Best Shin Guards Reviews
Shin pads – Buying guide, Ratings & Comparison
If you have no time to waste, but you want to find the best shin guards, you’re in the right place. Based on the consumer reports, sales figures, and specialized forums and surveys, we’ve come to the conclusion that the Vizari Malaga is the one you should bear in mind. The lightweight PP shell boasted by this alternative as well as the fact that it comes with a foam-padded backing makes this unit one of the most protective and comfortable models in this line. Plus, the hard shell packed with foam backing ensures that the player benefits from enhanced protection all throughout the match. It’s also worth noting that the Malaga is one of the most critically acclaimed choices out there as over four hundred buyers have taken to the internet to express their satisfaction. Should you be unable to get your hands on the Vizari Malaga, perhaps you’d benefit from using the second-best alternative, the Meister MMA Edge.
What are shin guards or shin pads?
Shin pads are pieces of equipment that are specially designed in order to prevent injury of the wearer’s shin. While many models are utilized in common sports such as baseball, lacrosse, field and ice hockey as well as soccer, there are some variations on the theme. For instance, people who ride motorcycles may be interested in using shin guards, although not the same model as the ones employed by professional hockey players.
Units can be made of a variety of materials, and each comes both with advantages and disadvantages. Subsequently, products that are manufactured out of plastic are usually thought of as being less protective compared to their counterparts. Metal shin pads offer a broad degree of protection but they’re mostly uncomfortable to wear and are traditionally heavier compared to other alternatives.
Polyurethane options seem to be among the most popular items in the line as they have been tested and proven to be both heavy and sturdy, thus offering the best protection in terms of risks related to impacts. The next one on the list is fiberglass as it has also acquired a withstanding reputation of being durable, sturdy, and lightweight enough for the user to feel comfortable while wearing the product. When it comes to picking your first shin pads, the main idea seems to be that you have to consider your purpose and what you have in mind with it. Also, you should give a thought to the likelihood that BMX shin guards are different from motorcycle shin guards. The same rule seems to apply when performing different types of martial arts, in that the best MMA shin guards might not be the right Taekwondo shin guards.
Whatever your purpose and case, the fact of the matter is that shin guards can actively protect you from injuries. It’s no wonder that the Ancient Greeks and Romans used to employ these things in battle.
Why wear shin guards? What injuries do they prevent?
If you still have doubts when it comes to the usefulness of these items, we’ll try to shed some light on some factors that can make the difference regarding safety of play. It doesn’t really matter whether you might be tempted to use martial arts shin guards or soccer shin pads. What has a say with regard to what you’re trying to do is the area you intend to protect and the type of injuries that may occur should you not use shin pads.
Martial arts aficionados know how easy it is to suffer from kicks, tackles, and knocks, some of which might have even happened unintentionally. The golden rule you need to keep in mind when deciding to purchase or avoid buying such protective equipment is that the human shin bones are not adequately protected just by the muscle tissue. That is why, during their lifetime, many individuals are likely to suffer from a tibia fracture, even when they’re not engaging in violent sports of any kinds. In fact, many parents are well-aware of the risk when they allow their kids to play outside. Even a fall can hurt one’s shin so badly that they will eventually have to undergo surgery or wear a cast because of a fracture or sprain.
Over the years, various studies have shown that there are major differences between shin guards when it comes to efficiency of safety and protection. Generally, all shin guards offer a degree of protection against serious injuries but there have been assumptions according to which polypropylene based shin guards don’t raise up to par when it comes to protecting the user against very high-impact forces. Several high school trainers have even stated that, when playing soccer, their students can expose their anterior tibial border to repetitive blows that may, in the long run, decrease the resistance of the soft tissue in the area. Aside from getting a fracture per se, there’s a high chance of a person suffering from compartment syndrome, which is caused by the inelastic fascia that covers a muscle that tends to swell a lot.
While even the best shin guards can’t do a lot when it comes to preventing shin splints, they are capable of holding splints if the model you own and use relies on compression sleeves. In the end, there’s another thing you have to consider, mainly the fact that a person is unable to play a sport like hockey or soccer without ample protection for his or her shins.
For what sports should you wear shin guards?
Some of the best shin pads have become widely popular thanks to their widespread applications in sports areas such as soccer, baseball, field and ice hockey, cricket, rugby, and lacrosse. Other uses include bicycle and motorcycle driving. In many cases, the regulations of the sport you play may require you to use a soccer shin guard regardless of whether you agree or not. As previously discussed, refraining from using such a protective equipment can be potentially harmful to the player and can get him or her suspended if he or she tries to bend the rules and avoid wearing even cheap soccer shin guards.
