Last updated: September 9, 2021

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Football is a contact sport. This forces us to have protections in the areas most exposed to blows and where we can receive more damage: The tibia, a bone that joins the ankle and knee. Proof of the importance of protecting this part of the body is that the regulations require players to use shin guards.

Being the most practiced sport in the world and being a requirement to use shin pads by all the players who play competition games, we find a great many offers among these types of products. The competition between manufacturers favors the quality and price of these items.

Key Facts

  • Football regulations require team players to use shin guards during matches.
  • Shin guards protect the tibia from impacts that can cause serious injuries.
  • Shin guards must be resistant, but at the same time light and comfortable.

Ranking: The Best Football Shin Guards

The following items are among the most sought-after in the market. They stand out for their quality, both in the main aspect of impact resistance, and in the comfort they offer the athlete. All the details are well appointed, with sleeves that facilitate perspiration ventilation and help to hold the protectors onto the body firmy so that they do not move during the game.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Football Shin Guards

Given that football shin guards are items that we must acquire and use if we want to play football in an organized way, it is important to have as much information as possible about them. We are looking at a product that protects us from injuries, taking care of a very delicate part of the body and that has greater exposure to impacts than certain other sports, so it is important to get the best shin guards for our own personal needs.

Group Of Children In Soccer Team Celebrating With Trophy

Football is an excellent sport for well-being. (Source: Bowden: 41493571/

Exactly what are football shin guards?

Shin guards are elements of sports equipment that protect us from possible injuries. The tibia is the second longest bone in the human body and in its anterior part it lacks muscles that protect it. That is why shin guards are necessary in almost all contact sports, to the point of being mandatory by regulation.

Its mission is to prevent the impacts on the shin causing us injuries, including a fracture. In addition, the thin membrane that covers the surface of the bones, called periosteum, is abundant in pain receptors, so a guard is always a good idea.

Any blow to the shin produces severe pain, because as we said, the tibia is located directly under the skin.

What are the materials used in the manufacture of football shin guards?

Since Sam Weller Widdouson had the idea of adapting cricket protections in 1874, there have been many and varied materials used to make football shin guards. Naturally, technological advances were improving the product, to the point that at present, its quality is excellent and indisputable.

However, there are different levels of benefits. Plastic has lagged behind. It is used because it is inexpensive and not all players have the same requirements, but the emergence of carbon fiber has allowed shin guards to make a huge quality leap. It is in the high range, which the world-class football players use.

Material Characteristics
Carbon Fiber The lightest and strongest on the market
Fiberglass More flexible but heavier
Polyurethene Heavy and rigid
Foam rubber Lightweight but reduced protection
PVC (plastic) Does not resist strong impacts

How do you place and attach football shin guards?

The placement of football shin guards is usually not difficult. The important thing is to make sure that they are well secured so that there are no unprotected areas and that the shin is not left at risk of injury. We must also verify that they are not excessively tight to avoid blood circulation problems. They should feel snug but comfortable.

  • Step 1: You should wear the shin guards with ankle protection and then socks. In those that do not have an ankle brace, first put on the socks without covering the tibia, the shin guards are fixed and covered by raising the socks over them.
  • Step 2: Make sure that the shin guards are centered on the tibias and that the ankles, if part of the model, fully cover both sides of the ankles.
  • Step 3:Use the fasteners properly to fix the shin guards correctly. Those that incorporate a mesh prevent the movements of the housing and you just have to make sure that they do not cause you discomfort or too much pressure. With shin straps, shin guards are more likely to move, but you can solve the problem with duct tape or tape.
  • Step 4: Be sure to try on your guards with your cleats and check that they have no contact with the protections.

What advantages do carbon fiber football shin guards have?

The best option to enjoy high quality football shin guards is to purchase carbon fiber guards. They are flexible, light and very resistant. They represent the greatest technological advancement in this product, ahead of fiberglass shin guards. This makes its price high, although we can find affordable models for any budget.

The manufacture, sometimes, is done by hand and in a personalized way, mainly at the request of the professional football players who compete in the highest categories. They are the models used by Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and other world figures. Here we see some of the characteristics of these models:

  • Flexible, light and resistant
  • Asymmetric design to fit the tibia
  • Its manufacture can be handmade and personalized
  • Foam interior (absorbs shock and sweat)
  • The price is high, but there are less expensive models
  • They are used by the great football stars

soccer players

Shin guards are necessary in any professional football match. (Source: Sportgraphic: 27721642/

What are the main accessories of football shin guards?

If you want to aim for better football shin guards, you don't necessarily have to buy new ones. There are accessories that you can implement in our current guards to improve their performance and increase their quality. We will gain in comfort and protection, further reducing the risk of injury.

