If you’ve enjoyed playing soccer with your mates, then you’re probably well aware of just how vulnerable your shins are when you play. When your child starts playing soccer, then you want to make sure they have the best equipment available to protect their shins from the impact caused by tackles and misplaced kicks.
Of course, the best way to protect your children’s shins from those potentially dangerous slide tackles is to invest in a pair of shin pads. As such, we decided to do some research and put together our top picks for best soccer shin guards for youth. Hopefully, you’ll find what you’re looking for, right here on this list.
5 Best Soccer Shin Guards
1. Vizari Malaga Soccer Shin Guards for Kids
California based Vizari Sports USA is a well-established brand in the soccer market. These shin guards offer good protection and fit for a really affordable price.
Designed for both girls and boys, here are the things the Vizari Malaga Soccer Shin Guards has to offer:
The Malaga Shin Guards from Vizari has a hard, yet lightweight PP shell to protect your shins from accidental kicks and tackles while allowing you to stay light on your feet. The shell has foam backing for added protection and ultimate comfort.
These guards also attach to your legs in two places to ensure they stay put while you play. Additionally, the foot sleeve at the bottom feeds onto your foot, like a stirrup, under your socks to keep the shin guard anchored down. The second strap secures the guards to the upper part of your calf, making them really secure.
The shin guards are available in 19 different colors and styles, from pink and orange, to blue and black. Thus, you’re sure to find a color or design to suit your child’s personality and match their kit or boots.
Vizari also offers 12 different sizes which will accurately fit most kids and adults. Just check their sizing guide online before ordering to ensure that the shin guards will be the right size for your shin length.
We love the fact that these guards attach to your legs so securely. This means you can spend more time focusing on the game at hand, rather than adjusting your shin guards.
The best thing about these guards, though, is the huge number of sizes you can choose from, ensuring the best fit for your child (until they grow more anyway!).
The price can vary dramatically depending on the size and color or style you go for, so our advice is to choose wisely!
2. GeekSport Youth Soccer Shin Guards
GeekSport offers a range of sports-related products to the youth and adult market. These shin guards offer fantastic value since they can be purchased in packs of two.
The things you'd expect from GeekSport Youth Soccer Shin Guards include:
These FDA certified shin guards come in three sizes to suit age three to 15. The small size accommodates ages three to five, the medium should suit four to eight-year-olds, while the largest size for ages eight to 15 years.
They’re really easy to put on as they just strap around the shin with a quick and simple Velcro fastener. After which, your kid just needs to pull their soccer socks over the shin.
Each shin guard relies on an ergonomic design shaped to the lower legs and two straps to help them stay in position when running around on the playing field. The sock over the top helps them to stay in place as well, but they’re not quite as good at staying in position as the ones with ankle straps.
Nonetheless, the backing of the guards have EVA padding for comfort, and the durable and flexible Velcro bands can be adjusted before they are fastened around the calf to fit many calf widths comfortably.
The hard outer shell offers decent protection needed for training at youth level since the PP shell is high strength. That means it will effectively reduce the impact on the shin bones and muscles.
These guards also have holes in the plates to allow for airflow to the legs, which will help your child stay cool. They are also nice and lightweight so they won’t make your child feel like they’re being weighed down when wearing them.
You can also purchase these shin guards with complete peace of mind as GeekSport offers a 60-day money-back guarantee and a one year warranty. This allows you to get a replacement or refund if you come across any issues with quality.
You just can’t beat these shin guards when it comes to the price. Whether you choose the pack of two pairs of shin guards or the guards-and-socks combo, you’re getting a really great deal.
These shin guards don’t offer as much protection as others on this list. We also wish they were available in more than three sizes. We just don’t feel that one size is enough to cover eight-year-old shins right the way through to 15-year-old shins.
3. DashSport Soccer Shin Guards
DashSport is a family business that hopes to provide the best protective gear available for your children. These shin guards certainly fit the bill as they offer the ultimate protection to your kids' lower legs while they’re out on the field.
