Top 10 Football Brands

best football brands

American football is a national pastime in the United States, and still leads in popularity when it comes to American spectator sports. This list is a compilation of the top ten football brands for equipment and apparel for players of all ages and skill levels.


  1. Nike
  2. Under Armour
  3. Riddell
  4. Adidas
  5. Schutt
  6. Xenith
  7. Cutters
  8. Wilson
  9. Douglas
  10. Battle Sports

1. Nike Football

Nike supplies some of the world's best football apparel and cleats. The company was founded as Blue Ribbon Sports, but formally changed its name to Nike, Inc. in 1971. Nike's logo features a curved check design known as the "swoosh" which has become recognizable around the world. The company is based in Beaverton, Oregon, and has many retail and manufacturing stores in other countries. In regard to football, Nike specializes in apparel and cleats. The company gained great traction within the football industry when they reached a deal with the National Football League (NFL). Since 2012, Nike has had the rights to NFL apparel, meaning that every NFL jersey features the Nike swoosh. Nike not only dominates the professional league of football, but the collegiate level as well. Nike currently sponsors many of the top college football programs in the United States, including the LSU Tigers, the Clemson Tigers, the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Penn State Nittany Lions, the Georgia Bulldogs, and the Oregon Ducks. Some notable football players sponsored by Nike are Aaron Donald (DL Los Angeles Rams), Russell Wilson (QB Seattle Seahawks), and Saquon Barkley (RB New York Giants).

2. Under Armour Football

Under Armour is a major athletic apparel company that manufactures football cleats. The company was founded in 1996, when former University of Maryland football player, Kevin Plank, wanted an athletic shirt that would absorb sweat. Today, the brand is still headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, but has many additional offices in other countries. Under Armour sells many different styles of apparel for football, including undershirts, long sleeves, and compression shorts, all featuring their sweat absorbent material. Under Armour is a major sponsor of collegiate football, sponsoring teams such as the Auburn Tigers, Boston College Eagles, Maryland Terrapins, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Current pro athletes who wear Under Armour include Tom Brady (QB Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Myles Jack (LB Jacksonville Jaguars), Patrick Peterson (CB Minnesota Vikings), and Julio Jones (WR Tennessee Titans).

3. Riddell

Riddell Sports Group is a leading manufacturer of football helmets, pads, and other football-related equipment. The company was founded in 1927 by John T. Riddell, who was the coach of a high school football team. The company had two major innovations during its early years; the first was removable spikes for cleats, the second was the plastic shell helmet which was invented in 1939. The company is headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois, and sells equipment worldwide. Riddell is currently an authorized helmet supplier of the NFL, and also supports youth leagues such as USA Football and Pop Warner. Their Speedflex helmet is the most widely used and recognizable football helmet in the NFL and NCAA today. Peyton Manning was famous for wearing a Riddell helmet during his career.

4. Adidas Football

Adidas is the second largest sportswear manufacturing company in the world behind Nike, with the company's products being most popular in Europe. The company was founded in 1949 in Germany by Adi Dassler. The Adidas logo features a three stripe design that was created upon the brand's 1949 release, when the company unveiled its soccer cleats. Today, the company produces American football apparel and cleats alongside its extensive collection of sports apparel. Adidas sponsors many collegiate football programs, most notably the Miami Hurricanes, Louisiville Cardinals, and the Arizona State Sun Devils. Many current NFL players are also sponsored by the brand, such as Aaron Rodgers (QB Green Bay Packers), Alvin Kamara (RB New Orleans Saints), Adam Thielen (WR Minnesota Vikings), Von Miller (OLB Los Angeles Rams), and Patrick Mahomes (QB Kansas City Chiefs).

5. Schutt

Schutt is another brand specializing in football helmets and pads. The company was founded in 1918 by Bill Schutt, with his featured product being the basketball net. In 1935 the brand was the first to mass produce football facemasks, which were made mandatory for NFL play in 1962. Many NFL players still use Schutt helmets and shoulder pads for their high-quality reputation and performance. Their F7 model has grown in popularity over the last several years, rivaling the famous Riddell Speedflex. Top NFL players that wear Schutt football gear include Alvin Kamara (RB New Orleans Saints), Ja'Marr Chase (WR Cincinnati Bengals), Saquon Barkley (RB New York Giants), and Travis Kelce (TE Kansas City Chiefs).

