Soccer is the most popular sport in the world largely due to its universal appeal, but another big selling point the lack of expensive equipment.
Technically, all you need is a ball, field, and players, and you can likely figure out the rest. Of course, highly competitive soccer includes numerous pieces of auxiliary equipment, not the least of which are shin guards.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 5 hrs of research
Many sports use shin guards, but because of how much the players rely on their legs and feet, soccer shin guards are likely more important for their respective sport. That said, different positions and different players would need varying features to get the most out of their game.
Best Soccer Shin Guards in 2023
1. Adidas – Best Soccer Shin Guards (Editor’s Choice)
Adidas is one of the most successful and well-known sports equipment manufacturers in the world, though they are a bit more well-known for their shoes than they are their other sporting equipment. That said, Adidas still makes it a point to provide professional-grade products for nearly every market and niche.
In this case, Adidas is not putting forth the absolute best-performing soccer shin guards that we reviewed, but they are arguably the best all-around soccer shin guards when you consider the price compared to the features.
All in One
By far one of the best qualities of the Adidas Performance Ghost Pro Shin Guards is the fact that it comes as a complete package at a reasonable cost especially considering the manufacturer.
For instance, these are slip-in shin guards, which have the advantage of ease and convenience when putting them on or taking them off but occasionally suffer from stability issues.
Thankfully, the Adidas Performance Ghost Pro Shin Guards come with compression sleeves to help make sure that they stay in place as you race up and down the field. Even better, the Adidas Performance Ghost Pro Shin Guards have a low profile allowing them to be worn under shin socks.
Setting the Standard
Though the Adidas Performance Ghost Pro Shin Guards may not be the most impressive soccer shin guards neither do they fail to meet the standards that competitive players expect.
For example, the shell is made of polypropylene that is fitted to the wearer’s natural shape of the leg through the sizes have a tendency to run a bit small.
On top of that, the plate is also made with 3 layers, so you do not have to worry about its durability. To continue on the general quality, the Adidas Performance Ghost Pro Shin Guards also feature an EVA foam pad for comfort.
The Adidas Performance Ghost Pro Shin Guards are also right in line with the market average when it comes to weight as well at 7 oz.
2. NIKE – Best Football Shin Guards (People’s Choice)
While some of the companies that we review might have a good reputation and a solid market presence, few sports equipment manufacturers can compete with the prestige of Nike which has seemingly captured every sports shoe market and is quickly eyeing other types of sports equipment.
In the instance of soccer equipment, they have a fairly strong presence with the shoe department, as is to be expected, but they also put forth one of the best examples of top-tier performance with the Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Guards making them by far one of the best football shin guards that we reviewed.
When it comes to sports equipment, Nike makes it a point to put plenty of time, energy, and money investing in specialized materials that improve on the general standard of whatever product they are redesigning.
For instance, while the majority of the shells for soccer shin guards that we saw are generally made of polypropylene, but the NIKE Mercurial Lite Shin Guards use their proprietary K Resin, which is both stronger than polypropylene as well as lighter weight.
On top of that, the Dri-FIT compression sleeve included with the NIKE Mercurial Lite Shin Guards wicks away sweat to prevent the soccer shin guards from slipping.
A Great Design
Speaking of the NIKE Mercurial Lite Shin Guards stay in place, these soccer shin guards offer some different design features that make them better suited for playing football than most of the other products that we reviewed.
A primary example of this is the backing of the NIKE Mercurial Lite Shin Guards, which still uses EVA foam like most of its competitors but manufactures it into a mesh form allowing them to use less material without sacrificing the experience and increasing the breathability of these soccer shin guards at the same time.
Of course, the fact that the shin guards themselves are anatomically designed so that they will naturally stay on your shins though they will need to be held in place by the compression sleeve or some other covering, they are far less likely to slip down than some other soccer shin guards.
3. Vizari – Best for Defenders Soccer (Best Price)
Vizari is an interesting company primarily because it is likely only known by those familiar with soccer equipment though it is not necessarily known for making the best-performing products. Instead, Vizari makes it a point to offer a solid product at far less expensive prices than some of their larger, more prestigious competitors.
