Welcome to my review of the best shin guards on the market!
In combat sports like Muay Thai, MMA, Kickboxing, Taekwondo, and Karate, a piece of gear called a shin guard is a necessity. Why? well, it is to protect your legs, specifically your shins.
If it is your first time training for combat sports, or if you are a veteran of the sport and want to search for better gear, then you have come to the right place!
In this review, I will provide you with all the things you need to know in selecting the best brands around and which one suits your style. You may also want to read related reviews such as Best Boxing Gloves for Training and Best Percussion Massagers.
What Is The Purpose Of Shin Guards?
The purpose of shin guards, as said earlier, is to protect you and your opponent from possible injuries, not only on your shins, but to every part of your body that might get struck by kicks.
Since combat sports like MMA, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, etc. involve a lot of kicking, then an injury is almost inevitable without any gear on your shin, especially if it is not well conditioned. On contrary, it is also possible to injure your opponent. There have been instances wherein blocking kicks using the forearm causes to ulna to snap.
Whether you’re taking combat sports seriously or as a leisure activity, it is of extreme importance to use shin guards. With that being said, you have to research first before choosing which brands to use. This is because substandard or unknown products may not offer as much protection as to their legitimate counterparts.
It is best to stick with reputable brands, which I will relay later. Investing in quality shin guards does not only aid protection but ensures long-term use.
What Are The Best Shin Guards In The Market?
It's no coincidence that the Venum brand has become one of the leading manufacturers of combat sports apparel and gear. Over the years, they have produced not only top quality equipment, but also the coolest designs available in the market.
An example of this is the Venum Elite Shin Guards, under their famous Elite series. It is one of the best looking shin guards and fight gear available in the market, with 17 colorway designs to choose from.
The material of this shin guard is made from a synthetic skintex leather. Venum boasts the gear having manufactured with special micro-fiber for top-notch durability. The straps are made up of elastic bands which makes a more secure and stable fit.
- Multiple cool colorway designs to choose from
- Special micro-fiber for ultra durability
- Stays secure and doesn't slip easily
- Relatively expensive
- Users have complained the upper strap rubs through skin when bending leg
The Venum Kontact Evo shin guard is the best option if you’re looking for overall comfortability. In terms of comfort, I’d say that the pads are a perfect ten out of ten.
It is made of Neoprene that provides more fluid movement and, as a result, produces more accurate attacks during combat or training sessions. The paddings are of quality and high-density foams. Therefore, rest assured that you and your opponent are safe during sparring sessions.
In my opinion, the most striking feature of pads is its design. I love how the shins guards look, aesthetically pleasing and minimalistic.
- Excellent Comfortability
- Provides good ventilation amidst construction
- Relatively expensive
- Lack of overall protection especially in the sides of the leg. May not be best suitable for beginners.
3. RDX MMA Instep Foam Pads
In any combat sports, of course, there are factors like comfort, movement, etc. But safety should be our number priority more than anything else. In terms of protection, RDX MMA Instep Foam Pads is one of the excellent choices out there.
The shin pads’ exteriors are made of quality Nylastic cover. Also, its hook and loop closure allows a snugly fit and maximum comfort.
In addition to its comfort factor, the gear also has a sweat absorption feature, which is a huge help, especially if you intend to train for long hours.
As mentioned, protection is one of the selling points of the gear. They have double padding that helps protect your shin bones during combat.
Other notable safety features are its Shell-Shock gel and Supremo-Shock foam. Having these factors in mind, you can rest assured that your training sessions are perfectly safe without compromising enjoyment.
- Sweat absorption feature for maximum comfort
- It may be less durable compared to its counterparts
4. Venum Predator Standup Shin Guards
Even though the Venum Predator Stand-up gear is a little pricey, I believe that it is still a good value for money.
I also see it as a good investment if you’re looking for a gear that could last for a long time. The materials used are of high-density foam that makes it durable and comfortable to use at the same time.
The foams absorb shocks from hits, keeping the wearer safe during sparring sessions. The design is pleasing to look at with its iconic snake logo on the front. It also has a rear strap that tightly fits your shin and calf.
