Best Shin Guards for Muay Thai & MMA – Reviewed 2021

Some of the most sensitive bones in the body are found in the shin. So, when training in Muay Thai and MMA it’s crucial to wear the best shin guards for great protection.

It’s a must to prevent pain and injury. If you don’t look after your long-term health you won’t have a very long fighting career. In fact, in gyms, shin guards are considered compulsory items. This is for the sake of everyone involved in sparring. That’s why we’ve reviewed the best MMA shin guards and Muay Thai shin guards.

Our Top Picks

Venum Elite Standup Shinguards, Matte/Black, Medium
Fairtex Competition Muay Thai Shin Guards, SP5
Sanabul Essential Hybrid Kickboxing MMA Shin Guards (Blue, S/M)
Our Rating
9.7
9.5
9.5
MSRP
$185.93
$74.99
$35.48
Sizes
M - XL
S - XL
S - XL
Material
Skintex leather
Synthetic leather
Maya hide leather
Venum Elite Standup Shinguards, Matte/Black, Medium
Our Rating
9.7
MSRP
$185.93
Sizes
M - XL
Material
Skintex leather
More Information
Fairtex Competition Muay Thai Shin Guards, SP5
Our Rating
9.5
MSRP
$74.99
Sizes
S - XL
Material
Synthetic leather
More Information
Sanabul Essential Hybrid Kickboxing MMA Shin Guards (Blue, S/M)
Our Rating
9.5
MSRP
$35.48
Sizes
S - XL
Material
Maya hide leather
More Information

Here we offer reviews on an astounding selection of 14 Muay Thai shin guards.

Winner – Venum Muay Thai Shin Guards

Venum Muay Thai Shin Guards

Our number one pick of the best Muay Thai shin guards comes from Venum. This popular Muay Thai brand hand makes these shin guards in the home muay Thai, Thailand. They’re also great for kickboxing as well as Muay Thai.

These are equally as lightweight as the first two. This means that during use they are still comfortable. This reduced weight ensures unrestricted mobility whilst in use.

The shin guard is made up using the most premium of skin text leather constructions. They have large Velcro straps which ensure they stay secure when in use. Velcro also allows for them to be taken on and off quickly.

Inside the pads themselves, there’s high-density foam for hard impact. This is added as increased use of padding in this crucial area of the guards.

Thus, the result is an enhanced shock absorption for both shinbone and instep.

This shin guard comes in a selection of colors, and sizes range from medium to XL. They’ll not only protect you but also look great with a pair of cool Muay Thai shorts.

Pros:

  • Skintex leather material
  • Large velcro straps
  • Increased padding throughout

Cons:

  • Can be quite costly, depending on the pair you select

Product Specifications

SizesMedium to X-large
MaterialsSkintex leather

Runner-Up: Fairtex Muay Thai Shin Guards

Fairtex Muay Thai Shin Guards

Our next best choice on the review list comes from the makers at Fairtex. Fairtex is the number one brand when it comes to Muay Thai shin guards.

Fairtex shin guards are available in a choice of five vibrant colors and in sizes small to X-Large. These shin guards are handmade in Thailand with durable materials.

They work hard to protect the knees and feet, as well as the most important shin area opposite your calves. This design wraps around your legs to remain fixed in place.

Although they look a bit chunky, they are still light in weight. The Fairtex shin guards, also provide a hook and loop pull strap for a customized fit.

They combine a durable synthetic leather shell with a high-density foam core. We also like that they have eliminated unnecessary edges for a more comfortable fit.

Pros:

  • Shock absorbing
  • Complete shin and instep protection
  • Lightweight and durable

Cons:

  • Some report they rub the skin

Product Specifications

SizesSmall to X-large
MaterialsSynthetic leather

Sanabul Muay Thai Shin Guards

Sanabul Muay Thai Shin Guards

Next up is a cheaper pair of Muay Thai shin guards from Sanabul. Sanabul’s essential range is also ideal for kickboxing. 

There are five color options that you can see in the image above. They are all black with a hint of another color. You can find three sizes, XS, S/M, and L/XL and they use engineered leather instead of real leather.

These are professional shin guards but at a modest price. This means that you get great value for your money, and are perfect for training.

This model keeps your entire shin protected and the bones in your foot too. Before being put on sale, Sanabul has tested them for many hours. That’s how we know that they hold up well. No matter how much you put them through, these will keep your bones safe.

There is high impact foam throughout, that’s why these guards allow you to train for a long time.

There’s also no need to stop and adjust them as the guards have a secure hook and loop closure system.

