Lacrosse Shoulder Pad Buying Guide

What We Cover:

Types of shoulder pads

Lacrosse shoulder padding is primarily categorized by its structure. While some players may prefer padding options with several layers of protection, others may prefer the mobility that comes with more limited padding.


Traditional shoulder padding is your best bet if you’re in the market for maximum protection. A pair of these will come fully armed with shoulder caps and bicep protection along with ample chest and back padding. If you’re not one to accept vicious cross checks and slashes, we recommend checking out a pair of STX Lacrosse Cell 3 shoulder pads.

Hybrid shoulder pads

Hybrid shoulder pads offer the best of both worlds. They’re not quite as bulky as conventional padding, but they still supply solid chest and shoulder coverage. Most hybrid pads today will also come with removable bicep guards if you’re looking for a little more mobility. A pair of Adidas EQT Berserker shoulder pads are a good starting point.


If you’re tough enough to endure the occasional shoulder check, a pair of liners will work well. These pads are essentially the same as hybrids, but come without bicep pads attached. For offensive players, these are great because they offer little to no restriction when looking to shoot or pass. For defenders who rely more on throwing checks than receiving them, we recommend checking out Warrior liners. Youth players and beginners are best off going with more padding.


Trying to figure out your shoulder pad size can seem difficult at first. Here’s how our pros recommend estimating what pair of pads you’ll need:

Lacrosse shoulder pad size chart

If your pads are too tight, you’ll struggle with your mobility. Too loose, and you run the risk of them falling off and not providing proper protection. The collar of your pads should lie flat on the your collarbone and your shoulder caps should extend two inches off of your shoulders. Finally, your sternum padding should be form-fitting: it shouldn’t be hanging off the sides of your frame, nor should it be too short for your figure.

Other tips

If you’re looking for extra protection around your ribs, consider picking up a pair of rib pads. While not everyone wears these, they’re not a bad choice for beginners or players looking for extra protection (looking at you box lacrosse players).

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