This means that there is likely going to be one issue or another that you have to deal with and it will mostly come down to whether or not that is okay. Thankfully, the company does specialize explicitly in soccer equipment, so it does generally keep to the industry standards. On top of that, Vizari has been around for about 2 decades and has been specialized for the entire time.
Offers Good Protection
By far one of the best things about the Vizari Malaga Shin Guards is that they offer far more protection than most of the other alternatives that we saw. For instance, these are ankle shin guards, which means that you will get additional protection for your ankles to help prevent you from rolling and spraining them when someone comes in for a slide making them the best shin guards for soccer defenders that we saw.
On top of that, the Vizari Malaga Shin Guard also provides one of the thickest shells that we saw, made of polypropylene, though it is notably less flexible than some of the other products that we reviewed and may not be as great for offensive players.
Convenient Shin Guards
Another great thing about the Vizari Malaga Shin Guards is that they are made to be convenient to use. For example, while a couple of shin guards on our list featured a Velcro closure, this is one of the few pairs of shin guards that we saw which features the strap closing at the front.
4. DashSport – Best for Youth
DashSport is another company that many people may not be familiar with, but in this instance, that unawareness is entirely warranted as this company has not been around too terribly long. On top of that, DashSport is the only online business specifically selling through Amazon exclusively.
This is great in that it helps keep the company’s overhead costs low, allowing them to pass those savings onto you which DashSport does but it also means that they may have a bit more difficulty getting their name out there. That said, the company was founded specifically to manufacture soccer shin guards for youths though they have included 2 other products in their catalog as well.
Designed for Children
By far the best quality of the DashSport Soccer Shin Guards is that they were designed for children with a couple of design choices that make them well suited to the task. For example, these shin guards are significantly more secure than most of the others on our list due in part to their type that is ankle shin guards.
This also means that your youth’s ankles will be afforded some additional protection as well but remember that these have to be hand washed or the ankle will wear out quickly. Still, the velcro closure in the back makes putting on and taking off these shin guards a snap.
Hit and Miss
When it comes to the DashSport Soccer Shin Guards, most of the qualities at least meet the industry standards though few going the extra mile to exceed them.
For instance, the shell is made of polypropylene, which is a solid material for the task, but it confers no additional advantage over any other product that the saw.
That said, one of the biggest flaws of the DashSport Soccer Shin Guards is its sizing, which features only 3 sizes that are not representative of numerous youths. This means that the DashSport Soccer Shin Guards is far less likely to have a properly fitting pair of shin guards for your youth than another brand may.
5. Storelli – Best Shin Socks
Storelli Sports is an intriguing company in the same way that silicon valley tech startups tend to shake up their markets. For Storelli Sports, the philosophy is not one of market upheaval as much as it is taking the advantages that technology affords understanding when designing products.
Lucky for us, Storelli Sports chose soccer as the source of their inspiration and graced us with some of the best-performing soccer shin guard sleeves that we saw. Note that we did not say the best-performing soccer shin guards, because if you do not also supplement the Storelli BodyShield Leg Guards with a slip-in shin guard, then you will soon wish you had.
The Shin Sock Style
Considering that the Storelli BodyShield Leg Guards are a definitive divergence from the normal course when discussing soccer shin guards, there are still some features that are inherent to the type which is worth noting.
For instance, while it is not to the degree as a pair of high-end ankle shin guards, the shin sock type still offers a degree of ankle protection from rolls and sprains.
On top of that, the shin sock type of soccer shin guards also provides the best fit whether used in conjunction with a slip-in shin guard or not. Even better, the Storelli BodyShield Leg Guards are still able to provide some degree of protection but are by far the most flexible soccer shin guards we reviewed too.
Of course, the other shoe has to drop with a product that seemingly does most things better than its competitors do and it is the fact that you will still have to purchase a proper pair of slip-in shin guards to obtain the necessary level of protection that highly competitive play may demand.
Though it is made of polyurethane, the “shell” of the Storelli BodyShield Leg Guard was not truly designed to absorb the hardest of blows in the most heated of battles.
While this may not otherwise be a terrible consideration, the fact that the Storelli BodyShield Leg Guard is above and beyond the most expensive product we reviewed only makes adding to that expense worse with the necessary addition of more equipment.
