Soccer is a demanding contact sport during which a multitude of injuries can occur. Whether you play soccer as a hobby or a profession, you have to protect your legs. The best way to do this is by wearing shin guards.
If you’re looking for soccer shin guards this article will tell you how to find the best ones for you. You don’t have to sift through hundreds of online reviews because:
We’ve done all the hard work for you.
We’ve researched dozens of the top brands and found the 10 best models for adults, youth, and toddlers.
This review article also includes the ultimate buying guide for soccer shin guards. It will be an invaluable resource in helping you choose the right ones for your particular needs.
10 Best Soccer Shin Guards Product Reviews
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that you can consider when choosing soccer shin guards. Opt for ones that are super protective, lightweight, non-bulky and so non-restrictive.
Here’s where we break down the best of the Best Soccer Shin Guards:
Type: Slip-in Shin Guard
Material: 95% polypropylene, 5% TPU injection-molded
These low-priced soccer shin guards from Adidas are a great option for young players. They have a traditional design with a hard plastic outer shell that covers the entire leg. They also come with complete ankle protection and foam backing that enhances comfort.
These features make it stand out as the best choice for both adults and younger kids. This guard comes with a compression sleeve. This affords the wearer’s calves a certain amount of warmth and helps in the prevention of cramps. The sleeve-based design also means that the guard fits very well. This helps to provide the best possible protection and support.
- Affordable Price
- Also great for youth and kids
- Reduced mobility
Type: Slip-in Shin Guard
It’s always great when you don’t have to rely on your socks to keep your shin guards in place. These are fantastic slip-in guards from another popular brand, Nike. They have all the great features without the high price tag. They have an anatomical shape (one is for the left and the other for the right). This helps to ensure enhanced protection for your legs.
They also come with two compression sleeves included. All in all, the shin guards from Nike help to reduce the impact your protective gear has on your game. You have a choice between two designs of this protective gear. Both options meet the NOCSAE standards for advanced competitive play.
- Super lightweight
- Low price
- NOCSAE approved
- Extended wear period leaves marks on legs
Type: Ankle Shin Guard
The Vizari Malaga is a firm favorite of many players. It’s a great option for even younger players as it has ankle protection and foam backing. This allows a greater level of comfort for the wearer. It is a very high-quality guard that comes at a very low cost.
The durability of its hard plastic shell means that it will last you for many seasons. This lightweight guard comes in five amazing colors. It’s ideal for a unisex choice for shin protection. The sizing is very accurate which is a plus as it helps ensure that they are comfortable and stay in place at all times. The top of the shin guard locks in using a Velcro strap.
- Max coverage and ankle protection
- Durable, comfortable, and affordable
- Great for young players
- Cumbersome for more advanced players
Type: Ankle Shin Guards
This is a great soccer shin guard designed with a high-density shell. It ensures your constant protection under regular play conditions. The top strap makes for quick and easy fastening. This is very convenient for saving time when getting ready for a game.
The pull-on design is among the best features of this particular model from Nike. This is one of the most affordable soccer shin guards on the market that are still great quality. It offers great value for money, especially if you’re on a budget.
- Very reasonable pricing
- Convenient pull-on design
- Problems with sizing
Type: Sock-style Shin Guard
It’s likely that these are the best toddler soccer shin guards available on the market right now. The Wilson Peewee guards are simple, convenient, and easy-to-use. They offer toddlers all the protection, comfort and safety they need. And we know they need a lot.
Even when they’re not actually kicking the ball!
They provide full coverage and come with supportive ankle guards. This particular model comes recommended as the best toddler soccer shin guards. Also, they are super easy to clean by popping them into your washer.
- Easy pull-on design
- Machine washable
- Sewn-in ankle protection
- Don’t always get the color you ordered
Type: Ankle Shin Guard
Material: PP, Synthetic leather
These are among the best youth soccer shin guards available. If you want to find the best protection for a young player, this model may very well be what you have been searching for. These soccer shin guards from Wilson Hex Evo come with a myriad of useful features. They have a shell that is pre-curved for an ergonomic fit. They also have sewn-in ankle support.
The guards can take a beating and won’t come apart after a few uses. This is thanks to their construction with durable synthetic leather. There are a lot of reviews online from happy customers who love the strapping system. According to them, it makes this one of the most versatile youth soccer shin guards you can get.
- Durable synthetic leather insert
- Comfortable pre-curved shell
- Reinforced full ankle support
- Issues with sizing
Type: Ankle Shin Guards
The specific design of these shin guards is for young players. The Dash Sport guard make a great choice if you’re searching for the best shin guards for your son or daughter. They are unisex and provide the utmost in protection and durability. These guards are also very comfortable (thanks to the EVA foam padding).
