Best Soccer Shin Guards [2024 Review]

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There is only one required piece of safety equipment for all professional soccer players to stay safe, and that’s the soccer shin guard. An entire game played almost exclusively by kicking is going to result in a lot of shins getting hacked, and the smartest thing to do is cover that area with a protective amount of foam padding to absorb shock.

Our Top Soccer Shin Guard Recommendations

When looking for a pair of shin guards it’s a good idea to consider your position on the field and your style of play. If you’re a defender who’s going to be doing a lot of stopping and blocking, you want something with a bit extra protection to absorb shock and prevent injuries. If you’re a nimble attacker looking for the biggest advantage in speed, you’ll want the lightest and lowest profile guard available.

G-Form Elite Shin Guards

The Elite Shin Guards are different from your standard shin guards. They’ll need to be put on before your socks, but don’t let the extra bit of effort scare you away. Constructed with a focus on both comfort and more protection to a player’s shin, it’s great jump forward in the shin guard technology and design. They are a bit more expensive than many shin guards but well worth it.

The proprietary and patented molded composite allows the pads to stay soft and only harden on impact. This Reaction Protection Technology provides flexibility throughout the entire shin guard while running or sliding, and excellent protection against injuries when the ball or a stray kick reach your shins. In addition, the low-profile nature of the pads will keep them from getting in the way of your socks or feeling too bulky on your shins.

At the base of these soccer shin guards is a moisture-wicking, UPF 50+ compression fabric to keep the player dry and comfortable. They are lightweight, breathable, and the sleeve design helps them to stay in place. Another benefit of the sleeves design is added calf compression which can promote blood flow, helping to prevent fatigue, injuries and cramps.

Even though the design looks a little odd, the Elite meets NOCSAE and CE standards to play soccer throughout the USA and EU.

They are also one of the few sets of soccer shin guards around that are machine washable, but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Overall, this strong and flexible advancement in protection technology to play soccer and avoid injuries is worth it.

Product Specs
  • Size Range: S – XL
  • Style: Sleeve
  • Weight: 2 oz
  • Material: RPT® pads and moisture-wicking compression fabric
  • Certification: NOCSAE and CE
  • Youth Sizes Available: Yes

Adidas Ghost Shin Guards

Going back to the classic shin guard design, the adidas Performance Ghost Soccer Shin Guards add a new multi-shield design that helps these best shin guards perform at a high level. They come with a pair of breathable sleeves to keep them in place and are available in an assortment of colors.

This set of best soccer shin guards are made of 3 different shields fitted together for highest flexibility and perfect fit. This shell should give you excellent additional protection from striking impact and further injury.

The padded foam Eva backing is made of soft and durable EVA foam to absorb additional pressure on the shins. Channels within this pair of shin guards allow for ventilation so your legs don’t feel like they’re overheating.

It’s not recommended to wear this pair of shin guards without soccer socks covering them.

Even though they come with an included compression sleeve, you’ll experience them moving around quite a bit without the extra support of a long sock. This pair of shin guards run small and recommend ordering a size up from the manufacturer size chart.

Product Specs
  • Size Range: XS – XL
  • Style: Sleeve and front plate combo
  • Weight: 12 oz
  • Material: 95% Polypropylene, 5% TPU injection-molded
  • Youth Soccer Sizes Available: Yes

Vizari Malaga Shin Guard

If you need a pair of backup shin guards for practice or as a spare to keep in your bag, consider the Vizari Malaga Shin Guards as a protective gear option for days when you forget your main set.

These shin guards are made for youth soccer players, but the sizes go all the way up to an adult Large (for professional soccer players up to 5’11”).

This is a great design for smaller players who are looking for a little more level of protection in the ankles or knee. You have to pull these shin guards on, but you really can’t get knee or ankle protection without a design similar to this.

In addition to the thin and strong polyproylene shell, these have foam padded backing for comfort. They boast super lightweight, all-around protective construction.

For adults, it’s highly recommended that you order the largest size available. For kids, be sure to read the size charts shown in the reviews. Without any chart available in the product description that’s about the best you can do.

Product Specs
  • Size Range: XXS – L
  • Style: Ankles and sturrup
  • Weight: 6.4 oz
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Youth Sizes Available: Yes

Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Guards

The Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Guards bridge the performance gap between the Adidas and other recommendations I previously mentioned.

The Nike Mercurial Lite Soccer Shin Guards are designed with a strong, lightweight, K-resin shell to help guard against the impact you will experience in practice or matches. The Mercurial Lite Shin Guards’ shell is also low-profile to make sure it doesn’t get in the way of your touches.

One of the standout features of the Nike Mercurial Shin Guards is the waffle-patterned EVA foam. The Mercurial Lite shin guards create additional airflow around your shin area to reduce sweating and keep your guards in place while also dispersing energy from impact while playing soccer. The Nike Guard Lock Sleeves are seamless and made of dry-fit material for breathable calf compression. The same material is designed with a contour to provide a comfortable, snug fit when you’re playing soccer on the soccer field.

These soccer shin guards are very lightweight and very small. This pair of shin guards is intended for players who want to stay protected with just enough level of good protection to fall within the rules, even if it only protects a small amount of the legs. For attackers who are looking for the least obtrusive level of protection with a snug fit that won’t limit their mobility, these are the way to go.

Product Specs
  • Size Range: XS – XL
  • Style: Sleeve and front plate combo
  • Weight: 8 oz
  • Material: 69% K-resin/31% EVA
  • Youth Sizes Available: Yes, multiple sizes


If you’re looking for a pair of shin guards that have the flexibility of our top pick G-Forms and a secure fit, it’s worth looking into a cloth type soccer shin guards.

