Football, whether tackle or flag football, is a physically tough sport. When children are beginning a new season, it is crucial they have all the necessary gear for protection, as well as to uphold the equipment rules of the league. For example, it’s well known that in youth flag football, it’s necessary for kids to wear shorts that are without pockets. Fingers can easily be snagged, if not. When it comes to football shorts for tackle, as well as flag football, compression shorts are helpful. In both versions of the sport, there are tons of kids shorts on the market that claim to be top-rated. Continue reading to view our review of the 14 best youth football shorts for kids playing tackle and flag football and two that you should avoid purchasing.
Reviews of the 14 Best Football Shorts for Kids Flag Football and Tackle, Plus the 2 Worst to Avoid
- Russell Athletic Big Boys Youth Mesh Short Review: These no pocket, 100% nylon shorts are among the top-rated tackle football category. They are machine washable and the mesh design features a solid tricot lining and a smocked waistband. The adjustable, internal drawstring ensures a comfortable fit. The 7” inseam is ideal for young children and will not ride up once your child starts running and moving around. The shorts are available in 14 different colors so you will be able to match them to team colors. Not only do they wear and perform great, they are reasonably priced.
- Nike Boys Youth SB Logo Dri Fit Shorts Review: These Nike shorts are 100% polyester Dri-FIT fabric shorts keep sweat away to keep you dry and comfortable. The mesh material is breathable and has a stretch waist along with an inside drawstring to ensure a snug fit. Available in black and white combo, with a contrast stripe on the side for added style. They are machine washable for easy care and come in a variety of sizes; however they do tend to run a bit large so you may need to order a smaller size than normal. There are no pockets to make sure there is nothing to get snagged during contact.
- Soffe Big Boys 7-inch Poly Mesh Short Review: These 100% Polyester, mesh shorts have an elasticized waist and an inner drawstring for a super snug fit. The machine washable fabric has a polyester tricot lining is see-through and they run extremely small. They are available in 8 color choices but this should be on your list of shorts to avoid since they are completely see-through (even though lined) and run small. They are not expensive, but definitely are not a good choice due to the size and see-through capabilities.
- Nike Team Equalizer Knit Shorts Youth Review: These Nike training shorts are the best available for the price. They feature Dri-FIT fabric to keep sweat away for a dry, comfortable wear every time. The elastic waistband and adjustable drawstring provide a secure, snug fit. They are 100% polyester and machine washable. There are five basic colors to choose from. This is a simple, easy to wear choice if you are looking for a durable pair of basic training shorts. They provide comfort without any distractions.
- Adidas Boys Triple Up Short Review: These Adidas shorts are made from 100% polyester, lightweight fabric. The elastic waistband also has a tie-up drawstring for a comfortable, snug fit. The Adidas logo is on the front and the branding stripes accent the side. This is a no-nonsense pair of training shorts that come in royal blue with white accents. The price is great and they are available in size small which makes them ideal for smaller children. This is a great pair of shorts to start a young football career.
- Adidas Youth Parma 16 Shorts Review: These 100% polyester shorts are made from climalite fabric to keep sweat away from the skin. They have an elastic waist and a drawstring to customize a snug fit. An embroidered adidas logo is on the left front hem. Available in 6 basic colors, they are ideal for boys or girls playing sports. The downside is that they run extremely small and are see-through. The fabric is really thin and should not be worn without another pair of shorts under them otherwise underwear will be visible.
- Soffe Big Boys Mesh Short Review: These shorts are inexpensive and you may be tempted to purchase them based on their price. However, they have been found to be see-through and run unusually small. If you decide to get these shorts for your child, you may have trouble getting the correct size and your child will have to wear something underneath them to prevent their underwear from being visible. Although the price may seem right, you will have to spend additional money to find a suitable pair of shorts to go under them. You will also have to make sure you purchase a large enough size to accommodate wearing another garment underneath.
- Adidas Big Boys Youth Performance Climate Shorts Review: This is a great pair of 100% polyester shorts featuring a wide, elastic waistband and a drawstring for customized comfort. They have two side pockets and the climalite material allow wearers to stay dry and comfortable. The signature, Adidas 3 stripes rune down the sides of each leg and the logo is printed on the lower, left hem. They are available in 11 great colors and are ideal for practice, lounging around the house or the beach.
