The 10 Best Muay Thai Shin Guards to Buy In 2019

Combat, Reviews

Getting yourself a pair of shin guards will help you to properly train in a combat sport like Muay Thai or MMA. Shin guards come in handy to help protect your feet, ankles, and shins while kicking. Whether you’re a professional or an amateur, getting yourself a shin guard will be an important decision to make. This is mainly because there are no shortcuts when it comes to your safety while in the ring.

The best Muay Thai shin guard will offer enough protection for your shin and ankle despite the type of training you’re doing. This will help prevent any unnecessary injuries that may occur while spurring. Beginners will particularly benefit from shin guards since they haven’t mastered how to control the power of their kicks. Shin guards will vary in size, weight and amount of padding. So your choice will be determined by your level of experience. To help you narrow down, here’s a review of the best shin guards in 2019 and a guide to buying them.

Features to consider in Good Muay Thai Shin Guards

To choose the best Muay Thai shin guard for your training, it’s best to acquaint yourself with their various characteristics and differences. To choose one that meets your needs, you’ll need to balance and make compromises. Consider the following features when looking for a shin guard.

Type

You’ll first need to determine what you’ll be using your shin guard for. Will you be using it for grappling, striking, or MMA? Amateurs may not be sure of what they’ll major in. It’s recommended that in such a case selecting a model that cuts across several branches of martial arts is the best bet.

Muay Thai shin pads are designed purposely for that sport. They’re engineered to allow fighters to utilize their shins to attack and block low attacks. That’s why most of these pads are heavily padded around the mid-region of the shin where most impacts land. They also have a separate instep as thick straps that run to the back to secure the guard in place.

The level of padding in the guard may differ, though. Thick padded guards are best for beginners, whereas thin fitted models are best suited for experienced fighters with perfectly conditioned shins. You’ll also find that some Muay Thai shin guards extend to cover the knee while others cut lower to sit just below the knee.

That said, there are two types of Muay Thai shin guards:

  • Shin Guard Socks: This type of guard has a sock-like sleeve. You only need to place your foot and shin through the sleeve and attach it. It’s tighter and has little movement. However, it offers less protection.
  • Shin Guard with Straps: This is the most popular of the two. The front part of this type is held to the leg by several straps. They provide sufficient protection from the shin to the top of your foot.

Size and Fit

Selecting the right size and fit of a Muay Thai shin guard is quite important as they’ll determine how protective and comfortable the pads will be on you. Moreover, you want to select a product that’s large enough to provide enough protection but also small enough for maximum mobility. Most brands offer their shin guards in medium, large, and extra-large. Larger and heavier shin guards offer more protection but at the cost of hindering your ability to move and land kicks. Smaller sized guards will expose some part of your shin and feet, leaving them bruised.

To get the right size and fit for your shin guard, measure the circumference of the widest point of your calf. The shin’s length won’t matter so much unless you have abnormally long legs and shins that may not be properly covered by the average guard. The key to finding the perfect size and fit of a Muay Thai shin guard is striking a balance between mobility and protection.

Material

Most sock-style shin guards are made of cotton and are easy to clean. They also offer the least protection and are preferred by pros. Heavy-duty training or sparring shin guards will be very useful if protection is very important to you. These types of shin guards are made or either pure leather or synthetic leather.

Similar to other protective fighting equipment, such as boxing gloves, genuine leather is always a popular choice. They last longer than the synthetic type but often tend to cost more. Synthetic leather is cheaper and provides more control when it comes to developing flashier designs and different colors.

Brand Name

While you shouldn’t put too much emphasis on the brand name, it should still be a factor in your decision. This is because some companies offer high-quality products than others. It also pays to select products from the top competitors, even if they cost more upfront. Besides quality and durability, shin guards from well-known manufacturers are more comfortable.

