Finding the right compression shorts is critical for high level athletes. Determining the best compression shorts for football involves a variety of different factors. While the majority of these factors depend on athlete preference, there are a few of these factors that are universal. We used these factors to develop the list of the best compression shorts for football, both flag football and tackle, plus a couple to avoid.
Reviews of the 5 Best Compression Shorts for Football, Plus the 2 Worst to Avoid
- Under Armour Men’s HeatGear Armour Compression Shorts-Long Review: The Under Armour Men’s HeatGear Armour Compression Shorts are great compression shorts for football. Because they are made from Under Armour’s HeatGear material you can be assured of their ability to wick moisture away from the athlete’s body. Under Armour has been the leading company in moisture wicking fabric. In addition, the HeatGear is lightweight and allows for air to help cool off the athlete. The fit of these compression shorts tends to be a favorite among many athletes. These are longer length compression shorts, which allow them to cover more of the legs, which some athletes prefer. In addition, the large waistband helps to ensure that the shorts stay in position and do not fall down or ride up.
- Shock Doctor Core Compression Short with Bio-Flex Cup Review: The Shock Doctor Core Compression Shorts are a great compression shorts for football that offer a built in cup for protection. These shorts are made from synthetic material that allows air flow and moves moisture away from the body. The result is a comfortable, tight fitting, compression shorts that allow the athlete to move freely. One added component of these compression shorts is the built in pocket for the cup. By building a pocket for the cup the athlete is able to ensure that the cup is in the ideal position for both protection and comfort. In addition these shorts allow the cup to sit lower in the groin in a more natural position that does not limit movement as much as the traditional cup position.
- Nike Men’s Pro Shorts Review: The Nike Men’s Pro Shorts are a great pair of compression shorts that allow for great movement and high levels of comfort. These compression shorts are made from Nike’s Dri-FIT technology that is comprised of 90% polyester and 10% spandex. The effect is a compression shorts that can wick away a large amount of moisture while staying tight to the athlete. The longer inseam makes them a favorite among athletes that prefer to have long compression shorts. The spandex allows the compression shorts to expand and contract which makes them great to wear over multiple years. One unique feature of the Nike Pro Shorts is the mesh gusset. By adding in a mesh layer the athlete will get more ventilation. This added ventilation will help cool the athlete and keep them playing at their highest level.
- Defender Men’s Cool Dry Compression Baselayer Shorts Review: The Defender Men’s Cool Dry Compression Baselayer Shorts are a great pair of compression shorts. Because they lack the big name of Nike, Adidas, or Under Armour they offer a high-value compression short with great quality. These shorts are made from 92% polyester and 8% spandex. This allows them to easily deal with the high levels of sweat that elite level athletes generate in competition. In addition, the spandex ensures that they will fit snugly on the athlete’s leg and provide the benefits of a tight fit. The seam technology in these shorts is what really sets them apart from other compression shorts. The Defender Men’s Cool Dry Compression Baselayer Shorts have a unique seam pattern that allows them to sit tight to the athletes’ skin without chafing or causing any discomfort to the athlete. In addition, these have a shorter inseam which makes them a great choice for athletes that prefer a shorter fit.
- Starter Men’s 6” Light-Compression Athletic Short Review: The Starter Men’s 6” Light-Compression Athletic Short are great compression shorts for football. They have a shorter fit for athletes that prefer their compression shorts to not come down too far on their legs. In addition they are made from 85% polyester and 15% spandex. This blend allows them to move for the athlete while also dealing with perspiration that athletes build up in the course of a training or match. One unique feature of the Starter Men’s 6” Light-Compression Athletic Short is their seam structure. The seams are designed so that each leg is separate from each other and the groin area. While these seem like a minor detail, it allows the athlete to move easier in competition or training. The material and seam structure put them on the list of the best compression shorts for football.
The 2 Worst to Avoid:
- Adidas Men’s Training Techfit Base Layer Shorts Review: The Adidas Men’s Training Techfit Base Layer Shorts do not make the list of the best compression shorts for football. These compression shorts are made from 88% polyester and 12% estane. While this material is good at dealing with average levels of sweat, they cannot keep pace with the level of sweat that high performing athletes produce. This causes moisture to stand on athletes skin and create an uncomfortable fit. The Adidas Men’s Training Techfit Base Layer Shorts lack the proper fit that most athletes desire when they are picking the best compression shorts for football. The Adidas Men’s Training Techfit Base Layer Shorts are cut a little wider on the leg. The effect of this is that there is extra fabric that stops the compression shorts from having a complete tight fit on the leg.
