Soccer is one of the biggest sports in the world and is played in almost every country. Having the right equipment is vital for many players and one of the most important pieces is a pair shin guards. They have been used for centuries and this article discusses the best soccer shin guards available in 2020.
**You can find more detailed reviews in the article below, but if you click on the links in the table above you can see the current prices and reviews over on Amazon!
Shin Guard Features
The primary use for shin guards is to protect the shin bones from injury through the tackles and fouls of opposition players. However, it isn’t very useful if these shin guards don’t do the job they are intended to do and purchasing the lower quality versions might result in injury. The whole reason they were introduced into the sport of soccer was so that they would prevent recurring leg breaks and other nasty injuries and it was only recently that certain sports brands decided to make them better quality.
Shin guards are a massively underrated piece of the soccer player's kit and they play an important role just like a pair of boots or even a team’s shirt, but they provide protection unlike the other pieces of equipment. But often nowadays there is competition to provide the most beneficial shin guards to aid performance which are usually the guards that are the lightest and the most comfortable. Comfort is the most important aspect of nearly all pieces of soccer equipment and it wouldn’t be very helpful if you were running around for 90 minutes with discomfort.
Don't break the rules
The benefits of wearing shin guards while playing soccer are very clear as, first and foremost, it allows you to play soccer in the first place. If you are not wearing shin guards as you prepare for a match, the referee should enforce the rule that you are not able to play in the match. Also, a coach or manager should let you know that shin guards are important for playing soccer in training sessions because you need to be protected against injury at all times.
Even if you are having a kick around with your friends you should still wear shin guards for the simple fact that you can pick up an injury whether it’s the World Cup Final or a 5-a-side match in the park. With the majority of the game being played within a metre of the ground, your shins are always going to be in a close proximity to the football and all it takes is a wild swing from an opponent for you to sustain a nasty injury. This could see you miss weeks through an injury which could have been very easily avoided.
Types of Shin Guards
Anyone who has played soccer will know exactly how to use shin guards and how to put them on but as football has developed, so have shin guards. You can now buy two types of shin guard.
Shin Pads with Adjustable Straps
The first is the original version with adjustable straps to ensure the guards fit to the player wearing them while fitting to the shins of player. These shin guards will also come with ankle protection which is often removable and this provides extra comfort as well as stability for the ankle joint and is more important for younger players.
Slip in shin guards
The other type is more modern and they are shin guards that rest on the shin bone and are held in place by a separate sleeve that goes over the top of the shin guard itself. This provides more freedom and is better for more advanced and experienced footballers. The lighter feel of the ‘slip in’ shin guards is beneficial for performance as it brings less weight than a traditional shin guard meaning a player can move faster while they will feel lighter on the leg, leading to easier movement of the legs.
What are the best shin guards in 2018?
While Vizari isn’t a particularly well-known brand when it comes to sporting apparel, they have been making equipment long enough to know what they are doing. On amazon, these shin guards have received over 600 reviews and come out at 4.5 stars out of 5 with many happy customers.
They are the traditional style with ankle protectors and a strap along the front of the guards to adjust the fit and to make them fit personally to the user. Padding is provided on the shin guards on the side which faces the leg to provide extra comfort and protection. Most of the positive reviews pick out the comfort of the shin guards in particular to emphasise the quality and have given examples of where they have struggled to find comfortable shin guards prior to purchasing the Vizari Malaga Shin Guards.
Several different sizes are also available which allows a more accurate fit based on the customer and offers a wider range to ensure the perfect fit is found.
Cons: They are quite heavy in comparison to rival shin guards but seem excellent value for money based on reviews and description.
Most people associate Nike with top of the range sporting equipment and it seems that these shin guards fit that preconception perfectly. They are extremely lightweight which can be seen as a positive factor and a negative one.
The weight of the guards possibly means they are a better option for older and more experienced soccer players who require less protection against stronger bones. They don’t come with ankle protection which many people have used as a good aspect due to a lack of bad odour coming from the guards. Without an adjustable strap, they are more likely to move slightly throughout either a match or training but socks that fit snug to the calf should keep them in position nicely. The price is very good for a top of the range shin guard.
Cons: They are easy to use and will benefit performance, however, there are instances of splitting after regular use over a few years so they may need replacing after two years, which should not be an issue for such a low price.
These shin guards are fitted with attached ankle protection to provide a more secure feel as well as more protection for the ankle bone and joint. They also have small air vents on the main body of the guard for constant cooling and to reduce the amount of sweat on the shin bone which will also reduce the strength of any possible odours on the shin guards.
Padding on the back side provides comfort and lightweight material used for performance benefits.
Adjustable straps are used to fit the guards to the player which will decrease any slipping or discomfort from rubbing across the surface of the skin.
The quality of the shin guards is mentioned several times in the reviews as well as the comfort provided by the shin guards.
Cons: They are only available in three sizes which limits the amount of players able to use the shin guards and some players may prefer the freedom of not having the attached ankle protection.
However, they seem brilliant value for money for the quality on offer.
Whilst Wilson is a brand largely associated with their involvement with tennis, they are one of the fastest growing brands in the soccer world and have started to produce a whole array of sporting equipment. The WSP 2000 shin guards are lightweight and don’t come with ankle protection, just the shin guard itself.
It has a single strap at the back to ensure the guard doesn’t slip around but with no kind of connection at the base of the shin guard, it may struggle to stay in one stable position for a whole match or session.
The sizing of the shin guards is an issue that has been raised on several occasions in the reviews and many people feel that the labelled sizes don’t fit the appropriate age groups. However, the quality and comfort of the guards are picked out as positive aspects.
