During league games, soccer players are required to wear shin guards, which are available in different shapes, brands, sizes and in various price categories. According to research, at least ten percent of all injuries are shin injuries, so it is essential you protect that part of your legs.
Most national soccer associations encourage players to wear shin guards during training, but that is not compulsory. However, soccer players are required to wear shin protection during league games.
History of shin guards
Samuel Weller Widdowsonin from the British soccer team Nottingham Forest was the first player in the world to wear shin guards. He wanted to protect his shins and cut a part of his cricket outfit and tied that to his socks. At first, his team mates made a lot of fun of the pads, but after seeing that the unique protective outfit worked, they started to use shin guards as well, making Nottingham Forest the first soccer team in the world to wear shin guards.
Types of shin guards
Nowadays, soccer players are obviously not wearing cricket equipment anymore, but shin pads made out of synthetic material. In general, the following types of shin guards are available:
Plastic shin guards – these are light shin guards, but not offering a lot of protection
Foam shin guards – shin pads made out of foam are very light, but are not offering a lot of protection
Fiberglass shin guards – light shin guards, which offer good protection. However, these shin pads are inflexible
Polyurethane – these are heavier shin guards, sturdy and offering soccer players good protection
The shin guard should cover the area from around five inches below your knee to your foot. It is important that the shin pad fits well. Some of the products have a sock, which holds the shin guard in place and offers extra protection to your ankle. Make sure to clean your shin guard after every time you use it, to prevent getting bacteria on your pads.
Shin guards are widely available in all kinds of shapes, brands and prices at online and offline sport shops. Prices start at around $3.00.