The gear is comfortable to use, which also allows maximum movement without worrying about the pads slipping. However, although it perfectly fits, there are still enough gaps to allow air to flow.
- Provides complete protection
- Lightweight and comfortable
- It is pricey and may not be affordable to some.
- Has only 1 color available
5. Fairtex SP3 Pro Style Shin Guards
In terms of overall protection, you can immediately surmise from the looks of the brand that you can achieve this.
However, you might also feel that the Fairtex Pro is uncomfortable because its appearance is a little bulky. But it’s made of synthetic leather. So the brand is still lightweight, which would allow you fluid movement during your training sessions.
The interior also feels light and fits comfortably onto your shins. Thus, the shin guards aren’t wobbly and don’t move around. As mentioned, Fairtex Pro is one of the best options if your preference is protection and overall safety.
But you may experience annoyance with its instep because it is not as thick as it should be. This might lead to pain being inflicted if you or your opponent, or whoever the wearer of the brand is, didn’t kick properly.
Lastly, the aesthetic design of the brand is pleasing to look at with how minimalist and simple it is.
- Sits comfortably onto your shin
- Sturdy built
- Outstanding durability
- Instep padding not thick enough, in my opinion
- Metal loop system
- Simple and minimalistic design
6. Hayabusa T3 Striking Shinguards
Hayabusa is a popular brand in any type of combat sport. And they are well known for a good reason, they provide high performance and quality MMA gears.
The Hayabusa T3 Striking Shin Guards is one primary example of their excellence.
It is made of a material of what the company calls Vylar. It is a type of synthetic leather which Hayabusa claims to be a lot better than leathers that are made of animal. Its interior is made of fabric linings with small silicone dots to prevent slipping during combat.
Overall the craftsmanship of the gear is outstanding. The Hayabusa T3 Striking Shin Guards are very durable and strong and reliable paddings that protect you and your opponent.
In terms of comfort, there’s some a small inconvenience once you start sweating. The pads seem to slip a little, although one of its features is anti-slip.
But overall, the Hayabusa T3 Striking Shin Guards are recommendable.
- Wide area protection
- Sturdy built
- Secure placement to legs
- A minor case of slipping when you begin sweating
- It may take a while to dry after washing
Different brands offer unique features. For this reason, it is important to know which brand suits your preference in terms of design, comfortable, security, etc.
In this review, I have narrowed it to the six best shin guards you can find in the market. In this section, I’ll discuss each briefly what to look for when searching for shin guards that meet your standards.
If it’s your first time buying shin guards for combat sports, then there are a lot of varieties to choose from. Some of the common types you’ll find include leather and synthetic leather.
Sock-sleeves are also becoming popular because they are obviously cheaper. But I don’t recommend them simply because they are less durable.
Genuine leather is the most durable and more reliable in terms of protecting yourself from possible injuries. Synthetic leather, on the other hand, is lighter but durable nonetheless. They are also easier to clean compared to genuine leather.
The bottom line, however, is that you can never really go wrong with either genuine or synthetic leather. I believe it all goes down to personal preferences.
Size and Fitting
Well, of course, the size of the shin guards is a no brainer.
Be sure to check your size before buying. The shin guards could slip if they are loose. Here are is an example of a size chart you can use.
Heavy and bulky shin guards offer a lot of durability and protection. However, it is heavy, as mentioned, which can affect your movement.
On the other end, a lightweight shin guard results in a much accurate attack. A lightweight shin guard also offers protection, but not as much as a heavier gear.
Again, it all depends on your preference. If overall safety is everything, and you don’t care that much to the weight, then you could use the heavier ones.
If movement and accuracy are important, then choose lighter ones.
Quality Over Price
In my opinion, we should opt for quality and reputable brands over cheap ones since we’re dealing with combat sports. The nature of these sports is that there will be a lot of punching and kicking that safety must be our number one priority.
Whether you take combat sports seriously or not, shin guards are very important, especially during sparring sessions.
Shin guards protect your opponent and yourself as well from possible injuries.
I have given you the top brands out there and also provided a buyers’ guide to choosing the best one possible. And I hope it would help you in your search for the best shin guards you can use in your journey.