How To Buy Best Shin Pads For Soccer

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

OK. Step 1: Go into your local sports store (if possible, a shop that specializes in soccer gear). It's important to try on the pair you'll be purchasing. After all, you're hopefully going to be wearing these for a long time. Make sure you get what feels comfortable. If an employee has knowledge of the game, it never hurts to get his or her opinion on which pair will work for you.

Step 2

If you can, bring your soccer cleats and a pair of your own soccer socks that you will be wearing when you play.

Step 3

Try on different types of guards. There are two basic options in shopping for shinguards: Guards with ankle support and those without.

Step 4

If you want to give your ankle extra support and protection from injury (I advise this for younger players), go with ankle supporting shinguards. For this type of shinguard, you will definitely want to have with you the pair of cleats you'll be playing in. It's important to get the fit right.

Step 5

If speed and maneuverability take precedence in your decision, you may want to consider getting shinguards without ankle support. It is especially important with these that you try them on with socks and make sure that they don't slide around.

Step 6

One last thing: In recent years, there has been a rising demand for moldable shinguards. If you go this route, you will achieve the ultimate in comfort and fit. If you have a little extra money, I recommend spending it on a pair you can specially fit for your legs.

Step 7

In the end, it's really about what you feel comfortable in. Try on different pairs and go with your gut. They're your shins. Buy the shinguards that feel right.

Step 8

As with all things, some guards are better than others. High school player? If so, your shinguards will have to meet National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) length and safety requirements. As far as material, manufacturers use several different types. Your shinguards will most likely be constructed of plastic foam, rubber, polyurethane, or ethylene vinyl acetate. Plastic is cheap, light and very protective. It's usually a great choice. What plastic lacks in flexibility (it's only real downside), foam rubber boasts along with a comparable lightness, but less protection. Both of these however, are great options depending on your needs.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

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Funny or interesting story about this topic...

Let me start by saying that I hate shin guards. They're cumbersome and it's always been my opinion that they just get in the way. If it were up to me and the rules allowed it, I'd take my chances without them. I once forgot to bring a pair to an indoor match. I was just playing for a friend's rec team so it wasn't a very formal environment and they didn't check our equipment. Halfway through the game though, a referee noticed that I was missing them and sent me off the field. Frustrated, I walked over to the lost and found bin, grabbed a pair of tiny, strapless, youth shin guards, slipped them under my socks, and jumped back into the mix. No matter what I did, I could not keep those things in. Eventually the ref had had enough and kicked me out of the game.

When did you first do this & how did you get started?

When I first started playing soccer, the only shin guards I knew of were the kind that you slip on around your ankle and strap to the back of your calf. Over the years, as I learned what I liked, I made the transition to smaller, unattached shin guards. It's all a matter of preference and depends what your priorities are.

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