Lacrosse Shoulder Pads: 5 Factors for Best Choice

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Lacrosse shoulder pads are vital pieces of equipment that provide protection and support during one of the fastest and most intense sports on the field. As a lacrosse player, you need to make sure your shoulder pads are not only comfortable but also meet the necessary safety standards to avoid injuries while you play.

When looking for the perfect set of lacrosse shoulder pads, it’s important to consider factors such as size, brand, and certifications such as the NOCSAE performance standard ND200. Your ideal shoulder pads should also provide extra shoulder and arm protection for maximum safety on the field.

Some popular options on the market include the Maverik M5 EKG, STX Lacrosse Stallion 75, and STX Shadow Pro, all of which meet the latest NOCSAE standards. By carefully selecting the right lacrosse shoulder pads, you’ll be well-equipped to face your opponents with confidence and ease, knowing you’re well-protected in the fast-paced world of lacrosse.

Types of Lacrosse Shoulder Pads

Lacrosse shoulder pads come in various types, tailored for your specific needs and preferences. In this section, we’ll focus on three main categories: Box LacrosseField Lacrosse, and Youth Lacrosse.

Box Lacrosse

Box Lacrosse
Source: Wikipedia

Box Lacrosse shoulder pads are designed to provide extra protection due to the sport’s intense, close-quarters nature. They often feature:

  • Sturdier construction, with more padding to absorb impact.
  • Larger shoulder caps that extend down the upper arm for added protection.
  • Reinforced chest and back padding for safety during collisions and checks.

Make sure to find a pair that meets the NOCSAE ND200 Safety Standard and is SEI Certified, ensuring it’s approved for all levels of play.

Field Lacrosse

Field Lacrosse

Field Lacrosse shoulder pads prioritize mobility and comfort, as the game requires quick, agile movements. Here’s what you can expect from field lacrosse shoulder pads:

  • Lightweight design with flexible padding, allowing for a full range of motion.
  • Breathable fabrics and moisture-wicking liners to keep you cool and dry during gameplay.
  • Adjustable straps and various sizes to ensure a secure fit.

One popular option for Field Lacrosse is the Maverik M5 EKG Speed Pad. This product provides chest and back protection without sacrificing arm movement or comfort.

Youth Lacrosse

Youth lacrosse
Source: Wikipedia

Youth Lacrosse shoulder pads cater to younger, still-growing players. These pads typically feature:

  • Smaller, anatomically designed fits for younger players.
  • Padding that’s both protective and comfortable, to encourage new players to enjoy the game.
  • Designs that meet the NOCSAE ND200 Safety Standard and are SEI Certified.

When shopping for Youth Lacrosse shoulder pads, consider factors such as fit, protection, and comfort to find the perfect pair for your young athlete. Remember, investing in the right gear will help them perform their best on the field and enjoy the sport to the fullest.

Key Features to Consider

Fit and Comfort

When selecting lacrosse shoulder pads, it’s important to prioritize fit and comfort. Look for shoulder pads with a flexible, lightweight design that allows for a full range of motion in your arms without sacrificing protection. Padding should be secure but not restrictive, ensuring a snug fit without limiting your mobility on the field.


Protection is key when choosing shoulder pads for lacrosse. Your chosen pads should provide ample coverage for your chest, back, and shoulders, safeguarding against potential injury. Consider options with added safety attributes, such as EKG (External Kardic Guard) technology, which can offer additional protection.


Keeping cool and dry during gameplay is essential, so seek shoulder pad options with effective ventilation features. Opt for those with moisture-wicking materials and Quickdry liners, which draw sweat away from your body, promoting better airflow and temperature regulation.


Finally, look for lacrosse shoulder pads with adjustable features to ensure a customized fit. Choosing pads with adjustable straps or clips makes it easy to secure the perfect fit, minimizing any inconvenience during gameplay.

Remember to consider fit and comfort, protection, ventilation, and adjustability when selecting the perfect lacrosse shoulder pads for your needs. Happy shopping!

Key Features to Consider

Materials and Technologies

Foam Materials

When choosing lacrosse shoulder pads, it’s essential to consider the materials used in their construction. One of the critical components in shoulder pads is the foam material. High-quality shoulder pads typically use dual-density foam or memory foam. Dual-density foam offers a balance between protection and comfort; the harder outer layer absorbs impacts, while the softer inner layer provides cushioning for your body. Memory foam is another popular choice as it molds to the shape of your body, providing a personalized fit and enhanced comfort.

Advanced Protective Technologies

Lacrosse shoulder pads have come a long way, thanks to advancements in protective technologies. Let’s explore some of these cutting-edge innovations that help keep you safe on the field:

  • NOCSAE ND200 Standard: In 2022, US Lacrosse adopted the NOCSAE ND200 standard for upper body protective equipment. This standard aims to prevent Commotio Cordis (cardiac arrest) and is mandatory for field players at all levels of the sport since January 1, 2022. When looking for lacrosse shoulder pads, make sure they meet this safety standard.
  • Quickdry Liner: Some modern shoulder pads, like the Maverik M5 EKG Speed, feature a Quickdry Liner that wicks moisture away, keeping you dry and comfortable throughout the game.
  • Layered Protection: Many high-quality shoulder pads, including those from leading brands like STX and Maverik, offer multi-layered protection designed to maximize impact absorption and distribute energy evenly across the pad.

By understanding these materials and technologies, you can make an informed decision about the type and style of lacrosse shoulder pads that will best suit your needs and preferences. Remember, investing in high-quality protective gear can help reduce your risk of injury, enhance your comfort, and improve your overall performance on the field.

Proper Maintenance and Care

Maintaining your lacrosse shoulder pads is essential for their longevity and your safety during play. By taking a few simple steps, you can ensure that your pads stay in good condition and serve you well throughout their lifespan.

First, it’s important to clean your pads regularly to reduce odors and prevent bacteria buildup. To do this, you can either hand wash them or use a machine, if the label on your pads indicates that they’re machine washable. When machine washing, use a gentle cycle with a mild detergent and cool water. If you opt for hand washing, soak your pads in cool water with a mild detergent and gently scrub them. After washing, make sure to let your pads air dry completely before using them again.

Next, inspect your shoulder pads for any signs of wear and tear. Look for frayed straps, torn padding, or cracked plastic components. If you find any of these issues, it may be best to replace the affected parts or invest in a new pair of pads that meet the NOCSAE ND200 standard. This standard is mandatory for all levels of lacrosse play since January 1, 2022. To ensure they’re compliant, look for the NOCSAE logo and SEI certification mark on both the packaging and the product itself.

It’s also important to store your lacrosse shoulder pads properly. Keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. This will help maintain their shape and functionality. Ideally, hang or lay them flat without any weight, as compressing the pads may cause deformation over time.

Finally, regular maintenance of your lacrosse gear, including shoulder pads, ensures you are always ready for the game and reduces the chance of injury. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to enjoy a safe and comfortable experience on the field.

Popular Brands and Models

Top Manufacturers

When it comes to lacrosse shoulder pads, there are several top manufacturers that you should consider for quality and performance. Some of the leading brands in the industry include:

  • Maverik: Known for their innovation in design and protection, Maverik offers a range of high-quality shoulder pads for various playing styles and levels.
  • STX: As a well-established brand in the lacrosse world, STX produces reliable and sturdy shoulder pads that cater to the needs of both youth and adult players.

Feel free to explore other options as well, but these two brands have proven themselves over time in delivering quality products that keep you safe on the field.

