What types of helmets are there for soccer players?

Although not common, helmets are occasionally worn by soccer players (especially goalkeepers). In this blog, I explain the different types of helmets available.

There are three different types of helmets. Type 1 protects the entire top of the skull, the ears, part of the cheekbones, and the jaw. Type 2 protects the entire top of the skull but not the jaw, ears, and cheekbones. Type 3 protects only the front, back, and side of the head.

If you read on, I will explain the three different types mentioned above. I will show what the helmets look like and explain what they are made of. Be sure to read on if you would like further information. For example, I explain how expensive the helmets are, what sizes they come in, and whether or not you can hear well when wearing a helmet.

More about the three different types of helmets

Type 1:

This type gives the most protection to the head. In fact, it protects the entire top of the skull but also the ears, part of the cheekbones, and the jaw.

The helmet is mostly closed and has an open section only in the face. Even though the ears are almost completely covered, you can still hear well when wearing the helmet. That's because there are holes in the helmet to keep the ears clear.

The helmet can be fastened in three different ways:

  • With laces on the back
  • With an adjustable buckle or strap under the chin
  • The helmet fits tight around the head because it is custom-made (Therefore, no other fastening is needed)

Type 2:

The second type provides protection to the entire top of the skull but not to the jaw, ears, and cheekbones. Despite offering less protection, this is one of the most popular helmets among goalkeepers.

The helmet can be fastened in three different ways:

  • With laces on the back
  • With an adjustable buckle or strap under the chin
  • The helmet fits tight around the head because it is custom-made (Therefore, no other fastening is needed)

The last type is a headband rather than a helmet. It sits around the head and provides protection to the front side and back of the head. The helmet does not provide safety for the top of the skull and is, therefore, not so suitable for goalkeepers. As a consequence, the headband is worn more by outfield players.

You might also find this blog interesting:

Why does a soccer goalie wear a helmet?

FAQ About Soccer Goalkeeper Helmets

What is a goalkeeper's helmet made of?

A goalkeeper's helmet is made of different materials. It varies by brand, which materials are used for the helmet. 

The most common materials are:

This is used to make the skeleton of the helmet. The material is light and strong, and you can easily make it into all kinds of shapes.

Hard plastic:
Like carbon, hard plastic is very strong, and you can easily make all kinds of shapes out of it. It is cheaper than carbon but, on the other hand, heavier.

Foam (or EVA foam):
This is the padding of the helmet and is used to fill all the different bump pads. 

Finally, a thick layer of felt can also be used as padding. However, this material does not work as well as foam.

How much does a goalkeeper helmet cost?
The prices for a goalkeeper helmet vary greatly. For example, helmets are available for as little as $26,28. However, the price can be as high as $94,61. Because a helmet lasts a long time and because it offers good protection against injuries to the head, as far as I am concerned, these prices are negligible.

What sizes of goalkeeper helmets are there?
Because not every head is the same size, the helmet comes in different sizes. It is also possible to have a helmet made exactly to size if necessary. However, this carries a different price tag. This is because a mold of the head must then be made. The extra customization brings an extra cost.

Can the helmet also be worn by field players?
Yes, field players, like goalkeepers, can wear helmets. However, you will rarely encounter it on the field. Wearing a helmet does not hinder the players, and they can just head the ball and place it where they want. As previously mentioned, field players, in particular, wear a headband rather than a helmet.

You may also have seen players wearing masks. You can read more about this in the following blog:

Why do soccer players wear a mask?

Are soccer and rugby helmets the same?
Goalkeeper helmets and those worn in rugby are almost identical. Often a goalkeeper's helmet does not have protection on the ear; a rugby helmet does. This is why many soccer players choose a rugby helmet instead of a soccer helmet.

In rugby, you see far more players wearing helmets than in soccer. Some players wear them throughout the match, others only during a scrum

Can you wear a rugby helmet during soccer?
There are rugby helmets that you can wear during soccer.  The helmet provides as much protection as a soccer helmet. You can also head and place the ball with this helmet on. This is because the helmet rounds at the front. 

Czech former international Petr Čech, who played for Chelsea and Arsenal, among others, wore a rugby helmet for a long time. You can read more about him later in this blog.

Can you hear everything well with a goalkeeper's helmet on?
With a goalkeeper helmet, you can hear everything clearly. This is obviously important because communicating with your fellow players is very important during a game.

Can you see everything clearly with a goalkeeper's helmet on?
A goalkeeper's helmet allows you to see everything clearly. The helmet does not reduce visibility. Many people think it does not and therefore do not wear a helmet.

Will a goalkeeper's helmet make you sweat?
Because you wear a helmet, you are more likely to sweat than if you don't wear one. However, many helmets have all kinds of small openings, so the helmet is not completely closed and still "breathes." This also provides some cooling while wearing a helmet.

Is there any other protective equipment for soccer players?
Besides the helmet, there is numerous other protective equipment that can (or even should) be worn by soccer players.

You can find more on that in the following blog: What protection does a soccer player wear?

What is the best goalkeeper helmet?

Because of people's personal preferences, there is no one-size-fits-all answer as to what the best goalkeeper helmet is. Moreover, no research has been done on the different types of helmets and how well they provide protection.

However, one goalkeeper helmet that scores well in online reviews is the Goalkeeper Helmet FN1. This helmet offers protection to the forehead, the entire top of the skull, and the ears.

A nice addition to this helmet is that there is an opening at the back. This way, women can wear this helmet as well. In fact, this opening can be used to put a ponytail through.

Other helmets scoring well in reviews are the WOSAWE goalkeeper helmet, Adidas Black Metallic Silver, and the Raze Headguard.

Which helmet was worn by Petr Čech?

In 2007, Petr Čech continued his soccer career after suffering a serious head injury in 2006. From 2007 until the end of his career, he wore different types of helmets.

During his time at Chelsea, he wore an Adidas helmet for a long time. That was because Adidas was also the club's shirt sponsor at the time. I cannot guarantee 100 percent exactly which helmet it was, but it looks very similar to the Adidas Headguard Black.

This helmet is also called a scrum cap because it is worn during rugby while performing scrums and rucks.

He also wore a Raze Headguard and a Puma helmet for some time during his time at Arsenal. He has also worn numerous other helmets. However, the Czech goalkeeper never commented on why he wore different helmets or which one was his favorite.


You now know the different types of helmets that can be worn. As you have read in this blog, these helmets are very comfortable and provide extra protection to the head.

I have written many more blogs on soccer safety. An overview of all blogs on this topic can be found here.

January 18, 2023
Published: January 18, 2023