High-speed collisions and impacts are commonplace in lacrosse. Remember, we are talking about the “fastest game on two feet,” played with metal sticks in hand at that! If you want to avoid a dislocated collar/shoulder, or broken bones, you need the best lacrosse shoulder pads your money can buy!

Here are the top ten lacrosse shoulder pads available online in 2018:

  1. Maverik Lacrosse Charger Shoulder Pad
  2. Brine Triumph II Lacrosse Shoulder Pad
  3. STX Lacrosse Impact Shoulder Pad
  4. Maverik Lacrosse Men’s Rome RX3 Speed Pad
  5. STX Stallion 50 Shoulder Pad
  6. Brine Clutch Shoulder Pad
  7. Maverik Max Speed Lacrosse Shoulder Pad
  8. STC Lacrosse Cell 100 Shoulder Pad
  9. Epoch Lacrosse Integra Shoulder Pad
  10. Warrior Regulator Lite Hitman Shoulder Pad

Lacrosse Shoulder Pad Buying Guide

Who needs a lacrosse shoulder pad, and why?

Lacrosse is a high-octane, full-contact sport played with sticks. High-speed collisions and defensive checks using the sticks occur on a routine basis in a game. It is mandatory to wear protective gear when playing this sport.

Now, the rules of the women’s and girl’s version of the game are somewhat different, as the focus is mainly on skill rather than brute force. So you don’t need shoulder pads. But the male version is more aggressive, and physical checks are allowed. Shoulder pads are an integral part of the equipment in the boys’ and men’s lacrosse.

All outfield players need to wear shoulder pads without exception. But some positions are more vulnerable to checks and collisions. Forwards are the ones that need maximum protection as they are more often on the receiving end. On the other extreme, the defenders are less vulnerable as it is their job to dish out the pain!

Are there different types of men’s shoulder pads in lacrosse?

Yes, there are three main variations of shoulder pads, each with varying levels of protection and flexibility. They are:

Traditional Shoulder Pads

If you want maximum protection to your upper body, this is the shoulder pad you need to buy. This version has multiple layers of padding and protection. The setup will include collapsible shoulder caps that have a flexible motion.

They are easier to run with than a rigid design, as the caps expand and contract as you move. Traditional pads protect your collar bones (clavicle) and shoulder muscles (deltoids). If you want to protect your upper biceps, you can use the removable biceps guards as well.

Hybrid Shoulder Pads

There is one major disadvantage with traditional pads: they are rather bulky and can feel too restrictive for some faster players. In the past, there was only the traditional design for men’s lacrosse pads. So some players started improvising, by cutting off excess padding.

Soon, the manufacturers got wind of this trend, and the hybrid shoulder pad was born. Hybrid pads are noticeably lighter than traditional pads and have less bulky layers. These pads tend to fit snugly to your body.

Like traditional shoulder pads, hybrids also have the option of removable biceps guards. Some models have reinforced padding inside and offer superior protection against internal injuries to the torso.

Chest Shoulder Liner

The main difference between chest shoulder liners and the other two shoulder pad designs is the total absence of biceps guards. Liners are the lightest protection for lacrosse players. But that also makes them ideal for maximum speed and flexibility.

According to the lacrosse equipment rules, liners are considered the basic minimum safety equipment for male lacrosse players. So yes, despite the markedly less protection they offer, chest shoulder liners are still legal equipment.

It is not all doom and gloom for players who wear liners. You do get adequate protection for shoulders, chest, and the collars. Just don’t expect it to protect your arms and other parts against bruising

Which variant is the best for Lacrosse?

All three types of shoulder pads have a place on the field. No rule demands that a particular class of players should use a certain type of shoulder pad design. Ultimately, it all boils down to personal preference and playing style.

If you are an aggressive player who is constantly charging into the defense, ideally, you should be using a traditional pad. But that has the disadvantage of slowing down your shooting arms. But you can improve on that by removing the biceps guards. But obviously, there is a tradeoff there, between safety and flexibility.

Another aspect is overall athleticism and speed. Some attackers and middies are built for speed and pace. Heavy shoulder pads will just slow them down, reducing their effectiveness. For these players, hybrids are far more preferable to traditional pads. Many defensive players also like hybrids for the balanced performance that it provides.

Liners are not recommended for attackers and younger players. You need to have a good athletic frame and musculature if you want to survive on the field wearing just a liner. But players who are used to a run-and-gun playstyle will benefit a lot from having the least amount of padding. Middies and defenders usually prefer this kind of protection more than attackers. These positions are not often the target of heavy checking and body collisions anyway.

How to get the correct lacrosse shoulder pads sizing?