- Adidas Big Boys Youth 3-Stripe Mesh Performance Shorts Review: These durable Adidas shorts are made from 100% polyester mesh material and have a wide, elastic waistband and a drawstring. There are two side pockets and the signature 3 stripes run down the sides and the logo is on the bottom left hem. The climalite material ensures a dry, comfortable wear. Each pair is available in four colors and they are true-to-size. They are top-rated and a great pair of shorts at a reasonable price.
- Under Armour Boys Golazo Shorts Review: These Under Armour shorts are 100% polyester and run slightly large. There is an elastic waistband and no drawstring and the logo is on the bottom left hem. They do not have pockets so there is no need to worry about them getting snagged on other equipment. Even though they are comfortable enough for daily wear, they are on the thin side (though not see-through). Under Armour makes these shorts in five basic colors and they can be used for football or soccer.
- Under Armour Big Boys Retaliate 7” Shorts Review: These versatile football/soccer shorts feature lightweight HeatGear® material that will keep you cool while maintaining comfort. The 4-way stretch fabric allows for improved range of motion and won’t hold moisture. An elastic waistband provides comfort and a snug fit. A moisture transport system keeps sweat away from the skin to keep you dry as you work out or play. They are 100% polyester with a 7” inseam and come in black with white trim. The logo is embroidered on the front left hem.
- Adidas Youth Soccer Tastigo Shorts Review: These football/soccer shorts feature ventilated climacool fabric to keep wearers cool and dry. They have mesh side inserts and a drawstring elastic waist for a snug, comfortable fit and there are no pockets to worry about snagging on equipment. The signature 3 stripes run down the sides and the logo is on the bottom right hem. A climacool logo is featured at the top left waistband. They are available in 13 colors so you will have no problem matching them to your team’s colors.
- adidas Performance Striker 13 Short Youth Review: These shorts are also available for a reasonable price, but are paper-thin and run small. They do not provide enough coverage and may not meet dress code since they tend to be shorter than other shorts on the market. The see-through fabric will require your child to wear an additional pair of shorts underneath them (no matter what color you select) to prevent their underwear from being visible. The money you will spend to make sure your child does not have to feel self-conscious about their undergarments showing makes their price not worthwhile. The short length may allow for exposure and by wearing an additional garment under them may cause your child to become overheated during practice or a game.
Youth Football Shorts for Tackle (Compression):
- Under Armour Boys HeatGear Armour Fitted Shorts Mid Review: These are ranked as some of the best football compression shorts available. They are 90% polyester and 10% elastane and feature HeatGear® material for a lightweight, comfortable fit. The UPF 30+ protection shields skin from the damaging rays of the sun. A 4-way stretch fabric design allows for more give and mobility on the field. The moisture wick system allows keeps sweat away from skin and dries quickly. They are available in 3 great colors.
- Franklin Sports Youth Sliding Shorts Review: Franklin Sports has some of the best padded shorts available to protect hips and backsides. They are 100% polyester and have a contoured pocket to hold a cup (separately sold). The logo is displayed on the 2” comfort waistband. The padding is ideal to give your child the necessary protection needed on the field. The spacer sliding pads are also 100% polyester for additional comfort. They run slightly smaller to ensure a snug fit and are come in a fresh, white color.
- Shock Doctor Boys Core Compression Short with Bio-Flex Cup Review: These compression shorts feature a special pocket to hold a cup and keep it in place in a more natural position. This will prevent it from shifting during running or crouching. The fabric is equipped with 4-way stretch and moisture wicking to allow for greater movement and prevent excessive sweating. The polyester material fits snugly for maximum comfort and better protection. A comfort fit waistband ensures the compression shorts stay in place without slipping down or bunching up while being worn.
3 Top-Rated Brands of Youth Football Shorts:
There are many makers of kids football shorts on the market. Some like, Russell and Champion, are old school and have been around for ages. Other newer names, like Shock Doctor compression shorts, have emerged with the popularity of the sport in recent years. In regards to both tackle and flag football, however, the top three brands are as follows:
- Nike: When it comes to saving money and getting the most value for the amount you spend, Nike is your best bet. Their football shorts are priced mid-range and are extremely well priced for smaller sizes. Nike has been around for a long time and their products have been found to stand up to the test of time. They are one of the largest sporting goods manufacturers and have been around since the company was founded in 1964. Nike has equipment and apparel for all sports and the “Swoosh” logo is recognized worldwide. By selecting their products, you are choosing time-tested products that have been on the market for decades. They are the largest supplier of footwear and clothing in the world.
