The Best Soccer Shin Guards

Wilson Hex Evo Soccer Shin Guard

Our Top Pick for 2016: Wilson Hex Evo Soccer Shin Guard
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $14.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

Even with the immense popularity of soccer worldwide (with over 270 million people consisting of male/female players and referees/officials), the specific origins of the sport are still relatively ambiguous. What researchers have found is that the most ancient origins of the game can be traced back to Egypt, ancient China, and Rome. Since the earliest inception of the sport, its global prevalence has developed with dramatic momentum. The current day, the World Cup has drawn an audience of billions to spectate games from South Korea to South Africa. No matter what team that a player represents, or the competitive level of their league, the importance of shin guards is always an integral factor in ensuring the highest quality of player performance. The following shin guards have been rated as some of the most reliable on the market for both serious and casual players alike.

Table of contents

Protective Hard Shield
Full Ankle Support
Strong Protection Against Impacts
Soft And Durable
Ergonomic Fit
Secure Fit
Improved Blood Flow
Soft Eva Foam Padded
Left/Right-Specific Fit
Keep Shins Safe
Printed Graphics
Low-Profile Shell 
Extra Comfort
Textured Synthetic Leather
Contoured Comfort

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): Wilson Hex Evo Soccer Shin Guard

Wilson Hex Evo Soccer Shin Guard Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $14.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerWilson Hex Evo Soccer shin guards are made with textured synthetic leather insert material. The shin guards feature printed graphics with an embossed carbon-fiber pattern. The ankle support has been reinforced and stitched with foam ankle cups to make them more protective. For a more ergonomic fit, the shell has been pre-curved in order to better fit the contour of the player’s leg, and the soft foam has been molded with an interior shape.

One customer testified that they purchased the shin guards for their seven-year-old, and they were very pleased to find that the shin guards were a perfect fit. The customer reported that this was the third pair of shin guards that they had purchased for their child, and the first two shin guards had Velcro in the back which caused either unpleasant itching or painful compression.

Unlike the first two choices of shin guards, these particular shin guards were much more comfortable for their child to wear. The customer was so impressed by the shin guards that they decided to order another set for their five-year-old child. Another reviewer was pleased with their stability and overall quality. The customer did advise other prospective owners that it is highly important to be very critical about choosing the perfect size.

The customer reported that the peewee size was a perfectly ergonomic fit for their four-year-old child, who is approximately 38 inches tall. In another testimony, the customer praised how sturdy and adaptable to shin guards were. The customer believed that be shin guards provide a highly reliable balance between protection of both the shin and the ankles without sacrificing a great deal of mobility in the lower leg or foot. The customer testified that they had tried over 10 different shin guards before deciding that this brand was the perfect choice.

Customers agree that these are highly suitable shin guards for child to tween-sized players. The peewee shin guards would most likely fit boys or girls within the range of third grade to early middle school. Certain customers are particularly pleased by the straps due to the fact that they do not have to be threaded; instead of having to thread the straps, they can simply be wrapped once around the calf equally effectively. Care will have to be taken in order to line the Velcro up in a fashion that prevents the abrasive plastic from creating a rough sensation on the skin.

The adhesiveness of the Velcro prevents the unfavorable occurrence of “jostling” during the game that can move the shin guards out of place. With the shin guards, young players are able to exert themselves without having to compensate for the possibility that the shin guards could become unexpectedly displaced at an important moment. The shin guards are available in one of two sizes: adult and peewee. The youth guards are just under 8 inches long, and the adult shin guards are approximately 8.5 inches long.

Certain customers have advised other prospective owners to be aware of the fact that the adult size might actually be slightly smaller than what most adults would be able to comfortably fit, as the surface area of coverage is not that much more expansive than the youth variation. The peewee shin guards can be purchased for the price of $16.85, and the adult shin guards can be purchased for the price of $17.99.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): adidas Performance Ghost Guard

adidas Performance Ghost Guard

View it on Amazon for $20.00*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerAdidas Performance Ghost shin guards have been designed to be suitable for both the beginner and the advanced athlete. The shin guards are made with a hard shield front to facilitate the maximum degree of protectiveness.

In addition to the protectiveness, the shin guards also have a soft and durable cushion lining to increase the ergonomics. The shell of the shin guard has been made with 100% polypropylene injection, and the sleeve has been made with 100% polyester The compression sleeve has been made with enough pressure in to facilitate a better rate of blood flow for the wearer.

One customer testified that these particular shin guards are minimalist pro-style guards best-suited for club or varsity players. The customer testified that the compression sleeve is a bit on the tighter side, but this was welcome due to the fact that their son has larger calf muscles. Despite the tightness, the customer testified that the shin guards fit perfectly well on his leg.

