5 Best Hockey Shin Guards of 2022

This guide is going to take you over some of the best hockey shin guards to protect your legs during your games. After a lot of deliberation, my top choice is the Bauer Vapor 2X Pro.

Having played a variety of different sports since childhood, I know the importance of protective equipment. All it takes is one stick or errant puck to spell the end of your season if you aren’t wearing proper protection for your legs.

The Bauer Vapor 2X Pro offers just about everything you could want in hockey shin guards. Good protection, a comfortable and secure fit, a lightweight feel, and good stability and ergonomics are all included.

This is a high-quality pair of shin guards, but they aren’t the only ones worth considering. If you want an affordable option, an option for youth players, or even some guards for street or ball hockey, there are options.

Read on to learn a little more about some of the best hockey shin guards to protect you from the various hazards you might encounter during a game of hockey.

Top Choices for the Best Hockey Shin Guards 2022

Here are my best recommendations, as well as a closer look at what makes them a good option.

1. Bauer Vapor 2X Pro

  • Best for: A great overall pair of shin guards.
  • Protection: Full-leg protection without a lot of weight.
  • Comfort: A comfort liner and incredible stability.
  • Fit: Flexible straps, ergonomic-engineered to support movement.

These shin guards offer just about everything a hockey player could want. They offer full-leg protection, and do so without adding a lot of weight or bulk. The guards will move with your body and are easy to strap in to secure their place.

The shin cap in these guards is great and provides a lot of stability while moving, while also being engineered to be incredibly ergonomic. The high-quality materials and liner make these guards very comfortable to wear, as well.

One downside, however, of these shin guards is that the padding and protection is a little lacking compared to thicker guards. So if you are a defenseman or someone that blocks a lot of shots, you may want something with a little more padding and protection.

2. STX Ice Hockey Surgeon RX3.2

  • Best for: Hockey players who want affordable shin guards.
  • Protection: Hard outer shell to protect from impact.
  • Comfort: Designed with comfort and a lightweight feel in mind.
  • Fit: A precision fit that follows the curvature of your leg.

Hockey equipment can be a little expensive. If you’re looking to save some money when it comes to your shin guards, these are a logical choice to consider. They are designed for entry-level players but can be worn by anyone.

They feature a strong and hard outer shell to protect your legs from damage. Despite their size and adequate protection, these guards are quite light and comfortable wear, from the first period to the third.

The fit follows the curvature of your leg, which helps minimize the interference that the guards will have as you play. The included straps also allow for a lot of adjustabilities and can help ensure the guards are always where they need to be.

While these shin guards provide a lot of value and do a good job, one downside of them is that they might not be suitable for elite skaters. Their design isn’t quite ergonomic as some other options out on the market.

3. CCM Tacks AS1

  • Best for: Youth hockey players.
  • Protection: Anatomical design for great knee, shin, and calf protection.
  • Comfort: A comfort liner and high-quality materials.
  • Fit: A customized fit due to the removable liner and multiple straps.

While shin guards are important for senior players, they are equally (if not more) important for junior players. These offerings from CCM are among the best choices for younger players looking to protect themselves, without negatively impacting their play.

The anatomical design of these guards offers a high-level performance for both your knees and shin. The construction also helps to disperse any impact away to lower the chance of injury.

These guards have a removable liner made of quality materials to add to the comfort. This liner also has shock absorption built right into it, as well. The fit of these guards is also more than acceptable and offers easy adjustability.

These shin guards are also very affordable and budget-friendly, which is always a great thing. A drawback of these if that the protection in the calf area is a little lacking compared to the rest of the guard.

4. Warrior Alpha DX

  • Best for: Hockey players who value comfort and fit over everything.
  • Protection: DX shell for added protection where it matters.
  • Comfort: Wartech FNC liner to keep you cool and dry.
  • Fit: Versatile straps to keep you locked-in and provide great mobility.

