Soccer is a game of intense stamina and endurance. It’s also highly skilled, requiring tons of hand-eye coordination in addition to the obvious footwork necessary. More so, it’s a mental game and a very competitive one at that. If you’ve ever played soccer, you know there’s a big difference between understanding basic soccer skills and knowing when to make a pass or run the ball yourself. You probably know how important good soccer gear is, too. This goes for everything from the material of your jersey to how strong your cleats are and the quality of your shin guards. To find the best soccer shin guards before your next season starts, use the guide below.
The 5 Best Soccer Shin Guards
Most players on the same team have different preferences when it comes to the various brands of soccer gear. Some people swear by the same brand for every single piece of gear they need. Others have a mixture of brands on their body whenever they get on the field.
Ultimately, finding the best shin guards for you is a personal matter. But, to help you get the search started, look into what the options below.
Vizari Malaga ankle shin guards are a favorite among intermediate players. This option provides a good level of support and protection, without weighing you down like a pair of beginner’s shin guards would. More so, there’s a bit of extra foam padding on the interior side of the shin guards for increased comfort. This pair is made for adults, but Vizari has a few kids options on the market, too.
Puma’s Power Plate guards also have a soft inner lining, but they have a few more things to offer. The guards are small in comparison to other options on the market, making them ideal for players who want to maintain speed and agility.
But, sometimes these kinds of players struggle with keeping slip shin guards in place. Puma thought of that and they added a band to help keep the guards where they’re supposed to be throughout a match. You can get the Power Plate guards for less than $20!
If you really want shin guards that feel like you’re not even wearing anything, try the Nike J Guards. These are even smaller than the Puma Power Plates and don’t come with a band that has to grip around your leg.
Instead, you can just slip these on under socks and head out to play. The outer shell offers all the basic protection you’ll need while giving you room to run fast and play hard up and down the field. You should be able to snag them for no more than $25.
The Mercurial Lite shin guards are a bit thicker than the J Guards, but they still offer plenty of room for you to play your best. These even come with their own sleeves to keep the guards in place, which you can easily slide your socks over.
Plus, there’s a mesh lining that helps wick sweat off your body in particularly tough games or when you’re playing in the middle of summer. The price on these has a pretty big range, depending on the design you choose. Check out all your options!
Best Youth Soccer Shin Guards
So far, all the shin options mentioned have been for adults. If you’re looking for some of the best youth soccer shin guards, check out the Elemart Soccer shin guards.
Elmart really thought about everything when they made these. The shape is made to fit snugly around the leg, without feeling bulky or big on a small child. This allows optimum protection while your child is out there learning the ways of the game. In the event of a direct impact, they’ll feel a bit of pressure but nothing like the intense pain that most kids experience.
What to Consider When Buying Shin Guards
Some people start off playing soccer wearing no shin guards at all. They play pickup in their cousin’s backyard or on the street with their friends, or maybe join a beach league instead of a standard soccer team.
At some point, though, you’re going to need this piece of gear to play your best and to stay safe! Soccer shin guards protect you from any possible contact with the bottom of another player’s cleat. A few players even think wearing shin guards improves their game.
Regardless of why you put them on, it’s better to invest in good quality shin guards. Here are a few things to consider to make sure you choose the right pair.
Your Position on the Team
It’s much different to play goalie than to be a defender. These soccer positions require distinct training drills in practice and levels of protection during game time.
A goalie doesn’t have to worry about their shins coming into contact with another player’s foot the way a defender does. Not to mention, wearing heavy shin guards may slow them down and keep them from being able to protect the net well. From a defender’s standpoint, though, the more protective their shin guards are, the better.
If you play all around or you’re hoping to be a forward this year, think about agility as well as safety. A mid-range protection might be better in order to keep your shins from getting hurt, without compromising your speed on the field.
Slip vs. Ankle Shin Guards
Another thing to think about is whether you want slip guards or ankle shin guards. Think of slip guards like socks with the bottom part cut off – they cover your shin without covering the ankle or the foot. You slide them onto your legs and then put regular soccer socks on over these guards.
Ankle shin guards, on the other hand, come with two bands that wrap around the top part of the shin and around the ankle. They offer more protection than slip guards, but also with a bit more weight on the legs and a bit of mobility restriction overall. These are great for beginner players, while slip guards tend to be the preference of advanced players.
The last feature to pay attention to is the size of the shin guards you’re looking to buy. Sizing is determined by height, not by the actual size of your leg. The distance around your leg doesn’t matter much, considering slip-ons are placed on the front of the shin and ankle shin guards have bands to adjust them on right. Height helps you understand how much of your leg actually needs to be covered.
The best shin guards for kids should be able to grow with them a little, so that you’re not buying a new pair every year.
Once you have these details figured out, it’s time to start shopping. Check our list of the best shin guards available right now!
Gearing up and Scoring Goals
Ready to see how your soccer game improves with the best soccer shin guards? Whether you’re a forward making the shot or a defender helping your team stay ahead, it’s important to have the proper gear to help you improve your game.