Football Equipment List

football equipment list

Football Equipment

When preparing to play football, you will need to have the necessary gear and equipment. There is a list of equipment that a player needs in order to play, and there are a few additional accessories that players may use in order to stand out. The necessities include a football, helmet, jersey, shoulder pads, thigh pads, knee pads, pants, socks, and cleats. Some of the optional accessories include: a helmet visor, gloves, hand warmers, and a towel. Read on to learn all about the different equipment and accessories used in football!


football accessories

Accessories are pieces of equipment that many players use due to the benefits that they provide. The difference between mandatory equipment and accessories is that athletes have the option of whether or not they want to use them when on the football field. Popular accessories include a helmet visor, gloves, hand warmers, and a towel. 

Players may use accessories for a couple of different reasons. First, each accessory may give you an advantage on the field. For example, football visors protect players from sunlight as well as physical contact with the eye area. Another reason why players choose to use these accessories is due to the “swagger” factor that they provide. Those who wear football visors may do so because they look intimidating or stylish. With that said, these accessories are not required; however, they are extremely popular in the sport of football.

Arm Sleeves

Similar to some of the other accessories, arm sleeves are optional and are only used by some players. Typically, we see arm sleeves on skill players, such as quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and defensive backs. Aside from the fashion aspect, players wear arm sleeves for enhanced protection. These sleeves are built and designed to reduce the risk of injury. The muscle support and circulation from compression sleeves gives these players an edge. If you are looking to purchase arm sleeves, manufacturers like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armor sell them for about $15 to $25.


football ball

The structure of the ball used in modern-day football has changed significantly over the last couple of centuries. In the 1800s, the first ball used was a round-shaped ball that was difficult to carry and tougher to throw. A few decades later, the football evolved into a watermelon shape where it was a bit larger than today’s football. The ball used in American football today is shaped the same as a pig’s bladder; this is why we hear the term “pig skin” when referring to a football.

The modern-day football is made of leather and has laces that make it easy to hold, throw, and kick. Footballs can vary in size, depending on the level of play, but the regulation size 9 football is used in high school leagues and above. If you want to buy a football, you can find them in sporting goods stores and on the web. The standard football is relatively cheap, costing $15 to $20. However, if you are looking to purchase an official NFL ball, prices may go up to over $80.


football belts

Football belts are used like any other belt to keep pants tight to the waist and from falling off. The National Football League has its own specific belt design that is used by all of its players. Youth, varsity, and collegiate levels use similar belts as well. Football belts may be a bit more difficult to find than some of the other pieces of equipment; however, they are sold at stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods for under $10. 

Chin Straps

football chin straps

Chin straps are extremely important for player safety, as they are used to protect the chin from forcible contact. Since chin straps were first required by the National Football League in 1976, the number of injuries has decreased dramatically, including detrimental head injuries like concussions. Despite being a bit uncomfortable, they are necessary due to safety concerns. Every member of a football team will be given a chin strap with their helmet. If you are looking to purchase a chin strap individually, you should look to shop at a sports equipment supplier such as Under Armour, where they are sold for under $20.

Cleat Cleaner

football cleat cleaner

Cleat cleaners are used in sports such as baseball, football, lacrosse, and soccer. Cleat cleaners have an all-rubber construction that is designed to remove mud and grass to increase traction and prevent injuries. On the football field, they are especially useful after playing on wet and muddy surfaces. Cleat cleaners are sold at stores like Walmart for around $25.


football cleats

Cleats are necessary when playing football, as they are for many other sports. Cleats are made of rubber which provides traction, allows durability, and gives players a “lift-off”, allowing them to run faster on the football field. The first shoes used by football players were actually baseball shoes; football cleats were not invented until the mid-1900s. Football cleats can be purchased at sporting goods stores for about $100-$150.

Compression Apparel

football compression apparel

Compression apparel is pieces of clothing that fit tightly around the skin. Compression garments provide support for athletes who have to stand or run for long periods of time. Compression apparel can be used to help prevent certain injuries. They are also more comfortable than wearing regular underwear or athletic shorts. Compression garments reduce rashes and burns and are also good for absorbing sweat. A full set of compression apparel costs between $50 and $100.