Another field where shin pads are now being used consists of martial arts. We’ve already taken the time to emphasize that not all pads are created the same. Their features often times depend on the type of martial arts performed by the user or the kind of sports one is interested in. For example, kickboxing shin guards may be sturdier compared to shin guards for soccer.
Cricket was the first sport where this sort of protective equipment was introduced for the first time. Even though, when playing cricket, the person engaging in the sport may suffer considerably fewer injuries compared to MMA or ice hockey, it is said that the one wearing shin guards has a net advantage over the other players as he or she may feel confident enough to hit the ball without worrying about being harmed.
Nowadays, most people are in the market for the best shin guards for soccer, partly because they want them for themselves or they want to buy them for their children. Thus, they have a higher chance to look for soccer shin guards for kids, which are usually mandatory in practice. After all, trainers don’t like the idea of a child getting hurt on the field on their watch.
How to wear shin guards or shin pads
Wearing your shin guards properly can be done once you’ve become aware of the model you own and the sport you want to engage in. There are various variations on the same theme, because we’ve seen that shin guards may come with ankle guards or without ankle guards. Learning to wear a unit may differ depending on the activity you have in mind. What’s more, shin guards for toddlers aren’t created the same as for adults, which is why they may need to be worn differently. Let’s take all of these details step by step and give you a chance to better understand how you can wear your shin pads just how you’re supposed to.
When trying to wear shin guards that have ankle guards, you’ll very quickly notice that these kinds aren’t made of a single part. Instead, there are two parts that compose the product per se: a hard plastic part and a half-sock that can be slid over the ankle. In many cases, shin guards with ankle guards are the best youth soccer shin guards as they protect the player a whole lot better than their ankle guard-lacking counterparts. Using this type of product is relatively easy, as all one has to do is slide the unit up one’s shin, use Velcro to strap it around the calf and then straighten the ankle guard as best as possible. This model has to be utilized with socks, so be sure to adjust the sock over the guard once you’ve customized its position in accordance with your personal requirements.
During your buying journey, you’ll come to see that most of the units destined for adults come without ankle guards. Typically, soccer players who aren’t juniors anymore will use shin guards that feature simple plastic inserts. These are used to be slid either into the fabric sleeves or slid beneath the user’s socks. In this case, the socks have to be put on before the shin guards. In order to benefit from a proper fit and to secure the shin guard as best as possible, we recommend utilizing Velcro strap or athletic tape both above and below the unit. Wrapping as much tape as you feel comfortable with will allow the guard to be kept in place all throughout the game.
Martial arts, kickboxing and the likes don’t require people to use any type of socks. In this case, what you need to focus on is getting the best martial shin guards in complete accordance with your size and preferences. After all, the straps will be wrapped around the back of the leg and then fastened with Velcro, so you need to feel as comfortable as possible.
Both motorbike and bike shin guards can be worn over pants because they feature elastic straps that are fastened efficiently with the help of Velcro. The same goes for field hockey shin guards and basketball shin pads.
How to choose the best model for your needs?
With the many options that are available out there nowadays, it’s very easy to be wrong more often than be right. We’ve decided to give you a break if you can’t seem to find the right product for your needs, which is why we’ve come up with a buying guide that can separate the wheat from the chaff and let you know just what to look for in the units of your choice, be they the best shin guards for toddlers or the best sparring shin guards. Have a look at the info we’ve compiled below.
Regardless of the sport you prefer or the one you perform, the first thing to consider when beginning your buying journey is the product design. It seems that there are three major designs when it comes to shin guards. The wand system model is made of a combination of solid and hollow wands that are positioned vertically through the product. Many people say that this kind of system prevents injuries because it can disperse the impact of the body part covered by the guard. The effectiveness of the wand system model depends on the materials used in the build process.
Shield shin guards are particularly popular among today’s athletes. The unit is composed of an outer layer and some inner layers of which the number may vary from one product to the next. The outer layer is very hard but the force of the impact felt on the part of the user also depends on the quality of build.
OSi guards are somewhat newer compared to the two kinds we’ve showcased earlier on. This alternative is made with fiberglass which considerably contributes to the overall item durability. The bottom line is that, provided you have the budget and availability to go for this option, it’s the best one there is. Plus, the higher the number of fiberglass numbers, the more efficient the product in the end. It might be worth noting that not all models come with the same number of layers, so be sure to pay attention to this detail as well.
Shin guards can be made of four different materials: fiberglass, foam rubber, polyurethane, and plastic. Of all these alternatives, the plastic one is by far the least expensive option, but it can’t handle as much abuse as polyurethane or fiberglass.
