There are three different styles of arm protection that you have to choose from; arm guards, arm pads, and elbow pads. Before you make your purchase, make sure you take the time to research and understand what you need most in arm protection. Based on the criteria below, you can guarantee that you will make the right decision.
Lacrosse Arm Pads vs Arm Guards vs Elbow Pads
There are three main types of arm protection in lacrosse: Arm Guards, Arm Pads, and Elbow Pads. Each provides a different ratio of protection to mobility. Arm Guards will give you the most protection with the least amount of mobility, arm pads balance their protection and mobility, and elbow pads sacrifice almost all protection for the best mobility and movement.
Lacrosse Arm Guards
Out of the three styles, arm guards will give you the most security. If sized properly, your arm guards should provide maximum arm protection from your upper bicep to your upper wrist. Lacrosse arm guards will always have plastic inserts spread throughout the pad to absorb hard slashes, especially in the elbow region.
Example: STX Cell 4 Lacrosse Arm Guards
Lacrosse Arm Pads
Arm pads will be a little smaller when compared to the traditional arm guards. Arm pads will provide greater flexibility with an ample amount of protection that covers from the mid bicep down to mid forearm. Not all arm pads have plastic inserts, but they will have a variety of dual density foams and shock absorbing materials throughout the pads.
Example: Maverik Max Lacrosse Arm Pads
Lacrosse Elbow Pads
These pads will provide maximum maneuverability given their small structure that covers only the elbow region. If you value comfort with little to no arm restriction then this style is perfect.
Example: Epoch Integra Elite Lacrosse Elbow Pad
Lacrosse Arm Pad Sizing Chart
Different manufactures will have different sizes and fits on their arm protection. However, the below chart is a good frame of reference for what will fit and wear the best in most cases based on the player’s age, weight, and height.
|Size||Age (Years)||Weight (lbs.)||Height (in.)|
|X-Small||Under 5||Under 50||Under 3'4"|
|Small||5 - 9||50 - 80||3'4" - 4'6"|
|Medium||9 - 13||80 - 130||4'6" - 5'6"|
|Large||13 - 18||130 - 180||5'6" - 5'10"|
|X-Large||18+||180+||5'10" & over|
There are a few key features to consider when looking at buying lacrosse arm protection. Each one is unique in it’s own way and can really help keep the arm protection on or create a more comfortable experience for the player.
Always look into the specific liner the arm guards/arm pads have. There are a variety of options out there in today’s day and age and they’re all designed around specific needs. Liners today provide certain amenities such as; comfort, anti-odor, moisture wicking, and even help keep the pads from sliding down your arms during play with Rubberized inserts. All these things make a huge difference.
The fastest sport on two feet gets very hot from time to time. In order to keep your body temperature in check, you will need some ventilation features throughout the pads.
Traditionally arm guards and arm pads have been kept in place using elastic Velcro straps. But now there are a variety of different ways to keep your arm guard in place. Manufacturers are using liner sleeves that fit tightly to your arms and keep your pads in place. This is great but over time the elasticity of the sleeve loosens and it could cause your pads to slip unless it has rubberized inserts inside the liner or additional elastic Velcro straps.
Advanced Buying Considerations
Another determining factor in the best arm protection for you is which position you play and how you play it. Below we will discuss all of the different factors that can lead to your best choice of arm protection.
- Attackmen: Generally, attackmen endure the most punishment from the opposition. Attackmen face long pole defensemen on a daily basis, it is recommended to equip arm guards that provide maximum protection.
- Midfielders: Given the versatility of the position, midfielders have been known to wear all three styles of arm protection. With that being said the best overall option for midfielders is to equip themselves with arm pads. Midfielders are not under the same amount of defensive pressure as attackmen so they can afford to give up a little protection and add flexibility.
- Defensemen: For the most part, defensemen are the ones dealing out all the physical abuse and they rarely get slashed on the arms. With that being said, defensemen do have to clear the ball up the field with a disgruntled attackman trying to get the ball back. It is recommended for defensemen to use arm pads, but there are a lot of players who prefer elbow pads in order to get maximum flexibility.
Style of Play
- Possession Players: These Players tend to control the ball more than others and usually have more defensive attention. Possession players ISO dodge to initiate a slide and are known to fend off double teams. This player relies heavily on the roll dodge and uses his body to shield the stick. This style of play makes the player more susceptible to hard stick checks. Possession players will need to acquire Arm Guards unless they can tolerate the inevitable bruising.
- Fast/Finesse players: Heavily favor arm pads due to the fact that they use their speed and agility as their ally. This player is always clearing the ball up the field and dodges to score with space. His game is all about creating space between him and the defensemen with athleticism. More often than not, this player chooses to give up a little protection to enhance natural arm movement to score goals.
Flexibility vs Protection
When choosing arm protection, ask yourself; are you looking for arm pads that provide more flexibility or protection? Some players like a lot of padding, and others like to have little to no arm restriction. With that being said, a lot of the manufacturers like to claim they have the best of both worlds, but truthfully speaking, there is no such thing. Based on your position, style of play, and tolerance of pain you can choose the best arm pads possible.
Shop Arm Guards at LacrosseMonkey!
One of the best ways to see which arm protection is best for you is to check them out in store at LacrosseMonkey! Our knowledgeable staff can help you make the best choice for you and your player. Already know what you want? Shop all our lacrosse arm pads online at LacrosseMonkey.com.