They also have some cool graphics on them. This will make it even easier to convince your young player to wear them for the duration of the game. The Dash Sport Shin Guards are also very flexible and allow the player freedom of movement. As far as all the products on our review list go, these take the cup as the kids soccer shin guards that look the coolest.
- Super cool graphics
- Unhindered movement
- Ultimate protection
- Sizing runs small
Type: Slip-in Shin Guards
These soccer shin guards are super lightweight and provide great protection. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that they’re even there. You can choose to use them as slip-ins or you can opt to use the back straps to make them even more secure.
Most players find the contouring of this particular shin guard ideal. There are various sizes available for both youth and adult players to choose from. These guards from Franklin Sports make a perfect choice if you’re on a budget. They are effective, durable and will last a long time.
- Long lasting
- Can be uncomfortable after lengthy wear
Type: Slip-in Shin Guards
These sleeveless slip-in shin guards make for effective soccer protective wear. They are small and lightweight. This is great for those players who would rather not wear shin guards at all. The EVA foam backing makes them comfortable and ideal for absorbing shock.
The PP shell is durable and ideal for intense play. It provides shin protection that doesn’t hinder a player’s freedom of movement. If you’re searching for lightweight, durable guards, this is a good option to check out.
- Small and lightweight
- Durable PP shell
- Affordable price
- May be too small to give effective protection for some players
Type: Slip-in Shin Guards
Adidas has created yet another amazing product with these slip in shin guards. They are part of the Polar Guard collection. These guards have a tough but comfortable EVA feature. This means that they provide an excellent level of protection and support.
These shin guards also have a synthetic lining which helps provide even more comfort. Youth and adult sizes are available. They work with the majority of socks currently available on the market. These are professional quality protective gear at an affordable price. If that’s what you’re searching for, then this could be the best option for you.
- Flawed size chart
Choosing the Best Soccer Shin Guards: What to Consider
The soccer shin guards you choose to buy will depend on your experience and the level of soccer you play. If you’re buying them for a young player, it may depend on their age or height. Your choice will also depend on your budget (or your parents’). To make it easier for you, here are three main things to look at when buying soccer shin guards:
- Type and Design
- Material Used for Construction
- Sizing and Fit
Type of Soccer Shin Guards
Three types of shin guards are generally worn:
1. Slip-in Shin Guards
Intermediate to high-level players prefer to use these types of shin guards. They are lightweight and provide great protection while increasing your freedom of movement.
2. Ankle Shin Guards
Besides protecting your lower legs they also include protection for your ankles. The hard plastic shin guard has padding that extends from the bottom to wrap around the ankle. This also provides great support for the ankles during play.
These types of shin guards generally have an elastic strap which wraps around the bottom of the foot. The strap locks the guard in place. The top of the ankle shin guard usually has a Velcro strap used for keeping the guard in place on your leg.
3. Socks-Style Shin Guards
This is the least popular type of shin guards. They are socks combined with the shin guard in one convenient and low-priced package. Sock-style shin guards are usually worn by younger players (with convenience in mind).
With or Without Sleeves?
You have two options when choosing the best soccer shin guards. You can either get the ones with ankle support and those without. It’s recommended that players aged 10 or younger use shin guards with ankle support. This is because their ankles are more prone to suffering from stray kicks.
Older and more experienced players can use slip-in shin guards. They don’t have ankle protection but they are lighter and more comfortable. They also cost a lot less.
Different Soccer Shin Guard Designs
There are three main designs used in the manufacture of soccer shin guards:
This is the most common type used by athletes. This design has a hard outer layer and several inner layers. This is great for deflecting the impact when the shin gets a direct hit. The materials used during construction determine how well shields protect the shin. The quality of construction also has an impact on the effectiveness of the guard.
2. Wand System
This type of guard has a more traditional design. It comprises solid and hollow wands that run lengthwise down the entire shin area. This helps to deflect the impact of a kick away from the body so that there is no direct contact made. Wand system shin guards usually have some fabric and foam to help cushion the blows.
The third type of guard is the Osi. Professional players prefer this type of shin guard because it is custom designed. Each guard molds to the particular player’s shin. Because of this, it costs a lot more than the other types of shin guards. Fiberglass layers work to protect the shin. The more layers of fiberglass there are, the more protection the player’s shin has.
Shin Guard Materials
There are a lot of different materials used to make shin guards. These include plastic, foam rubber, fiberglass, and polyurethane. The type of material you choose determines the amount of protection that you get. It also affects the comfort, flexibility, durability, and weight of your shin guards. Additionally, the material used to make the shin guard determines how much they cost.
