Inever could decide whether this shin guard was ahead of its time, good or bad, innovative or reinventing the wheel. But after almost 10 years of production its simply refused to go away.
The Revgear Defender is a strange little beast. Its seriously heavy duty, made of full leather and has several innovative design features like the gel strip over the shin area. While many would point to Thai brands such as Top King having done this a long time ago, well actually they didn’t… The Thai brands put a raised area on the mold which created extra protection there, but the Defender shin guard’s gel strip slows the impact twice by having two layers of protection using different materials. The opposite straps on the back of the leg help avoid the age old problem of the shin guard spinning on a check or a kick, and the instep is plenty big enough to really defend the small bones of the foot.
Where it racks up criticism is potentially due to almost the flip side of its good points. The Defender is a bulky shin guard and lacks the simple elegance of the Top King or Twins version. But where it wins is in its level of protection and outright functionality. For the expert practitioner who actually wants less protection and more maneuvrability it may not be the first choice, but this would also be true of many of its Thai counterparts too. The all new REVGEAR Super lite, not to be confused with an earlier design called the ultralight, will answer that requirement. But the Defender remains an excellent choice for any martial artisst needing serious protection.
Cesar Gracie describes them as “Bulletproof”
“The Thing about that is they are bullet proof, you could take a kick from Cro Crop and you could defend it”
One last note is: I recently read a top ten shin guards for MMA article where the Defender featured at 8th Spot. The main criticism seemed to be it lacked protection for the knees. However this for me missed the point as for an MMA shin guard the knees need to be left exposed for multiple wrestling techniques. Therefore the over the knee protection favored by Top King and several other brands including REVGEAR’s Original Thai shinguard is purely designed for Muay Thai and not MMA….Just a thought!