Best MMA Shin Guards – The Complete Buyer’s Guide

reviews of best mma shin guards

MMA shin guard is one of the essential pieces of equipment for MMA. With that, if you do full contact sparring, you need really good quality shin guards! It protects you from injuries and you can also train harder. Not having it can cause many problems and you can find these after the buyer’s guide and brand reviews.

Below, you can find really good quality MMA shin guards for every need (pure striking, both grappling and striking), their qualities and you can decide which one is for you. I gathered these from MMA forums, my experiences and online sources. Also, all of these have sizing information at the product pages. These can seriously level up your training performance.


Best MMA Shin Guard Reviews


1. Hayabusa Tokushu Regenesis Striking

review of the best MMA shin guard

Protection Rating: 9.8 / 10.0

Training Quality: 9.9 / 10.0

Durability: 9.9 / 10.0

Comfort: 9.8 / 10.0

Quality / Price Rating: 9.2 / 10.0

Best Place to Buy: Amazon

Exclusive Features

  • Vlar engineered leather (quite sturdy)
  • Made for your leg and knee contours
  • Comfy
  • Ideal for striking
  • Gets always amazing feedback
  • The most quality MMA shin guard on the market

Firstly, Hayabusa Tokushu Regenesis is wildly popular and if you have ever been in an MMA gym, you probably have seen it. Just like any other quality Hayabusa Shin Guards, this one is also made for your leg and knee contours. It provides a really good fit and has good ratings for it.

It is a bit bulkier than others and has more padding. However, the padding is light so you can actually kick faster with more protection! This is why it is ideal for striking.

The velcro closure is also adjustable and the materials are also good for stretching. So Hayabusa Tokushu is also a suitable MMA shin guard for people who have big calves.

Durability: Vlar engineered leather can take a beating and it just works excellent with MMA gears. You can expect to get quality and safe training sessions from Hayabusa over 3 years.

Who can train with Hayabusa Tokushu Shin Guard? It is for people who are looking for the most quality MMA shin guard. Shortly, everything is perfect about this striking style shin guard. As a final note, it always gets amazing ratings from MMA forums and verified purchases. So, you literally can’t go wrong with Hayabusa Tokushu Regenesis. If these are appealing to you, check out this amazing shin guard on Amazon.


2. Hayabusa Kanpeki Elite 2.0 Grappling Shin Guards

Review of really good quality MMA grappling shin guardProtection Rating: 9.9 / 10.0

Training Quality: 9.7 / 10.0

Durability: 9.8 / 10.0

Comfort: 9.7 / 10.0

Quality / Price Rating: 9.1 / 10.0

Exclusive Features

  • Really good quality leather (full grain)
  • Ergonomic design
  • Light
  • Fits perfectly
  • Ideal for grappling
  • “Cool” traditional look
  • I have awesome experiences with Kanpeki!

Like Kanpeki MMA Gloves, Hayabusa Kanpeki Elite Grappling Shin Guard is also made of top-notch materials and it is ideal for grappling.

As you may know, full-grain leather is lighter than other materials and it is also durable. So it provides what you need for your session.

It has amazing ventilation system and it works well with full grain leather. It is actually one of the best rated MMA shin guards for it and Kanpeki Elite is hand-designed and made for your shin. Also, instep compartment does not bother you one bit and it is actually a huge problem for many other shin guards on the market. These also help this shin guard to stay in place.

It does not matter that you buy Hayabusa MMA Gloves, headgear or shin guard. The padding quality is always superb and absorbs shock really well. I also used many Hayabusa products (including this one), according to me and many other authoritative figures, Hayabusa is one of the best companies about the padding quality.

Also, did you have a look at Kanpeki Elite 2.0 Grappling Shin Guards before? The leather looks awesome, right? Yes, it does but more importantly, full grain leather does not have rough spots for a very long time. So you can spar with it for long years and your partner will be safe.

Thanks to the ergonomic design and the construction, it is perfect for grappling. If you are interested, check out Hayabusa Kanpeki Elite 2.0 for more information.


