Best Shin Guards for Men & Women Reviewed

If you’re out on the field playing soccer or any impact sport, there’s nothing more important than having the best shin guards for your game. Soccer, for example,  is very much a contact sport, and use of shin guards is compulsory, as it should be. According to the FIFA law, shin guards must also, “be covered entirely by the stockings”, “be made of a suitable material”, and “provide a reasonable degree of protection”. You must protect yourself, your teammates, and opponents against any injury that could occur during play. Even if you are facing a “fair challenge” there’s going to be plenty of physical contact and kicks that go in unexpected directions. Of course, you must be protected against any harsh tackles, or deliberate kicks or knocks.

Shin guards are essential for protecting your shin bones from serious injury. Shin bones are not insulated by protective tissue or muscle, so you should not be on the field for any reason unless you’re wearing shin guards.

Featured Recommendations

Franklin Sports Superlight
  • Franklin Sports Superlight
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Multiple Sizing Options
  • Great Energy Absorption
  • Price: See Here
 
Adidas Ghost Pro
  • Adidas Ghost Pro
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Excellent Impact Absorption
  • Easy to Clean
  • Price: See Here
 
Puma Power Protect
  • Puma Power Protect
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Secure Placement
  • Superior Durability
  • Price: See Here

You don’t want to be vulnerable on the playing field, and you want to be able to enjoy the sport without worrying about injury.  So the good news is this: after you’ve looked at our top picks you will be able to select the best possible shin guards for your soccer needs. Also, if you’re looking for shin guards for kickboxing, then the same applies and you will need even more cushioning and a stronger construction.

Any of the shin guards you will read about below are the best that are available on the market, fit the FIFA standards, and will do a great job of protecting you from most injuries that could occur on the soccer playing field or the kickboxing ring. They are also useful for many other activities, such as mountain biking, Cricket, Lacrosse, log splitting, Basketball, etc. So … off to the game!

 

10 Best Shin Guards

 

1. Franklin Sports Superlight

These Superlight Shin Guards by Franklin Sport feature lightweight construction and high-density foam that really absorbs impact. The double self-stick straps are adjustable to ensure a snug and secure fit. Stylish as well, they have a unique chrome accent design. The symmetrical design offers the user a superior anatomical fit during play.
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High-Density Foam
The high-density foam that is used in these shin guards is a great protection against impact and injury while on the playing field. They also cover a bit more of the shin than other brands.

Abraision Resistant Shield
These shin guards are constructed of high-density material that offers a durable exterior. And the abrasion resistant shield keeps them in good shape throughout a long period of use.

Cost and Value
The Franklin Sports Superlight Shin Guards are rated very highly by most users and are also priced in the lower range of shin guards, offering high value for the price.
Pros
  • Great Impact Absorption
  • Double Adjustable Straps
  • Lightweight Construction
  • Ultimate Protection
  • Anatomical Fit
Cons
  • Flimsy Velcro Strap
  • Bulky

2. Adidas Ghost Pro

Looking for a great looking shin guard with a long history of quality? The Adidas Ghost Pro Shin Guards are highly rated by players and feature an integrated 3 layer shield as well as EVA backing for a perfect and comfortable fit on the field.
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3 Shield Layers
This top-rated shin guard is made up of 3 different shields which are fitted together for great flexibility and perfect fit, as well as excellent protection for the user.

EVA Cushion
The durable and soft EVA backing on the shield provides long-wearing and lightweight cushioning. Additionally, it provides very comfortable experience on the field.

Cost and Value
Compared to the other shin guards in this comparison report, the Adidas Ghost Pro Shin Guards are featured at a medium price point, and have high ratings from users.
Pros
  • 3 Shield Layers
  • Excellent Cushion
  • Great Flexibility
  • Snug Fit
  • Non-Bulky Design
Cons
  • Overy Rounded
  • Run Small

3. Puma Power Protect

The Puma Power Protect Shin Guard is a high-quality and well-designed guard that comes in pink! Because of its special construction, it is very comfortable and the foam back padding adds extra protection and wearability. It has vents that provide a cooling breathability, preventing the player from experiencing discomfort during play in warmer conditions or for long periods of time. The lycra sleeve adds to the wearability of this lightweight shin guard.
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No Stitch Dense Foam Padding
For comfort during use, the no stitch dense foam featured in the back padding allows users to have no need of using a bulky additional padding during play.

Perforated Die Cut Vents
The perforated die cut vents work well for most users, taking the shin guard to a high level of breathability during long sessions on the playing field.

