Why Shoulder Pads Are Essential For Youth Lacrosse Players
If you’re a parent of a young lacrosse player, you know that having the right protective gear is crucial. Lacrosse is a fast-paced, full-contact sport that requires padding to prevent injuries. While a helmet and gloves tend to get most of the attention, shoulder pads are one of the most vital pieces of equipment for keeping young athletes safe on the field.
Shoulder pads may seem cumbersome, but they serve an important purpose. In lacrosse, legal body checking is allowed at the youth level. Without proper padding over the shoulders, chest, and back, the impact from checks could cause bruising, fractures, or other traumatic harm. According to US Lacrosse rules, shoulder pads must be worn by all youth players in both boys and girls lacrosse.
Beyond preventing injuries from checks, shoulder pads also protect players from the inevitable falls, collisions, and wild shots that are commonplace in lacrosse. The sport’s dynamic nature makes shoulder pads a requirement for minimizing both major and minor injuries.
So what should parents look for when shopping for youth lacrosse shoulder pads? Here are some key factors to consider:
Since young athletes grow rapidly, adjustable shoulder pads allow for a customized fit now and in the future. Pads with removable pads, Velcro straps, and adjustable connections ensure your player gets a snug, comfortable fit each season. Ill-fitting shoulder pads can restrict movement and won’t offer optimal protection.
Range of Motion
Lacrosse requires constant cradling, passing, and shooting, so shoulder pads shouldn’t hinder your child’s mobility. Look for lightweight, breathable pads with flexible materials that allow for a full range of motion. Vents and moisture-wicking fabrics also enhance comfort during intense play.
Due to the frequency of high-speed shots in lacrosse, the chest is particularly vulnerable. Opt for shoulder pads with sufficient sternum and rib protection. Chest plates, padding thickness, and high-density foam or plastic materials on the front of pads provide increased protection in this crucial area.
Shoulder pads should fit snugly without limiting movement or comfort. The ideal pads extend about 1-2 inches below the shoulders and chest with no major gaps. Straps should keep pads firmly in place. For goalies, consider specialty goalie shoulder pads with extra padding in the chest and arms.
During intense youth games under the hot sun, players work up a major sweat. Breathable mesh materials and strategic padding ventilation allows heat and moisture to dissipate. This helps keep players cool, dry and focused.
Youth lacrosse shoulder pads take a major beating each game and season. Look for sturdy construction from tough fabrics that maintain shape and prevent tearing. Replace any damaged or deteriorating pads immediately.
While cost and budget play a role in any equipment purchase, don’t sacrifice quality to save money on shoulder pads. Prioritize fit, protection and durability from reputable sporting brands. Most youth shoulder pads cost $30-100.
Consult online reviews from verified buyers to learn about sizing, comfort, protection and the pros/cons of specific pads. This helps ensure you select the right model for your young athlete’s needs.
Following these guidelines helps parents invest in high-quality shoulder pads that check all the boxes. Two top-rated options to consider include:
Maverik Rome Youth Shoulder Pads
Featuring adjustable arm caps, slash-resistant sternum plates, and flexible padding zones, the Maverik Rome shoulder pads provide advanced protection. They secure tightly via adjustable stretch straps and allow for great mobility thanks to the breathable FlexMesh material.
STX Stallion HPR Youth Shoulder Pads
With adjustable Size-Fit systems, moisture-wicking lining, and extra padding in the sternum, ribs, and back, the STX Stallion HPR pads offer a secure, lightweight fit. The vented arch design enhances ventilation and range of motion.
While lacrosse is a contact sport, taking precautions like wearing proper shoulder pads reduces the risk of injury. With the right pads, young athletes can play their best game safely. Investing in high-quality, adjustable shoulder pads gives developing players an advantage on the field now and in the seasons ahead.
Choosing The Right Shoulder Pad Size For Growing Athletes
Finding well-fitting shoulder pads is one of the biggest challenges facing parents of young lacrosse players. With growth spurts and rapidly changing bodies, dialing in the proper pad size can be tricky. But selecting shoulder pads that are too small or too large can negatively impact performance and safety on the field.
While there is no one-size-fits-all formula, following some key guides helps ensure your growing athlete gets shoulder pads that offer maximum protection without restricting motion. Consider these factors when selecting the ideal size:
Start by accurately measuring your child while they are wearing a T-shirt but no other equipment. Use a soft measuring tape to determine the chest, torso and arm lengths. Consult each manufacturer’s sizing chart to identify the best size range based on your measurements. Sizes are often based on both chest width and player height/weight.
Focus on Chest Fit
While the whole pad should fit snugly, an exact chest measurement match helps optimize fit. Pads too narrow can pinch and shift, while overly wide pads leave the chest vulnerable. Allow about a 1-inch gap between the edge of the shoulder caps and the armpits for the best mobility.
Mind the Straps
Tightening straps along the ribs, shoulders, and back keeps pads locked firmly in position. Strap adjustability also accommodates growth between seasons. Prioritize pads with several Velcro and elastic strap points to customize the compression.
It’s tempting to size up to allow for future growth, but oversized pads can be as problematic as undersized. Optimal protection comes from pads fitting snugly now. Consider adjustable or removable padding to extend use. Also budget for a mid-year size change if hitting a major growth spurt.
