Under or Over the Socks? How to Wear Shin Guards
Playing sports isn't just about having fun and winning the game, it's also a big responsibility. Part of that responsibility is protecting yourself from injuries. One of the best defenses against painful accidents while playing soccer is wearing shin guards. On average, there are 228,000 soccer injuries annually within the United States.
If you're new to using guards, you may not understand the importance of putting them on. Furthermore, you might not know how to wear shin guards properly. But the best way to do so is by placing them securely inside of elastic socks or fastening them with adjustable buckles.
Without proper protection, athletes are prone to shin splints. To shield yourself against injuries, take a look at the information below to learn more about how to put on shin guards correctly.
Shin Guards and Their Function
Most shin guards are comprised of plastic and are sculpted into a curve in order to conform to the shape of the lower leg. It's vital that shin guards are accurately fitted to the player and are comfortable. They should also allow the player to completely move around.
The standard structure of shin guards consists of a front plate that acts as a shield, a backing for cushion, and an attachment for closing the guard. The front plate is the primary part of the shin guard, and it's the area that actually provides protection from forceful contact. It is usually made from hard plastic or a polypropylene shell that's built to withstand a harsh blow.
The backing portion of the shield guard aids in absorbing contact and prevents the shield from creating friction on the skin. It's generally made of synthetic rubber or EVA foam that's glued to the front plate.
Lastly, the closure helps to keep the guard securely attached to the lower leg. However, some shin guards don't have closures, and they are designed to fit inside of elastic soccer leggings.
How to Wear Soccer Shin Guards: Shin Splints
Wearing shin guards is vital to ensuring that you don't get injured while playing sports. Shin splints are one of the most common soccer injuries. It causes an inflammatory disorder within the outer lining of the tibia, better known as the shin bone. This condition is also referred to as medial tibial stress syndrome.
Trying to run with shin splints while playing soccer is incredibly painful. It causes tenderness and discomfort within the bones and the lower leg muscles.
Shin splint symptoms also include the following:
- Numbness within the feet
- Pain during exercise
- Pain in the interior of the shin bone
- A slight aching in the shin
Shin splints occur as a result of the repeated impact on tough surfaces while running, or from training too intensely. Not only that, but it's also possible to get hurt while on the field. Many players are kicked, pushed, or hit while playing soccer.
Shin Guards for Boxing Sports
In addition to soccer and other sports, shin guards are good for kickboxing and other martial art sports like MMA and Muay Thai. As you know, there's a lot of contact in these sport like hitting, punching, and kicking.
Therefore, proper guards are necessary. The best protection to have while doing Muay Thai or kickboxing is shin guards with ankle protection. They provide the ultimate defense against injuries while also keeping your ankles secure.
The Importance of Shin Guards: Shin Bruising From Contact Sports
Muay Thai, MMA, and kickboxing are hard on the body. In addition to shin splints, these sports can cause shin bruising, also known as bone bruising.
Bone bruises are the result of the following forms of trauma:
- a direct hit to the bone
- the impact of the skin or muscle being ripped away from the bone
- damage to connected bones
- two bones hitting one another after ligament injuries
All of these forms of impact trauma case a unique type of bruising. For instance, bone marrow edema is currently known as “bone bruise” to describe the traumatic nature of the condition. Also, a bone bruise is sometimes referred to as a bone contusion.
These issues below can cause bone marrow changes within a bone bruise:
- Increased blood pooling: Broadened blood vessels hinder the blood flow, which causes substantial problems with inflammation.
- Fluid inside of the bone: Muscle injuries cause fluid to collect in the muscles and make them inflamed. This occurrence is known as edema. Since bones are hard, they’re unable to swell. But fluid in the bones creates pressure, which leads to pain.
- Reactive hyperemia: This condition occurs when blood flow increases due to a temporary interruption.
- Fractures: After a forceful blow, there may be a small fracture inside the layer of bone underneath the joint cartilage.
Trabeculae are the cluster of supporting fibrous tissues in a bone. A total fracture causes all of the bone trabeculae in the surrounding area to become damaged, which leads to a break.
However, a bone bruise usually happens before a fracture. In that scenario, only a portion of the trabeculae is broken.
Bone Bruise Symptoms
A bone bruise causes pain in the area of contact and the surrounding areas. Common symptoms include:
- pain or tenderness after a skin bruise goes away
- joint inflammation
- a change in skin color
- joint pain around the impact zone
- joint stiffness
Bone bruise pain usually lasts longer than the pain caused by a soft tissue injury. There are three different types of bone bruises:
Subperiosteal hematoma: This condition causes the blood to build up underneath the fibrous membrane which covers the surface of the bone
Interosseous bruise: Bruising that creates bleeding and inflammation in the central cavity of the bone, which is the area where red and yellow bone marrow is housed
Subchondral lesion: A reaction that causes bleeding and swelling in an attempt to restore cartilage and the bone underneath
It's important to note that the type of bone bruise sustained depends on the area of the injury on the bone.
How to Wear Shin Guards With Socks
Just to clear up any confusion, shin guards are to be worn under socks. It ensures that the guards are securely tucked in. With that said, here are some tips on how to wear shin guards:
Choose the Proper Shin Guards
There’s not a lot to choose from when it comes to shin guard protection. However, you have to pick the right type of shin guards and decide which style you prefer. Slip-in shin guards that go under your socks are unusually more lightweight.
They won’t restrict your movement or make your legs feel fatigued. Most soccer players prefer wearing shin guards that they can slip on because they provide more motion.
How to Wear Shin Guards: Get the Right Fit
No matter which style you select, it’s important to make sure your shin guards fit. If they don't fit properly, they won’t give enough protection. Guards that are the wrong size might slide down, twist, or squeeze the legs if they’re too small.
Furthermore, if you decide to wear soccer shin guards that go underneath your socks, pick sheaths that aren’t too tight or too loose.
Wear the Right Socks
It's a good idea to wear soccer shin guards with socks. However, the socks you wear are your choice. Some soccer players like ankle socks, while others prefer long shin socks that cover their calves and go up to the knees.
Full-length socks are best for shin guards with no straps. They’re needed to ensure that the guards stay in place. The best long socks to wear in this situation are compression socks.
In addition to protecting against varicose veins, they also enhance circulation and give stability. Plus, they provide an added layer of protection against injuries.
Make Sure the Shin Guards are Secured
You never want to put on soccer shin guards that aren't secured. When running on the soccer field, it's easy for your shin guards to loosen and slip down when they aren't securely held in place.
It’s a smart idea to use shin guard tape to wrap around your socks. You could also try shin guard stays to help keep them in place as well.
Are You Looking for the Best Shin Guards?
Hopefully, this information about how to wear shin guards helps you stay safe while out on the field. If you need new shin guards, PowerRebound you covered. Our inventory includes standard shin guards, as well as shin guards with ankle protection.
Additionally, we have a variety of braces for the ankles, elbows, shoulders, back, and knees. We also offer free worldwide shipping on all orders.
If you have any questions about our products, feel free to contact us.
We're here to help you with your sports recovery needs.