On-Field Armor: The Best Soccer Shin Guards to Buy in 2024

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Written by Daniel Pena, Bachelors in Kinesiology and footballer: Learn More

Are you looking for a pair of the best soccer shin guards? Shin guards, often referred to as shin pads, are one of the most important pieces of soccer equipment, designed to maximize safety and prevent injuries on the field.

Finding your next pair of shin guards might not be as easy as it sounds because, similar to soccer cleats, most shin guards come in various shapes, sizes, materials, and designs.

In this comprehensive guide, I will share with you tips and everything else you need to know before you invest your money on a new pair of the best soccer shinguards.

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The Importance of Soccer Shin Guards

The beautiful game is the most popular sport in the world and even though it is a ton of fun to play it is a high-contact sport where accidents and injuries can happen. That’s where soccer shin guards come in.

Shin guards are the most important protective gear in soccer, along with the right cleats, and head bands and ankle braces in some situations. A reliable pair of shin guards provide great protection to help prevent and limit injuries as well as allow you to feel confident on the field, without the worry of getting cleated in the shin bone.

Knowing how to wear shin guards is just as important as the types of shin guards you invest in and whether you want light and sturdy or additional padding for maximum safety, there’s a shin guard with your name on it.

best soccer shin guards

Key Factors To Consider When Buying Shin Guards

Before you go invest in a new pair of shin guards there are certain factors to consider such as:

Secure Fit and Comfort

The most important factor to consider when buying a pair of shin guards is how they fit, so make sure you invest in a pair that provides a secure and custom fit.

Shin Guard Sizing

The size of the shin guard you need will depend on your age and height. However, you don’t have to follow the size guides as some players like smaller shin guards, so it feels like you are not wearing any, while other players like bigger shin guards for extra protection.

Types of Shin Guards

There are four main types of shin guards and you can choose either of these designs based on personal preference.

  • Slip-in shin guards
    • Lightweight and easy to put on
  • Ankle shin guards or ankle guards
    • Provide the most additional protection
  • Shin Guard Sleeves
    • Easy to put on shin guards with a built-in sleeve
  • Shin sock
    • Soccer socks and shin guards combined

Best Soccer Shin Guards Based on Different Categories

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Best Slip in Shin Guards: Puma Ultra Flex + Shin Guard Sleeves

The most comfortable pair of shin guards that I have worn, that come with their own pair of sleeves, are the Puma Ultra Flex shin guards. Offering ultimate protection and a secure fit, the Puma Ultra Flex Shin guards are the best choice for players seeking a versatile and top-performing shin guard.

With innovative features like compression sleeves, shock absorption, and a hard outer shell, these slip-in shin guards ensure a snug fit, optimal impact protection, stay firmly on your shin, and they are very easy to put on.

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Best Budget-Friendly Shin Guards: Franklin Sports Soccer Shin Guards

If you are a soccer player in need of shin guards, but you are on a budget, then the Franklin Sports Soccer Shin Guards are your go-to option that provide good protection without compromising quality.

With key features like velcro straps and a lightweight, but hard shell, these slip-in shin guards provide enough protection to prevent injuries for a cost-effective price.

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Best Ankle Shin Guards: Vizari Malaga Ankle Guards

For players who want complete protection for the shins and ankles, the Vizari Malaga ankle shin guards are a top choice. These shin guards provide extra ankle support and they are more popular among young players, although adult players can use them as well.

This type of shin guard will take the longest time to put on, compared to the others on this list, but it will provide the most protection and impact absorption.

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Best Sleeve Shin Guards: G form Pro S Vento Soccer Shin Guard

Compression sleeve shin guards are some of the most convenient types of shin guards you can get and the G Form Pro S Elite Soccer Shin Guards stand out as the best in this category.

The breathable sleeve and lightweight shell make them suitable for players of all levels, offering a snug fit and the necessary protection for playing soccer comfortably. If you are playing in a pickup game or futsal where long socks are not mandatory, then you can just slide these on, without any socks over them, and you are ready to play.

However, for official games and matches you will have to make sure the shin guards are covered over by socks.

best soccer shin guards

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Best Shin Sock Sleeve: Nike Shin Sock Sleeve

Combining the benefits of a sock and shin guard, the Nike Shin Sock Sleeve puts these two pieces of equipment together. Offering great protection and a secure fit, these guards are perfect for those who want the convenience of an all-in-one design.

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Best Soccer Shin Guards for Young Players: Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Guards

The Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Guards come in options for both adult and young players and they are some of the highest quality shin guards, for any level, created by Nike. These youth shin guards offer the right balance of protection and comfort with a lightweight shell and foam padding.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to wear shin guards and how should they fit?

There are right ways and wrong ways to wear socks and soccer shin guards. The right way to wear a shin guard is for the shin guards to be doing its main job, which is protecting the shin area. To do this the shin guard should be under your socks and about an inch or two above the ankle and about an inch or two from the knee, right in the middle of the shin.

If you feel your shin guards are sliding around too much you can use compression sleeves or shin guard straps to help hold everything in place.

Do shin guards go over or under socks?

Shin guards are meant to be worn under socks,not over your socks whether that is your team socks, grip socks, or any other type of sock.

How do you wash soccer shin guards?

Shin guards can get really smelly because of the sweat that builds up when you play, which is why it is important to know how to wash your shin guards properly.


In conclusion, shin guards are arguably the most important piece of protective gear for soccer players. There are many shin guards on the market, such as traditional shin guards that are easy to put on, ankle guards that provide extra ankle protection, shin guards with built in sleeves, as well as socks with built in shin guards.

No matter what player position you play, everyone has to wear shin guards since they are an essential part of a soccer uniform, but players have the freedom to wear whatever type of shin guards they want.

In this blog, I shared with you some of the best soccer shin guards on the market as well as tips to help you make the best informed decision.

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