5 Best Soccer Shin Guards in 2022 – Reviewed

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One essential accessory to have when playing soccer are shin guards. Whether you are an amateur or a professional, you need a pair of soccer shin guards for protection.

Soccer is a contact sport, and it means that there is a high probability that you will get injured. Soccer shin guards offer protection and safety against injuries.

Even ancient warriors used shin guards or plates to protect themselves. They were mainly made of bronze and other types of metal. Unlike modern shin guards that are made of plastic.

Soccer shin guards can also be used in a variety of different sports like hockey and football.

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the right soccer shin guard for your needs. You need to check if the material is lightweight and if the shin guard is comfortable and has an excellent fit.

We will also discuss how to maintain your shin guards and how to pick the right size shin guard.

As always, we only review products from reputable manufacturers and we strive to limit them to one product per brand.

Check out our buying guide and reviews below.

Comparison Table

IMAGEPRODUCTFEATURESPRICE
Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Guards• Our Rating: 9.5/10Check Price
Vizari Malaga Shin Guards• Our Rating: 9/10Check Price
Adidas Performance Ghost Pro Shin Guards• Our Rating: 8.7/10Check Price
DashSport Soccer Shin Guards• Our Rating: 8.5/10Check Price
Franklin Sports Superlight Soccer Shin Guards• Our Rating: 8/10Check Price

Things to Know Before Buying Soccer Shin Guard

There are two main types of Shin Guards

Shin Socks

  • These type of shin guards are built into the sock. They are the ultimate hassle-free Shin Guards that are a popular choice among the youth.
  • They are really convenient. You don’t have to bring socks and shin guards separately. You can bring a pair of shin socks, and you are good to go.
  • You should keep in mind that if you plan to use them at the high school level, they should be approved by the  National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE). The shin guard should have their stamp of the front.

Ankle Shin Guards

  • These Shin Guards have additional ankle support. The design offers extra ankle padding to protect your ankles from accidental kicks as well as minimize ankle sprains.
  • Most ankle shin guard designs have stirrups that slide under the feet. They also have elastic bands and or straps that wrap around the calf to keep them fit and secure.
  • Most of the ankle shin guards have non-removable ankle shields, but some of them do. The latter design is excellent for players who want to remove them as they grow older. You should look into buying one of these if you have the same plan.

Slip-In Shin Guards

  • These Shin Guards don’t come with bells and whistles. They tend to be very lightweight because of their minimalistic design.
  • These shin guards come with compression sleeves to help them fit securely on your leg.
  • Most professional players prefer these type of guards because they are very lightweight and allow more mobility.
 
 

POSITION

You should consider what position you are playing when choosing the right shin guard.

Defenders

  • If you are a defender, you should look for ankle shin guards. They provide the most protection from impact and injury.
  • Since the defender takes a lot of kicks and punishment, you need the maximum amount of protection.
  • Look for ankle shin guards with the durable and more substantial material.

Goalkeepers

  • Since goalkeepers are far from the frontline, they don’t need as much protection as defenders.
  • A pure slip-in shin guard should do the trick. They offer little protection, but they are very lightweight.
  • They significantly improve mobility, which is needed by goalkeepers.

Midfielders

  • If you are a midfielder, you should look for shin guards that offer a balance of mobility and protection.
  • You can go with either lightweight ankle shin guards or durable slip in shin guards to achieve a great balance.

Forwards

  • If you are playing the forward position, you would need the most lightweight and most minimalistic shin guard out there.
  • Slip in shin guards are the way to go as they provide the most mobility among the three types.
  • Look for the smallest one, but make sure it meets the standards. Get close to the minimum size shin guard as possible.
 
 

SIZE

  • The most important thing about choosing the best shin guard for soccer is to get the size right.
  • Check the manufacturer’s size chart to determine which size you should get. Most of them have sizes according to your height.
  • If you are not sure, don’t hesitate to contact the store to clarify what size you should get.
  • Don’t worry if you accidentally ordered the wrong ones, and most manufacturers are happy to replace them with the right size.
  • You want your shin guards to fit snugly on your leg. They should cover more of the area between your knee and ankle.
 
 

EXTRAS

If you are not satisfied with the vanilla shin guards you purchased, some accessories enhance their function available.

Ankle Guards

  • If you bought a slip in shin guards and want additional ankle protection, get ankle guards.
  • Wear them together with your slip in shin guards, and you’ll have added ankle protection.
  • You can remove them if you decide you want more mobility than protection.

