How To Choose Field Hockey Shinpads

how to choose field hockey shin pads

Do you have to wear shin pads for hockey?

The official rules for wearing shin guards in hockey is that they are"strongly recommended". We think you should be asking - why would you not?!

With the ball moving as fast as it does in the modern game it is imperative for players to wear field hockey shinpads. With the risk of being hit by balls travelling north of 80mph and sticks made of hard composite materials, we think it’s crucial you stay protected.

The only reason that players wouldn’t wear them is that they find them uncomfortable. But with the huge range that we stock in store we think we have have a shinpad to fit all sizes.

Our blog below is designed to help you find advice on different styles of shin pads and also review some of the best hockey shinpads. 

Field Hockey Shinpad Size Advice

The misconception with shin pads is that the thicker the shinpad is the more protection you get. In fact, a lot of what you pay for is the material that the shin pad is made of. 

The best thing to look at when buying shinpads is their size and how comfortable they feel. Most brands are very good at their sizing but here’s a few good tips from us:

Shinpads want to wrap snuggly around your leg and protect a portion of your calf to the rear (not all of it!) Shinpads want to cover the malleolus (bony bit on either side of the ankle) and all the way up to below the kneecap.

A shinpad that is too small will not cover enough of the ankle or shin. A shinpad that is too large will not sit flush with the shin and/ or will go above the bottom of knee.

Types of Shinpad 

There are two main type of field hockey shinguards.

  • Hard Plastic shinpads: ones that have a hard outer casing and are either completely wrapped in a material covering or have a removable and washable liner (Like the Grays G800 or Adidas Shinpads)
  • Under the foot stirrup style: similar to football shin pads, like the Grays Shield Shinpads

Straps or no straps? That is the question.

With how good hockey socks are these days (like these Wacky Sox or Adidas adisocks) you can wear a shinpad without straps knowing that the snug fitting socks will keep the shinpad in place. For extra peace of mind you can look at shinpads with straps like the Grays G700 shinpads and Grays G800 shinpads.

How to wear your shin pads

This comes down very much to personal preference but a few options:

  1. A hockey sock against your leg, then your shinpad with a hockey sock over the top.
  2. Your shinpad up against your leg with a hockey sock over the top
  3. A shinliner/ shinner/ inner sock against your leg, with your shinpad against that and a hockey sock.


Shinliners or inner socks are a relatively modern idea in the game. They are designed to keep your shins from getting a heat/ sweat rash, keep your shinpads smelling better for longer and is also are a great way to accessorise your look. Check out these options below:

Gryphon Inner Socks

HocSox - Full foot

Hocsox - Sleeve

Shinpad maintenance:

No one likes smelly hockey kit! The best thing to do is to air out your shinpads after a game/ training so they dry out. 

Some shinpads have a removable liner that can be washed. We recommend washing at least once a month BUT DO NOT TUMBLE DRY!

You can also use a number of the fantastic deodorising products with have in store to keep the moisture away and the smells at bay:


No Stink


A summary of our best selling shinpads

Grays G600 - The most popular all round shinpad and comes in 4 difference colours - White, Black, Pink and Red. A narrow fitting shinpad and very affordable.

Grays Shield - A fantastic junior/ beginner shinpad. They don’t offer as much protection as others but is secure and has a build in stirrup underneath.

Adidas Shinpads- For a slightly wider fit leg these are a fantastic all-rounder with high level protection and durability.

Shop our full range of shinpads or contact us for more help!

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