- McDavid Cross Compression Shorts Review: The McDavid Cross Compression Shorts make the list of compression shorts to avoid. These compression shorts are great at providing compression for the athlete’s muscles but do so at the expense of the range of motion and ventilation. The cross structure of the shorts stops the athlete from being able to have a full range of motion. This prevents the athlete from being able to move and react at their ideal level during competition or training. The goal of compression is met, but the sacrifices that are made to do so make them less than ideal for top level athletes. In addition to the range of motion being sacrificed, these compression shorts do not wick away sweat like the best compression shorts for football above do. In addition, they do not allow for air to move through to the athlete’s body, which can cause them to overheat.
2019 Buyers Guide to the Best Compression Shorts for Football:
Compression shorts for football are becoming a trend that allows players to perform at higher levels. Most of these preferences come down to the comfort of the athlete. As a general rule, when an athlete feels better they will perform better. As a result, it’s important to consider the entire picture when picking the best compression shorts coupled with the best football shorts. There are three main considerations when buying compression shorts for football.
Main Points to Consider:
- Material: One of the main considerations is the material that the compression shorts are made from. When selecting compression shorts it’s important that the compression shorts are made from material that wicks away moisture from the athlete. One of the worst things for an athlete is when the sweat causes them to become uncomfortable. This causes them to lose focus on the competition and become distracted. This is turn causes their performance to drop. Beyond being made from material that wicks away sweat, there are a couple of other considerations that must be thought about when picking the best compression shorts for football. One major consideration is the thickness of the material that makes up the shorts. Some shorts are made of very light material that is designed to let air flow through and keep the athlete cool. While other compression shorts are made from heavier material that keeps the athlete warm. In addition, you want to make sure to get material that will stay tight to the leg.
- Padding: While there is a big difference between compression shorts for football and football girdles, compression shorts can come with a level of padding. Normally this padding will be on the hip portion of the pant and provide some extra padding to the traditional hip pads. While this added protection is not required by rule, some athletes really appreciate the extra padding. The majority believe that the extra padding makes them feel like they are wearing extra layers and makes them feel slow so we did not include any compression shorts with extra padding on our list of the best compression shorts for football. The other area where compression shorts can offer protection is in the groin area. There are a variety of different ways that compression shorts will offer to protect the groin area. Some compression shorts will offer a built in cup while other will offer a slide in pocket for a hard shell cup. On the other hand some athletes believe that wearing a cup will slow them down. For these athletes that do not like a cup, there are compression shorts that do not leave any space for a cup.
- Length: The final consideration is the length of the compression shorts. While all compression shorts will fall above the knee, the length can vary quite a bit. Some compression shorts will stretch all the way down to just above the knee while others will barely come down the thigh. When considering the length of compression shorts it is largely based on personal preference. Some athletes prefer to feel the compression on their thighs and believe that it improves blood flow to the muscles. Other athletes would prefer to have the compression shorts be shorter so they do not interfere with the girdle or knee pads. A large part of the length of the compression shorts will be determined by the amount of protection that is offered. Compression shorts that offer a cup tend to be longer because of the material required to sew in a pocket for the cup. In addition, compression shorts that are designed to keep the players body heat in also tend to be longer so that they can keep more of the athlete’s body warm
What is the difference between compression shorts and football girdles?
Compression shorts and football girdles have very similar roles in football. The major difference is there specific purpose. Girdles are responsible for holding the pads that are required by rule. In football all players must have a pad covering each hip bone, their tail bone and their thighs. Before players started wearing girdles the hip and tail pads were held in place by a belt that went around the player’s waist and the thigh pads were in the players pants. Now that girdles have come along they serve to hold all of these pads tight to the players skin. One issue that can arise from girdles is that these girdles can get smelly and nasty. To help prevent this, and to stop the girdles from touching the player’s skin, many teams have their athletes wear compression shorts underneath the girdles. The compressions shorts need to be very thin and lightweight so they don’t add bulk to the player while he is trying to move.
The Advantages of Wearing Compression Shorts (Video):
Final Thoughts on Finding the Best Compression Shorts for Football:
When picking the best compression shorts for football it’s important to keep personal preference and comfort at the front of your mind. There are a variety of different factors from protection level to length that only affect personal preference. With that said, it’s important to pick a pair of compression shorts that wick moisture away from the athlete while allowing him to have a complete range of motion.