Pads should fully cover shoulders, chest, upper back and ribs without obstructing motion. Arm holes must allow free articulation when cradling and shooting. If pads shift or expose areas during play, they are likely the wrong size.
Have your young athlete run, cut, pass, cradle and shoot while wearing the shoulder pads. If range of motion is hindered, sizing adjustment is needed. Proper fit means free, natural athletic movement.
Goalies, defenders and midfielders take more physical punishment and benefit from more comprehensive padding. Attackmen and snipers often prefer less bulk for enhanced dexterity. Choose pads tailored for your child’s playing style.
Avoid bulky, heavy pads that cause discomfort in motion. Breathable, flexible materials that wick sweat boost comfort over long games, especially in warm weather.
Accommodate Female Anatomy
Girls’ lacrosse shoulder pads are specially contoured to fit female bodies. Avoid unisex pads that can restrict movement.
While finding the sweet spot takes some trial and error, taking these steps helps narrow down the right pad size for optimal protection, mobility and comfort. Be prepared to fine-tune as your young athlete grows, and invest in new pads whenever they outgrow the old ones. Protecting your child starts with properly fitted gear.
When shopping for adjustable, growing bodies, parents should consider these top youth lacrosse shoulder pads:
Brine Uprising Expandable Shoulder Pads
Featuring an adjustable sternum and spine, the Brine Uprising pads expand up to 1.5 inches to accommodate growth. The vented arch design enhances breathability.
Maverik Rome NXT Shoulder Pads
With an adjustable belt system and removable bicep guards, the Maverik Rome NXT pads provide a customized fit. The FlexMesh material delivers optimum mobility.
While the padding itself absorbs impact, proper shoulder pad sizing is what enables that protection. Taking the time to find the right size for your growing athlete gives them the tools to perform their best on the field.
Key Features To Look For In Youth Lacrosse Shoulder Pads
With the contact and intensity of lacrosse, having proper protective padding is non-negotiable for young athletes. Shoulder pads in particular play a crucial role in keeping kids safe on the field, but not all pads are created equal. Knowing which features to prioritize helps parents invest in the right pads for their child. Here are the key factors to evaluate when choosing youth lacrosse shoulder pads:
Since kids grow rapidly between seasons, adjustable pads with removable padding, multiple straps, and expandable sternum protection allow for customized sizing now and in the future. One-size-fits-all pads won’t offer an ideal fit.
Range of Motion
Lacrosse requires constant dynamic movement, so rigid, bulky pads are a poor choice. Look for lightweight, breathable materials with strategic padding zones that don’t limit mobility during play.
The chest is especially vulnerable in lacrosse, so prioritize pads with ample rib, sternum and heart protection. Density, thickness, and hard plastic or foam padding on front panels boosts safety.
Mesh fabrics and ventilated padding allows heat and sweat to escape so players stay cool and comfortable even during intense play in hot weather.
Shoulder pads take a beating, so sturdy stitching and rugged, slash-resistant materials prevent tearing, cracking or falling apart prematurely after repeated hard hits and checks.
Unrestricted shoulder rotation supports proper passing, cradling and shooting mechanics. Look for adjustable, well-fitting arm holes that move naturally.
Multiple adjustable straps across the shoulders, ribs, and back keep pads locked in place even after big collisions. Proper compression enhances fit and protection.
Bulky pads can impede mobility and vision. Low-profile padding offers protection without the excess bulk and weight.
Strategic slit or mesh venting especially along the spine and chest allows air flow to keep players cooler.
Padding and materials that won’t chafe or irritate the neck and skin prevents discomfort during play.
Advanced foams like EVA absorb hard checks while remaining lightweight. Multi-layer foam improves energy dispersion upon impact.
Established lacrosse brands like Maverik, STX and Warrior offer advanced, innovative pad technology perfect for young players.
While price and aesthetics matter, prioritizing key protective features ensures your child’s shoulder pads do their job. Two top-rated youth options include:
Maverik Rome NXT Shoulder Pads
Featuring removable bicep guards, sternum plates, and adjustable fit systems, the Maverik Rome NXT pads check all the boxes for adaptable customized protection.
STX Stallion HPR Shoulder Pads
With reinforced high-density foam chest plates, moisture-wicking lining, and flexible padding zones, the STX Stallion HPR pads deliver optimal lightweight protection.
While no pads eliminate all risk, choosing options with advanced protective features minimizes injury potential on the field. With the right shoulder pad features, young athletes gain confidence to play hard and focus on improving their developing lacrosse skills.
Top Brands Known For Quality Youth Lacrosse Gear
When equipping your young athlete for lacrosse, quality matters. Chosen by countless youth and high school players, these leading brands engineer cutting-edge gear to take young players’ games to the next level.
Favored by beginners and pros alike, Maverik dominates the lacrosse gear industry with advanced equipment. Their youth shoulder pads like the Rome and Kinetic lines feature adjustable and removable padding for customize protection. Maverik’s lacrosse sticks balance durability with lightweight handling for developing players. They also offer protective gloves, helmets, bags and full equipment packages.
