Getting kicked in the shin sucks, and soccer players aren’t the only ones who know that. Mixed Martial Arts fighters can take painful shots to the shins, so most of them look into guards to help reduce the pain when you get those kinds of hits. So if you’re want to start sparring, pay close attention to what you’re about to read, because these are the highest quality guards available, and you’ll want at least one pair before you officially start your sparring.
What To Look Out For
All MMA gear should be bought with lots of consideration beforehand, and that is especially true with shin guards. So when you’re buying, you’ll want to look closely at things like:
For training, make sure the padding is rather thick. This is where you’ll be taking a lot of hits, and you want to make sure it isn’t going to hurt when you do take a kick to the shins. But if you’re in a competitive fight, wear a lighter pair of guards. Sacrifice protection for something more lightweight so you can move quicker, but only for competitive matches.
Also Read: My post on kickboxing bags
You want something that will fit snug against your shin. Not too tight, but not loose to the point that it is shifting around. You want it to be able to stick on and stay there as you’re moving around.
Make sure the design of the guard is to your liking, because you don’t want something that isn’t comfortable sliding around on while you’re fighting. If you feel uncomfortable while fighting, your mind won’t be on the task at hand, leaving you vulnerable.
Also Read: My take on the top boxing shoes
The 7 Best MMA Shin Guards
Contender Fight Sports
The contenders shin guards are good options for either light sparring or more experienced fighters. They offer a comfortable feeling and are light, but lack padding needed for people who haven’t built up a pain tolerance.
- Good for competitions
- Padding could be a little thicker
- Not as good for inexperienced fighters
Revgear shin guards are light and made with comfortable fabric. But like the Contender, they lack the proper protection needed when going 100% while sparring. They are still great options though for when you’re in competition due to its good fit and easy mobility.
- Value for money
- Light and stretchy
- Doesn't slip or slide off
- Doesn't get too hot especially when sparring
- The material is not as comfortable
- Better to be used against a bag, not so much for sparring
- Good for Grappling
- Stays in place
- Velcro strap
- High quality cotton that's comfortable
- Padding is not as thick
- Not as comfortable as some other brands
Hayabusa Tokushu Striking
If you’re tired of constantly bruised shins and don’t mind throwing a lot of money down on guards, go ahead and buy these shin guards. They have one of a kind padding that will keep your from getting too beat up. They also have two straps to keep them in place while training.
- Great padding
- Double back straps helps to give you a strong, secure fit
- Unique non slip lining
- A little pricey but I think it's worth the investment if you need something very reliable
- A little heavy
Meister EDGE Leather Instep Guards w/ Gel Padding
The Meister is a very good overall pair of shin guards. They’re made from cowhide leather and high-density foam for a great fit. They also have three different straps to really lock it in. If you are a beginner, your shins will still likely get a little bruised up, but after a few weeks of training, it should start to get better.
- Incredibly soft foam
- Great fit
- Three straps
- Not great for beginners
- Durability issues
Hayabusa Mirai Series
This pair of shin guards is great if you’re having traction issues due to sweat. They are scientifically designed to reduce slipping when fighting. It also has no pressure points, so they aren’t pushing down anywhere too much. It also has an adjustable fit so it can mold to your leg easier.
- Comfortable with a smooth closure
- Good protection
- Adjustable fit
- No pressure points
- One handed adjustment
- Heavy and might slip sometimes but some people also claim it's hard to take off
BAD BOY Legacy 2.0 Thai
Bad boys, a not so great Will Smith movie, but also a great pair of shin guards. These are known for being very durable while giving you the shield they need. Pricey, but definitely a great deal. The only issue you’ll find with this pair is that it weighs you down a little bit while fighting.
- Good protection
- Easy to put on
- Very strong and durable
- More pricey
Bruised up shins are the worst. These injuries can be hard to come back from, but they’re an easy thing to prevent. With a solid pair of shin guards like any of the ones above, you should be in good shape.