Best Football Backplates Of 2024 (Complete Guide)

By Alex Mercer

November 7, 2018

Football backplates have become increasingly popular over the years. As quarterbacks often elect to wear rib pads, skill players (wide receivers and running backs) often wear the more stylish backplate.

Football backplates are attached to the back half of the shoulder pads. They support the lower spine and decrease the impact on the lower back region.

Backplates are great for protection, but they have become a fashion statement for players over the years. They allow them to showcase their creativity, as players have customized their look with different decals.

Let’s take a closer look at the backplate and what it does.

Football Backplates

football backplates

Players often wear backplates to protect against any lower spine hits.   Wide receivers are in the most danger of lower back hits. Anytime they run a slant, square-in, hitch, or comeback route, they expose their lower back and spine to the defender.  

Because of the current targeting rules and penalties, players are likelier to avoid the high hits and aim for the lower back or legs. Football backplates will help reduce the impact on the lower back.  

Football back pads, like rib pads, are not required equipment like shoulder pads. Players may opt to wear them if they feel it’s necessary.  

Although lower back hits are not as common as lower abdomen hits, players wear backplates instead of rib pads – mainly because rib pads aren’t as restrictive.  

Backplate Style

Players started to wear backplates as fashion statements. The traditional square backplate (often un-branded) was hanging out of the shirts of skilled players.  

With the recent growth of Battle, players are more apt to wear a crescent-shaped back pad to make a fashion statement – similar to how players sport Nike cleats & socks.

Pair the back pad with armbands, a towel, an arm sleeve, flashy cleats, and a speedy running back – now that’s intimidation!  

For how players wore stick-on eye black with letters and numbers on them, it wasn’t to keep the sun or light out of their eyes but for a fashion statement.  

back plate style

The backplate style hanging out of jerseys has become illegal in most leagues. NCAA rules force players to tuck in their jerseys, ultimately forcing the backplate to be hidden. This is a rule mandated by all referees, and they may even remove a player from the field of play until they tuck their shirt in.

See Our Complete List Of Helpful Football Articles Here

Best Football Backplates

Our Top Pick
Battle Sports White Back Plate
  • High impact foam interior
  • Curved design
  • Max energy dispersion
  • Universal fit
  • Hardware included
Shock Doctor Showtime Back Plate
  • MAX PROTECTION – Designed specifically for Football, protects the lower back, kidneys and spine. Shock Doctor has been a leader in sports protective gear. Be safe against blind impacts coming from the size or back.
  • COMFORT AND DURABILITY-  Our contoured foam interior is designed to absorb impact as well as sit comfortably on your lower back. It will NOT limit your movement, speed or mobility. Slightly curved pad to fit the back.
  • VENTILATED & BREATHABLE - Ventilated air channels - aggressively releases heat to keep you cool and comfortable on field.
Schutt Sports Back Plate
  • VENTILATED PADDING engineered from high Density EVA and BREATHABLE FABRIC
  • Fits all Varsity Schutt shoulder pads and most competitors' shoulder pads
  • 5 mm vent holes to help circulate air to keep you cool
  • 12 ½ ”(w) x 6 ¼ ”(h); max extension from shoulder pad arch 7 5/8”

Based on a few metrics, we’ve chosen the best football backplates to protect your lower back. Protection, price, and style were the three categories that went into our list.

Protection is, of course, at the top. Having a well-put-together backplate that will last you the entire season is crucial.

We’re always conscious of the pricing, as these items can get pricey. Last, have a stylish backplate that you’re happy to show off and proud to rep that brand.

Learn more about these backplates below.

Battle Backplate

Battle back plate

Our first backplate is the hottest one on the market right now. As a brand and leader in equipment, Battle has sturdy backplates that look stylish and retain impact to last a whole season.  

The backplates currently come in gold, black, and white colors. The pricing aligns with the other backplates on the $29-$40 market.

Battle has also released a line of customary backplates to make you stand out from every other player.

Shock Doctor Backplate

shock doctor back plate

Shock Doctor, a new player in the backplate space known for their mouth guards, has joined the back protection industry.

Their backplates are great for both style and protecting the lower back from high impact.

It is explicitly designed for football and protects the lower back, kidneys, and spine. It will not limit your movement, speed, or mobility. Slightly curved pad to fit the back

Universal fit for athletes of all sizes, this backplate is excellent for players just getting introduced to the backplate game. 

Riddell Gray Backplate

riddell back plate

Ridell, a popular football equipment company, makes Riddell backplates. The price point sits right at $20, which is relatively inexpensive.

Riddell is a popular manufacturer that often makes high-quality equipment.

Expect no difference from this backplate, as they are consistent with the production of all their backplates – no different from their backplate.

This reliable backplate can be used for the first time or experienced backplate wearers.

Football Positions That Wear Backplates

Any position can wear a backplate. Ball carriers or receivers typically sport backplates; however, any player who wants to protect the lower spine can wear a back pad.

It’s not a forced piece of equipment but rather a piece of luxury a player may add to protect themselves.

How Do I Attach A Football Backplate To My Shoulder Pads?

Football backplates are often attached via screws directly into the shoulder pads. Also, players can use zip ties to secure the backplate in place – however, zip ties may break during the game.

We recommend buying the screws from the manufacturer if you lose the screws that typically come standard with each purchase.

About the author

Hey There! My Name is Alex and I run Get Hyped Sports. I created this platform to help people find their love for sports and gaming.

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