6. Diadora – Best for Adults
Diadora may or may not be the first brand that you think of when you consider high-end soccer equipment considering the company originally started and continues to be primarily a shoe company though soccer shoes are their specialty.
Still, shin guards are an entirely different type of product, so one may still wonder about the brand’s entry into the market. Well, there is no need to worry as Diadora puts the same level of care and attention into their products other than shoes.
To be fair, the company has been focused on soccer for nearly the last 50 years with another first 50 years of success before that reformation. As such, Diadora is more than deserving of our recommendation as to the best shin guards for adults on our list.
Uses Great Materials
When it comes to tackling other products, Diadora does not mess around as they use materials that are simply not found on any other soccer shin guards that we saw. Specifically, the shell of these soccer shin guards which is all that you get by the way is made of kevlar and fiberglass.
However, this combination of materials is only strengthened by the fact that they are layered 7 times to offer both incredible protection as well as great flexibility. It should be noted that certain environmental conditions, especially the extreme cold, have been noted to make these a bit brittle and more prone to cracking in that specific scenario.
Still, the addition of a Cool Max lining to provide breathable padding that also wicks away sweat puts this product up there with the best of them.
A Protective Design
In case you are wondering why these shin guards, which perform amazingly in the real world, come from seemingly nowhere with a shoe manufacturer. That is because these shin guards were made specifically to assist Francesco Totti with his comeback for the 2006 World Cup.
As such, not only were they designed to provide additional protection wrapping further around the leg than most, they were designed with Francesco Totti’s notes.
Aside from the fact that the Diadora Gamma Carbonio Shin Guards provide a larger area of protection compared to their competitors, this also provides the shin guards with a self-wrapping effect to help them stay in place though they do still need a compression sleeve or some other cover.
7. Franklin Sports – Superlight Soccer Shin Guards
Shin Guards that Braces the Impact For You
The Superlight Soccer Shin Guards by Franklin Sport is designed to help protect your lower legs from ball contact.
If you were to have the ball hit your legs head-on at full speed, the absorption would spread, eliminating any potential for pain.
There are enough sizes to go around for all, so if you or your spouse or child likes to play soccer (football in some regions), they will find a good fit for what’s given with the guards.
The Strap Adjustments
Do take note of the straps. They are Velcro, which wouldn’t be a problem if the back material weren’t so thin. This means that aging could happen fast, especially if they are tightened too excessively when worn.
There’s also a lack of air that can flow past the shields themselves. Sweating is likely to happen which could, in turn, make the straps difficult and result in the wearer attempting to adjust multiple times as they play.
In short, try to ensure you’re getting the right size for whoever they’re meant for. When you do, such problems won’t happen very often.
How to Wear Soccer Shin Guards
Shins guards must be worn by players of all ages and skill levels. Soccer is a contact sport that requires lots of kicking. Players experience most game-related impacts on their shins. Whether you’re fending off fast-moving balls or spiky cleats, shin guards are the best and only line of defense.
Shin guards are worn up against the fronts of the lower legs. They extend from the bottoms of the knee caps to the ankles. Some shin guards also offer a bit of side and ankle coverage. However, that is not usually the case when it comes to adult or professional models.
Shin guards should shield the lower leg bones and muscles. Your guard should have a convex surface that aligns with the natural curve of the leg. The soft side should be mounted directly against your leg. Most guards feature ankle and leg straps.
However, you made need to utilize additional tools to keep your guards in place. Compression sleeves, athletic tape, and tight socks are often used by security guards. Of course, athletic socks are also worn over shin guards. Socks provide an additional level of security.
No area of the body gets more use than the shins. As such, all players need to wear guards.
How to Put on Soccer Shin Guards
Most guards consist of convex plates and stretchy ankle sleeves. You’ll need to slip these guards over your feet. Slide the stretchy sleeve up and over your ankle. After that, pull the sleeve up to eliminate any under-the-foot slack. Position the convex plate so that it wraps around the front side of your leg and hugs it tightly.
Make sure it is positioned directly above the top of your ankle. Center the plate on your shin. Wind the straps tightly around your legs. Tug at your guard. It should not budge. If it does, you may need to reinforce the straps with the help of some athletic tape or a compression sleeve.
