Shin Guards for Your Young Soccer Player
All soccer players, from utter novices to total experts, have to wear shin guards. It only makes sense in a sport whose primary method of locomoting the ball involves kicking it out from under your opponent’s (also kicking) leg! We’ve all banged a shin into a table at some point, and have hopped around in amazement that such an innocuous accident can be so painful.
Shin guards should fit closely around the bones of the ankle, and end underneath the knee. They should protect the shin by creating a semi-rigid armor while allowing free movement of the leg.
When buying shin guards online, get the right fit by measuring an inch below the kneecap and an inch above the ankle. Shin guards are described in length, and this will help you choose the best fit. In addition to the proper length, the size of the ankle cup should be such that it fits closely, protecting the bones of the ankle.
When trying on shin guards, make sure to wear soccer socks, which are made to hold shin guards where they belong. Try them on with cleats or soccer shoes to make sure all the elements work well together. To make sure the fit is correct, wear new shin guards to practice several times before wearing them to an actual game. Never wear shin guards without soccer socks.
Some shin guards are machine-washable, but you may prefer to wash them by hand to help them stay new longer. Straps should be fastened before laundering. Players may want to powder them before use to help absorb perspiration.
Make sure the shin guards you buy are appropriate for the age of the wearer, and if a shin guard cracks, replace it right away. After all, a cracked shin guard can lead to a cracked –and extremely painful–shin!