BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Sports & Fitness

Best shin guard for soccer

Which shin guard for soccer is best?

Shin guards are not an option in soccer. They are a required piece of gear for every soccer league. If you want to play soccer, you need shin guards.

The best shin guards cover the shin while still allowing the player to have full range of motion. For adults, the Nike Adult Mercurial Lite Soccer Shin Guards are a superior option. These shin guards provide protection without compromising the player’s maneuverability.

What to know before you buy a shin guard for soccer


There is virtually nothing protecting your shin bone, no muscle and no fat. If you get hit in the shins, it hurts. When playing soccer, getting accidentally kicked in the leg is not uncommon. Shin guards allow you to keep playing when that happens. Besides reducing the risk of serious or painful injuries by absorbing and dispersing impacts, shin guards also help prevent bruises, abrasions and other minor injuries.


Ankle shin guards: Ankle shin guards offer the most protection and are the best option for youth soccer players. Besides covering the shin, these models offer additional protection on the sides of the ankles as well. This type of shin guard is the most restrictive.

Slip-in shin guards: This type of shin guard is a lightweight shield that simply slips into a sock. These models are the least restrictive and they are preferred by advanced players, but they may be difficult for younger kids to put on, especially if they need to use shin-guard tape.

Shin socks: For the younger kids who do not like to wear shin guards or who have trouble putting them on, this type of a shin guard has a protective plate built into a sock for convenience.

What to look for in a quality shin guard for soccer


Complete coverage of the shin is the most important aspect to consider when purchasing shin guards, especially for younger players. If the shin guards aren’t long enough to cover the whole shin, there is a greater risk for injury.


If the shin guards do not fit properly or are not a good match for the shape of your leg, not only will it be uncomfortable to play, you might develop rashes and abrasions that could eventually lead to infections. Make sure the shin guards you are considering are comfortable.

Easy to put on

While an adult might not be worried about how hard it is to put on shin guards, if a child is playing after school and there is no parent available to help them put on their gear, it can be a very stressful situation. If you have a younger player, look for shin guards that are easy to put on.

Easy to clean

The tougher it is to clean your shin guards, the less likely you will be to do it. If you are not a fan of hand-washing, look for a pair of machine washable shin guards for maximum convenience. No matter which pair you choose, however, shin guards will need to air-dry; putting them in a dryer may damage them.

How much you can expect to spend on shin guards for soccer

The general price range for shin guards spans from less than $10 to roughly $40. The majority of players likely will find a quality pair for less than $20.

Shin guard for soccer FAQ

How do you keep shin guards clean?

A. At the end of a game or practice, it is easy to take off your shin guards, toss them in a bag and forget about them until you have to put them on again. At the very least, brush away any dirt, wipe down your shin guards and let them air-dry after every use. When it is time for a more thorough cleaning – this timing depends on how dirty and sweaty your shin guards get during play – follow the care instructions that came with your shin guards as not all models are machine washable.

What is shin guard tape?

A. Shin guard tape is wrapped over a player’s socks to help ensure the shin guards won’t slip out of place while playing. The main benefit of using shin guard tape is that it gives the player full control over how tight the gear will be.

What's the best shin guard for soccer to buy?

Top shin guard for soccer

Nike Adult Mercurial Lite Soccer Shin Guards

What you need to know: These lightweight shin guards are designed for adults who want to maintain their speed and maneuverability on the field without sacrificing protection.

What you’ll love: These shin guards feature a secure fit that reduces in-game distractions. The K-resin shell has a dense foam backing to absorb and dissipate impacts as well as to protect the shin from abrasions. The seamless sleeves provide lightweight, reliable support.

What you should consider: As with other models, if you neglect cleaning them, odors can build up.

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Top shin guard for soccer for the money

Adidas Unisex Shin Guards

What you need to know: These affordable shin guards for youth players offer a winning combination of great value and protection.

What you’ll love: The adjustable strap at the top of these shin guards helps you customize the fit for comfort, while the ankle guards increase coverage to provide greater protection. The shin guards feature hard shells with EVA backing for impact protection and absorption.

What you should consider: The tag located on the inside of the shins can be an annoyance for some players.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Champion Sports Youth Sock Style Soccer Shin Guards

What you need to know: These sock-style shin guards are best for the kids who complain about how difficult it can be to get some shin guards on.

What you’ll love: These shin guards are machine washable for easy care. They are simple to put on and comfortable for most kids to wear. The flexible construction offers kids a better range of motion.

What you should consider: While these socks are easy to put on and remove, inserting the guard into them can be a challenging task.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Share this post: