Football Arm Sleeves

Football Arm Sleeves

Arm sleeves are a commonly worn piece of equipment in football. These arm sleeves may resemble ones worn in other sports, but they have special advantages for football. With the benefits that arm sleeves provide, it is easy to see why so many players wear them.

Benefits of Football Arm Sleeves

Arm sleeves are a tight piece of fabric that covers most of or all of a player’s arm. These arm sleeves are usually made with compression materials which alone provides numerous benefits. Compression gear allows for muscles to circulate oxygen better for longer endurance and while also improving muscle recovery. Football is a high contact and fast-paced sport, which makes these benefits especially useful. 

Arm sleeves can also protect against scrapes or burns that may be caused by the skin rubbing against the turf. Padded arm sleeves will also provide some impact protection to areas such as the elbows and forearms. Full length arm sleeves can even keep players warm in colder conditions. Some players will wear arm sleeves simply because they like how they look or feel. No matter what the reason, arm sleeves will surely be able to provide some benefit to almost every football player.

Things To Consider

When looking for arm sleeves, you'll want to consider the following:

  • What type of arm sleeves are you looking for?
  • Have you suffered an arm or elbow injury before?
  • What skill level of football are you playing?
  • How much do you want to spend on arm sleeves?

What are you looking for in an arm sleeve?

  • Full arm protection
  • To provide extra padding
  • Forearm coverage
  • Weather resistance
  • Warmth
  • Compression


The different types of football arm sleeves include full arm sleeves, arm shivers, and padded arm sleeves.

Full Arm Sleeves

Full arm sleeves are a sleeve that will cover all the way from the wrist to above the bicep. These arm sleeves can sometimes be padded, and will provide excellent protection against scrapes and burns. They also provide compression sleeve benefits to the entire arm.


  • Protection against scrapes and burns
  • Lightweight and breathable materials keep the player cool
  • Compression benefits to the entire arm


  • May feel uncomfortable or tight to some players
  • Unpadded versions leave the arm unprotected from collisions

Arm Shivers

Arm shivers are similar to full arm sleeves, except they cover less of the arm. Similar to basketball shooting sleeves, arm shivers will typically start from the middle of the forearm to the middle of the bicep. These can also be padded or unpadded.


  • Can be lighter and less hot
  • Moderate protection against scrape and burns
  • Some compression benefits


  • Less coverage than full arm sleeves
  • Does not provide as much warmth in colder conditions

Padded Arm Sleeves

Padded arm sleeves are full length sleeves or arm shivers that have foam padding. This padding can cover areas such as the forearms, elbows, and triceps. They provide all of the same benefits as regular arm sleeves, but add impact protection as well.


  • Added protection to fragile areas
  • Same benefits as other types of arm sleeves
  • Ability to choose where you want padding


  • Can be uncomfortable and limit some range of motion
  • May not be as lightweight and breathable as other choices
  • Will often be the most expensive option


The most popular brands that produce football arm sleeves include Nike, McDavid, and Sleefs.


Nike is one of the largest sports equipment and apparel manufacturers in the world. They make full length sleeves and arm shivers which come both padded and unpadded. Most of their arm sleeves will come in either black or white.


McDavid specializes in making equipment and gear focused on performance and recovery. They mostly make full length arm sleeves which are made with compression materials. They will mostly come padded, with a wide variety of different colors.


Sleefs makes sleeves and other select accessories that can be used for many different sports. They make full length arm sleeves and shivers that mainly protect the forearms. Their arm sleeves are famous for coming in a massive variety of different designs and customizations.


Do NFL players wear arm sleeves?

Yes, a lot of NFL players wear arm sleeves. NFL players will wear all different types of arm sleeves, however some may not wear them at all. Arm sleeves are fully legal and provide the same protection to NFL players as any other skill level.

How much do football arm sleeves cost?

Football arm sleeves will typically range anywhere from $15 to $45. Shivers and sleeves that have no padding will usually be the cheapest. Sleeves made with high quality materials and have a lot of padding will usually be more expensive.

What sizes do arm sleeves come in?

Arm sleeves sizes vary based on the brand that produces them. Certain models will come in a one size fits all category. Meanwhile, some will range from S to XL and others will group sizes together. Each company will have its own sizes, and it is best to look for a size chart to determine which one is best for you.