In this guide here we will be discussing football girdles.
A girdle is an essential item in any football player’s wardrobe, but it is also one of the least talked about football gear.
This guide will cover everything related to it as well as reviewing some of the best football girdles for the money both for adults and youth football players.
Table of Contents
What Is A Football Girdle?
A girdle is a padded piece of clothing that’s worn underneath the football shorts.
The padding on the girdle helps protect the player, which is vital when playing a contact sport such as football.
During a vigorous football match, a player may end up sliding, falling, and taking hits from other players on the field. This might result in some pain or even injuries, which is where a football girdle comes in handy.
The idea behind a girdle is to offer enhanced protection and coverage.
Padding is placed in the areas a player is likely to injure during a competitive and high impact match. The built-in padding on a girdle is located around the butt, hips, thighs, and tailbone.
Besides offering protection for common impact zones, a girdle could also increase the player’s stability.
When wearing a girdle, the player can make tackles with increased confidence knowing they are adequately protected around the hips and lower torso.
In 2013, it became mandatory for NFL players to wear lower-body pads. This directive came in the wake of an increase in lower-body injuries.
Before then, players would roll the dice hoping not to sustain an injury, but now, the game has evolved.
Having the right skill and technique is no longer enough to guard against injury. A player needs to be wearing protective gear as well, and a girdle is one such protective gear.
How Do You Wear A Football Girdle?
A football girdle comes in the form of long shorts made from a thin material. Similar to football pants, girdles may come in two designs: Slip-on style or Snap-on style.
The style of the padding may vary, as well. Some girdles come with the pads sewn into the undergarment while others are non-padded but have pockets where you can place the padding.
Whichever style of girdle you are dealing with, putting one on should neither be hard nor complicated. It’s as straightforward as putting on regular pants.
First-time football players may experience some difficulty when putting on a girdle. However, the following steps should help ease the process.
Step 1: Locate the padding on the shorts or the pockets where the padding should go: Butt pad and tailbone pad at the back, knee pads at the front of the girdle.
Thigh pads will be on the lower part of the girdle, while hip pads will be on the upper side.
Step 2: If you are dealing with an unpadded girdle, place the pads in their respective pockets.
Step 3: Place the girdle against your legs, ensuring you are holding it the right way, and all the pads are aligned correctly. Remember to confirm the location of the tailbone pad.
Step 4: Decide whether you want to wear the girdle over or under your underwear. This is a matter of personal preference and doesn’t make a difference in the performance of the girdle.
If wearing the girdle over your underwear, straighten the underwear as much as possible before putting on the girdle.
Step 5: Step into the girdle, putting them on like you would wear an ordinary pair of pants.
Step 6: Confirm that the pads on the girdle cover the necessary body parts and are aligned correctly.
In the case of pocketed girdles, make sure the pads haven’t come off as you were wearing the girdle.
Step 7: Once you’ve ensured everything is in order, put on your football pants, pulling them over the girdle.
At this point, you are done putting on the girdle. Wear your other sports clothes and football gear, and you would be all set to conquer the gridiron.
What Size Football Girdle Should I Get?
The right girdle should neither be too tight or too loose. It should fit comfortably and should be flexible such that it doesn’t restrict the player’s range of movement.
A basic standard sizing chart is often used for girdles, to ensure that you end up with the correct fit suitable for your body type.
Girdle sizing is based on waist sizes, so make sure you know your size and confirm using a tape measure.
Would you prefer a girdle that’s slightly tighter or slightly looser?
Some brands like Nike, for instance, tend to have their girdles running a little small, so factor this is when making your purchase.
Here is football girdles size chart for your reference.
FOOTBALL GIRDLE SIZE
22 to 24 inches
26 to 28 inches
30 to 32 inches
34 to 36 inches
38 to 40 inches
42 to 44 inches
46 to 48 inches
50 to 52 inches
Keep in mind that this sizing chart may not be accurate for all girdle brands. You may, however, use it as a rough guideline.
When buying a specific girdle, you may want to check the product page to review the provided sizing chart.
Types of Football Girdles: standard vs integrated pants
1. Standard Girdles
Standard girdles are the traditional-style girdles. They are the most straightforward option in the market and often the least expensive option as well.
A standard girdle comes with five pockets: two thigh pockets, two hip pockets, and a tail bone pocket.
The players insert their own pads in the provided pocket slots.
The pads could either be bought separately or provided by the league, and at times, a standard girdle may come with two additional pockets for the knee pads.
The modern-day standard girdle is similar to a pair of compression shorts.
2. Integrated Girdles
Integrated girdles come having all the padding permanently sewn right into the fabric of the girdle.
This is usually the more popular and more convenient option, and you often end up getting your money’s worth.
Everything is attached to the fabric, so you don’t have to worry about losing pads. The girdle comes with a full set of pads in the hips, thighs, and tailbone.
An integrated girdle is similar to integrated football pants.
3. Half Integrated Girdles
A half-integrated girdle is a hybrid of the standard girdle and the integrated girdle.
