If you like to spend your free time playing sports like soccer, paintball, lacrosse, fencing, football or hockey, then you know that the risk of injury is high. Contact sports become increasingly more difficult as we age. The hits get harder and the recovery time is longer. Even for those of us who spend our Saturdays in a fun league, an accidental collision can still take you out for the rest of the season or worse. That’s why in addition to wearing the required safety equipment for contact sports, we also like wearing padded compression shirts.
For noncontact sports, padded compression shirts are still a great idea. Downhill skiing or snowboarding and ice-skating, as well as trail riding on bikes are all activities that come with a certain degree of risk. Padded compression shirts provide an extra layer of padding to the areas that are most vulnerable to injury. That means the ribs, shoulders, chest and back. The more protection you have in these areas, the less likely you are to be sidelined by a major injury.
We also like that the shirts are designed with compression materials, which are great for circulation, help with muscle fatigue, and wick sweat away from the body.
Protect yourself from injuries and stay in the game longer with a padded compression shirt.
1. EliteTek Padded Compression Shirt
Protect your most vulnerable areas by wearing the EliteTek Padded Compression Shirt. The California-based company makes their padded compression shirts with 1/2 inch thick EVA foam, which is placed over the ribs, shoulders, kidneys and chest. The durable and flexible padding stops just before the clavicle to ensure that users retain full range of motion for throwing. The underarm of the shirt features a mesh layer that adds breathability.
Pros: The EliteTek is available in a wide range of sizes for both youth and adults.
Cons: The shirt does not offer any protection to the collarbone area.
2. Zicac Men’s Sports Shock Padded Shirt
Protect yourself and stay cool at the same time with the Zicac Men’s Sports Shock Rash Guard Compression Padded Shirt. The hexagonal breathable pads on the shoulders and ribs provide protection without causing users to overheat. The entire shirt is sweat-wicking and made with comfortable anti-collision particles of polyethylene EVA. The padded on the Zicac stops at the clavicle of motion to provide a full range for the arms.
Pros: The fabric used by Zicac is UV resistant, making this an excellent option for outdoor sports.
Cons: The Zicac’s XL size fits users up to 6’2,” and 209 pounds, so larger users may want to try a different brand.
3. CHAMPRO Men’s Compression Tanktop
Stay cool and protected with the sleeveless CHAMPRO Men’s Compression Tanktop. The Champro keeps its focus on protecting users from injury and from overheating. A 90% polyester, 10% spandex blend makes a four-way stretch fabric that is easy to move in and cool to wear. Dri-Gear technology wicks sweat away from the body to keep users dry even during sweaty workout sessions. Tri-flex pattern pads conform to the user’s body around the ribs, kidneys and on the shoulders. Available in adult and youth sizes, the Champro goes up to a 3XL or 56-inch chest.
Pros: The Champro is the only shirt on our list available in a variety of colors.
Cons: The shirt can be difficult to remove without assistance.
4. Boly Men’s Padded Compression Set
Get the most protection available with the Boly Men’s Padded Compression Set. Thanks to the shirts’ long sleeve design, it not only protects the ribs, kidneys and shoulders like the other shirts on our list, but it also offers protection for the elbows. The highly elastic, sweat-wicking fabric used to make the Boly shirt pulls sweat away from the body, which is important both in warm and cool temperatures. UV resistant fabric and anti-collision particles of polyethylene EVA create a shirt that offers sun protection and comfort. The pads are made with a hexagonal breathable pad, which helps to dissipate the impact from a hit throughout the body and therefore lessen the chance of injury.
Pros: Boly sells their padded compression shirt in a short sleeve option and with matching pants, which also feature padding.
Cons: The Boly shirt can only be hand washed and is not safe for the washing machine.