The girdle in football is an essential, but often not talked about part of a player’s wardrobe. Girdles offer protection and stability in the lower body, which are very active areas on the gridiron. Football is a contact sport and can be extremely violent at times, so the idea is to wear the gear that offers maximum protection and mobility.
The ideal girdle is tight on the body so you can easily slide on your football pants. In the past, players would apply their hip, thigh, and tailbone pads into their girdle, whereas the game pants contain slots for the thigh and kneepads. A modern girdle will contain pads on the tailbone, thigh, and hip areas already built in so that things don’t get messy. In other words, there are fewer things to worry about because you will no longer need to carry around separate lower body pads; everything is in one place.
There was a point and time in the National Football League where it wasn’t a requirement to wear lower body pads on game day. At the time, players could just head out onto the field with nothing more than a helmet and shoulder pads and be considered legally able to play. That all changed in 2013 when the NFL changed the rules that lower body pads were mandatory, regardless of position. This was primarily due to an increase in lower body injuries, as players tend to tackle low at the professional level.
Most, if not all girdles possess two slots/pads for the hips and [sometimes] thighs, along with one slot/pad for the tailbone. This is meant to protect the significant areas of your body. Without wearing any protective gear such as helmets, shoulder pads, or lower body pads, there is unlimited potential for injuries such as concussion, shoulder separation/dislocation, broken bones, and the list goes on. Like padded lineman gloves, the pads located in the girdle keep you safe from injuries with long term recovery time; such as a broken tailbone.
Top 10 Football Girdle Comparison Chart
|Picture||Name||Compression?||Number of Pads||Price||Where to Buy?|
|1. Champro Tri-Flex Integrated Girdle||Yes||5||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|2. Nike Hyperstrong Girdle-Shorts||Yes||5||$$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|3. Under Armour Gameday Pro 5-Pad Football Compression Girdle||Yes||5||$$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|4. Under Armour Boy's 6-pocket Girdle||Yes||6 (none included)||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|5. Cramer Thunder Girdle||Yes||7||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|6. Men's Nike Hyperstrong Compression Hard Plate Football Pant||Yes||7||$$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|7. Alleson Seven Pad Girdle||Yes||7||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|8. Cutters Five-Pad Girdle||Yes||5||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|9. McDavid Girdle||Yes||5||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|10. TAG Five-Pad Girdle||Yes||5||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
What to Look for in a Girdle
When looking for a football girdle, you want to purchase a product that provides lightweight material, quality padding, a skin-tight fit, and flexibility. Protection, mobility, and comfort in one piece of equipment isn’t easy to come by, so if you find an “all in one” girdle, make sure to take advantage of it. Let’s elaborate on these features and what makes them important to have when playing football:
Speed makes the difference between a good player and a great player. The bigger and faster you are, the more value you have on the football field. Wearing lightweight equipment will give you the opportunity to maintain your natural speed while being protected. Mobility is the skill that gets a player from point A to point B. They need mobility to carry out their responsibility, otherwise they will fail. A lightweight girdle is the best girdle.
Your safety should be the #1 concern when shopping for protective equipment. You want to buy the brand that has the best quality padding so that you have the best chance to get up after being tackled to the ground or tackling the ball carrier in the middle of the field. If you’re wearing thin padding within your girdle, you may experience more pain when making contact than you would with a quality brand producing quality football products.
A girdle that fits snug is more effective than one that has a loose fit. A girdle with a tight fit provides stability, increased mobility, and comfort. Having a tight fit also gives the player a sense of security, knowing that their pads are places in the proper areas and there for maximum lower body protection. Features such as tight knit material and a proper fitting waistband contribute to a secure fit; so make sure to look out for a compression fit girdle.
Most girdles consist of stretchy, “dri-fit” material for better flexibility. When you’re on the football field, you’re constantly changing the position you’re in. One moment you may have your knees bent, and four or five seconds later your legs are striding down the field in order to catch the man with the ball. If your girdle doesn’t have flexibility, it isn’t worth buying. This is because it will only hinder your play on the field, so why give yourself another obstacle?
