The new Adidas 111 Arm Guards will be seen on both the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Bucknell Bison this spring. Adidas was nice enough so send over a pair of their black and white 111′s for LAS to check out and review. I tried them out playing both wall ball and in actual games, so prepare yourselves for a full report on the product.
The pads are comfortable. This is the first thing you notice when you put them on. They don’t slip around on your arm AT ALL, and that is a huge positive. Adidas didn’t do anything groundbreaking with the straps, but they didn’t have to because the pads just fit right wiith an excellent range of motion when shooting, passing or dodging.
I forgot I was wearing arm pads for a little while because of how easily the pads moved with my natural arm motions. It’s nice to be able to play and not be aware of your padding, but I definitely noticed when I got hit with good stick checks. While the fit and flexibility of the Adidas 111 Arm guards is excellent, the protection was somewhat lacking.
Adidas has a higher-end elbow guard under the (John) Grant Jr. line from 2010 that may provide better protection, but this is their beefiest product in the 111 line of padding.
The padding that separates your arm from a check is only about 1/4 of an inch thick – whereas with Reebok’s newest arm pad the padding is at least one inch thick. The Reebok pads are designed for box lacrosse to a degree and it is clear that the Adidas pads are purely for field.
I would recommend the Adidas arm guards for midfielders or attackmen that don’t carry the ball a lot. If you’re the type of player that gets beat up on, consider finding heartier arm protection. The elbow cap is a pretty thin plastic shield over a very thin pad and it provides good protection except when the plastic cap moves a bit. When that happens, the elbow is more exposed than usual and this is a concern.
Overall, the pads are light and comfortable. They will work well for middies who eschew large pads and attackmen who are shooters. As I mentioned, ball handling players should be aware that these pads are not the most protective. I hope the Notre Dame and Bucknell attackmen are offered the Grant line of arm guards as well or I fear we could see a lot of “dead arms” for those two squads.
The pads will retail for a MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) of around $95. Arm Guards range in price from $60 to $120 and above, putting Adidas near the top of the range. The pads are not yet available on the largest retail websites and aren’t featured on Adidas’ lacrosse page, but they will be. The gear can be customized nicely so make sure you check them out when considering team orders.
The Adidas 111 Arm Guards get a 6 out of 10. The pads are comfortable and flexible and can be customized nicely. However, their lack of protective domination and higher end price tag bring them back down to reality. A good effort from a company young in the lacrosse game, but there is definite room for improvement.