football helmet sizing

How to Know What Size Football Helmet to Wear?

Before the invention of the modern football helmet, players in the early 1900's routinely suffered from injuries and life threatening concussions. As the decades went by, football helmet tech advanced until the advent of the modern helmet. However, just because helmets provide better protection than ever before, doesn’t mean that you’re safe while wearing one. Think back to any practice or tackle you’ve seen where someone’s helmet flew off their head. That was a clear sign that they were wearing the wrong one. Knowing what size football helmet to wear can help save your life. We want to share with you a few tips on how to select the best one to protect your head:

How to Determine the Right Size

The actual size of football helmets varies from brand to brand. Just because you wore a “large” in Brand X, doesn’t necessarily mean a “large” in Brand Y will fit you the same. This is why it’s so important to size yourself first before choosing one that fits properly. When selecting the right helmet, the first thing you need to do is take an accurate measurement of your head. Find a flexible measuring tape (Home Depot, Walmart, or Lowes should have them), grab a friend, family member, or coach to help you out, and then do the following:
  • Select a spot on your forehead that’s roughly 1” above your eyebrows. This is the point where the forehead pad of the helmet will come into contact with your body.
  • Take the measuring tape and wrap it around the widest circumference of your head.
  • Write down the measurements in both centimeters and inches.
  • Refer to the website or sizing chart of your favorite helmet brand to find the right size.

How to Determine if Your Helmet Fits Correctly?

Now that you’ve bought the right size helmet, it’s time to ensure that you’re wearing it properly. First, put the helmet on and move the chin strap around until you’ve reached a snug, yet comfortable fit. Take your index or pointy finger and make sure that there is no space between the temples of your forehead and the padding or inner lining of the helmet. The padding should rest comfortably against your forehead with zero space in between. You should also check to ensure that there is no space between the jaw pads and your jaw. If the helmet you bought has an inflatable jaw pad or air liner, use a helmet pump to inflate it so that the helmet sits properly. Then inflate the jaw pads and back of the head to remove any extra space. Finally, try to rotate your head. If your helmet moves, start the fitting process all over again. A properly fitted helmet should fit snugly on your head, have no spaces in between the pads and your skin, and, most importantly: give you a clear view of everything in front and to the side of you.

Football Helmet Features

While all football helmets provide the same basic protection, some manufacturers are incorporating innovative new technologies in an attempt to help further improve player safety. Here are a few of the helmet features currently on the market: Air Liners – Many manufacturers are now adding air liners to their line of football helmets. While the actual design varies from brand to brand, the overall principle is the same. Inflatable air pockets are added in some regions of the helmet to help reduce areas of space. A specialized football pump is then used to inflate the pockets once the helmet is on the head of the player. It’s designed to help eliminate any extra space that could cause the helmet to move around. The end result is a very snugly fitting helmet. Quick-Release Face Guard – While modern football helmets are very safe, injuries can and do occur. In emergencies, the team doctor needs to be able to remove the faceguard as quickly as possible. Some helmet brands come with a push-button quick-release mechanism that allows the faceguard to be instantly removed. TPU Cushioning – Thermoplastic Urethane (TPU) is one of the better helmet padding technologies on the market. Schutt Sports first developed it for use in the Air Force. This revolutionary material is almost indestructible and will stand up to season after season of rugged use. It’s also anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, which can help prevent funky smells from taking hold. Helmet Stabilization – How well a football helmet fits is one of the most critical aspects of its overall safety. Studies have shown that keeping the helmet securely in place can help limit the movement of the head after direct contact. This allows the helmet to take the brunt of the forces and safely disperse the energy that would otherwise be absorbed by the head of the player. Some manufacturers have developed a system to stabilize the helmet in the jaw area by usage of both external and internal stabilizer elements. It gives the player a more “locked-in” feel while providing additional support and protection for the lower part of the face. Football Helmet Stickers Helmet stickers are a vital part of any self-respecting football helmet. While they don’t offer any safety protection, they look really cool and allow players to individualize themselves while on the field. If you’ve found the perfect helmet and are ready to customize it and deck it out, check out our massive selection of football helmet decals!
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