How to Buy a Football Chin Strap

Your helmet may be the ultimate coat of armor on the field, but for added protection and a more proper fitting, you'll also need the right chin strap. 

As one of the most important pieces of protective equipment, you not only need to maintain and preserve your helmet, but you also need to outfit it with the best possible accessories. A proper, well-fitting chin strap helps improve the fit of your helmet to maximize the essential protection it’s made to provide.

Today, chin straps have additional features to look for such as comfortable gel padding and durable, adjustable straps. So, before the football season kicks off, discover what you should know about this piece of protective gear so that you can choose the best chin strap for your game.

Because, as it turns out, one style does not fit all.

MATERIALS

Straps
Chin straps should provide a secure, comfortable fit for players. To meet these needs, most are composed of nylon material that is rugged enough for all the action, but provides the ideal fit and comfort level players demand.

Shells and Padding
Medical-grade foam or impact-resistant polycarbonate shells can be featured on chin straps to help prevent any irritation while wearing one.

Other models may include hypoallergenic foam and removable padding so that you (or your mom or dad) can wash your gear and get rid of any sweat or dirt that may build up in the crevices.

CHIN STRAP HOOK-UP STYLES

Depending on your helmet’s style, you’ll find a variety of different ways to attach your chin strap. Most models should easily be able to hook up to your helmet, but keep in mind that some manufacturers have specific chin straps that only fit with their helmets. For most straps though, you’ll find two common hook-up styles: high and low.

In a high hook-up configuration, the straps of your chin strap will attach to a snap button on your helmet that’s located right above the facemask. The bottom two straps, which are the ones you’ll be taking off in order to remove your helmet, can be attached to two other snap buttons, which are located below each earhole.

Low hook-up configurations will have you attach your top two chin straps on the cheeks of the helmet, while the bottom two straps can be attached to two snap buttons located below both earholes.

Whatever your helmet’s hook-up configuration may be, take some time before your next practice or game to make sure your chin strap is secure, but easily removable.

SIZING

Since chin straps are designed to be adjustable, it’s fairly easy to adjust to your exact preference.

You’ll find that some chin straps come in adult or youth sizes, while others are one-size-fits-all and adjustable. If you don’t know whether your helmet is a youth or adult size model, you can usually find out by checking the inside or backside of the helmet.

To reiterate, remember to always check to see if a chin strap is capable of being outfitted to your helmet. If it is, then check to see if you can find a size that fits your level of play, whether that’s youth football or high school and upward.

When the stadium lights shine bright, you’ll be ready to take the field with confidence knowing you’re well equipped with the right chin strap to help you play your best.