Pros:

  • Professional product at value prices
  • Durable engineered leather
  • High impact foam

Cons:

  • Some sizing issues encountered

Product Specifications

SizesX-Small, S/M, and L-XL
MaterialsEngineered Leather

Hayabusa T3 Striking Shin Guards

Hayabusa T3 Striking Shin Guards

Hayabusa offers another pair of Muay Thai shin guards that are also great for kickboxing. Hayabusa’s T3 shin guards are unisex and are a bit shorter in the leg compared to some of the others.

They come in two colors (black & white) and with sizes ranging from small to X-large. These are excellent pre-curved shin guards that are designed to contour to the leg and knee area.

The result is the best protection for every block or strike. With a fit and feel to rival all other shin guards, these adapt to your every move.

Best of all, they come with dual straps, and an inner silicone grip ensures that they remain in place. These two aspects help ensure that they won’t move a lot whilst in use.

As with most guards, the open back allows for good air circulation. Hayabusa products may be more expensive, but that’s due to the quality of the materials used. The dense inner foam absorbs impact whilst still being light enough for long periods of use.

If you’re new to wearing kickboxing shin guards, then you can wear them in by using them against a kickboxing bag.

Pros:

  • Pre-curved shin guard
  • Inner silicon grip
  • Complex foam absorption

Cons:

  • Very high price tag!

Product Specifications

SizesSmall to X-large
MaterialsEngineered leather

RDX Muay Thai Shin Guards

RDX Muay Thai Shin Guards

This next pair of shin guards is from the famous RDX. In fact, RDX has been manufacturing fighting equipment for over two decades now.

This pair of RDX Muay Thai shin guards come in black, and are available in four sizes. These are:

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large
  • X-Large

They are lightweight as they use nylon, plastic, and Maya hide leather outer material. These materials used make the shin guards durable whilst remaining light.

You’ll also find a shell shock gel foam which increases protection. This combined with a Supremo-shock foam padding allows for heavy impact.

The design of the guards also add to your protection. The entire shin, foot and more is protected whilst using them.

Pros:

  • May hide leather outer
  • Shell shock cushioning gel
  • Supremo Shock foam padding

Cons:

  • Some slight shifting issues for a few users

Product Specifications

SizesSmall to X-large
MaterialsMaya hide leather

Meister MMA Shin Guards

Meister MMA Shin Guards

MeisterMMA brings a pair of shin and instep guards. These are much thinner than typical Muay Thai guards but can be used by experienced fighters. They also make a great pair of MMA shin guards.

These are available in four colors and three sizes. Colors are:

  • Black
  • Red
  • Blue
  • White

Sizes:

  • Youth/X-small
  • Small/Medium
  • Large/X-Large

With a fully elasticated body, the material hugs the legs and feet for a great fit. They are simple to put on, just slide them onto the leg area and they’ll remain in place throughout your sessions. This is reinsured by a hook and loop strap at the top of the guards.

The padding runs up the entire and shin and on the bones of the top off the foot. Due to the elasticated body, these shin guards are the one of the most lightweight pairs on the list.

Pros:

  • Retain leg form through-out use
  • Remain tightened at the top of the leg
  • Snug-fitting

Cons:

  • Some feel they don’t protect too well over longer periods

Product Specifications

SizesYouth/X-small, Small/Medium, and Large/X-Large
MaterialsElasticated cloth

Elite Sports Muay Thai Shin Guards

Elite Sports Muay Thai Shin Guards

Another pair of elasticated shin guards now from Elite Sports. They come in both adults’ and kids’ sizes, and in many color options.

Sizes include XS, S/M and L/XL. The list of colors is quite long, here they are:

  • All Black
  • Black/White
  • Blue
  • Grey
  • Pink
  • White

This pair of guards are easily adjustable to tailor to your individual needs. Elite Sports have created a pre-curved shin guard, which is ideal for use in Muay Thai and MMA.

Fitting the curve of your shins, these have a secure closure at the top with stretchable straps. This allows you to focus on your fighting as they are secure. They also work on increasing your speed and mobility throughout.

The shin guard inner design consists of high-density foam padding. Suitable for all and for a large range of martial arts, these are easy to clean and maintain.

Pros:

  • Pre-curved shin guard
  • Irritant free
  • Easy to clean and maintain

Cons:

  • Limited size range

Product Specifications

SizesX-Small, S-M, and L-XL
MaterialsStretch material

Top King Muay Thai Shin Guards

Top King Shin Guards

Top King is another famous Muay Thai brand. This pair of shin guards are more expensive than others, but that’s because of the materials used.