Since the latter is somewhat less affordable compared to the others, we recommend it for professional players or people who play the same sport on a regular basis. Foam rubber is a light, cost-efficient material that’s more lightweight compared to fiberglass. Since it’s considerably softer than other variations, foam rubber is also less durable. In the end, it all depends on your budget, expectations in terms of comfort and efficiency of play, and what you’re looking for with regard to durability.
If you think that investing a greater sum of money on a high-end product is worth it, then you’re on the right track to getting what you need and using it for many years to come.
The position of the soccer player, the sizing as well as the ankle protection should matter a great deal when making your final call. If you’re looking for the right size, we recommend going to a store and trying out some models just to see whether there are any difference among the products manufactured by different brands.
Ankle protection can offer either a lot of mobility or a whole lot of support. Besides, it’s common knowledge that ankle protection somewhat restricts the movements of the players, so some people might choose to avoid it. In soccer, the position of the player also has a say when it comes to choosing wisely.
Soccer shin guards are relatively easy to pick if you’ve been playing the sport for quite some time now and have a little experience in the field. But what about the best hockey shin guards or baseball shin guards? In hockey, you’ll have to consider the straps, the removable padding, the shock-absorbing knee caps as well as the calf protection. Therefore, products destined for this type of sport can protect a larger surface compared to the ones intended for, say, soccer. The same goes for the best lacrosse shin guards and for ice hockey shin guards. Most of the shin guards used in baseball are, in actuality, leg guards as they protect both the middle of the knee and the bottom of the shin.
Things are totally different when it comes to martial arts. Muay Thai requires pads that are somewhat bigger compared to other kinds of martial arts; they’re fastened around the calf via adjustable straps, offering an instep protective pad. By contrast, MMA alternatives have a sock-like structure that the owner can use to wrap around the leg.
This guide should allow you to find the right shin guards for your needs. We’ve taken the time to select some of the best products in the line in complete accordance with the sport they were designed for. Just remember, try to look beyond the price and the cool appearance of the unit and focus on the features it has and the way it can protect you from getting injured.
Best soccer shin guards
Soccer shin guards have to be lightweight, durable, and provide the amount of needed comfort and protection that every player needs. That’s why it’s usually very difficult for manufacturers to tailor the characteristics of their products to the requirements of every user.
When buying a shin guard destined for soccer, we recommend checking out the same details that you would in any other case. Thus, you should look for information regarding the material that the unit has been built from and the sizes it’s available in. What’s more, you have to consider the fact that there are some models you may come across that may leave out certain info from the product description and thus not allow you to understand whether they are destined for the use of children or for adults.
Sizing may depend on the manufacturing brand standards, but in most cases, an XXS size would be the perfect fit for a 4-year old girl, whereas an L size would work with a 5’11” adult individual. We’ve selected the best product that we can recommend in the line, and it’s the Vizari Malaga. Perhaps you would like to take some time and have a look at the characteristics of this alternative.
It thus comes as no surprise that the Malaga is in complete accordance with the company’s quality standards.
The model is available in a broad range of colors and sizes allowing adult and junior soccer players to have their picks at what they most need and prefer.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($7.98)
Martial arts shin guards
Shin and forearm guards destined for martial arts practitioners have to be constructed in such a way that they’re able to withstand a lot of pounding. These products have to be the best when it comes to protecting the longest bones in the human body, which are located in the arms and legs.
Aside from the obvious reason you’d be interested in choosing such protection, mainly to prevent pain and swelling in the area, the fact of the matter is that these units can help a lot when it comes to preventing potential pathological conditions such as fractures and ligament ruptures. In addition, wearing such gear can not only help with protecting yourself from the damage you might get from your opponent but also minimize the impact felt on the part of the adversary.
To get the right size of product, you have to perform some measurements all by yourself. For example, a shin guard should be measured from the bottom of the knee to the ankle joint. Full coverage of the shin area can ward off severe damage that may eventually have a say when it comes to continuing a tournament or not. Our top choice in the field of martial arts shin guards is the Meister MMA EDGE.
This product has been built out of 100% cowhide leather as well as high-density impact foam.
With a gel padding and three foot straps to make sure that the unit is a perfect fit, we say that the Meister MMA Edge is worth giving a shot to.Buy from Amazon.com for ($44.99)
Best hockey shin guards
As previously mentioned in the buying guide that we put together for your consideration, hockey alternatives have to be constructed in such a way that they can protect the user on all accounts.
These are by far the sturdiest and bulkiest options but they need to be this way in order to offer all the necessary shelter. Hockey isn’t the least aggressive sports of all, and everybody knows it. Partly because of the way it should be played and because of all the equipment employed on the field, people who enjoy playing this game are prone to a lot of damage in the shin area.
