The injury-reducing functions of crash padding are discussed as they relate to head impact. The bony structure of the cranial vault (above eyebrows) is strong under localized impact compared with the face. Padding used to protect the cranial vault from impact has the primary function of absorbing energy to reduce the possibility of brain damage. On the other hand, padding for facial protection has the primary function of providing uniform load distribution on the face. The pad understructure then supplies the needed energy absorbing capacity. Test procedures to measure both energy absorption and load distribution are described, and evaluation criteria are shown. Other factors that affect padding, such as temperature and cover stock material, are discussed.