Wait, don't let Johnny sweep the leg just yet!
The proper gear, whether sparring or running training drills, is important for many reasons. Whether you train MMA or Muay Thai, the correct gear can make a world of difference in comfort and protection, two very important things to consider if you are going to be training with longevity and health in mind.
What Do You REALLY Need?
I have a confession to make; I don't believe there is such a thing as the perfect piece of gear for everyone.
I do believe that a great shin guard will provide adequate protection to the leg while getting in the way of your movements as little as possible. With that being said, maximum protection doesn't easily go hand-in-hand with comfort and agile movement. Every person and style/ruleset will need to consider how they want to balance comfort and protection.
If you are in a heavy hitting sport such as Muay Thai, you will often want something that maximizes protection, even if it limits your movement slightly. For this reason, these shin guards will typically be a bit harder and cover more of the leg.
If you train MMA and frequently grapple, leg protection needs to be light and flexible enough to allow movement and remain extra resilient against sliding around on your leg. This means the shin guards may not offer as much protection, but they'll be better fitted and weigh less to allow you to better utilize your entire skillset.
What To Expect
Constructed from polyurethane and injection foam, the Drive Traditional Shin/Instep Guard shields against impact quite well. Consider the fact that it also contours around the shin to provide better coverage and safety and you have a mighty fine shield against any leg damage.
There is only a tiny amount of space between the shin and instep pieces (really just enough to allow ankle mobility), equating to excellent lower leg coverage and minimizing the opportunity for your round kicks to get damaged by the dreaded accidental elbow contact.
This all means that it is very sturdy for checking and landing kicks, but it also means it is a bit clunky for movement. What it sacrifices in comfort is what it makes up for in comprehensive protection.
On another note, the straps for the instep piece lose elasticity fairly quickly. This isn't something that is extremely detrimental to its usage or even is entirely unusual (elastic straps don't usually last long in contact sport gear, especially when constantly being used), but is still something to be mindful of. Two months of sparring rounds and partner training drills and the straps began to show wear.
However, even after losing much of their elasticity, the straps still help keep everything in place and your shin/instep guards still do everything they need to. Overall, not the worst problem to have!
If you know what you want and decide protection is one of the most important things to you, this is a good shin/instep guard to invest in!
The Drive Traditional Shin/Instep Guards definitely leans towards the more protection, less comfort end of the shin/instep guard spectrum and that's not a bad thing! Elastic straps in the instep protector can wear quickly, however that still didn't stop the gear from protecting my legs the way it should. The Drive Traditional Shin/Instep Guards are a great investment, especially if you are working tons of kickboxing!
- Very Durable
- Maximum Protection
- Slightly clunky and uncomfortable
- The elastic straps for the instep wear down quickly
Overall Rating: 8.5/10
If you are interested in purchasing a pair of these sturdy shin guards for yourself, you can click HERE!
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