Compression Shorts

football compression shorts

Almost all football players wear compression shorts under their pants. Like other compression apparel, these shorts are used to help prevent injuries. Compression shorts are known to reduce muscle fatigue, improve exertion, prevent strains, and much more. Most football teams or leagues will provide players with this piece of equipment. If not, they can be purchased at sporting goods stores like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armor for under $40.


football cones

Cones are used by almost all athletes across a variety of sports. We often see football players taking part in cone drills during training or practices. Since athleticism is crucial for football players, many teams use them as a training technique. Cone drills help players work on agility, body control, ability to change direction, general quickness, and overall speed. The NFL Combine has a set of cone drills which help determine the athleticism and ability of players. Nike sells training cones for under $10.

Duffle Bags

football duffle bags

Duffle bags feature a durable fabric, vented pockets, and a grab handle which allows athletes to carry around their equipment with ease. You do not have to be an athlete to own a duffle bag, but they are specific bags designed to help athletes transport their necessary belongings. Many football teams will provide players with a team duffle bag. Sporting goods stores such as Adidas, Nike, and Under Armor sell a variety of football duffle bags. Depending on the quality and the brand, you can expect to spend between $30-80.

Energy Drinks

football energy drinks

Energy drinks are loaded with caffeine which many people take advantage of to not only stay awake but to be productive and efficient. Several football players consume energy drinks before practices and games to give them that necessary boost. When it comes to options, there are a wide variety of energy drink brands. Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, and Bang are among some of the well-known ones. Energy drinks are sold at pretty much all convenience stores, grocery stores, drug stores, and gas stations. If you want to purchase them in bulk and have them delivered right to your front door, you can shop online via Amazon. Prices will range between $3 and $8 per can or bottle.

Eye Black


Several athletes put on eye black before practices and games. Eye black is a strip applied under the eyes to help reduce glare from the sun. Eye black is extremely beneficial for the vision of many players. We often see football players sporting eye black for other reasons as well. Eye black can be used as an intimidation factor. Ray Lewis, one of the greatest football players of all time, was known for wearing eye black before every game to intimidate and strike fear in his opponents. Eye black can be purchased at convenience stores and sporting goods stores for only a few dollars.

Flag Football Belts

flag football belts

The belts used in flag football consist of two to five flags that the opposing team tries to grab and take away from the opposing player. Flag football is an offshoot of tackle football that is extremely popular among the youth. Flag football consists of many of the same rules as tackle football. The main difference is that a player can be “taken down” by pulling their flag instead of tackling them to the ground. This is a great alternative because it reduces injuries dramatically. Flag football belts are usually sold at retail stores for between $12 and $20.


football flagsThe penalty flag or flags used in flag football are cloths that can be used in several field sports. The flags can be of any color, but they are typically yellow or red. Each player on every team wears the same color flag, so it is easy to tell apart the respective teams. This is the case in American football, as well as all other team sports, as players on the same team will wear identical flags, jerseys, or uniforms as one another. The flags are typically attached to the belt with velcro, which makes them easy to take off. If you are looking to purchase just flags (without the belt), you can do so by going to a variety of sporting goods stores. Football flags are extremely cheap for $3 to $7.

Flak Jackets

Football flak jackets or protectors are pieces of protective equipment that are attached to the shoulder pads and wrapped around the rib area. Each player must wear rib protectors as they are a part of their required equipment. These are used to prevent rib and other abdominal injuries. Football teams will provide flak jackets or rib protectors with the rest of the necessary equipment. Under Armor is known for selling a wide variety of effective rib protectors for $40 to $50.


football girdlesFootball girdles provide protection and stability, primarily to the lower body parts. A girdle contains pads on the thigh, hip areas, and tailbone. The pads are already built into the girdle, which makes it convenient for players who already have to keep track of all their other equipment and belongings. Similar to other pieces of equipment, football teams will provide their players with girdles. For those looking to purchase football girdles, Nike sells them for about $70.


football gloves

Football gloves are designed for skill positions, such as running backs, receivers, and defensive backs, to better grip the ball. Linemen depend on them and benefit from the additional warmth and protection. With that said, gloves are not mandatory; however, most players use them due to the benefits that they provide. Not all youth football teams offer players gloves, so they can best be purchased at Nike or Under Armour for $30 to $50.