These girdles come with the hip and tailbone pads permanently sewn in, but in the thigh area, pockets are provided instead.
The padding of the thigh pockets is left up to the player, whereby they can customize the padding as desired.
This way, the player can choose the amount of feel and bulk they wish to have in their girdle, depending on their comfort and personal preferences.
4. All-In-One Girdles
An all-in-one girdle is basically a standard girdle which comes with its own full set of 5 pads. Unlike with a standard girdle, you don’t have to provide your own pads in this instance.
The pads come built-in within the girdle, but they are removable and replaceable, not permanently sewn in.
How Do I Choose A Football Girdle?
The bigger and faster a football player is, the more of an asset they are to their team. Speed makes a huge difference in the game, and you don’t want a girdle that will weight you down.
When playing football, lightweight gear and equipment are preferred because they allow you to maintain your natural speed, all the while keeping you adequately protected.
This is why it’s crucial that a girdle be as lightweight as possible.
The primary purpose of a girdle is to offer protection, which means that the padding is a critical aspect to consider.
Ideally, you want padding that is thick and protective, but without so much bulk that it makes you uncomfortable while wearing it.
Premium padding has superior shock absorbency. So, the best quality padding should allow you to get up quickly after being tackled to the ground.
When wearing quality padding, you shouldn’t experience any pain when tackling a ball carrier or making hard contact.
The best padding you can find is hard plastic with foam layers. This is popularly used in higher-end girdles.
The padding is at least 7mm thick and is well placed in the appropriate areas to protect the right parts of your body.
In some instances, the trade-off for good padding might be reduced mobility. So, you might have to choose which of the two is more important to you.
When it comes to higher-end girdles; however, you will find that they have carefully found a way to incorporate thick padding but without limiting the mobility of the player.
Another thing to consider is the number of padded panels provides. 5-padded panels are the standard, and this offers adequate protection for the hips, thighs, and tailbone.
However, some girdles may come with additional padding or pockets at the knees, thereby having seven panels in total.
A half-integrated girdle having adjustable padding allows the players to customize the girdle according to their needs and preferences.
Additionally, it will enable the player to take up different positions on the field, without having to wear a different girdle.
A lineman requires a different level of lower torso protection compared to the kind of protection a running back needs.
The material of the girdle should be stretchy to allow for a snug fit, thereby allowing for better flexibility. Ideally, a girdle should fit like a second skin, moving seamlessly with the player’s body.
You will end up making many moves while playing football, and a good girdle should be flexible enough to allow you to bend your knees, make long strides, crouch, etc.
A flexible girdle allows for a comfortable fit and lets the player run and move with ease. At the same time, the flexibility of the girdle should enable it to provide better stability for the player.
Additionally, flexibility means more stretchiness, which makes it easier to wear and take off the girdle.
Material & Build
The material a girdle is made from, combined with the stitching quality, will inform the girdle’s compression, comfort, ventilation, weight, and durability.
The three popular materials used to make girdles are nylon, spandex, and polyester.
Polyester and nylon are considered far more superior to spandex, so the higher their composition percentage, the better the quality of the girdle.
The material should allow for excellent breathability of the girdle and should also quick-drying, moisture-wicking technologies.
This will prevent moisture build-up, which in turn prevents the growth of bacteria and overall offers better wearability.
The anti-microbial treatment of the fabric is another thing to consider. This will ensure freedom from bacterial odors for better hygiene.
A girdle should fit the wearer tightly. This way, the pads will be tightly secured in the right place and don’t slide or move around with ease when the player runs, falls, jumps, or hits other players.
A tight fit also ensures that the player can play without any distractions.
The tightness of a girdle provides compression, which thereby leads to improved muscle performance for increased comfort when running.
Best Football Girdles In 2021
1. Alleson Integrated 7-Pad Football Girdle
The Alleson Integrated 7 is one of the best Football girdles you can get yourself in 2021. It comes with exclusive CORE hexagon-shaped padding technology.
The pads are 10mm thick, and upon impact, they provide an impressive dispersion of shock. At the same time, the pads are thin enough not to get in your way during a big game.
The lightweight EVA padding is thoroughly bonded throughput to keep the pads in place for ultimate comfort and protection.
Besides the hip, thigh, knee and tailbone pads, the girdle also comes with a hidden cup pocket for groin protection.
The material of this girdle is a blend comprising 80% Nylon and 20% Spandex. This means that the girdle fits nicely snug and tight but still allows the player to move around the field with unhindered speed and agility.
The crotch area has a mesh panel made entirely from polyester, which offers excellent ventilation when the player is wearing a cup.
On the other hand, the durable heavyweight 2” wide waistband is made from spandex elastomer.
The fabric of the girdle additionally comes with an anti-microbial performance for the prevention of odors and moisture-wicking performance for cool and dry comfort.
Anti-microbial and moisture-wicking.
Reinforced padding has high impact plastic shells.
It offers high-quality compression.
Extremely stretchy and comfortable.
Permanently sewn in knee pads don’t allow for customization of the girdle.