How to Size Shin Guards

Shin guards play a significant role on the soccer field when it comes to protecting you against injuries caused by impact. However, if you put on soccer shin guards that don’t properly fit you, you may risk injuries. Therefore, it is important to know how to size shin guards.

Wearing proper fitting shin guards doesn’t only help to protect you against injuries and to dissipate force caused by collisions on the field. Wearing proper fitting shin guards also ensures that you are comfortable throughout the game – allowing you to perform better.

Yet, whether you are an adult or a parent searching for the perfect shin guards for your child, you may find it difficult to identify the right size. So, below, we’ve outlined a simple, yet, detailed guide of how to size shin guards to ensure you find the proper fitting leg protection.

How Do You Identify the Right Shin Guard Size?

At face value, choosing the right shin guard size may appear to be easy. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. For one, different brands have slightly different shin guard sizing charts. Therefore, Nike or PUMA shin guards of a particular size may not be the same as Adidas or Under Armour shin guards of the same size.

It is especially difficult to identify the right fit when switching from one brand to the other – especially if you are doing your shopping online. Well, the good news is that you can now learn how to size shin guards – to avoid sending the ones you order back and forth in an effort to find the right size and fit.

Choosing the Shin Guards

Before you think of measuring your shin guards, you must first know that different shin guard styles will have different fittings. Therefore, it is worth first figuring out which shin guards you will opt for. Shin guards built with ankle protection require a perfect fit to cover the entire leg. Ankle protectors on the other end can be either slightly loose or tight.

Furthermore, you have to pay attention to the length and width to ensure there is a balance between the two. After all, you may find shin guards that are built to offer a wider fit whilst others are designed to offer a narrower fit.

How to Measure Shin Guards

Generally, proper fitting shin guards should fit a few inches (at least 2 inches) below the knee cap and a few inches (about 1 to 2 inches) above the ankles.

Achieving this fit ensures that the shin guards offer sufficient coverage around the shin – ensuring it has optimal protection against impact from other players or high momentum ball.

To measure how the shin guards will fit, measure the bottom of the knee cap to at least an inch or two above the shoes. This gives you the actual length of the shin guard and how much it will cover the shin area.

Kids Shin Guards

When measuring kids’ shin guards, you want to look at the age. Most brands list their kids’ shin guards to the age of 16. However, this should not only be the factor considered because even children of the same age grow differently.

Therefore, you want to measure your kid’s height and compare it to the average height for that age then choose their shin guards based on that value. Typically, you will find that they fall around the same age group – in other words, you will most probably buy shin guards labeled age 10 for your 10-year-old child.

Adult Shin Guards

When it comes to choosing adult shin guards, it gets to be a little more complicated. Typically, you will still measure the height of the player. However, you also have to consider the fit. Some players have wide shin whilst others have narrow shin.

The good news is that many brands include Nike and Adidas make shin guards designed to offer wide fit and narrow fit. Keep in mind that different brands will ha slightly different sizing – so, before you pick a shin guard, you want to check their respective sizing charts.

Shin Guard Sizing Charts From Popular Brands

Below, we’ve outlined Adidas and Nike sizing shin guard sizing charts for adults and kids.

Nike Shin Guards
Size Height (inches)
XS/TP 4’7” – 4’11”
S/P 4’11” – 5’3”
M/M 5’3” – 5’7”
L/G 5’7” – 5’11”
XL/TG 5’11” -6’3”
S 4’7” – 4’11”
M 4’11” – 5’3”
L 5’3” – 5’11”
Adidas Shin Guards
Size Height (inches) Age
XS 3’11”  – 4’6” 7-9
S 4’7” – 5’2″ 10-13
M 5’3” – 5’9” 14-17
L 5’10” – 6’10” 18+
XL 6’2” – 6’5” 18+

Final Verdict – Sizing Shin Guards

As evident to the sizing guide, the height of the player plays a significant role in determining the shin guard size – no matter their stature. Whether a player is built large or more petite, if they are tall, they will need larger shin guards and if they are short, they will need smaller shin guards.

Furthermore, whilst different brands have different sizing charts for shin guards, the principle is all the same. All you need is to know your height and you can easily pick the right shin guard size from any brand as long as you first cross check with their respective sizing chart.


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