The Best Shin Guards for Muay Thai and MMA in 2021

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When you start to develop an interest in one sport, you automatically try to read and learn everything about it. You are here because you want to learn what are the best shin guards for Muay Thai and MMA. After you have learned and gained some theoretical knowledge, you try to learn how can you start training and practicing that sport. And during that learning curve, you start to learn about all the necessary equipment that you need.

In contact sports such as Muay Thai and MMA protection gear is really important. It will save you from unnecessary accidents and pain that you will experience during your training. In Muay Thai and MMA the second most important part of the equipment after gloves are Shin Guards. Not only will you use a lot of your hands but also your legs. And since the legs can produce quite powerful kicks than hands you will need to wear your shin guards on your Muay Thai or MMA training.

Not only will your shin guards protect your legs, but will also help to reduce the impact of your opponent’s kicks. And let’s be honest you can’t train in full power and effectiveness if you are in constant pain from given and received kicks while you practice Muay Thai or MMA. You have to realize that there are no shortcuts in safety. And by training in Muay Thai or MMA, you are putting your body under immense stress. That’s why you have to take care of it and protect it as much as possible.


What are Shin Guards?

A shin guard or, so-called shin pads are a piece of equipment that protects an athlete’s shin from the injury in front of the shin. Shin Guards are used in many sports like soccer, football, baseball, hockey, and especially in combat sports like MMA, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, etc.

History of shin guards

History of shin guards
History of shin guards

Shin guards are not a modern invention. They are first introduced as an important part of warrior’s armor in ancient Greek and Roman Republics.  Known under a different name “Greave” which means shin armor, they were made from bronze or other sturdy materials that were strong enough to sustain the impact. Because their purpose was to protect your life and legs from sharp swords and spears. But the oldest known reference to the shin guards is written in the Bible when talking about Goliath.

Since then the shin guards made a lot of improvements on their materials and comfort. And especially their purpose. They are no longer used on battlefields, but in regulated sports. Usage of shin guards in Muay Thai and MMA is just a small fraction of their usage in other sports.

The first sport that adopted the use of shin guards was cricket, but it wasn’t used as a protection tool, but something that would give an advantage to the batsman, until the rules have changed. But the main purpose from the beginning for fighting sports is the protection of fighters.

Why do you need Shin Guards for Muay Thai and MMA?

The first and most important thing why you need to use them is safety. Not just yours but also your sparring partner.  When you first start your legs and bones in them will not be prepared for the torturous conditions you will put them thru. You will feel every kick that you give and especially the ones you take.

The first shin guards that you will use in your Muay Thai or MMA training have to be well padded. As a beginner, even the smallest and lightest kicks will have a large impact on the health of your shins and legs overall. It’s always better to be smart and take care of yourself from the start.

You need to buy good quality equipment that will last you and show its effectiveness in the long run. Don’t even think about using shin guards meant for other sports like football(soccer) or hockey. In the first one, you will hurt yourself and your partner. They are too thin and lack structural support to stay on the legs. With them being too thin the danger of hurting yourself and your opponents rises drastically.  You could possibly be kicked out of your club. And if you wear hockey ones you will just look silly. But if that is what you want go for it.

If you are looking for the best shin guards for your Muay Thai and MMA training, but can’t still choose, look no further. Down belove, we made the list of our recommendations for the best shin guards. We listed everything that you need to know about them to help you with your decision.

Difference Between Muay Thai and MMA Shin Guards

As MMA and Muay Thai are different sports in many fields so are the Shin Guards. If you’re looking for shin guards for MMA you should have grappling in mind as it will be a huge part of your MMA training.

MMA guards are usually less bulky and are coming in socks-like sleeve form to maintain a good fit when grappling and rolling what includes a lot of scrambling moments for guards to slip off.

Muay Thai guards usually come with velcro straps to keep them in place, but for the most part, they give more protection to the shin. Muay Thai is a sport based on striking, and especially leg striking. Shin to shin strikes and blocking the strikes with shin checks can be painful and having great protection for your shin is mandatory.

