Football Apparel Buying Guide

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Football Apparel Buying Guide
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Football Apparel Buying Guide

Football apparel encompases a variety of clothing items that are worn by players, which include shirts, jerseys, pants, and stockings. Football apparel is also available for supporters of the game, and fanwear commonly includes T-shirts, tops, and hats. Football apparel refers to any type of clothing that players or supporters are either required to wear or choose to wear. Football apparel includes clothing appropriate to the sport of gridiron (American football) and soccer (association football), although there are other types of football.

For the purposes of this guide, the main focus is apparel items worn by players of both gridiron and soccer. Buyers should know the different types of football apparel available, why people use various football apparel items, and various places they can purchase football apparel.

Types of Football Apparel

The term "football apparel" refers to various tops, pants, and stockings that make up a team’s uniform. There are variations of football apparel that relate to the game of gridiron, and there are variations that relate to the game of soccer. It is important for buyers to know which type of football they intend to play before making a purchase.

Gridiron Football Apparel

Football apparel relating to gridiron includes tops, often referred to as jerseys, pants, which are knee-length and feature various pockets where protective pads can be inserted, as well as stockings. It is important to know what types of jerseys, pants, and stockings are allowed on the football field.

Gridiron Tops and Jerseys

Gridiron football tops include football jerseys, which are short-sleeved tops that are worn over padding and are always uniform in color. It is these jerseys that feature the player’s number. These jerseys need to be big enough to allow protective padding to be worn underneath but tight enough to provide a snug fit. They are usually made of stretchy spandex material or mesh. These jerseys are a mandatory requirement for any player who steps out onto the field as part of an official team.

Gridiron football apparel also includes short- or long-sleeved, tight-fitting compression garments that are worn under the protective padding equipment. These are made from breathable material that helps to keep players warm in cold playing conditions while still allowing sweat and moisture to escape when a player’s body warms up during the game. These football compression tops also provide protection from the padding that can rub against a player's skin. These undergarments are not a mandatory requirement, however they greatly increase a player’s comfort level, so all players, no matter what skill level, tend to wear them at some point.

Gridiron Pants

Gridiron football pants are made of tight-fitting spandex material and extend down to below knee level. These football pants are designed with pockets where protective pads can be inserted. Football pants are a mandatory piece of clothing for any player on the field. They are color coded to match the team’s colors.

Gridiron Girdles

Football apparel also features girdles, which are compression shorts that feature in-built protective padding. These can be worn under football pants and provide players with added protection and comfort, as they add extra padding and contain breathable qualities that help to draw sweat away from the body. Compression shorts are not a requirement for players to wear.

Gridiron Stockings

Football socks, or stockings, must be knee-length in height when playing at a professional level. However, when playing in college, community, or high school football leagues, players are not required to wear knee-length stockings. They are required to wear ankle or above-ankle length stockings. All stockings must be uniform and match with the team colors.

Soccer Football Apparel

Football apparel worn by soccer players includes tops, shorts, and socks, but they vary slightly from the tops, shorts, and socks required in gridiron football. In soccer, each item is mandatory, and each player must be properly attired before stepping out onto the soccer field.

Soccer Tops and Jerseys

Tops that players use while on the field are often referred to as soccer jerseys. A soccer jersey may be either short-sleeved or long-sleeved, depending on the type of weather conditions where the game is played. Every player wears a distinct team jersey that features their team colors. At the professional level, each player’s jersey features their name as well as their number. Soccer jerseys are made from very lightweight, breathable, synthetic material that helps to keep players cool and draws sweat away from their bodies. Generic soccer jerseys that players can use for practice are sold in a variety of colors.

Soccer Shorts

Soccer players wear shorts while playing. It is against regulations for any player to wear long pants while on the field, with the exception of the goalie. Soccer shorts are made from the same lightweight, breathable synthetic material that soccer jerseys are made from. They are usually a solid team color, but many generic pairs that players can use for practice are sold in a variety of colors.

Soccer Socks

Soccer socks must be knee-high in length. This is because they are used to hold protective shin guards in place. The socks should always cover the shin guards completely. Showing any part of a shin guard is frowned upon at all levels of the game.

Why People Wear Football Apparel

Football apparel can be classified into two groups: items of clothing for players themselves and items for supporters and fans. In the games of gridiron and soccer, some football apparel items are mandatory for players to wear while on the playing field, and some items are worn by choice. For supporters of either game, football apparel is a great way to show support for their favored team. At a professional level, it is common to see the vast majority of a home team crowd wearing a variety of team merchandise.

Football Apparel for Players

Players wear football apparel for comfort and protection while out on the field. Matching tops, pants, and socks or stockings are mandatory, as they provide the necessary uniform for players in a team. Each team member is easily identified by their uniform. Girdles worn in gridiron provide the necessary protection players need during the intense contact that occurs.