Here are some of the most common materials used to make shin guards:
Shin guards made from fiberglass are hard, durable, and lightweight. This is a great combination of features. It offers the ultimate protection and support that a player needs. It also enables them to play hard without having to worry about getting injured during the game. Unfortunately, fiberglass is also the most expensive option for shin guards. Also, it doesn’t offer much in the way of motion or flexibility during play.
2. Foam Rubber
Shin guards made from foam rubber are even more lightweight than the fiberglass ones. They provide players with much more ease of movement. This gives more comfort but the trade-off is less protection from impact. Also, foam rubber shin guards are more prone to wear and tear. As far as cost goes, these are some of the less expensive options on the market.
Shin guards made from plastic give more support and protection than foam ones. But, they are not very comfortable. Plastic is cheaper but it won’t hold up against serious abuse in the same way fiberglass shin guards do.
Guards made from this material are among some of the heaviest and most rigid on the market. Polyurethane shin guards provide players with the most support. But, they are also some of the most uncomfortable to wear.
Which Material to Choose?
As we have shown, each design is available in a variety of materials, each of which has its own pros and cons. Take factors like price, durability, comfort, and level of protection into consideration. This will make it easier for you to choose the right material for your needs.
Outside impacts are not the only thing you have to worry about when you’re on the field. Protecting legs from chafing is also important. The best soccer shin guards also have foam on the underside to keep your legs from chafing. When choosing toddler soccer shin guards, opt for ones that have extra padding. This helps to ensure adequate protection of those delicate little legs.
Luckily, a lot of the shin guards that you will see on the market these days are lightweight and comfortable. They meet all safety standards and are not bulky. They keep the player’s legs protected without impeding their movement. The design and materials aren’t the only factors to consider, though. Another factor to consider when looking for the best soccer shin guards is the size.
Soccer Shin Guard Sizing
Having a proper fit is important when it comes to protective gear. If it’s too big or too small it will likely lose its effectiveness. For best effect, place a shin guard 1-inch from the top of the cleat and not more than 2-inches below the knee. The design and size of most soccer shin guards that you will come across go according to a player’s height or age.
Here is a simple sizing chart to use as your reference when choosing the ideal shin guards:
- XS: Extra small shin guards are for kids aged 6 to 9 years whose height is below 4’6”.
- S: Small shin guards are ideal for kids aged between 10 and 13 years or those whose height is between 4’7 and 5’3”.
- M: When it comes to Medium size, there are a lot of variations. For example, according to Adidas, M shin guards are great for kids aged between 14 and 17 years who are 5’3” to 5’9” in height. But, Nike M shins are for kids up to 5’7”. This means that in generalized medium size may be ideal for kids and adults up to 5’10” in height.
- L and XL: Large and Extra Large guards are generally meant for use by adult players only. The least required height is 5’7” and the max height is 6’10”.
This chart is great to use as a reference for choosing the right shin guard size. A better option may be to use an actual measuring tape rather than relying on the XS, S, M, L, and XL sizes. Even shin guards sized in this way have a length on each package that will help you to determine the best size.
Full Coverage of the Shin
The whole point of wearing shin guards is to protect your legs while playing on the field. This means that the protective features should be a major consideration. The best soccer shin guards offer protection from sprains and fractures. They also help reduce the occurrence of swelling and bruising.
How to Wear Soccer Shin Guards
Shin guards are essential if you want to play in any soccer league. The nature of the game means that your lower legs can incur serious injuries from hard kicks. You can choose either the ones that come with ankle guards for added protection or those without. It’s vital to know how to wear shin guards the right way to stay safe and keep within the legal rules of play.
The ones with ankle protection come in two parts. The first part protects your shins, and the other part protects your ankles. Shin guards of this kind are usually worn by younger, less experienced players. But, they are also available in adult sizes.
Place the front part of such shin guards on the center of your shin. Use the Velcro strap to wrap around your calf and attach to the shin guard, holding it in place. You can then pull your socks over the shin guards to keep them in place and more secure.
The guards without the protective ankle sleeves are for older, more experienced players. When wearing this kind of guard, you have to first put on your cleats and socks. Next, place the shin guard on your calf and then use the Velcro straps included to keep the guards in place.
Some shin guards of this type come with small inserts made of plastic. These ensure that they don’t shift around while you play. After securing your shin guards in place, pull your socks over them.
The best soccer shin guards will not guarantee that you won’t feel the sting of a kick to your shin. They may help to reduce the risks of sustaining serious injuries, though. Wearing great shin guards will allow you to play with more confidence.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the sheer number of options on the market today. Use this article as your go-to resource to help you make the best choice for your specific needs. By doing this you can have the ultimate protection while playing the game you love.