Best Lacrosse Heads: Top 10 LAX Heads for 2023
The Best Lacrosse Heads for 2023 (with reviews)
The most important piece of equipment in lacrosse is the lacrosse head. Finding the right head for you and your playstyle might be the most important decision in lacrosse. You want your head to complement your play style and position. To see more options, check out our full selection of lacrosse heads.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- The Top 10 Best Lacrosse Heads
- Choosing the Right Type of Lacrosse Heads by Position
- Factors to Consider when Selecting a Lacrosse Head
- Best Lacrosse Heads by Position
The Top 10 Best Lacrosse Heads
1. STX Surgeon 900 Unstrung Lacrosse Head
The Surgeon 900 is a head built for the prototypical attackman. The tight face design and mid-low bottom rail retains the ball in the stick through contact and checks. Weighing in around 125 grams, it’s an incredibly light head which makes it easier to pass and shoot. The STX Speed Scoop™️ provides one of the easiest ground ball pickups on the market. It’s an absolute dream to string up with grooves on the inside of the head that allow for inside stringing to make a tiger face shape feel even more pinched. STX dialed in the sidewall hole placement and size on all of their 900 heads.
- Tight face shape to retain ball possession
- Channel Lock top string to give you a smooth release off the top
- Durable plastic made to hold up against hard checks
2. Maverik Optik 3.0 Unstrung Lacrosse Head
One of the most popular lacrosse heads during the 2021 PLL season, the Optik 3.0 is the perfect addition to the Optik trilogy (the first edition also makes an appearance later on this list). At first glance this looks pretty similar to the Optik 2.0, but on further inspection you can really see the improvements made by Maverik. They’ve added sidewall holes to bring the total up to 20 creating even more options for tying up the perfect pocket for your playstyle. The offset (how low the ball sits past the center point of the shaft) was increased which allows for even more feel when the ball is in the pocket. The super short throat (think like faceoff head short) pushes your hand even closer to the ball which is a huge advantage when carrying the ball with pressure. And of course, the Optik 3.0 is available in 4 colors to let you stand out on the field: White, Gray, Black, or Hyperlite Blue.
- Short throat to get your hand as close as possible to the ball
- Increased offset for easier ball handling
- Strings up an incredible low to mid-low pocket for quick passing
3. Epoch Integra Z-One Unstrung Lacrosse Head
Epoch is a newer player in the lacrosse gear world and their Integra Z-One is the flagship head of the company. Another perfectly crafted low pocket bottom rail set up (noticing a theme here?) the ball just doesn’t seem to get knocked out of the head. The angular flare towards the top of the head creates an incredible channel for the ball to travel along for ripping shots from the outside or making feeds into tight windows. The Z-One features a bevy of stringing holes that utilize a unique groove to keep those knots nice and tight. Matt Rambo, #1 player in the PLL, has been using the Z-One to dominate the highest level of field lacrosse the last three seasons. While you can put almost any pocket in this head, we would suggest a mid-low or low pocket for the best results.
- Tight and pinched face shape
- Easy to use sidewall holes
- Low pocket design
4. Warrior Evo QX Offense Unstrung Lacrosse Head
In lacrosse, when you hear the name “Evo'' you conjure up images of one of the longest running lines in the sport. Dating back to 1999, Evo can be identified by its unique and almost unchanged sideall strut design which creates a super durable and reliable head. Both versions use Warrior’s new Therma-Loc Resin in the plastic which holds up well in high heat and maintains the head’s shape and stiffness. They cleaned up the scoop from the Evo 5 and gave you the option to add or remove a Loc-Throat device which can keep your head tight to the shaft. The QX Offense has an incredibly smooth release from it’s mid-low pocket location. The QX is one of the best middie lacrosse heads you can find on the market.
- Therma-Loc Resin holds up against extreme weather
- Iconic evo sidewall design that maintains the head’s shape
- Removable Loc-Throat to reduce rattle
5. Nike Lakota 3 Unstrung Lacrosse Head
Putting the Lakota 3 (or L3 as Nike is calling it now) as a “midfield” head is really a disservice to its versatility. Lakota 3 could easily be used by a number one attackman drawing doubles and hitting cutters for assists, alley dodging midfielders who snipe corners on the run, or even long poles who can handle the ball and aren’t afraid to carry up the field. It’s such a well crafted head that almost every position (except maybe faceoff but I wouldn’t doubt the Lakota) can dominate with it. The sidewall holes are easy to use and guide you into that perfect mid-high pocket location. The offset was slightly increased and the scoop angle adjusted to really dial in ground balls and ball control. PowerForm™️ plastic makes for a super durable head as well. The Lakota 3 continues the legacy of its predecessors and is one of the best lax heads of 2020.