Our Recommendations for the Best Shinguards for Muay Thai and MMA


Venum Elite Standup Shin Guards

Venum Elite Standup Shin Guards
Venum Elite Standup Shin Guards

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These shin guards are an amazing example of how you can create something that looks good but also serves the purpose it was designed to do.  You can use these shin guards for Muay Thai or MMA since they use premium multi-density foam that will give you the necessary protection while sparing your partners. With its special foam design, it heals to absorb more force from the kicks and prevent injuries. It will help you hit harder and for longer without feeling any pain.

Not only it is anatomically designed to give you maximum comfort and mobility. You will enjoy the additional feeling of freedom that it gives you. You will see how much progress you will make when you stop thinking about the pain that is all gone thanks to these shin guards. It features a wide variety of designs to south your taste. There are options for people that want to be stealthy or even flashy with their gear. And since the shin guards are critical equipment at places that anyone can see, you will be seen if you want. These shin guards offer reinforcements for your shins and neck of the foot while built-in elastic bands for the support will make sure that shin guards stay in their place during your Muay Thai or MMA practice.

Features:

  • Wide range of colors and designs for you to choose
  • Premium Multi-density foam for protection
  • Anatomically designed for best fit
  • Handmade with care
  • Elastic band support in strategic places

Meister EDGE Leather Instep Shin Guards

Meister EDGE Leather Instep Shin Guards
Meister EDGE Leather Instep Shin Guards

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These shin guards are not only good looking but also quite practical and comfortable. During their construction, the manufacturer thought of everything. And we mean everything. Not only it is ergonomically designed to follow the contour of your legs but is also filled with special gel distributed over the shin guards. That way you will feel the impact of your kicks but you won’t feel the pain.  The force of impact will be distributed equally over the whole shin guard and prevent possible injuries. That way you not only get an ideal fit to your legs but also maximum comfort during your use of these shin guards in your Muay Thai or MMA training.

Constructed 100% from Cowhide Leather and High-density Impact Foam means they will take a lot of beating and abuse before even starting to show signs of wear and tear. Shin guards are also slightly curved inside to allow them to adjust to your insteps.

Built-in straps will keep these shin guards firmly in place no matter what you tried to do with them in your Muay Thai or MMA sparing’s.  And the most important thing about them is that the strap that goes under the ball of your foot is covered with rubber dots. They will provide additional traction that you will be losing while wearing some other models. And we all know that traction means safety. You will be able to perform kick as you should without the fear that you will slip. They really thought about everything while constructing these shin guards.

Features:

  • Excellent bang for your buck
  • Internal gel padding for added protection
  • Long-lasting Cowhide Leather
  • Dotted rubber straps for your stability
  • Ergonomically designed for the best fit

RDX Shin Guards for Muay Thai and MMA

RDXShinGuardsforMuayThaiandMMA
RDX Shin Guards for Muay Thai and MMA

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If you really want something special to have and use in your everyday training and during your matches. Look no further. These Certified SATRA and SMMAF approved shin guards are creme de la crème of possible choices. They are built with purpose and target in mind. To be the best.

Manufactured from the best quality May Hide Leather and integrated with high-density Nylon they provide excellent durability and crack resistance. You can use these shin guards for Muay Thai, MMA, or any other fighting sport. A combination of special shell shock gel and shock dispersion sheet will provide you with enough protection in even extremely tough sessions. Every force of impact will be equally spread over the shin guard and your leg. You will feel the impact but without any pain.

It has tactically placed sweat mesh and lining that will keep your shin and foot dry and free from sweat and any unpleasant smells. Just that alone will give you extreme comfort and additional motivation to keep going forward. All while carefully placed straps will make sure you have an amazing fit at all times, without any chance for slippage. Your legs will move freely and you will forget that you are even wearing them. Also, let’s not forget that price fits in anyone’s budget.

