Best Football Shin Pads 2022

Football shin pads can help to protect you from stray tackles and keep your legs in good shape. Here's what you need to know

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Best Football Shin Pads
(Photo: Adobe Stock)

Protecting your legs with a good pair of shin pads is important if you play any type of football.

Whether you play five-a-side, seven-a-side or 11-a-side, selecting the best pair of shin guards can help to keep your legs and ankles in good nick and protect you from stray and potentially painful tackles from your opponents.

In this article, we’re going to bring you everything you need to know about selecting a good pair of shin pads – from the brand to the design – and also reveal our pick for the best shin pads on the market at the moment.

So, with the introductions out of the way, let’s begin taking a look at football shin guards and what you need consider before buying.

What Are Shin Pads?

If you’ve landed on this article, you probably have a pretty good idea of what shin pads are, but let’s quickly cover the basics.

Shin guards are one of the required pieces of equipment required in the laws of the game of football. The law states that shinguards “must be made of a suitable material to provide reasonable protection and covered by the socks”.

In short, shin pads are small hard protection devices which are designed to sit on the front lower part of your leg to protect your shins while playing football. The most basic designs feature only pads, while others sometimes have lower parts which can help to shield your ankles as well.

Football Shin Pads – Things To Consider

Despite having one purpose, not all shin pads are created equal. Here are some of the things to consider before choosing the ones that are right for you.

• Design – Shin pads come in all shapes and sizes, and although they all are designed to offer protection for the lower front part of your leg while playing football, there are some differences between many of the products on offer. For example, some shin pads are shorter in design and therefore only protect a smaller part of your leg. Others are taller and therefore cover more area of your shin. Some products also come with built-in or separate ankle protection to help shield your ankles from knocks.

• Brand – Most of the big sportswear brands have their own range of shin guards. If you have brand that you tend to prefer, then this can make choosing shin pads an easier process. It’s always a good idea to go for a manufacturer that has a proven track record in the industry and that have years of experience behind them.

Astro turf football boots

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• Size – As mentioned above, shin pads can come in different shapes and sizes. As well as differing in terms of design, shin pads usually come in different sizes, such as small, medium and large. Most brands will offer a size guide so that you’ll know which size will fit you best. Getting the size of your shin pads correct is a key step towards ensuring that you’re fully protected, so be sure to check carefully before making a purchase.

• Price – The all-important price tag can help to sway your decision when selecting shin pads. How much you’re willing to spend of course depends on your budget, but it may be worth paying a little bit extra for a product that’s well-built, well-reviewed and that you’ll know will stand the test of time.

Best Football Shin Pads 2022 – Our Picks

So, now that we’ve covered some of the basic things to be aware of when choosing football shin pads, it’s time to bring you our pick of some of the best shin guards on the market at the moment from a range of different brands.

1) Mitre Aircell Carbon

Where to buy:

Mitre Aircell Carbon Shin Guards

(Photo: Amazon)

The first football shin pads on our list are the Mitre Aircell Carbons. Available on Amazon in the UK and highly rated amongst customers, these shin guards feature a fixed sock which also provides ankle protection and helps to make for a secure fit. Mitre is one of the most established brands in the football space and the Aircell Carbons are made from lightweight plastic and feature a foam backing which promotes a cooling airflow. At the time of writing, these reasonably-priced shin pads had an average rating of 4.4 out of five stars on Amazon from nearly 6,000 reviews.

2) Nike Charge

Where to buy:

Nike Charge Shin Pads

(Photo: Nike)

Next up are the Nike Charge shin pads. These shin protectors feature a hard shell with a foam backing and low-profile coverage. These shin guards also feature a fixed sock to help make for a secure fit during play. There is a single strap at the back to help keep the shin pads in place during games. Nike are well known for their quality sportswear products and the Nike Charges are a good option if you’re looking for some solid shin pads from a reputable manufacturer.

3) Adidas Predator League

Where to buy:

Adidas Predator League Shin Pads

(Photo: Adidas)

The Adidas Predator League shin pads are the next option on our list. They feature hard shields backed with EVA and a strapless design – instead, the pads are held in place by the included separate compression sleeves which are designed to be worn under your socks. A slightly more premium-priced option, these shin pads are part of Adidas’ established Predator range of products, led by their famous Predator boots, and the company are one of the most well-established in the football space.

4) Nike Mercurial

Where to buy:

Nike Mercurial Shin Pads

(Photo: Nike)

Next up are the Nike Mercurial Hardshell football shin pads. They feature a simple and sturdy design and have a specific left/right fit. These are a great option for players looking for a low-profile shin pad that offers good protection during games. They are lightweight but solid and feature foam cushioning which is stitched to the hard shell to help shield from impacts and help you to withstand the demands of the game.

5) Puma Ultra Twist

Where to buy:

Puma Ultra Twist Shin Guards

(Photo: Puma)

The final shin pads on our list are the Puma Ultra Twists. These guards are strong, lightweight and impact-resistant – and they come with a compression sleeve featuring a slip pocket to help keep them firmly secure in place during play. They have high shock absorption and feature a lightweight EVA backing, and are designed to have a minimal impact on your freedom of movement.

Football Shin Pad Size Guide

The exact size of the shin pads you choose will vary from brand to brand. If you’re unsure about which size to go for, take a look on the official manufacturer website to see what advice is provided about picking your size.

Choosing shin pad sizes usually comes down to your height. For example, here is Nike’s shin pad size guide as shown on the official Nike website at the time of writing.

Height (cm)
140 to 150 – XS
150 to 160 – S
160 to 170 – M
170 to 180 – L
180 to 200 – XL

As mentioned above, check the dimensions of any product you’re thinking of buying before making a purchase to double-check that they’ll be a good fit.

Anything Else To Consider?

We’ve already mentioned this, but it’s worth checking the size guide provided by the exact manufacturer whose shin pads you’ll be buying so that you can be sure that they’re going to fit properly.

If you’re worried about getting the fit right, most manufacturers and online stores should offer free returns and exchanges but it’s always a good idea to check the returns policy before making a purchase.

Garden Football Goal

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Wrapping Things Up – Our Final Thoughts

So, that brings us to the end of our look at some of the best football shin pads on the market at the moment.

We’ve walked you through the key things to bear in mind when selecting a pair of shin pads and have explained why they are an essential piece of kit for players at all levels.

The Mitre Aircell Carbons currently head our list, but all of the shin guards featured on this page are good options to help keep you protected during games.

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