10 Best MMA Shin Guards | March 2017

We spent 33 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you're going to get in the ring and subject yourself to all kinds of physical assaults voluntarily, at least protect yourself as much as possible with a pair of these MMA shin guards. Offering protection of the toes, shins, knees and calves, they are not just good for MMA fighters, but work equally as well for kickboxers and submission grapplers. Skip to the best mma shin guard on Amazon.
10 Best MMA Shin Guards | March 2017


Overall Rank: 7
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 9
Best Inexpensive
★★★
10
Made from pure cowhide leather and durable foam on all contact areas, the Meister Edge shin guards are gel-enhanced and ergonomically-designed to be both form-fitting and comfortable. Their curved inseams will mold to the contours of your legs for the best fit possible.
9
At a price point under $30, these Piranha Gear shin pads are budget friendly and can be used on either foot, thanks to their flexible PU leather and convenient elastic wrapping system. Unfortunately, the toe straps are rather flimsy and tend to come off easily.
8
The Revgear Defender shin guards offer a pre-curved design with a contoured shape, which prevents the need for long break-in times. Their instep guards are also long enough to cover both the foot and toes of most athletes. However, they have a tendency to slip.
7
Thanks to their detachable toe and shin protectors, the versatile Fairtex Twister will allow you to easily adjust their height to your preference. Their double Velcro strap system also prevents slippage, while the reinforced padding protects your shins against hard blocks.
  • dependable option for grappling
  • extended ankle protection
  • they're a bit pricey
Brand Fairtex
Model pending
Weight 2.1 pounds
6
Constructed with triple-density, high-performance PU foam, the Anthem Athletics Fortitude are built for superior impact absorption, making them fully-optimized for a variety of high-impact sports, such as kickboxing or submission grappling.
  • rugged and sturdy design
  • 100% money-back guarantee is offered
  • they're a bit on the stiff side
Brand Anthem Athletics
Model SQ3003899
Weight 1.4 pounds
5
The newly-designed Windy Deluxe shin pads provide extra height on the tops of each pad, extended insteps for reliable foot protection, and an expanded striking area on your shins, which effectively protects your lower legs against oncoming attacks from an opponent.
  • good for training and competitions
  • shin guards are handmade in thailand
  • takes a long time to break them in
Brand WINDY
Model pending
Weight 1.6 pounds
4
Protection and style define the Top King Superstar shin guards. Available in several different colors and patterns, these guards have been built with special attention paid to the most vulnerable areas of the lower leg muscles. However, they're a bit on the bulky side.
  • available in size small to x-large
  • superior toe protection
  • adjusting the straps is a bit of a pain
Brand Top King
Model pending
Weight pending
3
Filled with a shock-absorbing, high-density foam, the Venum Predator boast a sturdy, yet lightweight, design that will give you both unrestricted mobility and unmatched speed. These shin guards are also constructed from a mix of both synthetic and buffalo leather.
  • large velcro straps are easy to adjust
  • wide coverage area around the shin
  • sleek and stylish looking
Brand Venum
Model US-VENUM-0281-L-Parent
Weight 1.4 pounds
2
The RDX Leather Instep shin guards offer full wraparound coverage with three separate layers of contoured padding. Their convenient hook-and-loop strapping system is also designed to keep the guards in place without restricting your mobility during fast-action fights.
  • made from cowhide leather
  • they have anti-microbial properties
  • very comfortable and durable
Brand RDX
Model pending
Weight pending
1
For unsurpassed power, precision, and protection, the Hayabusa Fightwear Tokushu Regenesis are the ideal choice for your fighting needs. Their revolutionary I-Strap System delivers a unique, calf-protective strip that prevents harmful rotation, while ensuring a secure fit.
  • upper-edge contour aligns with the knee
  • crack-resistant vylar-2 leather
  • non-slip inner lining
Brand Hayabusa
Model HAY-TRSSG-Black/Grey-Me
Weight 1.8 pounds

What's The Difference Between a Good Shin Guard & a Great One?

