How to Buy Hockey Shin Guards

Hockey Shin Guards Buying Guide

Here is some advice from on how to buy Hockey Shin Guards


Hockey shin guards are worn to protect your knees, shins and calves. With skates, sticks and pucks constantly moving around on the ice at high speeds, it is imperative that you wear shin guards that fit properly and offer good overall protection for your legs.

Protection By Position


Defensemen have the responsibility of protecting their net at all costs, which entails staying between the opposing puck carrier and the net at all times, often blocking shots with their shin guards. Forwards also share this responsibility, but because of the nature of a defenseman's position he is more likely to encounter situations where he'll have to block shots and put himself in harm's way. So it's usually best for a defenseman to wear wider, thicker shin guards that offer a greater degree of overall protection. Typically, models that are relatively wide offer great protection for defensemen, but of course can be used by forwards as well. It all depends on the needs of the individual.


By the nature of their position, forwards are usually more offensively-inclined players and ought to choose a pair of shin guards that are light-weight, slim-fitting and made for increased mobility, while still protecting them from errant pucks, sticks and skates. Some forwards are more defensively inclined and have a greater tendency to block shots and therefore ought to consider shin guards that offer the same degree of protection as those worn by defensemen.

Shin Guard Features

Shin guards serve a simple function and therefore they are constructed in a relatively simple way. But there are certain features that set some models apart from others.

  • Straps – All shin guards are secured with 1 to 3 Velcro straps. Typically, higher end models have more straps than lower end models and they also provide a more comfortable and secure fit. Most models use the standard 2 strap system with 1 behind the knee and 1 behind the lower portion of the calf. But some other models have a unique cross+over strapping system which provides a great alternative to the standard lateral strapping system. High quality straps maintain their elasticity longer and are often padded, as well, to provide additional comfort.
  • Removable Padding – Some shin guards have removable shin padding/lining which is attached with Velcro and can be removed and washed in your washing machine. It's a convenient feature, but has no bearing on the performance quality of the pads.
  • Shock-Absorbing Knee Caps – All shin guards are made to absorb and deflect the shock of contact made with your shins/knees, but the technology does vary from one model to the next.
  • Calf Protection – All shin guards have some degree of calf protection, but elite models offer much more overall coverage for the backside your legs.

Fit & Sizing

Hockey shin guards must fit properly and comfortably. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and measure from the bottom of your knee cap down to the end of your shin where it meets your foot. The point on your shin/ankle to which you measure should be the desired length of the shin guards that you intend to wear. Basically, the end of the tape measure should stop where you want your shin guards to reach.

There are two ways to wear your shin guards: over the tongue of your skates or tucked behind the tongue of your skates. This is a matter of preference and it should be taken into account when choosing shin guard length/size. Your knee cap should rest square in the middle of the knee cap pocket of the shin guards.

Hockey Shin Guard Sizing Guide