Best Football Shin Pads 2021: Top Picks for Training And Match Day

There's a lot to take into consideration when searching for the best shin pads, particularly due to the wide variety of types and styles available.

With FIFA 22 in full swing, you may have the urge to get out onto a pitch and play some football, but to do this you'll need a pair of shin pads for protection against some of the top football boots.

To help kick off your search, we've compiled a list of our top picks, based on features, price, and reviews, highlighting some of the key characteristics that make each one of these pads stand out.

Whether you're looking for some slip-on shin pads, like these adidas X 20 Pro's, or searching for something with tons of ankle support, like these Mitre Delta Shin Pads, we've got you covered right here.

Best Shin Pads

Best Shin Pads - G-Form Pro-S Compact Shin Pads

Best shin pads G-Form product image of a pair of black shin pads
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Image Credit: G-Form

Brand: G-Form | Machine Washable: Yes

While G-Form may not have the name value in football as Nike or adidas, they do produce some of the best shin pads on the market with the sleek and highly flexible Pro-S Compact's.

One of the key areas where these shin pads excel is how secure they are as the padding is stitched into a compression sleeve which should help keep the shin pads tight to your legs at all times.

In terms of protection, G-Form uses impact-absorbing RPT symmetrical impact zones to keep your shins safe as they are designed to harden as they’re struck and therefore act as a shield between an opposition boot and your leg.

On the whole, they will most likely be a joy to play in, especially considering the moisture-wicking fabric should keep your legs breathing throughout a 90-minute match or during training with your top football training equipment.

Best Shin Pads With A Strap - Nike Charge Shin Pads

Best shin pads Nike product image of a pair of black shin pads with white Nike ticks
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Image Credit: Nike

Brand: Nike | Machine Washable: Yes

If you're after something more akin to your typical pair of shin pads, then these Charge's from Nike might be your answer.

These slightly larger pieces of kit have been designed to provide a pretty decent amount of leg coverage so, no matter what area of your shin you get hit, you should remain protected and injury-free.

They also come with contoured foam on the back for both added comfort and water displacement, meaning you shouldn't even notice they're there whilst you play on the field or on artificial turf in your top astros.

All in all, these shin pads are a great option for anyone looking for a classic pair of pads and they come in a wide variety of colours as well for added individual style.

Best Slip-On Shin Pads - adidas X 20 Pro Shin Pads

Best shin pads adidas product image of a single white and gold shin pad with an accompanying compression sock
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Image Credit: adidas

Brand: adidas | Machine Washable: Yes (compression sleeve)

If your style of play is focused on speed and agility, then these lightweight adidas X 20's might just be for you.

Their featherweight and compact design help you forget the shin pads are even, and the additional compression sleeve should ensure this bit of kit doesn't fall out or move around whilst you sprint up and down the pitch.

adidas boasts their moulded EVA padding make them extremely comfortable to wear and will likely keep your leg dry from sweat as the cushioning has been designed to remove excess moisture.

Ultimately, these shin pads are great for someone who enjoys a slightly smaller pad that can easily be put on and removed and should fit comfortably in their top gym bag.

Best Shin Pads For Ankle Protection - Mitre Delta Shin Pads

Best shin pads Mitre product image of a pair of black and green shin pads with ankle guards
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Image Credit: Mitre

Brand: Mitre | Machine Washable: Unspecified

Founded in 1817, Mitre is one of the oldest manufacturers of football-related equipment in the world and it utilises its expertise making these highly padded Delta's.

These shin pads have been designed primarily to keep your legs safe, much like some of the top basketball shoes, with features like angular face deflects to direct stud contact away from your shins.

Moreover, they come with detachable cushioned ankle guards which are particularly useful in football as your ankles come under a lot of stress and punishment during a 90-minute game, so it makes sense to support them as much as possible.

With the addition of contoured foam on the back engineered for comfort and airflow, these Delta Shin Pads should be the perfect bit of kit to keep you free from injury.

Best Shin Pads For Ventilation - Mitre Aircell Shin Pads

Best shin pads Mitre product image of a single white and black shin pad
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Image Credit: Mitre

Brand: Mitre | Machine Washable: Unspecified

In addition to the padded Delta's, Mitre also produce the Aircell Shin Pads which are designed to be highly breathable to keep you cooler and dryer during your typical Sunday League game.

To achieve this, Mitre uses a hexagonal grid across the face of the pad to allow air to flow through and onto your leg, meaning you should stay sweat-free throughout the course of a match.

They are also engineered as slip-ons which help when quickly putting them on and taking them off during halftime or at the end of the match.

All Mitre guards are CE and SATRA tested which mean these Aircell's are suitable even for those at the highest level of the game and are therefore a great option for beginners and upwards.

Frequently Asked Questions About Shin Pads

With so many variations of shin pads available, you probably have a few queries about them, but we're here to clear up a few of the most common questions.

Why Do I Need To Wear Shin Pads?

Football players wear shin pads to primarily avoid injury to the most crucial body part used during the game - your legs.

It is not even an optional thing as the FA and FIFA laws state professional footballers have to wear shin pads, so if they're wearing them then you should too.

Most referee's at an amateur level won't let you play without them anyway so it's worth finding a good pair and investing in if you're looking to play competitive football regularly.

Why Do Some Footballers Wear Small Shin Pads?

You may have seen the likes of Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford wear unusually small shin pads and the answer to why is simply personal preference.

Some players, particularly attackers, find the additional padding of larger shin pads and ankle supports can inhibit them from striking the ball cleanly.

These types of shin pads are within the rules so it is up to you as to whether you feel smaller shin pads will benefit your game.

Why Do Some Shin Pads Come With Ankle Support?

Your ankles are a very fragile area of the body as they don't have nearly as much fat or muscle around them to keep them protected.

In football especially, your ankles are put under a lot of stress from a number of high-impact movements and from coming into contact with opposition players during a tackle.

This is why some shin pads out there come with additional ankle support and protection because they want to help reduce the chance of injury across your whole leg as much as possible.

Are Slip-On Or Strap Shin Pads Better?

This will likely come down to personal preference.

With a strap shin pad, you tend to get some heavy-duty protection and the ability to adjust the tightness and fit to make sure they're comfortable and remain in place during a match.

While slip-on shin pads come with compression sleeves to keep them in place, you'll probably find they move about more than strapped ones.

However, they are much easier and quicker to put on which is more ideal for a quick change during halftime for example.

Read More: Best Equipment For The Ultimate Football Training Session

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