How to Measure Shin Guards? – A Fighter’s Guide

If you are enthusiastic about MMA and are on your way for training, you must know that shin guards are an absolute must. Most training arenas have this rule of not allowing players in until and unless they are wearing shin guards. Your shins are heavily involved in this particular fight, and soon you will realize how imperative shin guards are for your and your partner’s safety.

Finding a shin guard that fits you properly is not taxing. All you have to do is make the proper measurements. To get the right number, grab your measuring tape, and measure the distance from the bottom of your knee to your ankle joint. It is also recommended to measure the circumference of both legs – around the thickest part of your calves.

Finding the Right Size for Your Shin Guards

To find the right fit, make sure you have your measurements along with the size chart with you. If you are tall and the diameter of your leg is large, then you must know that your shin guard size would be bigger to accommodate your leg size. Ideally, shin guards should fit you perfectly a little above your ankle and go a couple of inches below your knee. You can confirm by flexing your muscles.

Shin Guard Types and Fit

When purchasing shin guards, you must be clear about the need. You should know which type of shin guards you want. Some common types include:

Thai Shin Guard

With the help of the adjustable strap, these Thai shin guards go around the calves and can be fastened according to the user’s comfort. This type of shin guards is layered with protective coating from the inside. The protective layering is there to save your legs from your opponent’s blows.

MMA Shin Guard

MMa Shin Guard

Mixed martial arts shin guards or MMA shin guards are a sock-like sleeve that can be perfectly wrapped around your leg. Manufacturers usually insert some extra padding to cover and protect the fighter’s shin. With this extra padding, an MMA shin guard is perfect for intense training matches.

Detachable Shin Guards

The third type of shin guard is a detachable shin guard. This particular kind comes with an easily removable instep guard. It is designed to offer great protection to its users without any compromise on the users’ speed. It offers complete flexibility. This piece protects both your feet and shins; you don’t have to purchase a separate guard for the protection of your feet.

Moreover, it is the user’s choice to remove the footpads as required. Depending on the nature of the fight, you can fashion this shin guard easily.

Slip-in Shin Guard

This type of shin guard comes with a compression sleeve, which makes sure that the slip-in shin guard stays in place. You can easily wear them right underneath your socks. If you consider yourself an older, more professional, and advanced athlete, this will be the right fit. When wearing this, you don’t have to worry about stirrups, as this will provide you with enough range.

Pure Striking Shin Guard

Other than the four above-mentioned shin guards, there is another one. In contrast to slip-in or sleeve shin guards, pure striking shin guards are a bit bulkier and bigger in design. Some people use them for intensive MMA fights and grappling, but some might find it hard to move and strike in them.

Be clear about your needs and use and choose any of the above. If you are familiar with your fighting style, you might choose more easily. When choosing your shin guard, be wary of the fact that they are prone to leave a particular odor in case of sweat. Choose the ones that are made up of moisture-free material.

Usually, slip-in and sleeve shin guards are made up of material that doesn’t get damaged when washed. So you can easily get rid of the smell and dirt by throwing them in a washing machine, and they will be fresh and odorless for your next fight.

MMA Shin Guard Size Chart

To make the search for a perfect MMA shin guard easy for, here we have made a small chart that can help you find the perfect fit. This chart is for ages 14 and above.


Shin Length

Instep Length (B)

User Height

Calf Circumference


32 cm

17.5 cm

134-151 cm


34 cm

18.5 cm

152-169 cm



36 cm

19.5 cm

170-180 cm


Extra Large

38 cm

20.5 cm

180> cm


It is better to consult one chart at a time. If you are looking at instep length from one chart and the user height from another, it might confuse you.

The most ideal way is to carry out the measurements by yourself and then consult the chart so that you can get yourself the MMA shin guard with the most perfect fit.


If you are honest with your training and take it very seriously, investing in high-quality shin guards is definitely a must. Buy it along with your shorts. In case you don’t have shin guards and show up for martial arts training or a match, then it is the same as showing up to a gunfight without bullets.

Explore all the options mentioned above and go with the one that provides more protection, does not compromise your mobility, and lasts for a long time. Some users recommend going for bigger ones as they will offer more protection. Some matches even have their criteria, so it is recommended that you do your research before making the final pick. Always remember that safety comes first.