Best Lacrosse Shoulder Pads (2021 Reviews!)

Lacrosse may not seem like a major contact sport when you first think about it. However, there is a lot that your body needs to be protected from while playing lacrosse including stick and body contact! Lacrosse shoulder pads protect you from all types of contact to keep you in the game longer. Choosing the right pads for you and your position is vital. If you wear the wrong pads, it can throw off your shots and passes, inhibit your flexibility, and make you just uncomfortable in general.

Use our guide below to make sure you are choosing the correct pads for you. This article break down and review the best lacrosse shoulder pads on the market today. We will also discuss what to consider when making your purchase, and how to properly size your lacrosse shoulder pads for the correct fit.

Best Overall Lacrosse Shoulder Pad

Top Of The Line Mens Lacrosse Shoulder Pads

A flexible and lightweight design is perfect for every lacrosse player, not to mention the anatomical fit

The STX Cell 4 mens lacrosse shoulder pads are no joke, coming in lighter and 25% more flexible these are our top choice for the best mens shoulder pads. Pre-former shoulder pads provide a more natural and anatomical fit so passing and shooting isn’t impacted at all. Definitely worth checking out if you want a pair of high performing shoulder pads!

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Best Youth Lacrosse Shoulder Pads

A perfect choice for youth and beginner lacrosse players, with a high level of protection and a lightweight design with hard plaster should caps

Built especially for youth players, complete with pinny holders and an ID label so you will be sure not to lose your equipment. These STX lacrosse shoulder pads are all your youth lacrosse player will need as the level of contact is not high and risk of injury is very low. These will keep your player protected and having fun without any pain the entire time!

Best Attack Shoulder Pads

Best Shoulder Pads for Attack

The Maverik MX shoulder pads have a unique design but are perfect for players who don’t need a high level of protection 

If you are looking for a high performing lacrosse shoulder pads but don’t need the bulky protection, these are the perfect product for you! 

Our Recommendations

Best Lacrosse Shoulder Pads for Attack

A great product for a lower level of protection but a higher level of mobility is the Maverik MX shoulder pads

Buying Options

Best Overall Lacrosse Shoulder Pads

The STX Cell 4 shoulder pads have everything from a lightweight and comfortable design to 25% more flexible, definitely one to check out

Buying Options

Best Youth Lacrosse Shoulder Pads

Looking for a new pair of shoulder pads for your youth lacrosse player, these are the perfect combination of lightweight protection and mobility

Buying Options

Need a new lacrosse helmet to keep your head protected, check out our guide on the best lacrosse helmets!

What We Based Our Research On

Specifications and Features:

  • GeoFlex II Technology: These shoulder pads are made from the proprietary GeoFlex II technology. Not only does this technology make the pads lighter in weight, but it also makes them 25% more flexible than previous versions.
  • Breathable: The construction design and materials used for these shoulder pads allow for air to flow through easily so that you stay cool and dry while you play.
  • 7-Point Stretch Zones: Stretch zones with seven different points of mobility allow you to move freely with zero restrictions, allowing you to play to your fullest potential.

Advantages

  • Removable Bicep Pads: Removable bicep pads make these pads a great option for those who play multiple positions or want the option to customize their pads a little more to their liking.
  • Pre-formed Shoulder Caps: Pre-formed shoulder caps give the player an anatomical fit that is designed to hug your body perfectly.
  • Multiple Adjustable Straps: Multiple adjustable straps give you the chance to customize your fit so that they fit you perfectly and accurately in both the chest and shoulders.

Disadvantages

  • Sizing Runs Small: Many reviews mention that, despite what the sizing chart says, the sizing on these shoulder pads runs small. It would be in your best interest to size up and then use the adjustable straps to tighten for the best fit.

BOTTOM LINE:

The STX Lacrosse Cell 4 Mens Lacrosse Shoulder Pads are designed for any playing style. They combine the protection and lightweight integration of GeoFlex technology with seven points of mobility to give you everything you need in a shoulder pad. Adjustable straps mean that these pads can fit almost anyone. Just loosen or tighten in the right places for a secure fit that will keep you protected. Additionally, breathable materials and design keep you cool and dry as you play, even on the hottest days. This is a great overall option for shoulder pads, especially if you switch between positions.

Specifications and Features:

Built for Beginners: The STX Stallion 200 Shoulder Pads are designed specifically for beginning players. This means that not only is the sizing better suited for younger bodies, but that the design of the pads works for all positions.

Hard Plastic Shoulder Caps: Hard plastic shoulder caps are placed on top of the pads to increase the amount of protection for younger players. Their bodies and bones are still growing, and they need more adequate protection.

Modular Bicep Pads: Bicep pads that have a modular design allow for a more custom fit for each individual player.

