Does it matter? NOMay 10, 2000 Write an essay on this topic.
Let me tell you a little something about shin guards. I'm going to let out the big secret that Nike and Puma and Adidas and all the big manufacturers have kept in the bag for so long. Shin guards are single most unimportant piece of equipment out there, I never wear then at practice, and I only wear them in games because of that rule thing. Then again, I'm a pain junkie, hurting makes me play better. Shin guards do help you avoid those bumps and bruises of playing at 100% (which I'll admit I don't do in practice), and for this they are useful.
But I speak the truth. It is of no consequence what brand, shape, type, strength you buy. You could strap a couple pieces of cardboard on with some duct tape for much the same effect. Pretty much any pair you buy, as long as they cover the majority of the shin they are fine. Not quite comfortable? Give it time. I haven't had a shin guard yet that I liked the first season I used it. Once they are broken in, they'll be a part of you, you won't want to wear anything else. The pair I have now I've worn for four years of spring and fall ball. They are so cracked it is beyond me how they are still holding together, but I just don't want to break in another pair. Four years forms quite a bond.
Only a couple things you may want to consider when buying. These are minor, trivial facts, but they are more important to some people than others, so I'll mention them. First, some guards have ankle protection in the form of a thick stretchy material. These may also include a plastic disc on each side. These can affect the fit of your cleat, causing discomfort or even blisters. Be sure to try on the guards with your game cleats. Also, most guards have an elastic strap to go around the calf, held on by velcro. Straps that fasten on the front are fifty times less annoying than straps on the back or side, because as the guard wears, the corners of the velcro will be pulled back by motion of the sock. If this wear and tear happens on the side or back, you'll feel that oh-so-fun velcro scratching action every time you move.
As I said, even these factors are trivial, because they can be solved with minimal effort and a pair of scissors. Which brings me back to my basic point. It really does not matter at all.
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