- A versatile construction and face shape makes this a viable option at any position
- Increased offset and scoop angle
- Mid-high pocket location allows for easier shooting from the outside
6. Gait Torq Unstrung Lacrosse Head
Gait left the men’s lacrosse scene for a few years and has stepped into the women’s game as one of the top manufacturers. However, back in 2019 they made their return to the men’s game with the triumphant return of the Gait Torq (a revamp of the old Torque line). The Torq is a wider head with a unique V-Scoop design which feels like it’s folded in on itself. This creates a tight channel for the ball to roll into the head with. Another standout feature is the sidewall fin that actually sticks out into the center of the head. This gives you some neat options to string a really tight channel and make this wider head feel tighter than it is. The Torq is a strong, wide, and stiff head that (similar to the Lakota 3) is viable all over the field. Be aware, it’s a little heavier than some heads on this list.
- Wide face shape allows for easy catching and finishing
- V-scoop vacuums up ground balls and retains its shape
- Sidewall fin for tight channels when stringing
7. Maverik Tank 2.0 Unstrung Lacrosse Head
Welcome to the wonderful world of Defensive heads where the heads are super wide and the sidewall struts zig zag back and forth like a demon zipper. The Tank 2.0 takes this to the next level and then some. In all seriousness, the wider design of the Tank 2.0 gives you a little more room for error when catching and trying to knock down passes. The scoop is built specifically for d poles with its angle and design. The zig zag struts keep the head durable and stiff no matter how much force you put the head through. If you’re looking for big and beefy, the Tank 2.0 is going to rock your world. Another perk of using a Maverik head is those 4 signature factory head colors. The black head with black mesh and black strings is absolutely *chef’s kiss* on a d-pole.
- Multiple sidewall struts keep the Tank stiff
- Aggressive scoop angle specifically made for D-poles
- Signature 4 factory colors available
8. STX X20 Unstrung Lacrosse Head
Was the Tank not tough and scary enough for your d-pole needs? Look no further than the STX X20 which has literal jagged edges like a saw blade. You’re right, that’s pretty metal. The X20 follows up on the success of the X10 (which is still available and a great budget d head) and is the great-great grandchild of the original STX Excalibur. That signature face shape and criss cross sidewall strut make for a dynamic duo in a defensive head. X20 gives you that awesome wide face shape, SpeedScoop™️ design, and the strong EnduraForm™️ plastic that STX has become so well known for. The “saw blades” use what’s called Strike Plate™️ technology to amplify the effectiveness on checks and can almost grip onto the opposing player for increased control. Yes they are legal and are super hardcore at the same time.
- Enduraform™️ plastic holds up against aggressive play
- Wide face shape built for knocking down passes
- STX’s SpeedScoop™️ makes ground balls a breeze
9. ECD Lacrosse Weapon X Unstrung Lacrosse Head
The face off athlete has become one of the most valuable positions in lacrosse. Possession means everything (especially in non-shot clock leagues) and the Weapon X is one of the best at controlling the dot. Not only does the Weapon X crush the faceoff with its optimized flex points and perfect scoop, but it can stay on the field and play offense or defense due to its tougher plastic. This maintains the faceshpe even after a long battle to keep you on the field. If you’re a player who likes to take the faceoff, snag the ground ball, and run down to play some offense the Weapon X is the head for you. On top of this, ECD historically has a great returns/customer service reputation so if it ever breaks (which faceoff heads are susceptible to) they can get you a new one if it’s under warranty.
- Viable to face off and still play offense or defense
- Stiff plastic that can take a beating
- Additional screw holes to on the side to keep the head secure
10. Maverik Optik U Unstrung Lacrosse Head
Budget does not necessarily mean bad or lower level. The Optik U, which came out in 2016, was a top tier head offensive head at its release. Similar to the Optik 3.0 earlier in this list, the Optik U does best with that mid to low pocket location. At just $49.98 it’s a complete steal and we are a little crazy for offering that. You can even catch it on clearance weekends for less. An absolute gem to add to your collection and a great head for an intermediate player looking to upgrade from their old beginner heads. It’s light, easy to use, and a beast on the field no matter your skill level.