6. Xenith

Xenith is one of the newer brands on this list, founded in 2006 by Vin Ferrara (former Harvard University quarterback). After suffering numerous head injuries during his playing days, Ferrara believed there had to be better options for helmet safety. After three years of development and research, Xenith launched their first helmet in 2009. The company's headquarters are in Detroit, Michigan. Production now includes shoulder plates, back plates, rib protectors, and visors. It hopes to grow in popularity as the awareness for head injuries increases. Currently, Xenith has partnerships with NFL players like Nick Chubb (RB Cleveland Browns), who wears the Xenith helmet.

7. Cutters

Cutters Gloves produces excellent athletic gloves for baseball & football, featuring their "C tack grip technology". The company was founded in 1997, by Jeff Beraznik, who was unsatisfied with the current football gloves on the market. He combined elements of industrial gloves with current models, leading to gloves with a higher performance model. The gloves are designed to withstand all types of weather, and are even machine washable. Julio Jones (WR Tennessee Titans) is one of the brand's biggest partners in the NFL, wearing Cutter's gloves every single game. Former star NFL wide receiver Andre Johnson has also spoken highly of the brand.

8. Wilson

Wilson Sporting Goods makes footballs and previously provided uniforms for some NFL teams. It was originally founded as a meatpacking company, but in 1915, former president of the brand Thomas E. Wilson began to produce sporting equipment such as baseball shoes and tennis rackets. It was not until 1931 that the company was formally changed to Wilson Sporting Goods. The company gained major attention within the industry in 1941, when the NFL made Wilson the official ball of the league. The NFL continues to use Wilson game balls to this day, upholding their long-standing tradition.

9. Douglas

Douglas Sports is a popular brand for football, producing shoulder pads, back plates, rib cage protectors, and other equipment and accessories. The company was founded in 1967 and initially manufactured industrial fabrics, but by the end of the 1970s the company had started producing a wide range of sporting goods equipment. The brand specializes in shoulder pads and makes different designs for each player's position, such as quarterbacks, wide receivers, and defensive backs. Seven-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady has been wearing Douglas shoulder pads since his playing days at Michigan, and refuses to take to the field with anything else.

10. Battle Sports

Battle Sports is the newest company on this list, founded in 2009, and specializes in football equipment. Battle Sports has gained popularity in recent years with its new mouthguard style and high quality backplates. The company also produces athletic towels, chinstraps, and skull caps for football players. Many current NFL and NCAA players have been using their equipment recently, and have started a trend in youth sports. In the 2019 season, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf made his league debut wearing a mouthguard designed by Battle Sports to look like a pacifier. Battle Sports is known for its iconic mouthguards, which each feature unique designs and colors. The company recently reached a partnership agreement with Growth of a Game by becoming their official camp sponsor.

FAQ

What brand is the official jersey provider of the NFL?

As of 2012, Nike is the official jersey supplier of the NFL, taking the reins from fellow industry giant Reebok. Each of the NFL's 32 teams wear the signature Nike swoosh on the shoulder area of their jerseys. The original deal between the NFL and Nike was worth $1 billion through 2020, but that deal has been extended through 2028 for an undisclosed amount of money.

What brand of football does the NFL use?

The NFL uses Wilson "The Duke" footballs, and has been since 1941. The NFL and Wilson have an extensive history through this partnership, and nearly every NFL great to ever take the gridiron has caught, thrown, or kicked Wilson footballs.

Every season, the NFL and NFLPA work together to test all popular helmets on the market in order to provide recommendations on the safest helmets for football players. Each helmet is tested for its design, durability, and reduction of head trauma. In 2021, their analysis rated the five best helmets as follows:

  1. Vicis 02
  2. Riddell Speedflex
  3. Xenith Shadow XR
  4. Vicis 01
  5. Schutt F7 UR1