When it comes to Muay Thai shin guards, it’s recommended to go for Thailand based brands as the materials are handmade and their quality is top-notch. This isn’t to mean that other countries produce fake shin guards. Since Muay Thai originated from Thailand, it’s high-quality products have been tested and tried by Thai fighters.

Additional Features

The same design and construction elements have been used in making Muay Thai shin guard for ages. However, newer models and designs of shin guards incorporate additional features that make them even better and higher performing. Anti-bacterial shin-guards is an example of this. They’re made from synthetic materials and designed to reduce the risk of bacterial infections. For better comfort and performance, the best Muay Thai shin guards are designed for breathability. For shin guards with straps, they must feature quick-adjusting straps. This not only makes it easy to take them on and off quickly but also allows you to adjust and tighten them quickly.

Quality vs. Budget

You should always consider the quality over the price when it comes to choosing the best Muay Thai shin guard. A common mistake first-time users make is skimping on this protective equipment and going for cheaper ones. A cheap pair will often require adjustments and may not offer full protection. While this doesn’t assure you that the more expensive ones will offer the best quality, the cheapest shin guards come with lots of issues that range from ill-fitting sizes to ones that don’t stay in place. Selecting one with these kinds of issues will likely result in injured ankles and broken shins.

The Best Muay Thai Shin Guards 2019

1. Fairtex Muay Thai Shin Guards SP7

Why we like it: This Muay Thai shin guard features a detachable foot guard and shin protectors that provide a 9-degree turning capability. This versatility gives maximum comfort and ensures that it protects the user even from slight bruises.

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Protection and Padding

The Fairtex Muay Thai Shin Guard SP7 covers more of the shin, some of the knee, and are also more heavily padded. The padding is firm enough to prevent the shin from going right through. This soft padding helps to soften the blow from both sides, making it ideal for sparring. The padding offers sufficient protection to prevent bruises or extreme soreness after sparring with them. The shin guard also offers protection to almost the entire lower leg. The foot has a thick padded section that reduces the chance of walking out with a swollen foot after landing on a knee or elbow.

Comfort

The foot section and the liner of this shin guard feel comfortable. Unlike other shin guards that feature a small sectioned rectangular foam that dangles over your foot, the Fairtex SP7 features a dome-like shape that wraps around the foot. This section also protects the ankle and has a small elastic piece that goes behind the heel. It’s very easy to slip through and once your foot sits right, the foot section feels great. Since the foot is being held by a small Velcro strap, you can simply take it on and off. You can still retain the same flexibility of fighting barefoot due to the size and thickness of the small strap. Overall, the SP7 is very comfortable and covers the entire shin and a little bit of the knee, adding to that secure feeling.

Quality and Durability

The Fairtex SP7 is a very well-made shin-guard that features great padding and is very comfortable. It’s also been made using synthetic leather, which is rather durable. You’re assured that the padding and sturdy construction will last you for several years.

Design

The shin guards are made up of two parts: the main shin protector and the detachable foot guard. This allows users to adjust it to their preferred height. This is a big deal if you’re new to the sport making the Fairtex SP7 one of the most sought after Muay Thai shin guard for beginners. Moreover, the twistable shin protector allows you to customize your leg gear to your desired specifications providing a significant assurance that they’ll stay in place during sparring.

Pros
  • It has a detachable foot guard.
  • It offers great protection to the user.
  • It’s made from syntax leather.
  • It has soft back straps for maximum control.
Cons
  • Finding the perfect size can be a daunting task.

2. Hayabusa T3 Kanpeki Muay Thai Shin Guard

Why we like it: The Hayabusa T3 has been designed with the primary aim of providing maximum mobility. That’s why they’re light, compact, and won’t stand in your way of wearing down an opponent with a hailstorm of kicks. It’s also fit thanks to the T3 Kanpeki snug fit design.

