What Do Football Players Wear?

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Football players wear a variety of different kinds of gear. Among the items universally worn by all football players is a protective helmet with a face mask (occasionally a protective visor as well). Some type of jersey, long pants and shoes with metal or rubber spikes called cleats are included in the usual football attire in addition to pads around the shoulders, ribs, thighs and knees.

Most players will change up the look of their helmets and pads. Different positions often go with different levels of protection. Some padding can limit mobility. Therefore, skill position players, such as running backs, wide receivers and quarterbacks, wear less padding and have smaller face masks. The lower protection level is a trade-off for speed.

The length of the cleats on the bottom of football shoes depends on the type of surface where the football game is played. Wetter and muddier fields call for longer cleats in order for the players to gain better traction. Longer cleats cut down on the ability of a player to make a quick change in direction, so some users will wear shorter cleats in order to give them a perceived advantage in avoiding tacklers. Jersey and pant colors and designs are determined by the team.