Cost and Value
These shin guards are priced at around mid-range on the scale, compared to the other shin guards mentioned in this comparison review. They offer excellent value for a good price.
Pros
  • Superior Shock Absorption
  • Very Breathable
  • Comfortable Feel
  • Compression Power
  • Nice Fit
Cons
  • Runs Small
  • Detailing Wears Easily

4. Elite Sports Protective

4. Elite Sports Protective
For enthusiasts of Muay Thai Kickboxing, these Shin Guards developed by Elite Sports are rated highly. Not only designed for the MMA fan, they are also appropriate for use by amateur competitors as well as professional athletes. If you are looking to gain an edge in your fighting performances, you will find these shin guards to be the perfect option. They are designed for unisex use, and the material stretches to fit any leg size. They have a structure which fits the natural curves of your shins and instep and is made of 100% cotton.
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High-Density Impact Protection Foam
The High-Density Impact Protection Foam in these Shin Guards will give you substantial protection for your shins and instep during play.

Fully Washable Instep Guards
The included MMA Instep Guards are easy to clean. They are fully washable, so there will be no buildup of sweat or stains that can cause unpleasant odors.

Cost and Value
The lightness and versatility of these highly padded shin guards and their low to middle price make them a top choice for kickboxers.
Pros
  • Superior Impact Protection
  • Easy On Easy Off
  • Light Flexible fit
  • Easy to Care For
  • Stay Put
Cons
  • Too Light for Some
  • Runs Small

5. Nike Charge 2.0

5. Nike Charge 2.0
With their anatomically correct, contour fitting pull-on design, the Nike Charge 2.0 Shin Guards offer optimal comfort to the wearer during play.The polypropylene shell offers impact protection that is low profile, and the molded EVA foam back and disc shields provide increased coverage where it's most needed.
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Disc Shield
The disc shields in the Nike Adult Charge Soccer Shin Guards provide extra protection for your ankles, giving an extra layer of protection.

Polypropylene Shell
Many wearers report that the anatomically correct, pull-on design of the polypropylene shell gives a stylish and low-profile impact protection during play.

Cost and Value
These popular Nike Soccer Shin Guards are very good for protecting players and receive high marks for superior features. They are priced at the low-to-mid range of Shin Guards for soccer use.
Pros
  • Easy Pull On Design
  • Molded for Comfort
  • Great Impact Absorption
  • Good Ankle Protection
  • Low Profile
Cons
  • Strap Durability
  • Sizing Runs Small

6. Vizari Malaga

6. Vizari Malaga
The Soccer Shin Guards by Vizari have a lightweight PP shell for protection and flexible use. They feature a hard shell with foam backing and a substantial additional padding around the ankle which protects the user during heavy play.The shin guards also feature an elastic closure that wraps around the leg and secures in a different manner than other shin guards on the market.
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Wrap-Around Closure
The wrap-around closure featured in the Vizari Malaga shin guards gives the user a very secure and snug fit, as the elastic secures at the front of the shin guard rather than the back of the leg.

Extra Ankle Padding
The integrated ankle padding in these shin guards offers wearers additional security during play, as it protects users from "sloppy" tackles by opposing offenders.

Cost and Value
The low price of these shin guards makes them a very popular choice for those who are looking for quality protective equipment and as such these provide good value for money.
Pros
  • Wrap-Around Closure
  • Extra Ankle Padding
  • Comfortable During Play
  • Stylish Design
  • Perfect Compression
Cons
  • Sturdiness Issues
  • Run Very Small

7. RDX Shin & Instep Guards

7. RDX Shin & Instep Guards
When it comes to kickboxing, being well-protected is key to enjoying the sport and going on the offense. RDX's shin guards are exceptionally versatile and can be worn for a variety of sports activities. They feature a molded lightweight design with dual-padding constructed with a lightweight, Nylastic outer for heavy durability. The interior of this shin guard features Shell-Shock Gel and Max-Shock Foam.
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Shell-Shock Gel + Max-Shock Foam
The RDX Shin and Instep Guards feature Shell-Shock Gel and Max-Shock Foam, these features keep you from feeling the impact of crushing blows. Ultimate protection is what you will find with these two amazing features.

QD-1 Technology
This special QD-1 technology feature actually wicks sweat away from the skin, offering a comfortable feel during play.

Cost and Value
Many users report that they consider these shin guards to be a great product for a very reasonable price. Excellent quality and protection for an average price, what more could we want.
Pros
  • Hook and Loop Closure
  • Secure Fit
  • Excellent Padding
  • Great Impact Protection
  • Stellar Shock Absorption
Cons
  • Pads May Shift

8. Adidas Ace Club

8. Adidas Ace Club
Adidas did amazing research to make sure their Shin Guards fit well - their optimized fit was developed by measuring over 90,000 shins globally for one perfect size range. These shin guards are lightweight and feature durable cushioning and soft synthetic lining for a high level of comfort while wearing on the field. They have a single-strap closure and cover a good portion of the leg as well.
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Ankle Sock for Protection
The featured ankle sock protects the ankle well and also helps keep the shin guard in place. If the pads wear out or are torn you can replace just that part of the shin guard.

