If you’re new to the game of football, covering all the bases of youth protective football equipment can be a daunting task. Proper equipment is key to improving player protection and performance, so we put together a youth football equipment checklist to cover your youth athlete from head to ankle in all the gear they need to make their season successful.
Football Helmet + Facemask
A football helmet is the single most important piece of equipment for any football player. Football helmets typically consist of a hard-plastic exterior shell, internal padding and compression technology throughout the interior, as well as a chin-cup and facemask.
There are many youth football helmet options on the market to choose from today, so it’s important to do your research to find which helmet fits your individual athlete the best.
Xenith Shadow XR Youth
The Xenith Shadow XR Youth is ranked in the top 5 on the Virginia Tech youth football helmet ratings. It has the same novel polymer shell and Rheon energy control layer as its varsity counterpart, making it a supremely durable and protective football helmet.
We analyzed thousands of data points around the size and shape of youth athlete’s heads to create a better fitting helmet specifically for them. We even tuned the RHEON™ shock specifically for youth athletes based on the severity of impacts they encounter, while also decreasing the overall size of the helmet. This decrease in overall size puts less strain on a youth athlete’s neck and spine and allows them to be more in control on the field.
Xenith X2E+ Youth
Also ranked in the top 5 on the Virginia Tech Youth helmet ratings is our X2E+ Youth helmet. With a lower weight and price point than other top-rated competitors, X2E+ Youth is the best value football helmet on the market. X2E+ features an ABS plastic shell and our original, single-stage-shock energy control layer.
The facemask is important to help players avoid injuries to their face, while also serving as a unique opportunity for players to express their individual style on the field. Facemasks are offered in a variety of styles based on position, and more eccentric designs have become common throughout both the NFL and CFB as protection and style come together to create this trend.
We offer a wide array of unique facemasks, allowing players to express their individuality and take the field with confidence.
Shoulder pads are another critical piece of equipment when it comes to protection for youth football players. Shoulder pads are worn under the jersey and help protect players when blocking, pushing, tackling and other general impacts to the body. Shoulder pads consist of a hard-exterior shell (usually plastic) with integrated foam padding throughout the interior. Shoulder pads protect players by absorbing and subsequently re-distributing the impact that results from an on-field collision. Shoulder Pads are often position specific, most commonly available in lineman, hybrid, and skill variations. For youth, the most important shoulder pad attributes are strong protection, comfort and a lightweight design - similar to our Fly and Flyte shoulder pad models.
The FLY shoulder pad is varsity level protection in a youth pad. Injected molded plates plus sizing straps with metal grommets make this the most protective and durable youth pad we offer.
FLYTE shoulder pads are our lightest offering and our #1 selling pad with our retail partner, Dick’s Sporting Goods. FLYTE’s high-impact foam absorbs hits while the pads shaping doesn’t limit movement.
Although this is usually a part of the helmet, it’s important to note as it’s a crucial piece of protection for the football player. The Chin Cup is a dual function piece of equipment helping to protect the chin while also ensuring fit throughout the helmet. Chin Cups are used in conjunction with straps to help secure the helmet in place and ensure maximum protection for the athlete for the jaw and chin. Xenith offers two models of chin cups, our Hybrid Chin Cup, which is a soft interior shell with a hard exterior shell, and our 3DX Chin Cup which is a hard outside shell with a silicon liner for ultimate protection.
Hip and Tailbone Girdle
Most leagues require hip and tailbone pads for protection from falling, or impacts from other players. These pads can be purchased in the form of a padded compression girdle, or separately from the girdle, and looped into the pants with a belt.
Knee and Thigh Pads
Knee and thigh pads are usually foam pieces that slide into the football player’s pants. These pieces are lightweight and provide the player protection from the ground or impact from other players but also allow mobility on the field.
Back plates attach to the back of the players shoulder pads and are often worn by running backs and quarterbacks to provide lower back protection from helmet or body impacts. Many other position groups can utilize back plates for their protection aspects as well. Truthfully, backplates are also a fashion piece as well, as they provide customization and player personalization in the form of colors and styles.
Although technically this piece could also fall in the “Accessories” category, the Visor is a common helmet accessory that players add for both protection and style. The visor can be beneficial in protecting the eyes, while also working to eliminate glare under the lights on gameday. Most commonly, however, visors are seen as a fashion statement on the football field, with social media constantly filled with the buzz of the latest on-trend visor look.
Core Guard (Optional)
Core guards offer protection to the lower back and ribs and are usually worn by quarterbacks or players with specific protection needs. They may limit mobility which is why they are only used by players who need them.
ON FIELD ACCESSORIES
Hand warmers can be extremely important for skill position players, especially quarterbacks as they seek to keep their hands warm during cold weather games. Other positions who can benefit from a hand warmer include Wide receivers, running backs, tight ends, linebackers, and defensive backs.
Towels are most often used by quarterbacks and centers, both of whom need to keep their hands dry to keep the football secure in any weather conditions, but can be used by many positions who need to keep their hands dry during the game: Wide receivers, running backs, tight ends, linebackers, and defensive backs.
Players often wear headwear such as bandanas or gaiters under their helmet to help manage their hair as well as provide additional style for their uniform as a whole.
Hopefully this gear list will come in handy as you prepare for the upcoming season. With all the deals currently available on our website, now is the time to stock up on any apparel or accessory needs. Check out the savings here.