Safety and protection are the main concern for any football player. Shoulder pads are one of the main protective components. Quarterback shoulder pads are different than the shoulder pads for other positions.

Shoulder pads for quarterbacks protect the player’s shoulders, upper chest, and back during a tackle. The extra rib protections that some quarterbacks choose to wear do just as their name states. They protect the player’s ribs.


When a quarterback chooses their shoulder pads they make sure that their arms are not restricted. They also make sure they have plenty of arm movement. Throwing the ball is the quarterback’s main duty and so shoulder pads shouldn’t hinder that job. Quarterbacks also choose their pads according to weight, rigidity, and by contact dispersion.

How much do quarterback shoulder pads cost?

As you would expect, the price of quarterback shoulder pads is going to vary. The brand will be a huge factor, as will the technology incorporated in the pad.  The average pricing is between $80 and $300.  Standard pads are going to be in the lower price range.

Some of your cost is going to be whether the quarterback chooses to buy the rib protector. Choosing quarterback shoulder pads with the newest features will cost more. You are also going to pay more for updated styles and designs.

What is the best pair of quarterback shoulder pads?

One of the top-ranked brands of shoulder pads, for quarterbacks, is Schutt Sports Varsity AiR Maxx Flex 2.0. Schutt uses the same AiR Maxx TPU cushioning that is used in helmets.

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This allows for enhanced absorption on impact. The shoulder pads are constructed from open-cell foam with air chambers. The load of the impact is spread across the whole pad area. This dissipates the pressure, so it is not a full impact on any one area of the pad.

The Schutt quarterback shoulder pads are flexible, lightweight, and soft. This minimizes the weight of the pads without sacrificing protection. The Schutt Sports Varsity AiR Maxx Flex 2.0 also gives your quarterback all the arm range that they need. The quarterback shoulder pads come in sizes from Small to XX-Large.

The scapular, deltoid, and body pads are removable; making them more customizable to the quarterback. The body plate and rib protection will have to be purchased separately.


What is the right size for such shoulder pads?

To determine the correct and most comfortable size of quarterback shoulder pads, you need to take a few measurements. First, you need to measure the chest of the quarterback. Have it snug, around the upper torso, but not so that it is uncomfortable.

Measure the shoulders. To do this, stretch the tape measure over the contour of their shoulders. Measure from the tip of the right humerus to the tip of the left humerus. Decide on the brand of quarterback shoulder pads you are going to purchase. Find the size chart and order your size.

If you are buying quarterback shoulder pads for a youth player,  you will need an exact weight on them. Most youth leagues will size shoulder pads by weight class and not measurements.

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Factors to consider before buying 

As mentioned in the beginning, safety and protection is the number one priority for anyone suiting up to play football. When researching quarterback shoulder pads there are a few important factors to take into consideration.

Weight: you do not want the shoulder pads to be heavy. This will cause fatigue in the player. With fatigue comes low performance in the game. There are many shoulder pads out there that have outstanding protection and lightweight.

Rigidity: you want your player to be able to move with ease, to play their position effectively. You want certain parts of the pads to be rigid but also have some flexibility. Players need to be safe, but comfortable.

Contact dispersion: shoulder pads are meant to absorb some of the impact shock. They must also disperse that energy without affecting the player. So, when a quarterback gets hit, the whole shoulder pad unit should absorb the hit and disperse it.

Look for the following features that will help you find what we have described above.

TPU Cushioning: TPU never breaks down. It is integrated into many facets of the shoulder pads. Absorbing more of the impact than pads without TPU.

Ventilation Holes: these will allow hot air to escape and cool air to flow through the shoulder pads. This keeps the quarterback cooler during the game.


Quarterback shoulder pads with the Rib Protector

Rib protectors are also known as flac jackets or rib guards. Some may consider them an ideal add-on to quarterback shoulder pads for the added protection. There are different styles of rib protectors to wear in conjunction with the shoulder pad.

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There are rib belts, rib vests, and compression flac jackets. The main decision on which rib protection to purchase will come down to personal preference and comfort. This is something you (or your quarterback) will want to purchase in store. This will ensure perfect fit.

Standard rib guards come in a hard shell or flexible, yet sturdy, foam. Flac jackets are worn like a shirt with moisture wicking fabric. The rib protection pads are sewn right into the flac jacket. Some rib protectors come with added shoulder padding.

Taking their shoulder pads with them to find a rib protector is a good idea. This allows them to make sure what they choose is going to work. It will also guarantee them a comfortable and perfect fit.

The main message is to be as safe as possible on the football field. Protective gear is essential to playing the game. It can be rough, tough, and fun. Keep some level of comfort so that you can perform your job effectively. But choose wisely to ensure you are securely protected. Make sure you thoroughly research and try on shoulder pads and any add-ons that may come with them.