The customer’s son was just under 6’1”, and the customer purchased the large shin guard, which is made for players from 5’10” to 6’1” height. The customer reported that they could have gone with the extra-large size, but due to the fact that the difference in extra length was only about half an inch, and there is no difference in witness, this was not necessary. The customer reported that the proper surface area for the style is to cover about 3 to 4 inches above the ankle and 4 to 6 inches below the knee.

The customer suggested that if the player desires a fit and feel that is superior to that offered by Nike or UA, then these would be a wise choice. The customer found that other brands have left their legs in state that puts the player at risk of heat rash. The customer praised the shin guards for being particularly breathable, as well as the backing materials for not being as prone to sweat retention.

Another customer testified that the shin guards are one of the best-sitting guards that they have invested in. The customer reported that they are approximately 6 feet tall, and they have been able to keep the shin guards taped on without any issues of them sliding off.
In another testimony, a customer reported that they bought the shin guards for their daughter. The customer’s daughter used to have very long shin guards that had a strap running under the foot. These shin guards, unlike the previous shin guards, were much more comfortable for the customer’s daughter.

The cuffs are very lightweight, and yet they are still stretchy enough for the guards to be securely held in place at all times. The customer was impressed enough to purchase a second set, just about a year after the first purchase. The customer bought a second set in order to accommodate their daughter’s growth in the height, though the first set was still in good shape and was able to last through three seasons.

The shin guards are available in one of four sizes: small, medium, large, and extra-large. The shin guards are available in the following colors: solar green/black, black/light yellow, solar red/white, night/purple/solar red, silver metallic/solar orange, solar yellow/black, black/solar gold, black/iron metallic, white/silver blue, solar blue/solar pink, solar green/rich blue, and solar red/solar gold. The price range for all different size and color variations of the shin guards is between $6.87 and $25.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Nike Mercurial Lite Soccer Shin Guards

Nike Mercurial Lite Soccer Shin Guards

View it on Amazon for $46.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardNike Mercurial Lite shin guards are made with a K-resin shell. The shin guards feature a waffle pattern EVA fall for the backer. The fit of the shin guards has been designed for anatomical left/right design. The guard locks sleeve has been designed with anatomical fit as well.

One customer testified that they were highly pleased with the style and functionality of the shin guards. The customer reported that they had tried wearing the shin guards under their socks, and though they did move around just a bit, they were able to work around this problem by using the included calf sleeves.

After putting the soccer socks over the calf sleeves, the customer was pleased to find that the shin guards did not move around at all. The customer identified as a 5’8” man weighing 158 pounds, and the large size was the most optimal fit for them. The customer had originally purchased the medium-size, though they found the Medium shin guards to be slightly too small.

Another customer testified that these guards were their answer for finding shin guards that did not slip out of their children’s soccer socks. The customer frequently ran into a problem with other brands that would commonly get displaced during play, and they stated that their children don’t like wearing soccer shin guards without a sleeve.

The customer reported that the shin guards happen to be much better smelling than the Under Armour sleeve. The customer believed that the better smell was due to the fact that Under Armour sleeves typically have more of a wicking material, while the shin guards feature more of a mesh material.

The customer purchased a Size Small for both of their children. The customer’s son Is 10 ½ years old, of average height, and their daughter is 8 ½ years old while being quite tall for her age. While the customer was originally unsure about what size to buy, they found that Small was a suitable size for both of their children.

The customer reported that the sleeve does fit slightly tightly, but this is favorable due to the need for adequate compression. The customer advised other buyers to be aware that the sleeve will leave marks on the leg after being worn for several hours, but not to the point of being a serious drawback. The customer reported that these shin guards were impressive enough to become the only shin guards that they are going to choose to buy from now on.

Another customer testified that the medium-size of the shin guards quite possibly offers the best range of coverage for a person of average height. The customer reported that the sleeves made it possible for the guards to be held in place for the entire game and completely eliminated the need for there to be any securing tape.

The only drawback that the customer had to mention was the fact that the guards tended to be somewhat uncomfortable when placed on the front of their shins. The customer managed to compensate for the discomfort by rotating the shins slightly to the inside of each leg, and they’ve been able to do this without any injuries

The shin guards are sized in accordance to the following height guide: Extra Small: 4’7” to 4’11”, Small: 4’11” to 5’ 3”, Medium: 5’3” to 5’7”, Large: 5’7” to 5’11”, and XL: 5’11” to 6’7”. The price range for all different sizes of the shin guards is approximately $20 on average.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Vizari Malaga Shin Guard

Vizari Malaga Shin Guard

View it on Amazon for $10.00*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickThe Vizari Malaga shin guards are made with a hard and lightweight PP shell for increased protection and preserved mobility. The backing has been made with a foam padding to increase the overall level of comfort. One customer testified that these shin guards, in an XXS size, were a perfect fit for their four-year old daughter, who was only 38 inches tall at the time of the review. The customer made s point to advise prospective owners to refer to the measurements in the product description as the length of the plastic guard itself. The customer noted that the full height of the shin guards, from the stirrup to top, is approximately 8.5 to 9 inches.

