How to choose the right Muay Thai shin guards
High impact, high contact sports such as Muay Thai require good quality, sturdy equipment and protection. Quality boxing gloves and helmet are crucial, but shin protection is definitely necessary since Muay Thai incorporates a lot of kicking.
The bones in the top of your feet and toes are small and extremely delicate. One of the main causes of foot injury in Muay Thai fighters is a lack of adequate protection. Shin guards protect your shins, ankles, feet and toes during sparring. You won't be able to accomplish much without it, no matter how new to the sport you are.
As with any gears, you want to ensure you are purchasing the ones that are best suited for your needs. There are different types of shin guards, and they have different functions and levels of protection.
Types of Muay Thai shin guards
There are two main types of shin guards when it comes to Muay Thai:
- Sock style/ soft shin guards - These are sometimes described as a shin guard sleeve and are pretty lightweight. They typically have a thin, narrow foam at the front to protect the shin. It is held together by a stretchy, sock-like material. You might find these shin guards sufficient for light sparring and amateur fights, but they are not recommended for professional matches. The lightweight nature of this form of shin guard allows the fighter's movement to be less inhibited. This style also doesn’t have protruding edges, and hence opponents are less likely to be able to grab it in an offensive move during contact.
- Professional grade shin guards - These guards usually have a more rigid, dense padding which covers the shin, ankles and the top of the foot for maximum protection. They’re also typically designed with adjustable Velcro straps that fasten securely around the calf and the top of the ankle. This is usually the preferred style among Muay Thai and MMA professional fighters, as it offers far more protection than the sock style guards.
What to look for in shin guards
There are certain key factors to consider when purchasing shin guards.
Sizing - Size absolutely matters when it comes to picking the right shin guards. If you have wide shins and broad calves, you are going to need shin guards that are able to provide you with adequate coverage. Measuring the circumference of your calf and the length of your shin should give you a good idea of your sizing.
Material - Shin guards are going to come into repeated contact with your opponent's body. They need to be able to withstand the pressure and give you the best performance every time. That being said, invest in shin guards that are designed with quality materials like leather for the exterior, and quality rubber foam for padding.
Toe and ankle protection - Research has shown that the bones in your fingers and toes are among the easiest to be fractured in the body. Those chances increase when you factor in any form of kickboxing sports like Muay Thai.
Purchasing shin guards that can offer you optimal protection for your ankles, toes and top of your feet is key.
Style - Of course, you want to be confident when you step out in the ring to face your opponent. Aside from physical and mental preparation, there is also the confidence that comes with knowing you look fantastic.
Having a pair of shin guards that’s a great, powerful color and design can help to improve your confidence in the ring too!
Mongkol shin guards are built with all these factors in mind. Our Number 18 shin guards were handcrafted in the home country of Muay Thai - Thailand and offer sufficient foam rubber padding for the shin and instep.
Our straps are made with high quality material, which will prevent them from stretching after only a few uses. Even though they are professional grade, they are also lightweight, so you can be quick and powerful in the ring.
Invest in a good pair of shin guards today and start competing at your absolute best!