Riddell Padded Helmet

Not Truly Lost, But Found Nonetheless!

On occasion Helmet Hut will come across what we believe to be a “real find.” Sometimes a helmet is used but briefly by a specific team or a model is in production but a short time and discontinued, making the relatively few that were in circulation rare artifacts on the wish list of the fervent helmet collector. Some helmets were prototypes, either in their production or artistic design and never made it to the “placed in use” stage.


Recently, our staff found a Riddell TK-5 helmet from the early 1960’s that was literally snatch right out of the jaws of death and is beautiful in appearance, and a joy to behold in its concept.



Similar to the padded MacGregor helmets of the same time period, Riddell experimented with what would have been their version of an externally padded helmet. Aware that the primary concern and complaint about these types of helmets was a statistical increase in the number of cervical spine/neck related injuries, they had the advantage of being very thorough in their analysis after the first externally padded helmets were already on the market at schools like Ohio State, Cornell, Colgate, and Duke. After their own research indicated that there was in fact an increased potential for neck injuries, Riddell made the decision to delay and then cancel the production of this wonderful looking helmet. For the lover of football lore and legend, this can go onto the “must have” list of collectibles.