Offering elite but affordable options, STX empowers young athletes with high-performance lacrosse gear. Their Stallion line includes user-friendly starter sticks and protective shoulder pads with moisture-wicking fabrics. With game-ready packages and a dedication to innovation, STX builds confidence in youth players.
Providing elite gear for all positions and skill levels, Warrior serves players of all ages. Their youth shoulder pads utilize groundbreaking technologies like removable SmartShield plates for adaptive protection. Warrior sticks feature excellent craftsmanship for precise passing and shooting. With bold style and colors, Warrior inspires young athletes.
The leader in lacrosse tradition and heritage, Brine has delivered quality gear since 1950. Their Uprising expandable shoulder pads adjust for growing young bodies. Brine sticks combine performance with durability to equip the players of tomorrow. As a pioneer of the sport, Brine has youth lacrosse covered.
The premier athletic performance brand also dominates lacrosse gear. Under Armour shoulder pads utilize HeatGear moisture-wicking lining to keep young athletes cool and dry. Theirlacrosse sticks feature weather-resistant shafts and buttery soft grips for all-conditions play. UA protective gloves and cleats complete the high-tech ensemble.
The sports giant brings its innovative technologies and signature style to lacrosse. Shoulder pads with Nike Pro Combat padding and Vapor ventilation give young players a cool, lightweight edge. Their aerodynamic lacrosse heads facilitate pinpoint accuracy during play.
Setting the standard for protection, Cascade’s lacrosse helmets and protective gear minimize impact risk. Their youth CPV-R lacrosse helmet includes advanced ventilation and shock absorption technologies. For shoulder to skull protection, Cascade has athletes covered.
Renowned for flawless athletic footwear fit, New Balance enters lacrosse with the Burn Fastpack featuring Fresh Foam cushioning for comfort. They also offer iconic, athletic-inspired pads and protective gear.
Crafting sports gear since 1949, adidas brings premium quality and comfort to their lacrosse equipment. Their shoulder pads integrate flexible EVA foam protection with moisture-wicking fabric for cool, dry play. The adidas brand motivates young athletes.
When stellar protection and peak performance matter, these leading athletic brands get it right. Their innovation, quality and style give budding players the tools to excel while staying safe on the field.
How Proper Shoulder Pad Fitting Improves Performance
While protecting young athletes is the top priority, properly fitted shoulder pads also unlock better lacrosse performance. Ill-fitting gear restricts movement, causes discomfort and impedes play. With pads tailored to your child’s body, their athletic potential can really shine on the field.
Here’s how dialing in the right shoulder pad size enhances your young player’s game:
Freedom of Motion
Lacrosse depends on constant dynamic movement in cradling, scooping, passing, checking and shooting. Pads too small pinch and bind, while oversized pads slide and shift. Expert fitting allows full shoulder articulation and arm rotation for fluid athletic motion.
Agility and Speed
Excess weight and bulk from ill-fitting pads slows players down. Optimized size reduces dragging andawkwardness so young athletes maintain their pace and change direction with agility.
When shoulder pads fit just right, players experience full upper body flexibility to cradle, wind up and shoot powerfully on goal. Properly contoured pads won’t hinder these crucial range-of-motion mechanics.
Vision and Reaction Time
Oversized or shifting pads can obstruct sight lines and make it hard to scan the field. A tailored fit keeps pads locked in place for clear vision to react and cut instantly when driving to the goal.
Knowing gear fits securely inspires confidence to play all-out without worrying about discomfort or restricted mobility. Proper pads provide a sense of invincibility for braver play.
When shoulder pads match your child’s physique, there’s no pinching, chafing or gaping to cause pain or distraction on the field. Maximum comfort keeps players focused.
Pads too loose or tight prevent sweat-wicking fabric and venting from working properly. Expert fitting maintains air flow and cooling for dry comfort all game long.
Improperly sized pads leave players vulnerable, while tailored pads minimize injury risks from routine hits. Less time recovering means more time improving skills.
Uniform pads that don’t shift or bend abnormally enable repetitive throwing, scooping and passing motions for developing reliable muscle memory and techniques.
Smart pad sizing allows quick changes in direction, dodging defenders and driving unimpeded to the goal for leading scoring chances.
While protection is vital, remember that properly fitted shoulder pads unlock your young athlete’s true potential. With gear tailored expertly to your child’s body, their skills and confidence will skyrocket this season.
For high-performance protection with ultimate mobility, look to these top brands:
Maverik Rome Shoulder Pads
Featuring FlexMesh fabric and an adjustable sternum plate for customized protection and articulation.
STX Stallion 500 Shoulder Pads
Integrating moisture-wicking materials and flexible padding for breathable, unrestricted play.
Moving and playing freely allows young athletes to focus on excelling versus fidgeting with gear. Do your child a favor by ensuring their shoulder pads fit like a glove this lacrosse season.
Common Mistakes Parents & Players Make Selecting Pads
Finding the right lacrosse shoulder pads for your young athlete is tricky. With so many options and factors to weigh, it’s easy for parents and players to make mistakes during selection. Being aware of these common pitfalls helps you avoid them:
Focusing on Price over Protection
Cheaper pads may seem appealing, but inferior quality materials and less padding ultimately jeopardize safety to save money. Prioritize premium protection over bargain pricing.