3. Venum Predator Standup Shinguards

overview of good quality MMA shin guardProtection Rating: 9.6 / 10.0

Training Quality Rating: 9.7 / 10.0

Durability: 9.5 / 10.0

Comfort: 9.9 / 10.0

Quality / Price Rating: 9.3 / 10.0

Exclusive Features

  • Very good protection and coverage
  • Dense padding
  • Sturdy
  • Lighter than many other same style shin guards
  • Provides solid training performance
  • One of the best stand-up style MMA shin guards
  • Many color selections including red and gold

Venum Predator uses triple density foam and it is one of the lightest foams on the market. With that, it also distributes the shock between the layers. This reduces the impact significantly.

It is made of buffalo and synthetic leather. Based on my experiences, I know that this blend can be quite good for durability and I also checked out many MMA forum posts and people have been using Venum Predator more than 2 years.

It has a velcro closure and it is very easy to wear and take it off. Thanks to quality material blend and velcro closure, Venum Predator stays in place.

Shortly, it is light and durable. It is also “not bulky” as many other stand-up style shin guards, so you can simply kick faster with it and yet Venum Predator protects you way better than these.

Sizing: It has a good fitting rate and you can have a look at the customer questions for sizing. As a final note, many professional fighters train with Venum Predator. These include Carlos Condit and Wanderlei Silva.


4. RDX Leather MMA Shin Instep Guard

best mma shin instep guard reviewProtection Rating: 9.2 / 10.0

Training Quality: 9.7 / 10.0

Durability: 9.3 / 10.0

Comfort: 8.8 / 10.0

Quality / Price Rating: 9.7 / 10.0

Exclusive Features

  • Good protection
  • Sturdy leather (cowhide)
  • Suitable for groundwork and pure striking
  • Front part is bulky
  • Absorbs the shock well
  • Tighter than usual
  • Includes instep foot protector

The front part is a bit bigger because it has more padding than normal. So you can kick more powerful. With that, when you grapple, it affects your training performance badly. But keep in mind that it is not that bulky so you can still do it! This is why RDX Leather is suitable for grappling and striking.

It is made of cowhide and RDX Cowhide series last a long time and you can clean it in the washing machine. Also, many MMA gyms suggest this very shin guard to students. I have seen it in many gyms in Croatia.

It also has extra instep foot protector, which can come in handy, for really powerful kicks. Thanks to that you will feel less soreness after sessions. Also, keep in mind that many people have instep foot injuries after MMA training. So, extra protection does not hurt, right?

Is RDX Leather MMA Suitable for You? If you think of kicking more and grappling less, RDX is just made for you.

If these are appealing to you, have a closer look at RDX Leather MMA.


5. Venum “Kontact Evo” Shin Guards

overview of MMA shin guard which has a great quality price ratioProtection Rating: 8.9 / 10.0

Training Quality: 8.7 / 10.0

Durability: 8.5 / 10.0

Comfort: 9.8 / 10.0

Quality / Price Rating: 9.9 / 10.0

Exclusive Features

  • Very light
  • Stays in place
  • Ideal for grappling
  • Suitable for pure striking
  • Flexible mesh for better breathability
  • You definitely get more than what you pay

Venum “Kontact Evo” is the thinnest shin guard which can protect you. The ergonomic design allows you to do any grappling movement with no restriction. However, you can expect to have soreness on your legs after pure striking sessions. With that, according to many forum members, it is not much so this is why Venum is on this list.

It is made of materials which don’t provide traction when you do groundwork on MMA mats. Thanks to this quality of 3D embossed grip, you can move faster with it and it is really flexible. It gives complete freedom and you will definitely have an advantage during grappling.

It also has quite good mesh and it is flexible. So when you do groundwork or kick, it provides air in and out. Like any other Venum products (headgear, gloves) it gets A+ for the comfort.

Is Venum “Kontact Evo” Suitable for You? If you think of doing mostly grappling and less striking, then yes it is suitable for you. Considering the durability and training quality, Venum has the greatest quality-price ratio. If you are looking for these, then get your OWN Venum “Kontact Evo” on Amazon.


