How to Size Hockey Shin Guards

Hockey is full of different pieces of equipment that are crucial to keeping players protected and secure during gameplay. One of the most underrated examples of this equipment is shin guards.

Having taken my fair share of pucks and street hockey balls to the legs, I can tell from experience how important they are. They also protect you from slashes, skates, and other potential hazards on the ice.

But in order for shin guards to work properly, they need to be sized correctly. In an effort to help ensure you are as safe as possible, this guide is going to take you through how to size hockey shin guards.

Finding the Right Size

You need to do all you can to ensure you find the right size of the shin guard. The wrong-sized guard can lead to inadequate protection and a lot of discomfort during the game. If you get guards that are too small, they can be uncomfortable and not protect areas they need to.

On the other hand, if you purchase and use some that are too big, they will not stay secure and can interfere with your ability to skate well. To ensure neither of these issues occur, you need to learn how to measure for your shin guards.

The correct way to measure for shin guards is to put your foot on the ground, and measure the distance from your ankle to the middle of your knee. If this is 14 inches, the size of the shin guard you should try first is 14 inches, as well.

However, unlike many other kinds of equipment, shin guards can be worn in different ways. For example, some players will wear shin guards over the tongue of their skates. These players will need a shin guard that is a little larger compared to if they wore them in the standard way. 

To avoid any issues with sizing, always be sure to try on shin guards beforehand to make sure they are in the right position and stay secure during movement. While the measurement is a good starting point, it isn’t a substitute for actually trying the product.

While overall height is a good indicator of which shin guard size you will need, some people have longer legs than others so measuring the leg is preferred. Shin guards can come in sizes ranging from 8 inches for younger players, to 18 inches for taller senior and adult players. 

Each brand may have different sizing for different age groups, so always refer to the packaging to see the exact size of the guard.

How Should a Shin Guard Fit?

The right way for a shin guard to fit is for your knee to sit comfortably and perfectly in the knee divot in the guard. The straps should allow the shin guard to fit snug, and not allow for a ton of movement or shifting during skating.

Some shin guards can also have different profiles and may fit a little differently as a result. A traditional fit is a bit larger and provides a good amount of protection and is great for those who get into the action physically and block a lot of shots.

A contoured shin guard is sleeker and provides the best mobility, and a tapered first is a good combination of protection and maneuverability. The right one for you depends on your preferences and play style, so put some thought into which you prefer ahead of time.

The Parts of a Shin Guard

If you are going to wear and use shin guards, it is a good idea to gain a better understanding of what they are and what they do for you. While it’s obvious that they keep your shins safe, many other parts of these shin guards can do much more for a player.

Shin guards also feature a knee flap that protects the top of the knee, and a hard shell knee cap to protect the knee from everything from pucks to sticks. There is also a soft and comfortable inner lining to reduce discomfort, and even a calf protector to protect the back of your leg.

I hope this guide has been able to help ensure you get the right-size shin guards for your needs. Is there something else you wish I would have included in this guide but didn’t? If so, let me know in a comment below.

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. Email:

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