizable, so you can add attachments like backplates and neck collars, which would need to be purchased separately.


4. Schutt Sports Varsity AiR Maxx Flex 2.0 Football Shoulder Pads


The Schutt Sports AiR Maxx Flex 2.0 is made for young players who are looking for enhanced high-impact protection on the football field. This shoulder pad features an open cell foam and a high performance arch design that is able to limit the weight of the product without compromising on the protection they provide.


This product is powered by a D30 energy lock, which is lightweight, flexible and strategically placed over the shoulders to allow for maximum impact absorption. The QB/WR pad is attached with a backplate and a small arch cut that is able to allow for a greater range of motion along with heightened security. This versatile shoulder pad works for a plethora of positions, including Quarterback/Wide Receiver, Skill positions, All-Purpose, as well as Offensive and Defensive Line.


5. Schutt O-Seven Multi-Sport Youth Soft Shoulder Pad


This all-sport football shoulder pad is made keeping young players in mind. Although it is ideal for non-impact for non-contact football, it works otherwise as well. The padding used in this shoulder pad is of high density EVA foam with a base layer made of perforated EVA foam, which allows for greater breathability and air flow during strenuous sports like football. This extra padding also offers an added layer of protection against abrasion and bumps.


The ventilation this product allows makes it perfect for football during the summer season. The neon lining on this shoulder pad is included keeping the youth in mind, so you would easily be spotted from afar while you’re playing on the field. This unisex shoulder pad is ideal for teens who want to try their hand at rigorous sports that warrant enhanced protection to avoid the risk of injury to their growing body.


Our Final Thoughts

Choosing the right shoulder pad for your youth football is one of the most important decisions you will make. They help safeguard you from serious injuries in a rigorous game like football that could jeopardize your entire career as an athlete. Now that you know how crucial it is to walk on the field wearing the right shoulder pads, this guide will help you choose one for yourself.


This guide has shortlisted 5 best shoulder pads for youth football, highlighting their features and benefits. This way, you’ll be in a better position to choose a shoulder pad that will guarantee you are safe from injury, simultaneously allowing you the freedom to play and run on the field like the champion you are.