This type of soccer shin guards pulls on directly over your leg. They’re generally recommended for younger players because they are so easy to put on as opposed to many shin guards.

A very modest, yet popular, pair of these cloth type are the ProForce Soccer Shin Guards. There isn’t much in the way of advanced features here but they offer great value, they’re basically a sleeve with an attached piece of foam. As simple as the design is, they’re extremely comfortable since there isn’t a hard plate attached to them.

These soccer shin guards provide a very good level of protection with a customized fit for younger soccer players, but adults should be wary.

As bodies get bigger and kicks get stronger, they can’t protect the player as well as soccer shin guards with a hard outer shell, or newer technologies that harden on impact.

If you want something that’s extremely comfortable for practice these are a great choice, but we wouldn’t recommend them for adult match play.

Product Specs
  • Size Range: S – XL
  • Style: Sleeve
  • Weight: 8 oz
  • Material: Flexible fabric
  • Youth Sizes Available: Yes, multiple sizes


When you’re looking for a pair of soccer shin guards for your child you need to consider both great protection and ease of use. If they can’t put them on easily and correctly they won’t want to wear them, a sleeve/hard shell combo is a great choice.

These DashSport Soccer Shin Soccer Guards have a light and durable hard polypropylene shell to protect the shin. Padded foam on the inside helps distribute impact and keep the guard more comfortable on the leg.

The cushioned ankle supports help protect tender ankle bones and create a handy target to slide the foot through to set them up for perfect positioning.

Be sure to look at the size chart provided by the manufacturer. This chart gives general sizes based on height and age, but also gives the specific size of the shin guard so you can measure it against your child.

Product Specs
  • Size Range: XS – M
  • Style: Hard shell
  • Weight: 5.6 oz
  • Material: Polyester
  • Youth Sizes Available: Yes

Storelli BodyShield Guards

These soccer guards aren’t soccer shin guards by themselves, instead we would consider them the top soccer shin guards accessory. Many of the highest-rated soccer shin guards slip into an included sleeve that holds them in place and adds a small amount of compression. Storelli’s BodyShield Soccer Shin Guards are a highly protective upgrade from standard sleeves.

While a standard shin guard protects the area in the front of the lower leg, these soccer shin guards add additional impact protection to the sides and back of the lower leg, as well as the inner and outer ankle. 0.12in of stretchy Poron XRD® padding in these areas is soft and comfortable when worn, but does an excellent job of absorbing impact.

These hold shin guards in place like regular sleeves, but the better protective material adds an additional amount of calf compression that you can’t get from standard lycra and other thin materials meant to protect. A latex grip elastic band holds them up so they don’t sag. One of the best features, a built-in shin guard pocket, holds your shin guard perfectly in place so you don’t have to worry about it sliding to the side of your sleeve.

If you’re a defender or any player whose strong challenges cause impact more often than not, or an attacker who always gets hacked, we’d recommend this added layer of protection.

Product Specs
  • Size Range: Youth Small – Adult Large
  • Style: Sleeve
  • Weight: 8 oz
  • Material: 82% Nylon, 18% Spandex. 100% Urethane Foam
  • Youth Sizes Available: Yes

Features to Consider for Soccer Shin Guards

Soccer shin guards should be useful for you in the field and not hinder your performance. Hence, it’s important to check your shin guard’s features and see whether they align with your playstyle. 

Two boys on a field wearing shin guards


Shin guards are used mainly for protection so it’s important to consider the level of protection when choosing soccer shin guards. The best soccer shin guards provide a certain level of injury prevention. 

The protection actually depends on your preference and what you feel secure when wearing them. After all, we don’t have the same legs and the soccer shin guards should protect what condition your legs are. 


The shin guards should be comfortable to wear and not get in the way of your performance. Wearing uncomfortable shin guards despite it providing protection would only hurt your playstyle and may even cause injury because of the discomfort. 

Hence, it’s important to get soccer shin guards that you are comfortable wearing. It’s better to try them out yourself or if you’re buying online, check what other people has to say about its comfort. 


We’re not just talking about having the right size. For example, most professional soccer players prefer using small and light shin guards because they play at a much faster pace. The lighter shin guards allow them to have more freedom in movement

If you’re buying for your kids, then getting one with thick cushioned foam. For amateur players, it’s best to get a balanced between lightweight and thick protection soccer shin guards. 

Different Types of Shin Guards

Slip-In Shin Guards

The most basic form to protect yourself with a shin guards is the slip-in. These shin guards typically sport a hard outer shell to absorb initial impact, a few options like the Franklin Sports Superlight guards come with padding to disperse the pressure across the shin instead of focusing it in one place.

Sleeve Shin Guards

One of the easiest types of shin guards to put on correctly, the sleeve style is one piece (normally made up of separate segments) that simply slides over the foot and onto the lower legs.

Ankle Shin Guards

This type of shin guard is a mix between a slip-in and a sleeve. The structure is a large piece that is pulled over the foot, with ankle protection, and normally has velcro straps at the top to add stability. This is one of the types of shin guard that can be worn comfortably since there is an additional level of support with the adjustable straps.


What Type of Shin Guards Are Best for Soccer?

It depends on your preference, personally, we recommend the slip-in shin guards since they’re portable and lightweight. It’s easy to bring around when you are traveling to tournaments. 

Do Professional Soccer Players Use Shin Guards?

Professional soccer players use shin guards. In fact, in FA and FIFA laws, they are required to wear shin guards. It is one of the mandatory equipment for professional soccer players to wear. 


The right pair of shin guards can be critical to your game. If you’re worried about protection, use this buying guide to get a pair of shin guards with more padding. If you’re worried that the shin guards will get in the way, get a smaller pair or ones with a lower profile or the right size.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.