The Best MMA Shin Guards for 2018: Reviews & Guide

Best MMA Shin Guards

What are the best MMA shin guards for you? It all depends on which type of training you will be doing and your budget. We round up what we think are the best MMA shin guards in our top picks, reviews and buyers guide below...

Best MMA Shin Guards - Top Picks

Best Protection

Best for Sparring

Top King Muay Thai Shin Guards

Top King Muay Thai Shin Guards

We like these for their combination of excellent coverage / padding and modern styling

  • Well established Muay Thai brand with consistently excellent reviews
  • Thick shin / instep padding gives required protection for heavy sparring
  • Full leather, hard wearing build quality
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    Different styles/colors available

Most Popular

Best Seller

Sanabul Essentials Hybrid MMA Shin Guards

Best MMA Shin Guards Sanabul Hybrid

Great half way option between Muay Thai and MMA shin Guards

  • Well established MMA brand with consistently excellent reviews
  • Combines sleeve style with high density foam padding to give non-slip protection
  • Perfect for light / medium striking combining takedowns / grappling
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    Different colors available

Lowest Price

Machine Washable

Combat Sports Shin Guards

Best MMA Shin Guards Combat Sports

Excellent value choice for light/medium contact only

  • Light weight sleeve style shin guards with foam padding
  • Removable pads allow for machine washing
  • Great choice for light sparring / bagwork
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    Different colors available
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    One of the lowest priced shin guards on the market

Best MMA Shin Guards - Guide

Depending on what kind of training you will be doing for your MMA practise has a big impact to which are the best MMA Shin Guards to buy:

Full contact Muay Thai or MMA Standup sparring:

By this we mean the type of training where you and your partner will be throwing/blocking kicks that have medium to full power behind them. For this type of sparring it is essential to go with a full protection, good quality Muay Thai style shin guard, from an established brand (see our favourites below). 

Trust us on this, if you try to get by with the lighter style shin guards for this type of training you will start to pick up injuries very quickly. They just don't offer the type of protection for when you inevitably hit your opponents knee, hip or elbow, or are shin-blocking hard low kicks.

There's a reason the top UFC and Kickboxing fighters can be seen wearing these type of MMA shin guards in their sparring videos!

Best MMA Shin Guards

Light standup sparring / bag-work or standup combined with takedowns and grappling:

If you are doing the kind of training where you are mixing up just light standup sparring into takedowns and grappling, a lighter shin guard may be preferable. These will have the advantage of a closer fit that is less likely to move about or reduce your mobility for grappling.

These lighter shin guards are also generally much cheaper. This is a good option if you're just starting out and want some protection while you build up your shin conditioning on the pads / heavy bag.

Features to look out for:

There's certain features good quality, well-manufactured Shin Guards will have. We always look for these when selecting our shortlist of best MMA Shin Guards...

  • Reinforced stitching - this will be double or triple stitching in places of high wear and tear.
  • Leather / Engineered Leather. If you are buying the more expensive Muay Thai style shin pads you should expect them to be made from either full leather, or a high quality engineered leather. 
  • Good quality velcro. If your shin guards use velcro fasteners this is the part that often wears out first on poor quality products. You want them to keep their strength and not come un-stitched for years...
  • High density foam padding. This means the padding wont become too compressed or uneven, maintaining its protective quality for longer.
  • Good quality manufacturers with good customer service. All our recommended shin guards come from established brands that offer returns in the case of defects or to change sizes.
  • Established products that get good reviews across multiple sources. All our recommended Shin Guards have received good reviews from customers / reviewers across many web sites and forums.

Best MMA Shin Guards - Reviews

Sanabul Essentials Hybrid MMA Shin Guards

The reason these are some of the best MMA shin guards available is all in the name - they are a nice 'Hybrid' between the bulkier full Muay Thai style pads and the sleeker sleeve style lightweight ones.

The design of these is like the softer foam slip on type shin guards but with an engineered leather additional padding on the front. This means you get a great combination of protection with a close fit that wont slide around if you start grappling. 