Choosing Based on Aesthetics
While it’s tempting to pick stylish, flashy pads, looks are secondary to performance. Don’t sacrifice key features and fit simply because pads look cool.
Buying the Wrong Size
Without carefully measuring your child and consulting sizing charts, it’s easy end up with ill-fitting pads. Take the time to get accurate measurements for a tailored fit.
Not Accounting for Growth
Since kids grow rapidly, avoid buying pads with no room to adjust. Seek removable padding and expandable sternums to extend use over multiple seasons.
Putting Faith in Universal Sizing
One-size-fits-all pads won’t offer a customized, snug fit. Look for size-specific pads made for your child’s physique and age level.
Neglecting to Try Them On
It’s impossible to judge fit and mobility without testing pads. Have your child put candidates on and simulate lacrosse motions before deciding.
If pads cause soreness, chafing or overheating, performance will suffer. Ensure padding is breathable and comfy for long-term wear.
Obstructing Vision or Movement
Oversized or shifted pads can block sight lines and restrict range of motion. Opt for a streamlined, tailored fit that moves naturally.
Ignoring Chest Protection
The rib/sternum area needs ample padding, so don’t skimp on chest plate density and materials.
Not Securing Properly
If pads are loose with straps unfastened, protection is compromised. Use all adjustable closure points for an ultra-snug compression fit.
Allowing Makeshift Fixes
Duct-taping deteriorating pads or punching new strap holes reduces safety. Replace damaged goods immediately.
Avoiding these missteps takes a little extra research and effort up front, but ensuring ideal fit and function keeps your child safe in the hard-hitting lacrosse arena. Shop smart, not quick.
For worry-free protection you can trust, look to industry leaders like these:
Warrior Regulator Youth Shoulder Pads
Featuring adaptable protection materials and moisture-wicking liner for customized comfort.
Brine King Youth Shoulder Pads
Offering lightweight low-profile design with vented arch to avoid overheating.
While parents make the purchase, players should provide input and try on potential pads. Making an informed choice together eliminates mistakes and regret down the road.
Protecting Vulnerable Collarbone & Shoulder Areas
As a parent of a youth lacrosse player, keeping your child safe on the field is a top priority. The collarbone and shoulder areas are particularly vulnerable to injury in lacrosse. A properly fitted pair of lacrosse shoulder pads can help protect these delicate areas from harm.
Choosing the right shoulder pads is crucial. The pads should completely cover the collarbone and extend all the way to the tip of the shoulder. Look for pads with a soft, shock-absorbing liner and plastic caps on the shoulders for extra protection. Avoid pads that are too bulky or restrictive, as mobility is also key.
When trying on shoulder pads, your child should be wearing their uniform and all other protective gear. The shoulder caps should sit just above the tip of the shoulder. There should be no gap between the collarbone and the padding. Straps should feel snug but not constricting. For goalies, look for extra padding and coverage on the dominant arm.
Properly cared for pads will provide better protection. Check for cracks in plastic components before each use. Replace pads if the foam lining compresses over time. Keep pads clean by wiping out sweat after practices and games. Air dry and store in a ventilated bag.
In addition to shoulder pads, look for lacrosse gloves with rigid cuffs that extend partway down the forearm. This helps protect wrists and arms during checks. Arm pads add another layer of protection for players prone to bruising. Goalies require a full upper body padded vest for maximum coverage.
While properly fitted equipment reduces the risk of injury, correct tackling technique is also vital. Coaches should teach players to keep their heads up and avoid leading with their heads or shoulders when advancing toward opponents. Proper body positioning lowers the chances of a dangerous collision.
Hits involving the head and neck should be an immediate penalty. No checks should be allowed for young players below a certain age group. Officials must diligently enforce rules prohibiting reckless contact for the safety of all players.
Beyond pads and penalties, strength training helps prevent shoulder injuries. Exercises that increase neck, shoulder, and chest muscle strength give players’ bodies extra stability. Weight lifting two or three times a week in the off-season keeps muscles fit for facing physical contact.
While all contact sports carry some degree of risk, parents can rest assured that lacrosse continues to evolve with a focus on safety. Mandatory protective gear, stricter penalties, improved training, and advances in pad technology have all helped reduce the injury rate.
Still, parents should remain vigilant. Insist on properly fitted equipment for every practice and game. Advocate for strict enforcement of safety rules. Do not allow children to play through pain or after a suspected concussion. Speaking up keeps the game safe and kids healthy as they hone their skills on the lacrosse field.
In the end, effective collarbone and shoulder protection comes down to a combination of factors. Well-chosen pads fitted snugly to a player’s chest, shoulders, and back provide a critical barrier against injury. Adherence to the rules and fair officiating punish dangerous play. And strong player bodies developed through training withstand incidental contact. Together with an emphasis on safety, these steps help young athletes enjoy the fastest game on two feet with confidence.
- Properly fitted shoulder pads are essential for protecting vulnerable collarbone and shoulder areas.