You get full protection with these when undertaking Muay Thai, MMA, or kickboxing. They have concentrated their design efforts on the area around the lower leg muscles. These also provide slight protection around the knee caps.

This means that the Top King shin guards offer more protection than some of the other brands.

There are four sizes available and many colors/patterns. Here’s a breakdown of the sizes and colors:

  • Size S – Length (does not include feet) 15″ (38 cm)
  • Size M – Length (does not include feet) 16″ (40 cm)
  • Size L – Length (does not include feet) 16.5″ (42 cm)
  • Size XL – Length (does not include feet) 17″ (43 cm)

Colors:

  • All Black
  • Black/White
  • Empower Black
  • Empower White
  • Red/Black
  • Snake – Black/Gold
  • Super Star Gold

With two hook and loop velcro closures, these guards will remain in place whilst in use. Top King is a brand that you’ll see a lot when training in Thailand and Muay Thai gyms.

Pros:

  • Wonderful design and color choices
  • Increased lower leg and kneecap protection
  • More protection offered than similar shin guard types

Cons:

  • Some find them a bit too bulky

Product Specifications

SizesSmall to X-Large
MaterialsGenuine leather

ARD Shin Protectors

ARD Champs Shin Protectors

ARD-Champs offers the cheapest pair of MMA shin guards on the list. These shin instep protectors use elasticated cotton which is why they are of good value.

If you prefer the feel of cotton over leather or synthetic materials this is the best choice.

Even though cotton is the main material used they still have dense EVA foam padding. The shin and foot area are covered by 12 mm thick foam.

They can be used for many kicking martial arts including:

  • Muay Thai
  • Kickboxing
  • Karate
  • Taekwondo

These guards come in six different colors, these are:

  • White
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Orange
  • Red
  • Yellow

There are also four size types – small, medium, large and X-Large. If you’re new to combat sports and looking for an entry pair these are great. They’re also great for kids too.

Pros:

  • Extremely comfortable material
  • EVA thick foam padding
  • Ideal for both adults and children

Cons:

  • More of a basic entry-level shin guard type

Product Specifications

SizesSmall to X-Large
MaterialsElastic cotton

Venum Predator Thai Shin Guards

Venum Predator Shin Guards

Another set of Muay Thai shin guards now from the famous Venum. The Predator model only comes in one color option, a black and white combination.

Like the Venum Elite model they come in medium, large, and X-Large. They’re not the cheapest option due to using buffalo and premium synthetic leather. But, these quality materials mean that they will last for a long time.

If you don’t mind spending a bit extra they’re a great option to consider. Venum also makes sure that they are still as light as possible for ease of movement.

They even have large Velcro straps for non-slip customized fitting. The inside contains a high-density foam finish ensuring enhanced shock absorption all-round.

Pros:

  • Top-quality material
  • High-density foam padding
  • Large velcro straps

Cons:

  • Suggestions they may need a little breaking in beforehand

Product Specifications

SizesMedium, Large and X-Large,
MaterialsBuffalo leather and synthetic leather

Fairtex SP3 Pro Style Thai Shin Guards

Fairtex Muay Thai Shin Guards

From the makers at Fairtex comes their SP3 Pro-Style shin guards.

They are available in bold colors, black, red or blue. You also have four size options, small/kids, medium, large and X-Large.

Made of genuine leather, these are a simple pair of shin guards. Unlike Fairtex’s SP5 model you won’t get any knee protection with these. Still, they’ve been assembled with the highest quality of construction.

They’re built with several layers of high impact foam, whilst still having a natural feel.

Pros:

  • Genuine leather
  • Soft piping in the foot area
  • Encourage greater comfort throughout

Cons:

  • Some mention of twisting and digging into the skin

Product Specifications

SizesSmall to X-Large
MaterialsGenuine leather

Top King Muay Thai Shin Pads

Top King Muay Thai Shin Guards

Top King has another pair of Muay Thai shin guards that are similar to the Empower pair we reviewed above. The main difference being the color designs available.

As with all Top King items they are handmade in Thailand. They come in the following 8 color patterns:

  • All black
  • Black with green trim
  • Black with red trim
  • Black with yellow trim
  • Green
  • Pink
  • White
  • Yellow

They come in four standard sizes, small, medium, large, and X-Large. If you’re looking for a genuine leather pair of shin guards these are some of the best.

The velcro straps on the shin guards ensure that they remain in place whilst in use. The foam filling inside meets the professional safety standards. So, you can be confident that you’re protected whilst using them.

