Picking the Right Shin Pad Size For Football


Recommended football shin pad sizes are usually determined by the height of the player. Roughly, your shin guard should fit from just above the ankle up to a couple of inches below your knee. Obviously not all players stick to this, with professionals like Jack Grealish wearing strikingly small shin pads. This is where the discussion on comfort vs safety in your shin guard choice comes in. Either way, whatever level you are playing, shin pads are essential when playing football.

Do You Really Need Shin Guards?

All players at a professional or amateur level need shin guards when playing football. FIFA made shin guards mandatory for all players in the professional game in 1990. 

What Do Shin Pads Do?

Shin pads, or shin guards as they are also commonly known, are protective pads designed to protect players from serious lower leg injuries in sports. In football, with tackling and use of the lower leg, a shin pad could prevent very serious injuries.

Small Shin Guards - Does Jack Grealish Even Wear Shin Pads?

Back to the conversation about safety vs comfort and players like Jack Grealish. The argument is that a shin pad can be restrictive to a player’s movement, and although a player must have a shin guard on in a game, there is essentially no size requirement. Grealish himself suggests it's a tradition or superstition, but we're sure he benefits from not feeling as restricted, particularly with the calves.

Why is Shin Guard Size So Important Then?

Despite the concession of potential safety aspects for comfort, the paramount reason shin guards are essential is player safety. Having a shin pad that is too big will compromise movement. Having a shin guard that is too small won’t offer the right protection. That is why the size of your shin pads is so important.

Picking the Right Size of Shin Pads

Different manufacturers will have slightly different size interpretations when it comes to their ranges. It’s important to check the size guide for your preferred brand when buying either adults or kids shin guards to ensure you have the best protection when playing.

G-Form Shin Guard Sizes

Shin Guard Size  Body Height (inches) Body Height (cm)
Y S/M 3'5" - 4'1" 96 - 124
Y L/XL 4'2" - 4'8" 127 - 142
S 4'7" - 4'11" 140 - 150
M 5' - 5'7" 150 - 170
L 5'8" - 5'11" 170 - 180
XL 6' - 6'3" 180 - 190

Nike Shin Pad Sizes

Kids' Size Chart
 Size Age Height (cm)
S 4-6 120 - 130
M 7-9 130 - 140
L 10-12 140 - 150
Adults' Size Chart
Size  Height (cm)
XS 140 - 150
S 150 - 160
M 160 - 170
L 170 - 180
XL 180 - 200

adidas Shin Pad Sizes

Junior shin pads
Size Height (inches)
S 3'3" - 3'10"
M 3'11" - 4'6"
L 4'7" - 5'2"
Adult shin guards
Size  Height (inches)
XS 3'11" - 4'6"
S 4'7" - 5'2"
M 5'3" - 5'9"
L 5'10" - 6'1"
XL 6'2" - 6'5"
XXL 6'6"+

Shop Shin Pads at Greaves

For your own safety as well as comfort, it’s so important to a) have shin pads when playing and b) get the right size of shin guards for you. At Greaves, we have a huge selection from some of the best brands offering the best protection on the field. G-Form shin guards are a popular choice, however football giants like adidas and Nike offer an affordable range of shin pads. Browse online or pop down to our Glasgow sports shop today to shop our full range.

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