Company: Brine Lacrosse / Product: King IV Mid Shoulder Pads / Price: $119.99
I’ve never been a huge fan of shoulder pads – they’re bulky, they always ride up, and they are way too restrictive when you try and move your arms and shoulders. I know I’m not alone in this feeling as is apparent by looking around the field at any Men’s league or summer league game, people just don’t like shoulder pads. With the danger that can happen in lacrosse though, it is definitely ill-advised and a little reckless to play without them.
The King IV Mid Shoulder Pads by Brine Lacrosse offer up a new style of shoulder pads. The focus now making a lighter and faster shoulder pad that can provide the most protection with the lowest profile. The pads are built to form and flex with your natural body movements making it feel like you’re not even wearing shoulder pads. Let’s get to work and see if they live up to the hype.
The King IV Mid Shoulder Pads have a very clean look to them. Outside of the neon blue liner and accents, they are all black. Instead of your typical pads that are made up of a few, larger sections, the pads are set on top of the liner itself. The protection is through several smaller square and triangular-shaped raised pads that help to give it the flexibility its designers desired. The pads are finished off with the sternum pad that has a little extra thickness and protection.
I’ve never been a fan of flashy shoulder pads, maybe I’m just getting old, but I am partial to neutral colors on shoulder pads. While I know shoulder pads aren’t visible when you have your jersey on, I still feel a little turned off to some pads when they have colors or designs on them that I think are gaudy.
The comfort of these shoulder pads is a huge plus for me. I have always had the issue of pads riding up around my neck, so when they stayed securely put the first time I used them, I was pleasantly surprised. Even a buddy of mine noticed that they, “fit me in all the right places”.
No matter if I was running, dodging, passing, or shooting, they stayed put and offered a great range of motion. If I were to change anything, I might have the shoulder caps not extend out over the shoulder as far. While I didn’t have any sort of issues with them, I could definitely see someone a little smaller complain about them.
The lightweight feel and the smaller pads really help to make these feel broken in from the moment you put them on and to keep your focus on your playing and not on your gear.
For how lightweight and flexible these shoulder pads are, I was very impressed with the protection they were able to offer. While Brine replaced the traditional larger section of pads with multiple, smaller pads, they are still pretty protective.
It goes without saying that lighter, more flexible pads are usually a little less protective. The same could be said for these pads, but I think people know that going into the purchasing of a new set of shoulder pads. If you are looking for something lightweight and flexible, you are typically a more advanced player, looking to shed some of the bulk and weight – these are the shoulder pads for that player.
One area of note though, if you look at the first few photos of just the pads, you can see that the spine has zero padding on it, outside of the liner. In the chance you got hit with a ball or stick right on your spine, you might be wishing for a little more protection. Other than that, there were no major areas of worry.
I’ve been playing with these shoulder pads quite a bit throughout the Fall, both indoors and outdoors. I have still yet to notice any major signs of wear and tear, and if anything, they fit even better now. The stitching and velcro are still securely fastened and none of the pad sections look to be pulling apart from the liner.
In this case, the more simple design of the pads is probably benefiting how durable they are able to be. There aren’t as many “moving parts”, so they are able to really secure the pads and push out a quality product.
Most lacrosse stores on the internet have the shoulder pads listed at $119.99. This is definitely a pretty high price for shoulder pads and is probably due to the fact that you are purchasing a high-quality product. It isn’t a good enough price though to improve the score, especially when I can go buy most other shoulder pads for around $70.
Yes, the shoulder pads are great, flexible, and do offer a good amount of protection, but $120 is still $120.
Overall Score: 7.8/10
There is no doubt in my mind that these are great shoulder pads. They offer solid protection, fit well on your body, and have a great range of motion. The saying “less is more” rings true with these pads – while being super lightweight and flexible, they are able to still keep the player protected on the field.
At the end of the day is just depends on how much you are willing to spend to get the safety, mobility, and comfort that you desire.