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Soccer isn’t a full-contact sport, but it’s physical, so there are a few safety protocols every player should follow to prevent injury. You don’t need to worry about your upper body too much when playing soccer, but it’s crucial to be well-protected below the knees.

High-quality shoes are a must for protection and performance, but you need guards to protect your shins from impacts and abrasions. If you don’t wear guards, the ball or another player’s foot can cause painful injury to your shins.

In this article: Franklin Sports Soccer Shin GuardsNike J Soccer Shin Guards and Bodyprox Soccer Shin Guards.

Choosing the right size soccer shin guards

How tall are you?

Your height is the primary factor to consider when buying shin guards. Naturally, the taller you are, the longer your shin guards, but there are size designations that correspond to a player’s height.

  • Small is suitable if you’re 4 feet, 11 inches to 5 feet, 3 inches tall.
  • Medium is ideal if you’re 5 feet, 3 inches to 5 feet, 7 inches tall.
  • Large is recommended for those who are 5 feet, 7 inches to 6 feet tall.
  • Extra large should be considered by any player over 6 feet tall.

What position do you play?

The length of your shin guards should correspond to your height, but there are a few designs and builds to consider depending on your position.

  • Defense: If you’re a defender, you’re more likely to make contact with opponents than those playing other positions, so wear thick guards with sufficient ankle protection.
  • Midfield: Midfielders make plays on offense and defense. While their game isn’t predicated on physical contact like a defender’s, their shin guards should also be somewhat bulky to provide enough protection.
  • Forwards and wingers: Forwards are often the fastest players on the team, so although it’s essential to have adequate shin protection, bulky guards can slow players down and affect their performance. Speedy players, such as strikers and wingers, will want to move with as much agility and quickness as possible, so if you play one of these positions, it’s best to wear lightweight shin guards.

Top features to look for in quality soccer shin guards

There are three key features you’ll want.

  • Hard shell: This absorbs impact and protects your shins from abrasions. Some guards are made with a flimsier plastic material, and while they’re adequate for casual play, competitive players need shin guards that offer as much protection as possible.
  • Breathability: You’re going to sweat a lot no matter what shin guards you wear, but the last thing you want is your lower legs to feel like a hot swamp. The best shin guards have perforations for improved ventilation, which helps players stay dry and comfortable.
  • Sleeves: Although they don’t provide any ankle protection, slip-in shin guards are more convenient and lightweight than ankle shin guards. However, because of their design, they can easily shift around and lose their effectiveness. For that reason, wearing sleeves over slip-in guards is crucial to prevent them from moving around as you run.

Best soccer shin guards

Best Franklin Sports Soccer Shin Guards

Franklin Sports Soccer Shin Guards

These are built with a high-density outer shell and lock into place with double self-stick straps. Their lightweight build makes them ideal for players who don’t want to be slowed down by bulkier shin guards.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Nike J Soccer Shin Guards

Nike J Soccer Shin Guards

These shin guards have a hard composite exterior and padded lining for superior comfort and a secure feel. The air holes increase airflow for breathability, and the strapless design makes them super comfortable.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Bodyprox Soccer Shin Guards

Bodyprox Soccer Shin Guards

These low-profile, waterproof shin guards have an ergonomic shape and are perfect for players looking for superior protection on the pitch. They absorb impact and abrasions but have a lightweight, flexible build that lets players move with agility.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Adidas Predator League Soccer Shin Guards

Adidas Predator League Soccer Shin Guards

These have a hard exterior for excellent shin protection and ethyl-vinyl acetate backing for increased shock absorption. They have a signature premium Adidas design and come with separate compression sleeves for keeping them in place during gameplay.

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Best Nike Adult Mercurial Lite Soccer Shin Guards

Nike Adult Mercurial Lite Soccer Shin Guards

These are perfect for speedsters who need adequate protection without sacrificing quickness or agility. They have a contoured shell for a secure fit, and they’re backed with dense foam for superior impact absorption.

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Best G-Form Adult Pro-S Elite Soccer Shin Guards

G-Form Adult Pro-S Elite Soccer Shin Guards

Designed with an ultra-lightweight padding system, they’re as comfortable as they are functional. The sleeves provide a seamless fit, and the moisture-wicking fabric helps players stay cool and dry on the pitch.

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

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