Soft and Durable EVA Cushioning
The EVA backing material provides a soft and durable cushioning for players and provides an ideal fit to the leg.

Cost and Value
With a price coming in at the lowest end of the shin guard range, these work well for most players and they appreciate the features of the more expensive models.
Pros
  • Durable EVA Cushioning
  • Single-Strap Closure
  • Optimized Fit
  • Ankle Sock for Protection
  • Comfortable Lining
Cons
  • Lacking in Coverage Area
  • Run Small

9. Combat Sports Pro Style

9. Combat Sports Pro Style
The Combat Sports Pro Style Shin Guards are made of a comfortable polyester blend material and are easy to slip on and off, although they will not move an inch during heavy combat. They are also easily washable to remove sweat, dirt, and odors after your workout, by sliding out the foam padding.
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Washable Padded Guards
Just throw these into the washing machine after your workout, and the guards will be clean and fresh for use again. Take out the foam padding before washing.

Easy On Easy Off
These Combat Sports Shin and Instep Padded Guards slip easily onto your legs while remaining completely secure during any sparring action.

Cost and Value
These shin guards are priced very low, and users find that they provide excellent value for money, especially for light sparring.
Pros
  • Completely Washable
  • Comfortable Compression 
  • Lightweight Construction
  • Easy On Easy Off
  • Secure During Action
Cons
  • Not for Heavy Strikes
  • Durability at the Seams

10. Sanabul Essential Hybrid

10. Sanabul Essential Hybrid
These Sanabul Shin Guards are in high demand because they work equally well as kickboxing or as MMA shin guards. The High-Impact protection foam was developed to provide excellent protection for your shins while sparring. They feature a neoprene slip-on design with a top leg fastener and also a proprietary mid-leg fastener, and offer high durability, being triple-stitched throughout the entire shin guard for reinforcement and durability.
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Proprietary Mid-Leg Fastener
To ensure that these shin guards stay in place during heavy sparring activity, they feature mid-lege mid leg fastener to maintain a snug and comfortable fit.

High-Impact Protection Foam
The specially developed High-Impact Protection Foam design of the Sanabul Essential Hybrid Shin Guards are great for efficient impact absorption.

Cost and Value
At the higher end of the pricing range for shin guards, these Sanabul Hybrids are justified by users who say they would pay twice as much for the quality.
Pros
  • Excellent Protection
  • Articulated In-Step Padding
  • Ergonomic Fit
  • Slip On Design
Cons
  • Strap Size and Durability
  • Not for Hard Strikes

You may be looking at Shin Guards for a variety of reasons. Could it be for Soccer? Kickboxing? Or maybe it’s for Baseball, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse or Cricket? Shin Guards are used for many activities, including the many work environments where the shin bone needs to be protected against impact. So which Shin Guards are the best choice for you and your sport or activity?

You’ll want the top quality you can find for your purchase. You are looking for comfort as well as great fit. You’re going to especially want Shin Guards that don’t slide around and expose the area you are trying to protect while you are in play. Washable components are also desirable to keep your shin guards clean and sweat and odor-free.

Now is the time to think about your budget, and the specific needs you have for your sport, as well as any style considerations you might have. The good news is that, with any one of the products listed above, you’ll be sure to have a top-rated shin guard that many users have rated highly.  They will serve you well in your chosen sports activity, and provide the most important element of all to your safety: to protect your shin bones from injury.

Criteria for Evaluating the Best Shin Guards

Criteria Best Shin Guards

 When you are selecting the best shin guards for your sporting or work environment, you must always keep in mind how important the choice will be to keep your shin bones protected, no matter what conditions you encounter.

The most important thing is to make sure all of the vulnerable areas of your leg are covered, and that there are no open spots. You must have the right strength of shield for your sport.  Your protection is key, and you must make certain that your shin guards fit all needed criteria.

Of this you can be sure: finding the right shin guards will make all the difference in your comfort, safety, and the enjoyment of your sport or activity for years to come. So, let’s review some of the most important considerations below.

Protection

If you have read the many testimonials from shin guard purchasers online, you will often see that the height and width of their shinguard played a big role in the overall quality. The most common things being said were:

  • Their shin guards protected a large portion of their leg.
  • They didn’t come up high enough on the shin.
  • They did not protect the ankle enough on the field, and so forth.

When fitting a shin guard, it must fit your leg snugly but at the same time be comfortable for you during wear. All of the vulnerable areas of your leg must be covered to protect you from any potential injury. The important thing is to make sure all vulnerable areas are covered — no open spots. Protection is the most important thing when fitting shin pads, and then comfort.

