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The Evolution of Xenith Football Helmets

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April 3rd, 2023

Keenan Crow

Xenith was founded in 2006 by a Harvard quarterback and Columbia University MD who believed there was “a better way” to build football helmets. Xenith’s cutting-edge football helmets began with the idea for an “adaptive internal shock matrix" - Adaptive Fit - which would house interchangeable comfort pads that conform around your head when pulling the chin straps, and an “impact responsive shock” to deliver a superior fit and elevated performance.

Our Core Technology


Since debuting the X1 helmet line in 2009, Xenith’s industry first Adaptive Fit system and unique energy control layers have been core technological components in every helmet we design and manufacture. However, our engineers continually work to forge ahead and build better football equipment, so our core technologies have also evolved and improved over time. In 2011, Xenith debuted the X2 helmet line with a reengineered shock matrix and an improved Adaptive Fit system, followed by the EPIC and the X2E in 2014, which featured different height shocks to improve overall helmet performance.

In 2017, Xenith released "+" versions of X2E and Epic with even more upgrades, such as a durable 3DX chin cup and updated jaw guards for improved comfort and elite protection.

X2E+ has since become the workhorse of Xenith's helmet line. Offering a more traditional style and the same high level performance athletes have come to expect from Xenith. X2E+ incorporates Xenith's dual-stage shock matrix and time-tested shell materials to deliver an optimal combination of fit, comfort and performance.

Dual Stage Shocks VS. Multi Stage Shocks


Dual Stage shocks are another core technological component in our football helmets. Xenith's Dual Stage shocks were specifically designed to respond and adapt to the level of force applied, controlling the energy more efficiently and providing optimal protection from a wide range of impacts.

Multi Stage shocks work similarly as Dual Stage shocks, except interior AND exterior components work together to compress and flex in response to linear and rotational forces. In other words; the technology in Xenith football helmets excels at controlling energy from a wider range of head impacts players may experience on the field.


The New X


After adopting a brand-new look in 2018, Xenith debuted an all-new helmet line - the Xenith Shadow.

Xenith's Shadow football helmet features a modern, aggressive design to match your energy on the field, and also incorporates our innovative multi-stage shock matrix and Advanced Polymer shell. These technologies work together to deliver an elite combination of fit, comfort and weight.

Shadow XR


Following in Shadow's footsteps, Xenith's Shadow XR debuted two years later. Shadow XR features the same aggressive look as Shadow, but incorporates our proprietary rate-dependent impact cells and Advanced Polymer shell. These technologies work together to deliver a football helmet with top of the line performance, and an elite combination of fit, comfort and weight.

Xenith's proprietary rate-dependent impact cells respond intelligently across a dynamic range of impact forces, while the unique cell structures allow for an optimal response to rotational forces. Additionally, Shadow XR's Advanced Polymer shell is approximately 10% lighter than other competitors' shell materials.


Evolution of Xenith Football Helmets


All of these technological advancements in Xenith's storied history have played a monumental role in helping us build a superior football helmet. However, much like the late great Kobe Bryant once stoically said in a post game interview when asked how he felt about holding a two game lead in the 2009 NBA Finals, "the job's not finished"; we bring that same energy with us every day, and we will never quit seeking new and innovative ways to improve the safety and performance of our football equipment and every athlete who dons the "X" on the gridiron.