When your guards are secure, slip on a pair of knee-high socks. Socks provide an additional level of shock absorption. What’s more, they keep guards in place during heightened periods of activity.
How Should Soccer Shin Guards Fit?
Shin guards offer ample protection for players’ lower legs. At least, they do so when they fit properly. Many players rush onto the field without taking the time to secure their guards. This is a recipe for disaster.
Shin guards should rest firmly on the fronts of your lower legs. It’s their job to protect your lower legs from injuries. Without guards, your bones and muscles stand no chance against the constant kicks and jabs of your opponents. Any time that your guards shift, your legs are no longer protected.
As such, your guards must offer adequate coverage. A well-fitted guard should cover the entire area between the knee and ankle. Some guards even provide a bit of side and ankle coverage. For the most part, they serve to protect the fronts of the lower legs.
Most manufacturers offer children’s, women’s, and men’s guard sizes. Manufacturers usually provide consumers with guide charts. These charts indicate the range of heights covered by each guard’s size. It’s important to find a guard that extends over the entire length and width of your shins. Poorly fitted guards can cause discomfort and injuries.
Even properly fitted guards need to be reinforced. Professional soccer players go to great lengths to ensure that their guards do not move during games and practices. We recommend that you tape your guards down before playing a game of soccer. Tape them at the top and bottom. Make sure to replace the tape whenever you suspect your leg shields are shifting.
Remember, shin guards are your only line of defense against balls, cleats, and other harsh impacts. It is important to choose guards that are comfortable and supportive. If your guards dig into your legs or move around constantly, it may be time to make a switch.
Best Soccer Shin Guards – Buyer’s Guide
The Type of soccer shin guards will impact how effective they are less than it will impact how convenient they are and what additional layers of protection they can afford.
As such, it is important to consider one type or another to simply be better than the others as all will have their proper place depending on what the player prefers.
This is the most basic type of soccer shin guards and is often the least expensive though some of the higher-end models can get a bit pricey.
This is only considered a shin guard by the technicality of the market considering it usually does not come with a thick enough shell to otherwise justify classifying it in the same category as the other types of shin guards.
Instead, this type of shin guard is probably better understood as a complete hybrid of a sleeve and a shin guard in that it is far more flexible and features a sleeker design that generally manufactures the protective material throughout the product rather than strategically.
This provides great flexibility, but it also means that the protection will not always be sufficient on its own.
Ankle Shin Guards
As the name implies, this type of soccer shin guard is noted for providing additional ankle protection, though that is more a secondary benefit even if it is often the one players seek.
This type of soccer shin guard combines the sleeve of shin socks with the thicker shell of slip-in shin guards to get the best of both worlds.
That said, these shin guards are often a bit more expensive even for standard fare and can get incredibly expensive for the top-tier levels.
While many of the more prestigious brands prefer to innovate and refine their proprietary materials, there are plenty of generic standards to go by and far too many proprietary materials to list. As such, it is important to know which materials are likely the most common for general parts and types.
If a set of shin guards comes with a sleeve whether added or built-in chances are it will be made of either nylon or polyester. While the materials differ slightly in properties, they are mostly negligible for these purposes except to note that nylon is a little bit more durable and polyester is a little bit more water-resistant. Otherwise, they are similar in terms of both price and use.
As we can see, there are too many different types of players and too many different playing scenarios for any single pair of soccer shin guards to be the best for every player.
Instead, it is a better idea to figure out what pair will work best for your position and your personal needs, though there are a couple that stands out a bit more than the others.
For instance, if you are looking for a great all-around value without breaking the bank, then we recommend our Editor’s Choice Adidas Performance Ghost Pro Shin Guards.
These shin guards come in at a reasonable cost and provide everything you expect from a pair of high-quality shin guards. On top of that, they also come with excellent compression sleeves to make sure they stay in place.
Of course, if you are looking for the best-performing soccer shin guards and are not concerned with the cost, then we recommend the Diadora Gamma Carbonio Shin Guards.
Made for and by a professional soccer player, these shin guards are made of 7 layers of Kevlar and fiberglass and provide by far the best coverage of protection.