Shins Best Shin Guards

Comfort

Why is comfort be so important for a shin guard? Of course, comfort will allow you to play better and for longer periods of time. You can’t concentrate on the game, if your shin guard is not moving with you, and if it’s not flexible enough to allow you a complete range of movement.

There’s a saying in soccer that if someone says comfort is the most important, they’re probably a professional player. If someone says protection is the most important, they’re probably … a parent! It’s also well-known that famous players will often use shin guards that are not always appropriate for them, simply because they are so comfortable! So in addition to protection, comfort is the other key point you should be considering. 

Fit Best Shin Guards

Fit

Everyone has a different shape to their leg. Some legs are smaller or shorter, some are curvier, some are broader and have more muscle area, etc. So, a perfect fit is essential to keep your shin guards in place and where you need them when you need them!

Often, the fit can be secured by using the straps to properly wrap around the lower leg. Typically, if players find they cannot achieve the fit they want, they will use shin guard tape. This helps secure the guard in place and only involves a few steps.

  • Wrap take in a figure 8 pattern at the top of your shin guard, over your sock.
  • Wrap around the ankle of your sock at the bottom of the shin guard.

Some shin guards stay put perfectly during play. Others report experiences that include the shin guard moving around during sparring or on the playing field, which can be dangerous for the user because the protection has moved away from the area it is meant to protect. Often players find that a good compression sock can make a big difference in keeping the shin guard in place. The fit should be perfect, and the sock should just be an added layer of securing a snug fit.

muddy Best Shin Guards

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  How big should my shin guards be?
A:  As you move up to larger sizes, the shin guard must be longer and wider to fit larger leg diameters. All shin guards should fit from just above the bend of your ankle as you flex upward, to a few inches below your knee.

Q:  How do you clean shin guards?
A:  Shin guards take a lot of abuse, and they need to be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent molds and odor. Some methods that work well include the following:

Use soap and water, if they’re made completely of plastic. Take a small brush and scrub with soap suds until all the dirt and stains are gone. Another possibility is to use vinegar mixed with lemon juice or with water. You can also soak them for 20 minutes if they have a lot of sweat on them.

Of course, if the shin guards are washable, just follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the proper temperature and wash cycle (gentle is probably always best). If they’re plastic on the outside, putting the guards in a pillowcase that zips up will prevent the plastic from being damaged by hitting the sides of the washing machine during the wash cycle. Once a month is recommended.

Q:  How do you measure yourself for shin guards?
A:  Shin guards are usually measured by height, although manufacturers differ. Nike, for example, determines their guard sizes by providing a chart online that you can use to match your height to, to find your correct shin guard size.

 Q:  Do shin guards go under or over the socks?
A:  It’s really a matter of your style preference and how you feel the most comfortable during play. If your shin guards have a built-in ankle protection, you can attach the guard directly to your leg, and then pull your socks over them.

 Q:  Does it matter if the shin guard has 2 or 3 straps for security?
A: Most of the shin guards listed here have 2 straps, although there is one model that has a proprietary 3rd strap to ensure a great fit. However, 2 straps work well for most users.

Q:  How can I make sure a hard shin guard will adapt to the front curve of my shin?
A: In many testimonials regarding shin guards, wearers will report that the curve of the guard either fits well because it is shaped and contoured in a similar way to the front of their leg, or that the curve is either too rounded or too flat.

The best way to avoid any issues is to read a few of the testimonials. If the shin guard has a very rounded curve, it may not fit as well as one that is flatter. Much of the extra fit issues can be resolved by the level of foam and cushion of the pad behind the shin guard, or the part that comes in direct contact with your leg. Just check to make certain that the guards appear to fit most of the users who write their reviews, and you should be able to ensure a good outcome.

 Q:  What is the main consideration when choosing a lighter shin guard over a heavier one?
A: Most shin guards do not vary greatly in weight. But lightweight is always the best within your shin guard category. If you are in a very high-impact sports environment, then you will be using a hard shell guard with ample padding underneath. Some of the stronger shin guard constructions will be a bit heavier than the lighter models, and you can see this in the weight specification of the shin guard. However, you want to have a shin guard that will give you unrestricted mobility and speed, so the lighter the better, as long as you’re getting ample protection from the design.

Q:  Is it a good idea to have ankle guards as part of the shin guards?
A: Ankle guards when paired with shin guards can be a great addition to support and overall protection.  It is up to you to purchase them if you find after wearing your shin guards that the lack of ankle guards are a problem. They are easy to attach and will keep you at the top level of protection.

Sources

  1. Cooper City, Importance of Shin Guards,
  2. Drew Wendt, Shin Guards: What's the Point?,
  3. Soccer.com, Shin Guard Guide,
  4. Soccer Training Info, Soccer Training Info,
  5. Soccer Accademy, What are they good for?,
  6. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, The Effectiveness of Shin Guards Used by Football Players,
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