Best Soccer Shin Guards for Kids and Adults

Choosing the best soccer shin guards isn’t always easy. There are many different types available, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. To make the process a little easier for you, we have compiled a guide to help you understand these products better so that you can make an informed decision about which ones to invest in.

Best slip-in shin guards

Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Guards
Nike Mercurial Lite

These Nike slip-in guards are really great if you need an excellent level of protection. The anatomical shape is tailored to suit the shape of the legs. And to top it off, they’re cheaper than other branded shin guards.

This product comes with two compression sleeves. They help limit how much your gear impacts your game. You can choose between two different colors.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Good level of protection
  • Legs don’t sweat
  • Stylish design
  • Matched to the size chart

Cons:

  • The sleeves are tight

Customers say
“Lightweight, cool (temperature), cool (looks), good protection, minimal profile”

“I would buy them again if he needs new ones”

“Not only are the durable, they are beautiful and sleeves fit perfect!”

Best shin guards with ankle protection

Adidas Unisex Shin Guards
Adidas Unisex

Protect your two most vulnerable spots with this lightweight shin guard. With ankle protection, lightweight design, and a hard front plate for maximum defense, you can feel safe at all times. Molded backing offers great comfort and cushioning while the single-strap front closure with attached ankle guard offers more protection.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Ankle protection for everyday play
  • Anatomically designed for natural fit
  • Easy to wear

Cons:

  • Incorrect size chart

Customers say
“They work great and are comfortable”

“Quality product”

“These shin guards are really nice and seem to be high quality. But, the sizing info on the product page is incorrect”

Best shin socks

Nike Youth Soccer Shin Sock Shin Guards
Nike Youth Soccer Shin Sock

Saves your shins with cushioning, foam protection, and breathable stretch fabric. With a one-size-fits-all design, it’s easy to put on and take off. Stays on without the need for annoying straps. No fussing with too many pieces of equipment. Perfect for active youths who love soccer!

Pros:

  • Great protection
  • Available in different sizes
  • Comfortable
  • No additional accessories needed

Cons:

  • Some may find them too hard to put on and take off

Customers say
“My son is very happy with these”

“Fit perfect”

“They fit to true size, good quality sock”

Best shin guards for the money

Adidas Predator 20 League Shin Guard
Adidas Predator 20 League

Famous Adidas shin guards. The perfect level of protection in a lightweight design for players looking to play fast and free. The compression sleeve provides a perfect fit while the EVA backing provides optimal comfort.

Pros:

  • Great protection
  • Compression sleeve
  • Stylish
  • Cheap, but quality
  • Suitable for kids

Cons:

  • Shin guards can slide around the leg

Customers say
“Really good price and protects me”

“My 7 year old wears them multiple times a week without complaint”

“Perfect size, great quality”

Best shin guards for kids

Adidas Kids X Match
Adidas Kids X Match

The Adidas X shin guard has an extended life to provide elite protection. They are designed for youth sizes, so you can be confident that your young player will be protected.

The exterior of the guards is made of a thin layer of plastic, while the inside features a cloth-filled interior and foam to protect from shock when playing tough games.

Extra ankle support and tough bands allow the padded guards from Adidas X to fit comfortably around children’s legs. A single strap front closure makes for easy, on-and-off access.Extra ankle support and tough bands allow the padded guards from Adidas to fit comfortably around children’s legs. A single strap front closure makes for easy, on-and-off access.

The material is resistant to dirt and doesn’t absorb moisture, so your child can stay clean while playing soccer in the rain or mud.

Pros:

  • Easy on and off
  • Extra protection
  • Ankle support
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Guards run a little small

Customers say
“Works great”

“Great little shin guards. My daughter loves them”

“These are nice shin guards, but they run small. I recommend getting one size up”

How to choose shin guards? This question should be addressed as soon as you start playing regularly.
Any coach will tell you that amateurs injure both opponents and themselves in training much more often than professionals.

What kinds of protection for the legs and how to choose it? Let’s find out together.

Are Soccer Shin Guards Necessary?

Soccer players wear shin guards to protect their shins from contact with the ball and other players. Without them, a player can sustain serious injuries.

They are an important piece of the soccer kit and every team member on the field wears them.

Some players don’t think they need them, believing that their lower leg is sturdy enough to take any kind of hit or collision with the ball or other players. But this is not true! Shin guards provide additional protection for your legs.

As you know, there are a lot of things to consider while choosing soccer shin guards. You’re able to choose among super protective, lightweight, hard, etc.

Are you sure that you’re choosing the right soccer shin guards for you?

