We cannot deny the popularity of soccer; in fact, it is the most popular sport in the world and has been for so many years.
But just like most sports, one needs to play with caution and wear appropriate gear in order to perform well and also prevent injuries.
While it is not uncommon for soccer players to get hurt occasionally but there are a number of ways in which one can reduce the risk of getting hurt and playing safe. Using the best soccer shin guards is one of them.
The first thing any athlete needs to do is invest in proper gear out of which one of the most important ones is safety gear.
You will usually find shin guards to be among the top five most essential gears on any soccer player’s list, regardless of his or her skill level.
Now there are different types of shin guards available on the market and depending on certain factors some will suit you better than others but you will need them no matter what.
Well-made shin guards are durable and provide maximum protection while being comfortable to wear and well fitted. In this post we will be covering all there is to know about shin guards and what factors to consider when buying them.
However, we have also included a list of the TOP 10 SHIN GUARDS TO BUY and reviewed each one so you don’t have to spend hours searching for the best product.
We have narrowed the list down to 10 products so what you get here are some of the best shin guards on the market. No two product is the same which means that no matter what your budget is or what features you seek, you should be able to find the best shin guards for your needs right here.
Our Top Picks
Our Top 10 Best Soccer Shin Guards
Vizari Malaga Soccer Shin Guards for Kids
If you are looking for a pair of shin guards for your little one that grips around the lower leg and stays in place while shielding the area from every possible impact then you should check out the Vizari Malaga Soccer Shin Guards.
These come with straps and Velcro enclosures to ensure that the protective gear does not slip down or move in any direction other than the place intended for.
As these are designed for children, the shell has been kept light in weight to avoid the feeling of been weighed down yet they are tough enough to protect your child from kicks and other external forces that they may be exposed to during play.
The shell is hard on the outside but comes with a foam backing for comfort and better absorption of impact.
It is recommended that your child wears long soccer socks to ensure that the gear stays in place but even on its own it does a pretty good job staying put thanks to the Velcro straps incorporated in the design.
Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Guards
The Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Guards provide you with the best protection against impacts while staying on the lighter side with lightweight construction.
The guard is made up of 69% K-resin and 31% EVA while the sleeve consists of a blend of multiple fabrics such as polyester, rubber, and spandex.
The low profile shell offers maximum protect without weighing you down or limiting your movement from any angle.
With contoured sleeves, designed with a blend of various materials you can rest assured that the gear will stay in place throughout your practice or game.
The fabric also has breathable qualities that make it super comfortable to wear even on hot summer days.
With anatomical left/right indication you know you will be enjoying a proper fit contoured to grip around your lower leg in the best manner possible.
DashSport Soccer Shin Guards for Youth
As a parent, you would want the best protection for your kids while your child may not always care about the gear he or she has on and may only think of winning out there.
We praise such competitive young children but also worry about their safety on the field. But thanks to well made protective gear such as the DashSport Soccer Shin Guards both parents and children can have their way.
Because young children or players just learning the sport may not be comfortable playing with slip-in shin guards we recommend purchasing these models that come with ankle support sleeves that do a great job of protecting most part of the lower leg and also keeping the gear firmly in place.
This removes the worry of the gear sliding around and helps children focus on the game better.
An elastic strap goes around the calf which you can secure with the Velcro that attaches on the side. You may have to make adjustments if your child has really small legs.
Padding is found on the inside as well as on the outside which doubles the protection but also adds a bit of weight.
To wash these gears you can have the shell and pads hand-washed using a damp cloth and mild soap while the ankle straps can be washed in a sink and left to air dry.
Adidas Performance Ghost Pro Shin Guards
The Ghost Pro Shin Guards promise quality performance without feeling too bulky or limiting your movement on the field.
To tackle the problem of the slip in guards from moving too much, these guards come with matching sleeves that ensure that the guards remain in place and protect you at all times.
Made from 95% polypropylene and 5% injection molded TPU the gear is robust and made to last even with aggressive usage.
The shin guard itself is made up of 3 layers that are joined together to enhance flexibility and a contoured fit while increasing the strength and protection level.
Although designed for adult players with medium to advanced skill levels who prefer to have a great deal of mobility and lightness from their sports gear, this product is also very popular among beginners as the sleeves provide a close fit and make playing in them easy.
The shields come with a layer of EVA that works to cushion the guards gently against the skin for maximum comfort.
Please note that buyers of this product have mentioned that these guards run small so keep that in mind when ordering one for yourself.
G-Form Pro S-Shin Guards
Designed for soccer, skate, baseball, and even bike riding, the G-Form Pro S-Shin Guard is your ultimate protective gear no matter which sport or outdoor activity you wish to take part in.