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Materials

Hayabusa uses ‘Vylar’ engineered leather as the main material to cover the front of the shin-guards. This material isn’t real leather, but animal-free material created by the brand. Unlike boxing gloves where real leather is insisted upon, shin-guards opt for the most durable material possible. The ‘Vylar’ used by Hayabusa provides one of the most realistic feels for synthetic leather. The fabric on the inner side of the shin guard is lined with small silicon grip dots. The material isn’t that soft or smooth but still has a fairly natural feel. The fabric also has antibacterial properties designed to keep the shin-guard as fresh as possible. After a training session, this shin guard seems to retain lots of moisture that takes a while to dry out.

Craftsmanship

The Hayabusa T3 features just two straps at the back and two elasticated straps around the heel/foot. The shin padding is fairly wide and you can get a tight fit using the straps with the padding curving around the leg. It’s easy to get a close fit with the T3. You don’t have to worry if you have skinny legs since you can also tighten the Velcro straps.

The top of the shin guard is angled to protect the knee using the top of the padding. This shin guard, therefore, offers good knee protection without it sticking out or digging into the front of the knee.

Comfort/Use

To prevent the shin guard from slipping, Hayabusa has included a load of small silicon dots on the inner side. If you aren’t used to this, you may feel the dots against your leg when you put on this shin guard. They may not cause any problems once you start training. However, once you start sweating, the shin guards start to lose the extra grip and may start slipping out.
The protection offered by the Hayabusa T3 is solid across all areas. The raised panels at the front add plenty of padding at the front, while the sides have just enough to keep your leg intact. The knee is also well protected.

Design

Pros
  • It offers a great fit using the T3 Kanpeki design.
  • It’s made from durable materials.
  • It provides exceptional protection when sparring.
  • It’s light and compact offering maximum mobility.
  • The foot guard reaches the ankles providing total shin protection.
Cons
  • It takes a little while to dry out after use.
  • This shin guard needs better cushioning.

3. Top King Muay Thai Shin Guard Protector

Why we like it: This affordable leather shin guard protector offers an excellent combination of construction, performance, protection, and fit.

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Protection, Padding, and Comfort

This shin guard has been constructed from genuine leather with particular attention paid to the areas around the lower leg muscles near the ankle and under the knee caps. The design offers almost 360-degree protection around your leg with little to no movement. The knee is also protected by the upper part of the guard that extends slightly halfway under the kneecap. There’s a thick layer of raised vertical padding that runs straight down the shin so that there’s minimum to no damage when being kicked. The upper foot region is effectively covered by the lower portion of the shin guard. Moreover, the pad covering the foot extends just up to the toes and has as much padding as the rest of the shin guard.

Design

The Top King Muay Thai Shin Guard Protector provides the buyer with a multitude of different color options that range from the “Superstar” shin guard with a two-toned fading color scheme to the “Pro” model that features minimalist colors. The “Snake” model of the same shin guard comes in several different snakeskin prints while the “Camouflage” model features different colors of camo print. All models feature Top King’s signature trademark flame logo on the guard’s upper part.

Quality and Durability

The shin guard has a thick but lightweight padding on the inside that helps to keep the leg locked in place along with the heavy-duty straps. The shin guards use a hook and loop closure to ensure a secure fit around the calf area and ankle area. The two straps and shin guard are made from a single piece of genuine leather that ensures they don’t get torn off or fall apart. The leather straps have a soft feel on the legs.

The straps have a sturdy Velcro, whereas the leather stitched around doesn’t leave any loose or sharp edges that may come apart or cut opponents while training. There’s also an elastic strap that goes around the ankle and another that goes around the bottom of the foot to keep everything in place. Despite the stitching being elastic, it’s still sturdy enough to keep the shin guard glued to both the ankle and foot.

Pros
  • It’s made of genuine leather.
  • It has nicely padded impact points.
  • The narrower design makes it less bulky.
  • It features well-thought-out knee protection.
  • It’s available in a range of color options.
Cons
  • The narrow design makes them less breathable.
  • The leather between the shin protection and base rubs the skin before breaking in.

