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How To Wear Soccer Shin Guard Sleeves? 5 Easy Steps

How To Wear Soccer Shin Guard Sleeves? 5 Easy Steps

Most contact sports come with their fair share of negatives in terms of players encountering all forms of injuries; soccer is not excluded.

For this reason, the soccer governing body has ensured and recommended safety equipment to be worn at all times by players. As a sport heavily dependent on the use of legs, protective equipment like shin guards became a necessity. Soccer players are required to wear them before getting on the field of play.

Ideally, shin guards come with straps that lock them in on the shin of the leg. Not all soccer players like the feel of straps behind the leg. Since shin guards are an important piece of equipment, players began to think of new ways to wear their shin guards without straps.

Welcome to the world of strapless shin guards! To keep the shin guards in place as it was intended, certain accessories had to be manufactured. This is where shin guard sleeves come into play.

Other shin guard accessories include ankle guards, shin guard tape, and shin guard stays. In this article, we focus on shin guard sleeves and how best to wear them to keep shin guards in place.

How To Wear Soccer Shin Guard Sleeves?

Now that you have got the hard part out by buying the perfect shin guard sleeves, it is best to know how well to wear them. Since it’s not rocket science, here are steps on how to successfully wear and use shin guard sleeves.

Step 1: Ensure your legs are clean

This goes without saying that hygiene is of importance to life in general and in sports. Take a shower or wash your legs and dry them off before wearing your soccer leg equipment.

woman with sponge washing legs in bathroom

Step 2: Choose sleeves to wear

If you have more than one or they are of different brands, decide which you want to use to play. Don’t overthink it; it’s usually a matter of color, compression level, and thickness.

Kwik Goal Adult Shin Guard Compression Sleeves, Black
  • Holds shin guard in place without tape
  • Machine Washable
  • Helps reduce cramping and fatigue

Last update on 2023-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Step 3: Slid it onto your shin

Shaped as an open-ended sock, slide it onto your leg through the feet. Ensure it sits firmly on the leg.

Step 4: Insert shin guards

Gently raise the top of the sleeve and push your shin guard into it. It should sit comfortably in the middle of the sleeve.

G-Form Pro-S Elite Soccer Shin Guards - Soccer Pads for Adults - Athletic Gear - Black/Yellow, Medium
  • Soccer Shin Guards: This form-fitting protective gear uses body-mapped SmartFlex technology that...
  • Protective Soccer Gear: This soccer athletic gear for men and women uses a 2-panel design that...
  • Adult Shin Guards for Protection: These low-profile soccer and football shin guards are CE certified...

Last update on 2023-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Step 5: Adjust for comfort

The shin guards may not sit comfortably at first. Move it around and adjust it to stay firmly on the shin.

The compressibility of the sleeve should hold the shin guards in place. This helps to keep the shin guards from moving about and prevent discomfort while playing.

When done with one leg, repeat the steps for the other leg. When you’re done, proceed to wear other protective equipment on the legs – soccer socks and cleats.

How to Put On Soccer Shin Guards - Strapless - Soccer Sleeves

Some notes for washing and drying shin guards sleeves

Most shin guards sleeves can be washed in the machine, however, it’s preferable to wash them manually. This is because when washing them manually, you’re very cautious and will prevent damages machines can inflict on them.

hand wash clothes

Once that is done, it’s preferable to allow them to air-dry as using a dryer can shrink them. Moreover, more care should be taken if the padding or guards are in-built because it might wane the cushioning.

Factors To Consider When Buying Shin Guard Sleeves

Like any piece of equipment used in soccer, there are certain factors you should look out for before deciding on the best shin guard sleeves to buy and wear. Here are some of the top factors to consider.

1. Compression

By functionality, shin guard sleeves are designed to hold soccer shin guards in place. Since they’re used with strapless shin guards, they need to have a good amount of compression to firmly hold the shin guards on the shin.

Nike Guard Lock Sleeve [WHITE/BLACK/BLACK] (L)
  • Versatile design fits everything.
  • Directional stretch material for a better fit.
  • Anatomically designed for increased sensation.

Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Compatibility

This may not matter much to some people but you want to have sleeves that hold your shin guards in place.

Having compression capabilities is one thing but being able to allow the shin guards to sit comfortably on your shin is another. It’ll not be a cost-effective move if you have to buy new shin guards to fit into the sleeves.

3. Ease of maintenance

Like all equipment used in soccer, these sleeves should be easy to clean and maintain. They are in direct contact with your skin, since they wrap around the leg, and are exposed to sweat and dirt.

You should invest in shin guard sleeves that you can easily wash and dry, just as you would your soccer socks.

person washing socks

4. Lightweight

Shin guards may not be all that heavy but as a piece of protective equipment, they are made thick to cushion the effect from strikes or hits. Whatever sleeves you buy, ensure it doesn’t add extra weight to your legs.

This is soccer and you’ll most likely be involved in lots of running and dribbling. You certainly do not need additional weight for discomfort.

While we’re on the subject of lightweight, it’s recommended you buy shin guard sleeves that are breathable in some form. This is to avoid skin rash or any related skin problems from heat build-up.

CrossBones Sports Shin Guard Sleeves for Soccer (2 Pair Pack)
  • CrossBones Sports is the only authentic manufacturer of this product
  • One size fits most. Recommended for ages 10+
  • Sold as 2 Pair Pack (4 Sleeves Total)

Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Length

Sleeves act like straps to hold shin guards. It’s best to have sleeves that run and cover the entire length of your shin guards.

Although soccer socks give it a final covering, make sure the sleeves are long enough to allow the shin guards to sit comfortably in it.

6. Easily Affordable

They usually stay hidden most of the time but this doesn’t deny their relevance. Purchase sleeves that are pocket-friendly and wouldn’t cost you to break the bank.

piggy bank with coins

7. Durability

Since they go hand-in-hand with shin guards, they should be durable enough to serve their function. You don’t want to invest in sleeves that’ll constantly need replacement.


If you’re looking to wear strapless shin guards, shin guard accessories like sleeves play a vital role in keeping the guards in place. On their own, these shin guards sleeves do not offer protection but they help keep the protective equipment in place.

There are factors you may need to consider if you want to invest in shin guard sleeves. These factors will help give you sleeves that are tailored to your needs. If you’ve never tried using strapless shin guards, you should consider it – don’t forget your sleeves!