These shin guards from DashSport are designed for three to 14-year-olds to keep them protected and comfortable while playing soccer. Here are their features:
- Color and Size
They come in four color options and three sizes, which can be fitted to your child using height, shin, and age, so you can easily see which size will be most suitable for your child.
These shin guards offer really great protection for the lower leg as they slip on over the foot and feature cushioned ankle support sleeves as well as the tough PP outer shell. The guards are also padded inside to ensure your child’s ultimate comfort when wearing them, and they are pretty lightweight too.
With an extra strap that supports the guard around the back of the calf, these shin guards are sure to stay in place during soccer training and games.
DashSport offers a one-year guarantee that promises a hassle-free replacement service if needed.
We love the protection that these guards offer your children’s calves. If you have a particularly boisterous child that plays soccer like they’re invincible, it sure feels safer when they’re wearing these!
The XS size features a pretty skinny shin guard piece so it’s recommended that you go for a size up (small) if your young child has legs that are a bit on the chunkier side.
4. Adidas X Youth Shin Guards
Adidas is an internationally recognized sports brand and despite the big brand name attached, these shin guards are well priced to make them an affordable choice when kitting out your kids for soccer practice.
These shin guards are available in four sizes to suit roughly age three through to age 17 years. However, more attention should be paid to the height guides when choosing a size suitable for your kid, rather than age. Here are the things the product can offer:
They have a built-in ankle strap that slips around the foot, as well as a calf strap at the top of the guard to ensure that the guards stay put during your kids' training sessions and games. The adjustable single strap fastens at the front of the guard so that they can easily be put on and taken off by you or your child.
The hard shell curves around the leg to absorb impacts and protect your child’s shins from rough tackles, while the EVA foam backing provides optimal comfort and cushioning for the leg.
The shin guards are available in three different color options, all of which feature the instantly recognizable three stripes that make up the Adidas brand logo.
We like the way that these shin guards fasten at the front so that they're easy to put on and take off, but because of the ankle strap design, you do still have to remove your socks first. We also love that the brand name is synonymous with soccer.
The thin shin plate design isn’t suitable for kids with slightly wider legs so you’ll have to buy a size up and hope that the guard isn’t then too tall for their shin length!
5. DashSport Soccer Shin Guards With Compression Sleeves
The final pair of shin guards we decided to feature on our list is actually a second entry from DashSport that stand apart from the others. That is because they feature shield guards and compression sleeves to keep them in place.
These shin guards offer a lot of features, including:
Our final pair of shin guards is available in four different sizes to suit children aged from three to 18 years or from 3’6” to 5’8” in height. DashSport actually offers age, height, and shin size measurements as guidance in choosing the right size soccer guards for your child to help you get the right fit.
DashSport recommends that shin guards cover no more than 75% of the shin length to allow for optimum mobility and comfort.
You get two shin guards and two compression sleeves with each purchase. They guarantee their products 100% as well, offering to resolve any sizing issues at no charge to yourself.
- Ease of Use
To use these shin guards, you just need to pull the silky, soft sleeves up onto the calves and then slip the guards into the pockets that are situated at the front of the sleeves.
The sleeves double up as compression sleeves which can help to improve blood flow and provide all-over support to the lower legs. On the other hand, the guards provide a hard shell to protect the shins from impact. The pockets ensure that the guards can’t slip around on your child’s legs when being worn.
We love the fact that these shin guards are so easy to clean! The padded shields can be wiped down easily with a cloth (if needed), and the sleeves that come in contact with the skin can just be thrown in the wash with the rest of the dirty kit.
The first thing we thought when we saw these shin guards were that these just give our kids more to lose in the changing rooms! How long will it be before they lose one of the plates or sleeves?
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when shopping for anything these days as there is just so much choice available! The easiest way to narrow down your options is to first get to know your options a little better, so you can choose the one that is more suitable for your needs.
When you’re looking for the best soccer shin guards, then it’s important to consider the materials they’re made from, the protection they offer, their size, comfort, and purpose. Let's discuss them further.
The material of your future shin guards is important as it will have a knock-on effect on many factors such as comfort, how easy they are to clean, and how slippery or stable the guards are on your skin.