If you value the comfort and fit of your shin guards over everything else, the Warrior Alpha DX might be the right one for you. First of all, they have a great inner lining that is comfortable to the skin and keeps you cool and dry, all game long.

The fit is also superb due to the Sling Wrap strapping system that keeps the guards in the right place, even after some hard skating and playing a physical game. They are also built well and won’t impede your mobility or slow down your game.

Despite how comfortable these guards are and how well they fit, they still offer up a more than adequate level of protection. The DX shell protects all of the important areas of your legs, and will keep you safe from slashes, blocked shots, and other common impacts you will encounter.

While the strap system is great, it only features two straps. Many people prefer having more straps to get a more customized fit from the shin guards.

5. Mylec Hockey Shin Guard

  • Best for: Casual or ball hockey games.
  • Protection: Durable and hard front shells.
  • Comfort: Lightweight comfort and a mesh-covered and breathable back.
  • Fit: Three independent straps to keep the guards in the right place.

While the other shin guards here are primarily used for ice hockey, that isn’t the only type of hockey that gets played. Street hockey, ball hockey, roller hockey, and several other types can be played both in or outdoors.

If this is your preferred way to play, these are a great pair of shin guards to consider. They have a durable shell to protect from impact. Despite this, they still remain fairly light and breathable and allow for airflow to keep you comfortable. These also provide solid overall coverage.

Best of all, these guards are extremely budget-friendly and won’t cost you much at all. One downside of these guards is that the straps are fairly low quality compared to other options.

Best Hockey Shin Guards: What to Look For in 2022

If you are looking for the best hockey shin guards to protect your legs on the ice, here are a few things to look for.

Comfort 

One of the first things to consider is the comfort offered by the shin guards. They should be designed in such a way that they are comfortable to put on and wear for long games. Not only that, but they should be made out of a material that is soft against your skin, and not rough.

If a shin guard is uncomfortable, it can really take you off of your game and lead to you losing your focus. The last thing you want is your gear hurting your ability to play, so find a pair of shin guards that don’t distract you from the game.

Protection

Of course, the primary goal of these shin guards is to protect your shins, ankles, and legs from potential damage. With all of the sticks, skates, and pucks that could hit your legs, playing without shin guards can lead to a lot of bumps, bruises, and cuts.

The shin guards you choose should have adequate protection from impact and they should be durable to hold up all season long. These guards should disperse force and protect the various important impact zones, like your knees.

Fit and Mobility

The fit of your shin guards is also something to consider. If they fit wrong, you may have to constantly adjust them, and equipment that doesn’t fit well might not be able to provide you the same level of protection. They should fit well, but not too tight.

Also, you want to ensure that your shin guards still offer some mobility. If the guards are too bulky, it has the potential to hold back your performance on the ice. Look for ones that provide adequate protection, but while still being relatively low-profile and light.

FAQs

Here are my answers to some of the commonly asked questions about hockey shin guards.

How should hockey shin guards fit?

In general, they should sit securely on your kneecap, and go down to cover everything above your skate. If the padding is too short or too long, you should take time to find a shin guard that fits correctly instead.

How to keep shin guards from moving?

If you get the right size, your shin guards shouldn’t move as they will have straps to keep them in place. If they do move, you could consider using tape to keep them in place, which is something many different players do.

How to know when shin guards need to be replaced?

If your shin guards have been cracked or had their padding deteriorate, it is time to replace them. Over time, they will become less effective so be careful. The last thing you want is to use ineffective protection and then get hit with a stick or puck, leading to injury.

My Verdict

My pick for the best hockey shin guards is the Bauer Vapor 2X Pro. They are perfect for the elite player looking for a lightweight feel, incredible fit, and high levels of protection. They offer great stability and have been engineered to move with your body to help your performance.

About Kale
Being from Canada, hockey is essentially a way of life. I instantly fell in love with the game since I was being put on skates. From playing as a child (and the occasional street hockey game with friends today) to being a fan for over 20 years, I’m here to share my knowledge and passion for hockey.