When buying new lacrosse gear, the stick is one of the most commonly replaced and upgraded on a regular basis because of the visible physical wear and tear. On the other hand, players commonly hold onto their pads years with some athletes wearing their protective equipment until it literally falls apart. Although you may fall in love with your current pads, it is highly recommended not only by us but by manufacturers and coaches to update your gear every other season.
Each year manufacturers produce new protective equipment that is packed with new technology designed to keep you safe on field while performing at your highest level. After a few years, the technology in your current pads will have deteriorated making it all the more important to upgrade. You will also need to update your protection as you grow in size and age to make sure you are staying protected while advancing through your playing career. Continue reading for some advice and gear recommendations when moving from starter kits to advanced protection.
Your young athlete is picking up the game for the first time but needs gear to hit the field. Most manufacturers have developed a specific group of gear meant for beginners so they can grow into the game. These starter kits contain a matching mix of shoulder pads, arm pads and gloves and can even come with a complete stick. Starter kits are definitely the way to go as your young athlete grows year after year because they are relatively inexpensive so in case you need to move up a size after a year you will not have to break the bank. Similarly, you will want to focus your attention on youth specific helmets that are designed for smaller heads but still provide a high level of protection. We recommend that you do not purchase the most expensive and newest helmet in the game because even though they have the most protective technology, they will likely not fit your athlete and in this case the fit is the most important aspect.
- Maverik Charger 16 Set – Purchase 3 or more from the set & save 20% with code CHARGER3X
- Maverik Charger 17 Set – Purchase 3 or more from the set & save 20% with code CHARGER3X
The starter kit your young athlete has been using may now be getting a bit too small and their game play is probably getting a bit more physically demanding. If that’s the case, it is time to upgrade to some intermediate level protection. Although there aren’t a ton of options within this product tier, this intermediate gear is great when you are in need of larger pads, better technology without the high price tag.
When considering this gear you will want to keep in mind your athletes level of commitment to the game as well as their physical size. Usually this tier of protection comes in standard adult sizes but will also have more flexibility in their fit to allow your player to grow into their gear. On the same level, you will want to consider upgraded their helmet but before buying the most expensive helmet, consider their head size as the youth helmet or intermediate helmet may fit better and ultimately be a safer option.
Moving up into the big leagues requires big league level equipment. Your young athlete is growing in size and skill and we have the gear to outfit them. As you enter the top tier of protective equipment you will want to consider more than just your budget and the fit of the padding, you’ll want to also consider the position they play on field and their playing style. Most manufacturers develop protective equipment to suit all playing preferences from minimal obstruction to maximum coverage.
Gloves – At this level, it is very likely you will be purchasing custom team gloves. If not, here are some great in-stock options
- STX Stallion 500 – Engineered for midfielders – max coverage with a ton of flexibility
- Epoch Integra – Great for all positions – Utilizes carbon fiber technology in high impact zones
- Maverik Max – Great all-around glove – Very comfortable glove as soon as you put them on
Elbow Pads – Favorite style among defensemen for the minimal obstruction offering a high level of mobility
Arm Pads – Arm pads are the happy medium between elbow pads and arm guards, providing solid protection with ample flexibility. This is the most popular style in the game today especially among midfielders.
- Under Armour Command Pro Arm Pads
- Epoch Integra Arm Pads
- Maverik Max Arm Pads
- STX Stallion 500 Arm Pads
Arm Guards – If you’re looking for maximum protection, arm guards are the way to go as they cover the most surface area on your arms. Preferred by attackman.
- STX Surgeon 500 Shoulder Pad
- STX Stallion 500 Shoulder Pad
- Maverik Max Speed Pad
- Epoch Integra Shoulder Pad
We hope this Beginners to Advanced Buyers Guide on Lacrosse Pads has helped you navigate the list of options when it comes to protective equipment. If you have any questions we did not answer, feel free to reach out to us on Instagram and Twitter. Also, make sure to subscribe to our emails so you can receive updates on the latest gear as well as more tips and insight into the game.