Shin Guards

SHIN GUARDS PROTECT YOUR LEGS from the puck and the opponent’s stick. Most shin guards are adjustable with Velcro straps, allowing the player to tighten or loosen the straps to a desirable fit. Depending on your skill level and position, there are different types of shin guards to choose from. The defensive player needs a shin guard that offers the highest level of protection and padding that will absorb the impact of blocking shots. Forwards tend to prefer lighter shin guards because they allow for more flexibility and speed.

Fitting Shin Guards

Shin guards are designed to protect the lower leg and knee from contact with pucks, sticks, and collisions. Choosing a good shin guard is essential in proper leg and knee protection. To determine your size, measure the length of the shin when your leg is bent at a 90-degree angle from the center of the kneecap to the top of the boot of the skate. A proper fit enables the knee to sit directly in the center of the kneecap. The length of the shin guard should extend the entire length of the leg, touching the top of the skate. If the shin guard is too long, the skate will push it up; however, a correctly sized shin guard fits comfortably under the skate tongue without shifting although some players prefer to wear the shin guard over the tongue. Look for a shin guard that has frontal protection as well as protecting the back of the leg. Make sure to test out the straps of the shin guard to ensure a tight enough hold to keep the pad in place.

Size Shin Guard Size
Youth 7″, 8″, or 9″
Junior/Intermediate 10″, 11″, or 12″
Senior 13″+


Question: Is it OK to use soccer shin guards for hockey? A few players on my Mite’s team seem to do that as their legs look really thin.

Answer: Those players legs no doubt look thin due to the thin layer of protection on them. Soccer shin guards may not go over the knee, cover much of the back of the leg or be thick enough to really protect players from pucks flying at them (not to mention sticks flailing around). If you’ve ever been hit by a puck, even the lighter blue pucks the Mites use, you know why proper protection is important (and required by USA Hockey). So the answer is, it’s not OK. Players need hockey shin guards.