Features:

  • Extremely light weight for your mobility
  • Certified by the professionals
  • Multi layered protection for your shins
  • Built in anti-sweat fabric for better ventilation
  • Quick adjust straps for ease of use

Venum Challenger Standup Shin Guards

Venum Challenger Standup Shin Guard
Venum Challenger Standup Shin Guard

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We could call these shin guards a little brother of the previously mentioned Venum Elite Shin Guards. But don’t let that fool you. These shin guards are capable to endure anything that you throw at them during your Muay Thai or MMA training. 

Made from 100% Skintex Leather will leave you comfortable while fighting with them or just putting them on. But not only that, they will endure anything that you throw at them. Use them and abuse them, and they will come back for more. Leather backed by high density foam with additional padding across the shins and instep will provide comfort and shock absorption from the impacts of your kicks. Your legs will be thankful to you. Additional help that you will receive of absorbing the impact force will leave you speechless. After the first hit, you will want to go on and on.

No matter what you do in your Muay Thai and MMA sessions these shin guards will still be attached to your legs with their large Velcro straps customized for the no-slip fit. That means that you can give it the hardest hits you can and keep doing that for as long as you want, and these shin guards will still be there where you placed them.

Features:

  • Double layered padding for enhanced shock absorption
  • Lightweight for unrestricted mobility
  • Large straps that will stop slipping
  • Durable long lasting synthetic leather
  • Minimalist design

Sanabul Essential Hybrid

Sanabul Essential Hybrid
Sanabul Essential Hybrid

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“Tested by Pro’s, created for you.” Is a motto that stands behind these hybrid shin guards for Muay Thai and MMA. And it’s true. This company hired professional fighters to help them design the perfect combination of materials, knowledge, practice, and more to create shin guards perfect for any combat sport. The great thing about these shin guards is that they give you a piece of professional gear but without its price. With its price, it can fit in anyone’s wallet, but still, give you needed protection.

While having a minimalistic approach to the outside design. The inside is filled with high impact protection foam with reinforcements in different locations for those smooth and painless kicks. Once you try these on, no one will be able to stop you.  In steep padding will make sure that it ergonomically contours your foot with its articulated segments. And offers you better absorption of the kicks and better damage control. These lightweight shin guards will feel like they are not even there. Your moves will not be constricted.

Just amazing and simple shin guards for all your Muay Thai and MMA needs. Give them a try. We can guarantee you that you will be satisfied.

Features:

  • Multi color design
  • Design and tested by industries professional
  • Excellent price, especially for the beginners
  • Double layered protection for even hardest kicks
  • Special straps for better security

Fairtex Competition Shin Guards

Fairtex Competition Shin Guard
Fairtex Competition Shin Guard

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Lightweight but powerful, is the way we could describe these shin guards for Muay Thai and MMA. Made from premium quality synthetic leather that feels like the real thing, and double-layered high impact foam with excellent shock absorption will make you feel invincible. Every kick will be absorbed and spread thru the shin guard. Once you feel how much of the difference it makes, you will not want to take them off and will be looking for other things to kick and not just your opponent and bags.

While only offering basic colors for the outside design, the inside is where the magic happens. While providing the full shin and instep protection the lack of metal parts and its rounded edges will give you superb comfort. It will feel like these shin guards are your own legs.

Equipped with strong and durable Velcro straps these shin guards are just what you need for your Muay Thai and MMA training. They will not move a millimeter even under the most intense situations. And you can forget that these shin guards will constantly rub your knees. The company’s main quest was to provide the best comfort, so not only is the top is raised so it doesn’t get in touch with your knee, but its design also features a unique nonstich or open system design that will further enhance their comfort level.

Features:

  • Multi color design
  • Long lasting durable synthetic shell
  • Dual layered padding for extra protection
  • Well rounded edges without any metal inserts
  • Extremely comfortable

Fairtex Neoprene Shin Guards

Fairtex Neoprene Shin Guards
Fairtex Neoprene Shin Guards

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This is something that you probably never seen before. Shin guards for Muay Thai and MMA made from neoprene. We could call them to shin guards made for ultimate comfort.  This one-of-a-kind design will provide you with the support you never felt before. As you put these shin guards on you will feel instant suction to your legs. The whole shin guards will feel like they are glued to your legs but in a good way.

