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Best Football Girdles In 2021: The Complete Guide

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.

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.

X-Small  22 to 24 inches 
Small  26 to 28 inches 
Medium  30 to 32 inches 
Large  34 to 36 inches 
X-Large  38 to 40 inches 
XX-Large  42 to 44 inches 
XXX-Large  46 to 48 inches 
XXXX-Large  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 molded EVA pads are vented as well, for excellent breathability of the girdle.

This product is constructed from 84% nylon and 16% spandex, which results in excellent moisture management for cool, dry comfort throughout the game.

Additionally, the construction features flatlock seams throughout, which enhances the comfort of the girdle.

The compression fit makes it easy to layer the girdle underneath the player’s uniform and also enhances muscle performance.

  • All seven pads are sewn in for convenience.
  • Heavyweight elastic polyester waistband.
  • Lightweight, 10mm EVA foam pads.
  • Impressive moisture wicking effects.
  • Very reasonably priced.
  • The crotch area fits a bit too snug when wearing a cup.

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2. CHAMPRO TRI-Flex 5-Pad Integrated Girdle

The first thing you will notice about this CHAMPRO girdle is that the hip pads rise above the waist. This design allows for more protection at the hip bone area.

On the other hand, the thigh pads are contoured for comfort and better efficiency.

The TRI-FLEX cushion system used in this girdle uses high quality, durable pads that are vented for good airflow.

This gives a powerful combination of protection and flexibility, so the girdle does not get in the way of the player’s agility.

The lightweight hard plastic shock pads used have effective shock absorption, which is just what you want in a girdle.

The material used to make this girdle is a blend comprising polyester and spandex. This high compression fabric gives a nice snug fit both at the waist and the legs of the girdle.

It additionally features DRI-GEAR moisture management technology for cool and dry comfort, even on a sweltering summer afternoon.

  • Excellent compression quality.
  • High waist padded design for hip stability.
  • Fabric wicks moisture.
  • TRI-FLEX design for full mobility and agility.
  • Has a cup pocket.
  • The seams don’t seem to hold up very well.

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3. Shock Doctor Shockskin Lax Relaxed Fit Impact Short

This girdle not only provides hip, thigh, and tailbone paddings, but it also comes with a technologically advanced cup design for protection of the groin area.

The X-Fit cup retention system integrates a wrap-around mesh brief within the girdle, which ensures the correct positioning of the cup.

The cup has been provided as well, but it’s not just a typical run-of-the-mill groin cup.

The comfortable Ultra Carbon Flex cup, which comes with this girdle, features multilayer protection for unrivaled dispersion of shock and impacts.

The vented pads on this girdle contour and protect the hips, thighs, and tailbone.

The foam pads are also incredibly lightweight, but without compromising on the amount of protection offered.

This girdle offers a relaxed, anatomical fit without any compression. This design allows for maximum freedom of movement, so the player doesn’t feel restricted in any way.

The girdle moves and contours with the body for ultimate comfort and agility.

Comfort is further enhanced by the flatlock, chafe-free seams, so while the girdle fits snug, there aren’t any bumpy protrusions against the player’s skin.

The fabric is moisture-wicking as well, so you don’t have to worry about discomfort from moist pants.

  • Impressive moisture-wicking capabilities.
  • X-Fit provides excellent cup comfort.
  • Relaxed fit for maximum freedom of movement.
  • It comes with a groin cup.
  • 4-way stretch fabric is very breathable.
  • The pads could be a little thicker.

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4. Rawlings Men's Fgp5 Protective Pant

This Rawlings girdle is a 5-pad design featuring protection for the hips, thighs, and tailbone.

The shorts give a good fit and have a sufficient amount of padding that’s into too bulky and cumbersome.

Better yet, the hip pads feature a high-rise design whereby they extend past the waistband for enhanced hip protection.

This design helps better protect the iliac crest area.

On the other hand, the hard thigh pads ensure you will not experience any pain or soreness when you give or receive tackles.

The integrated design allows for convenience seeing as you do not have to put in the pads before every game.

Additionally, it makes it easier to wash the girdle, which is machine washable. Just make sure you pay attention to the care instructions on the label.

Besides the five pads, the girdle also comes with a cup pocket for groin protection.

The cup pocket makes it easy to integrate your cup with the girdle, so everything fits comfortably snug.

  • Machine washable.
  • High hip design for iliac crest protection.
  • It is durably constructed.
  • Has a groin cup pocket.
  • NFHS approved.
  • The sizes run a little small.

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5. TAG ALT II Adult High-Rise 5-Pad Integrated Girdle

The fabric of this girdle comprises a blend of 85% nylon and 15% spandex.

The material has adequate stretch, which allows the player to have a full range of movement for ultimate agility.

Better yet, the fabric has antimicrobial properties that prevent the presence of odor-causing bacteria.

This way, you don’t have to wash the girdle after every game.

This is a good thing because frequent washing can enhance its rate of wear and tear. Additionally, moisture-wicking capabilities allow for cool and dry comfort.

The mesh ventilated gussets around the padded areas, groin, and lower back region further enhance the breathability of the fabric.

Ideally, you want to invest in a girdle whereby the pads cover ass large an area as is possible for maximum coverage.

In this instance, the thigh pad features a wrap-around design that protects the side hamstrings, and the hip pad extends past the waistband to offer iliac crest protection.

The EVA padding used in all the areas (hips, thighs, and tailbone) is ventilated and pleasantly lightweight to allow for free movement.