4. Fairtex SP5 Competition Muay Thai Shin Guards

Why we like it: This shin guard offers a good mix of weight, protection, and affordability. It also has an ergonomic design and is fitted with thoughtfully positioned straps to give maximum comfort and protection from high-impact strikes.

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Protection and Padding

The Fairtex SP5 offers maximum protection and provides healthy contact while throwing kicks at training partners. You get support from high-impact strikes that may come during spurring by the double-layered foam core of this shin guard. The dual-layered foam-based padding provides optimal protection without being flimsy or too ‘soft’. With this, you get comfort and sufficient resistance from heavy strikes.

The padding is quite easy to clean and doesn’t attract heavy odors after training due to sweat. You get slight protection while sparring from the rounded guard that disperses the full impact of strikes.

Comfort

The foot and ankle straps of the Fairtex SP5 keep the shin guard in position without irritating the back of your feet or legs. The fastening straps can be easily adjusted to fit most leg sizes and shapes. Despite the straps securing your leg, there’s still enough breathability provided by the open back of the shin guard. The ergonomic shape also means that these will securely wrap around your shins for a magnificent fit.

It’s also very easy to move around with the SP5 as they stay in place even while throwing kicks. The Velcro straps have been designed to ensure there’s no chafing on the skin. The stitching free connection and open design of the foot protector and shin guard also ensures you’re comfortable. Your footwork/movement isn’t restricted while sparring.

Quality

From the shape of the guards that fit the contour of your shin to the strong Velcro straps, the build quality of the Fairtex SP5 is top-notch.

Design

The Fairtex SP5 shin guard is made of Fairtex’s durable Syntek Leather with double layers of high impact foam core that provides comfort and protection. To prevent slipping, the shin guard uses durable cotton stretch jean lining. You won’t have to keep readjusting your gear with this feature. To prevent irritation and also offer comfort, the connection between the foot protector and shin guard has a soft lining and a stitching free open design.

Pros
  • The shin guard fits properly.
  • It features 4 thoughtfully positioned adjustable straps.
  • It’s easy to keep clean.
  • It’s flexible and stays secure during sparring.
Cons
  • The Velcro straps wear over time.
  • A few users report slight scuffs.

5. RDX Shin Guard Leather Muay Thai Instep Leg Pads

Why we like it: To avoid being too thick, this RDX shin guard has an additional layer of padding at the center of the shin and foot. This optimizes protection without increasing the thickness of the whole shin guard.

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Weight and Distribution

Most shin guards have a majority of their weight down the shin. However, it’s difficult to notice the weight distribution if you sufficiently tighten the shin guard. This RDX shin guard uses a ‘Quick-EZ’ Velcro closures, alongside a standard elasticated underfoot strap that ensure the shins fit well. The extra padding on these shins means that they aren’t quite light as other thinner shin guards.

Aesthetics

There isn’t much variety when it comes to choosing a color for the RDX shin guard. The most color combination is black and white with red highlights. This is meant to go visually well with other gear. Despite the visuals not being that refined, they’re still nice and bold. The RDX logos are placed down the shin and on the foot as well besides other minor detailing on the leather section attaching the shin and instep.

Material

The RDX shin guard has been designed to be durable. The section between the shin and instep is made of leather providing a better range of motion in the feet. The leather used is of medium quality, but noticeably nicer to the touch, and much longer-lasting than vinyl alternatives. The porous fabric inside the shin attempts to wick away sweat and moisture, but you’ll still need to air it out after use whenever possible. The material also offers comfort to the skin but don’t provide enough grip to prevent them from slipping.

Comfort/Use

This shin guard offers maximum protection, especially if you want clean kicks. The raised platform comes in handy to protect the shin and your opponent. However, the leather section between the shin padding and the foot padding is about an inch long, and the padding is less than half of the rest of the shin guard, with a small strip that has no padding at all. This means that someone who isn’t used to hard contact will bear the grunt if hit one the knee. Since this strip only covers the front, the ankles are left exposed, so it’s important to watch out for unexpected elbows.

