Playing soccer and other high-intensity sports puts significant strain on your muscles and bones. You are also susceptible to many injuries unless you properly guard yourself. Many people think that playing without safety equipment is supposed to be ‘cool’ or ‘manly.’ Professionals understand that being physically sound is much more important than the ego most of us have accumulated.
If you haven’t noticed, all professional soccer players take great care of their safety equipment and that is not just because the rules say they must, but also because they care more about being able to play the game than about it being cool. Even though many still end up being injured, those injuries could have been worse without the right equipment.
One such important piece of safety equipment you see every soccer player using is the shin guard. These are designed to protect your shins up to your knees in case you fall, are kicked or the ball slams into them. But for shin guards to function properly, you must make sure that you wear them properly. Some good shin guards do not need much maintenance or instructions to protect your shins but all work best when worn properly.
Types of Equipment Considerations
There are several kinds of shin guards. The best kind for adults in soccer are those without the ankle guards or for kids, the ones with ankle guards. Most professional adult players choose to wear shin guards without ankle guards. Another kind of shin guards are the slip-in kind, that can be secured around the shin with a Velcro strap
Shin guards come in different sizes. A shin guard larger than needed would slip around and one that is smaller than necessary probably will not protect you well. If your shin guard does not come with a strap, you can use athletic tape to tighten it around your shin. You must also choose the right kind of sock which will secure your entire shin guard unit in place without having it slip or hurt you.
How to Wear a Shin Guard and Secure in Place
Wearing a shin guard directly on your leg can be quite uncomfortable, depending on the style. For this reason, you may need some padding to protect your shin before you place the guard on top. For the quickest option, slide a tube sock over your leg first and then place the shin guard on top, securing it with the Velcro strap or athletic tape, whatever option you have.
Secure the ankle guard in place if there is one, and slide on your soccer socks above the whole unit. After that, put on your cleats. Repeat the process on the other leg and check everything.
Now try walking or running around a bit, to see if it’s still comfortable. If not, make adjustments as necessary.