Soccer is a contact sport that can often cause injury. Soccer players must wear shin guards to protect themselves from getting injured due to kicking, tackling, or any other kind of contact with the shin. Regardless of whether you play soccer professionally or it’s just your hobby, you need to use special protection. There are several ways to keep your legs from injury when playing soccer, one of which is wearing shin guards. They should be comfortable and provide the necessary protection.

Shin guards are not like regular socks. They require a precise size and shape in order to stay on the player’s feet without slipping off during play. Choosing that doesn’t fit properly can lead to frustrations and discomfort for the player.

Here is the guide related to all you need to know.

soccer shin guards

Soccer shin guards for you: things to consider

Soccer shin guards are necessary for players on every level of the game. To reach the best legs protection you need to know a few things to choose the best shin guard for you.

Shin guards come in all shapes and sizes, and there is a shin guard available to suit every player’s needs.

There are some things that you should consider when purchasing new soccer shin guards to ensure that you get the best possible protection.

The first thing to consider is the type of shin guard. There are three types of soccer shin guards — slip-in shin guards, ankle shin guards, and shin socks.

The second thing to consider is the size of the shin guard. It’s clear that kids and adults would have different sizes of shin guards due to differences in height.

And the last but not the least thing you need to consider while choosing soccer shin guards is shin guard material. The type of material from which the shin guards are made determines its comfort, weight, level of protection that they give, and cost.

Some additional considerations include:

-Your position on the field.

-Your personal preference in terms of color, shape, and material.

Shin guard size chart for kids and adults

Shin guards, also called shin pads, offer protection to your upper leg when you are playing soccer. They can be used by children, as well as adults. There are different types of shin guards for sale today — from those that are made for certain sports and games to those that can be worn with any type of shoe. Let’s take a look at what’s currently available on the market:

  • Slip-in shin guards are what they are called. A compact, lightweight shield that you slip in under your socks. Freedom of movement is their primary benefit. Slip-in shin guards can be advantageous for forwards or goalkeepers. This type is commonly used by high-level players. They provide protection, comfort, and a larger range of mobility. But keep in mind that slip-in shin guards offer a minimal level of protection and have a tendency to slip around so you may need to buy special accessories like tape and sleeves.
  • Ankle shin guards are designed to provide additional protection to both your shins and ankles. This type usually has a hook loop strap that wraps around the bottom of the foot. Ankle shin guards offer a high level of protection (reduce the risk of ankle sprains) and comfort. They are perfect for beginners and intermediate players, as well as for the players who demand as much protection as possible. These can offer much-needed protection for defenders who take a lot of punishment.
  • Shin socks, also known as sock shin guards, are built in socks. Due to its convenience shin socks are usually used by younger players.

No matter what type you will choose it’s necessary to properly size your shin guard.

Here is an averaged sizing chart:

SizePlayer ageHeightPlayer height
XS: Extra small6-9 years150 sm and belowbelow 4’6”
S: Small shin guards10-13 years150-160 sm4’7” — 5’3”
M: Medium14-17 years160-175 sm5’3” — 5’10”
L and XL: Large and Extra Largeadult players175 sm and higher5’7” — 6’10”

While choosing take into consideration your personal parameters. In general shin guard size correlate with height. Be sure that they cover most of the area between your ankle and knee (two inches below your knee).

Tip

To find the size that you need, measure your leg from the beginning of the foot to the middle of the kneecap. Multiply that number by 0.75 to get the length of the pad that fits you.

Which material is better to choose?

It is believed that the first soccer player to use pads was Sam Weller Widdowson of English soccer club Nottingham Forest. In 1874, he attached a shortened pair of cricket pads over his woollen leggings. This innovation was not initially embraced by the players, but later began to be used by other players.

The first pads were made of metal, wood and leather. They were attached to the leg with straps, protecting the leg from injury. This made it difficult to move the legs freely and also interfered with the circulation of the lower leg. As a result, it could cause rapid fatigue and even cramps. Most players began to remove their pads to reduce weight and thus prevent the occurrence of cramps. The reason for all this was the close contact between the shin guard and the foot.

Nowadays, there are a lot of materials soccer shin guards are made of. The most common materials are fiberglass, plastic, polyurethane, and foam rubber. The material determines the level of protection you get. And also has an effect on comfort, lastingness, and cost.