A shin guard is only as valuable as its ability to allow you complete versatility with both legs. MMA guards, in particular, need to strap on securely while also enabling any fighter to turn, crouch, bend, or defend without slowing down. Ideally, you'll want a shin guard's straps to feature a certain level of elasticity. You may also want those straps to feature Velcro, so they have a bit of give in the event that you're trying to lock in - or escape - a submission on the ground.

The majority of shin guards are designed by combining a leather base with rubber foam. The leather base is good for versatility. The rubber foam is good for absorbing shock (thereby protecting the tibia). In addition to the shin, any worthwhile guard should protect the foot and the ankle, along with the knee. Any kick that targets the lower leg might just as easily make contact with any of those three.

Any superior shin guard should mold to fit the contours of your leg. Certain models feature adjustable padding, or memory foam, while others are only made to fit a handful of sizes. In order to choose a proper guard you'll need to keep an eye out for phrases like "form-fitting," and "ergonomic design" in any shin guard's description. You'll want to avoid any MMA shin guards whose manufacturers make claims that those guards can be used for playing football or hockey, as well.

The best MMA shin guards are built with a fighter in mind. These guards will protect you, but they're also lightweight. Any guard that weighs more than 2.5 lbs. is going to feel like an anchor throughout any sparring match. It's much better to have a shin guard that keeps you safe while staying out of your way.

Why Are Shin Guards So Essential to MMA Training?

If you've ever seen a lumberjack hacking away at the base of a tree, then you have some understanding of why a shin kick is such a vital part of MMA. If an opponent is bigger, then a shin kick will weaken him. If an opponent is faster, then a shin kick will keep him at bay. The shin kick is both offense and defense; a way of scoring points, while breaking down an opponent's lead leg.

The goal with a shin kick isn't so much to ground your opponent as it is to wear that opponent down. A prime example of this occurred during a high-profile rematch between the UFC's Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor. McGregor, who had lost by a 2nd-round submission during the pair's initial contest, used a series of shin kicks to score points while wearing Diaz down. In the end the shin kicks not only proved enough to keep Nate Diaz from KOing McGregor, they were essential in enabling the much smaller McGregor to win by a decision after five rounds.

As beneficial as an offensive shin kick can be, any fighter needs to learn how to defend against a shin kick, as well. This means strengthening your leg muscles, while sparring with a kickboxer who can deliver those blows. Shin guards will protect your legs in the same way that a set of headgear will protect your face. Over time your reflexes will allow you to avoid certain shin kicks, while your leg muscles may allow you to deflect glancing blows.

How a Piece of Military Armor Became an Athlete's Shin Guard

The shin guard dates all the way back to Ancient Rome, where it was referred to as a greave. Greaves were used during combat, as opposed to athletics. Such armor became necessary after the Macedonians began to focus on immobilizing Roman soldiers by attacking their tibiae. These early shin guards were made of metal with a felt-like padding underneath.

Greaves are not only referenced via historical texts from that era, but they are also referenced via Homer's Iliad, Virgil's Aeneid, and the King James Bible (during the story of David and Goliath). Greaves continued to be a standard piece of European armor until the 9th Century, CE. After that greaves disappeared, only to be resurrected by the Japanese, who referred to them as suneates. A standard suneate was comprised of three strips of iron, reinforced by leather and spanning the front and sides of any tibia. Suneates were worn by the samurai, who used them throughout a 200-year period known as the Ashikaga Shogunate.

During the 1800s, British cricket players began to design lightweight shin guards that were based upon the template of an early greave. The idea was to keep a ball or a paddle from slamming into the cricket players' legs. The consensus was so overwhelming that by the 20th Century, soccer players had adopted lightweight shin guards. Next came baseball players (primarily catchers), then hockey players, and, eventually, football players, as well.

Today, athletic shin guards are most widely associated with football, hockey, and mixed martial arts. Of course, these newer guards are made of leather (or plastic) as opposed to metal, and while they aren't used in combat, they're still being worn by gladiators who entertain vast crowds for sport.



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Last updated: 03/25/2017 | Authorship Information

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