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How To Buy Soccer Shinguards

How To Buy Soccer Shinguards

Shinguards are required to protect you from serious leg injury. The key to finding the right shinguard is identifying one that gives you enough protection while is still comfortable enough to play in. Designs range from huge plastic-faced guards that cover a player almost from ankle to knee to ones that cover just the sensitive area of the shin. Which guard you choose is determined by comfort and protection factors, and can sometimes be dictated by position. A general rule is the larger the surface area of the guard the less likely you are to get hurt. However, no shinguard can guarantee you won't get bruises, bumps or broken legs. A shinguard will provide greater security and reduce the risk of suffering serious or permanent damage.

Shin Guard Construction

Materials: Shinguards are made from varying combinations of fiberglass, foam rubber, polyurethane, plastic and nylon. The key features one looks for from these materials are weight, impact resistance and comfort.

Styles: There are 2 main styles. Which style you choose is dependent on how much protection you want versus how much flexibility and comfort:

Wand Systems - Can offer excellent protection, depending on design and materials. Usually lightweight, formfitting and comfortable. The principle at work with these guards is for force to be stopped and dispersed by a series of several hollow or solid wands. Foam or fabric backing adds comfort and additional protection.

Shields - Operate on a simple idea. An outer layer made of hard plastic or other material stops impact, while one or more layers of backing provide additional protection, comfort and form. OSi guards offer a good balance between protection and comfort. Using a process like a medical cast to mold to fit the player, these guards incorporate multiple layers of fiberglass for strength. Generally, the more layers the stronger the guard. These guards offer an unrivaled fit, because you mold them to fit your leg specifically. Be ready to mold wet guards onto your shins immediately after opening bag, as the fiberglass will begin to harden.

Ankle Protection: A matter of choice and a trade-off between protection and maximum freedom. Some guards offer ankle protection in either hard plastic discs or foam padding. These pads cover the sensitive parts of the ankle.

If the guard you choose does not offer ankle protection, Eurosport offers foam ankle guards separately.

It is important that your shinguards fit you properly, ensuring sufficient protection and comfort. Shinguards should cover most of the area from your ankle to your knee. Measure your shin from just below where the knee bends to about 1 inch above your shoe top. This is the proper length of your shinguard. Some manufacturers label their shinguard sizes according to age.

Sizing is generally senior, junior and pee wee. Senior guards are designed for players 5'4" and taller, Junior guards for those under 5'4", and pee wee are for young kids under 10-yrs old.

Young soccer players should choose a fiberglass shinguard which offers superior protection and is lighter weight than other materials. Defensemen might choose a heavier, more protective shinguard Midfielders need a combination of protection and lighter weight while forwards need a lighter weight shinguard and should also look for one with superior ankle protection.

The less expensive guards will generally offer less protection, while the more expensive guards offer more. More comfortable styles can be found at a variety of prices.

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