The footwork on this shin guard is superb though. With many shin guards having very limited movement in the foot, the RDX offers a relief. The fact that the foot and shin pads are further apart means that they have more flexibility and can bend with ease, so you can move around with no problem.

Pros
  • It features thick shin protection.
  • It’s not too bulky.
  • It offers good foot movement.
Cons
  • There’s less protection around the ankles and it’s prone to slipping when knocked.

6. RDX Gel Muay Thai Shin Guard

Why we like it: Designed with mobility in mind, the RDX Gel Muay Thai Shin Guard is ideal for beginners. It combines both comfort and high-tech design to provide solid protection. It features a shock-gel technology merged with supreme shock foam padding on high impact points.

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Aesthetics

The RDX Gel has a very limited color choice. You’re left with the choice of black with gold detailing or black with red detailing. The design of this Muay Thai shin guard would suit a fighter who prefers an understated look to their gear. Those who fancy a slightly flashier look may not find this very appealing.

Weight and Distribution

This RDX shin guard uses the ‘Neo-1’ neoprene and ‘Quick-EZ’ Velcro closures alongside a standard elasticated underfoot strap, to make sure the shin fits very well. Once you put on the RDX Gel shin guard, you can find it easy to move and kick, and the lightweight design keeps you quick.

Materials and Craftsmanship

The RDX Gel shin guard has been 3D molded to attain a uniform build quality using high-quality materials. The outer cover is made of 300 denier nylon for durability. The QD-2 inner lining of this shin guard has been designed to wick away moisture and keep your skin dry, especially during hot training sessions. The dual padding is a mixture of Shell-Shock gel and Max-Shock padding, totaling 26mm over the shin. This gives great padding protection through any sparring session.

Comfort

Shin guards should be tight against the leg and hold in place throughout a session. They should also be easy to put on and tighten up. The RDX Gel is capable of achieving all these. Their strap and loop Velcro fastening system makes the pads quick and easy to put when you start a training session. They can also be easily adjusted to make sure they stay in place during hard sparring. The 26mm thick padding makes them ideal for striking. The thickness gives you confidence that you’re not going to hurt yourself or your opponent if things get a bit rough.

Pros
  • It features a molded padding for extra protection.
  • It’s lightweight for ease of mobility.
  • It has a hook and loop closure for a secure fit.
  • It’s easy to adjust and get on and off.
  • It’s equipped with QD moisture-absorbing technology for great comfort.
  • This shin guard is made of durable material.
Cons
  • Finding the right size can be difficult.

7. Venum Challenger Standup Shinguards

Why we like it: This shin guard excels in both fashion and design quality. They’re perfect for lightweight performance for all levels. It’s constructed with high-density foam that includes additional padding across the shin and instep for enhanced shock absorption.

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Protection and Padding

The Venum Challenger Standup Shinguards feature a foam padding of about 3/4-inch thick providing sufficient support. The padding over the foot is slightly more flexible and is only ½-inch thick. The instep/foot padding meets with the shin cover to provide great coverage for the small bones in the top of the foot. The padding isn’t cumbersome, making it easy to stay on the balls of your feet and freely move without the foot padding getting in the way.

Comfort

The Venum Challenger slips on nicely through the foot and ankle straps. However, some people might not like the Velcro straps. They’re comfortable enough to wear while doing full lunges, burpees sprawl and so on. You also don’t have to repeatedly pull them back up or adjust them over your shins which is a plus.

Quality and Durability

The material used on the Venum Challenger is synthetic leather that offers great durability even after many uses. The quality of this shin guard is great for most novices and amateurs. However, as mentioned before, the Velcro straps could be an issue to some users. The shin guard becomes useless if you don’t entirely replace the straps once the Velcro becomes compromised. Unlike other shin guards that would be simply fixed using a little tape since the straps aren’t part of the padding. Moreover, the foot loop will likely wear out at some point, depending on the surface that you train on.

