UPDATED APRIL 2018!!!
Choosing a Shin guard is an important process that should demand as much attention as your glove research. We take a look at some of the top, classic shins on the Fightstore shelves and pick out a few pointers of what to look out for.
We get telephone calls throughout the day here at the warehouse asking about gloves! How do they fit, their construction, what’s the wrist like? etc. And that’s good, of course! It’s important to us that customers purchase products they feel comfortable with. With shin guards, the calls for information are much less frequent. And yet, they serve a critical purpose and should sit next to your gloves in terms of attention to pre-purchase detail.
So let’s kick off with a couple of the key points to consider when buying your next shin guard:
Size & Weight
– as a general rule of thumb, the bulkier the shin the bigger the protection. Makes sense! But with more substance comes reduced agility. It’s important to find a balance between ensuring you’re providing protection to the key areas, whilst maintaining good movement.
– Most shin guards cover the shin area well. The clue’s in the name! Likewise the top of the foot, but plenty are less protection-focused around the ankle area. Take a blow to the ankle bone and you’ll soon recognise why it’s an area to protect.
– Most shin guards have a hook & loop fastening to the rear – a strap goes through a hook, loops back on itself and typically fastens with Velcro. For us, these are the fastenings of choice for achieving a true fit to your lower leg. But there are also in-step guards, where you literally pull the shin – usually made of neoprene or elasticised cotton - over the leg. Plenty of people opt for this style and there are some decent models out there. See the Fairtex SPE
– Leather, neoprene, synthetic? Let’s be honest, not much can beat the quality and feel of leather for durability and comfort, and it stands true here. But don’t discount some of the new synthetic leather shins. They’re generally more cost-effective and have the added benefits that can come with tech materials. Think odour eating
So much choice! Muay Thai aficionados will invariably tell you to go towards the Thai brands, where – of course – they know their stuff and items are generally carefully crafted by hand. It’s not a bad shout, and indeed who could ignore the likes of Twins, Fairtex and increasingly MTG (Muay Thai) when it comes to Thai gear.
In this article, we’re picking out some of our favourite classic shins for the Muay Thai mob (In the not too distant future we’ll be looking at MMA-specific shins).
So in no particular order...
TWINS SGL-10 DOUBLE PADDED LEATHER – £89.99
Double padded shin pads from Twins that are ideal for heavy sparring sessions, providing lots of protection for the shin and with excellent good foot coverage. Surprisingly light and ergonomically shaped to allow for great maneuverability.
- Multi layered shock absorbing foam.
- Made from high grade Thai leather.
- Multi layered shock absorbing foam
- Light and offers good movement, with toes left free at the end for maximum agility.
- Great comfort and fit.
- Ergonomically Shaped Design
FAIRTEX COMPETITION SP5 - £69.99
If you’re a Fairtex fan – and who isn’t – these won’t disappoint! They are made from synthetic leather but the comfort and fit is what you’d expect from the Fairtex factory. Great price too!
- Simple, classic design.
- Great, all-round protection.
- Fantastic value for money.
- Robust, tried and tested design.
MTG PRO SF1 - £74.99
Although less well-known, MTG (Muay Thai Global) is an authentic Thai brand and has been around the block. Their gloves are solid enough but we particularly like these shins. Thick padded with excellent foot coverage, they offer maximum protection when sparring.
General build is equally top-notch too, with two thick Velcro straps at the back for a secure fit, an elastic strap under the foot and the back of heel.
- Handmade in Thailand from high grade leather
- Full coverage style
- Traditional design
Still hungry to see more shin options?
Check out our full range of Muay Thai and MMA shin guards here!