Shin guards are an integral part of soccer equipment. Although players often went without them in the past, they are required equipment in almost all profession soccer leagues today. In soccer matches that become spirited and intense in nature, shin guards provide protection for errant slide tackles that can prove to be quite painful without padding. Shin guards are made of plastic, foam and a thermoplastic polymer called polypropylene, which improves the shin guard's ability to absorb shock.
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Sit down with your legs fully extended in front of you, so that you can easily reach your shins with your hands. Check your shin guards to see whether they come with an ankle sleeve.
Place your shin guards on your shins, making sure that the hard, protective side of the shin guard is facing outward. If your shin guard comes with an ankle sleeve, slip your foot into the sleeve so that the elastic bands wrap around your heel and the hard shell of the shin guard is covering your shin.
Wrap tightly the elastic Velcro strap near the top tightly now around the back of your calf if your shin guards have that. Wrap it tightly enough that the shin guard stays firmly in place, but do not wrap it so tightly that it agitates your skin. This can become very uncomfortable when playing.
Pull your socks over your legs carefully, making sure the shin guards stay in place. Your socks should cover your shin guards completely. If you feel the shin guard shift or move during this process, remove your sock and try again. Improper shin guard placement will not properly protect your shins and can cause discomfort when playing soccer.
Tips and warnings
- If your shin guards tend to move around too much when you are playing soccer, wrap tape around your leg and the bottom of the guard. Many professional soccer players use this method to hold their shin guards in place.
- Many players prefer using shin guards that do not include the ankle sleeve, or they simply remove the sleeve themselves. This is because the sleeve often causes substantial discomfort and does not offer much protection.
- Less bulky shin guards tend to be much more comfortable. While bulkier guards are likely to offer more protection, find a good balance between protection and comfort.
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