- Look for lacrosse pads with shock-absorbing foam and plastic shoulder caps.
- Ensure pads completely cover the collarbone and shoulders without gaps.
- Proper tackling technique and enforcement of safety rules also prevent injuries.
- Strength training builds player muscle to better withstand contact.
- Advances in equipment and awareness of head injury risk make lacrosse safer than ever.
When it comes to youth lacrosse shoulder and collarbone safety, the right pads, proper training, and an emphasis on injury prevention offer the best protection. With vigilance from parents, coaches, officials, and lacrosse’s governing bodies, young athletes can enjoy playing this fast-paced sport while staying injury-free.
Comparing Different Shoulder Pad Materials: Pros & Cons
When selecting shoulder pads for youth lacrosse, one of the most important choices is the material. Different pad materials offer unique advantages and disadvantages. By understanding the pros and cons of each type, parents can make the best decision for their child’s needs and budget.
Foam is a lightweight, affordable material commonly used in beginner lacrosse shoulder pads. The foam compresses on impact to cushion against blows. This makes foam pads flexible and comfortable for recreational play.
The downside is that foam loses its shock absorbing properties over time. As the material compresses permanently, it offers less protection. Foam also tears relatively easily compared to other lacrosse pad materials.
injection Molded Plastic
Injection molded plastic refers to sturdy plastic molded into pad components like shoulder caps. This hard plastic shell deflects impacts away from the body.
The rigidity of plastic prevents tears or permanent compression. Plastic shoulder caps retain their protective qualities season after season. However, some find all-plastic pads uncomfortably stiff and restrictive.
Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)
TPU combines plastic’s durability with foam’s flexibility. This cutting-edge material resists tearing while cushioning blows. TPU shoulder pads break in over time for a custom fit.
On the downside, TPU costs more than basic foam or plastic. The material also absorbs sweat, so pads may need more frequent cleaning to prevent odor.
Vented Compression Foam
Newer pads feature vented foam panels that compress on impact while allowing air flow. Extra ventilation keeps players cooler while moisture-wicking fabrics reduce sweat buildup.
However, vented foam is less protective overall than solid plastic components. More ventilation also allows greater pad odor over time.
Absorbent Foam Liners
Inside pads, absorbent foam liner cushions against impact. Some liners contain antimicrobial silver ions that inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
The main drawback is that absorbent liners require more frequent washing as they hold sweat. Bacteria also build up over time if pads are not cleaned thoroughly.
Most shoulder pads secure with adjustable straps for a customized fit. Straps enhance comfort and ensure pads stay in place during intense game play.
One potential issue is strap slippage during contact if straps loosen. Some lacrosse players also develop a skin reaction from extended strap friction.
When comparing shoulder pad materials, consider your child’s playing style. Goalies and defensive players may prefer maximum protection from solid plastic components. Midfielders and attackers often favor lighter, more breathable pads for mobility.
Also, assess your budget realistically. Advanced materials like TPU offer great benefits but at a higher cost. Foam or basic injection molded plastic provides sufficient protection at a more affordable price point.
No matter what material you choose, proper pad fit is essential. Shoulder caps should completely cover and extend just past the shoulder joint without impeding movement. The collarbone and chest must also be fully covered without gaps.
With the right lacrosse shoulder pads made from suitable materials for your child’s needs, you can have peace of mind knowing their vulnerable joints and bones are protected. They’ll be ready to scoop, cradle, and charge up the field with confidence.
The Bottom Line
- Foam pads are lightweight and flexible but lose protective abilities over time.
- Injection molded plastic withstands impact but can restrict mobility.
- Newer TPU blends plastic and foam pros while managing moisture.
- Vented compression foams enhance air flow but sacrifice some protection.
- Absorbent foam liners and adjustable straps provide comfort if cleaned regularly.
Consider your child’s position and budget when selecting shoulder pad material. With the right pads, young lacrosse athletes can play both safely and unhindered.
Removable Vs Integrated Shoulder & Chest Padding
When selecting protective youth lacrosse shoulder pads, parents must decide between removable or integrated padding. Both offer advantages that align with different playing needs and positions.
Many lacrosse shoulder pads feature removable padding on the chest, shoulders, and back. This modular padding attaches to the pad vest via velcro or snaps.
The benefit of removable padding is the ability to customize protection. More pads can go on high-impact zones like shoulders, while fewer pads reduce bulk on the back and abdomen.
Downsides include potential padding shift during intense play. Removable pads also require more time to put on and adjust properly before each use.
With integrated padding, the protective foam or plastic is permanently built into the vest. The padding does not detach and stays fixed game after game.
Since it’s fixed in place, integrated padding maintains protection consistency. There’s no danger of pads slipping or needing pre-game adjustment.
However, integrated shoulder and chest pads lack customization flexibility. Areas that need less bulk still feature padding that could hamper mobility.
Certain lacrosse positions benefit more from removable versus integrated padding approaches.
Goalies tend to favor integrated padding for unfailing coverage. Their entire chest and shoulders stay protected without maintenance.
Defenders often opt for removable pads to reduce bulk on their back while stacking more pads on lead shoulders and arms.
Midfielders and attackers, focused on quick cuts and dodges, sometimes prefer integrated padding streamlined for speed.
