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Best football shin pads to buy: Adidas, Nike, Under Armour, Mitre and the best on the market

best football shin pads
(Image credit: PA)

Getting the best football shin pads is essential in the game at any level: in fact, often they're most important the lower the level.

We've all been there. You're making a decent run, charging down the wing like peak Thierry Henry - okay, maybe post-peak Theo Walcott - when out of nowhere, you get scythed down by a 15-stone hard man who's a bricklayer during the week. 

Thank the lord for your shinnies in that instance. If you're in need of a pair, we've got a list of the ones you'll need.

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1. Nike Charge 2.0 Shin Pads

The standard option from Nike that will keep you covered

RRP: £12 | Colour: Black/Volt, Black/White, Blue/White, Red/White

Groove to minimise slipping
Great coverage option
Range of colour options
Comfortable

Unsurprisingly, Nike's Charge 2.0 Shin Guards are the standard in shin pads. They're available in the company's trademark volt green colour - don't worry if you're not a fan, they're under your socks. Oh and available in other colours.

Aside from a couple of dodgy Barcelona shirts (we don't even have to say which ones - you already know), Nike just don't do bad design.

2. Adidas EVERLITE Shin Pads

These three stripes will protect your legs

RRP: £12 | Colour: Black/White/Red

Minimal design
Rock-solid
Not the comfiest fit
Don't fit round your heel

The EVERLITE shin pads are Adidas's answer; with the traditional branding and black/white/red colour combo, they look fantastic, but they only cover the front of your shin. The choice is yours. 

If you're an Adidas athlete, you're going to need some cover from the German company.

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3. Under Armour Men's Flex Shin Pads

The Flex Shin Pads are flexible and lightweight, yet as tough as Roy Keane in chainmail

RRP: £30 | Colour: Black/lime, white/silver

Vented for airflow to the shin
Lightweight
Flexible
Not as cool-looking as others

Under Armour Men's Flex Shin Pads are the company's standout option. They've made kits for the likes of Tottenham Hotspur over the years and their take on shin guards is to create something that's flexible, durable and with lots holes: not completely unlike Spurs under Jose Mourinho last season.

The colours aren't great (who cares? They're hidden under your socks, like we said) but these shinpads are fantastic quality, bend to your leg and still keep you protected. 

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4. Nike Mercurial Lite Shin Pads

The lighter, freer option from Nike - still in that Volt colour

RRP: £25 | Colour: Black/white, volt/obsidian/volt, white/black

Extremely lightweight
Surprisingly comfortable
Range of colours
Honeycomb look

The Mercurial Lite guards are from the same family as the Mercurial Vapors. This is the option if you're a speedster who wants something light and breezy around their shin. 

Because in case Nike's Charge 2.0 shinpads are a bit too restricting, the US manufacturer offers a freer, lighter pair - that just as rock-solid as their siblings.

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6. Mitre Aircell Power Ankle Protect Shin Pads

A great cross between old-school pads and new tech

RRP: £10 | Colour: Blue/black

Airy
Full protection
Extremely strong
Not the coolest looking

The Mitre Aircell Power Ankle Protect Shin Pads are fully on-brand for the company. It might be that they still supply the footballs for the EFL and FA Cup, but there's something about Mitre that screams "Proper Football".

They're holed like some of the more modern efforts, so your shins won't be as roasting as they would have been 20 years ago. But with the blue and black palette, the shape and general style of these pads, they feel extremely traditional. We approve.