Welcome to our guide on helping you find the best shin guards, shin protectors, shin pads, whatever you want to call them! For all soccer players out there, we all know we simply cannot play an official game without having the protection around our shins. Just a side note, however, ripping card from a box and using them as shin pads, as Santiago Munez did from the movie Goal, isn’t what I’m talking about in regards to valid protection either.
Why you might ask?
Ah, I’m glad you did. That’s because players like veteran Man Utd footballer Roy Keane would see you as bait and more than likely take this opportunity to attack at any cost, but hey I’m just trying to help protect you so do as you will at your discretion!
So, why is it we should wear shin guards, I mean do they increase our performance? My answer to such a question would be both yes and no and I’ll tell you why. As we know, shin guards are put in place for an element of protection from causing serious injury to our tibia and fibula which is commonly known as the shin area of our lower leg. Though they don’t provide a physical improvement on performance from merely wearing them, they do provide an increase by helping you avoid injury in the long run. This, in turn, will enable you to improve your performance over time as injury effectively will make us perform worse if not perform at all depending on the severity. Make sense? Good!
In this article, I will show you the seven best shin guards on the market today. I will help break down the best and worst features for all shin guards mentioned so you can draw your conclusion as to figuring out what ones are best suited to you and your game! Let’s proceed, shall we?
Vizari Malaga – Best Soccer Shin Guards
- Lightweight PP shell for Protection
- Foam padded backing for comfort
- Front strap closing System
- Size XX Small is recommended for child up to 3'7"
- Kindly refer size chart image before purchase
There are many shin guards available on the market today and with big competitors such as Nike, Adidas, and Puma, for example, it can be difficult for smaller brands to make a name for themselves. However, this isn’t the case with Vizari!
The Vizari Malaga shin guards are arguably the best out at this current moment. Now, after looking at the original black shin guards you may think that they may not seem so easy on the eye as they’re long and have ankle protective straps at the bottom, but, do shin guards need to look so appealing? In my opinion, the main factor is protection, robustness, and longevity which the Vizari Malaga has in abundance! Oh, and did I mention for those of you that do like the odd fancy style shin guard that they also come in many different colors and sizes? Well, I’ve mentioned it now! They are also very lightweight, have foam padding on the back for comfort and a front strap closing system. What more could you want?
In conclusion, I would say these are perfect for the target audience. The players that use these shin guards will have additional protection than most of the guards currently available right now and that is the sheer priority and function of what a shin guard should offer! Now, let’s see the pros and cons:
- Lightweight shell
- Padded backing for comfort
- Thick front strap closing system
- Many sizes, styles, and colors
- Great for kids and adults
- Great value for your money
- Sometimes ankle straps can be restrictive in ankle movement
Nike Mercurial Lite – Shin Guards For High Performance
For many different things in life whether it be cars, clothes, food, or sports equipment there will always be some that are more highly regarded than others. With that said, let’s bring in exhibit A, the Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Guard. Now, Nike has been at the forefront for most sporting goods ever since its inception. They pride themselves on quality and modern technology by investing a lot into different types of sports in the industry to ensure they have the best name in the business and they don’t stop here with these premium type shin guards.
The Nike Mercurial Lite shin guard is a great addition to any competitive soccer player’s game. Although they may seem smaller in height and width with regards to other models, I can assure you they do this for a reason. The reason being they want to ensure the player wearing them can feel as though they have a good layer of protection without feeling like they’re wearing anything at all. This particular model comes equipped with a tough, lightweight shell to help against the resistance of hard impacts, a sleek futuristic look, and a breathable sleeve to insert shin guards which eliminates the need for traditional straps. Who says modern technology isn’t cool sometimes?
They would be a great addition to anybody’s kit bag who plays at a competitive level and likes the feeling of having smaller, breathable, lightweight and durable protection worn on their shins! Please check out some pros and cons below:
- Modern technology
- Great for more experienced players
- Futuristic look
- Can be expensive for casual players
G-Form Pro-S Elite – Shin Guards With Most Modern Technology
- TECHNOLOGY: A revolution in PROTECTION, G-Form is...
- ULTIMATE PROTECTION: SmartFlex pads on this soft,...
- LIGHTWEIGHT COMFORT: The Pro-S Elite is G-Form's...
- EASY CARE: Machine Washable – take them off and...
- NOCSAE APPROVED: Meets NOCSAE and CE standards for...
