how to put pads in football pants

How To Put Pads In Football Pants Properly

Completing a football uniform can be pretty daunting, as many pieces go into it. However, one of the essential pieces of equipment that every football player needs is a good set of pads.

That includes football pant pads that protect the player’s knees, hips, butt, and thighs. Putting pads into football pants can be tricky, but you can do so easily with a few tips.

You need to ensure you position the pads snugly into their respective positions. 

Dive in as we show you how to put pads in football pants in a couple of minutes. If you don’t want to waste time positioning pads, we got an alternative for you.

Traditional Football Pants

Traditional football pants feature durable fabric and pads, which, according to NewYorkTimes, are textbook thick. They often have inside pockets to hold pads and typically come in white, though other colors are available.

Most men’s football pants come from a synthetic material like polyester. This fabric is solid and durable, and it resists tearing and abrasion. It’s also easy to care for and doesn’t hold onto sweat and dirt as much as natural fibers.

Pants come in three types, including slotted, snap-in, and integrated.

  • Slotted pants have inner pockets where you insert the pads.
  • Snap-in pants have snaps on the inner pant linings that hold the pads in place.
  • Integrated pants have pads sewn into the pants. So, no extra pads are necessary.

Football pants have come a long way since their early days. Today’s pants provide maximum comfort and protection for the player. Moreover, the fabric undergoes treatment with a water-repellent finish to ensure comfort, easy mobility, and longevity.

Nonetheless, you must know how to wash football pants to preserve their quality.

What Is Included in Complete Pad Sets?

Football pad sets come in two options:

woman athlete wearing football pads inside pants
  • 7-piece sets
  • 3-piece sets

If you want full protection while playing football, you need a complete set of pads that covers your entire lower body. That includes pads for your hips, thighs, knees, and tailbone.

A 7-piece pad set includes two pads each for your hips, knees, and thighs, plus one each for your tailbone. A 3-piece set covers just two hip pads and the tailbone pad.

How To Install Pads in Football Pants

While the number of slots available for football pants varies, the technique is the same. You just need to position your pants to allow easy alignment of the pads.

Here are a few tips to help you finish the job seamlessly.

Step One: Pant Placement

  1. Start by turning your football pants inside out and lying them flat on a surface.

Step Two: How to Put Hip Pads in Football Pants

  1. Insert the two pads into the required slots. Do the same for the tailbone pad.

Step Three: How to Put Knee Pads in Football Pants

  1. Place the pads inside the pants while ensuring they face the right direction. Ensure they curve according to your body’s contour. Do the same for thigh pads.

Once the pads are in place, put on the pants and fasten them securely. 

Make necessary adjustments to ensure the pads are in the correct position.

If your pants lack enough slots, get a girdle for football with whatever slots are unavailable. You can find girdles that include all the slots except the knee ones. So, you can place all your pads in the girdle except the knee pads you’ll put in your pants.

How to Tighten Football Pants

You can use your belt. If you lack one, tape it around your pants while wearing them (just underneath the waistband). Fold the band over the tape to secure the pants further.

three football p[layers in white jersey

Are Football Leg Pads Uncomfortable?

Football pads can be uncomfortable when aligned incorrectly or when first put on. However, you shouldn’t feel much discomfort once you adjust them appropriately.

The key is to ensure that the pads are snug against your body. They should protect you without impeding your movement.

All the pads should cover the regions they’re supposed to protect. If the pads are consistently uncomfortable, you may need to buy a different size or style.

What Do Players Wear Underneath Their Football Pads?

It’s up to you to decide how to wear football pants, plus other gear, and what to include underneath them. Some players prefer to wear nothing, while others wear compression clothing, t-shirts, jock-straps, and flack jackets.

Including these additional materials may help prevent the pads from moving once you start sweating. It also reduces the trapping of excess heat.

Do NFL Players Use Girdles?

Some NFL players use a girdle, while others don’t. Girdles can help ensure pads stay in position. However, they can also be uncomfortable and restrictive, so some players may prefer not to wear them.

pants of a football player wearing pads inside

Can You Wear Padded Football Pants Under Padded Girdles?

If your pants lack all the needed pads, you can wear them with a padded girdle. Whether you wear your padded girdle over or under your padded football pants is a matter of preference.

Ensure that the padding goes where it needs to—on your hips, thighs, knees, and tailbone.

Are Thigh Pads Mandatory for Football?

While some players may find thigh pads uncomfortable, they’re a necessary part of the game. In fact, they became an NFL requirement in 2013.

Football is a contact sport that requires players to employ extra protective measures. Wearing thigh pads can help to prevent injuries and keep players safe on the field.


Whether you need pads for protection or to complete your uniform, knowing how to put them in football pants is essential.

It can be challenging to fit pads into your football pants if you don’t know where to begin. However, laying your girdle and pants on a surface and sliding in the pads in their proper orientation is all you need.

We hope you now know how to put pads in football pants properly. While doing so, a little maintenance ensures the pads stay in good condition. So, check out our comprehensive guide on how to clean football pads for the best ways to improve your gear’s longevity.

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