When analyzing your alternatives, you should pay attention to factors such as the number of Velcro straps, whether the unit has removable padding or not and the technology employed in the build of the shock-absorbing knee caps. Virtually all models we’ve stumbled upon during our research have some kind of calf protection but it really depends on your requirements when it comes to choosing a model that has overall coverage or not. If you’re a seasoned player, you may be aware of your fit and sizing.
However, if you have little experience in the domain, we recommend trying out some products before ordering the right one online. From what we’ve seen, the favorite choice in the field is the Bauer Supreme 170.
If you’ve been looking for a nice pair of shin guards destined for ice hockey that can offer the best performance, look no further. The Bauer Supreme 170 is here to serve you at all times as it has been designed with the requirements of the hardcore ice hockey player in mind.
Packed with loads of useful features, this model can take your performance to a whole new level. The two-strap system makes it possible for you to adjust the length of the straps so that you feel as comfortable as ever. The hydrophobic mesh liners can wick away moisture, leaving you entirely capable of focusing on your game.
Despite the fact that it comes with injected knee pads and thermoformed ribbed shin caps, this model is one of the most lightweight options we’ve come across. Otherwise said, you won’t feel any strain while in the game.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Bike shin guards
Most of the options that have been created for bikers are entirely different from the shin guards we’ve showcased earlier on. For one, they have to be fitter and more elastic in a way, so that they do not interfere with the movements of the person wearing them.
Second, they still have to offer the right amount of protection in case something bad happens and the user goes through an accident.
The vast majority of the pads and guards we’ve analyzed is somehow designed to protect the knee more than any other area. There are variations but it all boils down to what you most feel comfortable with as we’ve seen that many people prefer to wear as little protective gear as possible just to get the most of their biking experience.
Some folks believe that the guards or pads might get in the way of what they’re trying to achieve, particularly because some of these options have not been constructed out of breathable materials and thus can make the wearer sweat a lot. The price of such units can vary from one model to the next, with more affordable products costing as little as twenty dollars and high-end options being as expensive as one hundred and fifty dollars.
The neat thing about this alternative is that it has been vented for breathability and thus allows air to go into the pad and prevent sweat buildup.
There’s no doubt that the 29027-LK-24 is safe as it features hard shell shin plates and kneecaps.Buy from Amazon.com for ($69.95)
Basketball shin pads
Just as the units destined for biking and other sports where the wearer has to benefit from as much mobility as possible, basketball shin guards should be designed so that they protect the user but don’t restrict any of his or her movements. Some basketball shin pads resemble the ones that motorcycle owners might be interested in checking out as well.
On the other hand, other alternatives somewhat look like a sock in that they should be pulled up the leg and fitted in the knee area as best as possible. That’s why it’s so important to see whether the product is breathable or not. We saw that many of the units in this line get a lot of positive reviews if they are built using polyester, which is a fabric type that manages to combine elasticity with breathability.
Usually, basketball shin pads have the looks and design of the ones you may use if your knee caps are unstable. Kneecap dislocation is one of the most common issues that occurs when the leg either bends or straightens in an unnatural way which is bound to happen to many basketball players because of their style of running or shooting technique. Our favorite option in this category is the Meidus Leg & Knee Guard.
Thanks to the technology employed in the product development, the advantages that you will get from wearing the guard include enhanced stability of the leg and knee muscles and excellent breathability.
Made of polyester, the pad is both protective and comfortable to wear.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Baseball shin guards
With baseball, catchers have to be aware of the fact that the equipment is specifically designed to protect them. Sometimes, getting the wrong guards can limit your movements, but the fact of the matter is that nothing beats prevention from the damage you might suffer from falling on the field or from getting hit by a sky-rocketing ball. Aside from checking out what the market has to offer you in terms of pads and guards, we recommend also going through some chest protectors, helmets, and accessories.
All of these can take baseball to a whole new level, particularly in regards to safety of play. Baseball leg guards have seen a lot of technological development through the years, as these days they are made of high-quality plastics that can withstand any rough treatment. High-energy absorbing padding and an overall better protection design are two other details to consider when prospecting the market for a baseball shin guard.
Aside from the actual characteristics of the product, you have to examine your frequency of play as high-end leg guards are better suited for individuals who play on a regular basis than they are for amateur baseball players. Our top recommended unit is the EvoShield A110.
The product is lightweight and made of high-quality foams and plastics and does a tremendous job when it comes to protecting the shin, ankle, and foot.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Lacrosse shin guards
Goalies should traditionally try to protect their sensitive shin area as much as possible but that doesn’t happen too often as both male and female lacrosse players will often times find them uncomfortable to wear.
