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Soccer Shin Guards

Soccer Shin Guards: Essential Protective Gear

Protect Your Player

Shin Guards are required equipment in every organized or competitive soccer league. Even the smallest players must wear them. All shin guards offer players protection from wild kicks, slide tackles, and other leg-level contact during play. Depending on the maturity of the player and the level of play, different shin guards will be more advantageous. Player preferences and position also impact the type of shin guards a player might choose.

Finding the Right Style of Shin Guard

There are two main styles of shin guards. Let’s take a quick look to help you determine which style is right for you or your player.

Slip-in Shin Guards
These guards are the smallest shin guards available. They are lightweight and can even be held up by a snug pair of soccer socks. Or, for a more secure fit, wear them with the included compression sleeves. Some players even tape these guards on. Slip-in shin guards are typically preferred by advanced and elite players, and especially those who play the position of striker. Slip-in shin guards allow for the greatest freedom of movement and are the smallest shin guards available. However, these shin guards are not the best choice for immature athletes, as they offer the least amount of protection.

Full Length Shin Guards
These shin guards are a great choice for younger players. Most full length shin guards have additional padding around the ankle to provide extra protection from a wild kick. They also have ankle straps and straps at the top that provide greater security for young players. Defenders also often prefer full length guards with ankle protection. Full length shin guards offer stability for those who might like a little extra ankle support. And, some brands do offer removable ankle guards that allow for the player to just play with the shin guard (minus the ankle guard) as they mature and develop.

Meet the Standard

If you play for a high school, a college or certain club teams, you will want to be aware of the requirements for your shin guards. For example, the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) requires approved shin guards for all high school level play since 2008. If you’re uncertain, ask your coach to determine whether you need NOCSAE compliant guards. Look for “NOCSAE” on the item description for athletes at this level of play.

Get the Right Fit

Not all shin guards fit the same. At Authentic Soccer, we have detailed fitting descriptions for each shin guard that we sell. See the individual product description pages. Shin guard sizes are determined by the height of the player. But, each brand is a little bit different, so be sure to check the sizing of the specific product you’re interested in before ordering.

Popular Shin Guards

Adidas X Reflex
This full length guard is NOCSAE approved and offers full coverage with an attached ankle guard. These are a great choice for defenders and younger players.

Nike Mercurial
The hardshell and molded foam give ultimate comfort while maintaining great protection. The Mercurial is a great lightweight slip-in option for strikers and more advanced players.

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