The gear is not designed like your regular shin guard, it is built with smart features that make it stand out from the rest and perform with impressive results.
The Reactive Protection Technology (RPT) is a unique technology where the guard reacts quickly upon impact and hardens to shield your shin from possible injury.
With no hard shell, to begin with, you will enjoy a more contoured fit and maximum comfort. The makers of this product have even gone ahead to say that users will forget that they have any gear on up until they are exposed to impacts when the guard turns on its defensive mode.
This amazing trait in the design allows athletes to focus on their performance and worry less about being injured or carrying extra bulk.
With the ability to reduce heat and wick moisture you can also look forward to hours of playing soccer or engaging in physical activities without feeling moisture build-up.
Storelli BodySheild Leg Guards
Note that this is not a shin guard, but a leg guard that is used to hold a shin guard in its proper place. Leg guards are important because they easily hold shin guards in their designated places without external support such as tape.
The great thing about the Storelli Leg Guard is that it not only covers the shin area but also the areas which are not protected by any other shield. This is a great feature as the other areas tend to stay open to injuries quite often, especially in a full-contact sport like soccer.
Manufactured to fit almost all types of shin guards, Storelli BodySheild Leg Guards provide lots of mobility to the user. The quality of the leg guards is stretchable to a certain extent.
Accurate sizing will depend on the individual, but according to the sizes available which range from small to large, a medium is quite a proper fit for those who have above average sized calves. The rest is up to the users’ preference completely.
Franklin Sports Superlight Shin Guard
A very professional looking pair, the Franklin Sports Superlight Shin Guard is exactly as lightweight as it says in the title. If the chromatic visuals do not seem to please you, the rest of the features surely will.
The design is precisely symmetrical with the guard being made of hard plastic, providing excellent protection over the shin area, while the double Velcro strapping allows easy adjustment and helps keep the guard in its place.
Since it is natural to fall or get tackled by someone else during matches, the high-density shield helps to protect the player from abrasion. There is also another great feature called the high-density foam which works to enhance the energy absorption of the guard, safely resisting external shock.
Adidas Club Shin Guard
Almost all products manufactured by Adidas prove to be global best sellers. And this product is not an exception.
With an optimal fit around the leg, the Club Shin Guard has been measured on a global basis to find the perfect size range for players of all structures and built. The guards also come in two attractive colors, which are black and metallic silver.
As this is meant for various other sports and not just soccer, the shin guards have been made to weigh light and provide better mobility to users during aggressive play. The shield as mentioned is lightweight but it is also highly sturdy and can withstand high pressure easily.
For shock absorption, the cushion is of EVA material which is known for its softness and comfort while also being equally durable. It will last you for ages.
The shin guard has a sole strap that has an addition of ankle socks for effortless adjustment whenever needed whilst adding protection at the same time. The lining all around the guard is of soft synthetic which is both comfortable and breathable.
Pro Force Shin Guards
We have seen shin guards that work great for sports other than just soccer for a while, but have we reviewed a shin guard that could be appropriate for even extreme sports such as martial arts yet? Well, we are now and rest assured this guard is one you would not want to scroll past.
As we know, martial art is the kind of sport that does not only require the use of your feet to kick a ball but also other harsher things. And when that happens, it is natural to end up with really bruised and sore legs. And if this guard can help to protect legs during sports as such, it will be even more appropriate for soccer.
Even though the guard is made of flexible material for a change and not your usual metal or plastic, do not let that fool you as past reviews have told us that it has done an excellent job at safeguarding shin and ankle areas.
The padding on the guard can not only be used for protection, but also for the prevention of further pain acquired during prior practices. The snug fit and well-distributed pressure of the padding is a great feature when it comes to treating and resting injured or thin-skinned areas.
The material being of flexible fabric allows you to simply machine wash it without having to worry about wear and tear.
Nike Adult Charge 2.0 Soccer Shin Guard
Nike has brought us the newly upgraded shin guards for adults specifically this time. If you are willing to invest a little more in shin guards, this is definitely one that you should put down on your list.
The design is the same as it is on almost all of the high-end shin guards on the market, featuring an asymmetrical and anatomical fit that can be effortlessly pulled over to grip the leg and provide full coverage over sensitive and injury-prone areas.
The shield is of high-grade polypropylene, a material that is superb in resisting shock. The EVA foam at the back of the guard is there to increase the amount of coverage over the entirety of the player’s lower leg. There is also a guard covering the usually uncovered ankle area.
For easy readjustments, there is an elastic Velcro strap behind the shin guard which can be easily stretched to an extent due to its material. However, according to users’ own preferences, more straps may be required if the size turns out to be too large and loose or too small and tight.
