Home: Fight Gear:Shin Instep Guard

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Shin Instep Guard
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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 even fracture.

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.


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 instep guards.


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 down.

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 right.


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.


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.


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.


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 very lightweight.

They are available in sizes extra small through extra large and come in white.

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