You will be able to kick the hardest you can and these shin guards won’t move. Comfortable inside and protective from the outside with its high impact foam. You won’t feel any restrictions. You will feel like they are your own leg. Run with them, jump with them and most importantly kick with them and you will be satisfied in an instant.

Design to eliminate all metal supports and with round edge design and covered with neoprene, they will provide you the ultimate comfort. They are lightweight but still sturdy enough to provide all the necessary protection. And let’s not forget that cleaning these shin guards is as easy as it can get.

Features:

  • Unique mounting design
  • Detachable parts for different uses
  • Extremely durable under any stress
  • Tight fitting for that extra security
  • Simple but elegant colors

If you still have a problem while deciding what shin guards to choose, let us help you by giving you some inside knowledge on what you need to keep your eye on.

How to Choose the Best Shin Guards for Muay Thai and MMA

There are a few things that you need to keep in mind while purchasing the shin guards. And all of them are related to your body. Sometimes you will take some time to find exactly what you want, and sometimes you will find what you need on the first time. But with that in mind let us help you learn a little bit more about what you need in shin guards for Muay Thai and MMA.

Shin Guards Size and Fit

Basically, it all comes to the thickness of the material and amount of the protection you want. The thicker material and padding the more protection you will have. But also, if your shin guards are too thick, they will become something you hate. If your shin guards are too thick, not only are they heavier they will also hinder your ability to move freely and will lock your kicks and motions. But also if they are too small and thin you will be able to move faster, but you will be lacking necessary protection.

That’s why is important to look and measure your shins and calves and compare them with the size chart on the shin guards. You will want to have something that tightly fits your size, but something that will not be too tight or too loose that will make you additional problems.

Different brands will have different sizes, that’s why you must read and measure your size with the ones on the shin guards. The last thing that you want is for your shin guards to just slip while you are performing a kick, or even worse when you are using your leg for protection. The possibility of the injury is great and you will want to protect yourself as best as you can if you want to continue with your training.

Protection and Mobility

As I mentioned before there is a difference between MMA and Muay Thai shin guards. One offers more protection while others offer more mobility and less slippage. In the case you’re training in both sports you should actually aim to have two of them. One for greater protection and standup training and one with less protection but with less slippage and more mobility. Even if you’re training only in MMA there will be standup-only training sessions so you should make a compromise between choosing the best possible shin guards for both.

Materials in Muay Thai and MMA Shin Guards

  • Leather
  • Nylon and Cloth
  • Foam
  • Neoprene
  • Protective Gels

Leather vs Synthetic Leather

One of the main differences between the shin guards is usually the leather. Depending on the price, you can have real leather or synthetic one, but sometimes there is only nylon and cloth material. With higher prices comes the higher quality and real leather. But just the higher price shouldn’t indicate that something is good. In the same way, you shouldn’t buy something that is too cheap, because it’s usually too good to be the truth.

Even do everyone swears about real leather, the modern synthetic is nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes it’s even better as it comes with addons that will neutralize odors and sweat. They won’t last long as real leather but also won’t stink as real leather can. If someone is trying to tell you that one is better than the other, just don’t trust him. The days where that was the truth are long over, and technology has come so far. Why not take the advantage that it offers if you can. Just imagine how much time will you save that you don’t need to waste with taking extreme care of your equipment. Just wipe it off and you are good.

Nylon and Cloth

If you are buying cheap shin guards you will often find only nylon and cloth as the main materials. The problem with them is that they do not offer pleasant contact with skin, they will absorb sweat and will start to stink quickly. You will not feel comfortable and they will constantly slip down your leg after every kick. And while doing that the material will easily scratch you. Which will make that area even more painful and uncomfortable. And that could even lead to infections if not properly taken care of.

