How do I find the right football arm protection ?

Are you thinking about buying arm protection for American Football? This guide will help you to know what to look for.

Your arms are the only part of your body which is constantly exposed on the field. With the right sleeves or shivers you can get that extra protection that you’re looking for to fully protect yourself.

This kind of protection is not required but might be that extra addition to your gear. You can go for arm sleeves, arm shivers and elbow sleeves.

Arm sleeves

When stepping on the field you’ll see a lot of arm sleeves these days. These arm sleeves are made out of a blend of spandex and nylon and offer a compression technology. An arm sleeve will cover an arm from the wrist all the way up past the bicep. These sleeves are often not padded but these are also on the market. The non-padded sleeves don’t offer the needed protection in some cases but help reduce the amount of bruises and scratches during the game.

The padded sleeves have padding on the elbow or lower arm to offer extra protection to the player. These padded pieces absorb impact and are popular amongst Wide Receivers, Running Backs and Quarterbacks. They are also suited for players that might get hit a lot on the field.

The sleeves use a moisture-wicking technology and are designed to keep you cool in the heat. They are also made out of a lightweight material and the compression technology lets it feel tight to your arm.

Arm shivers

An Arm shiver is similar to the sleeve, but will only cover the forearm. Choosing to go for a shiver or an arm sleeve is your own choice and comes down to what you prefer best.

While some of the arm shivers are meant to reduce the chance of bruises, others will have a layer of padding to provide extra protection. This layer will benefit players like Running Backs who will have to fight off the defenders.

Elbow Protection

This elbow protection sleeve starts at the forearm to above your elbow. This absorbs some of the shock from impact while still allowing full mobility during play. This kind of arm sleeve is common amongst the Running Backs and Fullbacks. Many of the designs are designed to move with your body and give a personalized fit.

Before the elbow sleeves, there were the elbow pads. But because of the rise of technology these have become less and less popular.


The most important part in the arm protection is the size. You want it to fit perfectly around the part where you need the extra protection. It should feel comfortable close to your arm, but too tight. Different brands note different sizing in their products so you can use the measuring guides to help find the right size:

Arm Sleeves: Measure the length of your arm, the circumference of your bicep and the circumference of your forearm/upper wrist.
Arm shivers: Measure the circumference of your forearm. It the shiver goes up to above your elbow, you should also measure the circumference of your bicep.
Elbow sleeves: Measure the circumference of your elbow.