Reviews of the Best Muay Thai / MMA Shin Guards

Best Muay Thai MMA Shin Guards Reviews

Introduction

When practicing mixed martial arts and muaythai, which are both disciplines that rely heavily on kicking, it’s a great idea to have some protection for your shins. When sparring, no one wants to expose themselves to the terrible calamity that happened to Anderson Silva during his match against Chris Weldman, so protecting your shins is very important.

The best Muay Thai/MMA shin guards on the market incorporate a good amount of padding, so that should you strike a little too hard or are struck with a lot of force, the padding will blunt the impact significantly. Using this type of protection when sparring isn’t a sign of not being tough, it’s a sign of protecting your martial arts career.

Other Reasons to Wear Shin Guards

Fight Tips on Youtube has a great guide on building the shins and why shin guards are a great way to condition your shins in order to make them stronger through the cultivation of micro-abrasions. While this may seem counterproductive, using these protective devices in Muay Thai and MMA will cause your shins to strengthen, so that when you have a pro match, you’ll be able to take and deliver more powerful kicks.

What to Look for in a MMA/Muay Thai Shin Guard

Padding

Having adequate padding to protect your shins is absolutely imperative in a good pair of shin guards. Many manufacturers vary the amount of padding based on the trends and a good pair should blunt the majority of impact. That being said, how much padding that you’ll need will depend greatly on the strength of your sparring partner’s kicks. While no one should be going full tilt during a sparring session, some fighters can crank it up unintentionally. If this is the case with your typical partner, err on the side of a little more padding; your knees and shins will love you for it.

Knee Coverage

While these aren’t kneepads, a good set of shin guards can provide an adequate amount of protection for your knees as well. In Muay Thai, many fighters use their shins and knees to block attacks, when you bend your knee this way, many good shin guards will also protect the base of your knee as well as your shin. Of course, actual knee protection is better, and you can find a guide on kneepads for Muay Thai and MMA at evolved MMA.

The Difference between Dedicated MMA and Muay Thai Shin Guards

“But isn’t this guide about both?” Well, yes, but there are differences for the two. For the most part, you can use them interchangeably for your sparring purposes, but let’s take a quick look at some of the core differences between the two. For a more thorough guide, check out the article at Fighter's Pro.

Muay Thai Shin Guards: Since Muay Thai is the original kickboxing martial art, practitioners have to utilize their shins and feet for both attacking and blocking low attacks. As a result, Muay Thai shin guards have a tendency to offer more padding in the center of the shin; the place where you’ll experience the most impacts while pressing the attack and defending.

In addition to this, Muay Thai shin guards will also have padding at spot where the feet meet the shin. This padding prevents the breaks on this area of the foot that can happen when flesh meets bone during a sparring match. If you are a MMA person, but tends to face off against hard low strikers; go for Muay Thai style shin guards.

Mixed Martial Arts Shin Guards: Since MMA tends to utilize both punches and kicks, there is a bit of reduced padding around the shin area for these types of shin guards. They don’t use the leather strapping that you find in the Muay Thai types. Instead, they utilize a full leg wrap that makes the guard less prone to moving around on the leg when grappling is happening. These straps are usually made of neoprene or another strong, yet flexible material.

Sizing

When it comes to Muay Thai and MMA, you really don’t want to lack shin coverage. Many Muay Thai shin guards are manufactured in Thailand currently, so if you’re not careful, the size might end up being a bit smaller than you need. It’s important for you to get the appropriate size because a guard that doesn’t protect your shins adequately isn’t really doing its job. Any shin guard that you purchase needs to cover your entire shin and upper foot, so that an errant kick doesn’t injure you.

Fit

This is significantly different than sizing. Fit is how well the guard secures to your shins. While you may get the adequate size for your shin, the fit can be terrible because everyone’s shins are different. It’s a good practice to attempt to try on different shin guards, so that you can lock in a proper fit for your training regimen. It simply would not do to have an unsecure shin guard that shifts when you need it to be blocking a oncoming kick.

Shin Guard Reviews

Fairtex Pro Style Shin Guards

Fairtex Pro Style Shin Guards

The Fairtex Pro-Style shin guards are great guards for either MMA or Muay Thai. They are light enough to not be cumbersome on the leg, strap in tightly for slippage protection, and also have a great upper food padding area. Speaking of padding, these shin guards have a great system in place, so that the most important parts of your shin; where you are most likely to be struck, have an extra layer of protection.

The instep guard is also extra wide, so that the majority of your foot is covered; as a matter of fact, this instep guard almost goes fully to your toes.

Things We Liked

  • You won’t find more protection for you shins.
  • The instep guard also provides an amazing amount of padding and covers your foot extensively.
  • These are amazingly light for the level of padding; you won’t feel hindered when throwing out your fastest kicks.