Shin Guard Tape

  • Shin guard tape helps keep the shin guard secure while playing. Some shin guards might still move even with compression sleeves and straps. Shin guard tape can help alleviate that problem.
  • Most players wrap the tape on the top and bottom of their shin guards to keep them in place.
  • You can use the tape over your socks.

Shin Guard Stays

  • Shin guard stays can be used instead of shin guard tape to secure your shin guards.
  • Most shin guard stays wrap around the leg to keep your shin guards in place.Shin Guard Sleeves
  • If you purchase slip in shin guards and they didn’t come with sleeves, you can buy them separately.
  • They help keep your shin guards in place and ensure a snug fit.

Top 5 Soccer Shin Guards Review

1. Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Guards

Notable Features

  • Dri-FIT sleeves
  • EVA Foam
  • Dense Foam Backing
  • Durable Shell
Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Guard (Black/Volt) (M)

The Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Guards are made from a durable sheet that is bonded to a dense foam backing.

It provides excellent impact diffusion as well as abrasion resistance.

It has a low-profile construction and breathable Dri-FIT sleeves.

They are very comfortable to wear and fit quite securely.

The shin guards are designed with your anatomy in mind. It offers targeted cushioning since it will fit your contours.

They measure 11 inches in length.

Finally, its molded EVA foam helps disperse kinetic energy from an impact.

The Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Guards are lightweight and offer excellent protection.

What We Liked
  • We can slide these on and off.
  • They are very comfortable and fits snuggly.
  • They are ultra lightweight.
  • They are also great for mountain biking.
  • The material, so it is very breathable.
  • They are not obtrusive.
What We Didn't Like
  • They offer the barest minimum of shin protection. They have a low profile design, and that means they are skinny but have the great curvature to fit snug. If you want them to cover more shin area, go up a size.

2. Vizari Malaga Shin Guards

Notable Features

  • Wrap-Around Closure
  • Ankle Padding
Vizari Malaga Soccer Shin Guard for Kids| Youth Soccer Shin Guard | Lightweight and Breathable Child Calf Protective Gear Soccer Equipment | Black/White | Medium

The Vizari Malaga Shin Guards are made of lightweight PP shell.

They offer excellent protection and comfort with their padded foam backing.

The hard shell has foam backing and a lot of padding around the ankles for protection.

The Vizari Malaga Shin Guards have a unique elastic enclosure that wraps around your leg.

It fits and secure snug on around your leg and is entirely different from other shin guards in the market.

Here is a size chart for easy comparison:

Size

Length

Wearer

Pee Wee

 

Children up to 3’3”

XXS

5.75 inches

Children up to 3’7”

XS

6.25 inches

Children up to 3’11”

S

7.5 inches

Children up to 4’7”

M

8.5 inches

Adults up to 5’3”

L

9.5 inches

Adults up to 5’11”

What We Liked
  • We love the colors and design.
  • They fit correctly given you choose the right size.
  • They cover the shin pretty, and the velcro hooks are on the front, so it doesn’t irritate the skin.
  • They are durable and comfortable.
  • The ankle padding is a plus.

What We Didn't Like
  • The sizing information may be inaccurate. Please refer to our chart for the correct sizing.

3. Adidas Performance Ghost Pro Shin Guards

Notable Features

  • Separate Front Plate
  • Compression Sleeves
adidas Performance Ghost Pro Shin Guards, Energy Blue/Energy Aqua/Legend Ink, Medium

The Adidas Performance Ghost Pro Shin Guards are made up of 95% polypropylene and 5% TPU that are injection molded.

These guards are perfect for amateur and professional athletes alike.

They are made up of 3 different shields that are fitted together. They offer excellent flexibility and fit.

The compression sleeves hold the guards securely on your legs. They are very lightweight and offer no bulk.

The shield has durable EVA backing for extra comfort and cushioning.

These are adult shin guards, but you can use them for children as well.

Here is a size chart for easy comparison:

Size

Height

Small

 

4'7"-5'2"

Medium

 

5'3"-5'9"

Large

 

5'10"-6'1"

Extra Large

 

6'2"-6'5"

What We Liked
  • They are comfortable to wear and take off.
  • The shin guards cover most of the shins.
  • They offer excellent protection.
  • The compression sleeves can be washed.
What We Didn't Like
  • They don’t provide ankle protection.
  • The size chart seems to be inaccurate. Please refer to our chart.
  • The material at the back of the guards is not easy to clean and tend to smell.

4. DashSport Soccer Shin Guards

Notable Features

  • Ankle Support
DashSport Soccer Shin Guards -Youth Sizes Best Kids Soccer Equipment with Ankle Sleeves - Great for Boys and Girls

The DashSport Soccer Shin Guards are specially designed for young players, both male, and females.

