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How to Put on Soccer Shin Guards

Soccer shin guards are designed to protect you from just below the bottom of your knee to one inch above your soccer shoe. The lightweight, hard shell and padded inner layer are built to absorb and deflect accidental impacts and poorly placed kicks. Some shin guards also feature a padded ankle sleeve for additional protection. Ankle padding is especially recommended for youth and beginner players, although players of all ages and abilities may benefit from its use.

Step 1
Place the shin guard, narrow end down, against the front of your bare shin. Make sure that it's the proper length--it should cover from just below where your knee bends to one inch above your shoe or, to look at it another way, three inches above your ankle. If your entire shin is not covered, you may not be allowed to play.

Step 2
Slip your foot through the ankle padding on the shin guards. If your shin guards don't have ankle padding, skip this step.

Step 3
Fasten the hook-and-loop closures behind your calf to keep each shin guard securely in place. It should feel snug to your calf but not hinder the muscle movement you'll need to run and kick; jumping up and down on your toes a few times with the shin guards on will quickly reveal whether the guards are uncomfortably tight. In this case, you can adjust the closures. Not every set of shin guards comes with hook and loop closures; if your shin guards have no closures, go on to the next step.

Step 4
Pull your soccer socks on over the shin guards. If your shin guards don't have closures, take a minute to adjust them inside the socks, making sure that they're securely seated on the front of your shin and held in place by the socks.

Step 5
Put your soccer shoes on over the socks and lace them as usual. This is a good time to adjust the shin guards, if necessary, to make sure they cover all the way down to one inch above the top of your shoe and all the way up to just below where your knee bends. Peel your sock down, adjust the guard as necessary and then pull your sock up.