Shoulder pads are a piece of rugby kit that some players simply won't take to the field without. Rugby has become more physical since the advent of professionalism. With pro levels of training and commitment trickling down to the amateur ranks never have players been bigger, stronger or fitter than they are now. You need to protect yourself!
Shoulder pads are usually based on a polyester/lycra/mesh base layer fabric. As stipulated by World Rugby laws padding of up to 10mm on the shoulders, and 5mm across the body and arms are permitted. These layers of closed cell foam will help soak up some of the 'hits' felt in tackle, ruck and scrum situations. They may even contribute to injury prevention or help you get back to the rugby pitch following a shoulder injury.
Budget shoulder pads tend to made from a single piece of foam which may not be all that flexible. However, higher end pads tend to be constructed for foam in triangular or hexagonal pieces. This allows the foam to bend and conform to the player's shape. Not only boosting comfort but also allowing the pad to better move with you throughout a match. Essential as rugby is such a dynamic sport.
In terms of fit, your shoulder padding should be a snug fit, fitting close to the skin, or on top of your base layer. This should minimise any movement, meaning when the time comes to put in a thumping hit the pads should be in just the right place to protect you.
We stock rugby pads and body armour from internationally recognised brands Body Armour, Canterbury and Gilbert.