To get the most protection out of your shoulder pad, it has to be of the correct size for your body. The fit is all important here. The pads should sit snugly on your torso, without any gaps. If you have an improper fit, the shoulder pads will ride up into your neck as you move.

When you get the fit right, the chest pad will sit low but not too low on your upper body, flawlessly covering the chest area and heart. The movement should be effortless and unrestricted, with the collar pad snugly resting on your collarbone.

Shoulder pads are usually available in Extra Small-Small-Medium-Large-Extra Large size range. All manufacturers usually have information tables and lacrosse shoulder pads sizing guides on their site. Pay special attention to these charts, as they can differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Lacrosse Shoulder Pad Reviews: Top 10 Pads On Sale Now!

  1. Maverik Lacrosse Charger Shoulder Pad

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The Maverik Charger is a youth size shoulder pad for boys. This is a full traditional shoulder pad, which is mandatory at youth level. It offers the maximum protection for young players who are still learning the game. The pads have several layers prevent injuries from high-velocity shots and checks.

Along with upper arm guards, you also get an extra sternum plate. This ensures outstanding protection for the vital organs and bones in the chest area. For additional comfort, the shoulder pad comes with extra soft padding at the neck area.

The pads are available in four sizes, ranging from extra small to large. To ensure proper fit, the straps feature adjustable velcro pads. This ensures that you can get a very snug fit with these Charger pads from Maverik.

The Maverik Charger is one of the best lacrosse shoulder pads for middie players. But it is more for beginner players, and not for advanced play/tournaments.

Pros:

  • Excellent fit, thanks to velcro straps
  • Very comfortable padding
  • Extra protection to sternum
  • Ideal for beginner training

Cons

Not for intermediate or advanced levels

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  1. Brine Triumph II Lacrosse Shoulder Pad

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This is a rather beefy looking traditional shoulder pad from Brine. It has a thick EVA foam lining in the chest area for extra protection. These injection molded materials are incredibly lightweight, allowing unparalleled freedom of movement and pace.

The Brine Triumph II is available for youth and senior levels, from ages 6-18+. This is a serious piece of equipment, designed to withstand heavy punishment in advanced tournament level play. These are mainly lacrosse shoulder pads for attack, but can also be used effectively by middies.

There are several features on this pad that improves the overall comfort level. The mesh jacket design is both flexible and breathable. It provides enough shielding without making you feel hot under the collar. And even when you do sweat on the field, there is a wicking layer for additional ventilation and cooling effect.

The biceps guards can be removed for additional performance and flexibility in advanced players. The advanced strap system on these brine pads ensures the best snug fit on your body.

Overall, the Triumph II is a well-designed shoulder pad for advanced lacrosse players. It has a premium price but provides enough value for money to warrant a purchase. This ranks among the best lacrosse shoulder pads for middie and attack-oriented players.

Pros:

  • Extra ventilation and wicking
  • Lightweight EVA construction
  • Extra protection for chest and collarbone
  • Ideal for advanced players

Cons:

  • A bit expensive

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  1. STX Lacrosse Impact Shoulder Pad

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These are simple but durable shoulder pads aimed at youth level players. If you need kids lacrosse shoulder pads for attack, the STX Impact line is well worth a look. These are traditional shoulder pads that offer maximum protection for the arms, shoulders, collarbone and chest area.

The Impact pad features exposed caps at the shoulders. These durable plastic pieces offer additional protection for attackers and middies when checked in the opposing third of the field. There are biceps pads, as this is a traditional design. But for added versatility, these come with removable straps.

The STX pads have a contoured design, which helps them fit snugly onto the torso of the player. This snug fit ensures maximum protection and mobility. EVA foam is used to manufacture the pads themselves. This ensures that shoulder pads remain light yet durable.

The Impact lineup of shoulder pads offers excellent protection and comfort for young boys playing lacrosse. This pad is well worth a buy if your kid wants to take part in tournaments. It ranks as one of the best lacrosse shoulder pads for midfield & attack at the youth level.

Pros:

  • Lightweight EVA foam pads
  • Extra plastic caps on shoulders
  • Removable bicep pads
  • Snug fit with contoured design

Cons:

  • Not available for older boys

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  1. Maverik Lacrosse Men’s Rome RX3 Speed Pad

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As the name suggests, the Rome X3 is a full-size men’s shoulder pad from Maverik. These pads follow the hybrid design profile. A highlight of the RX3 is the surprisingly varied customization options built into the pad.

Simply put, this is a pad that can transform with the seasons. It has removable chest and back panels. This is a pro-level product that offers maximum fit options. You can configure the fit levels according to your personal preferences with ease.

