Best Integrated Football Pants

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

23 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
241 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best integrated football pants

Last Updated December 2019

Having top-quality equipment is a priority for all competitive athletes. It’s especially true for football players, whose high-intensity gameplay calls for gear and apparel that can keep up with their demands. That’s why so many players choose integrated football pants: to get the best of both worlds.

Instead of having pants and pads separately, integrated football pants feature sewn-in pads in seven important areas. As a result, they present a money-saving alternative to purchasing twice as much clothing and gear. Integrated football pants are considered a more comfortable option, as there’s no need to periodically adjust padding between plays. Some pairs offer even more comfort with ventilated panels, adjustable waistbands, and or moisture-wicking technology. Overall, integrated football pants are an investment in safety, comfort, and performance.

Take a look at our buying guide on integrated football pants to gear up in time for the next game or practice. We’ve covered the different fits, materials, and design features and to help you choose a pair that is tackle-ready.

Try on more than one style of integrated football pants to find a style that fits well and is comfortable. You’ll also want to assess the quality of padding between brands, as some have more than others.

Key considerations

Padding

Integrated football pants have padding in seven locations. If they’re missing any of the pads, they’re technically not considered integrated and are instead referred to as girdle shorts. Each pad provides a different type of protection.

Dual thigh pads: These pads provide protection to your quadriceps from head-on impact with other players and help to prevent “dead leg.” They also provide shock absorption when you hit the ground.

Dual knee pads: These pads are generally molded and can be somewhat rigid. They protect your knee joint from direct contact with other players and provide a cushion if you land on your knees.

Dual hip pads: These pads protect your hips and hip joints, especially if you’re tackled from the side and land on your hips. As a result, these pads cover the area from the top of your hip down through the bottom of it and nearly reach the level of the thigh pads.

Tailbone pad: This pad protects your sacrum and coccyx, better known as your tailbone. They perform the important job of providing protection from impact that could cause lower back injuries and pinched nerves, especially if you land on your butt or are tackled from behind.

Waistbands

There are three styles of waistbands on integrated football pants. When it comes to fit, this component can make or break a purchase.

Elastic waist: This style is ideal if you want a pair that you can simply put on and take off without much ado. While they’re definitely convenient, some players find the elastic chafes their skin or gets stretched out too quickly.

Belted waist: These pants are tightened and adjusted with an incorporated belt, which is on the inside of the pants except for the front closure. You can get a tight fit with these, but some players find the closure distracting and somewhat constrictive in crouching positions.

Lace-up waist: If you’re particular about a custom fit, opt for lace-up waist styles. These are also ideal for young players going through growth spurts, as they offer maximum adjustability. While you can lace up for a custom fit, some players find it time-consuming to find the right tightness each time they put them on.

Sizing

Integrated football pants come in youth and adult sizes. There are some companies who manufacture pairs that run the full spectrum from small youth sizes, fitting those who are under 4 feet tall through adult sizes that go up to 4XLT. Other companies separate their sizing and have completely different styles for their youth and adult sizes.

EXPERT TIP

Reconsider integrated football pants if you need to wear a knee brace. The brace combined with the knee pad of the pants will be too bulky and could cut off circulation.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Colors

Integrated football pants are most commonly found in black or white. Only certain brands carry a color assortment, and if you’re looking for a unique color, expect to spend a lot more on a pair. In addition to primary colors and related hues, there are also metallic-themed pairs available, though they’re relatively hard to find as only a few apparel companies manufacture them.

Materials

Integrated football pants are usually made of polyester, spandex, nylon, and Lyrcra blends to promote flexibility and range of motion. For the most part, these materials have a decent level of tensile strength, so they’ll hold up to the rough-and-tumble of practices and games. They’re not completely indestructible, though, so plan on replacing them at least every season.

As far as the padding goes, they’re made of foam, rubber, and stuffing. Foam is by far the most popular, and in premium styles, it’s molded into unique shapes for superior shock absorption. It’s easy to tell on exposed pads whether they are molded, but you’ll need to do a touch-test for ones that are fully wrapped or sewn in.

Comfort engineering

Ventilated panels

Some styles feature ventilated or mesh panels to promote airflow throughout the rest of the pants. These are usually located around the groin region of the pants and take a variety of forms. The smallest version is in the form of thin strips of mesh around the thigh area, which sometimes wrap around to the back of the pants. There are also much larger vents that feature mesh throughout the entire groin area for maximum airflow.