Most traditional shin guards come equipped with Velcro straps for stability, a hard shell on the front for protection and a cushioned back for comfort. However, G-Form Pro-S Elite is not ‘most’ or by any accounts ‘traditional’ shin guards. I mean just look at these futuristic beauties, they are a sensational piece of protection that any modern player should consider purchasing if you’re into the high-tech side of things. In my opinion, if Elon Musk was to make a pair of shin guards, I predict they would look considerably similar to the G-Form Pro-S Elite, just saying!
These revolutionary new types of shin guards come packed with many great features. Such features include being the world’s very first soft, flexible, sleeve-style guard which also meets NOCSAE standards. They have a type of technology called SmartFlex which has a moveable but robust shell that helps the shin guard harden on collision by molecules binding together to cause the guards to stiffen, absorb, and regenerate the energy from impact. I love science. Additionally, they also reduce heat and sweat without the need for tape or an additional sleeve! Okay, now these are just absurdly cool in every sense of the word. So, how do we wash them? Well, you take them off, throw them in the washing machine and let technology do the rest. It’s as easy as that!
Without getting carried away here I honestly think these are a very cool piece of equipment and very much ahead of their time. I wouldn’t be surprised if bigger brands follow suit in the future and try to advertise something very similar. They have everything that you would want from modern technology and more!
- Innovative SmartFlex technology
- Robust and secure
- Machine washable
- Very little flaws here except for the price that is a bit above the competition
Nike J Shin Guards – Most Easy To Wear
Sometimes, it’s not all about having the most up to date technology for some people. A lot of individuals like the minimalistic and simple side to life as it ‘does what it says on the tin’ essentially. With this said, if you are a player who this applies to, then the Nike J Guard Shin Guards are the perfect addition for your match play!
The shin guards themselves are a modest, easy-going pair as far as shin guards go. They are stated as being ‘low-profile’ and are for adult players who would rather not wear protection at all. Yes, these types of players exist. Just check Aston Villa captain, Jack Grealish who wears child-sized shin guards, it’s quite unbelievable! They also come with a specific shape for a well-rounded fit, big ventilation holes, a reliable shell for outer protection and dual-density EVA foam padding for ease and comfort.
As you can see, they come with a pack of simple but effective features that should come standard for most shin guards. The general purpose behind the Nike J Guard is for adult players that don’t exactly enjoy wearing anything at all. It’s more to bypass the rules by effectively just wearing anything around the shin area to avoid penalties given from officials in all honesty. However, they will certainly do a sturdy job for what is required of them and offer enough protection for those who are aware of the said features!
- Ventilation holes
- Hard outer shell
- Comfy EVA foam padding cushioning on the back
- Quite affordable alternative
- Not suited for anybody who is experienced or of a junior level
Adidas Performance Ghost Pro – Most Stylish Shin Guards
- Separated front plate for perfect fit and comfort
- Compression sleeve feels like you're not wearing a...
- EVA backing for high comfort and durable...
- NOCSAE SEI-certified packaging logo
You may be wondering how we have gotten to the 5th review of shin guards and Adidas still hasn’t been mentioned? Don’t worry though, it’s worth the wait! So, without further ado, may I present to you the Adidas Performance Ghost Pro shin guards. Upon initial glance, they offer a very sleek and attractive look that seems to stand out to me. I don’t know about you? But I think we should look deeper into their features, let’s go!
The model itself is ever so similar to the Nike J Guard in terms of the technology in the product and what they’re designed to do. However, they are also different in their respective ways. I look at it like this, the Nike J Guard is an Audi A3 and the Adidas Performance Ghost Pro is an Audi RS3, for those that enjoy cars as well as soccer I hope you can appreciate that analogy.
The shin guards have identical features in terms of having a front shell for protection and EVA backing for high comfort and cushioning. Not only this but rather than standard old school straps, they also include a compression sleeve to make it feel as though you aren’t wearing a guard. Now, I’m a big advocate of this feature as I believe some models are made to be too bulky, too unstable and in general not comfortable to wear which can pose as a distraction during games. Nevertheless, this model will ensure comfort and durability during a performance which is an important element in today’s game.
Taking the above into account I am very pleased with the Adidas Ghost Pro as they offer very simple and effective features whilst being able to uphold a premium look to them. With that said, a premium look can also mean a premium price. The shin guards aren’t as cheap as they probably should be, given what they offer and I would advise those who are considering to purchase this model to be quite experienced and of an older age.
