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Revgear’s Ultimate Shin Guard Guide

Revgear’s Ultimate Shin Guard Guide


Revgear have been making shin guards for almost 30 years. Working in conjunction with the best athletes and coaches in MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing, Revgear has developed some of the best shin guards in the world. After years of questions from customers and practical experience gained through the manufacture, testing and real world use of shin guards, we have the answers in this ultimate guide. 

Should I get shin guards for kickboxing?

The short answer is yes. You will absolutely need shin guards for kickboxing if you want to do more than just hit the pads. If you are sparring or drilling, you need to wear shin guards for your own protection and for the safety of your partners. Shin guards, such as the Revgear Thai Original,  allow you to throw kicks in live situations so that you can learn your craft while not getting injured. All kickboxing schools will require you to wear shin guards in every situation other than padwork. 

Shin guards guide

How do you wear kickboxing shin guards?

There are different types of shin guard, but most have a shin pad and an instep pad. The sock-style, like the Revgear Dominator, is simply pulled on over your leg and foot. This is the shin guard with the least padding. The more common styles will have full front protection without a sock. These are strapped to the leg around the back of the calf with either a simple velcro fastener, or a hook and loop style velcro fastener. The foot is placed in the instep protector, then the velcro straps are fastened around the lower leg. 

How do shin guards stay on?

Shin guards stay on with velcro straps for the most part. A good shin guard should have decent velcro which will hold without any need to tape them up. However, some lower end models will have velcro which may stop working after a while and will require tape to hold them on. This is why you should always get high quality, even if you are on a budget. The Revgear Pinnacle P4 is a great option that is affordable, but high quality.

Shin guards guide

Are shin guards uncomfortable?

A shin guard should be comfortable. If your shin guards are uncomfortable, then one of two things can cause this. Either it is a poorly constructed shin guard, or you have bought the wrong size or style for your leg. Measuring your leg is an important step you need to take before purchasing. Make sure you buy a quality shin guard like the Revgear Pinnacle P4 so that you have protection and comfort. 

How do you know what size shin guards to get?

The main measurement you need to take is the length of your shin from just below the knee to the point that your shin meets your instep. This measurement will correspond to the size chart for the shin guards you are looking at. If you have a particularly large or skinny calf, then you may want to size up or down accordingly, but most people will only need to take their shin measurement. 

Shin guards guide

How do you measure your shin guard for Muay Thai?

The same process applies for shin guards in all combat sports. Muay Thai is no different. Measure your shin from instep to knee. This is normally somewhere from 12 to 17 inches. 12 inches is an XS shin guard and 17 is an XXL. The instep section will follow accordingly with an average of 5 to 7 inches in length. 

What height should a mma shin guard be?

An MMA shin guard should have the same shin coverage, but will usually have less padding. They should have the same 12 to 17 inch coverage as a Muay Thai or kickboxing shin guards, but are often more slimline as they are used in ground as well as stand-up training. The Revgear Superlite is a great hybrid that gives you more coverage than a sock-style shin guard, but less bulk than a Muay Thai shin guard. 

How do you wear shin guards in MMA?

There are two main types of MMA shin guard: the strap on and pull up. A pull up, like the Sub Hunter Grappling Shin Guard is worn by pulling it on like a sock, then fastening the top strap around the calf. A strap on, like the Superlite, is put on like a kickboxing shin guard with two velcro straps at the back. 

Shin guard guide

How do I choose a shin guard for Muay Thai?

Muay Thai shin guards are the gold standard in shin protection, as the Thai kick is powerful and requires a lot of protection while sparring. A good Muay Thai shin guard, like the Revgear Original Thai is well padded on the front, with a little coverage on the sides. It has a good connection to a well-padded instep protector with the ankles protected, but not impeded. A good Muay Thai shin guard should have a thick elastic underfoot fastener that does not cover the ball of the foot, and an achilles elastic fastener to hold it on securely. 

How do I choose a kickboxing shin guard?

A kickboxing shin guard is very similar to a Muay Thai shin guard and the two are virtually interchangeable. If you are looking for a lot of shin and instep protection, then the Pro Series Defender offers a gel pad that can absorb serious impact. Just make sure that there is a lot of shin coverage and that the shin guard can be securely fastened to your leg. 

How do I choose MMA shin guards?

The choice of shin guards for MMA is between pull up and strap on. The straps on conventional shin guards can get in the way during ground fighting, while many sock pull up styles can ride down the calf over time. The Sub Hunter Freestyle has neoprene straps which hold fast while not impeding grappling, while the Sub Hunter Slip Ons are the best pull ups on the market. The Superlite is a hybrid that allows you to work your ground game, while still giving plenty of coverage for hard kicks.

Are shin guards with ankle protection better?

It really depends on what you are looking for. On the whole, ankle support with an ankle wrap is more important than a shin guard with ankle protection, as the ankle does not get a lot of impact. If you want more coverage of the ankle area, then the Revgear Original Thai  has all the protection you need. 

Tom Billinge Tom is the Editor of Revgear Sports and the founder of WarYoga. He is a 10th Planet purple belt and a Muay Thai Kru having spent over two decades in the sport in Thailand and around the world. Tom has trained Lethwei in Myanmar, Kushti wrestling in India, Zurkhaneh sports in Iran, boxing throughout Europe, and catch wrestling in the USA. Tom also resurrected the ancient techniques of traditional British bareknuckle pugilism from archaic manuals.