OBJECTIVE: The potential of currently available padded soccer goalkeeper shorts to prevent hip injuries sustained in side jumps was investigated. DESIGN: Within the scope of this study a survey among professional and amateur goalkeepers, trainers as well as the medical staff was performed. In addition commercially available shorts were impact-tested using an artificial hip model. The results were compared to requirements established for hip protectors for elderly. RESULTS: As results of the survey it was found that contusions and abrasions were observed most often for all players. Fractures and arthritis were only reported by amateur players, whereas bursitis was more frequently observed by professional players. Amateurs have a significantly higher risk of injury than professional players and the higher injury risk during training is significantly higher compared to the injury risk during a match. No difference of the injury risk was found between goalkeepers wearing padded shorts and those who did not. Impact tests indicated a wide range of performance of the currently available products. The padded shorts generally reduce impact forces, but mostly perform poorly. Only shorts that were made of visco-elastic foam fulfilled the basic requirements requested for hip protectors for elderly. CONCLUSIONS: The quality of most of the currently available goalkeeper shorts needs to be improved in order to effectively prevent hip injury sustained in side jumps.