December 7, 2022

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What Pros Wear: QB Buying Guide: Best (and Budget) gear for Quarterbacks

6 min read

With football season right around the corner, we’ve decided to compile a list of the best (and budget) equipment options for Quarterbacks. Throughout this article, we will go from head to toe, suggesting the best equipment for all you gunslingers out there, of any age. We’ve also thrown in some less expensive options for those quarterbacks that are ballin’ on a budget.

Best Helmet – Riddell Speedflex

The Riddell Speedflex is the most popular helmet in all of football and the most common among QBs at all levels. The Speedflex is one of the safest lids in football and boasts a 5/5 star rating on the VT Helmet Rating Scale. Not only is the ‘flex going to protect your noggin, it’s also one of the most stylish helmets on the market. This helmet can be identified by it’s hex panel on the front of the helmet and it’s sharp lines. This panel actually flexes to help disperse impact and prevent it from reaching your head. The helmets’ modern design and top of the line protection makes it the best choice for Quarterbacks.

Lamar Jackson wears the Riddell Speedflex.

You can get the Riddell Speedflex from Riddell for $470. The youth model is $400.

Budget Helmet – Riddell Speed

Once upon a time, the Ridell Speed was on top of the football helmet world. Since the popularization of the Speedflex, we’ve seen less and less players wearing the Speed, but the Speed is still an excellent option. The Speed remains a 5/5 star rated helmet and is also much lighter than the ‘flex – weighing only 3.7 pounds. Overall, despite it’s age, it’s still a pretty sweet option for QBs.

Baker Mayfield used to wear the Riddell Speed. He has since upgraded to the Riddell Speedflex.

You can get an Adult Riddell Speed for $350-370 and a Youth model for $130-$260.

Best Facemask(s) – Custom

If you really want the best, (and coolest) facemask out there, you gotta grab a custom one. There are several really awesome models out there, but my 3 favorites are the CU-SF-2BD-SW-808, CU-SF-2BD-SW-HP (OBJ) and the CU-SF-2B-PM. All of these masks provide plenty of visibility and will help you stand out from the rest.

Kirk Cousins wears the CU-SF-2B-PM Facemask on his Riddell Speedflex. Photo via Flipboard

The CU-SF-2BD-SW-808, CU-SF-2BD-SW-HP (OBJ) and the CU-SF-2B-PM are all available for $300 from Green Gridiron.

Budget Facemask – Whatever comes on your helmet

If you want a budget facemask, just keep whatever facemask came with your football helmet. Most of the time, the facemask attached to the helmet will work just fine. On the rare occasion that you’re a QB and get a bulky lineman facemask, check some of the stock options from Green Gridiron. They typically hover around $100.

Click here to see Green Gridiron’s facemask options.

Best Chinstrap – Sportstar Victory T-Rex Hurricane

The Sportstar T-Rex Hurricane is the best chinstrap money can buy. These chinstraps are incredibly comfortable, stylish and proven to absorb more contact than any other chinstrap on the market. These are one of my favorite additions to any helmet setup.

Patrick Mahomes wears a Sportstar T-Rex Hurricane Chinstrap.

Dick’s has the Sportstar Victory T-Rex Hurricane for $45.

Budget Chinstrap – Sportstar X1 VPR Viper Chinstrap

For our budget option, we have another Sportstar chinstrap, the VPR Viper. This chinstrap is a lot cheaper but still significantly more comfortable and protective than your stock chinstrap.

Dick’s has the Sportstar X1 VPR Chinstrap for $20.

Best Mouthguard – Custom Fit from Your Dentist

The best mouthguard you can get is one that is custom fit to your mouth from a dentist. These mouthguards typically come with a warranty guarantee, are custom fit to your teeth, and very comfortable. They’re also going to be great for QBs because they don’t really affect your speech.

Next time you go to your dentist, ask them about getting one of these.

