My Youth Soccer Guide

Nike Shin Guards
Recommendations, Reviews and Tips

Which of the Nike Shin Guards should you buy?

First you need to decide, if you want shin guards with or without ankle guards.
...scroll down the page, my reviews and tips,
...choose one or two of the Nike Shin Guards
...and you are ready to search for a good bargain.

Just remember that shin guards with ankle guards will give you extra protection, however anything thick, insulating and bulky on player’s feet (ankles included) will reduce the feel of the ball and interfere with his/hers performance on the soccer field.


Almoat all the ankle guards are detachable, so if you are still undecided, shin guards with removable ankle protection would be a better choice for you.
But don’t forget…
Shin guards with ankle protection will cost you more.

Nike Shin Guards without ankle guards
J Guard Mercurial Lite Mercurial Alpha Lite
Ronaldinho Guard T90 Custom Moldable

Nike Shin Guards with ankle guards
T90 Protegga II Total 90 EXP


Make sure you measure your shin correctly and select the right size for you (“3/4 of a length rule”; too small is better than too big).

Besides J Guards all Nike shin guards (slip-ins) come with free sleeves that secure the shin guard in place.

  • First, nothing is free. The cost of these sleeves is calculated into the price of shin guards.
  • Second, there are other ways to secure a shin guards. If socks don't hold them in place, you can use guards straps or even a tape.

    You don't really want to put the sleeves and the socks over your shin guards together. Well, at least I wouldn't.

    Nike Shin Guards without ankle guards

    Nike J Guard  $9-$11

    Nike J Guard - Click to enlarge
  • Anatomical shaped ventilated PE shell.
  • Dual density, anti-bacterial, ventilated EVA foam padding.
  • Size: S: 6”, M: 6.5", L: 7"
  • Weight: 1.8 oz.

    Tip ! The least expensive of all Nike shin guards. Very light and comfortable. The ventilated shell and backing EVA foam let your shins stay dry. The best choice for those players who wear shin guards only because...they have to.

    Nike Mercurial Lite  $17-$19
    Nike Mercurial Lite - Click to enlarge
  • Low-profile hard shell.
  • EVA foam with polyester lining.
  • Left and right guard are contoured for a better fit.
  • Comes with Dri-Fit fabric sleeves.
  • Size: S: 5.75”, M: 6.5", L: 7.1"
  • Weight: 1.8 oz.

    Tip ! I don't think these guards are any better than the J Guards. Nike Mercurial Lite sleeve - Click to enlarge

    Actually, in my opinion J Guards, because of their ventilation feature and...the price, are much better choice.
    Although, if you play high school soccer and looking for descent, yet not too expensive Nike shin guards that are NOCSAE approved, Mercurial Lite is your ultimate option.

    Nike Mercurial Alpha Lite  $39-$41
    Nike Mercurial Alpha Lite - Click to enlarge
  • Ventilated Cross-Ribbed shell.
  • Rubberized grip zones for increasing friction against socks to keep guard in place.
  • Woven microfiber for lightweight and cool feel.
  • Nike FIT Dry stretch pocket sleeve.
  • Size: S: 5.8”, M: 6.5”, L: 7.25”
  • Weight: 1.5 oz.

    Tip ! Currently (September 2008) one of the best shin guards on the market, if not the best.
    Nike pocket sleeve - Click to enlarge The cross-ribbed shell provides good protection and great comfort.
    The rubberized grip zones really keep them stable under the socks.

    Have I mentioned the Mercurial Alpha Lite are the lightest of all Nike shin guards?
    Only 1.5 oz. Very impressive.

    There is only one problem. No, not the "free" pocket sleeve. It comes with the shin guards, you like it or not. Use it or leave it.
    The problem is that they are quiet bit pricey. But they will last you for a long time. It might be worth it.

    Nike Ronaldinho Guard  $24-$26
    Nike Ronaldinho Guard - Click to enlarge
  • Low profile PU shell.
  • Anatomical left/right design for a better fit.
  • Quilted polyester lining for a soft, cushioned feel.
  • 10R Dri-Fit sleeves included.
  • Size: S: S: 5.8”, M: 6.5”, L: 7.25”
  • Weight: 4 oz.

