Soccer Shin Guards
The shin guard is a piece of plastic equipment slipped into a soccer player's sock that protects the shin from impact and prevents injury when the shin collides with an opponent's cleat. Shin guards must be applied to the player's body below the socks.
The shin guards are worn by all players, including the goalie, for protection from injuries to the shin. The shin guard is a piece of padded protective gear worn between the player's leg and the sock. The sock, along with a shin guard strap, holds the shin guard in place. The most common injury in soccer is a shin injury, so these guards are very necessary.
The long socks are worn by players so that the shin guards can be safely inserted and stabilized. The socks usually match the team's colors.
There are a few different types of shin guards. Let's discuss each of them and how they vary.
Slip-In Shin Guards
Slip-in shin guards are one of the most popular types of shin guards, and are probably what you picture when you hear shin guards.
Slip-in shin guards literally slip into the compressive sleeves that accompany them. The sleeves are important to secure the shin guard in place. There are no straps for slip-in shin guards. The sock then goes on top of the compressive sleeve, which serves as extra security.
Sleeve Shin Guards
Sleeve shin guards are a unique type of shin guard as they combine the compressive sleeve and the shin guard into one item. The shin guard is built into the sleeve, so this may be the most convenient and comfortable option for avid or even newer soccer players.
The soccer sock is then placed over top of the sleeve shin guard. Oftentimes, sleeve shin guards have ankle protectors built in to them, too.
Strap Shin Guards
Strap shin guards serve the same purpose as all other types of shin guards, the only difference is that these shin guards are secured to the leg by a strap.
Like others, this shin guard is also worn beneath the sock to provide the utmost protection from kicks to the shin.