Top 10 Best Youth Football Shoulder Pads 2023

Safety is one of the utmost important criteria that the NFL emphasizes in the football match. Not only does safety ensure enhanced protection for players to have prolonged careers but also help them to play the game with a full pace and resist painful injuries. Therefore, we should choose the best youth football shoulder pads. In this article, we will explore some of the top-rated football shoulder pads that youth should use to help them up the game level.

Best youth football shoulder pads 2023

Best Overall: Xenith Flyte Youth Football Shoulder Pads

The Xenith Flyte Youth Football Shoulder Pads is one of the top shoulder pads for almost all youth players from Xenith, an established brand. This stylish pad has all the safety features with the injection-molded plates. Additionally, the use of a belt system helps retain the right position for your shoulder and ensure that you are fully protected.

It comes with a pre-installed backplate, however, you can also add a specific backplate for maximum comfort. Xenith Flyte offers a wide range of movement and even absorbs moisture perfectly. This shoulder pad also includes a floating sternum plate to ensure you are never at risk while playing in the field. 

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  • Integrate multiple points to avoid high impact from hits.
  • Floating sternum plate included.
  • Have a stylish look and design.
  • Quite durable and comfortable every season. 
  • Absorbs moisture effectively.
  • Lightweight and low profile to allow youth players to play at a full range of motion. 
  • Include anti-microbial foam and removable padding.
  • Make it easier to clean.


  • A little heavy for small football players.
  • Expensive.

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

Schutt has been heavily followed for their highest quality shoulder pads, especially the Schutt Sports Y-Flex 4.0 All-Purpose. This pad offers a wider range of different sizes and shapes for every player. The best feature of Schutt Y-Flex is to give maximum protection while keeping its minimum weight. 

The best rated youth football shoulder pads could absorb shock from various directions as it includes dual-density padding. Compared to other pads, the Schutt Sports Y-Flex 4.0 All-Purpose has an extended length, ensuring the player is effectively protected. Moreover, the mesh material makes it highly breathable and absorbs moisture from sweat. 

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  • Versatile for all the on-field positions.
  • Perfectly fitted.
  • Feature dual-density padding and three-points elastics for easy movement. 
  • Have an extended length for maximum protection. 
  • Provide comfortable and durable shoulder pads.
  • Allow youth players to make quick cuts and sharp turns.
  • Have TPU cushions above the shoulders and in front of the arch to absorb impact.
  • Mesh material to cover the padding inside.
  • Breathable to keep the footballer cool and reduce odor. 
  • Dyna-light arch design, keep its weight to a minimum.


  • Padding is a little thin for some players.

Schutt Sports XV HD Varsity Football Shoulder Pads

Schutt Sports XV HD Varsity is undoubtedly the lightest football shoulder pads to accommodate players in various positions on the field. It is specially designed to reduce its weight to a minimum while maintaining maximum coverage and protection. This is one of the lightweight youth football shoulder pads that feature high-density EVA foam to absorb great impact around the AC joint. 

Additionally, this integrates the moisture and heat to allow airflow to and from the player and keep its natural cooling. The hook and loop padding can be repositioned to ensure a proper fit and coverage. Schutt Sports XV HD Varsity is also designed to be low profile to improve mobility and durability. 

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  • Minimize weight, lightest varsity shoulder pads.
  • All-purpose shoulder pads for playing various on-field positions. 
  • Maximum comfort and coverage.
  • High-performance arch design for lightest shoulder pads. 
  • Feature corrugations for additional strength. 
  • High-density EVA foam to absorb great impact.
  • Enhance protection.
  • Increase the airflow.
  • Raised corrugations for enhanced strength.


  • The pads are way too short in front and too large for some players. 

Xenith Velocity Varsity Football Shoulder Pads for Adults

If you are finding the highest quality football shoulder pad brand, Xenith is yet to disappoint patrons. Among all, Xenith Velocity Varsity Football Shoulder Pads for Adults is the best choice. With foam padding and a floating sternum plate, it provides maximum protection for your chest and spine. 

