Shin guards are as much a part of the player’s uniform as cleats or a jersey.  A required piece of equipment, it can be hard to decide which shinguard is right for you. For example, a midfielder may not require the same type of guard as a forward. A youth player will not wear the same type guard as an older player.

Diadora Production Line - Customized Shoes For Francesco Totti

Shinguards, like footwear, are built and designed around molds of actual legs. The above forms are a mold of legendary Italian striker Francesco Totti.

Diadora Production Line - Customized Shoes For Francesco Totti

SOCCER.COM has a wide variety of shinguards to meet the needs of players of every age, position, skill level and budget.


The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) sets the standards for equipment. Since 2008, all US high school players are required to wear NOCSAE approved shin guards. Shin guards that have been approved will have a NOCSAE stamp on the shin guard itself or on the attached tag. On SOCCER.COM, you’ll notice the NOCSAE icon next to all approved guards.


There are two basic types of shin guards:

269810 27237.SH06


A light shield that slides into place underneath the sock. Most slip-in guards come with a compression sleeve to hold them in place. This is a basic design without straps or stirrups. A sleeve, tape or a snug sock is necessary to avoid any movement. This type of shin guard gives the widest range of motion and mobility. This shin guard is recommended for more advanced players.

256071 618624.SH07


Guards with ankle protection put soft padding on both sides of the foot to help protect against kicks to the ankles, as well as sprains. Ankle protection can be attached or removable. These guards are recommended for younger and intermediate players.


Different player positions require their shin guards to provide different types of protection and fit.
DEFENDERS need the most protection. They need a heavier shin guard with extra ankle protection.
MIDFIELDERS need protection, but also need to be able to move freely.
FORWARDS need a light shin guard with protection and ankle support.
GOALKEEPERS can wear a light shin guard with minimal protection.



265005.SH07 Shield/front plate – The main part of the guard, this is the shin protection. The front plate is usually made of a hard plastic or carbon fiber to better absorb impact.
Closure – Some guards come with built-in adjustable straps, others rely on a sleeve (included or sold separately), or can be taped to the shin. 73405

Backing – Cushioning foam that lines the shield/front plate to help absorb impact.


Shin guard size is solely determined by height. Sizing does not reflect apparel sizes  (just because you wear a size large jersey, you won’t necessarily wear a size large guard). The larger the size guards are longer and wider. A good rule of thumb is that guards should fit from a couple inches below the knew to just above the bend of your ankle.

General guide:
Small: up to 5’2”
Medium: up to 5’10”
Large: up to 6’4”
X-Large: up to 6’10”
Nike Shin Guards:
XS: 4’7”- 4’11”
S: 4’11”-5’3”
M: 5’3”-5’7”
L: 5’7”-5’11”
XL: 5’11”o-6’3”
YS: 4’7”-4’11” (age 4-6)
YM: 4’3”-4’7” (age 7-9)
YL: 4’7”-4’11” (age 10-12)
adidas Shin Guards:
XS: 3’11”-4’6” (age 6-9)
S: 4’7”-5’2” (age 10-13)
M: 5’3”-5’9” (age 14-17)
L: 5’10”-6’1” (age 18+)
XL: 6’2”-6’5” (age 18+)


To prolong their lifespan and prevent odors, it is important to keep shin guards clean. Use soap and water, with baking soda to prevent odor. Some shin guards can be placed in the washing machine, then air dried.


We also have a wide selection of shin guard accessories includes tape, sleeves, and odor prevention accessories.


  • Dana Booth

    This is super helpful information. Thank you!!