There are two main types of the best kickboxing shin pads available: stiff, heavy leather pads generally held on with Velcro straps, and a much lighter, thinner variety that is slipped on much like a high sock. The heavier variety will be your best bet if you are new to kickboxing and have relatively little conditioning of your shins, or if you will be using them for a lot of high intensity sparring. Of course, there are many variations of these two types of shin pads, of all different styles, prices and qualities. Several of the best of each of the two types are discussed in this article.
- "Hayabusa Pro Shin Guards" One of the best of the slip-on varieties, Hayabusa shin pads are more comfortable and more durable than most other slip-on kickboxing pads. At about $80 per pair, they are not the cheapest option, but you will get a lot of use out of them.
- "Combat Sports MMA Training Shin Guards" Priced at only about $50 each, Combat Sports International's slip-on shin pads are not as comfortable nor as long lasting as Hayabusa's. They are, however, a solid choice for a first or backup pair. For the cost, they will give you decent balance of quality and protection.
- "Century Shin Instep Guard" Century kickboxing heavy shin pads are not generally considered to be as long lasting as Fairtex, Windy or Hayabusa shin pads, but they are fairly good quality. However, at $70 a pair. you will probably be better off investing in one of the more specialized kickboxing brands.
- "Fairtex Pro-Style Shin Guards" Fairtex has the reputation for building simple, durable gear that can handle whatever beating you throw at it, and their shin pads are no exception. These heavily padded Velcro strap style pads cost about $70 per pair.
- "Windy Shin with Instep Guard" Windy has built a similar reputation to Fairtex for very well-made gear, including their heavy shin pads. Their prices are competitive with Fairtex's, as well. When choosing between the two brands, the main difference will come down to your personal preference, particularly for their shape. Windy's instep pad is slightly longer and more rounded than is Fairtex's. If possible, borrow a pair of each to try on for comfort before making your final selection.