Xenith shoulder pads are designed to perfectly fit each player. It is lightweight and offers a full range of motion on the field. This has anti-microbial foam and removable padding to make it easier to clean and maintain. In addition, laceless design and hook strap provide durability every season. 

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  • Feature foam pads and floating sternum plate for maximum protection to the chest. 
  • Lightweight while providing durability.
  • Allow for a wide range of movement in the field.
  • Easy maintenance and cleaning.
  • Have anti-microbial foam and removable padding.
  • Designed with laceless and buckle straps for dependable wear for every season. 
  • Customize belt and buckle size reduces unnecessary bungees and straps.
  • Ensure perfect and lock-down fit.  


  • A little restrictive and protective around the neck of the player. 

Sports Unlimited Prospect Pro Adult Football Shoulder Pads

When it comes to the best youth football shoulder pads, this would be a shortcoming if Sports Unlimited Prospect Pro Adult is not mentioned. These shoulder pads have been designed from durable materials. One of the premium features is the foam used to absorb the high impact in different directions. Instead of using large foam pads, this uses 3 channels of smaller inserts to ensure your shoulder pad does not deform. 

Moreover, these Sports Unlimited Prospect Adult pads come with a dual-layer foam design for enhanced protection. The cushioning also goes beyond the protection of plastic and ensures more durability and coverage. 

The entire design is lightweight and designed with ventilated channels. Especially, these shoulder pads feature a universal position and allow footballers to have them for almost any position while playing on the field. The elastic strap help to comfortably fit you into the shoulder pad.

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  • Universal design for all positions in the field.
  • Provide extended protection length.
  • Flat pad design allows for great movement.
  • Lightweight, breathable foam for enhanced protection throughout the body. 
  • Durable and quality belt system eliminates gran points.
  • Have easy-to-use elastic strapping for a more comfortable fit. 
  • Ensure good moisture wicking.
  • Budget-friendly price.
  • Air vent system to filter the air to and from your body and prevent overheating. 


  • May lack some durability.

Gear Pro-Tec Razor RZ7 Adult Football Shoulder Pads

At number five in the youth football shoulder pads reviews is the Gear Pro-Tec Razor RZ7 Adult Shoulder Pad which stands out for its stylish look. A low profile design helps to absorb most of the high impact from all directions. The flat plates make this football shoulder pad more comfortable. 

The premium feature is to integrate bead selection in this pad. These beads keep young players safe and gain more comfort during shock impact in specific areas. Additionally, the compressed HEX foam has been made to resist moisture and basically waterproof to wick away sweat while playing. With 3D air circulation, the breathable holes can remain cool effectively. 

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  • Have a stylish look.
  • Provide multiple cooling features.
  • Excellent great impact absorption.
  • Offer proper airflow to absorb sweat.
  • Quite comfortable and durable.
  • Feature injection-molded components for enhanced protection.
  • Deliver a perfect fit and easy adjustment.
  • Additional coverage for all-field safety. 


  • Lacks sternum protection.

Xenith Element Hybrid Varsity Football Shoulder Pads

Driven by a persistent pursuit to change the game, Xenith is committed to providing groundbreaking shoulder pads, including Element Hybrid Varsity. These protective pads are designed for all-purpose players with a balance of movement and coverage. It also features a low profile to allow for a full range of motion all-purpose coverage to balance all movements.

Anti-microbial foam and removable padding make it easier to clean and maintain shoulder pads. Moreover, laceless design and buckle straps increase durable and dependable wear for players every season. Xenith Element Hybrid Varsity Football shoulder pad has a belt size adjustment system to get rid of unnecessary bungees and ensure a perfect fit. 


