What Are The Best Rugby Shoulder Pads?
Back in the good old days of my childhood, rugby was a raw and rugged affair, and the mere thought of shoulder pads would have had us chuckling. American Football? Now, that was a whole different story with their excessive padding – we couldn’t help but poke fun at it. Fast forward to today, and I’ve come to appreciate the practicality of shoulder pads, especially when nursing an injury that just won’t quit or dealing with an old one that lingers like an uninvited guest.
So, in this laid-back guide to the cream of the crop in rugby shoulder pads, we’re shining a spotlight on the top 12 choices gracing the UK market. Because, let’s face it, times change, and so do our perspectives on what’s essential for a kick-ass game on the field.
Shock Doctor Men’s Shock Skin Ultra 3-Pad
When it comes to protective gear in sports the Shock Doctor brand know a thing or two. From their mouthguards to their rugby shoulder pads they offer high-quality protective gear at a very reasonable price.
In total there are three protection points with this item and they are both shoulders and the sternum. Most notable is how the contoured padding moves with the body as you run. Constructed from supportive four-way stretch material with anti-odour and moisture wicking fabrics which guarantee’s that this is a very rugged item that won’t end up smelling like the changing rooms. Another positive are the chafe free seams which are a welcome addition as nobody likes the annoyance of seams chafing their skin.
To sum up: very affordable and from a brand that can be trusted to provide good quality protective gear. With excellent customer feedback and 5 stars on Amazon this is well worth taking a look at.
- 3-Pad Rib and Spine Impact Protection
- Lightweight ShockSkin Protective Pads
- Airflow mesh for maximum breathability
- Ultimate comfort and protection
Optimum Men’s Tribal R.L. Protective Shoulder Pad
The Optimum brand are were known for their high quality yet very affordable rugby protective gear. The Tribal R.L protective shoulder pad is a prime example.
Made from strong Lycra the Tribal T.L is lightweight and durable. In total there are five points where padded protection is provided these are the shoulders, sternum and biceps. In addition, the inner padding is 15mm thick which is a very good thickness providing ample protection. Furthermore the padding is removable and therefore can be machine washed which is obviously a bonus. The length of the shirt is extra long which makes it easier to tuck it in and keep it in place.
To sum up: Offering plenty of protection and coming in a whole rainbow of different colour options, the Optimum brand is a good buy for those looking for good quality protective rugby gear on a budget.
- ✔ LIGHTWEIGHT: If you want a shoulder pad that can protect your sternum and biceps without feeling any weight on your shoulder, then choose the Optimum Unisex Senior Tribal Protective Top Shoulder Pads. The pads are made from lightweight Lycra top that you can quickly remove and clean.
Gilbert Rugby Atomic V3 Body Armour
The Gilbert brand is synonymous with rugby and they have been making some of the best rugby gear for some time now. The Atomic V3 body armour is one of their bestsellers.
First of all there is a choice of three colours with these shoulder pads, these are green, red and blue. In terms of protection there are three points which are the shoulders and sturnem. In addition the padding is 5 mm thick which isn’t the most but this is the preferred amount for a lot of rugby players. Made from four-way stretch material and Fastwick fabric which allows for fast drying when wet. The technology behind the Atomic V3 accelerates the pull away of moisture from the skin which consequently keeps the body dry and a lot warmer.
To sum up: this is a very good rugby body armour shirt with some good features especially the Fastwick fabric technology. If you are looking for some good comfortable shoulder pads then these may be the ones for you.
- Flexible Zone padding system pre moulded design moulds to the shape of the shoulder and 5mm HDF chest padding.
- FastWickX Fabric technology provides a 4-way stretch to enhance the range of motions combined with soft feel and leads to extremely quick drying.
Canterbury CCC Rugby Protection Vest
Regarding quality, lightweight, and breathable sportswear, the world’s original rugby brand, Canterbury, tops the list. Canterbury CCC Rugby Protection Vest is one of the best examples designed to shield the chest and shoulders from harm during intense rugby matches.
Durable, breathable, and constructed from high-quality materials, this safety vest allows the players to move around freely without sacrificing protection – credit goes to the lightweight construction—the ideal balance of polyester, foam, and elasticised fabric results in an ideal quick dry sportswear.
One distinctive feature of the CCC Rugby Protection Vest is the strategically placed padding in high-impact areas. They provide additional protection from common impacts and collisions. The moisture-wicking characteristics of the breathable fabric ensure that users stay dry and comfortable over long periods of play. This protective gear has a sleek black style.