- Mid-low pocket construction
- Lightweight and built for speed
- Available in multiple factor colors
Choosing the Right Type of Lacrosse Heads by Position
Choosing the best lacrosse stick head can seem daunting at first, but just identifying individual needs is a great first step. These simple components: position, experience, level of play and overall value make up the characteristics necessary to find your personal best.
Each lacrosse position has individualized needs in a lacrosse head:
- Narrow head for better ball control
- Tight throat for increased accuracy and precision when shooting or passing
- Mid to low pocket for increased ball retention and control
- Rounded scoop for quicker groundballs from different angles
- Most often mid pocket; yet individualized
- Durable for defense yet lightweight for shooting
- Wide face
- Durability for hard checks
- High pocket for quick release when clearing the ball
Do Goalies Use Different Heads?
Goalies will use much wider heads than your typical positional or field player. These larger heads make it easier to block the ball from going in the net. Goalie heads are typically oval shaped and have a large surface area to deflect and save shots.
Best Lacrosse Heads for Goalies
Our number one selling goalie head is the STX Eclipse 2 Unstrung Lacrosse Head. The Eclipse 2 is lightweight, has a large surface area, and a slight backwards bend that bounces balls away from the net. This is the most used head at the position for a reason and it’s been trusted by thousands of goalies when stepping between the pipes.
Factors to Consider When Selecting a Lacrosse Head
Keep in mind the strengths and weaknesses of a head before buying. If you’re a long pole who handles, maybe you go with more of a pinched middfielder’s head instead of the super wide defensive heads. Getting an attack head made for a low pocket might not work best for an outside shooting midfielder. Make sure your playstyle lines up with the type of head you are using in order to get the best results out of the product.
Best Lacrosse Heads by Position
We’ve put together a list of the best lacrosse heads for each position. This will break down our number one suggestions for each unique category.
Best Attack Lacrosse Head
Maverik Optik 3.0 Unstrung Lacrosse Head: The Optik 3.0 offers so many features designs that are suited for an attackman. The shortened throat, increased offset, and 20 stinging holes opens up the position for players. The 4 unique colors are a nice bonus as well to stand out on the field.
Warrior Evo QX Offense Unstrung Lacrosse Head: Warrior has consistently put out great lacrosse heads and the Evo QX Offense is no exception. Made for that perfect mid pocket location any midfielder would love the feel and control the Evo QX offers. It also features an optional Loc-Throat to keep the head secure and reduce rattling.
Best Defensive Lacrosse Head
Maverik Tank 2.0 Unstrung Lacrosse Head: If you’re looking for a wide defensive head that will hold up to the punishment of checks and physical play the Tank 2.0 is for you. The 6 strut sidewall that zig zags back and forth keeps the head’s shape and stiffness.
Most Versatile Lacrosse Head
Nike Lakota 3 Unstrung Lacrosse Head: The Lakota 3 is just made to be a beast no matter how you use it. The increased offset and improved scoop angle control ground balls at an incredible pace. The wider design makes it viable for defenders or offensive players.
Best Value Lacrosse Head
Maverik Optik U Unstrung Lacrosse Head: One of the best cheap lacrosse heads available on the site. This is a perfect intermediate head to transition from beginner pre-strung sticks to elite level heads. It’s easy to string, holds a great pocket, and will hold up to that middle to later youth levels of lacrosse.
Whenever you are looking for a lacrosse head, you can’t go wrong with one from Maverik, Warrior, or STX lacrosse heads. They have heads built for every position and level of play. If you’re looking for something a little different, check out our selection of ECD Lacrosse or StringKing heads for a unique take on different lacrosse heads.
Find the Best Selection of Lacrosse Heads at LacrosseMonkey!
Still not sure what you are looking for? Check out one of our local MonkeySports Stores or reach out to one of our customer service agents for more information. If you’re ready to shop, check out all of our full selection of lacrosse heads!
This article was originally published on April 29, 2020, and has been updated with new information.