Get Kitted: Player’s Guide to Pads with EP Sports

As we build up to the Uniball season it’s once again time to ensure ballers up and down the Britball Nation are taking care of their equipment – preparing off the field to ensure they’re in the best position to win once they’re on it!

To that end, the incredible team at EP Sports have put together a series of equipment guides to ensure you’re in the know about the best equipment for you – your position, your experience, and of course your budget.

In case you missed it, you can check out the recent guide to ensuring you protect your noggin with the right helmet, or this week we’ll explore that most quintessential piece of American Football kit – shoulder pads!


Those outside of American Football like to tell you the pads are there for protection… And yes, that’s partially true. A good set of shoulders will allow you flexibility while absorbing impacts. But they’ll also let you MAKE impacts!

Much like helmets, the pads you club has available to lend you can potentially be years old and won’t necessarily fit correctly.  It’s also important to get the correct size and design that best suits your build. You want them to be comfortable (you’re in them for the better part of four hours), well fitting (to offer the best protection and utility), and yet still allow you a good amount of flexibility (for end zone dances. And probably other things too).

Your pads can be customised by adding accessories such as back plates or rib protectors.  They generally come in four styles matching to your position and they are designed to give benefits particular to each position.

Pro tip: The size of shoulder pads refers to the width of the shoulders (AC joint to AC joint) not the circumference of the chest. 

Learn more about how to ensure you get the right size pads for your build on the EP Sports website!



New member of the #BritballNation and not sure American Football’s your jam? Let’s start you out with a few great value options to hide the fact you’ve ‘fallen a little behind’ on your gym sessions.

Schutt Varsity Flex 4.0 (£134.99):


The best entry-level pad available.  The flat pad design allows them to sit closer to the shoulders giving a more secure fit.  This allows for a smaller profile, which is rare for an entry-level pad.

Available in ‘Skill’ (Wide Receiver, Quarterback, Defensive Back, Running Back) and ‘All Purpose’ style (for everyone else that does all the hard work).

Warrior Shield (£59.99-67.50):

warrior-skill_1Your most economical option, similarly available in ‘Skill’ and ‘All Purpose’ configurations. Also available as part of a great value starter kit.




Pro tip: Back plates make you play better. #Fact. 😉 

Check out EP’s huge range of accessories to enhance, or perhaps just swag out your pads, including backplates, rib protectors, and brand-specific pad additions.


You’ve gotten through that rookie year and been bitten by the Britball bug – or perhaps you knew this was the sport from you right from the outset? Either way, these upgrades step up the price a little, but also the quality and comfort offered.

Schutt 02 Maxx (£209.99):

The perfect pad for any second year player. This pad combines protection and mobility whilst providing position specific styles.

Schutt Air Maxx TPU cushioning (also used in their helmets) provides protection over the shoulders. Available in four different styles; QB/WR, Skill, All Purpose, OL/DL.

Schutt XV HD (£154.99): 

First step up from your rookie pads.  High-density EVA foam for greater impact absorption and durability.  Four position options available.




You’re set on #Britball4Life and want the best quality kit available. Protect yourself while putting others on their butts and pulling shapes in the end zone as you swag it out in the same gear the pros are stepping out in on Sundays.

Douglas Custom Pro (£509.99):


Best shoulder pad currently available.  The most popular pad for NFL and NCAA players.  This pad delivers top-level protection at a reduced weight.  The custom options allow you to personalise the interior padding and the trim to suit your team colours (#SWAGGALICIOUS).  Available in 11 different specialist styles and the choice of add-on options such as back plates, rib protectors, butterfly restrictors and many more.

Schutt Air Maxx Flex 2.0 (£254.99):

2014_airmaxxflex_2_0-front-allpurposeSchutt’s top pad combines all it’s trademark technologies to provide maximum protection at an affordable price point.

Removable inner pads allow for a customised fit.



Riddell SPK+ (£359.99):

Replacing the Riddell SPK. The SPK+ is designed for ultimate player protection without sacrificing mobility, due to its cutaway design. Includes Riddell RipKord technology and STAC shoulder system.



Women’s Pads

Last, but certainly by no means least (as the currently fastest growing section of the #BritballNation!!), we have pads that have been designed to better suit our female #Ballers.

A rapidly emerging section of the game, those opting to play co-ed ball this year may however find their programme has very limited availability of women’s pads – never fear, EP is here!

Douglas Zena (£169.99): 

zena-25These pads are anatomically designed to better fit female players.  Some love them, others prefer standard pads.  Best bet is to try as many different options on as possible to ensure the pads suit your body shape.


EP Sports are a British American Football supplier that pride themselves in having the most knowledgeable staff in Europe when it comes to American Football equipment

EP are a company built by #Ballers FOR #Ballers, with their staff having a combined experience of having played and coached football for well over three decades at some of the highest levels in Europe. Joe and his team at EP Sports hold stakes in two Swedish National Championships, one European Champions League win, a Britbowl, a Norwegian National Championship and three UK Divisional Championships.

EP currently offer the largest range of American Football product in the UK and one of the largest in Europe, working with top brands including Nike, Under Armour, Schutt Sports, Rawlings, Adidas, Wilson, Douglas Pads, Cutters Gloves, Shock Doctor, Riddell, Xenith and many others.

Their combination of football experience and years working with top brands allows them to provide customers with the best advice and knowledge on football equipment in the UK. Their aim is to put players and coaches in the best position to win before they step onto the field.





Nick 'Willy Tee' Wilson-Town hails from the South West where he's spent the last decade bouncing around various teams at the university and senior level. He came to fame on the now departed unofficial forum thanks to his regularly irreverent Uniball predictions and general 'BUAFL wafflage'. Follow him on twitter @WillyTee1