Andrew Parker

Best Soccer Shin Guard – Buyer’s Guide

Best Soccer Shin GuardsSoccer 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.

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 position and different players would need varying features to get the most out of their game.

Best Soccer Shin Guards 2018

Figuring out which soccer shin guards are the best shin guards for you can be a difficult and confusing task. That is why we have put together a list of the 6 best soccer shin guards, highlighting what each one does best. Then we provide a helpful buyer’s guide.
Product
TypeMaterialAnkle Protection 
Adidas Performance
(Editor's Choice)
Slip-InPolypropyleneNo
NIKE Mercurial
(People's Choice)
Slip-InK ResinNo
AnklePolypropyleneYes
AnklePolypropyleneYes
SocksPolyurethaneYes
Slip-InKevlar and FiberglassNo

1. Adidas Performance Ghost Pro Shin Guards Editor’s Choice

Adidas Performance Ghost Pro Shin Guards review

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 absolutely 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 though 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 features 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.

Pros:
  • Has a low profile
  • Made of polypropylene
  • Is a slip-in soccer shin guard
  • Comes with a compression sleeve
  • Has EVA backing
  • Comes in 21 different styles
  • Made of 3 layers
  • Has fitted front plate
  • Comes in 5 different sizes
Cons:
  • No ankle protection
  • Size runs small

2. NIKE Mercurial Lite Shin Guards – Best Football Shin Guards (People’s Choice)

NIKE Mercurial Lite Shin Guards review

While some of the companies that we review might have a good reputation and a solid market presence, there are few sports equipment manufacturers who can compete with the prestige of Nike who 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.

Superior Materials

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 a number of 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 manufacture 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.

Pros:
  • Has a low profile
  • Made of K Resin
  • Is a slip-in soccer shin guard
  • Has an anatomical design
  • Has Dri-FIT compression sleeve
  • Comes in 23 different styles
  • Has mesh EVA backing
  • Comes in 5 different sizes
  • More flexible than most
Cons:
  • No ankle protection
  • Size runs small

3. Vizari Malaga Shin Guard – Best for Defenders Soccer (Best Price)

Vizari Malaga Shin Guard review

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 it that best shin guards for soccer defenders that we saw.

On top of that, the Vizari Malaga Shin Guard also provide 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 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.

This makes it incredibly easy to fix the shin guards should they slip out of place while bracing against the impact of a tackle. That said, this should not even be too terribly common of an issue considering that these shin guards are noted for being more secure than most and staying in place throughout the course of the game.

Pros:
  • Is a less expensive soccer shin guard
  • Is an ankle shin guard
  • Provides ankle protection
  • Is made of polypropylene
  • Comes in 9 different styles
  • Comes in 5 different sizes
  • Has a front strap closure
  • Has a foam backing
  • More secure than most
Cons:
  • Size runs small
  • Not as flexible

4. DashSport Soccer Shin Guards – Best for Youth

DashSport Soccer Shin Guards review

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 an 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 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.

Pros:
  • Is a less expensive soccer shin guard
  • More secure than most
  • Is an ankle shin guard
  • Provides ankle protection
  • Made of polypropylene
  • Has a velcro closure
  • Has padded foam backing
  • Comes in 4 different styles
  • Comes in 3 different sizes
Cons:
  • Ankle strap not that durable
  • Size runs small

5. Storelli BodyShield Leg Guard – Best Shin Socks

Storelli BodyShield Leg Guard review

Storelli Sports is definitely an intriguing company in the same way that silicon valley tech startups have a tendency 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 a number of features that are inherent to the type which is worth noting. For instance, while it is clearly 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 is by far the most flexible soccer shin guards we reviewed too.

Unique Circumstance

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 in order 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 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.

Pros:
  • More secure than most
  • Are shin socks
  • Made of polyurethane
  • Provides ankle protection
  • Can fit any standard slip-in shin guard
  • More flexible than most
  • Fits better than most
  • Has a sleek profile
  • Comes in 5 different sizes
Cons:
  • Is a more expensive soccer shin guard
  • Not the most protective

6. Diadora Gamma Carbonio Shin Guard – Best for Adults

Diadora Gamma Carbonio Shin Guard review

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 prior to that reformation. As such, Diadora is more than deserving of our recommendation as 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, has 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 a 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 actually 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.

Pros:
  • Has a low profile
  • Made of Kevlar and fiberglass
  • Is a slip-in soccer shin guard
  • Made of 7 layers
  • Only weighs 98 g
  • Comes in 2 different sizes
  • Has Cool Max lining
  • Has a self-wrapping design
  • Provides great protection
Cons:
  • No ankle protection
  • Is the most expensive soccer shin guard reviewed

Best Soccer Shin Guard – Buyer’s Guide

Type

Best Soccer Shin Guards Review – TypeThe 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.

Slip-In

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. These soccer shin guards will not stay in place by themselves throughout the course of regular play, and you will need to get either a strap, compression sleeve, or good pair of socks to keep them in place.

Shin Socks

Best Soccer Shin Guards Review – Shin SocksThis 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

Best Soccer Shin Guards Review – Ankle Shin GuardsAs the name implies, this type of soccer shin guard is noted for providing additional ankle protection, though that is actually more a secondary benefit even if it is often the one players seek.

This type of soccer shin guards 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.

Materials

While many of the more prestigious brands prefer to innovate and refine their own 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.

Polypropylene

For the shell, this is considered one of the primary standards for the shin guard market, and it makes complete sense. This material is more than durable enough to stand up to the abuse put to it during a game without feeling like more than an extra pair of socks.

Nylon/Polyester

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.

Conclusion

Best Soccer Shin Guard – Buyer’s GuideAs 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.

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