One vital piece of protective
equipment in the sport of MMA is shin/instep guards. Just one
swift kick can cause severe knee damage not to mention broken
bones and a lot of pain. Such an injury can end a fighting
career. It is imperative to take preventative action BEFORE such
an injury occurs.
An MMA fighter uses his lower legs and feet more than any other
part of his or her body. Shifting, dodging and delivering punches
all require the use of the feet, knees and lower legs. Shin
guards are designed to protect these areas from injury but allow
for movement without restrictions.
A good set will protect all of the lower leg including the knees,
calves, shins, and ankles. It will aide against serious injury of
The manufacturing technology on shin guards has come a long way.
They are made with new synthetic materials and are now therefore
available with a thinner, slimmer pad that is not bulky like they
used to be in former years and are much lighter weight too.
Many guards are made with straps that make them easier to slip on
and provide for a secure fit as well.
TYPES OF SHIN GUARDS
Basically there are two main types of shin guards. The type you
choose should depend on if you will be spending most of your
training standing up or on the ground grappling.
The MMA striking shin guard features a strap design that attaches
and usually has a good amount of padding to protect the shin
bone. They are very effective for stand up but when taken to the
ground, often will shift.
For predominately grappling style training, another style of shin
guard is often more effective. It is pulled up over the foot and
up the shin. The design is much like a sock and will stay secure
when wrestling. It has less padding and accommodates a fuller
range of motion that the strap on.
Let us take a look at some of my favorite brands of shin and
KWON CHAMPION SHIN/INSTEP GUARD
Kwon has a well made shin/instep guard that I highly really like.
This full contact shin guard has EVA foam padding that provides
optimal shock absorption because it keeps the bulk and weight
What is EVA foam padding? It is "ethylene vinyl
acetate" which is a polymer that is like elastomeric
materials in softness and flexibilit but can be processed like
thermoplastics. It is stress and crack resistant, is tough even
in low temperatures, resistant to UV radiation and is competitive
with rubber and vinyl yet has not odor.
Eva foam is used as padding in equipment for various sports such
as ski boots, waterski boots, fishing rods and reels, hockey
equipment and mixed martial arts supplies such as shin/instep
guards. It is also used in the medical field and for lightweight
slippers and sandals.
In addition to the EVA foam, these shin/instep guards are
designed with neoprene hook and loop closures on the back which
provide a snug and secure yet very comfortable fit.
The shin guards are sold in pairs and come in black with blue. As
with all Kwon products, the quality is excellent and the price is
INSTEP AND SHIN GUARDS
Worn in front of the shins, a shin guard pads the shin and
protects against leg injuries such as fractures and cuts. They
are generally made of various synthetic materials such as
fiberglass, foam rubber, polyurethane and/or plastic.
Shin guards should cover the length of your leg from your ankle
to several inches below your knees. You want a snug fit that
allows for movement as well.
Protecting your instep is equally as important. If you have ever
gotten the skin of your instep torn when kicking the heavy bag,
you can appreciate the value of an instep protector.
ELITE SHIN/INSTEP GUARDS
Protecting your shins and insteps is one of the most important
things you can do in MMA. A swift kick to the shin can cause a
serious injury that can put you out of commission for a long time
and no one wants that. I know I don't!
I am a big fan of Kwon's shin/instep guards. They fit great
with an anatomically shaped and very strong vinyl guard that has
a removable instep part. They fasten with two wide hook and loop
fasteners that help them to fit properly and to stay in position.
These guards are made of quality foam padding that I like because
it absorbs shock very well.
They are available in black or white and come in sizes: xs, s, m,
l, and xl.
MUAY THAI SHIN INSTEP GUARD
Although these guards are not limited to Muay Thai, they are
perfect for the art and others as well because they are ideal for
full contact training. They are made by Kwon so they are quality
for sure and are constructed to be extremely tough and provide
ultimate shock absorption. Two hook and loop fasteners secure
them conveniently and effectively. These are available in size
medium and large.
TAEKWONDO SHIN GUARD
For those who are into Taekwondo, these are the shin guards for
you. They are officially recognized by the WTF and are
manufactured in compliance with the CE mark.
These shin guards are ergonomically shaped, meaning they are
designed especially to prevent injury caused by repetitive
motions. They feature a sturdy vinyl and foam inserts and are
They are available in sizes extra small through extra large and
come in white.