6. RDX MMA Leather Shin Instep Guard

good quality and cheap MMA shin guardProtection Rating: 8.5 / 10.0

Training Quality: 8.8 / 10.0

Durability: 8.5 / 10.0

Comfort: 8.8 / 10.0

Quality / Price Rating: 9.6 / 10.0

Exclusive Features

  • Good protection
  • Very ergonomic design
  • Light
  • QD-1 moisture wicking technology
  • Suitable for grappling and striking
  • One of the best instep shin guards on the market
  • Cheapest MMA shin guard which has good quality

You can train with Nylastic outer cover more than 2 years and this molded shin guard has an ergonomic design. These help you have decent groundwork and pure striking sessions.

RDX is also thinner, narrower than usual and it has gel and foam for absorbing the shock. Even though this blend is not common, my trainer did not have any soreness after the sessions. So it does the job just fine.

Also, I trained with shin guards which have QD-1 moisture wicking technology and this just wicks the moisture well. I also have not seen any negative reviews about it. The interior layer is also soft and when you get hit, you can be sure that it won’t hurt much 😉

Price: Alright, due to the Nylastic, you can’t expect to use it for really long time. But still you can get quality training sessions around 2 years and it has absolutely an amazing price. You can have a look at the RDX MMA Leather Shin Instep Guard and also see sizing chart at the Amazon’s product page.


MMA Shin Guard Types

Striking Style (Stand-up) Shin Guards: As you can understand from the name, these guards are made for striking. These have way more padding and the padding type is denser than usual. Because these are always used for striking. When you buy these, the padding quality should be superb. Obviously, these are bulkier and can’t be used for groundwork (submission etc.).

Sleeve Style Shin Guards: Sleeve style is suitable for both grappling and striking. So this is why we generally see sleeve type shin guards in MMA gyms. These are actually smaller and have a really good design so you can practice any type of submission with them. These also have less padding. With that, padding density is way higher than striking style shin guards so these can protect you and your partner during sparring sessions. With that, thanks to good design, these are more suitable for you to roll on MMA mats and you can obviously show more dexterity with these.

Grappling Style Shin Guards: Only a few companies produce them. These have really ergonomic design and very lightweight. With that, these can’t be used for striking and should have excellent leather quality. Because when you do grappling, submission all the time, the leather should be ready to handle any kind of deformation.

MMA Shin Guards Vs. Muay Thai Shin Guards: Muay Thai shin guards are wider and longer than MMA shin guards. MMA shin guards are also lighter. Also, Muay Thai shin guards are way tighter than MMA shin guards.


MMA Shin Guard Buyer’s Guide

Materials: Genuine leather can take a beating way longer than other type materials and it can get rid of moisture better. Synthetic leather and some cotton blends are the other commonly used materials for shin guards. I also have really good experiences with synthetic leather and genuine leather blends. With that full grain leather is just the best about taking tear and wear.

Padding: There are a couple of padding types. These include gel and foam. Also, some are denser than the others. These should be chosen according to the design so you can have good protection and training quality at the same time. With that, striking style shin guards tend to have more padding and these are bulkier.

Design: Shin guard should cover your entire shin and instep. Also, it should have an ergonomic design and should not impede your movement at all. With that, when you get hit or do groundwork, it should not move. If it does, it can jeopardize your physical health. Also, keep in mind that many MMA shin guards have design problems about instep part and people, who have big calves, can also have problems with many shin guards. With that, shin guards on this list have really good reviews about them. There are also shin guards which have excellent designs. You can simply kick more powerful with them. Yes, some of these are actually backed up with research.

Comfort: Shin guards should not be too tight, should not bother or hurt your shins at all. Your shin guard should provide comfortable and natural feeling so you can show better training performance. Also inner part of your guard needs to get rid of moisture as soon as possible. This does not provide you only comfort but it also extends the durability. It also needs to provide good air regulation with mesh panels, so you won’t have any bad odor and I am sure that no one wants that 😉

Stitching: It should be well stitched and these should stretch a little bit since you don’t want your shin guard to fall apart during your session or you don’t want to lower the durability of it, right? So, you need to check out the reviews before you invest any money and get a good rated MMA shin guard for it.

Weight: Design, cover material, and padding are the factors for weight. Obviously, you can move faster with light shin guards and do everything better. But shin guards should provide lightweight without sacrificing the safety so you also need to check out shock absorbing qualities and whether a shin guard covers your entire shin or not for the safety. So weight is definitely not the most important criterion.