MaterialFiberglassPlasticPolyurethaneFoam rubber
AdvantagesLightweight
Hard
Lasting
Ultimate protection and support
Lightweight
Support and protection
Cheap
Heaviest and most rigid
Give the most support
The most lightweight Ease of movement
Comfort
DisadvantagesMost expensive
Doesn’t offer much movement or flexibility
Not very comfortable Won’t hold up against serious injuryMost uncomfortable to wearProtection is not on high level
Wear out quickly
Expensive

Each material has its pros and cons. Taking into consideration factors like lightweight, hard, comfort, durability, cost, and level of protection you are able to choose the best for you or your children.

Choosing shin guards for toddlers make sure that there is additional padding. This padding gives extra protection and prevents those delicate little legs from chafing.

Fortunately, most of the soccer shin guards on the market are meet the highest standards. They are comfortable, lightweight, and protective.

What does a soccer shin guard consist of?

They consist of three elements:

The front part, also called the face plate. The task of the front part is to take the main damage when hitting the player’s leg.

The bracing. Their task is to fix the pads tightly on the leg. Make sure that the product will not fall off. And did not cause the player discomfort. Shin guards can have different bracings. Some models use special straps as fixation elements. Such pads are fastened with velcro. Other models of shields use so-called compression sleeves. In some models there is no fixation system at all. Soccer players wear them under gaiters. Also quite a handy option of shields.

Padding. This is the inner part. The padding should be soft. It should cushion the impact on a leg. It makes that the player receives minimal damage.

Shin guards and your position on the field

For defenders

The type and material of the pads is chosen according to the player’s individual preferences and his position on the pitch. Defensive players often have to engage in fierce confrontations, fearlessly go into the fray and slide tackle when their position is lost. Defenders also have to block kikcs of attackers. All of this work on the field is risky in terms of shin injuries. To minimize the risk, sturdy, heavy pads with a large enough surface area will be required.

For midfielders

Midfielders also need a solid leg protection, but buying heavy models is not recommended. Midfielder should be maneuverable and light, but heavy gear will hamper his movements. Optimal is sturdy, but medium-weight pads.

For forwards

Forward play is all about speed and mobility. To show the best qualities, forward should refuse from heavy shin guards and choose light, comfortable models with minimal protection.

For goalkeepers

What kind of soccer shin pads to choose for goalkeepers? Goalkeepers operate in a restricted area and rarely come into contact with opposing players. In infrequent collisions with field players, goalkeepers injure their torso, arms and head, and get hit in the legs only by unfortunate circumstances. For protection, goalkeepers need only a small, lightweight synthetic shin guards.

How to wear soccer shin guards to stay safe?

The most important reason why you wear them is that soccer is a very contact sport and you get kicked a lot in the legs during the game. You can buy the best shin guards ever, but it doesn’t matter how good they are if you wear them wrong. It’s essential to know how to wear them the right way to stay safe.

The perfect way how to put on the shin guard is to wear it between your ankle and your knee. Not too low on your ankles or too high on your knee — just in the middle. Shin guards are worn under the socks.

If the shield is represented by the front panel only, you must first put on the gaiters. Then the panel is inserted and the gaiters are lifted up to the knee. If the shield is not equipped with fixators, you should fix it yourself, using taping. The tape is applied under the shield and over it.
If the pads is equipped with locks, you must first put on protection, and then pull on the gaiters.
If the shin guards are equipped with ankle protection, you must first put on sports socks. After that, you must fix the shin guards on the shin, pull on the socks and make a rigid fixation with a tape.

FAQ

  • How should soccer shin guards fit?

    For a shin guard to provide a comfortable and secure fit, they need to size accordingly. They should ideally cover the entire length from the top of your ankle to just below your knee (about 2 inches below the knee).

  • How to size soccer shin guards?

    Sizes of shin guards are determined by the height of a player. To find your size, use a producer size chart.

    The average sizing is: XS for players below 4’6”, S for 4’7” — 5’3”, M for 5’3” — 5’10”, L and XL for 5’7” — 6’10”.

  • How to clean soccer shin guards?

    Choose to either hand wash or machine wash. Soccer shin guards can be washed in a washing machine on a gentle cycle with mild detergent. We recommend placing them in a pillowcase or laundry bag.

    Hand washing is the best way to clean plastic guards. A brush, soap and water will get rid of any dirt and debris and soaking it in a mixture of detergent and water for 15–20 minutes is an effective way to clean your guards.

    When the cycle or soak is finished, do not put the guards into your dryer, as this can damage them. Instead, leave them to air dry.

  • Is plastic tough enough to protect the shin?

    Plastic shin guards are the perfect choice for the prevention of soccer injuries, because they are lightweight and can’t be broken by most sports balls. They stop most of the force of a ball that impacts with them, which is why they’re often combined with foam in youth shin guards. Depending on the position your play, you may simply use stretchy fabric and foam pads.

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