Moisture-wicking

Many apparel companies have signature versions of moisture-wicking technology to keep sweat at bay by drawing it away from the body. You may be familiar with Adidas’ Climalite and Nike’s Dri-Fit materials, though they’re not the only brands to feature wick-away designs in integrated football pants. Most of the mid-range and premium-priced pants from other companies use moisture-wicking fabric — so if this is a feature you want, expect to pay more for it.

Compression

Some integrated football pants provide compression, which promotes circulation and prevents muscles from feeling achy. Not only do compression pants encourage blood flow throughout your lower extremities, but they actually promotes blood flow body-wide. As a result, your muscle tissue receives adequate oxygen, which means you won’t fatigue as quickly.

EXPERT TIP

Opt for integrated football pants with moisture-wicking material to stay cool and keep sweat at bay during hot summer practices.


Staff  | BestReviews

Integrated football pants prices

Integrated football pants generally cost between $25 and $80. Pricing mostly depends on the quality of fit and materials.

Budget-friendly pairs cost between $25 and $35 They stick to the basics with pads and sometimes have adjustable waistbands, but for the most part, don’t expect any stand-out design features with these.

Midrange integrated football pants generally cost between $35 and $60. In this bracket, you’ll find better material blends that often include moisture-wicking, breathability technology, and compression features. Most youth styles hover around this price range as well.

For premium pairs, expect to spend between $60 and $80. These pants have the greatest combination of design features, and their quality means they last far longer than their less expensive counterparts. The padding is also high grade, resulting in superior protection. Adult styles tend to fall into this bracket.

EXPERT TIP

If possible, purchase two pairs at a time. You’ll always have a spare on hand and won’t need to sit out a game for lack of equipment.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Have a practice pair. Keep your game pants in their best shape by using a different pair for practice. This prolongs the wear time of the pants.
  • Confirm team colors before buying. As there are many shades of blues, reds, and greens, confirm the official team colors before purchasing a pair to ensure you have the correct one.
  • Have someone measure you. Measure your height, hip circumference, and inseam to choose the best-fitting pants.
  • Monitor the waistband. If you notice the elastic waistband becomes overstretched or feels too loose, it’s time to replace your integrated football pants.

Other products we considered

If you’re looking for quality integrated football pants for middle school and high school players, the Adidas Youth Premium Integrated Football Pants are ideal. These feature Adidas’ signature Climalite technology, which promotes breathability and coolness during play. The pads are a little larger than those in comparable pants to offer superior protection during high-impact practice and play. The fit is superior as well, as the pants are true to size and are tightened at the waist with a belt.

For a sleek, streamline pair, the Nike Youth Recruit Integrated 3.0 Football Pants are ideal. This pair has a broad size range to fit players between 3’ 11” and 5’ 7” in height. Their two-way stretch fabric has anti-rip technology and plenty of flexibility to keep up with intense play. They also feature Nike’s Dri-fit technology, which wicks away moisture. As far as fit goes, players enjoy the seamless feel of the higher-cut waist and its adjustable belt. Best of all, it has a budget-friendly price, making it a steal from a premium athletic apparel brand.

While integrated football pants take the place of having multiple pads, you’ll still need to purchase a groin cup separately.

FAQ

Q. How long will integrated football pants last?
A.
On average, they’ll last between 20 to 30 practices or games. It’s safe to say they’ll last a season, provided they don’t get ripped or damage during that time — in which case you’ll need to replace them sooner. Even minor rips affect the overall fit and could shift the placement of the pads, which in turn compromises safety.
 

Q. How do I wash integrated football pants?
A.
It’s recommended to wash them on their own in a gentle cycle with cool water. Avoid using fabric softeners and detergents that have bleach or harsh cleaners, as they degrade the elastic quality of polyester, Spandex, and nylon. They could also saturate the pads and cause them to dry out sooner. Once washed, let the pants line dry thoroughly before their next wear.

Q. My child had a growth spurt during football season, so should I replace their football pants now, or wait until next season?
A.
With a growth spurt, chances are your child isn’t comfortable in their integrated football pants anymore. Like the rest of their gear, pants should fit well for safety reasons. Not only do ill-fitting pants mean pads won’t be in the right places, they could become a distraction during games and practice. While they’re not the cheapest to replace, especially if you’re only wearing them for a couple weeks, safety and comfort go hand in hand in sports — and those alone are priceless.

The team that worked on this review
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Peter
    Peter
    Writer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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