To sum up: Performance, comfort, and safety are guaranteed by the lightweight, breathable, and flexible design of the Canterbury CCC Rugby Protection Vest, available at the best price.
OFFLOAD Men’s Rugby Shoulder Pad R900
When it comes to ideal protection from harm on the rugby field, nothing beats the cutting-edge OFFLOAD Men’s Rugby Shoulder Pad R900. DECATHLON’s rugby line, OFFLOAD, is a brand for players by players. Thanks to the brand’s assortment of equipment and accessories, anyone can enjoy playing whenever and wherever they choose.
The outstanding material of Rugby Shoulder Pad R900 ensures that players will be protected from harm without sacrificing their ability to move quickly. The padding on the shoulders is deliberately designed to absorb shock, providing extra protection from collisions and hits prevalent in rugby. Thanks to its quality stitching and high-quality, long-lasting materials, this shoulder pad will never disappoint. The ergonomic design and control perspiration keep players cool and dry thanks to its lightweight and breathable material.
To sum up: This product is a great protective gear that gives rugby players all the breathability, lightweight, and durability they deserve!
VIPER V-FIT Rugby Shoulder Pads (UK Brand)
Viper Sports is a UK-based brand famous for its premier protective gear for rugby, providing endless safety and confidence. The Viper Rugby Shoulder Pads are cutting-edge body armour that protects your biceps, shoulders, and sternum.
Viper Rugby Body Armour uses Flexitop technology to be lightweight and durable, made of high-quality materials. This IRB-compliant body armour ensures excellent performance and reliability. Fit and comfort are key to these shoulder pads. The elasticated cuffs and collar keep the pads in place during hard hits and assaults. There is no need to re-adjust or any discomfort!
A narrow-fit body armour goes discreetly beneath your rugby shirt, adding protection without limiting mobility or agility. The Viper Rugby Body Armour includes a shoe bag for easy transport and storage to make your purchase even more enticing.
To sum up: With Viper Rugby Shoulder Pads, get ready to protect and improve your rugby performances. Thanks to its lightweight design, superior protection, and personalised fit!
Canterbury Vapodri Raze Pro Vest Protection Aids (Unisex)
Another model by Canterbury and to be honest in terms of features and materials it is pretty much the same as the previously featured model. The reason we have included it though is because of how good it actually is.
The Vapodri Raze Pro is used by many professional rugby players which is a good indicator of its quality and overall functionality. So if it’s the best shoulder pads you are after then the Vapodri Raze Pro fits the bill, there really isn’t a better one out there.
- VapoDri Removable EVA plate foam on chest padding
- Micro mesh shoulder panels for enhanced breathability
- Underarm gusset for articulation
- Perforated CCC logo for breathability
Best Junior Rugby Shoulder Pads
Canterbury Unisex CCC Protection Vest
If you are looking for a durable option with exceptional quality for young players, Canterbury will never disappoint! Canterbury makes the greatest junior rugby shoulder pads.
Canterbury Junior Rugby Shoulder Pads give young rugby players protection and confidence. They protect young shoulders from hits and collisions during play. These pads are made of sturdy elastic fabrics and reinforced stitching for long-lasting performance and defence. The lightweight design lets young athletes play freely. The comfortable fit and reliable shielding make this an excellent choice for young rugby players seeking safety and comfort.
To sum up: Young rugby players searching for solid gear on the pitch can consider the Canterbury Junior Rugby Shoulder Pads, which provide durable protection and a stylish fit to boost your confidence.
- RUGBY BODY ARMOUR: The CCC Rugby Protection Vest has been designed with special pads that protect your upper body, especially your chest and shoulders, giving you an extra boost when going in for that tackle
New 2020 Gilbert ATOMIC V3 Rugby Body Armour
For streamlined shoulder pads that protect young shoulders and sternum, the Atomic V3 by Gilbert is an ideal option. Gilbert’s sleek Atomic V3 body armour covers only the essentials with flexible zone padding.
Young players must resist the heaviest hits and wear feather-light armour that doesn’t hinder their agility on the pitch. The Atomic V3 pads come with a 4-way stretch that increases the full range of motion. The material accelerates moisture removal from the skin, keeping the body dry, eliminating the chill feeling, and giving maximum comfort. Along with its great performance, the Atomic V3 body armour also looks great in the Black Charcoal design. The range from Small to 2 Extra Large Atomic V3s allows adult local club players to play at their best without stress.
