From Youth to Adult: Which Shin Guards Are Right for You?

Jun 30, 2023

Adult soccer players don’t have to worry as much about finding shin guards to wear as they grow, but youth soccer players do. When it comes to shin guards, there are three things we will explain in this blog:

  1. The difference between youth and adult shin guards.
  2. When to replace shin guards for youth and adult players.
  3. Finding youth shin guards that fit as the player grows.

The difference between youth and adult soccer shin guards

There are two main differences between adult and youth shin guards, along with one main similarity.

Difference #1: The lifespan of soccer shin guards will vary depending on the player’s age. As a youth player, they’re far more likely to require a new pair of shin guards more often since they have to keep up with their growth. The shin guard must properly cover the shin. If they’re too small, the purpose of the shin guard is lost.

On the other hand, adult shin guards can last longer, depending on how often they’re used, because adults wouldn’t need to consistently get bigger sizes. However, adults might play more often or play harder and wear away at the shin guards faster. Quality shin guards will be made to last, though, so look for sturdy, well-reviewed materials.

Difference #2: The second main difference is how the shin guard fits. Fit varies per player, especially between youth and adult players. Youth players need to make sure they’re properly protected from ankle to knee, but it’s sometimes more beneficial to them to prioritize full coverage rather than mobility. On the other hand, more serious senior players will prioritize mobility with smaller shin guards that cover just as much as they need to.

Similarity: The similarity between adult and youth shin guards is what the player should be looking for. Their chosen shin guard should properly cover the shin and be paired with leg guards that protect the rest of the calf. The shin guard should be made of impact-absorbing material and sit comfortably on the leg so the player’s performance isn’t affected.

When to replace soccer shin guards

For adults, shin guards should be replaced if they’ve cracked or warped due to the game. A crack means they can no longer sustain a heavy blow, and warping means they won’t sit along the shin properly. 

Any gaping between the shin and the guard allows for impact to travel through the guard and hit the shin. They should also be replaced if it affects the player’s play style, although this can be avoided by trying on the shin guard before purchasing it.

For youth players, soccer shin guards should be replaced for the same reasons, as well as when the shin is no longer properly covered. Normally, youth players will elect to wear shin guards slightly longer than how they measure. 

For example, if they measure eight inches from the top of the ankle to just below the knee, instead of getting eight-inch shin guards, they might get nine-inch shin guards for slightly more protection and leeway as they grow.

Finding youth shin guards that fit as the player grows

One of the easiest methods for growing players is to get a pair of protective leg guards that has a pocket for shin pads. That way, the only thing that will need replacing is the shin pad, not the whole set. 

The leg guard will last longer and offer increased protection around the whole calf. These leg guards are available at Storelli, along with a full collection of youth protective equipment and adult protective equipment. Start shopping now for a safe season of soccer.

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