- Compression sleeving for alleviated feel
- EVA backing to ensure comfort
- NOCSAE approved
- Appealing to look at
- Wouldn’t recommend for junior players
- A tad expensive for what they offer
DashSport Soccer – Best Shin Guards for Kids
- IMPORTANT! SIZE EXTRA SMALL is narrower, go by...
- Complete Protection: Unlike Slip in Style Guards,...
- Sure Fit: Please See Our Sizing Chart in the...
- Warranty: 1 Year Free No-Hassle Replacement...
Here we have a set of shin guards made by DashSport that cater to their younger audience. Now, I’ve seen many shin guards that target the younger generation and I can safely say DashSport has knocked this one out the park or knocked it into the goal, whichever one you prefer. Let me tell you why I like this specific pair!
Although they may not seem durable or extravagant, I should emphasize that these shin guards are perfect for their target market. This is because it’s clear to see they have prioritized the safety of the children who buy this particular product. As we know, some models from other brands are made more to look better rather than focus on the safety element and to me, this can be concerning for some children that decide to choose a modern, less shielded choice.
With this said, DashSport has ensured this model comes complete with ankle support sleeves, a no-slip feature which prevents them from becoming loose, a very thick velcro strap to keep everything secure and a hard shell that seems to curve around the shin area more so than any other model I’ve seen before. I genuinely think these shin guards could have protected the dinosaurs before that big old meteor flew down and wreaked havoc. Okay, maybe not, but we’ll never know, so, for this moment we’ll call it a calculated theory of mine. They also come in four different designs which eliminates the feeling of having an overwhelming choice to pick from.
Overall, I like these shin guards, a lot. DashSport has taken great measures to guarantee the safety of its customers with this product. Just by looking at them I get a sense of relief knowing if a younger person was to wear them, they would be resistant from any kind of forceful impact they may face around that area. I think I’ll call these the juggernaut of shin guards just to make a valid point.
- Very robust
- Ankle sleeve support
- No-slip technology
- Fairly priced
- 1-year warranty no-hassle replacement
- Comes in 4 colors
- Depending on your kid’s size, it may restrict some movements
Adidas Performance Ghost Club – Simple and Effective Shin Guards
- Part of our Ghost Guard collection, this is a...
- Highly protective hard shield front plate to keep...
- Adjustable hook-and-loop strap closure and ankle...
- Soft and durable EVA backing on shield for...
Finally, we arrive with one last review. The Adidas Performance Ghost Club shin guard. I’ll be honest from the get-go, these guards won’t immediately catch your eye unless you like yellow colors, but I refuse to write them off just yet. Although they may not look incredible, I still believe they serve a purpose in the game soccer.
There are only so many types of shin guards in the world so it’s common that most competitors will offer the same or similar features from one another. The Adidas Performance Ghost Club guards are not outlandishly revolutionary by any means; however, they offer a great fitting guard that accommodates both beginners and advanced athletes.
Additionally, they also come with a highly protective hard shield front plate, adjustable hook-and-loop strap closure along with an ankle strap to provide stability and safety. I mean they offer the necessities, which isn’t a bad thing! Sometimes new shin guards can be made with crazy features that don’t hold any benefit but rather attempt to change the concept of what a shin guard should do and look like instead. Nonetheless, this pair is a modest choice and will certainly offer great safety benefits and comfort through any type of match play.
In my honest opinion these are a pretty standard shin guard and for the price they are charged at it is more than warranted. There’s that old saying, “You get what you pay for!” and this saying comes to mind after looking over these in more detail. They’re not amazingly special but they will certainly offer a great degree of protection from any old school, hard-tackling midfielders that want to impose pain. Yes, Roy Keane, I’m talking about you, again.
- For beginner to advanced players
- Highly protective shield front plate
- Adjustable hook-and-loop strap
- Soft and durable EVA backing for comfort
- Ankle straps can cause discomfort at times
- Doesn’t allow as much free movement as other options
Best Shin Guards For Soccer – The Only Buying Guide You’ll Ever Need
Now, I can imagine you may still have a problem and I think your problem may be, “What shin guards do I pick with all this information and choice?”. Unfortunately, I can’t make that decision for you, *crowd boo’s*. But what I can do is go into detail on the most important features every shin guard should possess which should help you when deciding what model and brand to buy. Does this sound fair? Good! Let’s proceed, shall we?
