Football is a full-contact sport, no two ways about it. Helping to absorb those hits is padding. And on the lower half of the body, those pads are typically worn as a football girdle. No, not the kind that your Aunt Agnes wore. Instead, the best football girdles — sometimes called impact shorts — look a lot like football pants themselves, padding the hips, tailbone, and thighs, and sometimes knees with extra protection. No player can afford to play the game of football without a solid football girdle. Let us introduce you to seven of the very best.
Our Top Picks
Here’s what you need to know about the seven best football girdles we reviewed.
|Best Overall: TUOY Padded Compression Shorts Padded Football Girdle.|
With professional foam padding, TUOY makes the best football girdles to buy.
|Best for Linemen: Alleson Adult Core Integrated Seven Pad Football Girdle.|
With extra hip protection, Alleson girdles are the best for linemen.
|Best for Running Backs: McDavid Football Padded Girdle Compression Shorts.|
Running backs enjoy better hip and tailbone protection with the McDavid football girdle.
|Best for Kickers: Nike Pro Hyperstrong Core Football Short.|
The ergonomic seams from Nike support the range of motion kickers need to cross the uprights.
|Best for Wide Receivers: Shock Doctor Shockskin Lax Relaxed Fit Impact Short.|
Looser-fitting and easy to move in, Shockskin impact shorts offer uncompromising protection.
|Best for Youth: Schutt ProTech Youth All-in-One Football Girdle.|
With compression fabric and an antimicrobial treatment, we like the ProTech football girdle from Schutt for young players.
|Best for Knee Pads: CHAMPRO Adult Man-Up Integrated 7 Pad Girdle.|
For players requiring additional knee protection, we recommend the 7-pad girdle from CHAMPRO.
A Closer Look: The Best Football Girdles
As well as what’s been mentioned, here’s a detailed account of each football girdle in our ranking.
1. TUOY Padded Football Girdle
The best football girdles overall
Brand: TUOY | Material: Polyester and Spandex | Pads: 9 mm. Professional Foam | Price: 💰💰💰
Protecting and supporting the hip, thigh, and tailbone area, the TUOY padded compression shorts are the best football girdle in our ranking. They’re made from a breathable polyester and spandex blend with 9 mm professional foam padding. And nicely, they’re available in a broad range of sizes and in a few different color and design combinations.
Feedback says these football girdles are sleek and easy to wear. Or as one “football parent” put it: they’re on par with more expensive girdles from other well-known brands. The waist, specifically, does not roll. And the extra tailbone protection is an especially popular feature, we learned.
Otherwise, these football girdles fit true to size, they’re streamlined, and they’re not too bulky. Most importantly, they offer nice compression where players need it most.
- Good fit and comfortable
- Can wash and hang dry
- Quite resilient
- Flimsy waistline elastic, some say
- No pocket for athletic protector
2. Alleson Adult Core Integrated Seven Pad Football Girdle
The best football girdle for linemen
Brand: Alleson | Material: Nylon and Spandex Stretch Mesh | Pads: Vented Molded EVA | Price: 💰💰💰💰
For offensive and defensive linemen, we like the Alleson integrated 7-pad football girdle. Made from a stretch mesh nylon and spandex blend, these compression shorts have vented and molded EVA pads, with nice moisture-management features. The knee pads can also be removed or replaced with thicker cushioning, player’s choice.
Those who’ve tried the compression shorts say they’re comfortable, with great fit, and they’re easy to pull on. Most importantly, though, they provide great protection. The cup holder is sold separately, however, and some do report catching their foot on the pad pocket when inserting their leg, causing a tear.
Generally, though, feedback reports these are great football girdles, made true-to-size, and worth the money.
- Washing is a breeze
- Moldable padding
- Absorbs shock well
- Fits too tight around the knees
- Quality just “decent”
3. McDavid Football Padded Girdle Compression Shorts
The best football girdle for running backs
Brand: McDavid | Material: HexPad | Pads: High-Density Foam | Price: 💰💰
When it came time to choose the best football girdle for running backs, we settled on the padded girdle compression shorts from McDavid. These girdles offer low-profile, thigh protection with a cup pocket (cup sold separately.) We learned the seams themselves are especially comfortable and strong, on account of the 6-thread flat-lock technology. Wearing them facilitates blood flow, without restricting a running back’s natural running motion.