Hand Warmers

football hand warmers

Football hand warmers are designed to keep players' hands warm and dry from harsh weather conditions. We often see teams who play in colder regions of the country using hand warmers on the sidelines during games. Cold or wet hands can lead to the ball slipping away from the passer or receiver so hand warmers are often essential. You can buy a set of hand warmers for as low as a single dollar and a specialized hand warmer pouch that wraps around your waist for around $30.


football helmet

The helmet is undoubtedly the most important piece of football equipment. Shockingly, the National Football League did not adopt helmets until 1949. The modern-day football helmet is made up of a hard outer shell with padding on the inside to help absorb blows to the head. The facemask is also made of hard plastic and helps protect the front of the face. Due to the rise of concussions in contact sports like football, the football helmet is crucial for player safety. Those who are looking to purchase football helmets can do so by shopping online. The price of helmets will depend on the manufacturer, style, and size. Football helmets typically vary between $250 and $400.

Helmet Pump

football helmet pump

Helmet air pumps allow you to inflate and deflate the pads in your helmet. The pumps are designed for convenience purposes when transporting and storing them, as they are hand-operated with an air release valve. Since the football helmet is so important for player safety, it is crucial to have helmet pumps on standby. The last thing you want as a player is to have a helmet that doesn’t fit properly or is uncomfortable. All football teams will provide helmet air pumps to their players. If you are looking to buy a helmet pump, you can best do so by shopping online through Amazon. Amazon sells helmet pumps at about $10.

Helmet Radios

football helmet radio

Radios were not constructed into football helmets until recently. The radios are used for communication between the players and the coaching staff. They are especially important in college football and the NFL when crowd noise becomes a factor. In the National Football League, each offensive and defensive team is allowed just one player on the field with a radio receiver in their helmet. Radios are more complex and are not used in youth or varsity leagues. Football helmet radios are one of the more difficult pieces of equipment to find; however, you can purchase them on the web for around $200.

Helmet Visors

football helmet visor

A helmet visor is used by some players for visibility purposes and protection from the sun. Similar to eye black, players may also choose to wear visors because they look cool or intimidating. Visors also protect players from physical contact with the eye area. Since football is such a physical sport, eye-gouging is not out of the ordinary. Most football teams will provide players with visors, and each individual athlete has the choice of whether or not they want to sport one. Helmet visors can be purchased at sporting goods stores like Nike or Dick’s Sporting Goods for $25-40.


football jersey

A football jersey is a shirt worn by each member of the team. Every football team has a unique brand or mascot that is represented on their jerseys. Most collegiate players and all NFL players will have their last names on the back of their jerseys. The names help players and spectators identify each individual player. This is important in all phases of the game, whether it's used for scouting or simply being able to add a play to the stat sheet.

Every team offers its players a jersey with a different number. The numbers are primarily used to identify and distinguish each player. Jersey numbers dictate which position they play as well. Those who want to purchase jerseys can do so at sporting goods stores or online. Football jerseys are extremely popular among sports fans; many fans buy the jersey of their favorite football players or teams. The price of football jerseys varies dramatically depending on the manufacturer and type. You can buy a football jersey for as low as $20. With that said, authentic NFL jerseys can go for as much as $300.


football jockstrap

A jockstrap (also known as a cup or athletic supporter) is used to protect the pelvic area of a player. Jockstraps are required in other sports as well, most commonly known in baseball and football. Since football is such a physical sport, groin protection is absolutely critical. Most teams will provide their players with jockstraps or cups. You can best purchase football jockstraps at sporting goods stores for relatively cheap, usually for under $20.


football k balls

K-balls are used in the National Football League for kicking plays only. These K-balls replace the regulation football during kickoffs and field goal attempts. The difference between these balls and regulation balls is that K-balls are slicker and harder than the average football. The structure of the ball makes it easier to kick for accuracy and distance. Furthermore, these kicker balls are kept separate from the rest of the balls on the sideline and are shadowed by team ball boys. Most lower-level leagues, such as youth or varsity, do not require K-balls. If you or a friend is looking to become an elite kicker, purchasing a K-ball is not a bad idea. They are a little bit more rare, making them more difficult to find. With that said, you can buy K-balls on Amazon or at Nike for about $60.