Finally, a hook and loop closure finishes the shin guards at the top. This is for added stability.

Pros:

  • Premium leather
  • Increased shin protection design
  • Brilliant selection of colors

Cons:

  • Some mentions of bulkiness in design

Product Specifications

SizesSmall to X-Large
MaterialsPremium leather

Venum Challenger Shin Guards

Venum Challenger Shin Guards

As you can tell, we’re big fans of the Muay Thai brand, Venum. This model, named Challenger shin guards, is a cheaper alternative to the Elite model.

They still have a protective design that will keep your shins and feet from getting hurt. The reason why they are cheaper is due to them using synthetic leather instead of real leather.

The shin and instep have been fully reinforced with foam padding. Like other Venum models, they come in three sizes, medium, large and X-Large.

Venum’s Challenger guards only come in two colors, all black or black and white. So, if you’re looking for a brighter pair of Muay Thai shin guards check our other options.

To ensure the guards stay in place, Venum has used the same customized velcro straps on this model too. For a reliable pair of guards at a reduced price, this is a good alternative.

Pros:

  • Cowhide leather material
  • Ultimate comfort
  • Extra resilient and durable

Cons:

  • Some reports of issues with the elasticity 

Product Specifications

SizesMedium to X-Large
MaterialsSynthetic leather

ProForce Instep Shin Guard

Proforce Instep Shin Guards

Our final shin guards come from the makers at ProForce. These are in the style of cloth shin guards.

As they’re made of cloth material, these fit nicely both the shins and your instep.

The padding runs along the shin and on top of the foot. This ensures the most vulnerable areas remain protected.

You can pick between two color options, black or white. They are a great option for kids as they have three children sizes. The full-size range is:

  • Small
  • Child medium
  • Child large
  • Medium
  • Large
  • X-Large

Though these are basic, they still cover the injury prone areas during sparring.

Pros:

  • Ideal for sparring
  • Comfortable fitcloth material
  • Low-cost solution

Cons:

  • More suited to light sparring

Product Specifications

SizesSmall to X-Large
MaterialsCloth material

Muay Thai Shin Guards FAQ

Difference between Muay Thai & MMA shin guards

The main difference between Muay Thai and MMA shin guards is the size. The best shin guards for MMA are less bulky compared to typical Muay Thai shin guards. This is because they have been designed with the concept of grappling in mind. 

In Muay Thai sparring there’s a lot of kicking that’s why the extra padding is necessary.

Another difference is that Muay Thai shin guards use velcro straps. But, MMA guards use elasticated material to fit like a sock. Both of them still have padding to protect your bones though.

Out of the two types, Muay Thai shin guards are the more protective of the two. This is due to MMA-specific shin guards needing to be a bit more mobile.

picking the right size

As you’ve seen above, most Muay Thai shin guard brands offer many sizes. These range from kids to small, medium, large, and X-large.

It’s worth noting that size selection is dependent on specific personal features such as:

Your height

The size of your calves

Everyone has a different body, and this needs to be considered when selecting the size. The best shin guards will be those that fit well and don’t move whilst in use.

All options that we listed cover both your shin and instep. We don’t recommend using a model without these protection areas.

Protection vs. mobility

For the most protection, wider shin guards are the best option available. They offer all-round protection, covering a larger area of your leg, and the top of your foot.

But, there may have to be a little compromise here too. This is because bulkier shin guards aren’t as mobile as elasticated slip-on guards.

If you opt for a narrower type of shin guard, you may find your movements are faster as a result. The only issue with using these is that they don’t offer as much padding as Muay Thai shin guards.

Whichever you pick, you’ll need to wear them in to get used to them anyway.

Different materials 

As you can see from the shin pads reviewed above, these products are made from many material types! The most common materials used are:

  • Nylon
  • Plastic 
  • Synthetic leather
  • Real leather
  • Foam (padding)

Yet, it is real leather that remains the most popular of choices amongst most users. This is because it is the one material that holds up well while going the distance.

You will find several types of shin guards using high-quality synthetic leather too. These can rival the durability of real leather options, whilst being more affordable.

Still, the best type of material will be the one that you feel the most comfortable wearing.

Muay Thai Shin Guards Summary

That’s it for our buying guide of the best Muay Thai shin guards. We’ve covered a lot here, so we hope you’ve managed to digest it all. There are many great options for both Muay Thai and MMA shin guards. 

Make sure you look carefully at the size guide, as well as the materials used. Keeping the bones in your shins and feet protected is important to prolong your training.

Venum offers some of the best options for new and experienced fighters. The Fairtex models are also durable and priced well.

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