The shin guards are available in one of five different color variations: black/white, red, sky blue/yellow, pink/black, and red/yellow. The shin guards are available in the following sizes: XX-Small, X-Small, Small, Medium, and Large. The manufacturer released a size guidance reference that specifies the XXS size being suitable for children up to 3’7”, the XS size being suited for children up to 3’11”, the Small size being suited for children up to 4’7”, the Medium size in being suited for adults up to 5’3”, and the size L being suited for adults up to 5’11”.

All different sizes and color variations of these shin guards can be purchased with in a price range between $4.45 and $31.11

Pre-purchase considerations


First and foremost, you’re going to want to make sure that the size of the shin guards that you choose are a proper fit. The sizing system of shin guards is determined by the player’s height. The shin guard-sizing does not have any relationship with the various sizes of the player’s other gear, such as the player’s jersey size, but the size of the shin guards is positively correlated with the length and the width.

Small shin guards will be best-used by players up to 5’2”, medium shin guards will be suited to players up to 5’10”, large shin guards will be suited for players up to 6’4”, and extra-large shin guards will be best-used by players up to 6’10”.

Shin Guard Components

The unique anatomy of the shin guard is something that you have to be aware of in order to make the most educated shin guard purchase. The main part of the shin guard is the shield/front plate. The shield/front plate is usually made of a highly durable carbon fiber or plastic that can be used to disperse the pressure of impact. Some shin guards will have a closure that is made in the form of an adjustable strap, while other shin guards might use a sleeve. Some shin guards might have a form of closure in the form of tape.

Shin Guard Type

One of the most important components of choosing shin guards will be the particular type of shin guards that you choose to buy. There are two specifically different kinds of shin guards: ankle shin guards, and slip-in shin guards.

A slip-in shin guard contains a light shield that is placed beneath the soccer player’s sock. It is common that is slip-in guard will also have a sleeve that is used for the purpose of compression, which also helps keep the shin guard in place. Generally speaking, a slip-inching guard gives the player the widest range of mobility during the game. If mobility is something that you prioritize heavily your particular playing style, then a slip-in shin guard will most likely be the best-suited for your interests.

An ankle shin guard, on the other hand, is a shin guard that prioritizes more fortification of the ankles defenses over the range of mobility. And ankle shin guard will have a soft layer of padding that goes on both sides of the foot, which helps in order to protect the wearer against ankle kicks. In addition to protecting the player from kicks that may hit the ankles, ankle shin guards are also effective for defending against the likelihood of sprains. Ankle protection can generally be either attached or removed at the wearer’s leisure. Generally speaking, slip-in shin guards are better-suited for more advanced players, while ankle guards are generally better-suited for the less-experienced players.

Player Position

The best type of shin guard for you will depend heavily on what type of soccer player you are, and most specifically, your particular position. If you are a defender, then you will need the most protection offered by your shin guards out of any of the other positions. If you are a midfielder, then you are going to have an equal need for both protection and a full range of motion. Goalkeepers are able to safely wear the lightest shin guards (due to their removal from most of the player-on-player impacts of the game), and forwards should generally prioritize both ankle support and defense.


No matter what type of shin guards that you purchase, you will be able to optimize their longevity by making sure to always exercise proper maintenance procedures. Always use soap and water, along with baking soda, to keep the shin guards sanitary and fight against odors. There are some shin guards that can be safely placed through washing machine cycles, but always make a point to confirm what the proper washing procedure is before doing so.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

During a crucial moments of the game, the integrity of the shin guards that you’ve chosen can be a deciding factor in whether or not you are able to get a leg over the competition. Though it may be easy to consider all shin guards to be relatively similar in their general purpose, you will be able to optimize the best possible performance by making sure to choose shin guards that are uniquely calibrated for the type of play that you require for your position. Be sure that everything from the sizing to the anatomy of the shin guards facilitates the best ratio of mobility, ergonomics, and stability that you need.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!


  1. Football Bible Contributors, Who Invented Football,, August 24, 2011
  2. Sports Bickel Staff, 20 Amazing Soccer Facts That Most American Sports and Still No,, March 8, 2015
  3. Chris Reid, Shin guard guide,, August 16, 2013
  4. Fifa staff, World Football,, June 1, 2007
  5. Statista contributors, Statistics and Facts on Soccer,, June 13, 2016
  6. Fact Monster Contributors, Soccer Facts, Fact, June 1, 2015

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