Design

The design of the Venum shin guard seems to have been well thought out. The foot protection flexes with your foot as opposed to flopping that some shin guards feature. The top of the shin below the knee is well-covered, protecting your partner from those inside leg kick checks.

Pros
  • The padding on this shin guard offers great protection.
  • It allows for easy movement during sparring.
  • It comes with instep/foot protection.
  • There are foot and ankle loops on this shin guard.
  • It stays fastened during intense sparring.
Cons
  • The Velcro straps seem potentially fragile.
  • Some users might find it slightly tight in the calf area.

8. Hayabusa Ikusa Shin Guards

Why we like it: The Hayabusa Ikusa is a breathable and lightweight shin guard that offers a great range of motion and a striking surface with amazing impact absorption.

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Materials

It’s not evident whether the Hayabusa Ikusa has been made from genuine leather or synthetic leather. However, the material appears to be sturdy and durable. The shin guard is lined with a smooth satin that’s nice to touch and wear. They have a full neoprene backing that gives them their calf-hugging, elasticated fit. The guards slip on over your foot, with the neoprene backing covering up to the top of the calf.

Craftsmanship

The Hayabusa’s build makes them great for striking and striking against. The strapping has been designed to ensure there’s no exposed Velcro. It features a double-sided Velcro tab that’s loped through the top of the shin guard on the end of an elasticated strap. The neoprene is also designed with a strip of leather down the back. This is to help you pull the shin guard on and off.

Comfort/Use

The Ikusa is light which makes kicking nice and quick. The foot cover provides sufficient protection to the top of the foot as well. The rest of the padding is thick enough to make it much easier to feel confident while kicking hard. The strap system is different but much easier to slip on and off once you get a hang of it. The neoprene backing contributes to the secure closure of the guard, ensuring it doesn’t slip while grappling.

Aesthetics

The Ikusa features a range of very interesting designs. The charged range feature 6 different colored boxing gloves, all with the same style. However, this shin guard is available in only a single color. It looks great though with the black, white and grey design working well with diagonal ‘slashes’ across the shins. The faint geometric pattern also looks cool upfront.

Pros
  • It’s tight-fitting.
  • It’s very breathable.
  • It has a secure closure and doesn’t slip.
  • It has an unobtrusive feel.
Cons
  • It takes longer to take on and off.

9. Sanabul Essential Hybrid Kickboxing Shin Guard

Why we like it: With the neoprene slip design that includes a top leg and proprietary mid-leg fastener, the Sanabul Essential Shin Guard offers a comfortable fit that minimizes movement.

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Materials

The Sanabul Essential Hybrid Kickboxing Shin Guard is structured and designed as a wrap-around and strapped guard. The guard has a neoprene sleeve on the inside that offers a bit of compression if you find a good fit. To keep moisture away, this shin guard features a wick. The hook and loop Velcro-style straps are used to secure the fit and help improve the fit. To ensure that the foot protection stays in place, a piece of elastic runs under the foot. Sanabul uses high-density foam padding. The materials used are high-quality to give you excellent longevity of use.

Fit

It’s quite easy to put these on and take them off using the wrap-around styled guards. Most users will find this shin guard to be secure and quite snag using the two adjustable straps.

Protection

This shin guard provides a good amount of coverage and the padding is firm and protected. The high-density foam padding can absorb and disperse impact to keep you from getting bruises. The heavy padding leads to this guard being quite bulky.

Breathability

The neoprene sleeve used in the Sanabul shin guard is essential in wicking moisture away. It’ll play a role in keeping you cooler and more comfortable throughout your training sessions. However, this guard isn’t great in terms of airflow. The most important thing is that it protects the fighter, who won’t put too much thought into the guard’s breathability.

