When it comes to playing hockey, safety should always be a top priority. One of the essential pieces of equipment that every player needs is proper protection for their shins.
This is where hockey shin guards come in. They provide an additional layer of protection against sticks and pucks while also preventing injuries from falls and collisions on the ice. However, not all shin guards are created equal, and finding the right size can make all the difference in comfort and effectiveness.
In this article, we will give you some tips on how to properly size your hockey shin guards so you can find the perfect fit and keep yourself protected on the ice.
“Properly fitting hockey shin guards are as important as any other piece of protective gear a player wears.” -Source
We will go over everything from measuring your leg length and width to understanding the different styles and features available when selecting shin guards. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, having the correct size and style of shin guards can truly impact your game. So let’s dive in and find your perfect fit now!
Measure Your Legs
Sizing your hockey shin guards is essential to ensure appropriate protection and flexibility during gameplay. A perfect fit will give you the confidence you need while playing, allowing you to focus on performing at your best. Properly measuring your legs is the first step in finding the right size for your needs.
Get Accurate Measurements
The most accurate way to measure your legs for shin guards is by using a cloth tape measure. To begin, make sure you are wearing thin socks or none at all. Find a comfortable place where you can sit down with your feet flat on the ground. Having someone else assist you in taking measurements is recommended but not necessary. The knee-to-ankle length should be measured as well as the circumference of your lower leg at the widest point.
Knee-to-Ankle Length: Use the cloth tape measure to take a measurement from just above the knee bone (kneecap) to the top of the ankle bone. This measurement determines the length of the shin guard needed.
Circumference: Measure around the widest part of your calf muscle. If you have an athletic build, it may be helpful to measure both the top and bottom of the cuff to ensure the snug yet flexible fit desired.
Use a Tape Measure
Using a tape measure should always be preferred over other measuring devices such as rulers. Cloth tape measures tend to provide more accurate readings since they bend effortlessly around the curves of the leg. They also make it easier for you to adjust the width of the wrap according to the thickness of each leg, providing better compression and support. Another benefit of cloth tape measures is their ability to show precise fractions that plastic tapes lack.
“A good rule of thumb is that shin guards should cover from a couple of inches below the knee to about an inch above the ankle bone, with straps secured in place and socks pulled up over the shin guards.” -Field Hockey BC
Once you have accurately measured your legs, it is essential to compare your measurements to each brand’s specific sizing charts. These can typically be found online or in-store to help ensure that the correct size shin guard is chosen based on your unique measurements. If possible, try the shin guards on before purchasing them, making sure they fit snugly without restricting movement.
The bottom line is having properly sized hockey shin guards will optimize protection during game play while allowing for comfort and free-range movement. Follow the proper measuring instructions using cloth tape measures and consult brand-specific sizing charts before making your purchase.
Determine Your Playing Style
If you are an offensive player, your primary focus is on scoring goals and making plays in the offensive zone. As such, you may prefer a shin guard that allows for maximum mobility and flexibility.
When sizing shin guards as an offensive player, look for products with smaller profiles or tapered designs that offer ample protection without hindering your movement. You can also opt to go with lighter models that reduce weight on your legs, allowing for more acceleration and speed on the ice.
“Forwards often favor lighter shin pads like the CCM Jetspeed FT350,” says PureHockey.com senior buyer Matt Maraio. “These allow them to move freely while protecting against injury.”
If you play a defensive position, your responsibilities involve blocking shots, intercepting passes, and providing support to your goaltender. As such, you require heavy-duty shin guards that provide extensive coverage and protection against various types of impacts.
A top priority when selecting shin guards as a defender is ensuring they cover every inch of your shins, including the areas above and below your knee joint. Consider going with bulkier, high-density foam padding designed to absorb big hits.
“Defensemen may want taller pads, covering not only the lower part their knees but also the higher thigh area,” notes commercial director Nicolas Pomey of STX hockey equipment manufacturer.
Sizing shin guards as a goalie requires much consideration regarding the overall construction and design of your gear. Goaltenders need complete shields for their leg bones, calf muscles, and ankle joints while maintaining flexibility and comfort on the crease.
You should select shin guards that fit snugly and have various straps to keep them securely in place. A complete leg channel system should be the highest priority, with options available that offer both customization and personalization.
“As a goalie,” notes former NHL goaltender Brian Boucher, “you want shin guards that fit your body type and position preference while providing ample protection.”
Consider Your Age Group
When it comes to sizing hockey shin guards for youth players, it’s important to consider their height and weight. Generally, a player who is under 4 feet tall should wear shin guards that are at least 8 inches long. For players who are between 4-5 feet tall, shin guards around 10 inches long are appropriate. And for players over 5 feet tall, they should have shin guards that are at least 12 inches long.
Another thing to consider when buying shin guards for youth players is their level of play. Younger or beginning players might prefer shin guards that offer more protection, while more experienced players might want something lighter and more flexible. It’s also recommended to choose shin guards with adjustable straps so you can customize the fit as needed.
“Proper fitting equipment helps protect young athletes from injury and provides a comfortable playing experience.” -Youth Sports Safety Alliance
Sizing shin guards for adult players follows similar guidelines as for youth players, but there may be some differences based on personal preference and skill level. The length of the shin guard should be based on the player’s height, with taller players generally needing longer shin guards. However, the width of the shin guard is just as important as the length to ensure full coverage and maximum protection.
If you are an adult player who plays at a high level or has a more aggressive style of play, you might want to look for shin guards that are thicker and made from stronger materials. On the other hand, if you play in a recreational league or have a more passive style of play, thinner and lighter shin guards might be sufficient.