Mixed Padding Approaches
Some shoulder pads strike a balance with mixed padding.
For example, a pad could feature removable padding over the collarbone and shoulders while integrating padding across the ribs and back.
This allows protection customization where needed most, while ensuring padding stays fixed on less vulnerable areas.
Try Before Buying
When deciding on removable versus integrated padding, be sure to try pads on properly before purchase. Equipment fit is key to both comfort and protection.
For removable pads, test different padding configurations for the right balance of protection and mobility.
With integrated padding, focus on getting a snug fit across shoulders and torso without hindering arm motion or breathing.
Keep cost in mind as well. In general, removable padding adds expense due to the extra modular components.
Weigh the Trade-Offs
Ultimately there are positives and negatives to both padding approaches. Removable pads allow custom protection but may shift. Integrated pads stay put yet lack adjustability.
Focus on finding the right match for your child’s position and comfort level. Proper pad fit will keep them covered without impeding their play.
With the right lacrosse shoulder pads, removable or integrated, youth players can charge the field knowing their collarbone, shoulders and core stay protected.
- Removable padding allows protection customization but risks shifting.
- Integrated padding maintains consistent coverage but lacks adjustability.
- Goalies tend to favor integrated padding while defenders often want removable padding.
- Trying on different pad styles ensures optimal fit and mobility.
- Both padding approaches have trade-offs to consider based on needs.
Analyze your child’s lacrosse position and style to determine if removable or integrated padding best meets their needs for protection and movement on the field.
Youth Goalie Shoulder Pads Vs Field Players’ Needs
In lacrosse, goalie and field player positions require specialized shoulder pad features. Understanding these differences helps parents select optimal protective gear.
Goalie shoulder pads focus on maximum coverage to protect the chest, shoulders, arms and back. Enlarged shoulder caps and extended chest padding provide complete protection.
For field players, a streamlined fit allows better mobility for quick cuts, dodges and checks. Their shoulder pads maximize freedom of movement over total coverage.
Goalie pads prioritize impact absorption and deflection for saves. Thicker foam or solid plastic across the chest and shoulders diffuses ball force.
Midfielders and attackers opt for lighter foam that maintains mobility. Defenders may add removable plastic caps for extra shielding when covering opponents.
Range of Motion
Since goalies react to shots from all angles, their pads optimize stretch and flexibility. Shoulder caps extend farther down the arm for broad range of motion.
For field players, unhindered arm movement is also crucial. Their pads ensure padding does not limit quick milestone-to-earhole passing range.
Goalie pads have sweat-wicking, breathable liners to avoid soaked gear and added weight. Ventilation ports also keep air flowing to manage heat.
Field players benefit from ventilation and moisture control as well. However, they may sacrifice some breathability for more protective but non-breathable components.
Arm & Elbow Guards
Goalie shoulder pads usually integrate enlarged elbow pads plus extended arm guards for limb protection.
Field players can pair shoulder pads with separate detachable arm guards. But these are minimized to maintain flexibility.
For proper protection, goalie pads require full adjustability at shoulders, chest and back. Integrated straps ensure secure fit.
Field players also need a snug fit, though some opt for removable pads to reduce bulk on back and non-lead arms.
Women’s lacrosse goalie pads tailor sizing and shape for the female form. Chest and shoulder pads cater to narrower frames and wider hip-to-shoulder ratios.
Many brands now offer women’s field pads with adjusted closure points and contoured padding to suit female bodies.
Protect What Matters
For youth goalies, every part of the torso and arms need padding during reaction saves. Field players require flexibility and lightweight mobility to play offense and defense.
By balancing protection and performance, goalie and field shoulder pads allow players to focus on the game, not their gear.
- Goalie pads offer full coverage protection including arms.
- Field pads maximize mobility with strategic padding placement.
- Thicker plastic and foam diffuses impact for goalie saves.
- Lightweight materials maintain field players’ speed and agility.
- Both positions require adjustable, stay-put fits and moisture control.
Understanding lacrosse position needs helps parents choose the right protective shoulder pads for their child’s safety and success on the field.
New & Used Shoulder Pad Buying Tips: Get The Most Value
Investing in quality youth lacrosse shoulder pads protects your child while optimizing their game. Smart shopping for both new and used pads yields safety, savings and performance.
When buying new shoulder pads, prioritize fit and coverage. Take advantage of sizing charts and brand fit guides to order the right pads.
Attend pre-season product demo events where players can try on pads. Avoid ordering sight unseen if possible.
Compare materials and features across brands and models. New technologies like moisture wicking fabrics and segmented padding provide added value.
For maximum savings, shop end of season sales for newly released pads. Off-season deals can cut costs by 20% or more.
Gently used pads offer savings over new provided you inspect condition closely.
Try pads on the child player to ensure good fit. Straps should feel snug but not overly tight or worn.
Check for cracks, loose pieces or other damage on hard plastic parts like shoulder caps and elbow guards.
Press into padding to verify thickness and lack of permanent compression lines that indicate worn out shock absorption.
Give used pads a disinfecting wipe down and air dry well after use. Machine wash removable pads and liners.