Generally speaking, this is a great, sturdy, and well-fitting girdle thay many female football players also like to wear. The hip pads aren’t too big and bulky, making it easier to move, according to feedback, but the padding up front is thick and strong where it matters most.
The thigh pads hold up well in particular, we learned, and they’re a little bit off to the side, which many players prefer.
- Considered standard equipment for some teams
- Nice color choices
- Spot on sizing
- Some don’t like the feel of just five pads
- Too baggy, some say
4. Nike Pro Hyperstrong Core Football Shorts
The best football girdle for kickers
Brand: Nike | Material: Stretchy Dri-FIT | Pads: Foam and Hardplate | Price: 💰💰💰💰
Kickers rely on some of the most unique physical motion in the game of football, and they need a specific girdle to support their success. That’s why for kickers and punters, we like the Nike Pro Hyperstrong Core football shorts for men.
Made from stretchy Dri-FIT material with foam and hardplate padding, what makes these girdles great for kickers is the unique ergonomic design. They won’t restrict the kicking motion, while the compression fit provides locked-in support.
Otherwise, they held up well after an entire season of varsity football without any problems, based on reports. They fit great at a price that can’t be beat. They’re also supportive, with just the right amount of padding, according to most.
- Great protective gear
- Not constricting
- Fits as expected
- Isolated thigh pad durability issues
- Won’t fit female players
5. Shock Doctor Shockskin Relaxed Fit Impact Shorts
The best football girdle for wide receivers
Brand: Shock Doctor | Material: Shockskin Integrated Fabric | Pads: Vented Foam | Price: 💰💰💰💰
After careful consideration, the relaxed fit impact shorts from Shock Doctor are the best football firdles for wide receivers. Made from Shockskin integrated fabric with vented foam pads, these Shock Doctor shorts offer good support and padding, with a comfortable cup. Ventilated padding is also on the hips, thighs, and tailbone. But most importantly, these impact shorts move well with the body — exactly what receivers need. They’re so easy to move in, some say, it’s easy to forget you’re wearing them at all.
- Cup included with purchase
- Versatile multi-sport option
- Extra padding is awesome
- Cup not comfortable, some say
- Ride up a bit
6. Schutt ProTech Youth All-in-One Football Girdle
The best youth football girdle
Brand: Schutt Protech | Material: Polyester and Spandex | Pads: Integrated Hip, Tailbone, and Thigh | Price: 💰💰💰
Young football players — or let’s face it, parents of young football players — shopping for the best football girdles should consider Schutt Protech. With integrated spine, hip, tailbone, and thigh protection, these well-reviewed girdles are made from a polyester and spandex blend. What’s more, there’s an antimicrobial treatment, and they’re known for great airflow and ventilation.
Nicely, these girdles are exactly what many coaches recommend, with great fit despite the fact they do tend to run small. Otherwise, the girdles are made from quality material and well-padded. One parent reported the girdle minimizing their child’s injury as a result of a serious collision on the field, though that player did have the optional back plate for extra protection.
- Great quality for the price
- Cup pocket included
- Very lightweight
- Waistline durability issues
- Some rips reported
7. CHAMPRO Adult Man-Up Integrated 7 Pad Girdle
The best football girdle with knee pads
Brand: CHAMPRO | Material: Polyester and Spandex | Pads: Tri-Flex Pads | Price: 💰💰💰
For players after the extra knee protection of a 7-pad girdle, we recommend the Man-Up girdle from CHAMPRO. With tri-flex pads and made from a polyester and spandex blend, these girdles are low profile with hard plastic shock pads in the thigh area. There’s also great cushioning in the hips and knees, while moisture is wicked away for a more comfortable fit.
Overall, these girdles are excellent at a great price. While wearing these compression shorts, mobility is easy and natural, whether running or doing squats. They even fit well under your football pants. The fit is pretty close, according to reports, but some do wish they had better padding in the butt.
- Comfortable, move well
- Cup pocket included
- Easy to clean
- Some prefer removable pads
- Cup sold separately
For this guide on the best football girdles, our team spent 5 hours researching the most popular options from 35 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about 175 user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each girdle. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 7 football girdles on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.
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