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No matter what your level of experience may be, everyone playing organized soccer is required to wear shin guards. Although considered a limited-contact sport, soccer can be aggressive and shin guards act to protect your shins and ankles from being kicked. When selecting the appropriate type of soccer shin guards, it’s wise to develop a basic understanding of the equipment features and how they can help protect you.
Selecting Soccer Shin Guards
Simple in concept, soccer shin guards are available in several different types and vary based on the level of protection offered There is no universally correct answer that applies to every player when selecting these products. The level of protection, mobility and personal comfort vary based on the individual. Constructed from materials like fiberglass, foam rubber, polyurethane, hard plastic and EVA foam, the different types of shin guards typically balance the level of protection with the comfort of the player.
Here are examples of the types of players that may get the most benefit from each kind of shin guard:
–Shin Socks - Featuring shin protection with the comfort and convenience of a built-in sock, these advanced shin guards possess hard shells with foam padding and padded ankles, and are perfect for the younger player.
– Ankle Shin Guards - Popular with intermediate players, Shields with Velcro Straps feature a hard shield backed with a thin layer of dense foam which acts as padding and fastened to the leg with two sets of Velcro straps. Although somewhat bulkier than other guards, these offer a better balance between protection and comfort. We offer a wide selection from popular brands such as Umbro, Adidas and Nike.
–Slip-In Shin Guards - Smaller and lighter than the other types, these Shields with Sleeves offer the greatest range of motion and level of comfort, but with reduced protection. Worn with an elastic sleeve that holds the guard flush with the leg, these guards tend to be smaller and allow easy adjustment. Umbro, Nike and Adidas shin guards are popular with advanced players.
Fitting Shin Guards
Fit is one of the most important factors when searching for set of shin guards. Generally, a properly sized pair of guards should cover most of the area between your ankle and knee, however this can vary widely based on age and player preference.
When selecting shin guards, there are a number of different factors that could affect achieving the proper fit including;
• The player’s position on the field should be considered: Defensemen should have guards with greater protection, Forwards need shin guards that offer greater mobility and Midfielders commonly need guards that offer a cross between the two.
• Game socks and cleats worn to determine the actual level of protection and mobility.
• When selecting youth shin guards, greater focus should be given to protection due to younger players’ stage in physical development.