Advantages

  • High Mobility: A big requirement for lacrosse shoulder pads is the ability to still comfortably pass and shoot on the field and these shoulder pads give you a great balance of protection and mobility
  • Lightweight Construction: The STX Stallion 200 youth shoulder pads won’t slow you down as these are super lightweight and comfortable to wear on the field

Disadvantages

  • Not Specialized: As previously mentioned, these shoulder pads are designed with beginners in mind who will be switching positions frequently. This is a disadvantage if you already play one position only, as these pads do not have specialized features that tailor to one position.

BOTTOM LINE:

Our choice for the best youth lacrosse shoulder pads are the STX Lacrosse Stallion 200+ Boys Lacrosse Shoulder Pads. These pads were designed for beginners, so they are perfect for those who are playing multiple positions to find where their talents and preferences lie! They meet safety standards for chest protection and have hard shoulder caps so you can be sure your player will be safe during the game. When it comes time for your player to choose a position and commit to the sport, more specialized pads can be purchased.

Need to check out a new pair of lacrosse gloves? Check our guide on the best lacrosse gloves!

Specifications and Features:

Ample Protection: The padding used for these shoulder pads is thick and protective. It is designed to cover all of the vulnerable spots on your upper body, like your collarbone, heart, and breastplate.

Anaform Chest and Spine Plates: In addition to the padding, harder anaform chest and spine plates provide even more protection for these vital areas of your body.

Durastretch Panels: The multiple panels of padding that make up these shoulder pads are connected with Durastretch material. This allows the pads to flex and move with the motion of your body.

Advantages

  • Price: These shoulder pads are a great price for how high quality they are.
  • Comfort: The design of these shoulder pads is meant to be as comfortable as possible while you are playing, so that you can play to your fullest potential.
  • Customizable: Removable bicep pads allow you to customize the amount of protection you want or need.

Disadvantages

  • There are no adjustable straps on these shoulder pads. However, wide, stretchable, elastic bands wrap around the sides and arms of these shoulder pads to hold the pads in place and fit to your body.

BOTTOM LINE:

The Maverik Lacrosse MX Shoulder Pads are the Best Lacrosse Shoulder Pads for players who play Attack.  These pads offer ample protection for the position that is constantly receiving slashes and hits from the defensive players. While these shoulder pads are super protective, they are also very flexible.  In this case, lots of padding does not equal stiff and uncomfortable.  The Durastretch panels allow the pads to bend and stretch with your body as you play, so they never inhibit your movement or affect your accuracy. Removable bicep straps allow for some customization so you can decide whether you would like to use them or not.

Specifications and Features:

GeoFlex II Technology: This shoulder pad liner is made with GeoFlex II Technology. This proprietary technology makes the liner lighter and 25% more flexible than previous models.
Anatomical Fit: STX designed the Cell 4 Men’s Lacrosse Shoulder Pad Liner to have an anatomical fit. It hugs your body at all the right spots so that it feels like it was made for you.
7-Point Mobility Stretch Zones: There are seven different stretch zones located on this shoulder pad liner, allowing you to bend and move in all directions.

Advantages

  • Breathable: The breathable protection system allows air to flow freely through the pad, helping you stay both cool and dry while you are playing.
  • More Mobility: A liner, compared to full shoulder pads, gives you more mobility with your playing and lets you shoot and pass without holding you back.

Disadvantages

  • Since this is just a shoulder pad liner and not a full set of shoulder pads, it offers less protection for the player. This may be a preference for some, especially defensive players.

BOTTOM LINE:

If you are a defensive player, you are not as susceptible to slashes and jabs as other players. This means that you may not want, or need, as much protection. If this applies to you, then you may want to consider a shoulder pad liner instead of full shoulder pads. A liner still provides protection for your chest and collarbones, but does not have the bulk of full shoulder pads. The STX Lacrosse Cell 4 Mens Lacrosse Shoulder Pad Liner is a great option for defensive players or those who require less protection while playing. This model uses GeoFlex II Technology for lighter weight and more mobility. It also provides you with an anatomical fit that molds to your body for the perfect fit.

Want to practice your shooting and padding? Check out our guide on the best lacrosse rebounders!

Specifications and Features:

Generous Coverage: The STX Stallion 50 Shoulder Pads provide generous coverage for all the vulnerable areas of your body. Nothing important will be exposed while wearing these pads.
Made for Multiple Positions: Since these pads were made for beginners, they are suitable for those who play multiple positions. They are made to transition between positions seamlessly without getting in your way.
Pinnie Holders: There are integrated holders included with these shoulder pads that hold pinnies in place so they do not slide around.

Advantages

  • Price: These shoulder pads are made for young, beginner players, so they are inexpensive while still being quality.
  • Expanded Adjustability: The adjustability of these pads is expanded, meaning that they are made to fit a wider range of players of different shapes and sizes.
  • Soft and Comfortable: The material is soft and the design is meant to hug your body, so you will always be comfortable while playing in these pads.

Disadvantages

  • Many customers who wear these pads say that the sizing runs small. So, if these interest you, consider buying a size larger than you would normally wear.
  • These pads are made for beginners only. They are not suitable for high school play or above.