This is fundamental and should always be the first and most important consideration when looking for any shin guard. To protect is what they are designed to do so make sure the choice you make will certainly do so. Although shin guards are all different in their selective way they should always be there to serve as a measure of injury prevention.
Now, picking a shin guard is completely down to preference and as mentioned before some people have little regard for how much effect shin guards have on them. Jack Grealish was an example I used earlier as he wears child-sized guards. With that said, it’s no coincidence he’s the most fouled player in the Premier League this season either. But, as a general rule of thumb, I would suggest picking a pair that enables enough protection to make YOU feel secure as soon as you wear them.
2. Shin Guards For Adults And Experienced Players
In my experience of playing soccer, I’ve noticed a pattern over the years. This pattern is that the higher standard you play at, the more adults tend to buy shin guards that look as though they rarely offer any safety value. However, I do understand this concept to an extent and I’ll tell you why.
The higher level a player will play will inevitably mean the pace of the game is much quicker. Therefore, using shin guards that are small, light and offer more freedom in movement will only allow the player to move as fast as they can with no distraction from discomfort or bulky and out of place shin guards. Now, if you purchase smaller and lighter guards, I’m not saying you will turn into Lionel Messi, but I do agree that it will help provide more freedom when moving at pace. Just be careful of the Roy Keane’s on the other team. Yes, I name-dropped him again.
3. Shin Guards For Junior and Less Experienced Players
So, on the flip side to adult shin guards we now have junior shin guards. What is the difference I hear you say? Well, they’re like adult shin guards, but, just…smaller. Okay, maybe not just the size but essentially, they are smaller in size simply due to the age range that is targeted.
With this said I have seen juniors wearing adult shin guards before and quite frankly it looks like they should be holding a cricket bat as well. I mean the protection is there but the practicality of it is just nonsense. Juniors should be wearing guards that offer a better element of robustness as their bodies are still developing and to protect them from injury at such a fragile age is imperative so they can enjoy the game they love without getting hurt.
My advice for juniors looking for shin guards, make sure you are choosing pairs that have a hard shell on the front, a thick cushioned foam on the back for comfort and to absorb impact, ensure the guard itself covers a good proportion of the shin and maybe even ankle straps too.
Although ankle straps are overlooked and can be annoying, I never liked the feel of them personally, they still offer stability and minor prevention of ankle injuries which is a very common area to fall victim to. The main idea here is to look after the safety of junior players’ development and health so by choosing wisely it could certainly go a long way. Just don’t use cricket pads. It doesn’t work, it has never worked and will never work. That is all. Sorry I just had to get that in at the end to make it abundantly clear.
Frequently Asked Questions
How big should my shin guards be?
This can be subjective to the individual and level they play. As a safety measure, my opinion would be to ensure in length, they are just short of the knee and sit a couple of inches above the ankle, at most, just to be on the safe side.
How do you keep shin guards in place?
Shin guards should stay in place from the straps or sleeve they come with so make sure the size is correct. For added placement options you can purchase external shin guard straps that go over the shin guard. They are generally thicker and help a great deal for stability.
Do socks go over shin guards?
Yes, that is correct. Always put your shin guards on first before your socks because if the opposite is done then they may slide out of place due to the material from the sock and will increase the likelihood of injury.
Do goalkeepers wear shin guards?
Ah, the goalkeeper’s union. Such a strong, tight-knit group! Even though they don’t face as many strong challenges as outfield players they still need to be protected just as much in between the big white sticks. So, the answer here would be yes, they must wear shin guards.
We’ve made it to the end of the road. It’s been an emotional journey. Nevertheless, I’m hopeful this article will help draw up any conclusions when having to choose an effective pair of shin guards based on the information in the above. There is a vast catalog to choose from all over the web but being able to know which ones would be best suited to your game, age and/or ability will go a long way in overall performance and injury prevention. Just remember that protection is most important. This is what shin guards are designed to uphold so please keep that in mind with any decision you make. Also, stay away from Roy Keane. Please. I cannot stress this enough.
I will end with a few very simple questions that I’m very interested to hear your take on. The questions are as follows:
What’s your favorite style of shin guards and why?
Should shin guards offer more protection than they do?
Are some shin guards too expensive for what they offer?
Do you have any stories on shin guards which highlights their effectiveness?
Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts and leave a comment in the below. Until next time, stay safe and stay protected!