Foam

Inside of the shin guards will usually use the high-impact protection foam. That is a unique material technology that has been designed and engineered with one thought in mind, protection. With its easy to form design and great absorption of shock impacts while still providing good comfort it quickly became the number one choice for everyday and sports use.

But as always not all foams are the same even though they have the same name. Usually, the cheaper shin guards will have cheaper quality foam that will not provide needed protection and will quickly start to disintegrate. If you want real long-lasting protection you will have to stay outside the ultra-cheap shin guards. Because let’s be real. You do not want to skimp on your own protection. Not only in shin guards for Muay Thai and MMA but also other necessary equipment for your training and everyday life. You can quickly injure yourself so better be safe than sorry.

More money gives you better quality foam and hybrid technologies. Where you will find different foams and materials layered on each other to provide better absorption and protection.

The industry standard is to use double-layered materials to increase shock absorption and prevent possible injuries. But that kind of structure also offers other benefits like sweat and odor resistance, and increased comfort even during your most intense sparing or fighting situations.

Neoprene

Neoprene is a synthetic rubber produced by chloroprene and polymerization. While some people will like neoprene in their protective gear others will hate it, and it usually comes to MMA and Muay Thai practitioner’s personal preferences. When it comes to neoprene shin guards we can say they’re very good as they offer great comfort and will maintain guards to stay in place.

Protective Gels

But also shin guards filled with protective gels that will give additional protection and spread the force of impact equally to other parts of the shin guard and prevent concentration of force in only one area.
It is uniquely combined technology that offers us a glimpse into the future tech and what else would be possible.

Different brands of shin guards

As it always happens, when someone builds its name with the quality of the products and more and more people want to buy it something has to suffer. Usually, that is the quality of the products because they increase production so there is no time to set everything as it should be. You can even see that they start to use lower-quality materials to save additional money. All that is usually followed by the rise of the price. In the end, the one who suffers the most is the customer.

What we are trying to say with that is that you should not be allowed yourself to be lied to. Don’t allow all those promotional materials and commercials to blindly guide you. You have to think about what is best for you. When deciding what you want to buy it is best that you read and research as much and as best as you can. And with that knowledge, you can decide what is the right product for you.

Because of those kinds of shady practices, we decided to make this list and help you and everyone else in their decision. We gathered different shin guards from a lot of different manufacturers and during the tests, these are the ones that stood out to us, enough for us to make a recommendation. By doing this we tried to help you and offer much necessary information’s that you need. That way it becomes a lot easier for you to decide what is the best fit for you. But also, before buying anything ask around your gym and see what others are using. Ask some questions. And with our guide and their recommendations, you will find something that will suit you perfectly.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are Shin Guards for?

They are necessary protection equipment meant for your feet, ankles, and shins. If you are training Muay Thai, MMA, or any other fighting sport you will need shin guards to extend the health of your legs and keep yourself out of pain that will prevent you from going further.

Are shin guards one time use only equipment?

No, they are not. If you buy good quality pair of shin guards for Muay Thai or MMA they can last you really long. Not only will they be a lot higher quality and materials, if you take care of them as manufacturer advises you can use them for a very long time.

Do I need shin pads for the heavy bag?

If you don’t have any bruising or pain go for it. Just don’t kick so hard. That way you will condition your shins faster and will last longer. But if it’s too much for you then feel free to use your shin guards to prevent any injuries.

What size shin guards do I need for Muay Thai and MMA?

The best way to try and find your size is to measure the distance between your ankle joint and the bottom of your knee. But also don’t forget to measure the circumference of your calf. But ultimately you will not know if the shin guards fit you well unless you try it.

Are shin guards with ankle protection better?

Yes. Not only do they offer protection for a larger area of your leg, but they also stay better in their place with additional straps. Also because of the larger area, they scatter impact force more proportionally to the rest of the shin guard and leg behind it.

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