MMA shin guards are an essential piece of protective gear, critical to the safety of the mixed-martial artist. Only those that have endured years of rigorous shin conditioning had dare step into practice or the ring without MMA shin guards.
Any martial artist that uses his or her legs, shins and knees and feet to their full potential as tools for both offence and defence, needs to wear a set of comfortable, well-crafted, durable shin guards.
Fortunately the need for this protection has filled markets with more than enough choices to pick from. Here, we reviewed 5 of the best MMA shin guards on the market, so that you can make the best choice when shopping.
Things to consider when buying a shin guard
When looking to buy MMA shin guards, there’re are a few things you should consider. It is very essential to put these things into consideration as you don’t want to end up spending a few dollars on a piece of trash.
Finding MMA Shin Guards with Good Protection
Choose MMA shin guards that you feel comfortable sparring in and that offer you a good amount of protection. The people you are sparring with might not appreciate it if you choose shin guards that don’t offer a lot of padding and protection from your kicks.
Don’t go too cheap
Cheap MMA shin guards don’t offer much protection and the elastic straps might break after a few months. Sometimes it is better to invest in quality and you will save money in the long run because you won’t have to replace your shin guards.
Get the Right Size
There is nothing worse than choosing a shin guard that is too big or small for you. Shin guards that are too big you will find very awkward to wear when you are sparring. The will consistently move around and you will have to readjust them multiple times during the match. Conversely, if a shin guard is too small it will not protect the upper part of your shin and you could find out very quickly what it feels like to kick a knee on an unprotected shin.
Choose the Right Fit
Not all shin guards fit the same of different people. You might like the feel of a specific brand over another brand. If you can, try on the different brands of shin guards to find something that works for you.
Go with Leather
The most expensive shin guards will probably be crafted out of genuine leather. They’ll be thicker and extra padded to ensure max protection. The cheaper ones will usually be made out of vinyl, neoprene or synthetic leather and will be lighter and thinner.
Top Products Review
Below we reviewed 5 of the best MMA shin guards available in the market right now. We checked their features and reviewed their pros and cons so you can make an informed decision.
1. RDX MMA Protective Gear
While the RDX might not be the most affordable protective gear we’ve come across, the fact of the matter is that it is worth every cent. The model features a comfortable adjusting strap, thus eliminating any issue encountered by the user in regards to the tightness of the guards.
What’s more, this is a uniquely designed product that has antimicrobial properties and allows owners to do what they’re supposed to do while fighting without being bugged about sweat and itchiness.
As for the protection per se, since this is a shin instep guard, it goes without saying that it can seriously assist users when it comes to avoiding injuries.
It might be worth noting that this alternative has been constructed out of cowhide, which means that it’s reliable and durable, while sacrificing nothing in terms of comfort. The general opinion about this model seems to be that it offers great value for the price.
- High quality materials
- Easy to get on and off and adjust
- Affordable price
- Quite plain
- Not suited to grappling
- Sizing appears to come up smaller than other shinguards
2. Fairtex Twister Shin Guards SP7
If you have a problem with your ankle constantly becoming swollen after hard sparring, you might want to consider the Fairtex Twister shin guards. These shin guards have a detachable toe guard that allows you to adjust the height of the guard depending on your own preferences.
The shin protector and the toe protector can shift 90 degrees to ensure that you can get full range of motions when you are kicking and blocking. The sides of the shin protectors go out further, so it can protect a larger area of your shin.
These shin protectors require a little more work as there are two components (shin and toe protector), but they offer complete protection.
- Detachable toe protector allows you to adjust the fit to ensure that it fits you properly
- Provides a high level of protection of the shin and the ankle areaRounded sides offer you more protection on the side area of your leg
- Comfortable fit
- Synthetic Leather
- Slightly Bulky
3. Venum Men’s Kontact Shinguards
A newer addition to Venum’s offerings is the Kontact EVO line. Unlike some of their other products that come with neon colors and bold graphics; the Kontact EVO line is toned down, and offered only in black with basic logos. Venum offers 4 Kontact EVO products including knee pads, foot grips, ear guards, and shin guards. It is clear Venum has a mindset with this line to offer protection smaller, lighter, and thinner, to do the protecting without getting in the way or being able to direct traffic with it.
The fit and finish of these shin guards is good, they are on par with the quality that Venum has established over the years, the pad material is thin, dense, vented, and there are three of them per leg. There is a round pad that protects the top of the foot; another protects the front of your ankle at the bend, and the main shin pad that goes from the ankle to right below the knee cap.
The elastic strap below the knee is attached to a mesh section around back that holds your calf, two elastic straps are below that, and on bottom there is a nice gripping section from in front of the heel to right at the ball of your foot, basically if you buy these shin guards, all the features found on the Kontact EVO foot grips are built in.
- The shin guard has excellent design
- Ventilation is great
- Top notch construction
- Great size
- Protection against strike defenses
4. Farabi Shin Pads Shin Instep Protector
Farabi shin instep protector is a prime addition in the protective range. The Pad-X shock absorbent technology provide protection to the entire shin. Made from highly durable synthetic Shine-X leather technology which is easy to durable and easy to clean.
Equipped with G-Strap Velco to give a snug fit for the shins. Ergonomically designed for the fighters to have complete freedom in movement and reduces the chances of injury. Best for combat and training sessions as it is made using thick PU-X injected mould which has the shock absorption properties.
Farabi Quad Curve Training protection shin pad is a classic combination of technology and ancient fighter sense. Made using 6th Gen fight sensation these pads have no match in terms of protection and comfort. With the RDK -Multilayered compressed padding this pad can resist the most extreme blows.
- Extremely durable
- Easy to clean
- Equipped with G-strap
- Ergonomically design
- No real cons to mention
5. RDX MMA Shin Instep Foam Pad
Based on research and various tests they have shown that the RDX MMA Shin Guards are 30% more durable than the regular shin guards on the market. Its unique dri-fit moisture management makes it one of the most comfortable shin guards in the game. As it absorbs the sweat during your workouts.
Have you ever had a shin guard that after a while starts to get loose and probably start spinning on your feet? Well that won’t happen with this shin guard has it comes with a cross over Velcro that keeps it steady and close without feeling tight and uncomfortable. To maintain it you can simple put it in the washer as it won’t get stretch and worn out as the synthetic fabric is very durable.
- High quality materials
- Easy to get on and off and adjust
- Affordable price
- Smaller size compared to competitors
If you take your training seriously at all, you will need to get a good quality pair of shin-guards. Not having them is like turning up to a boxing session and asking to spar bare knuckle. Not going to happen.
To reiterate the importance of the different style of shin guards, go with the bigger, more protective striking pads if you’re focused on striking and choose the sleeve pads if you want things to end up on the ground.
Something else to note is that if you plan on competing in amateur MMA matches, they often won’t let you compete with the bigger striking pads. So it could be in your best interests to have a pair of each style.
Make sure to check out our review of Fairtex Muay Thai Boxing MMA Shin Guard.