Check it off as a win if you can find a girdle that contains the features listed. You will be kept protected, comfortable, and mobile; the skills that a superior girdle should help expose. What was originally used to hold together the hip pads and the tailbone pad has now evolved into a convenient form of equipment that prepares you for giving or receiving any tackle or hard hit.
Different Types of Girdles
Just like everything else, the girdle in football has evolved over the years. The traditional-type girdle is the most basic, and probably least expensive option you can choose, but then you need to consider the fact that you will have to purchase separate pads to enter into the girdle pockets. If you get the integrated girdle, which contains all the padding inside the material, you are getting your money’s worth. A modern-day standard girdle is no different than a pair of compression shorts. The integrated girdles have become way more popular over the years because they are convenient to players. With these girdles that have built-in pads, you no longer need to worry about losing pads because everything is attached to the fabric.
Keep in mind that there are different versions of the integrated girdle. Some girdles out on the market have two hip pads and a tailbone pad where you would have to supply your own thigh pads. Then other integrated girdles provide you with all lower body pads, including the thigh pads and kneepads. It ultimately depends on your sense of comfort and personal preference.
Football Girdle Sizing
Like I stated earlier, the right size girdle will be able to fit comfortably, enhance flexibility, and hold the lower body pads in place so that the areas needed to be protected, are protected. In addition, an elastic waistband is essential for a tight, proper fit. Using a string to adjust the fit, for example, would increase the possibility of your girdle sliding down your body as you are trying to play football. The fewer distractions, the better.
If you are concerned with the size and want to assure yourself that you grabbed the right one, check out this sizing chart:
|Waist Size (Inches)||Recommened Football Girdle Size|
Let’s take a look at ten of the best girdles on Amazon, in no particular order.
The 10 Best Football Girdle Reviews
This Champro product is the standard integrated girdle in today’s game. The Champro tri-flex girdle is made with an elastic waistband and compression-fit material for a snug feel. The thigh pads, hip pads, and tailbone pad are built into the girdle, so there is no need to use separate pads for those areas unless you feel that you need extra padding. While the kneepads aren’t included, your life becomes a lot easier when all your padding necessities are right inside your girdle. In other words, the worst of your padding worries comes in when inserting kneepads into your game pants. The stretchy feel of this girdle will give you the flexibility to be agile, mobile, and versatile.
Some reviewers claim that the pads could be thicker for more protection. Thin pads may not absorb as much impact as thicker, better quality pads, but the good thing is that you can add extra padding if needed by placing separate pads inside your football pants.
- Affordable pricing
- Integrated pads in all needed areas
- Elastic waistband and compression fit assure a stable fit
- Integrated pads aren’t very thick, which could bring impact absorption concerns
- Reviews have claimed that the pads would separate from the product, leaving certain areas exposed
- Stitching is reported to be average at best
When you buy something from Nike, you are buying much more than a name brand. When you buy a Nike product, you buy quality. What you need in an effective girdle is quality mixed with protection. This girdle delivers both… well. This girdle hits all four qualifications we presented earlier and is money well spent.
The Hyperstrong is a well-protected girdle; containing foam pads in the tailbone, hip, and thigh areas with hard plates on the thighs for extra protection. The Nike girdle is one of the more protected girdles on the market as the foam pad covers a majority of the thigh and the hard plate protects the front of the thigh. The Hyperstrong serves the primary purposes of the integrated girdle. It is a tight-fit short with attached padding that covers most of the thighs so no matter where you get tackled, your thighs will be covered.
- Added Hard plate on the thigh provides maximum protection, which is unique
- Foam padding easily absorbs impact
- Dri-fit material opens ventilation and keeps the player dry
- Reviews claim their pads have fallen apart after little to no use
- May run small due to the increased padding
- Tailbone pad could have covered more surface
This Under Armour five-pad girdle is without a doubt one of the most popular girdle/shorts on the market. This is clearly because of its integrated padding. Now you get the benefits of HeatGear compression material with the addition of waterproof padding. These pads are durable, so you can take and give hits over and over again without worrying about them ripping or becoming ineffective.
