A shoulder pad for football players comprising a left-hand member which fits over the left shoulder and a right-hand member which fits over the right shoulder. Each of the members is a relatively rigid member of generally inverted U-shape as viewed from the side and has a chestplate portion, a backplate portion and an arch integrally connecting the plate portions. Each member has padding on the inside thereof with the padding at the top of the arch comprising an inner portion beneath the arch and an outer portion extending laterally outwardly beyond the arch. The outer portion has front and back sections which are separate toward their outer ends for allowing the sections to spread apart on upward movement of the outer part of the shoulder. A cover pad overlies the separate outer ends of the front and back sections and is hinged to the inner portion of the arch padding for permitting the cover pad to swing upwardly on upward movement of the arm at the shoulder. A cap with padding on the inside thereof overlies the cover pad.