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Article: Shin guards - A necessary evil!

Flying footballer

Shin guards - A necessary evil!

It is a requirement that you use shin guards when playing a match, and the referee can actually refuse you to play if you are not wearing shin guards. There are also requirements for your guards that they must be made of, for the purpose, appropriate materials and provide reasonable protection. You may well risk that a refereee does not approve your shin guards up to the start of a match if he considers that they do not provide adequate protection. Like football boots, the shin guards have evolved a lot in recent years. Twenty years ago, many players ran around with large, clumsy guards, and the good old shin guards with ankle protection were the preferred solution for more players. The football boots have become lighter and more comfortable, and it is also the trend when it comes to the shin guards. The vast majority of footballers do not fear a kick on the shin, and therefore see shin guards more as a necessary evil than part of their tools. There are hardly any players at an elite level who train with shin guards, and they only reluctantly put them on just before the match start. The guards they use in match are often very small and cover only a fraction of the shin. It is typically a shin guard they have had for several years, perhaps as far back as youth years. The producers of the guards are well aware of what the players want, and the guards that come on the market now are all much smaller and lighter than the ones we saw years ago.

Hvor stor skal min benskinne være?

There is no actual size guide when it comes to shin guards, but since the aim is to protect against a potential harmful kick, the obvious answer is that the shin guard should be as large as possible! The bigger it is, the more it covers your shin. In the Underleg there are two bones; The leg and shin. The calf (fibula) sits on the outside, and the bone itself only clearly appears just below the knee and the bottom approx. 10 cm above the ankle. Residual bone is covered in muscles and tendons. The shin (tibia) sits next to the calf, and is not in the same way covered with muscles. In the entire course of the bone, you can feel a sharp edge on the middle/inside of your lower leg. Around the bone there is a thin membrane, and in this film there is a large concentration of nerves, which is why it can hurt tremendously if you get a blow directly on the bone. Even strokes that do not decidedly damage the bone can give a very strong pain response. On the outside of the pointed edge of the shin, there is a muscle that runs all the way down the ankle. It is, due to its location, especially susceptible to kicks. If you get a hard kick directly on the muscle without it being protected, you can get a fairly pronounced bleeding in the muscle, which may cause you to be unable to use the muscle normally for a period of time, due to pain. The shin guards aim to protect your lower leg, primarily to avoid fractures, but secondary and most frequently against the impacts you can get, which can be very painful and at worst prevent you from continuing the match. So the bigger your shin guard is, the better your tibia is protected and the less the risk of painful kicks. However, it is important to point out that even if you have the largest and best protective shin guard, you can never guard yourself 100% against damage to the shin. If the accident happens, and you get hit hard enough, then you can be unlucky and get a pretty severe injury.

Shin guards and comfort (or lack of it!)

Although the shin guards have become smaller and lighter, there are still many players who take advantage of a more alternative solution which, to say the least, does not meet the requirements for a shin guard. In my 12 years in elite football I have seen many creative solutions when it came to the required shin guards. I have experienced players who remove the plastic part of a shin guard and only play with the foam from the back, just as I have seen a player use a sausage tray as a shin guard. The same thing goes for all these creative solutions and most normal shin guards: It must be kept in place with the underwrap and/or tape. - Because if there is something a soccer player weighs even higher than the size and weight of a shin guard, then it is comfort! A brace that moves around the underleg when running and kicking is not comfortable, and for that very reason there are many who use tape to get the shin guards stuck. When you taper the shin guard firmly, it sits quite well for a start, but after the first sliding tackle, the shin guard can move, and will be seated in a more or less uncomfortable position until it can be corrected during the break. Another problem with taping the shin guard is that it tightens very locally around the lower leg, which can cause a cramp/acid sensation in the calf, due to reduced blood supply. Several of the large producers of shin guards have tried to make a solution that can increase comfort, and there are now many shin guards where a shin guard holder is included, as well as the seperate holders, which can be purchased without the shin guards included.  Although the shin guard holder can solve the problem of tape the shin guards, it is, in my optics, only part of the problem of the shin guards. The biggest problem for me is that the shin guards are made from a standard template, where the individual shin guard must be suitable for everyone who buys it, even though there may be large differences in the dimensions of the lower part of the leg, from player to player.

Liiteguards Shin Guard

Liiteguard Have tried to make the perfect shin guards, and we hear from many of our users that they do not feel they have it on, which may well be said to be the ultimate comfort when it comes to the use of shin guards. Our shin guard is thin and light, and as it is shaped uniquely for you, you get a shin guards that is adapted to you and your dimensions, rather than a pre-shaped shin guard which must fit all. We have seen several cases of our guards where, after being shaped, it has an angle of 90 degrees, which is far from the shape you will get when buying a pre-shaped shin guard. Another advantage of our shin guard is that you can cut it so that it gets exactly the size you want. -but remember that the more you cut it, the less you are protected! Here you can see how you can shape the shin guard and how you can cut it to:
Our shin guards, due to the accompanying compression sock, are seated without the use of sock tape or underwrap. As an extra bonus, our sock also ensures better contact with the boot, less risk of Achilles tendon overload and less muscle fatigue/cramp!

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