Certification: If a shin guard has a certification (SATRA is one of the most desired certifications) you can be sure that it protects you and you can use them in tournaments or sparring sessions with no problem whatsoever.

Cleaning: Some shin guards are machine washable and you can just check the product description for it. With that, if your shin guard is not machine washable, you can use antibacterial wipes.

Handmade: Good quality shin guards, which are handmade, just provide a better fit because these are made for your shin’s contours, instep. Also, according to reviews and my experiences, the stitching of handmade shin guards tends to be better.

Price: Obviously companies determine the price however price has some certain factors. These are cover material type, padding type, stitching, design. If a shin guard is made of top-notch materials you can easily expect it to have $100+ price tag. Also, if a pair of shin guards are handmade, the price can easily go up. With that, you always need to check out reviews for good quality-price ratio, so you can get the best bang for your buck 😉

Note: Obviously these best MMA shin guards are chosen according to criteria above. However, these also have great fitting rates. If you get these according to sizing information at the product pages, these will fit perfectly. 


Brand Reviews

Hayabusa: According to many people and me, Hayabusa is the best MMA shin guard company. It has every shin guard style and generally delivers top-notch products. As a side note, Hayabusa has the best rated MMA shin guards by verified purchases. I also had a great experience with Tokushu.

Venum: Venum has great MMA shin guards for every budget and the designs are always good so Venum is another brand which you can trust about shin guards. Lastly, Venum Shin Guards generally offer great ventilation system and get rid of moisture well.

RDX: It has good shin guards but this British brand does not use top-notch materials however you can always expect good and ergonomic design and RDX has incredible instep shin guards. As a final note, many RDX Shin Guards are certified from SATRA.


Which Brands You Should Avoid?

Verus: I had to use it for a month because I didn’t have any other option in my old MMA gym. Anyway, even though it was really tight, it just did not stay in place well. I can easily say that the design just sucked and I also felt really uncomfortable with it. It did not have good breathing system. Also, I read really bad reviews about other Verus Guards on MMA forums.

Revgear: Some Revgear Shin Guards are made of really low-quality materials and even though these are more affordable, you are seriously lucky if you can train with them more than two months. But I want to say that only some Revgear MMA shin guards are like this. So if I would say avoid Revgear, it would be really harsh but you should research really well before you buy any Revgear Shin Guard.

No Brand Shin Guards: You might even see them before. It has no logo or anything. It is just a normal looking shin guard which has an incredibly cheap price tag. Well, don’t even think about getting one if you want to keep your physical health.


Benefits of Wearing MMA Shin Guards

Boxers wear boxing gloves because if you punch with bare hands, you can hurt your opponent or your own hand! Some common examples are fractures and wrist injuries. The exact same things apply to the shin guards. You protect your shin, foot, instep and your opponent with them. With that let’s not forget that if you don’t wear good quality shin guard, you can hurt your soft tissue and can even break your leg!


Don’t Settle for Low-quality MMA Shin Guards!

There are seriously many trashy shin guards on the market and you can even hurt yourself with them, let alone getting a good training session.

Hayabusa Tokushu Regenesis is made by top-notch materials and gets always perfect reviews! I also trained with it and it is my all-time favorite shin guard. This striking type shin guard also has a great fitting rate. If you are looking for the best MMA Shin Guard, definitely have a look at Hayabusa Tokushu Regenesis on Amazon.

Wearing a pair of good quality shin guard has vital important since this makes sure that you have a good and safe session. These are sturdy and provide really good quality price ratio so you can actually save some money. I really hope that you enjoyed reading and if you have any questions, just leave a comment below.

Image Courtesy of U.S. ARMY via Creative Commons License, Some Rights Reserved
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17 thoughts on “Best MMA Shin Guards – The Complete Buyer’s Guide”

  1. I like many of your recommendations but I think that I will choose the Venum Predator. I like the fact that people using for a long time and it is easy to wear it. You made my decision easier.

  2. I’d have to go with the Hayabusa. Just like you said, the classic look is great (has me thinking of Assasin’s Creed hah), and there’s nothing like equipment made out of comfortable and sturdy leather. You’re sure they breathe well though, right? I’ve always had ventilation problems with leather vs synthetics, like in my hiking boots. Thanks for the awesome info!