“Having proper gear doesn’t only keep you safe, but it can also help boost your confidence on the ice.” -Pure Hockey
Choose the Right Type of Shin Guards
Hockey shin guards are essential protective gear for hockey players to avoid any injuries that may occur during the game. Before you start looking for the perfect size, it’s important to know about different types of shin guards and which one suits your needs best.
Slip-In Shin Guards
Slip-in shin guards are the most popular choice among hockey players because they’re lightweight, comfortable, and easy to put on. As the name suggests, slip-in shin guards have a sleeve-like structure without straps or any additional layers. Players can easily slide them in their socks or attach them with a Velcro strap inside their skate tongue. Mostly, young players prefer slip-in design as it provides maximum movement control and coverage without adding much weight.
“If you move around a lot while playing, you should choose slip-in shin guards as they stay in place comfortably,” says Jeff Camarra, owner of Source For Sports store.
Sleeve Shin Guards
Sleeve shin guards come with an elastic strap system or hook-and-loop fastenings attached on top of a cushioned front pad. The sleeve feature offers more protection than slip-in models and makes sure that the shin guard is always directly on the skin for proper positioning. Most professional hockey players use this type of shin guards as they provide better coverage and safety.
They can be hassle some to put on properly and sometimes slides down causing discomfort if the sizing isn’t accurate.
“Sleeve guards usually offer a better fit and extra padding that helps prevent bruising from pucks and other collisions,” says Derek Parrott, shop employee at Pure Hockey.
Ankle Shin Guards
Ankle shin guards offer extra protection in the ankle and calf areas. These guards come with a built-in strap that clips around the skate blade, providing additional support to control potential injury during a game. Players who feel vulnerable to heavy contact require this type of shin guard.
“Ankle guards may not be necessary for every player as they can add weight. But if you’re looking for extra stability or have suffered an ankle injury before, then it’s better to wear them,” says Jeff Camarra.
Note: Always remember when choosing your perfect pair of hockey shin guards ‘comfort is key’. Shin guards should fit comfortably and snugly on the skin without any compromise on movements.
Try Them On
When it comes to sizing hockey shin guards, the most important thing is finding a pair that fits you correctly. As each manufacturer may have slightly different sizes, it can be helpful to try on different brands and models before making a purchase.
Here are some tips for trying on hockey shin guards:
Make sure to wear the type of socks you would normally wear during a game when trying on shin guards. This will give you a better idea of how they will fit with your equipment on.
Strap Them On
With your skates on, strap on the shin guards securely. Stand up and adjust them as needed so that they cover both your knee and ankle bone. The top of the shin guard should sit comfortably under the kneecap, while the bottom of the shin guard should extend down to just above your skate tongue.
Walk around in your skates while wearing the shin guards to get a feel for how they will move with you. Squat down and stand back up again to ensure they do not slide around or shift out of place.
Bend Your Knees
Bend your knees, as if you were getting into a skating stance, to make sure the shin guards still provide full coverage. You should not feel any gaps between your leg and the shin guard.
Remember, a properly fitting shin guard is crucial for protecting your legs from injuries during games and practices. Take time to find the right size for you before hitting the ice!
Make Sure They Fit Properly
No Gaps or Spaces
One of the essential aspects to consider when sizing hockey shin guards is checking that there are no gaps or spaces between your legs and the padding. Shin guard manufacturers provide a size chart as a guide for selecting the appropriate sized protection gear, but it is not always accurate.
It’s crucial to ensure the shins’ caps are in line with your knee cap without restricting mobility or limiting movement. A good-fitting shin guard should cover your knees down to the top of your skates, ensuring maximum protection from pucks, slashes, and hits on the ice.
“If the player’s equipment doesn’t fit properly, then the danger and likelihood of both injury and wear and tear dramatically increases.”
Not Too Tight
Sweating is common in any sport, more so in hockey games played at high intensity. Thus, it’s imperative to wear comfortable shin guards that have proper ventilation and airflow around them. Additionally, equally vital is choosing shin guards that will never compromise your safety due to excess tightness.
The taping beneath the shinguard plays a critical role in limiting air circulation. At times, players tighten the tape too much to the point where they feel uncomfortable and lose sensation in their feet. This causes swelling, which eventually leads to loss of sensitivity in the areas around your ankles and toes. Don’t make this mistake, and avoid wrapping the tape too tightly around your legs.
“If you’re playing at the world juniors, everyone has the best gear – even if it’s just shin pads.” -Jack Johnson
Picking the right sized shin guard facilitates ease of movement. It allows the players to stay comfortable and enjoy the game while minimizing injury. It’s imperative to select protective gear that fits snugly, without any gaps or spaces.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different sizes available for hockey shin guards?
Hockey shin guards come in various sizes ranging from youth to senior sizes. Youth sizes are usually between 7-10 inches while senior sizes are between 14-18 inches. Some brands may also offer intermediate sizes between youth and senior.
How do you measure for the correct size of hockey shin guards?
To measure for the correct size of hockey shin guards, you need to measure from the center of your kneecap to the top of your skate blade. This measurement will determine the length of the shin guard you need. It is important to measure both legs as they may differ in length.
What factors should be considered when sizing hockey shin guards?
The main factors to consider when sizing hockey shin guards are the player’s height, weight, and level of play. A taller player may need longer shin guards, while a heavier player may need thicker padding. The level of play may also affect the level of protection needed.
What are some common mistakes people make when sizing hockey shin guards?
One common mistake is not measuring both legs, which can lead to an ill-fitting shin guard. Another mistake is choosing a size based solely on age or height without taking into account weight or level of play. Finally, some players may wear shin guards that are too loose, which can affect their mobility and protection.
Should hockey shin guards fit snug or loose?
Hockey shin guards should fit snug to provide maximum protection and mobility. A properly fitted shin guard should cover the entire shin and knee without restricting movement or sliding around. However, it should not be too tight as it may impede circulation or cause discomfort.