The Under Armour material in this girdle has a fabric that blocks odor as well. While it’s extremely difficult to make that a reality in a sport where you constantly sweat, it is a perk that does not go unnoticed. The Gameday girdle comes in nine different color combinations, so you have a variety of options when considering this product. Also, the mesh material in the crotch area looks high quality and comfortable, and the padding looks securely attached to the fabric.
We like that the thigh area is not covered with a series of smaller pads but one larger pad. That is simply better protection, though some may prefer the feel of the smaller pads.
- HeatGear material keeps you cool and dry
- Great padding and protection from the front
- Compression fabric provides you with the ability to move around without restriction
- Integrated pads look extremely thin
This girdle is the standard girdle, essentially a pair of compression shorts when looking at their face value. The fabric consists of HeatGear: the unique compression material that Under Armour is known for. Some buyers may be misled by the title on Amazon. While it says it is a “6-pad” girdle, the title is referring to the number of pockets in the girdle. Upon purchasing, you will not receive pads built-in or any pads for that matter. It has two hip pad pockets, two thigh pad pockets, one tailbone pocket, and one cup pocket.
The Under Armour standard girdle runs small due to its material and not very popular because it doesn’t include pads. In other words, it is a pair of compression shorts with pad pockets.
- HeatGear material for a cool, dry feel
- Fabric allows mobility and flexibility
- Mesh allows air ventilation
- Pads are not included
- Not all pad brands fit in the pockets
- You can get integrated girdles for the same price
The Cramer Thunder 7-pad girdle is a symbol of convenience in the girdle market. You will no longer need pad pockets in your football pants because this Cramer girdle has all 7 lower body football pads already installed. All you have to do is slide on your game pants and go out on the field.
Cramer isn’t very prestigious in the football world so you really don’t know what to expect when purchasing this item. You could get a really good 7-pad girdle that can protect your lower body. On the other hand, you could receive a girdle that really isn’t useful. From the looks of it, the quality of the girdle looks about average, but sometimes looks can be deceiving.
- 7 integrated pads providing ultimate protection
- Easily put on/take off football pants since all your pads are attached to your girdle
- Pads are thick for proper impact absorption
- Cramer isn’t very known for football equipment; risk quality
- Waistband looks flimsy
- Some customers claim the product rips after wash
Similar to the Cramer girdle, this version of the Nike Hyperstong collection is a full seven-pad girdle. The biggest difference you will notice is the quality of the material. Nike’s strong reputation will definitely draw more consumers compared to the Cramer brand.
If you wanted to compare the two, Nike would be the best to purchase because of its added protection and above-average dry-fit material. The hard-plate technology is a steal because you aren’t just relying on the foam padding. If you get hit in the thigh area, where the hard plates are located, there is a high chance you wouldn’t feel as much impact as if you were wearing the foam pads. This product offers high-level protection, flexibility, and comfort. If you want all your padding in one girdle, this product is the way to go.
- Seven Padded girdles for ultimate protection and convenience
- Dri-fit material absorbs sweat easily
- Long pants offer pad stability
- Pants version can be quite expensive
- Tailbone padding could cover more surface area
Here is another seven-padded integrated girdle. Just like Cramer, the Alleson brand isn’t commonly used for football equipment, so the quality of the product is a mystery. This girdle has foam technology on the hip, thigh, and tail pad, while the kneepads are sewn inside the girdle. The waistband has the word “core” around it and looks to be reliable. The material looks like it could stretch for flexibility, but doesn’t look as strong as the Nike or Under Armour brands. If you want all your leg pads at a reasonable price, you may want to look into this full-padded girdle. You may not have the best quality but based off of what you spend you may get a deal.
