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.
- Franklin Sports Superlight
- Multiple Sizing Options
- Great Energy Absorption
- Adidas Ghost Pro
- Excellent Impact Absorption
- Easy to Clean
- Puma Power Protect
- Secure Placement
- Superior Durability
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
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.
- Great Impact Absorption
- Double Adjustable Straps
- Lightweight Construction
- Ultimate Protection
- Anatomical Fit
- Flimsy Velcro Strap
2. Adidas Ghost Pro
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.
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.
- 3 Shield Layers
- Excellent Cushion
- Great Flexibility
- Snug Fit
- Non-Bulky Design
- Overy Rounded
- Run Small
3. Puma Power Protect
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.
- Superior Shock Absorption
- Very Breathable
- Comfortable Feel
- Compression Power
- Nice Fit
- Runs Small
- Detailing Wears Easily
4. Storelli BodyShield
Ultraviolet is one of the most harmful rays from the sun and contributes to skin issues such as burns and premature aging. These guards have UV resistance built-in and are a great choice for those that like to practice their activities in strong sun environments such as the beach. Of course, always wear sun protection on the rest of your exposed body.
Physical activities such as kick-boxing generate a lot of sweat production that can produce odors and germs. The included bacteria treatment will reduce the majority of odors and germs that build-up in your guards giving you a healthier practice to enjoy. Make sure you keep them clean, however, regardless of protective treatment.
Cost and Value
The current pricing is $34.99 making them very affordable. These have a lot of protective features that go beyond padding and great stabilization to keep them in place on your shins. You'll have a peace of mind wearing these.
For heavy performance
Infection risk reduction
Elastic deteriorates quickly
5. Nike Mercurial Lite
The high-impact shell is K-resin. This material gives you coverage that is superior to help protect against hard tackles and abrasions. The foam is a waffle-designed, molded EVA that provides impact energy dispersion while serving cushioning comfort. The probability of shin injuries is greatly reduced.
The design of the shell is a special curve that fits your natural shin shape. This limits any adjustments that could get in the way of your game and provides better cushioning that is highly targeted. You'll also have better flexibility and evenly spread protection coverage.
Cost and Value
The current price is $22.00. A very affordable price considering the brand whose other products can be much pricier. Just because this is lower priced, however, doesn't mean it's lower quality. It still provides the same expected sports support and protection this brand is known for.
Snug not tight
Great for kids
Low material scents
Five size selections
Multiple colors and designs
Sizing runs small
Size chart inconsistencies
6. Vizari Malaga
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.
- Wrap-Around Closure
- Extra Ankle Padding
- Comfortable During Play
- Stylish Design
- Perfect Compression
- Sturdiness Issues
- Run Very Small
7. RDX Shin & Instep Guards
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.
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.
- Hook and Loop Closure
- Secure Fit
- Excellent Padding
- Great Impact Protection
- Stellar Shock Absorption
- Pads May Shift
8. Adidas Ace Club
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.
- Durable EVA Cushioning
- Single-Strap Closure
- Optimized Fit
- Ankle Sock for Protection
- Comfortable Lining
- Lacking in Coverage Area
- Run Small
9. Pro Force Guards
The padding on these guards are just right; not too thick or thin. These are free of any bulkiness or clunkiness while remaining very lightweight. Best for sparring activity that is light to medium, you'll have complete freedom wearing them while knowing you're protected.
While other synthetic materials have become popular in guards, the cloth is still the most common choice. What makes it great is it gives a lot of flexibility and provides a better fit. Some cloth guards even help with compression. A popular selection with martial arts types, you'll never be disappointed with this material.
Cost and Value
The current price is $15.95. They are very affordable but the trade off is they are very basic and simple. Great for kids, beginners, or someone who needs injury support but if you require more features, you should skip these. Don’t confuse, however, simple and low-cost with cheap because these are far from it.
No shrinkage, warping
Provides light compression
Sizing only in length
10. Sanabul Essential Hybrid
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.
- Excellent Protection
- Articulated In-Step Padding
- Ergonomic Fit
- Slip On Design
- 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
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.
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.
- Protecting your shin bones is very important as they are the most vulnerable part of your legs. Having the correct guards makes the difference in comfort, safety, and sports enjoyment.
- There should be no exposed areas when wearing your guards and the shield should have the correct strength and protection as you need.
- The fit should be snug but not tight. The coverage should extend the complete shin and if possible, the ankles.
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.
- Having comfort gives you play that is better and allows you to be active for a longer time. Flexibility also contributes to comfort because a rigid guard can cause discomfort, reduce movement ranges, and possibly cause injuries.
- Comfort and protection also work together. A protective guard will usually have features such as extra padding, seamless stitching, and stabilization. Such features contribute to your comfort.
- Sometimes, guards that focus strictly on comfort can lack in proper protection.
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.
- Human legs vary in shape so it is important that guards fit your legs correctly. Doing so allows for the guard to stay in place.
- There are other ways to secure a great fit such as straps or guard tape but these can be cumbersome and get in the way. If possible, choose guards that have built-in stabilization to ensure a maximum stay-put fit.
- Some guards have a compression to provide a better fit and there are others that have stirrups built to keep them in place. There are others that have a curved contour for a natural fit. Also, check for the material construction because some materials stay in place better than others.
- Guards with moisture-wick ability are a great option as the sweat is reduced and you are less likely to have any slippage or movement.
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.