Another highlight is the soft foam plates used for protection. These are very soft to touch and offer a snug and comfortable fit. But at the time of impact, they automatically harden to protect your bones and internals.

For extra comfort, the pad has a wicking inner layer and wide mesh straps. The Rome X3 offers excellent freedom of movement as well as some advanced safety. If you want a versatile shoulder pad you can customize to your preferences, this is well worth a look.

Pros:

  • Advanced customization options
  • Moisture-wicking layer
  • High Tech Soft foam for extra protection
  • Very lightweight yet durable
  • For pro-level play

Cons:

  • Not enough protection for arms and biceps

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  1. STX Stallion 50 Shoulder Pad

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The Stallion 50 does not forsake protection for aggressive playstyles. If you want the fullest protection for your shoulders and torso, this traditional pad should rank high on your list of choices.

This STX pad does not try to reinvent the wheel or anything of that sort. It keeps things simple and to the point, and that is a good thing. If you are a beginner, you need as much protection as you can get on the field.

And the Stallion 50 is very confidence inspiring, with a black multi-layered pad design. You get complete coverage for your chest, collarbone, shoulders, and biceps. And the velcro straps ensure that you can get the perfect snug it in these pads. Adjust the bicep pad or remove, the choice is yours.  The “Air Zone” in the chest can be removed, based off your preferences of comfort.

Normally velcro will get stuck on pennies, and wear out rather quickly. The velcro on these pads is of an improved material that won’t wear, and won’t snag. Strangely this makes for a very important upgrade.

The “Dynamic Fit System” is designed to make the pads as naturally fitting as possible. The protection is anchored around the core, which helps the padding move with you during play.

The “High Def Polymer” is a moisture wicking material that will keep your pads dry during wet conditions. This as well keeps your pads free of sweat, and in turn free of odor.

The Stallion 50 is available in a wide range of sizes for boys aged 5-14+. It is a budget-priced version, better suited for practice rather than serious tournament play.

Pros:

  • Cheap and affordable
  • Full protection with traditional design
  • Velcro straps offer adjustable fit
  • Simple yet effective design
  • Low Profile Pads, Giving You the Necessary Protection –

Player feedback seems really supportive of these pads being the perfect amount of protective for the attack player, in-game and in-training.

  • The Pads Move With Your Body –

Players are saying there is a sense of “natural feel” to these pads. The “Dynamic Fit System,” intended to have the pads move how you move, is not all hype.

  • Strap them Up How You Want, Get the Fit You Need –

The player reports I have seen said there are a number of different ways to choose strapping up these pads before play. This gives you lots of freedom to get the exact fit you like.

  • Protection Covers All the Way to the Abdomen –

The protection on these pads goes a lot lower than others, as players have noticed. This gives you extra protection from slashes you may not see coming.

  • If you happened to like the  STX Assault Pads you will like these –

The STX Assault pads have been a really well-received, well-sold series of STX pads, and it is rumored that the Stallion pads are very similar, but a “step-up.”

Cons:

Not many from what we can see.

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  1. Brine Clutch Shoulder Pad

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These are adult sized, traditional men’s lacrosse shoulder pads from Brine. This particular model has a sleek and stylish black finish and an imposing traditional armor design. The main feature on these pads is the compression molded finish, with a grid pattern. That pattern was implemented to improve the flex levels of the pads.

With higher flex comes higher levels of mobility and comfort. It also absorbs the energy from collisions and impacts better, providing superior protection to your chest and collarbones in the process. The same pattern is also implemented on the shoulder and clavicle area.

The straps are easy to use and provide an excellent fit. There is a wicking ventilator liner inside to keep things cool on the field. The pads are available in medium and large sizes.

The Brine Clutch is an excellent choice for players who want more protection on the field without compromising weight. So it is one of the best lacrosse shoulder pads for attack.

These Brine shoulder pads were designed for speed players. They give you suitable protection, a bit more protection than a liner, but are not intended in the slightest to restrict your level of mobility

Manufacturer Specs:

  • Compression Molded Foam – Intended to absorbs high impact, while remaining extremely light.
  • Grid-Flex Pattern with Adjusted Silhouette – Intended to increase your level of comfort as well as protection.
  • Ventilator Liner – Designed to keep you and your pads dry.
  • Modeled After the LoPro Line –

Pros:

  • Grip pattern for better flex
  • Excellent straps
  • Offers complete protection
  • Absorbs impacts well

Cons:

No major flaws

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  1. Maverik Max Speed Lacrosse Shoulder Pads 

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The Maverik Max Speed is the first lacrosse shoulder pad liner on our review list. It also happens to be one of the highest rated products in its category in recent years. Superior fit, finish, and comfort is what you get from this liner.