The Ultimate Shin Guard Buying Guide
So now that you have an idea of what the best shin guards on the market have to offer, it is time for you to gather some knowledge on how you can pick the best ones without fail.
Be sure to consider each and every point below because when all these attributes come together you will surely have a winner in the end.
We would have said durability but durability comes mostly from the material used in the making of a product so it is best we first take a look at what kind of materials these shin guards can be made of.
Remember that each of the mentioned materials below has its pros and cons so we cannot really pick the best one out of the lot for you. It is you who has to decide which one works best for you and in order to do so you must consider both sides to each material and also things like your budget and comfort level.
Fiberglass– Shin guards made out of fiberglass are no doubt the toughest and most durable ones. They offer amazing protection to the shin area and ensure that you are shielded against most of the impact.
We cannot doubt the quality of shin guards made of fiberglass and we recommend them to players who are more at risk of shin injuries. If you are playing forward or you know that things are going to get rough out there then these are the best shin guards for you.
Another great quality of this type of material is that it is light in weight despite being so sturdy and tough.
However, all this protection and impressive traits do not come cheap. Fiberglass shin guards are usually very expensive for which reason they are not too popular among young players or beginners.
Plastic– These are great for people on a budget who are still seeking a decent amount of protection. While plastic shin guards may not be as tough as fiberglass shin guards, they still manage to do better than many other materials used in constructing these gears.
As mentioned they are more budget-friendly so new players can use them for practice. However, the comfort level may not be all that great.
Foam Rubber– If you are looking for affordable shin guards that are also very light in weight then you can check out shin guards made of foam rubber. These are lighter than fiberglass and also very comfortable to wear.
You can enjoy a high level of mobility with foam rubber shin guards which make them popular among some players.
In terms of protection this particular material, unfortunately, will not be able to shield or stop the high amount of impact so if you are looking for something that will be able to protect you from serious blows then this is not the best material for you.
Polyurethane– One of the most popular materials for shin guards. We might even go ahead and say that no other material can tackle impact and protect you as well as Polyurethane can but they too have drawbacks.
One- this is one of the heaviest materials on the list and two-they are not as comfortable as you would wish they were.
The heaviness of these shin guards may slow you down on the field and also make you super uncomfortable.
But the good news is that nowadays there are shin guards that use polyurethane for construction and try to keep the weight down by designing the products smartly.
We do not wear shin guards because they look cool, we wear them because they protect the shin area from injury causing impacts.
So it is no surprise that soccer players include this gear whenever they practice or play leagues.
Before you even look at the other factors you need to find out how well the product you are interested in buying can protect you from impact.
You cannot stop your opponents from tackling you, neither can you prevent sliding on dirt or falling down during a game but the least you can do is protect yourself from getting seriously hurt when you are exposed to these avoidable circumstances.
Each model of shin guard will have its level of protection and you need to decide how much protection you need.
Make sure your shin guard is of the right size or else it will fail to protect you to the best of its ability.
Shin guards should more or less cover the area between your ankle to just below your knees.
If you are very tall or have thick calf muscles then make sure you always go for the largest size if you want maximum protection.
Most selling sites and shops will have size charts which will explain the individual company’s size presentation so you are always recommended to check these charts before placing your order.
We will talk about the different types of shin guards below but if you pick a model that comes with straps (mostly Velcro) then try to find out if any previous or existing customer has had any issues with the kind of closure.
Sometimes the straps may be of poor quality and be prone to damage or they may be uncomfortable against the skin which will affect the overall performance of the product.
The straps should also be easy to use and be able to hold the gear in place without fail.
A high price tag does not always mean better quality but you will be advised to stay away from cheaply made models.
While it is possible to get well-made shin guards within a tight budget you must be aware that high-quality materials are not the cheapest.
You cannot expect shin guards made from low-grade materials to have the capability of protecting you from hard impact or possessing all the other right features.
Remember that your safety comes first and if you need to be a bit flexible with your budget in order to get the best protection then it will be a smart thing to do.
You may like to check our review of the 10 Best Indoor Soccer Shoes For 2020
Types of Soccer Shin Guards
There are 3 types of shin guards out of which one-the socks style shin guard- is the least common due to its design which favors mostly very young players. Nevertheless, we will cover all 3 types for you.
- Slip-in Shin Guards– If you are an intermediate to a high-level player then you need to make sure that your shin guard does not restrict your movement and is extremely lightweight. The slip-in shin guards are designed for mobility so players can move about freely without feeling weighed down.
They are worn inside the socks which keep them in place while protecting the shin from impact. As there are no straps to hold the guards in place, many players choose to use tapes or compression sleeves to stop the shin guards from moving from their place.