  • Ankle protector: They are sold separately, so do not do without it if your shin guards do not come with these from the factory.
  • Sleeves: They help to hold the guard better, preventing it from moving and causing injury.
  • Tapes: They wrap around the leg to hold and keep the protection equipment still.
  • Band: Stronger and wider than tape. It serves to fix the shin guard securely.

How do you clean football shin guards?

Because the shin guards are in contact with the skin during demanding physical activity, it is normal for sweat to be impregnated inside the equipment. In the long run this produces a bad smell. Therefore, it is necessary to clean our protections after each use. We can do it by following these simple steps:

  • Moisten the inside of the guard that is in contact with the skin.
  • Rub the area with a brush impregnated with soap, if possible dermatological (for sensitive skin).
  • Rinse the surface until there is no soap left.
  • Dry with a cloth and let the process complete by placing the shin guards in a ventilated place.
  • Lemon helps remove bad odors, so a few drops on the freshly washed surface will successfully complete your cleaning.

What are the most recognized brands of football shin guards on the market?

As in almost all football-related items, the most recognized shin guards are Adidas and Nike, mainly. These giants of the sale of sports equipment offer a wide range of models for any player, regardless of their age or their competitive demand.

How could it be otherwise, these two large firms, together with the also popular Puma, are responsible for manufacturing the shin guards of the most important football stars, in those cases with personalized products. Other prominent companies are the Chinese Sportout and the British Mitre Sports International.

Shopping Criteria

Before buying the best shin guards on the market that we can find, we must look at the most important criteria, such as size, the most convenient type of support or the position we occupy on the pitch. Analyzed these aspects, it is sure that we will succeed with the option that suits us best.

  • Size
  • Attachment
  • Player Position
  • Age
  • Design


You should to look closely at the size of the shin guards. We need to get the right size because it affects our performance in games and training. They must be well adjusted and should not affect our movements, nor cause discomfort. Nor can they prevent or hinder our striking of the ball.

It is essential to ensure that there are no small areas leftunprotected, as we risk receiving an impact that can result in an injury, which may be of greater or lesser importance, but in any case avoidable if we choose the exact size guards. It can also cause more serious injuries.

Kids sport team sitting on a bench. Group of kids soccer players. Children football club. Football soccer tournament game for children. Boys kicking soccer ball on grassy pitch. Children play sports outdoors.

There are football shin pads for all ages and sizes. (Source: Matimix: 94492193/


Properly fix the shin guard, preventing it from moving or shifting away from any area of the leg it is covering, it is essential to avoiding injuries. We should feel comfortable and free to move to freelin in our game, but also we need to make sure that the protection is adequate. Next, we will show you advantages and disadvantages of the types of support in shin pads:

Velcro Cover or half Guard with reinforcement or ankle brace
Advantage Simple and easy to put on Compression sleeves that are placed on the tibia Protector that attaches to the shin
Inconvenient Can be bothersome or cause irritations Offers less protection but more mobility The ankle is protected by a pad
Use They usually wear out in a short time and weaken their grip over time Ideal for experienced football players Recommended for players with little experience

Player Position

The position you occupy in the field also determines the type of shin that suits you best. There are skilled and fast players who need lightness, but also extra protection because they are very exposed to impacts. Others protect the ball in more static positions and put their ankles in greater danger.

  • Goalkeepers: They require less protection and their shin guards can be light.
  • Defenders: They must wear very resistant and robust shin guards and should have ankle protection.
  • Midfielders: They need less rigid shin guards. In the defensive, their ankle protections can be important.
  • Forwards: Small, but resistant, shin guards are recommended, as well as light shin pads to allow as much mobility as possible.


Manufacturers recommend a specific size for each age range, but we all know that it is not always right to follow that rule. In case of not being able to test the shin guards, we can be guided by that reference and also by stature, a fact that can bring us closer to the right choice.

From 6 to 9 years From 10 to 13 years From 14 to 17 years
Up to 4'6" 4'6" - 5'2" Between 5'2" y 5'8" cm

For Adutly football players, sizes Large and Extra Large should be used.


Football shin guards offer several types of designs. For example, the traditional guards, with solid and hollow rods placed along the shin lengthwise. Also the shield, resistant and comfortable, with a hard outer layer and several inner layers that standing between the force of the impact and the tibia.

Finally, we highlight the custom designs, These are high-end football shin guards, made of carbon fiber, tailored to the player's taste. They offer maximum protection and comfort that allow the player to be calm for their safety and perform the activity without discomfort.


Buying a football shin guard seems like an easy task. And it seems that the offering field is wide. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is an article of great relevance for the practitioners of this sport. After all, it protects us from serious injuries, in the worst case, but also from painful blows.

That is why it is convenient to acquire a quality model, at least in proportion to the football level that we intend to develop. We have known the best materials, the most interesting designs, the most appropriate characteristics to our position in the field and everything necessary for us to reach our decision.

(Source of Featured Image: Matixim: 55795718/