Outstanding shoulder mobility should make this a preferred choice for shotmaking middies and specialists. It is a great option for those players who want extra mobility. The pad has small velcro straps all over for making adjustments. This feature ensures that you get the optimum snug fit for your body.

Padding is available where you need it most, mainly in the chest and collar-bone areas. The Max Speed has a faux leather layer at the collarbone for extra comfort. This liner is available for men in medium and large sizes. This is one of the best lacrosse shoulder pads for midfield.

Pros:

  • Best in class performance
  • Excellent fit and finish
  • Superior comfort
  • Ideal for shotmakers

Cons:

No significant flaws

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  1. STX Lacrosse Cell 100 Shoulder Pad

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The Cell 100 range is aimed youth players who need confidence inspiring protection above all else. So you have a shoulder pad with a traditional design, armed with multi-layer protection.

The design for this pad is based on the Cell III, which is STX’s shoulder pad range for advanced Lax players. The chest area gets the special treatment from STX in these pads, with a raised chest plate for added protection. For improved impact handling, the shoulders are reinforced with hard plastic.

And to top everything, the whole system is held together by adjustable velcro straps that offer a snug fit. This is one of the best entry level pads from a well-known manufacturer. If you have a kid playing lacrosse, this might be the best lacrosse shoulder pads for attack at his level.

Pros:

  • Excellent choice for young players
  • Full protection
  • Raised chest plate
  • Adjustable straps

Cons:

Not for advanced players

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  1. Epoch Lacrosse Integra Shoulder Pad

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If you want a minimalist pad with mobility boosting design, the Epoch Integra is one product you need to check out. This is a sleek looking hybrid pad with an attractive white finish. The contoured pad has a figure-hugging shape.

The pads have carbon fiber integrated into their structures for an extra layer of protection from checks and collisions. For lightweight performance, the manufacturers opted for dual density foam. This compression molded substance provides excellent protection without weighing you down.

The adjustable velcro straps and easy to attach and quick to remove as well. This is a useful feature when dealing with on-field injuries. Overall, these are great hybrid options for pro-level players, and one of the best lacrosse shoulder pads for defense.

Pros:

  • Excellent choice for advanced players
  • EVA foam with carbon fiber
  • Adjustable Velcro straps
  • Sleek and minimalist design

Cons:

  • Prioritizes mobility over protection

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  1. Warrior Regulator Lite Hitman Shoulder Pad

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The Lite Hitman is another sleek defender-oriented pad from Warrior. These are elite level gear, ideal for high school and college level players. Though such pads tend to promote mobility over protection, here the trade-off doesn’t seem to be very drastic.

You still get a good deal of protection, especially at the shoulders thanks to the plastic caps. The pads are made from dual density foam, which is a popular material in this category these days. The foam is durable yet light and offers excellent impact protection.

There is a wicking layer inside, called a Wartech liner. This keeps sweat and moisture away, keeping your body dry and cool. Overall, the Warrior Regulator Lite is an excellent choice for run-and-gun style players. This is one of the best lacrosse shoulder pads for defense.

Manufacturer Specs

  • IMPAX Molded Foam Technology – This padding technology is suppose to be the “best-in-class” for impact absorption in key areas of shoulder and chest.
  • Bone Protection in Shoulder Area –
  • SlimBib Fit – This feature is intended to make for better playability, more movement and overall lacking distraction from the protection. These pads are simply thrown over head and fastened with two side velcro straps, very easy to get on and off.
  • WARTECH Liner – Made to keep you dry.
  • Weighs 14.1 Oz. –

Pros:

  • Ideal for elite level games
  • Optimised for speed & mobility
  • Adequate shoulder & collarbone shielding
  • Light foam construction

Cons:

Not very suitable for attackers

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Conclusion: 

The days of heavyweight traditional men’s lacrosse shoulder pads are long gone. The use of innovative materials like injection molded plastics and dual density foam has helped reduce the weight lacrosse shoulder pads further than ever before. The lines between traditional and hybrid pads are getting blurred with each passing day. That being said, hybrid pads still offer some clear advantages for elite players. So when it comes to shoulder pads, “to each his own” is the most fitting maxim. You should pick a shoulder pad based on your style of play and preferences. So we have three different top picks from our lacrosse shoulder pad reviews, each geared towards a particular type of lacrosse player.

If you want the best traditional shoulder pads for attackers, the Brine Clutch is a hulking beast that can hold its own against the best out there. For players who need ultra-light liners, the Maverik Max Speed has been the pro’s choice lacrosse shoulder pad liner for several years, now.