Coming from Sanabul, they are also extremely competitively priced and are excellent value in our opinion. 

  • Engineered Leather padding
  • Youth and adult sizes available
  • Neoprene slip on style with additional velcro strap 
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    Modern clean styling available in different colors
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    Triple stitching throughout ensures all areas are reinforced
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    Contoured padding helps mould to your shin / foot
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    Well established company with great customer service
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    Excellent price for such a quality Shin Guard

Combat Sports Shin Guards

We like these Combat Sports Shin Guards for light contact MMA sparring that incorporates striking and grappling. As they are the lightweight slip on style they provide moderate padding whilst also allowing good mobility. They are not too bulky either so you can grapple wearing them without them getting in the way too much.

They are also some of the cheapest shin guards on the market, so a great option if you are on a budget or just want something for light training only.

Our favourite feature is that the pads are removable allowing you to machine was the material sleeves. This guarantees you to be able to keep them fresh smelling for training!

  • Comfy compression material slip on style keeps pads in place during sparring.
  • Lightweight pads are good for light sparring
  • Youth to Adult sizes available
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    Great low price option 
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    Machine washable with removable padding
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    Different color options available

Venom Kontact Shin Guards

These Venum Kontact Shinguards are another of our favourites for all around MMA training. They are another lightweight model suitable only for light striking sparring, that will also stay in place as you grapple.

These made our shortlist for the high number of positive reviews commenting on how durable they are. Customers have commented they will withstand multiple training sessions per week for many months without wearing out.

We also like the sleek design / graphics and the many different colors available.

One thing to note with these shin guards is the one size fits all design i.e. there are not specific sizes available. So we don't recommend these for particularly tall athletes or small children.  

  • Comfy slip on style that will stay in place for both striking and grappling sparring
  • One size fits all design
  • Well established MMA brand
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    Modern sleek graphics in many colors
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    Durable long lasting quality
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    Great value and low price

Best MMA Shin Guards For Sparring

Top King Muay Thai Shin Guards

If you ask any serious practitioner, Top King will always be one of their choices for best MMA Shin Guards. They have remained one of the most respected Muay Thai brands for years now, with good reason.

These shin guards offer the kind of thick protective layer you need for proper sparring. They also have extended knee and instep padding to help protect these vulnerable areas.

They fit very nicely on the shin and foot due to the ergonomic shape and don't move around during training.

Add to that the nice styling / color options available and its easy to see why these our our top pick for best MMA shin guards! 

  • Full leather 
  • Sizes run from Small to X-Large
  • One of the best Thai Boxing brands around
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    Thick ergonomic padding
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    High quality durable design made in Thailand
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    Different colors / styles available 
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    Hook and loop velcro fasteners 

Fairtex Competition Muay Thai Shin Guards

Right up there with Top King is Fairtex, another classic Muay Thai brand.

Just like the Top King's these shin guards offer the best protection for heavy sparring sessions. They are handmade in Thailand from high quality engineered leather and are extremely durable as a result.

The only thing that made us put the Top King's as our No.1 pick is we preferred the styling. So if you like the look of the Fairtex Shin Guards, these are an equally good choice.

  • Engineered Leather materials
  • Thick padding on shin and instep 
  • Small to X-Large sizes available
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    Four different color options
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    One of the most reputable Muay Thai brands around
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    Consistently excellent user reviews
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    Hook and loop velcro fasteners

Venum Elite Shin Guards

We like these Venum Elite shin guards as a slightly more modern, flashy looking alternative that still offers good protection.

Venum is a very well established MMA brand so you know they will be a good quality product. They are made from engineered leather in Thailand.

They are slightly more lightweight than the Fairtex and Top King's, increasing mobility but maybe don't offer the same thickness of protection. They are also slightly more expensive.

  • Engineered leather materials 
  • Hand made in Thailand
  • Medium to X-Large sizes
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    NIce modern graphics available in a variety of colors
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    Thick, hook and loop velcro fastenings
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    Excellent customer reviews