How to Choose Football Shin Pads
TYPE OF SHIN PADS
Shin pads are required if you’re planning to play in any organized league and highly recommended even if you’re just playing pickup with friends in the park.
Slip-Ins → These do not include any ankle protection but are easy to take in and out of your socks, while keeping your boots on. Some slip-ins include straps to secure around your calf while some rely only on the sock to hold them up.
Ankle Guard → Many youth and beginner shin pads offer extra ankle protection via an ankle guard. Depending on the brand, this may be removable or not.
The moral of the shin-pad-sizing-story is that you want them to cover the bulk of your shins from just above your ankle to just below your knee. Most brands size their shin pads from XS or S to L or CL with many offering kids’ sizes as well. Keep in mind that the larger sizes will be longer in length and width.
Sleeves → If you choose a slip-in style shin pad, you may want to purchase a shin pad sleeve to keep them from falling down around your ankles. These are especially useful if your socks aren’t very tight!
Tape → Some players choose to use tape on their socks to keep slip-in shin pads from falling down. There is shin pad-specific tape out there nowadays, but general athletic tape will do the trick as well.
HOW TO WEAR
This may seem obvious to many but if you’re brand new to football, shin pads are generally worn under your socks. But hey, you do you!
Shin pads generally run between $12 and $25 USD.