Choosing the best shin guards is important as a soccer player on any level. Everyone on the field must wear shin guards, so making sure you have the best fit and the right type are vital to protect your shins.
Picking out the best soccer shin guards may seem hard, but we have done the hard part for you to create a guide to help you pick the best shin guards for your needs.
Jump straight to our picks for the best soccer shin guards:
How to Choose the Best Soccer Shin Guards
Understand the 3 Types of Shin Guards
There are three primary type of soccer shin guards: slip-in shin guards, ankle shin guards, and shin socks.
Slip-in shin guards are lightweight shields that are worn directly under your socks. To keep them in place, you will have to use tape or compression sleeves throughout the game. More advanced players often prefer this style because they allow more freedom of movement.
Ankle shin guards have stirrups that slide under your foot and are secured with an elastic band that wraps around the calf for a snug fit. This type of soccer shin guards also feature padding on both sides of the ankle, which provides additional shielding from balls and cleats alike. Because of this extra support, ankle shin guards are recommended for youth and intermediate players. Some ankle shin guards also allow for the removal of the ankle guards so only the shin shield can be used as players become older and more experienced.
Shin socks have shin guards built into the socks for convenience. Due to their simplicity, shin socks are most common for youth players.
Consider your Field Position
If you normally play one position, there are certain features you may want to consider. For instance, if you typically play defense, you will want a heavier soccer shin guard with more protection, possibly including ankle coverage. Midfielders will want a balance of protection and flexibility to allow for more movement. Strikers will want the lightest, smallest shin guards that allow for optimal movement capabilities. Finally, goalkeepers require the least amount of protection, so a lightweight option with minimal padding is best.
Get the Right Size Shin Guards
To ensure your shin guards fit properly, you should consult a sizing chart based on the brand you are buying. For instance, Adidas’s sizing chart varies from XS to XL and is based on the player’s height. The sizing guidelines can typically be found in the product description when ordering online. As shin guard sizes become bigger, the shin guard becomes longer and wider to accommodate larger leg diameters.
Common Questions about Choosing the Best Soccer Shin Guards
How should soccer shin guards fit?
Shin guards should fit securely to your leg. They should cover your leg from just above the bend of your ankle while flexing your foot and rest at least two inches under your knee.
How do you wear soccer socks and shin guards?
Ankle shin guards often have a stirrup, so those must be put on first. After you adjust the shin guard so it’s tight and comfortable, you pull on your socks as high as they will go, folding any extra sock material if necessary. Lastly, you can put on your soccer cleats.
Slip-in guards also go inside your socks, but since there’s no ankle support, it’s easier if you put on your socks and cleats first. You then pull the socks down to expose your shin, place the shin guard on your leg, and pull the sock back up to keep the shin guard in place. Some players use tape on top of the sock to maintain the placement of the guard, while others cut the foot off another pair of socks and pull them over the calf to prevent chafing from the shin guard. Another pair of socks is then pulled over the setup.
Best Soccer Shin Guards Reviews
There are many factors to consider when picking out your pair of shin guards, particularly the level of protection, weight, bulkiness, and overall flexibility of movement.
The construction of this shin guard features scratch resistance, two easy-to-use velcro straps that ensure a secure fit, and high-density eva foam for energy absorption upon impact.
Most players who use these shin guards like the contouring of the shin guard and find them to be form-fitting. The sizing, while listed for ages 7 and under, is also meant for use in adults. These shin guards are both affordable and durable and will last you a long time on the field.
- The material doesn’t allow for air ventilation, so your shins can get quite hot.
- Issues with sizing not being accurate in description.
- The velcro straps can get scratchy.
The G Form Pro S Compact Shin Guards are compression sleeve-like shin guards that have silicone grippers to help provide a secure fit – no more need to worry about keeping them in place while on the field.
Their mesh backs and ventilated pads also offer breathability, which is especially great when you’re playing on a hot day.
The patented Smart Flex padding on this pair of shin guards allows for outstanding freedom of movement during regular play and hardens on impact – and the flexible, lightweight material won’t weigh you down.
As a bonus: they are machine-washable and waterproof.
- Good level of protection
- Built-in sleeve
- Lightweight material
- Hard to get on and off
These shin guards are a favorite for many players from young to old. Vizari Malagas are ankle shin guards made of polypropylene and features ankle protection and foam backing. Players find them to be comfortable and high-quality at an affordable price.
The sizing is also very accurate, which is helpful when ordering for immediate use. This also ensures the shin guards are comfortable and fit properly. The top of the shin guard stays in place by using a Velcro strap and the hard shell plastic material is durable.
- Durable, comfortable, and affordable
- Outstanding for young players
- Excellent ankle protection and shin coverage
- More advanced players may find the wear to be bulky
Sportout soccer shin guards are slip-in shin guards that feature an ergonomic design that fits your calf. They are also lightweight and comfortable and have eva foam padding to limit injury after impact. This pair of shin guards also include elastic sleeves to keep the shin guards in place during play.
Many players found them to offer great protection at an affordable price. Additionally, many players that have tried multiple brands found these to be the best product at the price range.
- Comfortable and affordable
- The best protection at the price point
- These shin guards may run small.
These Nike Mercurial light soccer shin guards are slip-in shin guards made out of polypropylene. Their shape is also anatomical, so the coverage for each shin is more specialized for the left and right.
The Mercurial Light soccer shin guards also come with two compression sleeves to help keep them in place. The design is meant to reduce the impact on your legs by providing adequate protection for advanced play.
- Good protection for an affordable price
- Great for forwards
- Breathable and comfortable
- Some players found they run small.
- Leave marks on leg with extended use.
The addition of a padded synthetic backing enhances comfort further – which is especially helpful when your shin connects with soccer balls or cleats. They also feature compression sleeves that keep the shin guards in place, which is very convenient.
These shin guards are professional-grade protective shin guards at an affordable price and are the best option for advanced players looking for these characteristics.
- Great protection
- Good value
- High-level of comfort
- Some players had issues with the size chart.
While shin guards may not be able to prevent every injury, they can minimize injuries while on the soccer field. Wearing shin guards that fit properly is important for maintaining your safety and reducing the risk of serious injury.
We believe the best soccer shin guards are the time-tested Adidas Unisex Ever Pro Shin Guard. This soccer shin guard offers a leading level of protection, a high value, and the highest level of quality for advanced players.