- Under Armour: Under Armour was founded by Kevin Plank, a special teams captain of the University of Maryland football team in 1996. No one would know the ins and outs of football gear like an actual player. Plank designed the special “moisture-wicking” material that is present in many of Under Armour’s apparel. The fabric is specifically designed to keep athletes cool and dry while maintaining its lightweight structure. Although it has not been on the market as long as Nike, Under Armour has proven itself to be a company that will be here for the duration. Athletes around the world wear the products and use the equipment to help them stay at the top of their game. You can’t go wrong with their products and even though they are slightly higher price wise, the moisture-wicking and durability make them well worth the price.
- Adidas: Adidas has been on the market since 1949 and also includes Reebok in their holdings. They manufacture accessories, clothing and shoes. It is the largest European sporting goods manufacturer and it is second largest manufacturer in the world. One of the company’s main focal points is football kits as it supplies products for many international clubs and football teams. In additional to supplying teams, Adidas also provides referee kits for officials used by numerous countries and leagues all over the world. By investing in their products for your children, you are selecting a manufacturer that has been around for decades and has been supplying and working with football organizations for decades. Their clothing, accessories and shoes are durable and will hold up to the grueling pressure of contact sports.
2018 Buying Guide to the Best Football Shorts
As you research specific shorts and brands to determine which ones will work best for your child this season and beyond, you might want to understand why selecting the right pair of football shorts is something you should spend some time educating yourself on. For one, the coaching staff will have an idea of the type of uniform that is right for the team and you don’t want to waste time buying and returning shorts that aren’t a match. Additionally, as a busy mom or dad, you may want to reference your budget to make sure you know roughly how much money you have to spend on clothing and equipment. In order to uncover the right pair for your son’s or daughter’s flag football or tackle season upcoming, have a look at this list of the additional factors and styles to consider when it comes to selecting football shorts that will not only protect your child on the field, but will also protect your pocketbook. The ultimate goal is to invest in the best youth football shorts for flag football or tackle to give your child the gear they need to succeed on the field.
Three Main Factors to Consider for Your Football Shorts:
There are three important things you should consider when preparing to buy football shorts for your child.
- Use: You should first consider what type of football your child will be playing. If it is flag football, you want to purchase shorts that are lightweight, breathable and allow for a flag to be attached to them to participate in practice and games. They should be the appropriate length and fabric per the dress code instituted by the sporting association your child will be playing for.
- Fit: Any shorts your child wears while playing football should be fit properly to prevent injury while playing or practicing. If you select a pair with an elastic waistband, make sure they fit snugly and will not slip down while running or crouching. Shorts that have drawstring ties should be tied securely so to prevent them from coming untied during activity.
- Material: You should select natural, breathable fabrics for your child to play football in. Lightweight, mesh materials will be your best option. You should choose fabrics with moisture-wicking to keep your child cool and dry during activity. Avoid heavy, cumbersome materials and shorts with pockets that may be snagged or entangled during contact.
3 Different Styles of Football Shorts:
There are three different types of football shorts we discussed earlier. They are listed below for easy reference.
- Compression: Compression shorts are tight-fitting and designed to hold muscles in place firmly. They will improve the blood’s flow to muscles and enhance an athlete’s performance. Make sure that they fit snugly to ensure that your child is getting the most benefit from them. Also, they should not be too tight as they will hinder circulation. You are trying to keep the muscles in place firmly, not restrict them.
- Pads: Padded shorts, like compression shorts fight snugly to hold the muscles firmly in place. They also have padding at key areas that may be injured during physical contact. They will usually have thick padding on the hips and the rear (areas that are hit during contact). There are some padded shorts that provide more cushion than others and it is a matter of personal preference as to which ones you should choose. It is advised that you select a pair with more padding if your child is young and just starting to play football to prevent serious injury while they are still growing.
- Pocketless: Pocketless shorts are just what they are described as. They are lightweight and comfortable and have no pockets to snag on equipment during contact. In most cases, there is no need for your child’s shorts to have pockets on them for playing football. It could be considered a safety hazard for younger children while older kids may prefer pockets on their shorts so that they can keep items in them when they are not playing.
How to Put on Football Shorts (Video Instruction):
Final Thoughts on Finding One of the Best Youth Football Shorts for Flag Football:
Once you have been given the guidelines from the youth flag football league or tackle football coaching staff regarding what your child needs for upcoming season, we hope the research you’ve done here will help you to decide which shorts will give your child the protection, style and fit that’s also within your budget. Let us know in the comments section below if you’ve discovered a particular pair of shorts that your child loves or if you have a question for us to answer. Thanks in advance for leaving a comment below and please pin and share this article if you find it helpful in any way 🙂