Whether buying new or used, never compromise protection for savings. Damaged or ill-fitting pads put young athletes at injury risk.
Prioritize a streamlined, stable fit across the collarbone, shoulders and torso without gap or slippage.
Used pads must have adequate, non-compressed padding thickness to still absorb impact.
Weigh Cost vs. Performance
Higher cost pads generally equate more protective and breathable materials that optimize performance.
But mid-range pads with integrated padding provide full coverage at a more moderate price point.
Even entry level pads should meet all safety standards provided they fit well and remain in good condition.
Having the right lacrosse shoulder pads gives young athletes confidence to play hard while preventing injury. Take time to find the optimal balance of fit, function and affordability for your child.
- Try new pads on in person whenever possible for ideal fit.
- Compare features and materials across different brands and models.
- Inspect used pads closely for damage and wear-and-tear.
- Ensure used and new pads fit snugly without gaps.
- Prioritize safety before savings when purchasing pads.
Shop smart for value and protection whether buying new or used youth lacrosse shoulder pads this season.
Extending Shoulder Pad Lifespan With Proper Care
Investing in quality youth lacrosse shoulder pads represents a significant cost. With proper care and maintenance, parents can help pads last multiple seasons.
Perspiration and dirt degrade pads over time. Get into a routine of wiping down pads after every practice and game.
Use a gentle cloth with a small amount of mild detergent and water solution. Target the liner and any visible soiling on the pads surface.
Allow pads to fully air dry before putting them away. Storing in a mesh bag also allows ventilation to prevent mildew buildup.
In addition to daily wipe downs, deep clean pads regularly. This helps disinfect and revive materials.
Hand wash removable liner and straps in cold water with gentle detergent. Let air dry completely.
For pads themselves, use disinfectant wipes designed for sports gear to kill bacteria and odors.
Spot Treat Stubborn Stains
For difficult stains on pad lining or surface, use a paste of baking soda and water. Gently rub into stain and let sit 30 minutes before rinsing.
Vinegar or lemon juice also helps cut through discoloration. Avoid harsh bleaches that may degrade pad materials.
To maintain cushioning, store pads properly when not in use. Avoid folding or tightly bunching pads for extended periods.
Rotate and rest pads through 2-3 sets worn during a season. Let foam fully rebound between uses.
Replace pads once lining compresses or tears. Remove damaged sections immediately to avoid enlargement.
Check plastic caps, plates, and connectors for signs of cracking or looseness. Tighten or replace as needed.
Monitor strap adjustment buckles for bending or breakage. Substitute spare lacing if necessary to attach pads.
For longest life, store pads over summer in a cool, dry area. Avoid attics, garages or basements prone to humidity or temperature extremes.
Stuff pads loosely rather than packed flat. This helps foam maintain shape.
Resting pads, along with diligent cleaning and regular inspection, helps maximize their useful lifespan. Properly maintained pads keep young athletes protected season after season.
- Wipe down pads after every use once they dry.
- Disinfect liner and pads regularly to prevent odor buildup.
- Avoid harsh cleaners that degrade pad materials.
- Let foam fully rebound between uses.
- Inspect for signs of wear like cracking or torn lining.
With attentive cleaning, careful storage, and replacement of damaged parts, youth lacrosse shoulder pads will protect child athletes for multiple seasons of play.
When To Replace Worn Or Ill-Fitting Youth Lacrosse Pads
While proper care extends the lifespan of youth lacrosse shoulder pads, at some point replacement becomes necessary. Recognizing when to switch out worn or poorly sized pads ensures your child’s continuous protection.
Padding breaks down and compresses permanently over years of use. Squishy or misshapen shoulder caps or chest plates indicate diminished shock absorption.
Press down on foam – it should bounce back completely. Any indentations mean padding will not disperse impact forces as effectively.
Compressed pads leave collarbone, rib, shoulder and back areas vulnerable. Replace pads showing signs of wear.
Interior liner helps wick moisture and ease pad slipping. Rips or holes in this liner compromise function.
Tears often start small but expand over time. Even minor liner damage warrants a liner replacement or full pad replacement.
Exposed inner foam from liner tears absorbs sweat and odors. Bacteria can also penetrate ripped lining and degrade pads.
If any plastic plates, caps or connectors detatch orshow signs of cracking, replace immediately.
Straps with stretched out holes that no longer secure tightly also indicate expired usability.
Mixing old cracked parts with new risks injury. Replace full pads when individual components fail.
As your child grows, check pad fit often. Pads fitting snugly become loose, allowing motion.
Shoulder caps should never sit below or away from shoulders during use. A gap means less protection.
Outgrown pads with compromised coverage must be replaced, even if pad condition remains adequate.
Position or League Changes
Moving from forward to defense may require more protective pads with more plastic caps or plates.
Advancing to more elite leagues with stronger contact warrants upgrading pads to higher levels of protection.
Even without visible damage, if pads just seem “off” or ill-fitting, err on the side of replacement.
Your judgment combined with child feedback on discomfort guides decisions.
Don’t risk injury with questionable pads. New equipment restores complete protection.
Regular Replacement Makes Sense
With wear over years of play, replacing lacrosse shoulder pads every 2-3 seasons ensures reliable safety.
