There is no outstanding soccer player in the world that does not possess professional equipment which enables him to do his job the best way he can. Talent is only one aspect of a sportsman’s success. Being born with some qualities which can ensure you perform well in a certain sport combined with constant training and hard work will make you noticed in your area. After getting noticed, you will start to play for a certain team and slowly make your way up the ladder. If you want to complete your performance with proper equipment, you are not allowed to underestimate any part of it because everything is vital in its own way.
A product that is often overlooked while purchasing is shin guards. Shin guards will save your career many times because the shin area is very sensitive and consequences of getting hit hard in that area can be fatal. This article will try to help find the best shin guards for you since the content available on the Internet can be quite uninformative.
Best Soccer Shin Guards – Buying Guide
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Adidas Ghost Shin Guard
Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Guard
Franklin Sports Superlight Shin Guards
Wilson WSP2000 Soccer Shin Guards
Diadora Scudo Shinguards
There are many different aspects you need to consider while making your decision. Buying shin guards who are not suitable for you or your position can lead to an increased risk of injury. Injuries have been able to end many players’ careers throughout history so don’t consider yourself immune to this. Let’s take a look at some advice on buying the best soccer shin guards.
Two Different Types
There are two different types of shin guards. The first kind is shin guards with ankle protection which are generally recommended for younger players (usually children under the age of 12). They are wrapped around shin just like any other one but these ones have an extension which can wrap around your foot and offer some ankle support and protection. This ankle support suits young soccer players well since their ankles and bones are not yet fully developed and have not reached their full strength.
Slip-in shin guards are the second type and they are recommended for players older than 12 years. Shin guards with ankle protection sort of limit your movement and they do not go well with adults whose feet are able to move more freely without any damage. That is why slip-in shins are used in all professional competitions because they do not cover your ankles and enable you to move more freely around the court.
There is also the third kind but they are not that famous or important. They are a hybrid of previous two types because they offer some protection for the ankle but do not wrap around it. They are a bit pricier than the other ones since they need to fit very precisely in order to be effective.
Generally speaking, each company manufactures their products with their own adjusted sizing chart. However, all of them should align to at least a couple of centimeters with the standard in order to be called precise. Sizing chart for shin guards is generally based on your height. Your best bet is to try them on yourself before making any purchases. However, sometimes you might not be able to do that if you are ordering them online so know that the difference of a couple of centimeters is not huge and you probably won’t feel it. The sizing chart will be provided below with both imperial and metric units displayed:
Small: 0 – 5’2″ (0 – 160cm)
Medium: 5’2″ – 5’10” (160cm – 180cm)
Large: 5’10” – 6’4″ (180cm – 195cm)
XL: 6’4″ + (195cm and up)
The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment or NOCSAE for short is a committee whose sole purpose is to define and set standards which determine whether a certain sports product is adequate to be sold to professional players. Products and equipment that passes their rigorous tests and verifications get approved and their approval can be checked anywhere. Some countries consider this process serious and others don’t. For example, since 2008, the USA governments forced all high school soccer players to wear shin guards approved by NOCSAE.
Your Position Is Vital
Not every aspect of soccer utilizes the same techniques and different positions often require different skills and different equipment. The same principle can be applied to shin guards since different players need to get something different out of their equipment. Appropriate equipment along with natural talent, rigorous training regime and just a pinch of luck sound like the perfect combination which is guaranteed to bring success and fame.
Let’s break down the game of soccer into different positions. Defenders’ main function and purpose are to stop the opponent from scoring. They rarely cross their own half and they provide the last line of defense. That is the reason why they need shin guards that offer the most protection. Their shin guards should be heavy and thick-padded because they will use their shins fiercely in order to stop the opponent from scoring. They also undergo a great amount of pressure towards their feet so some ankle protection is welcome unless it is limiting their movement.
Midfielders sort of develop every attack, but they also have many functions on the defensive end. They need to be able to turn a good defense into a good counterattack and vice versa. That is the reason why their shin guards need to be extra protective but they shouldn’t limit their movement or slow them down.
Forwards should own a couple of light shin guards since they need to be agile and fast. Extra protection and ankle support is also a prerequisite because they are often stopped fiercely by the opposition defense and they need to be prepared for that scenario.
Goalkeepers generally do not take any impact on their shins and that is why they should be light and thin in order to maximize his agility and reflexes.
There is a general rule which can be applied to nearly all shin guards: plastic ones are the cheapest ones that offer medium protection and durability and carbon fiber ones are expensive and recommended for serious, professional players looking for extra protection from impact. However, both of these materials perform great and you generally shouldn’t take any other materials into consideration.
Best Soccer Shin Guards – Reviews
Adidas Ghost Shin Guard
- Great choice for both professional and amateur athletes looking to protect themselves from various injuries.
These shin guards implement a compression sleeve whose purpose is to improve your blood flow which will prevent any conditions from forming.
