Safe football helmets are essential to ensure brain injuries are prevented. We break down what makes a safe football helmet and how you can make sure you (or your child) prevents concussions through helmet best practices.
Football helmets must fit comfortably, pass all safety measures, and have a clear vision for the appropriate position.
In this article we’re going to look at the safest football helmets for 2020.
What Is the Safest Football Helmet For 2020?
We’re going to break down the best helmets for 2020. In our research, we found that there are 3 key factors that come into play when buying a helmet, that every parent should consider:
- How comfortable the helmet is
- The safety rating of the helmet
- The look and feel of the helmet
A football helmet must pass at least three aspects in order to be worn properly.
Comfortable Football Helmets
There’s nothing worse than putting on a helmet and it starts squeezing your head. The pressure on your forehead often gives you an instant headache.
On the other hand, having a helmet that is too loose can uncomfortable, as the top lip of the helmet starts to slip down and hit your nose. Helmets are currently measured in 4 sizes:
- Xtra- Large
Each individual manufacture may have different names for the sizes, however these are the standard sizes for the football helmets.
How Do I Know Which Football Helmet Will Fit Me?
Ordering helmets online is like ordering clothes online. Sometimes a medium is a medium, other times it’s a bit bigger/smaller.
The best way to fit a helmet is to try it on in person, before you buy.
Helmets typically take 1-2 weeks to ship. If your helmet is the wrong size, it could take close to a month to get your correctly fitted helmet. We recommend trying on helmets from the manufacturing months before the season starts. If the helmet is defected or doesn’t fit, simply ship it back.
Football Helmet Safety Information
The most important aspect of a helmet is its safety. Gone are the days of the hard shell helmet with barely any padding in it.
The newer helmets from popular companies such as Riddell, Schutt, and Vicis, endure safety first in all their helmets.
Safety information can be provided by all of the manufactures that create football helmets. We recommend reading the safety information and understanding where the helmet is strongest and weakest.
New Football Helmets That Are Safe In 2020
From the Riddell website:
“The Precision-Fit process is different for every player. Riddell is able to gather specific preferences such as helmet positioning, then scan the unique contours and shape of each player’s head to create one of a kind pad sets.”
Riddell features a new custom fit technology, called “precision fit”, that can help you pick a helmet that perfectly fits your head. The sizes mentioned above (small, medium, large, and Xtra-Large) are a thing of the past for Riddell.
Read more about their precision fit here: Riddell Precision Fit Explained
From the Schutt Website:
“Since 1918, Schutt has been dedicated to the pursuit of innovative protection for athletes around the world. We design our gear for maximum performance based on standards dictated by the most important person in our eyes — the player. Years of exhaustive research and testing led us to develop the most advanced impact absorption system in the game, TPU cushioning. we’ve adapted this technology and applied it to multiple sports, along with a host of other innovations like energy lock technology powered by d3o®, lightweight design, and enhanced fits. Learn how our passionate pursuit of protecting athletes reaches from the lab to the field, season after season.”
Schutt uses a combination of patented technologies to ensure you’re head is best protected on impact.
Vicis is an extremely interesting company and the newest helmet company.
Most helmets are made with a comfortable bladder on the inside, and hard shell on the outside.
The Vicis helmet has a comfortable bladder, a hard shell, a “column layer”, and a soft shell. Their technology is explained in this video…
Football Helmet Safety Ratings
Each year, 2 studies are done – one by the NFL (in partnership with the NFLPA) and one by Virginia Tech. Both studies are non-bias, self-funded studies that help rate which helmet best reduces impact severity.
Virginia Tech Study On Football Helmets
NFL/NFLPA Football Helmet Safety Study
Above is a chart that was conducted by both the NFL and the NFLPA in a joint effort to compare helmets. The green chart indicates better laboratory performance and the red in the chart indicates prohibited helmets. Although this is a chart for the NFL, it’s good to note how they are protecting from head injuries and the chart should be followed closely.
As noted above, the testing was based on reducing head impact. Items that were not included in the testing are helmet fit, retention, and long-term durability.
As seen from the chart, the top 3, Riddell, Schutt, and Vicis rank among the top helmets. Although extremely pricey, these helmets may be worth the investment to maintain longevity throughout the season.
Football Helmet & Face mask Style
Once we’ve checked the first two boxes, we not want to make sure the helmet looks good. Here are our Top 3 Picks For Best Looking Helmets
The Vicis Zero1 is the newest and hottest helmet on the market. It’s a softshell and futuristic helmet design makes players stand out from others.
On top of its added safety benefits, the look and feel of the helmet is completely different and will set you apart from your teammates
The F7 helmet, (although expensive) has a new school face mask design and helmet structure. The helmet design is new(er), which features a shock-absorbing sweet spot on the top of the helmet. I
t comes equipped with chinstrap buckles (2 on the side, 1 on top) located in different areas for your choice. The face mask, unique with several sections of bars, line the top. This helmet is very easy to screw in and screw off if need be.
Riddell Speed Flex
The most popular football helmet on the market: The Speed Flex. Worn by pretty much every big-name college program and NFL team, the speed flex has a slick design.
One thing that’s new on the speed flex is the screws. Instead of having to screw the helmet, they use simple pop tabs, which are useful for quick and easy access.
The helmet also features a new “zip-tie” like a strap system. Instead of buckling a helmet, the helmets are simply tightened by pulling on the strap.
Safe football helmet companies rely on the soft bladder and the hard shell to help prevent brain injuries such as concussions. Having a reliable, new helmet is worth the investment.
We recommend checking back to the chart from the NFL about their independent study on the football helmets, for a reliability check.