Hand pads down to younger siblings or sell used to offset costs. Investing in protection delivers peace of mind.
- Look for padding that fails to bounce back or shows compression lines.
- Torn liner, loose parts, and ill-fitting straps indicate expired pads.
- Replace pads after growth spurts compromise fit and coverage.
- Changing positions or leagues may require more protective pads.
- When in doubt, err toward replacing questionable pads.
Replacing worn or ill-fitting youth lacrosse shoulder pads ensures your child can perform their best with full confidence and security.
Innovations In Lacrosse Shoulder Pad Design & Technology
Recent years have seen dramatic improvements in lacrosse shoulder pad engineering. New materials and design features optimize fit, protection, and mobility for youth players.
Pads now integrate lightweight polymer plastics that resist cracking better over repeated impacts. Lighter caps and plates reduce overall pad weight.
New plastics like compressed EVA foam absorb hard checks while allowing full motion. Plastic innovations balance sturdiness with flexibility.
Shoulder foam padding is moving from solid sheets to hexagonal segmented cells. Individual cells compress then reset after impact.
Hex padding eliminates hard spots while improving air flow and moisture wicking. Muscle-mapped shapes match body contours.
New pads feature adjustable components for custom fits. Removable bicep guards, shoulder caps, and chest plates allow pad personalization.
Ratchet straps and lace-ups finesse fit across the back and shoulders for adaptability as players grow.
Moisture Wicking Fabrics
Liner fabrics with sweat-wicking, anti-microbial properties are now standard. Ventilated mesh pads keep players cooler and drier.
Some pads have hydrophobic coatings that resist absorbing sweat. New liner materials reduce odors and bacterial growth.
Pads now target fit, protection and mobility needs by player position. Brands offer goalie, defenseman, midfielder, and attackman models.
For example, goalie pads focus on extended torso coverage while attackman pads prioritize shoulder mobility.
Women’s pads tailor broader chest and shoulder dimensions with narrower waists. Anatomic design matches the female form.
Pads scale to accommodate girls’ growth patterns. Straps and closure points align to the female body.
New “smart” thermoregulating textiles automatically warm up or cool down based on body temperature. This added comfort helps players stay focused.
Some pads integrate biometric sensors to track heart rate, respiration, and other indicators during play.
The Future of Protection
Expect even more dramatic shoulder pad advances and customizations as technology evolves. Soon, 3D printed pads tailored to a player’s body scan may become the norm.
But for now, the latest pad innovations give young athletes unparalleled flexibility, responsiveness, and safety on the lacrosse field.
- Lighter plastics improve protection while reducing weight.
- Hex foam and segmented padding optimize flexibility.
- Adjustable components allow custom pad fitting.
- Moisture wicking fabrics fight odors and stay light.
- Anatomic designs match pads to player gender and position.
Recent lacrosse shoulder pad breakthroughs give young players the tools they need to excel while staying protected as never before.
Must-Have Accessories For Optimal Shoulder Protection
Beyond shoulder pads themselves, certain accessories maximize protection for vulnerable youth collarbone and shoulder areas during lacrosse play.
Detachable arm guards attach to shoulder pads to shield the elbow, forearm, and bicep from checks and collisions.
Hard caps on the elbow and lengthwise plastic plates resist impact. Interior foam absorbs residual force.
Snugly fitted arm guards move with the arm’s natural range of motion. Some attach via compression sleeves.
Standalone rib pads add an extra layer of protection from sticks or ball impact underneath shoulder pads.
Made from lightweight, breathable foam or hex-shaped cells, rib pads contour to the athlete’s sides.
They must fit snugly without obstructing movement or arm lifting. Pads anchor via inner grip lining.
Helmet Shoulder Pads
Adhesive pads apply directly to the helmet rim to cushion helmet-to-shoulder contact during checks or collisions.
The low-profile pads won’t interfere with peripheral vision. Some helmet pads feature ventilation holes for airflow.
Helmet pads require replacement after getting wet or contaminated to maintain adhesive effectiveness.
Small lightweight plastic plates attach to the chest area of shoulder pads via velcro or snap directly over the vulnerable collarbone.
The smooth, low-profile plates deflect force from direct hits. Plates remove easily when checking range of motion.
Stick End Caps
Protective rubber caps fit over the plastic end of lacrosse sticks to soften inadvertent pokes to the chest or neck.
Cushioned caps attach via stretch fit or velcro. They must stand up to hard shots against boards and ground without compromising ball handling.
The Complete Package
Together with standard lacrosse shoulder pads, these accessories provide comprehensive coverage from multiple impact directions.
They allow players to charge ahead without fear of sticks, balls, or contact against unprotected zones.
- Arm guards shield biceps, elbows and forearms from checks.
- Rib pads add chest impact absorption under shoulder pads.
- Helmet shoulder pads cushion against helmet-to-shoulder contact.
- Collarbone plates protect delicate clavicle zone.
- End cap sticks cushion inadvertent pokes and slashes.
Smart lacrosse parents look beyond shoulder pads alone to optimize protection for their child’s shoulders, collarbone, arms and ribs this season.