Budget Mouthguard – Shock Doctor Gel Max Convertible Classic Fit Mouthguard

The Shock Doctor Gel Max has been the go-to budget mouthguard for about a decade. This boil and bite custom fit mouthguard is sleek, comfortable and comes equipped with a $10,000 dental warranty. It can be worn with or without a strap and comes in a plethora of colors. It’s also a great option for QBs because it’ll allow you to speak clearly in the huddle or at the line of scrimmage.

Grab the Shock Doctor Gel Max Mouthguard from Dick’s for $14.

Best Visor – Oakley Pro Football Shield

Oakley visors are the best on the market. These visors look great, ensure no distortion, and help protect your eyes. They also come in an insane variety of colors, but I recommend the clear version if you’re going to be wearing these on gameday.

Kyler Murray wears the Oakley Pro Football Shield on his Riddell Speedflex.

You can get the Oakley Pro Football Shield from Dick’s for $70.

Budget Visor – EliteTek Clear Vision Visor

If you are looking for a cheap, affordable visor, the EliteTek Clear Vision is your best option. Obviously the quality isn’t on par with visors from Oakley, SHOC, etc., but for only $24, it’s the best bang for your buck. It’s gonna do a great job blocking out the sun, dirt and everything else.

Grab the EliteTek Clear Vision Visor on Amazon for $24.

Best (and Budget) Wrist Coach – Nike Pro Combat Dri-Fit Wrist Coach

We decided that the Nike Pro Combat Dri-Fit Wrist Coach was both the best option available and also the best budget option. Coming in at only $20, you get a good wrist coach with 3 windows for maximum information and dri-fit material that keeps you cool. Wrist coaches are a great way get plays in and write down key info to remember.

You can get the Adult Nike Pro Combat Wrist Coach here and the Youth one here. (Dick’s)

Best Shoulder Pads – XTech X2 Shoulder Pads

Xtech X2 Shoulder Pads are some of the best pads money can buy and the most popular among NFL QBs. These pads are very slim, low-profile and allow for plenty of range of motion, which is key for Quarterbacks. These pads also do a great job absorbing contact and protecting your chest, back and shoulders.

Justin Herbert wears XTech X2 Shoulder Pads.

You can get these for about $450 from Xtech and a backplate to match for $75.

Budget Shoulder Pads – Xenith Shoulder Pads

Xenith shoulder pads are probably the best bang for your buck. These more inexpensive models are lightweight, low-profile and they’re still going to protect you at a high level. The overall quality isn’t quite up there with XTech but still a great pair of shoulder pads for the price.

These are the Youth Xenith Fly Shoulder Pads

You can get the Xenith Youth Fly pads for $150 and the Xenith Adult Element pads for $250.

Best Cleats – Nike Alpha Menace Elite 3

The Nike Alpha Menace Elite 3 is the latest and greatest football cleat from Nike. The Elite 3 has a flyknit upper, an updated traction plate with sharp studs, and plenty of protective padding in the heel. These cleats are lightweight, comfortable and are the perfect cleat for QBs. With these, you’ll have plenty of traction in your back drop and enough ankle support to protect you if you get rolled up on.

These are the Nike Alpha Menace Elite 3, worn by Russell Wilson. Photo via @USNikeFootball

You can get the Nike Alpha Menace Elite 3 from Nike for $200.

Budget Cleats – Nike Alpha Menace Pro 3

For our budget option, we’ve selected the lower tier version of the Elite 3, the Nike Alpha Menace Pro 3. These cleats are very similar to the elites but you’re not going to get the same premium materials. The upper on the Pro version is mesh with a firm overlay so the cleat is going to be heavier than the elites. The laces on the Pros are completely exposed and the cuff is much more rigid. These cleats do have the same “Alpha” traction plate which is one of the best traction plates when it comes to agility and stability. These are a great football cleat for only $100, and they’re worn by several NFL QBs.

You can get the Nike Alpha Menace Pro 3 for $100 from Dick’s. You can also get the Youth version with the rubber traction plate for only $40.

There you have it, those are the Best (and Budget) options for Quarterbacks. Let us know in the comments your thoughts!

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