Mouth Guards

football mouth guard

Mouth guards are an essential equipment item used by all football players. The guard is used as a shock absorber that protects your entire mouth area, primarily the tongue and teeth. Similar to many other pieces of equipment, mouthguards have not always been required. In the mid-20th century, all youth, high school, collegiate, and professional football players were required to use mouth guards while playing. Since mouth guards became mandatory, both mouth and head-related injuries have decreased dramatically. Football mouth guards are relatively cheap and can be purchased at about $12 to $15.

Neck Rolls

football neck roll

The neck roll became increasingly popular in college football and the NFL in the 1970s. Those who used neck rolls were considered to be the toughest and most intimidating players on the field. Neck rolls were a lot more common for defensive players such as linebackers and defensive linemen. In today’s game, we do not see neck rolls nearly as much. The main purpose of the neck roll design is to cradle and hold the neck for protection. The price of football neck rolls varies drastically; they can be purchased at a price as low as $25. However, the most elite neck rolls can go for over $150.

Nose Guards

football nose guard

The football nose guard is probably one of the least talked about pieces of equipment, primarily because they go unnoticed. Nose guards have a rock-hard, high-density, rubber design which was created before the modern helmet. Traditional nose guards, those used when football was founded, are no longer used because they are less effective than the modern football helmet. The modern-day football helmet has a built-in nose protector that is less noticeable and much more effective. You can still purchase football nose guards, separate from the helmet, for around $50 online.


football pads

Pads are a crucial piece of equipment as they are designed to absorb the physical blows a player may take during a game. Other than the helmet, there are pads that protect just about every part of the body. As a part of necessary protection, the National Football League mandated that all players wear thigh and knee pads in 2013. 

Other pads include shoulder pads, hip pads, and rib protectors. Until the early 2000s, shoulder pads were a lot larger in width, which made it a little bit more difficult for a player's speed and durability. Modern-day shoulder pads also look a lot better than they used to. All required football pads are necessary for the game, and college and professional teams often provide their players with the equipment. Meanwhile, in lower-level leagues, players may have to buy their own pads. Those who are looking to purchase pads can do so by going to sporting goods stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Under Armor.

Hip Pads

football hip pads

All football players are required to wear hip pads as a part of their equipment. Like thigh and knee pads, they are designed for protection and comfort. Hip pads are often built into girdles but can also be bought separately. Taking a blow to the hip area does not feel good, so these pads are crucial. If you are looking to buy hip pads, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Nike sell them for $25 to $40.

Knee Pads

football knee pads

Football knee pads are an essential piece of equipment that every player on the football field must wear. These pads are lightweight and molded and are designed to fit easily into football pants. These knee pads provide a tough outer shell designed for protection. There are a variety of different knee pads. These can best be purchased at sporting goods stores or on the web for $25 to $40 (similar pricing as hip pads).

Shoulder Pads

football shoulder pads

Most football teams will provide players with shoulder pads for protection. About 15 years ago, shoulder pads were much heavier and larger in stature. Today, shoulder pads weigh a little bit less than four pounds. The reason for the change in size is the fact that smaller pads are more comfortable, and they allow players more durability and flexibility. Smaller shoulder pads have especially benefited skill position players such as running backs, wide receivers, and quarterbacks. As a skill player, it is important to be as quick and agile as possible. Those that are looking to purchase their own shoulder pads can buy them for a little over $100. 

