Soccer players are required to wear shin guards at both practice and games. Referees will not allow players to participate without them. Playing without them one time is enough to make a believer out of the reluctant. Such a small piece of equipment, but since the game is focused on your feet, they protect players from serious injuries and uncomfortable bruises.
Shopping for shin guards is not as straightforward as it may appear. There are several different styles and sizes depending upon the players age, size, position and price they are willing to pay. They can range from under $10 to $40 and above.
Shin guard Materials; Designed to deflect the impact of a misplaced kick, they can be made from fiberglass, plastic, polyurethane or foam rubber. Shin guards should be comfortable and completely unobtrusive in order to not interfere with the players movement.
* Fiberglass is light and moldable.
* Foam rubber offers a little less protection, but also is light.
* Polyurethane is heavier and provides extreme protection, but is less moldable.
* Plastic is the least expensive.
Defensive players need a heavy shinguard to properly protect their legs. Polyurethene is typically a good choice.
Midfielders are constantly on the move and need a shinguard that is a bit lighter, but can choose from the range of shin guards since they play both offensive and defensive.
Forwards should look for a light shinguard with good ankle protection.
The best choice shinguard for a child will be made from fiberglass and wrap comfortably.
Soft, flexible ankle protection can protect both the Achilles tendon and the foot. Especially recommended for players under 12, but very useful for any age.
Sizing Soccer Shin guards
Shin guards need to fit properly and should cover most of the area from the ankle to the knee. Before heading to a sports shop, measure your shin from below the knee to 1 inch above the top of the shoe. This is the length to look for.
Some brands are labeled according to age; Large shin guards are meant for players 5’4″ or taller, and medium guards are for players shorter than 5’4″
Best soccer guards on the market
Adidas Predator X 2010 World Cup Soccer Shin Guards have a soft front shield that allows the front shinguard to flex for a more comfortable fit. It also comes with a compression sock sleeve that supports blood backflow which in turn can improve overall athletic performance. Although pricey at around $60, this feature alone makes it an attractive choice.
Under Armour Attack comes in small, medium and large making it easier to find a pair that fit well. The $20 price tag is reasonable for a quality piece of equipment. Lightweight, this slip in stays put.
Nike has several choices from an $100 pair of Nike Mecural Blades to the Vapor Lite and Nike Air T90 Pro, all excellent choices that perform well.
Adidas also carries a multitude of choices, in different price ranges and styles. They have a great selection of shin guards with strong ankle protection for youth and adults.