How to Choose Compression Gear this Football Season

These garments aren’t just for looks and style. Keep yourself calm, cool and protected this season by adding compression apparel to your list of gridiron gear.

July 21, 2017

Every piece of your football gear serves a purpose. Your cleats give you traction for effective cuts and mobility. The pads and helmet you wear help protect you from hits and tackles. Your gloves give you an added sense of grip. Why should your under-pad apparel be any different?


Compression apparel can be a great addition to any football player’s attire. With the intention of keeping muscles in place and lessening vibrations during activity, the tight-to-skin design of compression gear lessens resistance and doesn’t hinder your mobility or comfort when worn underneath your pads. Some products feature moisture-wicking materials. This can help in keeping you dry underneath your shoulder pads, eliminating the drenched and stinky cotton cut-offs of yesteryear.


There are two basic types of compression gear available to football players: integrated and non-integrated. Integrated compression gear is unique in that these pieces of apparel have padding sewn into their structure. This gives them a sleek design that doesn’t impede mobility while still giving that layer of protection. While non-integrated compression gear lacks padding, and is more of a layering addition, it still serves a purpose to those taking the field.




When it comes to keeping your apparel lightweight, yet still protective, a great option to explore is integrated shirts and pants. With these pieces of apparel, padding is sewn into the garment, making them somewhat of a one-stop shop. The integrated padding doesn’t compromise comfort and doesn’t limit mobility the way other padding might. There are less moving parts due to the sewn-in protection and players are able to help securely protect other vital parts of the body by choosing garments with properly located padding. Popular examples of integrated compression gear for football players include girdles, pants, tights, shirts and sleeves. Each piece will have different protection at various locations, so be sure to purchase a product that gives you optimal coverage in desired spots.




For football players, non-integrated compression gear can be a comfortable and smart option for under-pad clothing. These form-fitting garments can potentially lessen muscle vibrations, keeping everything in a more streamlined manner. This design feature can, in turn, also limit possible rubbing and chafing from pads, as well as add a layer of protection against artificial turf burns and other minor skin abrasions. Examples of typical non-integrated compression for football players include compression tops, shorts, tights and sleeves.


For best results, look for compression gear that is breathable and also institutes moisture-wicking technology. Breathable fabrics can potentially help in keeping you cooler and more comfortable on the field. That's a plus when shoulder pads and other protective gear can already be weighing you down.




So, non-integrated compression can be great for those days spent running drills under the sweltering sun, but when the cold weather moves in, your gear should respond as well. Luckily, you don’t have to give up your compression gear because the temperature dropped. Cold-weather compression can be worn under your padding and help keep you warm on the gridiron. When purchasing cold-weather compression gear, the level of thermal capabilities can vary among brands and models, so be sure to review the clothing label to purchase the right level of thermal for your playing needs.


Whether you’re looking for a comfortable under-pad garment to beat the heat or trying to slim down your protective equipment, compression gear can help you without sacrificing speed or mobility. Choose the football compression gear that’s right for you so you can perform your best this football season.