Contact sports like mixed martial arts (MMA) are no joking matter; due to their inherently violent nature, having the proper protective gear to keep yourself safe is crucial. Shin guards help absorb shock and block out pressure when kicking a bag during practice or an opponent in the cage. Their thick padding coats the shin and typically the tops of feet for added coverage. Brands like Venum and RDX offer various MMA shin guard silhouettes, complete with different levels of thickness and features such as adjustable hook and loop straps for a customized fit. Read on to see our top picks.
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1. RDX Shin Guards
RDX employs state-of-the-art technology to create these protective shin guards for Muay Thai, kickboxing and more.
Pros: The outer layer of these guards features the brand’s Shell Shock gel padding for impact resistance. Supremo-shock padding sits below the outer shell for shock absorption and comfort, in order to reduce the chance of injury. The padding also extends to nearly the tip of your toes for extra protection. Meanwhile, a moisture-wicking lining helps prevent sweat buildup as hook and loop straps keep you locked in.
Cons: The back straps may be too short for wider calves.
2. Venum "Kontact" Shin and Instep Guards
Venum’s shin guards slip over the foot and up the leg for added security during contact sports.
Pros: These guards feature thick padding across the front of the shin and the top of the foot to protect both you and your opponent. They stretch to fit your calf and have adjustable hook-and-loop closures for a precise fit. They come in a variety of colorways.
Cons: These may be difficult to put on if your legs are sweaty.
3. Meister MMA Padded Guards
Meister MMA’s shin guards include fully elasticated material to stretch and move with any kick or knee movement.
Pros: The top of these shin guards adjusts so you can loosen them to slide them on and tighten them to keep them in place. The open heel design lets the foot breathe and also allows for better grip and traction on the mat. These come in multiple colors including red, black, blue and white.
Cons: These may run small.
4. Sanabul Essential MMA Shin Guards
Sanabul’s guards feature high-impact protection foam and articulated in-step padding that ergonomically contours to your foot.
Pros: A neoprene slip-on design with a leg fastener at the top and proprietary mid-leg fastener keep them in place. They’re triple-stitched for enhanced longevity. They come in multiple sizes and colorways.
Cons: They may shift if your legs get sweaty.
5. Elite Sports MMA Shin Guards
These guards are designed to conform to the natural curve of your shin. High-density gel foam padding on the shinbone and instep guard the leg and enhance shock absorption.
Pros: A secure closure system with a stretchable strap allows for easy customization. They come in seven colors.
Cons: Some may find them a little bulky.
6. RIMSports MMA Shin Guards
These shin guards are made of a breathable, moisture-wicking, cotton-blend fabric to keep your legs cool.
Pros: They can be easily adjusted at the top. High-impact protection foam with four-way compression absorbs the toughest strikes.
Cons: They may be a little awkward to put on.
7. Hayabusa T3 Striking Shinguards
This style is constructed with a lightweight and flexible pre-curved material that hugs the leg without excess bulk.
Pros: Dual straps and an inner silicone grip ensures a secure fit without shifting. An open-back design promotes air circulation and minimizes overheating. They come in five colorways.
Cons: Some may prefer longer straps.