Cons: As mentioned above, some of the reviews complain about how the guards tend to slip and move down the shin as soccer is played. A good price but there are several better options for a similar price.
Macgregor is a brand that is relatively unknown when it comes to the world of soccer equipment but with these youth shin guards, they are certainly good quality. It’s important to point out that these shin guards are youth size so would not be appropriate for adults or teenagers playing soccer as they would not fit.
They provide ankle protection, however this is detachable which is brilliant for removing and attaching the shin guards quickly. It also means that the player can choose to go for just the shin guard itself without the ankle protection. They are padded so there is extra protection for the shin bone and all round comfort is increased. The main positive aspect highlighted in the reviews was the convenience at which the shin guards can be taken off and put on without wasting time or effort having to take socks and boots off first.
Cons: The product is great for young players but works out slightly more expensive than other options and a lack of sizes makes it a risk as to whether they would fit.
Adidas is one of the world-renowned powerhouses when it comes to producing soccer equipment and their ‘predator’ range is one of the greatest of all-time. The shin guards are no different with excellent comfort and great fit.
They are fitted with removable ankle protection which allows the player the freedom to choose increased protection against injury or a lighter feel. They are stabilised with a strap across the front which stretches around to the back of the leg to ensure the shin guards don’t slip off the leg of the player.
They are also very light which gives the player the feeling of less weight, meaning speed and agility is increased. However, at the same time, adequate protection is provided. They are more expensive than the other shin guards but due to their quality and comfort, they are still value for money. The colourway also means the shin guards are very attractive for customers who are looking for good quality shin guards that also provide style.
These shin guards are possibly the most popular model produced by Adidas, which means they must be very good! Firstly, they come in many different colourways so there are options for every kind of player of all ages. They also provide several sizes meaning the customer can purchase the shin guards correct for their age and size.
The underside of the shin guard is made of three different plates in order to provide a higher range of flexibility for the player as well as more comfort. They come with a snug fitting compression sleeve which keeps the guards in place during a match or training, although many people find that these sleeves can often be quite hit and miss.
Many customers have commented on the aesthetics of the shin guards as they are very nice but also said the comfort is on point. This is vital for shin guards to be effective and for the price, they are a very good choice for a pair of shin guards.
The Nike Mercurial range has been very highly rated since its introduction a few years ago and these very attractive shin guards live up to the hype of the range. Other than their striking beauty, they are brilliant as a pair of shin guards.
They are held in place using a compression sleeve which leaves the player feeling freedom without being tied down during a match or training. The right and left guards have clear differences so that they fit each leg perfectly, providing great comfort as well as gripping to the shape of the player’s leg.
They also provide great protection with the padding on the underside along with a solid outer shell to ensure the player doesn’t feel the impacts of collisions with other players. The quality of the compression sleeves is also important as they are stretchy to the extent of the player’s leg but they also stay extremely tight at the same time to make sure the shin guards don’t slip around.
At nearly $30, they are slightly more expensive than other shin guards but with many positive aspects and very few negative ones, they are extremely good value for money.
Another sports brand that is growing in the world of soccer is Under Armour and they have increased their production of soccer products such as shin guards. The Flex Pro shin guards are held in place using a compression sleeve, which seems like the more popular choice for companies nowadays.
The shin guards themselves are flexible due to the outer shell which adapts as the leg changes shape during a match or training. They have several small holes to increase the breathability of the leg which decreases the amount of sweat, therefore leaving the shin guards protected from the bad odour that affects many soccer players’ shin guards.
The cushioned padding on the underside provides added comfort and compliments the solid outer shell which reduces impact felt by the player.
Cons: Many customers have commented that the shin guards come very small and some have had to order a larger size but the quality and comfort is something that many people are happy with.
They rival the Adidas/Nike shin guards in terms of price as well as in terms of quality. They are very durable and should last for a long period of time.
While G-Form provide the most expensive shin guards on the market, the brand is based solely around providing impact protection, so it will be hard to find a better product. While the price will put most people off, the quality of these shin guards is incredible.
It is hard to comprehend but the shin guards actually harden upon impact to protect the shin from a tough tackle and the lack of a hard outer shell means the comfort is extremely good. They don’t require an external sleeve or a strap to attach to the leg as it is built in a sock form. Sweat and heat is reduced during performance removing the chance of a potential odour as well as increasing the performance of the player as the body doesn’t have to react to increased temperature of the legs.
They are also specifically moulded to the shape of a shin and will adapt to the wearer of the product. They don’t slip around, they are completely comfortable as well as being extremely lightweight in comparison to competitors.
Many people would find the price obscene for a pair of shin guards, but the quality is unrivalled by any other shin guards. For a pair of shin guards that will last for several years, the price actually isn’t too bad, especially because the quality is top-class.
Best shin guards 2020 Conclusion
If quality is what you are looking for and money plays no obstacle, then the G-Form Pro-S Shin Guards are undoubtedly the best choice as they are the best shin guards in the market. However, many people would be put off the price and if this is something that is a problem when purchasing your shin guards, then there are other good choices.
For a cheaper alternative, the Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Guards are the best option as they provide excellent comfort and quality and they won't break the bank either. They are a similar price to the other options and will last for at least a full season of playing if treated correctly. The quality of the sleeve is also brilliant and problems with slipping of the shin guards are very rare.
For regular players at a high level, I would recommend the G-Form shin guards but for players at a lower level who may not play as often, the Nike Mercurial shin guards are the best choice.