Thigh Pads

football thigh pads

Thigh pads are a part of the required equipment in football pants. They are made with thick foam to ensure comfort and protection. They are light and flexible and they come with self-adhesive backing that keeps the pads together. Similar to the other necessary pads, they are typically built into football pants or girdles. You can purchase thigh pads that are built into compression girdles from brands like Nike and Under Armour for less than $25.


football pants

Football pants are a key part of the makeup of a football uniform that every player wears during competition. Today, most football pants are constructed with built-in pads. These pants consist of seven pads that protect all parts of the lower body. Those areas consist of the hips, thighs, knees, and tailbone. The design of football pants, like the rest of the uniform, varies for every team. The most common football pants are white, but they come in all different colors and designs. Each team will provide their players with football pants. At youth levels, some of the pads may not be integrated into the pants and will need to be put in manually. Football pants generally cost between $20 to $50.

Practice Jerseys

football practice jersey

Football teams wear different jerseys while practicing and training than they do in games. Practice jerseys are usually made up of different materials and are less durable than game jerseys. Jerseys that are worn on game day are designed to last the entirety of a season. Depending on the level of play, practice jerseys may not have a number or name on them and may be reversible. Quarterbacks usually wear a different color jersey in practice so they can easily be identified. The distinct jersey color will prevent defensive players from tackling them, possibly leading to injury. Teams will often buy practice jerseys in bulk to reduce prices. Manufacturers sell individual practice football jerseys for about $20-$30.

Skull Caps

football skull caps

Skull caps are considered an optional accessory, and they are worn by some players. They are designed to prevent sweat from the head and hair area from reaching the face. Skull caps are also constructed for comfort, as helmets are hard and heavy, and they may hurt the player’s head. They are especially popular among college and professional football players. Those that are looking to purchase a skull cap can do so at a low cost. Nike and Adidas sell them for about $10 to $20.


football t shirts

Similar to most other sports, fans can purchase t-shirts that represent their favorite football players or teams. Football t-shirts are very popular, and they are an alternative to football jerseys. They also typically cost a lot less than purchasing a college or NFL jersey. Several sports stores such as Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, and Dick’s Sporting Goods sell a variety of football shirts at a relatively low price. Football t-shirts may cost as low as $10 compared to jerseys which are typically sold at a minimum price of $40 to $50.

Tees And Holders

football tees and holders

Football tees or holders are used to keep the ball in place before being kicked. During a kickoff, the football will be placed on top of the holder, with the laces facing downward. Tees and holders are not used during field goal or extra point attempts, as there is a designated player who is responsible for catching and holding the ball for the kicker. Tees and holders are especially important for practice and training. If you are looking to purchase a football tee or holder, you can do so without spending much at all. Football tees or holders can be bought for as little as $3 to $5.

Throwback Jerseys

football throwback jersey

Many football teams wear alternate or throwback jerseys on special occasions or for major games. Since the majority of programs or franchises have been around for several decades, most of them have changed their respective designs and brands throughout their existence. Throwback jerseys are popular among fans as well, bringing nostalgia for older jersey designs. Many teams who wear their throwback jerseys do so to honor past players. Throwback jerseys can be purchased online just like regular jerseys; however, they may be a bit more expensive due to the unique tradition that they represent. Throwback jerseys can best be found on the web, costing at least $100.


football towels

Towels are worn by some players, typically the quarterback. Towels can be extremely beneficial, as they are used to dry both the ball and the hands of the player. Moisture and water can affect the grip that players have on the football, and it is critical that these athletes have the best grip possible before throwing or catching the ball. Every football team will have towels available to players. Towels can be purchased pretty much anywhere and can cost as low as $3 for a generic towel or up to $20 for a Nike microfiber football towel.

