Hockey Shin Guards Buying Guide

While shin guards are generally made with little variation from brand to brand, they’re still all about personal preference. Whether you choose to rock them over or underneath the tongue of your skate, here are some essential things to consider when purchasing any shin guard today.

What we cover:
Types of Shin Guards
Sizing
Other Tips
Related Resources

Types of Shin Guards

While all shin guards are constructed with the same materials (a plastic outer shell, an inner foam liner, and connecting straps), it is always important to keep positional preferences in mind. Generally speaking, your average defenseman will prefer a wider, heftier pad for protection during shot blocking and defending. Forwards generally opt for a leaner profile that fits tighter and lighter on the leg for enhanced speed and maneuverability.

Sizing

The first step to ensure that your shin guards fit is to measure the actual length of your shins. Take a soft tape measure and measure from your ankle to the middle of your kneecap. This universal chart gives you an idea of where your shin falls in the various size groupings that are categorized as follows (keep in mind sizing varies brand to brand):

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You need to try your shin guards on while you’re wearing skates in order to determine if they fit correctly. A properly-fitted shin guard should sit securely on the center of your knee cap while covering everything above the top of your skate. If they’re too long, your shin guards will likely be pushed up by your skates once you get out on the ice. If they’re too short, there will be a noticeable gap between your skate and shin guard -- you don’t want this. Ask any hockey player: short shin pads are not a good idea. They’ll leave your legs exposed and vulnerable for injury.

Finally, the best way to determine whether your gear fits properly is to simulate the motion of a game while you have your pads on. When you shift your weight from side to side, your shin pads should feel secure on your legs.

Other Tips

  • If you wear your shin pads on top of your skate tongues, bump the size up an inch.
  • Why let pricing affect the quality of shin guards you choose? Visit SidelineSwap to find shin guards starting as low as $20.
  • Have some questions about the size and fit of a pair you’ve been eyeing on SidelineSwap? Feel free to reach out to the seller, or our team of experts, to get all the helpful info you may need.

Related Resources

How To Tape Hockey Shin Guards
How To Size Hockey Shin Guards
Best Hockey Shin Guards 2018

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