BOTTOM LINE:

The best budget-friendly lacrosse shoulder pads are the STX Stallion 50 Shoulder Pads. These pads are inexpensive, but still offer generous coverage and protection for young players just starting to learn the game. They are made to be worn for all positions so that pads do not need to be switched. Pinnie holders keep your pinnie in place during play, and ID tags make sure you don’t get your equipment mixed up with someone else’s. Overall, these pads are soft, comfortable, and easily adjustable so that they can be worn for long practices without any discomfort!

Specifications and Features:

Padded Liner: The liner of these shoulder pads is padded for extra protection without adding much bulk.

Reinforced Chest Plate: The chest plate in the front of the pads is reinforced for extra protection for your most vital organs.

Multiple Adjustment Spots: There are multiple spots on these pads where you can customize your fit. The rib straps offer a slim fit for those who like a closer fit for their pads.

Advantages

  • Lightweight and Flexible: Though these pads provide ample protection, they are still lightweight and flexible so that you can move freely while you play.
  • Removable Bicep Pads: Removable bicep pads allow you to customize your fit even further. WIth this feature, you can choose whether you need the protection or not.
  • Informative Sizing: These pads come with an accurate and informative sizing chart with precise measurements. If you measure the circumference of your chest, you will find the size that is best for you.

Disadvantages

  • The bright white parts of these shoulder pads look nice when you first wear them, but they get dirty fast and stain easily.

BOTTOM LINE:

For Midfielders, the Epoch iD Lacrosse Shoulder Pads are, in our opinion the top choice.  They are lightweight and flexible, so the pads will not get in your way during play.  While they are light, they are still protective.  A reinforced chest plate keeps your heart and collarbones protected, and the back covers both shoulder blades fully. Finally, removable bicep pads and adjustable straps allow you to customize the fit of your pads.  Add or remove the pads on your arms for more mobility, and tighten the straps as necessary so that you can play and be safe at the same time. These are definitely worth checking out for all lacrosse players but we think these are the best lacrosse shoulder pads for midfielders!

Lacrosse Shoulder Pads Buying and Sizing Guide

Perhaps the most important aspect of choosing lacrosse shoulder pads is getting the proper size. It is imperative that you find pads that fit you perfectly, or else it will have a negative impact on your game. Below, we discuss the three main things you need to focus on when sizing your lacrosse pads: chest size, amount of protection, and mobility requirements.

Chest Size

The size of the chest protection in lacrosse shoulder pads is a huge concern. Lacrosse is a rough and potentially dangerous sport, and players must be protected properly. There have been instances where players are struck in the chest and their heart stops. Therefore, shoulder pad manufacturers have added additional sternum protection to their pads. Others have added what amounts to a small airbag system that attaches to the underside of the chest pads. Both of these modifications have been put into place to keep lacrosse players as safe as possible.

When it comes to fitting the chest part of your shoulder pads, make sure that the upper part of your pad does not dip too low below your neck. You need to make sure that both collarbones are adequately covered, as they are another area in the chest that is prone to injury during the sport. After that is taken care of, make sure that the center sternum protection is centered directly on the chest and covers all the way down to the bottom of the breast plate. The adjustment straps should allow you to achieve both of these things to give you ample chest protection while playing.

Level of Protection

The total amount of coverage and protection you want from your shoulder pads depends on the position that you play. Offensive, or attack, players want the most protection from their shoulder pads. Those who play this position are on the receiving end of a lot of hits and slashes, so they need maximum coverage.  

Middies have more flexibility in the protection that they want.  They really have the option to wear whichever type of pads they choose.  More recently, middies have been choosing something called “speedpads.” These are lighter, more flexible pads that don’t provide protection for upper biceps.  These provide moderate protection while still allowing for full mobility,

Defensemen do not need thick or bulky pads because they are the ones giving the hits, not receiving them. If you are a defenseman, you may choose speedpads like some middies prefer, or liner. What you don’t want as a defenseman is shoulder pads that are heavy.

Level of Mobility

Mobility is another feature that depends on your position and personal preference. Positions that shoot or pass frequently need protection, but they also need to be able to move swiftly and easily. Padding that is too stiff inhibits your movement and negatively affects your accuracy. Padding that is too minimal does not provide adequate protection. Make sure to choose what’s best for you and your position.

Conclusion - Wrapping It All Up

Lacrosse is a high speed and physical sport but it has one of the lowest injury rates out of any of the major sports! Shoulder pads help to keep you from leaving games with bruised and broken bones. As a player, shoulder pads are the best protection you have for your heart, collarbones, shoulder blades, and chest. These are important parts of the body, so it is imperative that you choose pads that will protect you while not hurting your skills.

All of the lacrosse shoulder pads listed above are great options for players.  To find what’s right for you, consider your position and age level of play. You are sure to find pads that are right for you.  Make sure to use our sizing chart to get your shoulder pads to fit properly.

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