Prior consumers claim if you are a lineman, this might not be the best girdle for you. This is because this girdle runs tight and there isn’t enough space for a big player to fit into these comfortably. People have also claimed that the stitching ripped after a couple of washes so you may want to look out for that as well. Overall, the Alleson full-padded girdle is something you should buy when you are on a budget and have a desire to have all your pads in one piece of material.
- All seven pads absorb impact and are integrated
- Elastic waistband looks reliable.
- Reasonably priced
- There have been claims of the material ripping post-wash
- Not flexible enough for a big body
- Material looks cheap compared to prestigious brands
Cutters is well known for their unique football gloves. Here is a girdle with the Cutters twist to it. What is interesting about this Cutters product is the removable hard caps on the thighs. The girdle is constructed very similarly to the Nike Hyperstrong girdle except that the hard plates on the Cutters girdle are removable. This is a plus because it gives you more choice regarding the amount of protection you need. Maybe you go out on the field without the hard plates, get hit, and feel like you need them for next week’s game. Maybe you go out there with the hard plates, feel like they are weighing you down, and choose to take the hits without the hard caps. Either way, you have what most consumers want: choice. The foam padding is also extremely flexible; so no matter what size you are, the pads will fit around you.
In addition, this girdle is available at a very reasonable price for the Cutters brand. Their gloves usually start at double or triple the price of this girdle, so if you want a well-known football name in a girdle, the Cutters five-pad girdle with removable plates could definitely be a solid option for you.
- You know what you’re getting with the Cutters Brand.
- Affordable price based on the high-quality brand
- Removable padding gives you options
- Foam pads look thin; less protection
- Their girdles may not be as reliable as their gloves
With its average hip pads, and lack of thigh pads, the McDavid girdle is on the lower end of the football girdle totem pole. The soft, stretchy material prevents your skin from being irritated and offers mobility without restriction. In this girdle, McDavid supplied the standard, traditional, three-pad integrated girdle.
The biggest issue I have with this girdle is the misleading picture on Amazon. In the picture, the girdle is shown with integrated hip pads, and inserted thigh pads. When buying this product, you only receive the integrated pads. The thigh pads depicted need to be bought separate. So if the McDavid is a consideration, be weary of the misleading picture on Amazon.
- Integrated foam hip pads look reliable
- Sturdy elastic waistband for a tight fit
- Fabric prevents irritation of the skin
- A misleading picture shows thigh pads included in the girdle
- Lack of integrated thigh pads decreases value of this girdle
The integrated TAG girdle is similar to the McDavid girdle except it includes the thigh pads. All the pads on this girdle are sewn in, so while there is a chance of the sewing ripping, forcing the pads to move or come out, the initial wear will prove to be firm. The waistband looks like it could be better quality, but besides that this girdle can reasonably protect the person wearing it. Can you get something with better quality material for the price? Certainly.
But for someone who doesn’t want to buy the name brands, the TAG girdle is safe enough to use during a football game. I would most likely consider this girdle to be a “short term” used girdle, based off of its average material. The silk-looking girdle doesn’t seem to maintain the same compression fit, as would a girdle from Under Armour or Nike. You could easily get something from those brands for around the same price range.
- All five pads are sewn into the girdle
- Elastic waistband provides a snug fit
- Material doesn’t look as tight as the compression fit shorts
- Pads look flimsy compared to other brands
- The fit of the waistband is questionable
So What’s the Deal?
The girdle is important in football because it holds your hip, thigh, and tailbone pads tight to your body, assuring you that you will be protected on the lower half of your body when making plays on the football field. It also makes it easier to wear a cup because of the front ventilation pocket. You want something with quality padding, a tight fit, flexibility [for movement], and lightweight material. This will make you a speed demon on the field without the distraction of the misplaced pads and loose fitting material.
My suggestions would be to go with the Nike Hyperstrong or the Cutters girdle. Both contain excellent sweat collecting material, with stiff pads that absorb the hardest hits. Nike’s removable hard plates help you adjust your protection levels, and Cutters is known to manufacture quality material. Either one of these options would be ideal.