The slip-in style ensures quick usage which makes them so popular among professional players for whom time is always crucial in the field.
- Ankle Shin Guards– These are ideal for intermediate players or players who are still working on their soccer skills. Players in the learning stage require extra protection as they are more prone to injuries and less likely to be able to tackle or shield blows aimed at their lower leg region.
With decent padding that goes all the way from the bottom to surround the ankle area, the lower leg, including the ankle will be protected from all sorts of injuries like attacks from another player to the very common but painful sprains.
Usually consisting of an elastic strap around the ankle and Velcro strap on the top part to hold the guard in place, you don’t have to worry about the guard shifting from its place at any point.
Wearing and removing these ankle shin guards do take time but they do an excellent job in protecting both the shin area and the ankle.
- Socks-Style Sin Guards– These are basically 2-in-1 gears where the shin guard is built within a pair of soccer socks. As mentioned above, this is the least common type and is mostly worn by very young players. It is no doubt the most affordable kind too and also very convenient for those just starting out in the game. Young players do not have to worry about buying separate shin guards or have them adjusted every now and then while running on the field as the built-in design ensure that the protective layer stays in place but this convenience does not favor advanced players for which reason they prefer to use the slip-in shin guards on most occasions.
A guide to choosing the right shin-guard depending on your playing position:
Forwards– If you play forward then mobility should be a priority alongside protection. You don’t want heavy shin-guards restricting your movement on the field or slowing you down when you should be attacking. Lightweight and smaller shin guards that provide decent protection but also allow free movement and high speed is what you need to aim for.
Defenders– Unlike forwards, you need to wear shin guards that ensure the most protection because you will be attacked from all sides. There is no surety of where you might need the most protection so we recommend investing in shin guards with ankle support so you can have all-over and proper lower leg coverage. Although you will need to stay active in the game you will not be the one attacking your opponent side so you can do well with heavier guards in your defending position.
Midfielders– As a midfielder, you need to choose shin guards that offer an excellent balance between mobility and protection. You cannot afford to let the shin guard slow you down but at the same time, it should be able to shield your leg from impacts when required.
Goalkeepers– Good for you that you don’t really need to get yourself all geared up with heavy padding and thick shin guards because your position of play keeps you away from too many threats of players aiming for your leg or throwing blows your way. However since you will be on the open field and required to make specific movements in defense, you must have a lightweight shin guard on.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are shin guards with ankle support better than the ones without?
The answer depends on what level you play at and what you feel most comfortable in. Shin guards with ankle support are great in the sense that they do not only protect the shin against kicks but also reduces the chance of ankle sprains. Experience players can do without the extra protection or support as they are naturally skilled and able to avoid stray kicks and also manage to maintain proper posture during play whereas young players are prone to injuries during the early stage of their practice. Shin guards without ankle support are also lighter which many advanced players prefer while active.
Do plastic shin guards offer good protection?
Plastic shin guards definitely offer better protection than foam rubber models but they are not as comfortable. Price-wise the plastic models are quite affordable but they might be prone to damage in case of serious impact. If you know that you might be greeted with some severe abuse on the field then maybe plastic shin guards may not be able to provide you with the level of protection you are seeking.
What other sports protection gears are essential for safety in the field?
Along with shin guards, you must also invest in a good pair of soccer socks, padded pants or shorts, gloves (for goalkeepers) and mouth guard (especially for young children). These gears are all designed to protect certain parts of your body that are most prone to injuries.
What kinds of shin guard accessories are available on the market?
There are a number of shin guard accessories that you can buy to fully enjoy the benefits of the gear. Below are 3 of the most common accessories:
Shin Guard Sleeves– Your socks may not be able to hold your slip-in style shin guards properly, especially if the socks don’t fit well enough. For this reason, we recommend purchasing sleeves to ensure a snug and secured fit. You can always pull your socks up over the sleeves to enhance the protection even more.
Shin Guard Tape– If your shin guard does not come with straps then you can use tape to wrap it over your socks. This keeps the shin guard firmly in place so that you can run without much worry. The tape also allows you to adjust the tightness according to your preference and comfort.
Ankle Guards– If you ever feel the need for some ankle support but have already invested in a pair of slip-in shin guards then you can buy these ankle guards separately. They work just as well as ankle shin guards.
Choosing the best shin guards should not be a problem if you do a bit of research before you pull out your wallet. In this post, we have pretty much covered everything you need to know about shin guards and how you can pick the right ones for your needs so hopefully by referring back to what we have discussed today you should soon be enjoying maximum protection during your upcoming practices and games.