They are very comfortable and flexible. They offer complete protection and have ankle support sleeves.

The ankle sleeves are not removable.

The velcro goes around the calf and attaches on the side of the leg.

DashSport offers a one-year no-hassle replacement warranty for any defective products.

Here is a size chart for your convenience:

Shin Length

Size

Inches

cm's

XS

7.5-8.5”

19-22

S

8-10”

20-26

M

10-12”

25-30

Height / Age

 

Size

Height

Age

XS

3’3-3’10 Tall

3-5 years

S

3’8-4’6 Tall

4-8 years

M

4’5-5’4 Tall

7-14 years

What We Liked
  • The guards are very comfortable.
  • They are made up of high-quality material.
  • They offer excellent protection for the shins and ankles.
What We Didn't Like
  • Be careful of ordering for your size. They might be smaller than you expect. We recommend going one size up.
  • Sometimes the straps and velcro don’t fully wrap around.

5. Franklin Sports Superlight Soccer Shin Guards

Notable Features

  • Chrome Accent Design
  • Double Self-Stick Straps
  • Symmetrical Design
Franklin Sports Superlight Soccer Shin Guards, White/Black Small

The Franklin Sports Superlight Soccer Shin Guards are made of lightweight materials.

They have a unique chrome accented design.

The guards are highly abrasion resistant. They also have symmetrical designs that promote an anatomical fit to your legs.

They also feature double self-stick straps that can be adjusted for a snug fit.

Finally, the guards have high-density foam at the back for greater energy dispersion.

Size

Height

Small

Up to 4’7”

Medium

Up to 5’3”

Large

Up to 5’11”

What We Liked
  • They are very lightweight.
  • Easy on the wallet.
  • They offer excellent protection.
What We Didn't Like
  • They are not very breathable.
  • Sometimes the straps and velcro don’t fully wrap around the legs.

FAQ's Section

Q: What is the best way to clean soccer shin guards? 

A: How to Clean Soccer Shin Guards

As we mentioned at the start of the article, shin guards are a vital part of your soccer equipment. They keep your shins from getting injured and can last you a long time if properly maintained.

They need to be cleaned regularly to prevent mold to eliminate bad odors.

There is no best way to clean them, but we'll offer some advice and cleaning tips below.

Keep in mind to follow manufacturer's guidelines above ours. If you plan to use a washing machine to clean them, make sure to set it on a gentle cycle.

Step 1

  • Throw your shin guards in your washing machine at least once or twice a month. You don't have to worry about putting them in a laundry bag if they have a protective lining.
  • If they don't, however, place them in a pillowcase or a laundry bag to protect the plastic from getting scratched or chipped from being spun around in the washing machine.
  • We recommend using both detergent and fabric softener to get rid of unwanted smells.

Step 2

  • You can scrub your shin guards with regular soap and water, at least the plastic parts. You can use a used toothbrush or a small brush to brush away the dirt and stains.
  • You can also try a water, vinegar and lemon juice solution to clean the cloth parts of the shin guards. Give them a good soak for about 20 - 30 minutes before rinsing them in water.

Step 3

  • Air dry your shin guards to dry after rinsing them in water. Make sure to expose the straps to air and sunlight as well. They take longer to dry because of their material.
  • The sun and air will help further in eliminating any bad odors from the shin guards.
  • Wait for them to thoroughly dry. DO NOT put your shin guards into the dryer. The plastic will melt, and you will have to buy a new pair.

Step 4

  • Make sure the shin guards are thoroughly dry then spray some disinfectant on them. It is also a good idea to spray them after each use to kill odor-causing bacteria and fungi on them.
  • Bacteria are notorious for producing unpleasant smells. Poorly maintained shin guards are also a breeding ground for mold.

Follow these steps, and hopefully, you will extend the lifespan of your favorite soccer shin guards.

Q: How to fit the right size soccer shin guards?

AYou should measure the shin length from below the kneecap to the top of the foot. If you are not sure what the shin length is, use your height to determine the size.

Most manufacturers show their size charts when buying their products. If they don't, ask them what size you should get by giving them your height.

Do not worry if you ordered the wrong size for some reason. Most manufacturers are happy to send you the correct ones free of charge.


Our Conclusion - The Best Soccer Shin Guards in 2022

The best soccer shin guard for you depends on what position you play soccer. We can't say which one is the best for you, but our favorite among the 5 is the Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Guards.

They are one of the lightest shin guards out there in the market. They work best for goalkeepers, midfielders, and strikers.

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