To sum up: For rugby players seeking lightweight yet essential padding for their shoulders and sternum, the Gilbert Atomic V3 is a great option due to its streamlined design, flexibility, elegance and a 4.2 rating on Amazon.
New 2020 Gilbert ATOMIC V3 Rugby Body Armour Shoulder Pads Base layer Short Sleeve Top - Black Charcoal (LB)
- If a streamline pair of shoulder pads offering padding for your shoulders and sternum only is what you need, then the Atomic V3 strikes the perfect balance. With flexible zone padding offering a shield to the shoulders with additional padding to the sternum – the slick Atomic V3 body armour that Gilbert have developed target only the core areas you need covered.
Optimum Inferno Rugby Protective Top Shoulder Pads
With decades of experience, Optimum Sports is well-known for creating innovative activewear for young and adult players.
Optimum Inferno Rugby Pads include all the characteristics a young player deserves. The International Rugby Board and World Rugby have approved them. The design is minimalistic and distinctively Optimum with stunning combos. EVA cushions the padding and protection to the critical zones to provide safety while you play. It is a lightweight option with a removable and washable Lycra top, making it easy to care for and carry. It also offers maximum absorption.
To sum up: Lightweight creation, certified safety features, and premium materials offer dependable protection and comfort with cushioned EVA padding, easy-care Lycra tops, and optimum absorption.
- High Quality: The Optimum Boy’s Inferno Protective Top Shoulder Pads are made of high quality materials. The pads are IRB/World Rugby Approved and packed with features that are perfect for rugby players. The design is simple and unique to the Optimum brand.
Best Women Rugby Shoulder Pads
Canterbury Women’s Pro-Protection Vest
Canterbury once again proves to be among the most reliable and trustworthy sports brands for men, women, and junior players. Canterbury Women’s Pro-Protection Vest is another ultimate option for women in protective gear.
This rugby vest is specially made to protect the female chest, biceps, and shoulders from harm in contact sports. The design is both lightweight and breathable. Thanks to its ergonomic design and long-lasting, flexible materials, you may play with complete peace of mind. The quick-drying method developed by VapoDri is a plus, along with enhanced breathability with mesh panels. This product offers a snug fit, as designed with women in mind.
To sum up: Female rugby players participating in demanding contact sports will benefit greatly from the Canterbury Women’s Pro-Protection Vests’ breathability, lightweight, mobility, protection and a 4.7 rating on Amazon.
Canterbury Women's Pro Protection Vest, Protect Chest & Shoulders, Breathable, Lightweight and Flexible, Black, 8
- Protection zones across the shoulders, chest and biceps.
- VapoDri quick drying technology.
- Mesh panels for enhanced breathability.
- Underarm gusset for articulation.
- Snug Fit
Gilbert Atomic Zenon WRX Rugby Body Armour
Atomic Zenon WRX Women’s Rugby Body Armour by Gilbert, a world-renowned sportswear brand, combines cutting-edge style with dependable protection for women.
This body armour is designed with female rugby players in mind, providing ample padding for their shoulders and sternum while allowing them to move freely and comfortably while playing. If you’re looking for a material that won’t weigh you down but will keep you protected from hard hits, this is it. With its snug fit and additional protection in crucial areas, its ergonomic design guarantees the utmost comfort and safety.
To sum up: Female rugby players looking for top-tier protection, style, and mobility can consider the Gilbert Atomic Zenon WRX Body Armour.
Kitting yourself out for rugby protection doesn’t have to break the bank, mate. While you can snag some reasonably priced shoulder pads, the truth is, the pricier options often bring a whole new level of top-notch quality and functionality to the table. Think of it as an investment in your game – the more you’re willing to splash out, the better the payback.
Now, let’s talk winners. Each gem in our top 12 list isn’t just there for show – these bad boys are the bestsellers in the UK, tried, tested, and highly recommended by players who’ve been in the rugby trenches. So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just stepping onto the field, consider this your ultimate playbook for snagging the gear that stands out in the scrum. Cheers to a game-changing match!
More rugby equipment buyers guides and reviews you may be interested in
Resources and suggested reading:
- D. A. Harris, I. R. Spears, Teesside University – The effect of rugby shoulder padding on peak impact force attenuation
- British Journal of Sports Medicine – An analysis of impact forces in an active shoulder tackle in rugby