  • Designed for the modern position-less footballer. 
  • Increase coverage for maximum protection.
  • Balance of mobility.
  • Lightweight and have a low profile for a wide range of motion.
  • Removable padding makes cleaning and maintenance easier. 
  • Integrate belt size adjustments to eliminate bungees.
  • Ensure proper fit for the player. 


  • The price may be a little above your budget.
  • A little heavy for junior players.

Schutt Sports Varsity O2 Maxx Football Shoulder Pads

This all-purpose shoulder pad is a great choice for any football player. Even linemen or QB/WR style with less padding can all take advantage of this upgraded set of pads. The Schutt Sports Varsity 02 Maxx Football Shoulder Pads feature TPU cushioning for enhanced comfort on the top of the shoulders. 

Moreover, this cushioning is combined with D30, which is a lightweight, soft, and flexible material to absorb the heaviest tackles. Players can easily and securely fasten these pads with its BioThane belt size adjustment system. Schutt Varsity is designed with a long arch and removable deltoid pads for improved fit and more safety features. 

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  • Enhance padding protection for great-hitting player.
  • Air Maxx TPU Cushioning to absorb impact effectively.
  • Lightweight, soft and flexible padding.
  • Provide enhanced impact absorption around AC joint for maximum protection.
  • Feature ventilated arches combined with raised corrugation encourage airflow. 


  • Not ideal for hobbyists.
  • Can cause some chafing after use.

Riddell JPK Plus Shoulder Pads

Running backs need protective shoulder pads to provide the maximum protection from hits and tackles as well as provide a full range of motion to catch a pass. And Riddell JPK Plus is one of the best youth football shoulder pads that give you both. 

Riddell features the flat pad design and RipKord technology with a STAC system and attached backplate to help you up the game. Many sections of the pads are detachable or removable to allow players to customize their fit. The collars are velvet and the padding is stainless steel that gives a secure and comfortable fit. 

These pads, available in different sizes ranging from xs to XXXL, are great for running backs but also support well for cornerbacks and safeties. 



  • Specially designed cap and an ornamental piece for enhanced protection.
  • Allow for maximum mobility.
  • Air management liner to absorb sweat and keep player dry, 
  • Full integrated enhanced RipKord Technology.
  • Made of durable plastic material.
  • Have a budget-friendly price for your pocket.
  • Removable or adjustment deltoid pads to make cleaning simple. 


  • At first, they feel bulky.

Xenith Fly Youth Football Shoulder Pads for Kids and Juniors

If your kids need some additional protection while playing football, Xenith Fly Youth Football Shoulder Pads is the ideal choice. This is on top of the lightest youth football shoulder pads

It is also very stylish and lightweight with only 4 pounds. The injection-molded plates will offer junior players the best protection. The use of a belt system makes the pads effective for retaining the right position and ensures perfect fit and protection. It does come with a pre-installed backplate, however, you can also add your own specific backplate to gain more comfort. 

Xenith Fly Youth Football Shoulder Pads for Kids and Juniors also feature a great range of movement and even wick away all the sweat. Additionally, this also has a floating sternum plate, ensuring that you are never at risk.

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  • Integrate multiple impact points for enhanced protection
  • Designed with floating sternum plate.
  • Absorb sweat and moisture effectively. 
  • Have a stylish look and design.
  • Provide perfect fit.
  • Lightweight and low profile shoulder pads for a full range of motion. 
  • Durability and comfortability. 


  • A little expensive.

What features should you look for in the best youth football shoulder pads?

There are plenty of features that football shoulder pads offer which are greatly important to every player. These are some tips to choose the best-rated youth football shoulder pads. 

