Gridiron, or American football, is a full body contact sport which requires body protection from head to toe. Although the only equipment needed to play the game is a football, without protective equipment, players can get seriously injured. Some people prefer to buy their gear at fancy sporting goods stores, however high quality, new or barely used equipment can be found at online retailers for much less.
Avid players will use their gridiron equipment until there is nothing left but threads. However, some people find the sport is not their cup of tea and quit playing after the first game. This second group now wants to sell their equipment online. The gear isn't even broken in yet, but since they no longer have any use for it, they are willing to sell at a great discount. Though buyers might want to jump in and grab anything in reach, when shopping for gridiron equipment, knowing what gear to buy is the first step.
Gridiron Jersey and Pants
Any comfortable shirt and pair of track pants can be used to pass the ball around or while practicing, but for games it's better if everyone on the team is wearing the team colors. This helps both the fans and the players keep tabs on who's winning in this fast-action game. Even in minor league games, all of the players wear the same uniform, with the name and number of the player clearly printed on the jersey. The uniforms of professional players are often purchased by collectors to add to their collection of sports memorabilia.
Helmets for Head Protection
Professional gridiron helmets have a hard outer shell and thick padding on the inside. To keep it secure, the helmet is held in place with a chin strap. The face mask on the front of the helmet has one or more metal bars and an attached mouth guard. Some of the newer helmets are now available with a visor to help keep the sun out of the player's eyes.
Shoulder Pads for Rough Tackles
The outer shell is made of hard plastic and has soft foam padding on the inside. The dense foam is designed to absorb much of the impact of a hard tackle. Shoulder pads are worn underneath the jersey and kept in place with tight webbing. Some pads may have additional adjustment straps.
The jockstrap has an elastic band that fits around the waist, with a cotton or plastic cup on the front for protection. Bands attached on either side help keep the cup in place. Interestingly enough, jockstraps were invented before football to protect bike riders. Though most commonly used in football, other contact sports have adopted the use of jockstraps, as well.
Gridiron players wear cleated shoes, or shoes with spikes on the sole for better traction. On a cleated boot, the spikes are usually removable so that worn out spikes can be replaced. The shoes have special holes in the bottom where the spikes can be screwed in or out. Wearing cleated boots on surfaces other than grass is not recommended, as this will wear the spikes out sooner.
Typically players will also wear hip, knee and thigh pads. Some of the older styles are attached with straps, however newer versions look like a girdle. The player fills the pockets of the underwear with foam padding or plastic guards. Non-professional players will often use regular knee and elbow pads, and not worry about hip or thigh protection. In friendly games, the extra padding really isn't necessary.
Not too many gridiron players wear gloves, mostly gloves are just used by receivers. Gridiron gloves are able to grip the ball better because the palm has a sticky rubber coating. Since many professional games are played in poor weather conditions, these gloves come in quite handy.