How to Find the Best Sparring Shin Guards On the Market
Whether you’re an amateur or a pro MMA fighter, the right gear will give you the protection you need to gain an edge on the competition. There isn’t a whole lot of gear involved with MMA fighting, but shin guards are one of the most important. Without a solid pair, you’re sure to walk away with an injury that may very well put you out of the game for months – or indefinitely.
Venum “Kontact” Shin and Instep Guards
Our favorite for 2017
Meister MMA Elastic Cloth Shin & Instep Padded Guards
A great value option
RDX MMA Shin Instep Guard Leg Pads Protective Muay Thai Boxing Training Kickboxing
Lightweight construction for optimal mobility and performance
To help you stay on top of your game, we’re going to review the best shin guards on the market. First, here are some things to keep in mind when comparing our picks:
- Padding: You need shin guards with adequate padding. Competition-style pads will be thinner with far less padding, but these are not suitable for training. If you’re buying shin guards for a competition, then by all means buy a thin, lightweight pair. But for everyone else, you’ll need a good amount of padding to protect your shins. Your gym may have requirements on the type of guards you wear.
- Comfort: Shin guards are designed for protection, but that doesn’t mean they should be uncomfortable. Make sure the design and overall fit feels good. If you’re uncomfortable, you won’t be able to focus on your training.
- Fit: Naturally, you want shin guards that fit you properly. The pads shouldn’t be too tight or too loose, and you want to make sure they fit over your heel and foot properly. Shin guards come in a variety of sizes, and there should be a sizing guide available to help you find the right size for you.
Reviews – The Best MMA Shin Protection in 2017
Meister MMA Shin & Instep Padded Guards – Meister’s MMA shin guards feature a fully elastic body that conforms to your feet and legs. Available as a pair, these guards slide on very easily, but stay put during training.
The hook and loop strap keeps the top of the pad tightly secured, and the padding maintains your individual leg form during use.
Lightweight and comfortable, these guards are available in four colors: blue, white, black and red. They come in three sizes, too: Youth/X-Small, Small/Medium, and Large/X-Large.
Meister includes a sizing guide in the product description to help you find the right size for your legs.
If you’re looking for lightweight boxing gear that still provides you with ample protection, Meister’s MMA shin guards are a great buy.
RDX Neoprene MMA Shin Instep Pads – Another set of guards with a slimmer profile. The RDX Neoprene pads are lightweight, comfortable and offer ample protection.
The pre-curved fit is ergonomically designed to conform to the natural curves of your calves and ankles. The gel neoprene adds padded protection and exceeds standards. These guards are approved by SATRA.
The great thing about these guards is that they feature Moisture Management Technology, which keeps you comfortable all throughout your training session. And the RuBrex Grip technology in the neoprene sleeve keeps the pad in place.
Venum “Kontact” Shin and Instep Guards – The “Kontact” guards from Venum are one of the most budget-friendly options on our list and they’re made with top quality cotton for maximum comfort.
These pads feature strategic reinforcement for added protection during use, and the Velcro closure allows for a non-slip, personalized fit.
Because they’re made of cotton, these guards are machine washable for easy maintenance.
If you’re just getting started with MMA, these pads are a great option. But if you’re more experienced or advanced, you’ll want pads that offer more protection. The Kontact guards are ideal for casual training, but not heavy sparring.
Fairtex Pro Style – Fairtex’s Pro Style shin guards are thicker than our previous pick, but they offer more protection and a comfortable fit – great for heavy sparring.
A hook and loop pull strap gives you a secure, personalized fit, while the shin ridge gives you maximum protection where you need it most.
The synthetic leather shell is ultra-durable, and the high-density foam core is shock absorbing. The extended instep adds even more protection.
These are handmade in Thailand, and come in seven sizes. There are also a number of different colors available, too.
If you’re serious about MMA, these are the shin guards you want – and they’re recommended by many gyms, too.
RDX MMA Shin Instep Guard – The RDX MMA shin guard is lightweight, but doesn’t compromise on padding or protection. The 26mm gel foam padding features nylon inserts for extra impact protection. The Denier nylon outer cover takes the hit, so your shins don’t have to.
Inside the padding are cool max liners that are moisture wicking to keep you dry and cool.
These RDX pads are surprisingly affordable, especially considering the level of protection they offer. They come in three sizes, and RDX has a size chart to help you find the right fit for you.
With a snug fit and ample protection, these shin guards are ideal for users of all skill level.
Buyer’s Guide – How Find Some Good Shin Guards After 2015
If you’re into MMA, buying shin guards can be a complicated process. If you’re not buying online, you’ll probably need to shop at the gym you train or scout local sporting goods stores that carry them – not always easy to find.
And you can’t just buy any pair of shin guards either. You need the right fit and the right level of protection. Here are some things to consider when buying shin guards:
- Durability: If you’ll be doing some heavy sparring or training often, you need a pair of shin guards that can stand up to your abuse. Durability is key in making sure you get the best value for your money. Make sure the pads are made with high quality materials.
- Padding Type: Most modern MMA pads are made with foam padding, but some, like the RDX, have gel foam. Gel foam helps keep you cool while also absorbing some of the impact for added protection.
- Size: It’s important to make sure the pads you want come in the right size for you. Most guards have a sizing guide, which takes into account the length of your shin, the length of your instep and your height. Others, like the Fairtex, take into account your weight and height. Always check the sizing guide to make sure you choose the appropriate fit for you.
- Price: It’s hard to put a price on protection, especially since a good pair of guards can prevent painful injuries. But you still need to keep your budget in mind. In many cases, it’s better to wait and save up for a better pair of guards if you’re serious about MMA. If you’re a casual participant, then you may be able to get away with using cheaper guards.