The UK Rules
'Follow the Regulations'
Equipment List

American Football Equipment List

Gridiron football is a rough competitive sport. All players should always use the proper gear and make sure they are safely equipped for the game.

AMERICAN FOOTBALL GEAR: You need lots of bulky padding equipment to play American Football. The game has one of the highest rates of injury.

Any time you watch a competition you will see the players covered in their modern day armor.

This extra bulk of padding and accessories helps to ensure their safety during the match.

American Football padding equipment protects the body as much as possible. But, physical injuries do occur from crunching collisions.

The full American Football kit list depends on personal preferences and regional league rules. Even so, wearing certain approved safety equipment is mandatory and not optional.

So how do American Football players protect themselves and reduce the risk of serious injury? Here is the run-down of the basic safety items to include in the American Football gear list and accessories list.

American Football Helmets and Chinstrap

The helmet is one of the most important items in any American Football equipment list. The helmet combines a facemask as part of the actual helmet itself. A visor is an optional attachment.

Wearing a proper fitting helmet and facemask reduces the risk of concussions. That's because head injuries are commonly associated with playing football.

The American Football regulations state how you should wear the helmet. The front edge should rest 1 inch above the eyebrows. Helmets must be securely fastened to your head using the chinstrap.

The chinstrap attaches to both sides of the helmet and it should fit secure and snug under your chin. Fastening the chinstrap prevents the helmet from coming loose and flying off while running.


The mouth piece is a required piece equipment for American Football. The main purpose of the mouth piece is protecting your teeth, mouth, and jaw from injury.

American Football Equipment List and AccessoriesAll players must wear a mouth guard at all times during the game. The mouth piece should also be a bright visible color.

American Football Shoulder Pads

Shoulder pads are mandatory equipment when playing football. Wearing shoulder pads absorbs shock from a tackle.

They also allow you to hit into a tackle with less risk of injury. Equipment manufacturers produce American Football shoulder pads in various sizes.

The padding size you need depends on the position that you play.

As a rule, quarterbacks wear smaller and lighter flat shoulder pads. That means their natural throwing motion is less affected by bulky padding.

Linebackers and defensive ends usually wear larger cantilevered shoulder pads. They need them to protect their bodies from constant crushing impacts.

Hip Pads, Thigh Guards, Leg and Knee Pads

American Football safety equipment protects the lower body parts of players too. Wearing leg pads and hip pads is mandatory. Padded items include hip pads, large thigh guards, knee pads, elbow pads, and tailbone protection.

You wear these padding accessories inside the pants or a sports girdle. Many players tie the hip and tailbone pads around their waist using a sports belt.

Jockstrap (cup)

Most male players wear a padded cup to protect the sensitive groin area. This type of American Football protective equipment is standard for almost all male players. Wearing a jockstrap helps reduce career ending injuries from groin impact during play.

Football Cleats

Wearing proper footwear in American Football is most important. You must wear plastic or metal tipped football cleats during the game. But, many youth football leagues stipulate wearing rubber tips.

Football cleats help to protect the mid-sole of the foot. They also provide greater support in lateral movement. You need good traction to quickly apply power and accelerate down the field.

American Football cleats come in three general styles: they are high-cut, mid-cut or low-cut. High-cut cleats provide superior ankle support but often hinder movement.

Mid-cuts provide a balance of strong ankle support and smooth mobility. Low-cut cleats are generally lightweight to improve quick unhindered mobility.

Neck Collar or Neck Roll

Linebackers and the defensive lineman sometimes wear some form of neck collar. For example they might wear a neck roll to increase whiplash protection.

American Football Gloves

Some receivers wear gloves to aid catching the football ball. They find it easier to grip the ball with gloves on especially in cold weather. Lineman gloves usually have thicker padding to protect the different parts of the hand.

American Football Equipment List and Accessories Checklist