Football Gear Buyers Guide

Loving football is a full time job. You play your heart out during the season, and spend the off time practicing, staying sharp, and making your old weaknesses your new strengths. That's why here at Sports Unlimited, it's always football season! We constantly stock all of your gear, from all of your favorite brands, to keep you at the top of your game year round! From your helmet to your cleats, and everything in between, Sports Unlimited has everything you need for a lifetime of football.

What makes Sports Unlimited different?

We're a fun loving crew, but when it comes to sports, we at SU don't mess around. We live up to our name, and strive to bring you the widest variety of football gear, protective equipment, training aids, and sports accessories possible, so no matter who you are, or how you play, we can suit you up with the perfect fitting gear for a great football season!

When you come to Sports Unlimited for your football needs, you can bank on a few things:

  1. More gear, more options, and more variety than anywhere else on the web!
  2. The highest-quality authentic gear, at the best prices around.
  3. The most comprehensive and easy-to-understand information on helmets, shoulder pads, facemasks, chin straps, gloves, girdles, cleats, collars, and anything else you'd need for your season.
  4. A knowledgeable staff of product experts to help match you to the gear that best fit your needs, skill level, size, and budget.

Our dedication to informing you of the latest products, technologies, and regulations in the game is unparalleled, and we work hard to stay ahead of the trends, on top of your needs, and at the lowest prices possible. That's our culture here, and that's what sets us apart.

Are you ready to gear up for the game?

Football is, by its very nature, an intense contact sport. So before you take the field, you're going to need good protective gear to keep you safe and off the DL. Here's a quick overview of the basic pads and protective football equipment you'll need this season:

Football helmet
Riddell SpeedFlex

Saying that it's important to protect your head and neck on the grid iron would be a massive understatement. Injuries to the brain and spinal cord are life changing, and these days it's almost impossible to avoid the constant influx of developing information on the long term effects of head injuries. The latest football helmets are designed with impact absorbing foams, inserts, and other technologies to spread and direct force away from the head and jaw. Inflatable jaw pads and crowns are also becoming popular, to improve the fit, safety, and comfort of helmets. Brands like Schutt and Riddell are leading the industry with the helmets like the Schutt Vengeance Z10 and the Riddell SpeedFlex, designed for players of all ages, sizes, and skill levels. In addition to the helmet though, you'll also need a facemask and chinstrap. Some helmets come with these accessories, and some don't. But advanced players will want to look for lightweight facemasks, designed for their position, and comfortable, impact-absorbing chin straps for added comfort and protection.

Shoulder Pads
Schutt XV HD Shoulder Pad

A decent pair of shoulder pads will protect your torso and shoulders from hard hits and regular contact. Designed with durable shells and impact absorbing padding, shoulder pads take hits and redirect impact energy away from the body. They are also built to compliment the needs and skills of various positions on the field. Quarterback and wide receiver shoulder pads are lighter and more flexible, with less padding for faster and unrestricted movements. Running back and defensive back shoulder pads use strong padding to absorb harder hits, while still retaining range of motion and speed. Full back and linebacker shoulder pads fit snuggly, with added plates in the front for more protection and durability, without a lot of added weight. Lineman shoulder pads are the heaviest, strongest shoulder pads, with durable materials and a sleek profile.

Girdles / Football Pants / Thigh, Hip and Knee Pads
SU 7-pad Girdle

To protect your lower half from impact, abrasions, and other injuries, you're going to need some added padding. Football girdles are worn underneath pants, and provide a compression fit and some extra padding around the hips and thighs. Football pants are more durable, to withstand constant abuse, and are designed to hold your thigh, hip, knee, and tailbone pads. These pads protect your major joints and high-impact areas, and can be snapped to, inserted in, or sewn directly into your football pants.

Neck Rolls / Collars
Douglas Neck Roll

Neck rolls fit around the neck, under the helmet, and usually attach to the player's shoulder pads. They cradle and hold the neck in proper position, preventing it from snapping back after a tackle or a hard fall, helping to prevent whiplash and other neck injuries. Neck rolls come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can attach to the shoulder pads with straps or by being bolted directly on.

Football Gloves
Under Armour F5 Gloves

Football gloves are designed to protect your hands from the elements, and prevent breaks and abrasions from hits and tackles. Some also feature a tacky palm to help grip the ball and hold onto catches. Gloves are designed to meet the needs of different positions on the field. For instance, football receiver gloves and running back gloves are lightweight, with a lot of grip across the palms and fingers, to improve agility and ball retention. They also feature some padding in the backhand, but not enough to prevent flexibility. Lineman gloves, on the other hand, are built with plenty of padding throughout the hand, and may even feature rigid frames to protect from abrasions and hyperextension. They shouldn't have a tacky palm, since lineman rarely need to grip the ball, and will tend to be heavier and more durable than receivers gloves.

Training Equipment
SU Tackle Ring

Once you have the right protection, nothing is more important than getting the appropriate training equipment to take your game to the next level. Everything from tackle bags and speed ladders to sleds and blocking shields can improve techniques that will be called upon on the big stage. Recently, one of the most important pieces of training gear used by professional and collegiate programs has been the tackle ring. Instrumental in teaching players safe tackling techniques, the tackle wheels are becoming an essential part of any teams practice routine.