Regrettably, these people don’t know what they’re missing out on because this kind of protective gear has been designed so that it does not alter the goalie’s movement but offers the shielding one needs against low shots. As is the case with shin guards destined for other types of sports, the ones designed for lacrosse are made with hard plastics so that the shell covers both the ankle and the leg, as well as the bottom of the knee. Most of the models out there come in standard sizes that can be adjusted using the provided Velcro straps that are featured by other kinds of products also.
It really goes without saying that the advantages of wearing lacrosse shin guards are next to countless as they can significantly improve the performance of the player by making him or her feel safe at all times. There are differences in terms of quality from one brand to the other but most of the units you might encounter while prospecting the market can very well speak to your requirements.
For one, it’s manufactured by STX which has a say when it comes to the quality of build of this product.
Second, the polymer multi-surface of the unit makes it one of the most lightweight yet totally protective pieces of gear for lacrosse as it has been designed so that it retains no moisture or sweat during the game.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($44.99)
The best shin guard manufacturers and the best brands
Purchasing very cheap shin guards might not be an option for some people, particularly for parents who’d like to have their pick at the best youth soccer shin guards. If you want to make an investment, perhaps it would be a good idea to check out some of the most well-known manufacturing brands that have a long experience in the field of developing top-notch options. Have a look at the list of the most reputable companies that have gradually made a name out of designing secure pads and guards over the years.
Academy Sports and Outdoors is a company that has been creating protective equipment for more than eighty years now. It has over 200 stores all throughout various states, from Alabama to Texas. The brand manufacturers gear that is being used in many sports and outdoor activities such as camping, hunting and fishing, footwear and even items destined for fitness. Part of the reason any prospective buyer would be tempted to choose Academy shin guards is due to the fact that the brand offers excellent customer support. Regardless of the nature of the issue encountered, owners of Academy gear and equipment can always call a representative and check whether they can benefit from return or refund policies. Some of the brand’s most acclaimed products can be found online on many retailer websites including Amazon.
Another well-known manufacturer that has people raving about the quality of its products is Umbro. In 2014, this brand turned 90 so it has even more experience than the previously showcased company, particularly when it comes to designing innovative protective equipment. Based on the information that we have consulted, it seems that Umbro shin guards are mostly being used in soccer and other sports that can be performed outdoors. Initially based in the United Kingdom, Umbro now has subsidiaries in many countries all over the world, including the United States and Canada.
Amateur and professional players might also be interested in checking out McDavid shin pads and other research-backed pieces of equipment built by this brand. Compared to Umbro and Academy, McDavid is relatively new on the market as its basis were set back in 1969. However, the company worked for many years on developing products that were granted awards and patents considering that it has focused its efforts on designing even apparel used in sports medicine. There are three areas where the product categories created by McDavid take the cake: SportMed, composed of braces and wraps, Sports Protection, consisting of units with high-tech cushioning, and Performance Apparel, which consists of recovery and compression wear.
Many ice hockey players know that some of the best products in the line are now being built by the brand Bauer. Bauer shin guards can be categorized depending on the three lines that were put together by the company: Supreme, Nexus, and Vapor. Each of these can be characterized depending on the requirements of the user. For instance, should you be looking for an anatomical fit, you’d be better off with protective equipment belonging to the Supreme Line. By contrast, if you’re a fan of classic fit, you ought to choose your Bauer shin guards from the Nexus line. One of the primary advantages of buying from this brand is the fact that the company’s engineers put a lot of time and effort into designing products destined for different types of hockey aficionados. Both goalies and players can have their pick at the guards developed by Bauer as they are uniquely tailored to the challenges one might encounter during the game.
How to clean shin pads
Depending on whether you want your pick at shin guards or pads, you’re likely to want to wash them or clean them somehow at some point in your and their life. In the end, it really depends on whether you can take the guards apart item by item. Some parts can be washed either by hand or by using a washing machine. Depending on the material they are made of, pads have to be scrubbed down with a wet sponge and baking soda.
Everybody knows that sweat can build up into the material and smell pretty bad. Since that’s not anything one might ever want to smell while in the midst of the game, users might feel tempted to utilize all sorts of deodorizers or chemicals in order to clean and spray the guards or pads. The bad thing about using artificial cleaning substances is that they can usually irritate the user’s skin and thus have an adverse impact on the way the wearer performs while playing the sport. If you have the time and availability and if it’s warm enough outside, just use some baking soda and a sponge in order to scrub the surface of your pads. Leave them out to dry in the sunlight with the skin-side facing the light.