The shin guards will be worn against the shin, underneath the socks, so it should be comfortable and cushioned. Thus, the product doesn’t rub and irritate the skin.
You should also consider how easy the materials are to clean since keeping clean guards and socks is also key to avoiding irritated skin. The material also needs to be slippery enough not to rub the skin, yet sticky enough so that the guard doesn't slide about inside your socks when you’re wearing it.
Protection for your shins is the main reason you’re investing in shin guards, so consider what level of protection you’re looking for before you buy. Ankle support shin guards are often recommended for youths as they offer a greater level of support and protection.
If you or your kids are more prone to injury on the field, then that would be another reason you might want to go for a pair of shin guards that offer the best protection possible. If, on the other hand, you’d prefer lighter protection, then you will probably be rewarded with greater mobility.
Always read the manufacturer's sizing guide to help you choose which size to invest in, as the ages given are merely rough estimates based on average heights. Shin length should be the most important factor to consider since the guards ideally shouldn’t cover more than 75% of the shin.
A shin guard should also sit at least two inches below the knee, so measure the space you have left between the knee and the ankle.
No matter what type of shin guard you choose, they need to be comfortable. Uncomfortable shin guards will just prove to be a distraction and you need to make sure you’re keeping your head in the game.
Uncomfortable shin guards also have the potential to cause skin problems such as rashes, and blisters from rubbing. The materials used, padding provided, and correct sizing of the guard will all contribute to the comfort.
5. Purpose (Position)
Finally, it's also important to consider the purpose of the shin guards. Will they be protecting a defender, midfielder, forward, or goalkeepers, shins?
The soccer position your child plays in should help you decide what level of protection is needed. A defender will need a lot more protection than a goalkeeper for example.
Forwards, on the other hand, will appreciate the lightest and possibly smallest shin guards on the market for shorter bursts of action. When kids are involved, though, more protection is generally favored over less!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Do You Know What Size Shin Guards to Get?
The most important thing to match up is your shin length against the length of the guard. Age and height are often included in the sizing guidelines in case you need to make a guess (for a gift), but you should consider height as well as shin length when choosing size if possible.
Measure two inches down from your knee, to the bottom of your calf, making sure that the guards don’t cover more than 75% of the shin in total.
2. Do Shin Guards Go Under or Over Socks?
Shin guards will almost always go under your socks. That’s why the ankle shin guards are harder to put on and take off, as the ankle strap has to be slipped on before the sock and boot.
3. How Do You Keep Shin Guards in Place?
Shin guards are kept safely in place in a number of different ways. The most common type of shin guard, which is starting to be viewed as more old fashioned, is a simple guard at the front of the leg.
It is held in place with two straps at the top and bottom of the guard. As such, the guards can be prone to slipping about on your shin though.
Some shin guards are slipped into a pocket inside a sock or compression sleeve which keeps them in place as long as the sock is in place. Some have ankle straps teamed with a Velcro strap placed further up the guard. These stay in place a little better and offer better support for younger players in training.
Getting the right size shin guards can also help a lot when it comes to keeping them in place. A tape can also be added to keep them in place better.
4. How Do I Prevent Shin Guard Rash?
If your shin guards are rubbing you and causing you a rash, then you can try using an emollient to lubricate the area between your shin and the guard. You can also try putting duct tape on the inside of the shin guards. Better yet, buy a more comfortable pair of shin guards!
5. Why Do Footballers Put Tape on Their Socks?
Sometimes tape is used by players for additional support, especially in the case of previous injury. When you see tape over a football player's socks, though, it is usually to keep their shin guards in place.
So there you have it; our line-up for best soccer shin guards for youths. All of these shin guards have something to offer and in order to choose which shin guards will be right for your child, you may wish to consult our buyers guide to see what kind of factors you should consider before buying.
Our personal favorites are the shin guard and compression sleeves combo featured at number five on our list, from DashSport. Providing you can find a good fit for the compression sock, the guard hasn’t got any chance of moving about from the shin, as it sits nicely within the front pocket of the sleeve.
The material is really nice too. It’s smooth and silky against the skin so the guard won’t rub or irritate at all. We especially love the fact that you can throw the sock in the wash after each game.