Comfort

Most users will find that it’s quite comfortable to put on. However, some users have revealed that it starts irritating the skin. This is particularly true if you have them on for a long time. It’s rather thin and may start digging into your skin if you tighten it a lot.

Pros
  • There are 5 different colors to choose from.
  • The shin guard is ideal for beginners.
  • It’s affordable.
  • The shin guard is lightweight for maximum mobility.
Cons
  • Some users find it to be quite bulky.

10. Hayabusa Ikusa Charged Shin Guards

Why we like it: The satin lining for the Ikusa Charged shin guard gives it a great look and makes it comfortable to wear. The neoprene backing reaches the top of the calf for added protection and to ensure that it doesn’t slip easily.

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Materials

Just like other Hayabusa shin guards, it’s not clear what material has been used. However, the material appears to be sturdy and durable. The satin lining the inside of the shin guard makes it comfortable to wear and nice to touch. The fully perforated neoprene backing gives the shin guard the calf-hugging, elasticated fit. It slips on over your foot, with the neoprene covering backing covering up to the top of the calf. There’s a second elastic strap around the back that helps to keep the shin guard in place.

Craftsmanship

The Hayabusa’s build makes them great for striking and striking against. The strapping has been designed to ensure there’s no exposed Velcro. It features a double-sided Velcro tab that’s loped through the top of the shin guard on the end of an elasticated strap. The neoprene is also designed with a strip of leather down the back. This is to help you pull the shin guard on and off.

Comfort/Use

The Hayabusa Ikusa Charged shin guard is quite light, making it ideal for rapid kicking. Professionals will love the fact that it gives them maximum mobility while sparring. The protection on the foot covers everything and is a huge upgrade from other grappling shin guards. The thickness of the paddings also makes it easier to kick. The strap system is unusual at first but quite easy to slip on and off once you get used to it. The neoprene backing helps to keep the guard in place so that there’ll be no slipping.

Aesthetics

The Ikusa Charged looks quite great and features interesting designs. It’s available in a single color of either black, white or grey. The geometric pattern also looks quite cool once you see it up close.

Pros
  • The foot is well protected by this shin guard.
  • The materials are durable and make the shin guard comfortable to put on and kick with.
  • It fits precisely to ensure enhanced mobility.
Cons
  • Putting on the strap could be slightly confusing initially.
  • The protection offered isn’t as superior as a striking shin guard.

Guide to Buying the Best Muay Thai Shin Guards

As a Muay Thai trainee, shin guards will be part of the essential equipment you’ll have to get alongside gloves and wraps. These are not only used for sparring but also performing a wide range of drills. Safety should always be your number one priority. Keep the following important factors in mind when you go shopping for such equipment.

Mobility and Protection

Your shin is likely to take most of the hits when it comes to practicing Muay Thai kicks. Individuals have ended up with broken shins because of training without shin guards. Therefore, you shouldn’t spar or drill without shin guards. These will protect your legs and prevent bruising. As discussed above, shin guards with thicker padding will offer maximum protection but that’ll come at the expense of your mobility.

Smaller shin guards with little padding offer the least protection and are usually preferred by professional Muay Thai fighters. This is because they’re lightweight and don’t hinder their speed so that they can deliver rapid kicks to their opponents. You must find a shin guard that offers the right balance between mobility and protection.

Comfort

You shouldn’t be bogged down too much with protection so that you forget about the overall comfort shin guards should provide. If you’re going to use your shin guard often, they must remain comfortable. Shin guards that shift too much come with stitching that rubs against your skin, don’t fit properly by either being too long, too short, too wide, or too narrow. Look for shin guards that’ll properly fit you and also come with features that’ll cater for your comforts, such as moisture-wicking capabilities, or large straps and Velcro closures.

Size

You should decide on the size of a Muay Thai shin guard that offers the comfort you need without causing any chasing and irritation. With clear instructions from manufacturers these days, it’s easier to calculate your size. These manufacturers also offer a guide on the sizes they offer.