Training Equipment

Common training equipment includes cones, agility ladders, hurdles, nets for target and kicking practice, speed chutes, weighted sleds, and training dummies. Training is important in all sports, but especially in football due to the fast-paced and physical nature of the game. Players will train in order to improve their strength, speed, durability, and overall skill set. Those who are looking to train in their backyard or at the local park can purchase most of this equipment on the web or from a variety of sports manufacturers. Prices will vary depending on the type of equipment or product. Cones can be purchased as low as $5, whereas training dummies can range between $100 to $600.


football uniforms

Football uniforms consist of a collection of matching pieces of apparel & gear that teams wear to distinguish themselves from their opponent. In football, a uniform generally consists of a helmet, jersey, and pants. Some teams may also include shoulder pads, socks, cleats, or other pieces of equipment in their uniform. Every team has its own unique brand or logo that is represented on its uniforms. Football uniforms have changed dramatically over the last several decades.

In the NCAA, The Oregon Ducks were the first team to present a new and exciting wave of style and swagger represented in their uniforms. In the early 2000s, Oregon came out with an incredible variety of different uniform combinations that they alternate between on game days. Since then, many other teams, across all levels of play, have followed the trend and have implemented new and unique uniforms which are appealing to fans and its players.

Unique and cool uniforms are also a large contributor to recruiting in collegiate and even NFL football. Those who are looking to purchase a whole uniform can expect to spend around $200+, although teams will generally provide this equipment for their players. Prices will vary significantly depending on the brand and style.

Visor Or Eyeshield

football helmet visor

Several football players choose to wear visors that are built into their helmets for protection and visibility. Not only do the visors protect players from physical eye contact and light reflection, but they also allow athletes to be unique and stand out on the football field. Football visors were first invented in the 1980s, and they have been increasingly popular ever since. Most teams will provide players with visors that they can use if they choose to. Football visors can range in price from as low as $25 for basic, clear plastic visors to around $70 for the highest-quality, tinted visors. 


football whistle

Whistles are used in football by both coaches and referees to “start” or “stop” during practice drills and play. Coaches also use whistles while trying to maintain order amongst their players. To cut through the noise during a given practice or drill, coaches may use their whistles in order to get the players’ attention.

On the other hand, referees use whistles to start and stop play during game action. For example, when it is time to snap the ball, the referee will signal to the quarterback and then blow their whistle so each member of the team knows when to start play. There are many different types of whistles that coaches and referees can use. You can purchase a whistle for as little as $5.

List of Football Equipment

  • Arm Sleeves
  • Balls Belts
  • Chin Straps
  • Cleat Cleaner
  • Cleats
  • Compression Apparel
  • Cones
  • Duffle Bags
  • Energy Drinks
  • Eye Black
  • Flag Football Belts
  • Flags
  • Flak Jackets
  • Girdles
  • Gloves
  • Hand Warmers
  • Helmets
  • Helmet Pumps
  • Helmet Radios
  • Helmet Visors
  • Jerseys
  • Jock Straps
  • K-Balls
  • Mouth Guards
  • Neck Rolls
  • Nose Guards
  • Pads
  • Pants
  • Practice Jerseys
  • Skull Caps
  • T-Shirts
  • Tees and Holders
  • Throwback Jerseys
  • Towels
  • Training Equipment
  • Uniforms
  • Visors/Eyeshields
  • Whistles


What football safety gear do players wear?

Football is a physical sport, so players must wear safety gear such as helmets, shoulder pads, back plates, and rib protection. Players also wear girdles, thigh and knee pads, cups, mouthguards, padded shirts and pants, and arm and elbow sleeves. All of these pieces of gear work together to prevent injury, abrasions, and discomfort.

What are the most important pieces of football equipment?

Besides the ball itself, the most important pieces of football equipment are helmets, cleats, and shoulder pads. Helmets are key to football safety, as players are prone to head and neck injury. Due to the high-contact nature of the sport, shoulder pads are also necessary for safe play. Lastly, football cleats provide traction that any player will need out on the field.

What are the official equipment suppliers of the NFL?

The NFL has several official equipment suppliers, including Nike for uniforms and Wilson for footballs. Other companies, such as Riddell, are official partners of the NFL but are not the exclusive provider of equipment. Most pieces of equipment, including helmets, shoulder pads, and cleats, are left up to the individual player’s preference. However, the brand of equipment must be approved by the NFL.