Things We Didn't Like

  • These can run a little small. When ordering, try to be 100 percent sure of the sizing of your knee versus the guard; these are non returnable.
  • The claim is that these are comprised of leather, but in actuality they are actually neoprene, a synthetic rubber material.

Venum "Kontact" Shin and Instep Guards

Venum

The Venum line of products is designed to be at once protective and stylish. These Kontact guards have a great design to them that evokes the speed of a cobra, and perhaps that’s why they are so light and easy to kick in. Unlike traditional shin guards, these are actually comprised of durable cotton that contains a sizeable amount of padding for your shins.As fully adjustable shin guards, these will fit any user, just be sure that it’s the right size for your shins.

Padding is fairly thick, with the most amount of protection being located in the mid-shin area. For a design note, the instep guard features a stylized cobra.

Things We Liked

  • There’s a good amount of padding, so that you can spar for hours without undue pain.
  • These are widely considered some of the best shin guards for bag work. Simply put them on and work on your shins on a heavy bag.
  • They are also fairly inexpensive for the features.
  • As cotton shin guards, these are actually machine washable.

Things We Didn't Like

  • The instep guard doesn’t cover as well on certain foot-types.
  • The instep guard is also a little loose, which isn’t great when blocking a hard kick.

Hayabusa Fightwear Tokushu Regenesis Striking Shinguard

Hayabusa Fightwear Tokushu Regenesis Striking Shinguard

Hayabusa has been known to create some of the best shin guards for MMA and Muay Thai. This product, like most of the Hayabusa line, is designed to provide 20 percent more coverage to the shin area. When it comes to design, it’s clear that Hayabusa designed these great shin guards to provide the maximum amount of protection, while looking great.

The top of the shin guards have a unique contour that is designed to provide protection for the lower knee, but also to increase comfort while bending. Since a shin guard that doesn’t slip is a necessity, this product utilizes a non-slip lining that locks in perspiration. Amazingly, the padding continues onto the back of the calves with this product, so that hook kicks won’t cause excessive bruising.

Things We Liked

  • These guards are comprised of foam, so that you’ll get great level of protection completely around the entire shin.
  • They are very lightweight. While you practice, they will not cause additional fatigue.
  • The instep guard is thick and protective. Feel free to strike and block in this area, you won’t feel much.

Things We Didn't Like

  • The part that connects the shin area to the instep guard can break after extensive usage.
  • The I-Strap system that connects the extra calve padding is attached via Velcro. This material can wear with use, meaning that you may have to replace it down the line.

Top King Muay Thai Shin Pads

Top King Muay Thai Shin Pads

These Muay Thai pads have all of the hallmarks of the classic style shin guards. Firstly, they are made of genuine leather from front to back; the straps in the rear are leather on the outside but are secured with a strip of Velcro. Secondly, the instep guard covers almost the entirety of the foot; ensuring that any strikes you serve versus your sparring partner, are fully absorbed, rather than hurting your foot. For comfort, there is external cotton edging that rests on the skin without causing irritation.

When it comes to the amount of padding on these shin guards, your shins will be fully protected from impact. In the main front section there is a dual layer of material, which will ensure that your shins won’t get damaged from your sparring sessions.

Things We Liked

  • There’s a wide area of coverage for your shins, which should give you adequate protection from hook kicks and accidental calf strikes.
  • The instep guard is exceptional. You have some absolutely great coverage for your foot and your ankles.

Things We Didn't Like

  • These ship from Thailand, so be careful when it comes to sizing. A Youtuber created a sizing guide that might help you out.
  • When sparring, it’s possible to get a small degree of rug burn form the edges of these shin guards.

Twins Special Shin Guards

 Twins Special Shin Guards

Simply put, these Twin Special shin guards are the tanks of shin protection. The first thing you’ll notice is that these cover a very wide area of your shin, so that there is absolute optimal protection from kicks. On top of that, the padding is thick throughout, not just in the front of the shins. The whole product somewhat favors what a shin shield would look like. The instep guard is similarly strong, but covers less than some other products.

When it comes to securing the product to your leg, these shin guards utilize a strap system that attaches via Velcro. The inside sticks close to the skin, so that between that and the straps, you shouldn’t see much in the way of slippage, even after extensive training.

Things We Liked

  • Absolutely excellent coverage. Your shins and upper foot are well-protected from oncoming attacks.
  • There are also quite a few colors available for this product.
  • The strap system is secure; these guards will not slip.

Things We Didn't Like

  • With such a large amount of padding, you can definitely feel the weight of these guards.
  • If you have thick calves, these may not be wide enough for you.

Conclusion

We’ve covered some truly best MMA/Muay Thai shin guards on this list. Each is perfect for protecting your legs through sparring and competitive fights, but for our money, we think that our favorite product of the five is the Hayabusa Fightwear Tokushu Regenesis guards. These are springy when struck, feel comfortable, and look really cool. In addition to this, the instep guard is probably the best out of our list.