Another important thing to consider is the reviews of other users. These will help you know if the guards you intend to buy run too large or too small. That’ll save you from buying a pair that won’t work for you. The sock-style guard offers a universal fit so people looking for this won’t have any problems. Also, pay attention to other aspects such as straps and closures and how comfortable they look on you.

Foot and Ankle Protection

The protection of the foot and ankle is often overlooked when purchasing a shin guard. However, protecting your foot and ankle is very important. There are lots of small bones on your foot and ankle. These are fairly fragile compared to the bones in the knees and shin that they’ll be coming into heavy contact with. Wider foot protection covers more of the foot and also around the ankle. It’s important to pick a pair of shin guards that’ll properly protect your feet and ankles. A nasty foot injury could put you out of training for some time.

Fastenings

Muay Thai shin guards are fastened to the leg and foot as follows:

Leg Straps

Two straps placed at the top and bottom of the shin component fasten the guard to the leg. Most good shin guards have Velcro fastening and nice thick straps that ensure the shin guards stay in place. You should avoid flimsy-looking leg straps as they’re likely to cause the guards to slide around your leg when training. There’s nothing worse than having to constantly stop your sparring sessions because you need to readjust your shin guards. That’ll irritate both you and your sparring partner.

Foot Straps

It’s also vital that you keep your foot protection glued in place. Foot protection slipping out of place at the wrong moment can be very painful. These types of straps are made of elasticated fabric and come in either one strap or two straps. Either of these two variations holds the foot guard on well, but for comfort and flexibility, the one strap is recommended.

Muay Thai Shin Guards vs. MMA Grappling Shin Guards

It’s highly likely that one may confuse between these two when it comes to purchasing a shin guard. Designed with grappling in mind, MMA shin guards are less bulky in comparison to Muay Thai shin guards. They usually come in sock-like sleeves to keep the guards in place during intensive scrambling and rolling on the floor. Muay Thai shin guards with straps aren’t practical under these conditions. Since MMA grappling guards are meant for more mobility, they don’t offer as much protection as Muay Thai guards. With a lot more focus on striking with the legs in Muay Thai, there’s a need for more protection when you block and check your opponent’s kicks.

Tips on Choosing Your Muay Thai Shin Guards

Before buying a Muay Thai shin guard, you should have some knowledge of the model and size before making the final decision. To help you choose the right model and size, here are a few tips to guide you:

Tip 1

The first place you should turn to is your fight gym. You should ask your instructor or fellow fighters if you can try out their shin guards to check their fitting. It’s easier to sample all the different brands and models being worn at your gym. This sampling will give you a good idea of what you should look for. It’ll also be a good way to make new friends and learn some sparring skills.

Tip 2

If you train in a well-equipped gym, they’ll likely have their line of fight gear or other more popular brands. Buying from your gym is a good idea since you’ll get to try them on first and can get a discount as a member. However, the cost of buying a shin guard here will be higher than getting a similar one online.

Tip 3

It’s highly likely that you can find at least one fight store in your town or city. It’s also advisable to head down and check the selection. This allows you to try them on for size and give you a general idea of what you should get. Once you’re satisfied with what you need, you can head back and do your shopping online. Buying from a local fight store is more expensive due to the operating costs of such brick-and-mortar businesses.

Bottom Line

Finding the best pair of shin guards for Muay Thai isn’t that easy. However, your search for the perfect shin guard has been made easier by this guide and review of the 10 best Muay Thai shin guards in 2019. Good shin guards are just as important as good gloves and hand wraps since they protect your shins and feet from injuries while training. Therefore, you should rarely train without this.

The best type of shin guards will depend on your needs and preferences but also whether you’ll use them primarily for training or fighting. From all the wide variety of shin guards available on the market, this guide has narrowed it down for you so that you can find training or sparring shin guard that’s not only comfortable but also allows your body to move naturally.