  • Lightweight design.
  • Anti-microbial compression fabric.
  • Has mesh ventilated gussets for breathability.
  • It comes with a mesh-covered cup pocket.
  • Has vented EVA pads.
  • The tailbone padding could cover more surface area.

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6. BARNETT FS-06 5-Pad Integrated Compression Shorts

BARNETT FS-06 5-pad girdle is made from 100% polyester. This is a huge advantage because, as a result of the polyester construction, this girdle is strong yet flexible.

At the same time, the thick polyester fabric provides excellent superior moisture-wicking properties for dry comfort all day long.

These compression shorts allow you to experience a full range of motion while keeping you perfectly protected from hits and tackles.

The compression fit is very comfortable and provides for anatomically correct positioning of the integrated pads.

The sewn elastic waistband gives excellent support at the waist, and the elastic bottom of the girdle fits great around the knees.

The wear-resistant pad pockets are hardwearing, and there’s no chance you could tear them while putting on the girdle.

At the same time, the integrated pads are thick enough to offer good shock absorbency around the hip, hip joint, thigh, and coccyx.

  • Thick, durable material.
  • Superior compression.
  • Excellent moisture wicking.
  • Flexible, stretchy fabric ensures unimpeded movement.
  • Great fit and comfort.
  • It isn’t machine washable.

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7. CHAMPRO FPGU7 Man Up 7-Pad Girdle

A player who is looking for an affordably priced high-quality football girdle, cannot go wrong with the CHAMPRO FPGU7.

This 7-pad girdle comes with knee pads in addition to hip pads, thigh pads, and tailbone pad.

The construction and build of this girdle reflect its quality and level of protection offered. For starters, the hip pads on these shorts extend past the waistband.

The logic behind this is so that the pads can cover the iliac crest for enhanced coverage and protection.

This girdle features CHAMPRO’s TRI-FLEX Cushioning System design to offer optimum protection while still allowing for flexibility and unrestricted motion.

All the pads are vented and contoured to allow for the maximum comfort of the player. The material of this girdle is also pleasantly stretchy and flexible.

Besides increasing agility, the stretch makes this 7-pad girdle easy to wear and take off, and gives it an excellent compression for reduced muscular fatigue and soreness.

The DRI-GEAR moisture management technology used in the fabric is very efficient and quickly wicks away moisture even when a player is sweating profusely.

After all, the last thing you’d want is to feel sweat pooling up in your pants when you’re right in the middle of a high stakes game.

  • Added knee protection.
  • It offers excellent compression.
  • Superior moisture-wicking.
  • Flexible and stretchy material.
  • Extended hip pads enhance hip stability.
  • Thigh pads don’t wrap around for maximum coverage.

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8. Under Armour Men's 6-Pad Football Girdle Pants

This 6-pad football girdle is a youth size standard girdle, which means that pockets are provided, but pads aren’t included.

You would have to buy these separately. The six pockets are placed at the hips, thighs, groin, and tailbone.

The fabric of this girdle comes with HeatGear® Sonic® compression performance, and this enhances muscle support and comfort.

The best thing about girdles having good compression is that they reduce muscle fatigue, thereby allowing the player to perform optimally when out on the field.

Besides, the 4-way stretch fabric allows for unhindered movement and agility even though this girdle has impressive compression performance.

Comfort is also enhanced while wearing this girdle, so it feels like a second skin.

There are Strategically-placed mesh panels that help to increase ventilation for cool comfort.

At the same time, the girdle comes with Under Armour’s signature Moisture Transport System that repels sweat.

This way, the plays stays not just cool but also pleasantly dry even during an intense game.

  • Stretchy and flexible.
  • Machine washable.
  • It features anti-odor technology.
  • Excellent compression performance.
  • Ventilated and wicks moisture.
  • It is a little challenging to find pads that are compatible with the girdle.

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9. Cramer Thunder 7-Pad Football Girdle

With the Cramer Thunder girdle, all the seven pads are sewn into the fabric of the girdle.

This allows for convenience, reduces the chances of losing pads, and ensures correct positioning and alignment of the pads at all times.

The girdle features hard thigh pads made using Cramer’s new Spider Web EVA foam.

The EVA foam is then reinforced by laminating it to high-impact plastic shells, which increase the protection offered.

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.

  • Exceptional durability.
  • 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.

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10. Cramer Classic 5-Pad Football Girdle

The Cramer Classic 5-Pad Football Girdle comes with contoured thigh pads.

The contouring helps give the pads a more comfortable fit and feel, so the player hardly feels like they are wearing a girdle.

At the same time, the closed-cell EVA foam in the hip pads has a hard-plastic exterior for enhanced durability and hardwearing performance.

These reinforced pads can stand up to the rough tackles and hard impacts associated with the sport.



All the five EVA foam pads in this girdle are sewn into the material, and the dynamic pad system fits seamlessly underneath the player’s uniform.

The 2-inch spandex elastomer waistband is very supportive and stays in place as long as you’ve got the right girdle size.

The fabric construction comprising 85% polyester and 15% spandex has an anti-microbial and moisture-wicking performance for increased freshness and comfort when wearing the girdle.

The high-quality contrast stitching on this girdle holds up really well. You will not have a situation where the girdle is ripping at the seams.

  • High-quality stitching.
  • Reinforced EVA foam padding in the thighs.
  • Perforated hip and tailbone pads for flexibility and ventilation.
  • Anti-microbial and moisture-wicking.
  • Heavy-duty elastic waistband.
  • It doesn’t come with a groin cup pocket.

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Arthur Delucia
Experienced sports writer and a semi-professional ultimate frisbee player. When I am not training, you will find me writing new articles for SportyGen.

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