  • Size and fit: One of the most crucial features to note before purchasing a shoulder pad for a junior player is getting the right size and perfect fit to enhance their performance in the field. You should follow the instructions from each brand to help you decide the best shoulder pad. 

a perfectly fit shoulder pad can provide maximum protection and enhance performance on the match

A perfectly fit shoulder pad can provide maximum protection and enhance performance on the match

  • Design: The overall design of shoulder pads are not only lightweight but also integrate breathable open-cell foam that allows cool air to flow. This feature makes the shoulder pads to be more comfortable and has less dehydration. If your child is playing as a striker, additional protection is necessary for maximum protection. The shoulder pads absorb every impact from hits effectively. 
  • Plate design: Not all shoulder pads have the same plate design. Most brands use bulky plates, making it a little harder for young players to move around in the field. However, you should choose flat plates that are more comfortable and reduce injuries. In addition, these flat plates in shoulder pads are injection molded and they tend to have greater longevity. Some players also have noted that the flat padding makes opponents slide off while shoulder pads charge for their heads.  
  • Inner padding: The best shoulder pads for youth football is usually designed with the foam on the inside. Having inner padding allows the pads to absorb high impacts from multi-direction and return to their original shape. Foam can also be integrated with beads that make it stronger. 

you should choose the pads with enhanced inner padding

You should choose the pads with enhanced inner padding

When it comes to inner padding, you should consider the length of the pads or protection. Most have a lot of protection behind their plates, however, youth players might need some additional inner padding in a few cases. The top-rated brands tend to have padding stretch to fully protect for certain shots. 

  • Brands: In the world of football, many great shoulder pads are flooding in the market. Each brand offers different styles and designs, but only the top brands tend to survive after use for a long time. When selecting the best shoulder pads that serve your needs, you need to go for a high-quality brand. Riddell, Xenith, and Schutt are good examples of top-rated brands you can check out. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are football shoulder pads washable?

Some football shoulder pads are washable, while some pads are not. Though they are machine washable, you will need to remove the plates before putting pads in the machine. This helps to avoid causing any damage to the shoulder pad and the pad itself. For those that could not be washed, you can simply clean it with a soft cloth dipped into water and soap. 

Will the shoulder pads cause excoriating?

Shoulder pads do not cause chaffing as long as the plates are designed with some cushioning. The damage caused by rubbing is extremely rare and only occurs after playing for a long period. Many youth players also experience rashness in the field, but this could be an allergic reaction to sweat and weather conditions while playing. In some cases the shoulder pads are not well cleaned, there may cause chafing due to the material used in pads. 

you can easily clean and maintain the shoulder pads

You can easily clean and maintain the shoulder pads

Can football shoulder pads for youth be used in professional matches?

As youth football shoulder pads reviews, outgrowing the pads will definitely happen someday when they grow. Therefore, junior football players will need a new one that perfectly fits their size. Although many could be able to use their shoulder pads when they stop growing. However, that is not always the case. It is best to find a professional pad for your child.

Are shoulder pads position-specific?

Shoulder pads are generally designed to fit every player irrespective of their on-field position. Having the right shoulder pad offers maximum protection during the match. Some pads cater for specific positions, which feature the necessary protection needed plus to boost the player’s performance. 

There are some cases whereby youth football players may need additional protection or they just need a position-specific shoulder pad to feel secure and rest assured. Such best youth shoulder pads can also enhance their provide while featuring all necessary protection. 


Football is known as the “king sport” with so much fun, however, players may take some risks during the fierce match. And safety is the utmost important element. In this article, we explore the top 10 best youth football shoulder pads. Hope you could find the right pad that is perfectly fitted to perform your best in the game and feel safer. This helps youth footballers have the opportunity to play the game with full energy. 

Why trust Langley Rams

You are finding a professional and experienced advisor to help you choose the best shoulder pad. Langley Rams is yet to disappoint you with a team of consultants, including Scott Fujita.  Having played as a linebacker, Fujita has achieved a great amount of experience in the world of football. Utilizing his expertise, Fujita became one of the best consultants, famous author, and writer for Langley Rams. To help you avoid injury and perform best on your game, Fujita always recommends properly fitted shoulder pads that suit youth players. 


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