The front plate is hard and highly protective which means your shins will be safer and someone who tries to hit you might end up injured instead.
They are manufactured by Adidas which is one of the biggest if not the biggest manufacturer of sports equipment in the world which can guarantee high quality and durability.
They are designed with ankle protection which can be easily adjusted or even removed. Ankle protection is generally required for children or players who recently recovered from an injury.
There is a single strap front closure which is easily operated.
There is a variety of different color waves to choose from which can enable you to successfully match your shin guards with your jersey
Ghost Shin Guards manufactured by Adidas offer a lightweight experience for professional players looking to be able to move fast and agile while staying protected. The price is also reasonable and they can easily adjust to different legs.
Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Guard
- The right and left guard can be easily recognized because of the Nike Mercurial sign.
The fit is easily adjustable for all types of legs and it can wrap around wide and narrow legs as well.
These shin guards utilize Dri-FIT technology which offers great comfort along with a secure fit which is sure to not let you down during a game.
EVA foam is used to absorb the impact and keep your shin safe and injury-free.
The materials used in the manufacturing process are k resin which is a plastic with the percentage of 69% and EVA which is a polymer used for the foam with 31%.
There are not many different colors to choose from but you can at least find the black model of these guards. However, they go well with most other equipment you might own.
Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Guard belongs to the group of pricey shin guards but they are manufactured by the world’s biggest sports equipment manufacturer which means you can expect some high-quality performance. They went well with their audience and they will only become more popular as time goes by.
Best Budget Youth Shin Guards – Franklin Sports Superlight Shin Guards
- These guards are designed especially for young soccer players who want to stay protected.
Their design is lightweight and chrome accented which is certain to look cool matched with any equipment.
Its high-density foam can absorb energy better and help your child stay safe during his training.
A secure and firm hit is guaranteed since you can adjust double self-stick straps to make it fit your leg very well.
It is certainly not expensive and it might be the best offer you will find on Amazon.
Its shield provides high resistance and its design will easily fit your children’s legs no matter if they are more wide or narrow.
The largest size available can also be worn by adults since it’s meant for children above the height of 5’ 10’’.
Franklin Sports Superlight Shin Guards are the best option for young players just starting to enjoy the game of soccer. They are not expensive and they offer high-quality protection and design. The only downside is that they do not offer ankle support.
Wilson WSP2000 Soccer Shin Guards – Best Adult Budget Shin Guards
- These shin guards are manufactured by Wilson who also produced the official soccer ball of the NCAA Soccer Championships.
Its outer shell has been reinforced but the entire shin guard is kept lightweight and easily maneuverable
The strap is single with the Velcro closure design implemented in the making.
They do not offer much when it comes to different designs and color waves. Your only option in the black shin guard with red letters spelling “Wilson” in the middle.
They have many sizing available, ranging from small children to adults.
EVA foam is implemented in the design to absorb the impact and keep yourself injury-free on the court.
If you are only starting to play professional soccer and you have a limited budget, then consider these shin guards as your primary option. They have gone very well with their audience which earned them some good reviews.
Most Esthetic Shin Guards – Diadora Scudo Shinguards
- These shin guards are synthetic and they arrive in many different sizes, ranging from children to adult ones.
You are able to choose between silver, blue and red design and it will probably be a tough choice to settle on one design. Try to pair them with your jersey and you will be in the spotlight every time you appear on the court.
The technology used for the outer shell is Polypro which is certain to absorb the impact from your opponent. Consider these guards if you play as a defender since you will need to be able to take a lot of damage throughout the game.
The shell is ventilated and there are small bubbles of air placed all across the shin guards which provides breathability and less sweat.
On the other hand, the sizing chart is a little weird and you should keep that in mind while ordering. It might occur that you will need to order a size or two extra when compared to the stuff you usually wear.
Diadora Scudo Shinguards do what they are supposed to do. They are lightweight and you probably won’t even feel whilst playing. Additionally, the price is really not that high and it is even lower certain sizes. They have a beautiful design and it’s really a shame you have to cover them up with your soccer socks!
Soccer Shin Guards should not be overlooked if you intend to become a professional and make a name out of yourself. They need to provide excellent support for your position and your playing style. A perfect pair should not either slow you down nor it should be too light and soft to not absorb any impact. Certain positions require different shin guards and you should keep that in mind while making your final judgment.
The usual price of a pair of shin guards is usually not that high, even for the biggest and most expensive brand. That’s the reason why it’s important not to feel sorry when investing In your soccer equipment because it’s better to stay safe and healthy than to lay in the hospital injured simply because you wanted the cheapest pair of shin guards.
We hope this article is going to help you make your decision quickly. We have listed out some of the top articles available on the market but there are many more you can check out. The main issue you might encounter is the sizing which can be a little of in some brands. If you are ordering online, ask the manufacturer about the best size for you or your child and you should get an immediate response. Good luck with your search and enjoy the beautiful game of soccer without constant injuries!