The 10 Best Protective Cups

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This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in January of 2017. You would never play football without a helmet, box without a mouth guard, or play soccer without shin guards, but those are not the only protective gear a sportsman needs. If you participate in any sport with a risk of bodily contact, you need a protective cup for your most delicate area. We selected models that are comfortable enough for extended wear and tough enough to inspire confidence. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Diamond MMA Compression Shorts System

2. Comfy Cup Youth

3. Shock Doctor BioFlex

Editor's Notes

March 04, 2021:

It was a simple round of updates, with all of our previous picks maintaining their positions on the list, save for the low-ranking Mueller Adult Protective Flex Shield, which we phased out due to availability issues.

To replace the Protective Flex Shield, we added the Exxact Sports Foam Padding. This option caught our eye by being one of the only choices on the market that comes with two pairs of compression shorts, which means that (if you’re reasonably organized) you should never need to train without your cup because its shorts are busy being laundered. The shorts also have foam inserts stitched into their sides, affording martial artists a bit of protection from leg kicks (though, not a lot).

Despite all the good things I might have to say about this option, it must be noted that at the time of this writing it had very little in the way of available user reviews, which makes it very difficult for us to credibly rank it. However, it was my judgement that, given the extremely affordable price and the value offered by the second pair of shorts, some moderate quality concerns for this selection could be forgiven. It might not be the choice of professional athletes, but it could still be a favorable pick for budgeted hobbyists, so we included it at the bottom of our list, with a warning regarding its durability. We’ll monitor this option closely and determine whether it deserves to retain its spot after our next round of updates.

If martial arts is your game, we have other lists of protective equipment that you might be interested in, including categories for headgear and chest protectors.

July 09, 2019:

Comfort and fit. These are the two must-have traits for anyone shopping for a protective cup. Other features, such as ventilation and padding are nice-to-have bonuses. With a comfortable, well-fitting model, your movements are unrestricted and the cup can do its job without slipping out of place or pinching.

In this update, we paid close attention to those two essential traits and looked for models with stellar reputations. Removed one item due to concerns about its availability. Added the Shock Doctor BioFlex in one of our top slots as a good choice from a respected manufacturer, and for a very reasonable price.

Special Honors

NuttyBuddy Founded by former MLB pitcher Mark Littell, this company claims to offer the most comfortable designs on the market, with equipment that lets your valuables hang naturally, so you can stay focused on your athletic performance.

Cleto Reyes Boxing Pugilists with overzealous sparring partners might be interested in investing in one of this company's groin protectors, which offer wider padding than most. They have a few sizes to choose from, and their largest model is even big enough to offer some kidney protection.

4. Lo-Bloo Aerofit Groin Guard

5. Shock Doctor Ultra Pro Carbon

6. McDavid Flex

7. EliteTek Protector

8. Ace High-Performance

9. Franklin Sports Youth Compression

10. Exxact Sports Foam Padding

Will Rhoda
Last updated by Will Rhoda

After deciding that the pen was mightier than the pliers, Canadian electrical contractor William Rhoda abandoned his career and headed back to college, where he majored in marketing and advertising and won a scholarship along the way to earning a diploma in creative communications. His past career landed him a depth of knowledge in tools and hardware, while his current career schooled him in audio, video and camera equipment. During his leisure time, he’s learned lots about outdoor gear, and years of tiresome backyard maintenance have taught him all about pools and hot tubs. His recreational pursuits include rest, relaxation and revolutionary action, and his roommate’s a hairless cat.

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