Football Apparel for Fans

Many football supporters choose to wear various football merchandise items to support their favorite team. Fanwear can include a wide variety of clothing items including jackets, jerseys, shirts, caps, and belts. This type of apparel is usually for street wear, not wear during play, although many teams offer active wear for fans to use when playing casual games. Football apparel is a great way for fans to show support for a team, and the apparel is usually practical and comfortable to wear in any setting.

Popular Football Apparel Brands

There is a wide selection of football apparel brands to choose from. Each brand offers a selection of quality apparel, including player apparel and football fan apparel. The following three well known brands feature a selection of both gridiron and soccer football apparel.

Nike Football Apparel

Nike has become internationally recognized for its innovative performance-enhancing sporting apparel. The extensive range of Nike football apparel features many unique and groundbreaking technologies that Nike has developed over the years. Nike sponsors many major NFL players and international soccer stars. They are a known and trusted brand for providing quality football apparel, and possibly for this reason, they are one of the more expensive brands. Some of their top-performing football apparel products include the Nike Pro Combat Hyperstrong football shorts, which offer a breathable, lightweight feel, while still providing protection. The combination of flexible foam with hard plates strategically placed offer the gridiron player the protection needed while out on the field.

The Nike Pro Compression Football Sock provides comfortable sole cushioning and mesh ventilation to keep feet breathable and feeling cool. The tight compression fit provides comfort and support across the foot and up through the calf and lower part of the leg. This is a popular choice of stocking for gridiron players whether training or on the field.

Adidas Football Apparel

Adidas has been around for a long time, and it is known as a leading manufacturer of sporting equipment and apparel. In recent years, Adidas has moved into the football apparel arena. Adidas has signed with a number of major college football teams to provide quality football apparel. The Adidas Techfit Preparation Shirt comes in short-, mid-, and long-sleeved varieties, as well as a sleeveless version, suitable for wearing under a football jersey while on the field. It is made from high compression, lightweight material that offers Adidas Climacool ventilation technology.

Umbro Football Apparel

Umbro specialize in soccer sporting equipment and apparel. They are a popular brand of football apparel throughout the North and South America and the United Kingdom. Umbro offers a wide selection of soccer shorts available in a variety of colors and sizes, including men’s, women's, youth, and children’s sizes.

Where to Buy Football Apparel

There are a number of different places to buy football apparel. Any major brick-and-mortar sporting goods stores generally offers a range of soccer or gridiron football apparel needed for playing out on the field. Buyers looking to match apparel across a specific brand should locate a nearby manufacturer retail store, which should carry a wide range of football apparel products. For example, Nike, Reebok, and Adidas stores are located throughout the U.S. These brands also offer customers the opportunity to shop online for products.

Shopping for football apparel online can be a good way to thoroughly research different products available and help a buyer to find the product they want at a realistic price. There are a large number of online stores that are dedicated to supplying sporting apparel for various sports, including gridiron and soccer. eBay is another online store where buyers can search for a wide range of football apparel items, including rare or hard-to-find products.

Buying Football Apparel on eBay

When looking to buy any type of football apparel online, eBay offers buyers a simple method of researching the best sporting apparel item to meet their needs. eBay provides simple search methods in order to make buying any type of football apparel easy. Simply search football apparel from the eBay home page, and a wide selection of different apparel items will be listed on a search results page. Or a buyer may choose to navigate to the appropriate category by going to the Sporting Goods portal, then clicking Team Sports, selecting either Football or Soccer, selecting Clothing, Shoes & Accessories, then choosing Clothing. Once there, a buyer may further refine the search by using the search options on the left-hand panel. Alternatively, they can search for a specific item of football apparel by entering the appropriate keywords into the search bar, and eBay will return results within that category only.

If buyers have trouble finding exactly what they are looking for, they can try eBay Stores, where shoppers can see exactly how many listings match their specific requirements. For those buyers who are new to eBay, visit the section Getting Started on eBay, where new buyers can find a range of helpful hints and tips, including using the eBay Mobile App for smartphones, utilizing eBay Community Resources, and how to contact eBay Customer Support, if needed.

Once buyers find the item of football apparel that they wish to purchase, it is important to always check the seller’s feedback rating to see how other buyers have rated the service. If a seller is an eBay Top-Rated Seller, they have proven to consistently receive buyers’ highest ratings, ship items promptly, maintain a track record of providing excellent service on eBay.


Football apparel encompasses a variety of sports clothing items, including tops, pants, shorts, and socks. There are some variations as to the styles of football apparel available, which are specific to the game of either gridiron or soccer. Some items of football apparel are mandatory for every player to wear, and some may be worn by choice. The various types of football apparel provide players with comfort, warmth, breathability, and protection while out on the playing field. Additionally, fanwear is a great way for supporters to show excitement for their favorite team. Popular brands continue to produce quality football apparel for both players and supporters to wear at the game.

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