On top of that, they are also the lightest shin guards that we reviewed, but they will require additional equipment.
Take a look at these options:
- Vented shell allows air flow to the shin
- Provides lightweight & flexible protection
- Backed with die-cut, 3mm foam for increased comfort. SM: Recommended for heights of 3'11" - 4'7"
- COMPREHENSIVE SHIN PROTECTION:- These shin guard football soccer have 3 layers design with the highly protective foam and hard plates which are lightweight, durable and can offer the shin & calf comprehensive protection to against impacts, this special Shin guard designed by England .
- REINFORCED ANKLE PROTECTION:- Except for the protective shin pads, our football shin guards adopt the extra cushioning ankle protection design in order to give more protection to prevent injuries for the beginner and advanced athlete.
- LIGHT BREATHABLE AND FLEXIBLE:- The plastic HDPE shell, 3D foam padded front and backing give these football shin guards more flexible ,light weight, high breathability, great fitting your leg shape and super comfortable .
- STAY IN PLACE:- Taking the advantage of safety front velcro closure system these kids youth adult shin guards can stay in place during play without sliding.
- GUARANTEE:- 100% Money Back Guarantee, if there is any problem with the product, you can feel free to contact us, we will offer you money back，so, why not chose one ?
- Lightweight PP shell for Protection
- Foam padded backing for comfort
- Front strap closing System
- Size XX Small is recommended for child up to 3'7"
- Kindly refer size chart image before purchase
- Light and Safe: Shin shields made of light and flexible PP casing, protect safety of children's shins while not affecting movement in football training.
- Comfortable Wearing: Retractable and Adjustable Elastic Velcro Straps, EVA soft sponge mats inside, perfect and comfortable design, enable kids with long time of football enjoyment.
- Applicable Age: About 6.7*3.7 inches each, generally suitable for kids aged 4 to 12, teenagers, boys, girls.
- Easy Cleaning: Suit in black, blue and red colors, easy daily cleaning, convenient everyday changes, ensure longer durability
- Quality Guarantee: Contact us anytime if any questions about the product. We promise unconditional refund and free exchange within one month, wish you a pleasant shopping experience.
- ►High Quality and Comfortable: Made of durable, tailored blend fabric to ensure breathability, elasticity and longevity. Performance fabric keeps you dry, moisture-wicking fabric that stays warm in cold temperatures and cooler when the temperature rises, even during the toughest runs and workouts. Light, Flexible and breathable, setting No restriction to your movement. They're so comfortable, you'll forget you have them on and focus better on your daily activities!
- ►Unique Design: * Honeycomb Crashproof Pads*--conform to your shin providing ultimate flexibility and protection. *Dual-Layer Wicking*--keeps muscles warm, dries quickly with the most advanced material available. *Non-Slip Inner Silicone Strip*--Embedded elastic slip strip, prevent Calf Sleeve being loose when movement, and it is useful to coordinate muscle capacity and to protect the skin. *Flat Lock Seam Stitching*--Allows flexible mobility with reduced chafing or skin irritation.
- ►Suitable for: It's a must have for any leg intensive activity such as Marathon, Walking, Jogging, Running, Hiking, Cycling, Football, Rugby, Tennis, Basketball, Triathlons, Weightlifting, Gym Fitness Training and General Fitness. Professional grade compression -- Extra Calf Support/shin support, enhanced warm up, lessen fatigue, provide muscle stabilization. Perfect for extreme races and long runs! We has created a premium Calf Compression Sleeve ideal for your every day needs.
- ►SIZE NOTE: Please refer to the SIZE CHART in the product images for correct measurements and sizing, and Size "M" is more suitable for Teenagers boys girls. While some sleeves can be too tight no matter what size you get, the sleeves have been designed to provide a tight fit. As such, they can be slightly difficult to put on. For best results, take the sleeves in your hands, pull the pads past the ankle, then unroll them up the shin. When you need help finding the right size, contact us!
- ►100% MONEY-BACK or FREE EXCHANGE GUARANTEE: Buy the item with confidence! Either you love it or get full refund, just Email us! No questions asked! That is how confident we are that you’ll love it! DON’T WAIT, ADD IT TO THE CART NOW!