Shin guards primary function is to reduce the likelihood of tibia fracture to the player. They also prevent injuries to soft tissues such as cuts to the shin area. Therefore, it is important to know how to choose the best shin guards for kids who play soccer.
Studies showed that fracture can happen even when wearing shin guards.
So choosing the best shin guards that actually work is critical.
There are some criteria that you need to check first before making any purchase.
To help you make your decisions better I want to cover some background information about what part of the body we are protecting and shin-guards in general.
Soccer Regulations Reference
According to FIFA Law 4 of the Laws of the Game, shin guards are mandatory equipment all players must wear.
Any player ignoring this rule will not be allowed to participate in the match.
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Types Of Shin Injuries In Soccer
The shin has 2 bones, the tibia, and fibula, from the knee to the ankle.
This area is exposed to injuries such as stress due to intense training and fracture due to collision with other players.
This is an inflammatory condition of the outer lining of the tibia (shinbone) known as medial tibial stress syndrome.
Normally due to intense training and overtraining in sports that involve running and walking.
According to a study by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information in 1999, 62% of shin fracture occurred after an impact on the shin.
And the recovery time from shin injuries may take up to 10 months.
What Is Shin Guard Made Of?
Shin guards are actually a piece of ancient equipment used by the spartan warriors to protect their shins during battle.
It was made of bronze and other strong material to deflect any flying spears, arrows, or axes.
Nowadays shin guards are used in sports such as hockey, cricket, and soccer purposely to reduce injury to the shin from sliding tackles and collisions.
Modern-day shin guards are made from a variety of synthetic materials like fiberglass, foam rubber, polyurethane, plastic, and metal.
Of all these material metal and polyurethane are strong but heavy, plastic and foam rubber are light but not strong.
Fiberglass or carbon fiber, on the other hand, is strong and lightweight.
Types of Shin guards
There are mainly 3 types of shin guards as described below:
Slip-in shin guards offer freedom of movement because a player can roll down his or her sock and slip in or pull out the shields.
Normally slip-in shin guards come with a sleeve, like an open-ended sock, that you wear first before wearing the sock.
However, if the sock or the sleeve becomes slack after many uses the shield comes or moved sideways and exposes your shin.
Ankle shin guards provide protection to the ankles as well but they can be cumbersome and limits movement.
It’s best for beginners and defenders who did a lot of attacking roles.
Shin Socks comes with the foam insert built in the sock.
This is convenient for kids because they do not have to worry about shin guards coming off and easy to wash as normal socks after removing the foam inserts.
What to look for when choosing a shin guard
When deciding to buy a shin guard for your kid you must ensure that the material is strong, lightweight, and comfortable.
Choosing the right type of shin guard also depends on your kid’s structure, age, experience, and position.