    Tip ! This is only a good choice for...
    ...Ronaldinho fans.
    Nike Ronaldinho Guard sleeve - Click to enlarge According to Nike these shin guards were inspired by and created with help of Ronaldinho. I don't know...Either Nike design team didn't exactly follow the famous player's advice or...there was no advice at all.
    They are good shin guards but basically they are way too heavy.
    4 oz. for soccer shin guards...that's too much for me. Specially when we have other, much better, options.

    Nike T90 Custom Moldable  $24-$26
    Nike T90 Custom Moldable - Click to enlarge
  • Custom-moldable shell.
  • Anatomical left/right design for a better fit.
  • Detachable foam backing for washing.
  • Pocket Dri-Fit sleeves included.
  • Size: S: S: 6”, M: 6.5”, L: 7.25”
  • Weight: 4 oz.

    Tip ! The best thing about these shin guards is that you can detach the backing foam and wash it really good.

    The moldable feature...only if you had this type before and...liked it.
    I find them a bit annoying. Having to place them exactly on the same spot of your shins over, becomes to me...a pain in the rear end. But it could be that's just me...

    Back to Recommendations List

    Nike Shin Guards with ankle guards

    Nike T90 Protegga II  $17-$19

    Nike T90 Protegga II - Click to enlarge
  • Ventilated Polypropylene shell.
  • EVA foam backing with polyester lining and single fastening strap.
  • Detachable Dri-Fit fabric ankle guard.
  • Size: S: 6" M: 6.5" L: 7"
  • Weight: 4.6 oz.

    Tip ! They will give you pretty considerable protection for the low cost. Not too much comfort, though. Even after detaching very bulky ankle guard, the shell itself is thick and heavy.

    Good perhaps for youth, recreational players but I wouldn't recommend it. For couple bucks more you can get much lighter Adidas AdiPure.
    If you are too big fan of Nike's gear to buy Adidas merchandise, then T90 Protegga II is your only option. Unless you'd like to spend over $30 more for Nike Total 90 (below).

    Nike Total 90 EXP  $49-$51

    Nike Total 90 EXP - Click to enlarge
  • Custom-moldable shell.
  • Anatomical left/right design for a better fit.
  • Detachable foam backing for washing.
  • NikeFit Dry dual pocket (front and back) sleeves.
  • Separate low-profile memory foam ankle/achilles shield.
  • Removable vented calf pad insert.
  • Size: S: 6.5" M: 7.25" L: 8.25"
    Weight: 4 oz.

    Tip ! This is simply T90 Custom Moldable shin guard with couple additions. Nike Total 90 EXP - Click to enlarge Nike Total 90 EXP - Click to enlarge
    First, the memory foam ankle protection. Very different than any detachable ankle shields found in other shin guards of this type. Not so bulky, thick and heavy.

    Second, vented calf pad that slides into the back pocket of the sleeve. It's design to protect the back of the leg (or the calf muscle). That is a little strange for me.

    The great thing about these complex Nike shin guards is that you have several options of which combination of these components you'd like to use.

    Selecting Soccer Shin Guards - arguably the most annoying piece of equipment in the eyes of soccer players. Factors to consider, recommendations, reviews and tips.

    Adidas Shin Guards - Which of the Adidas Shin Guards should you buy? Recommendations and reviews with tips on all Adidas shin guards currently on the market.

    Reviews of Online Soccer Stores - There are probably as many online soccer stores as types of soccer cleats. This made me realize that finding valuable, respectful and reliable place to buy soccer equipment could be as hard as choosing one properly. Avoid a headache and use my recommendations for the best online soccer stores on the Internet. Shop wisely and secure.

    Nike Shin Guards on Ebay - Before you purchase Nike shin guards anywhere else, discover Nike soccer shin guards on Ebay auction right now! It's live straight from Ebay. There is a good chance that you'll find here better deal on brand new Nike shin guards than at any store.

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