Shin Pads or Shin Guards And Why You Need Them For Football

  • Shin guards are always recommended when playing football, but essential at professional and amateur levels
  • Without wearing shin pads, you could end up with a broken shin bone. A shin pad provides base level protection when legs are in tackling
  • There are many types of shin guards, including slip in shin pads, guards with full ankle support, and strapped shin guards
  • Shin pads also come in a range of sizes - it’s important to get the right size for you. The wrong shin guard can be as bad as not wearing one at all
close up of footballers playing with ball wearing black shin guards

Why Wearing, and Wearing the Right Shin Guards Is So Important

Shin guards and shin pads are the same concept - protective armour for lower legs when competing in sports where risk of injury is significantly higher, such as football, hockey, and baseball. Typically made from fibreglass to be lightweight and sturdy, a shin guard will have to withstand potential high impact, while not limiting movement.

There are many different sizes and styles of shin pad, and the most important thing when choosing your shin guard is the comfort and fit in use. Too tight or awkward and it could restrict movement; too small or loose and you’re even more susceptible to injury. Without a shin guard - you run a real risk, in contact sports like football, of a serious injury. This is why sports at a professional and amateur level insist on players wearing them.

What Size of Shin Pad Should I Use?

Shin pad sizes are usually picked based on the height of the player using them - however it is important to note that sizes will differ between different brands. For example, an adidas large is considered for a player of approximately 5’11” while for Puma, a large is suggested for a user of 5’9”.

Nike’s kids shin guard size guide:

 Size S M L
Height (cm) 120 - 130 130 - 140 140 - 150
Age 4 - 6 7 - 9

10 - 12 


Nike’s adults shin guard size guide:

 Size XS S M L XL
Height (cm) 140 - 150 150 - 160 160 - 170 170 - 180

180 - 200

What Type of Shin Pad Should I Use?

There are many different types of shin guard, the most popular including:

  • Slip in shin guards: Strapless guard that can be placed inside the sock over the shin, potentially held in place by sock tape
  • Strapped shin guards: Slip-in shin guards which strap under the sock around the back of the calf
  • Ankle guard shin pads: Shin pads which are attached and held by an ankle support. These are normally quite big
  • Sleeve shin guards: Shin guards which combine a compression sleeve for full calf support

When choosing your shin pad, it’s important to consider comfort and freedom of movement. Many players prefer a smaller slip-in guard to increase mobility and comfort, or to roll socks down like Jack Grealish. An ankle support shin pad is useful for players with injury concerns around the ankle area.

someone putting on g-form black shin guard

What Are The Best Shin Guards For Football?

The best shin guard for football is the one that protects you from serious injury. Protecting the shin area is the paramount priority, however if your shin pad affects your natural movement, then this can risk injury in itself.

As technology makes shin guards stronger and lighter, there is a growing popularity of a compression shin guard style like G Form. G Form shin guards have a circular knit sleeve made of mesh for breathability, and gradient calf compression for good circulation and recovery. Flexible During Play. Hardens on Impact

Shop G-Form Guards

Shop Greaves Sports Shop for Football Shin Pads

Wearing the right shin guards are essential for certain contact sports and can be the difference in avoiding serious injury. Be sure you get the right shin pad for you, for safety and for helping your performance. Shop Greaves Sports for all your football needs, including football boots, footballs, and football kits.

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