    1. I actually thought of Assassin’s Creed to when I first saw Hayabusa 😉 Yes the ventilation is just top-notch and Hayabusa uses latest tech and design for it. Considering the feedbacks and my experiences, you won’t have any problem with it.

  3. The Venum Predator Standup Shinguards would be my choice

    I like the fact that although strong they are light weight which will not inflict my kicking speed.

    I also like the fact that they look slimline with a good curve to fit around your shin.

    I don’t like bulky pads as they can always catch on something as well as feel bulky on your legs.

    After breaking so many toes the foot guard looks very appealing for a wider foot which I have

    1. Exactly Venum Predator is great for people who have bigger legs and the design helps with the striking. Actually considering my experiences, MANY people in gyms also prefer shin guards which are not bulky.

  4. As someone who has participated in martial arts tournaments in his younger years, I wish we would have been able to use shin guards like these.

    Thank you for putting together this great list of the best ones available for MMA fighters. My son is actually in Taekwondo now and I was wondering if any of these would be good for younger kids? He’s currently 12.

    Thanks again for putting this together and I look forward to your answer!

    1. The shin guards on this list are used by many professional fighters as well but your kid can’t use these MMA shin guards but I know a great site which covers taekwondo and I will send you the link man.

  5. Hi there,

    My son wants to start the MMA sport and to be honest; I am bit worry about this:) This sport is quite brutal, and I would even say aggressive. Anyway, that’s what he wants. So I was looking for some protection and being honest, I don’t have any knowledge in this area. The shin guards look absolutely fantastic and seem to be of high quality. Which of them would you suggest for teenager or 17 years old that just begin?

    Thank you for this excellent post!

    1. I hear you many parents worry about that but as you may know, many youth centers are actually quite careful about safety and gears.
      If your first concern is safety, then go with Hayabusa Tokushu. The protection is perfect and the slippage is almost non-existent.

  6. Great article and wasn’t aware there was so many shin guards currently on the market. I actually have a center near where I live which teaches MMA. What shin guards would you recommend for a total newbie?

    1. That is nice. You are lucky. I have to drive around 20 minutes to go to my gym.
      I recommend Hayabusa Tokushu for striking sessions. It has superb padding quality and design. It is protective enough for a beginner.
      If you are looking for grappling style shin guards, my suggestion is Hayabusa Kanpeki Elite 2.0. It does not cover too much space so you can grapple easier.

  7. Hi Furkan, you really know a lot about MMA and other sports equipment and clothing. I’m always really impressed when I visit your site.
    I can see the need for a shin guard during MMA fighting as nothing hurts more than being kicked in the shins, Ouch. These guards look perfect for protection against such an event.
    Some of these look like they are made of hard material and some soft. Which do you think is best?

    1. Some shin guards have thick foam which does a good job to absorb the shock. In that case, the cover material can be soft.

  8. I notice you rate the protection of the Kanpeki’s a higher rating than the Tokushu. Is that because you’re rating the protection relative to the grappling oriented design of the Kanpeki? Or do you Feel that it offers generally better protection than the Tokushu?

    1. Yeah, it is exactly because of that. The leather protects the opponent from cuts and the foam absorbs the shock at a good rate even though it is a pair of grappling shin guards. However, Kanpeki does not do a good job to minimize high impacts and trust me your shins would feel it if you kick the heavy bag with it. However, during grappling the shock is minimal. So it is perfect for that. Shortly, Tokushu is great for striking and Kanpeki is awesome for grappling.

      1. Thanks for the quick response, sir. I grabbed a pair of the regenesis MMA/Grappling style and it looked very similar to the Kanpeki so I was curious of your experience. I’m a bit more into comfort and versatility and am at a more light sparring phase of my training so I HOPE i made the right choice 😛

        1. Yeah, these are somewhat similar. Tokushu looks a bit more rigid and Kanpeki has more cushioning. The cushion is tear-resistant and during sparring, you will need this quality. Yes, Kanpeki is the best choice for light sparring. It is extra soft and it will reduce the impact while you are kicking your opponent’s body or doing grappling in sparring etc. Tell me how it goes, man.

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