Best-Selling Models

For a more comfortable and secure experience on the field, consider some of the best-selling lacrosse shoulder pad models:

  • Maverik M5 EKG Speed Pads: This upgraded model from Maverik features their External Kardiac Guard, which is a hard plastic shell in the front that protects vulnerable areas such as the sternum and clavicle.
  • STX Cell 5: Designed with a focus on custom fit, these shoulder pads offer the T.A.C.™ system to provide optimal comfort during the game. The STX Cell 5 shoulder pads are available for both youth and adult players.
  • True Temper Lacrosse Zerolyte Shoulder Pad Liner: As a new contender, True Temper has put together an impressive product that meets the NOCSAE ND200 standard. This lightweight liner offers essential protection without hindering movement.

Keep these models in mind when you make your next purchase, and always prioritize your safety and comfort on the field. Remember, a good set of shoulder pads can make a significant difference in your game.

Related: Top 5 Best Lacrosse Rib Pads for Comfort and Protection.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

As you explore the world of lacrosse shoulder pads, it’s important to recognize that new shoulder pads tend to reduce peak impact forces better than older ones. This can offer you greater protection during games and practices. However, don’t be swayed by the price alone as a high cost does not always guarantee better performance in impact force reduction.

When searching for the right shoulder pads, prioritize factors like fit, comfort, and the level of protection offered. Good lacrosse shoulder pads should provide adequate coverage without hindering your movement or ability to perform chest compressions during emergency situations.

Remember, the key to selecting the perfect lacrosse shoulder pads is to strike a balance between protection, comfort, and affordability. Keep these points in mind as you make your decision, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the sport safely and confidently.

(You may need to know Lacrosse Arm Pads: The Ultimate Defense for Comfort and Protection)

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best shoulder pads with heart protection?

When choosing shoulder pads, it’s important to prioritize protection and comfort. Lacrosse shoulder pads that meet the NOCSAE ND200 standard offer additional heart protection. Look for the NOCSAE logo and SEI certification mark to ensure the pads meet this standard. Research and read reviews to find the best fit for your specific needs and preferences.

What are the regulations for chest pads in lacrosse?

As of January 1, 2021, both boys’ and girls’ goalie chest protectors must meet the NOCSAE ND200 standard. Starting January 1, 2022, this rule also applies to all field players, requiring them to wear NOCSAE certified shoulder pads. Verify that both the packaging and product have the NOCSAE logo and SEI certification mark before purchasing.

How should a lacrosse shoulder pad fit?

Lacrosse shoulder pads should fit snugly without impeding your movement or being too tight. The pads should cover your shoulders, collarbone, and chest adequately, ensuring proper protection. Their edges shouldn’t pinch or dig into your skin, and the straps should be adjustable. Be sure to try on different sizes and styles to find the best fit for you.

What is the difference between chest and rib pads?

Chest pads focus on protecting the front of your upper body, including the heart, sternum, and collarbone. Rib pads, on the other hand, wrap around the torso to protect the rib cage and kidneys. While chest protection comes from shoulder pads, rib protection can be found in separate rib pads or integrated into certain shoulder pad models.

What essential pads are needed for a lacrosse set?

In lacrosse, your essential protective gear includes shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves, and a helmet. For goalies, additional equipment like chest protectors and throat guards is necessary. Make sure all your equipment meets the required standards and fits comfortably to ensure optimal performance and safety during games and practices.

How do I fit youth shoulder pads correctly?

When fitting youth shoulder pads, begin by measuring your child’s chest circumference. Consult the sizing chart provided by the manufacturer to find the corresponding size. The pads should fit snugly without being too tight or restrictive. Ensure that the coverage extends to the collarbone, shoulders, and chest. Don’t forget to adjust the straps for a secure and comfortable fit.

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About Lucas

I am Lucas, a lacrosse enthusiast and writer for As someone who has played lacrosse for years, I have a deep passion for the sport and love sharing my knowledge and insights. Through my writing, I strive to share experienced skills, educate and inspire readers about the game of lacrosse. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore the lacrosse world and celebrate the sport we love. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and affiliated sites. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.