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The Top Football Helmets for Safe Play

a white football helmet resting on a field
David Lee/Shutterstock

Football is an action-packed, high-octane sport. Injuries are no uncommon thing, from torn ACLs to rolled ankles and scuffed arms. However, head injuries are becoming less prominent in order to keep players’ brains functioning at top quality. Innovations in helmets over the years have led to some extremely safe options that keep players in the game. Here are some of our top picks.

What to Look for in Football Helmets

Here are some things to consider when making a choice:

  • Airflow: Helmets are meant to fit tightly, but padding, mesh, and ventilation will keep you comfortable on long games.
  • Durability: You’ll want a helmet that will last you many games to come. Find something that is crafted well and with the right materials to stand the test of time.
  • Style: Find a helmet that matches your team. Football is all about teamwork, after all.

Best Value: Schutt Sports Recruit Hybrid

Schutt Sports has a fantastic carbon helmet that has everything you need as far as safety goes without breaking the bank. Though this helmet does not come with a faceguard, you can find a variety of position-specific face guards to make the helmet usable for any position on the field. The face guards that are available are made of carbon steel and titanium. The Recruit Hybrid features comfort liners inside the helmet, as well as Inter-Link jaw pads that are mechanically attached to the helmet making it a high-performance helmet at a great price point. To keep the player safe, there is TPU cushioning in the crown and front areas, and D30 along the sides and back.


Safest Helmet: Xenith Shadow XR Varsity


You’ll feel like an absolute beast in the Xenith Shadow XR Varsity. This sleek-looking helmet has a low profile and a balanced feel to give you the ultimate in-game performance. RHEON cells and integrated RHEON jaw pads allow for an extremely comfortable, uniform fit with absolutely no hot spots. Large vents in the shell allow cool air to flow over the head and hot air to easily escape. RHEON cells use re-entrant geometry and proprietary molecular structure to provide optimal energy control during the game. The polymer shell is 10% lighter than traditional shell materials but is perfectly balanced with the titanium facemask.


Safest Helmet

Xenith Shadow XR Varsity Black Football Helmet w/Black XRS-21X Facemask & Black Chin Strap

Get ultimate protection and comfort with this high-quality helmet.

Best Youth Helmet: Riddell Victor Youth Helmet


Riddell is a well-known brand in sports and sports safety. The Victor Youth Football Helmet is no exception! This helmet features patented side impact protection to protect young players’ mandibles and reduce the force from side impacts. It is sure to fit your young player’s head, as it has a fitted liner system with inflatable jaw pads. The over-liner is removable and moisture-resistant to protect the helmet while also providing comfort and stability.


Best Youth Helmet

Riddell Victor Youth Helmet , White, Small

Young players will be very safe with this well-designed helmet.

Best Design Options: Schutt Sports Vengeance A11


You are sure to find the right colors for your team with the Schutt Sports Vengeance A11 Helmet. You will feel safe and stylish sporting this helmet on the field. It has TPU cushioning protection which offers superior impact absorption consistently in any weather and temperature. The liners throughout the helmet provide a secure and comfortable fit. The jaw pads are mechanically secured so that there is no chance of them falling out midgame. Flexural resistance engineering in the shell promotes strength and durability in the most critical locations for impact absorption. It comes in 25 different colors in either a glossy or matte style to get the most out of the design.


Best Design Options

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