How to fit hockey shin guards

Hockey Players, Here’s How To Fit Hockey Shin Guards

To protect your legs from various hazards like pucks, skate blades, and falls while playing hockey, it is important to wear properly-fitted shin guards. Choosing the right hockey shin guard size and style depends on your personal preference, playing style, and position on the team. Read on to find out how to fit hockey shin guards.

Some of the links below are affiliate links! For more information please see our disclosure policy.

How to Fit Hockey Shin Guards-

How to fit a hockey shin guard

Properly sized protective gear and equipment is important for your safety, comfort, and maximum performance on the ice.

When looking for new shin guards you need to decide if you want to wear the shin guard over or under the tongue of your skates.

Wearing your shin guards over the tongue of your skates will require a longer shin guard to account for that.

Use these simple steps to find the right size for your shin guards.

1. While seated with your skates on, measure the distance from the center of your kneecap, down your lower leg, to one inch below the top of your skate tongue. (If you like to wear your pads over the skate tongue).

2. If wearing shin guards under the skate tongue, measure the length from mid kneecap to the top of the skate’s tongue.

Use that measurement to start looking for shin pads and round up if you are between inches.

The length you measured is only a general guideline, as the fit of shin guards is primarily based on individual preference.

You may have to try different fits, and sizes until you find your perfect match.

Hockey shin guard size chart

To choose the right hockey shin guards, refer to each shin guard sizing chart provided by Bauer, CCM, and Warrior. As these brands have their own unique sizing.

Generally, the shin guard size for each category is as follows:

YOUTH 8” – 10”

JUNIOR 11” – 13”

SENIOR 14” – 18”

Begin by using this guide to determine the appropriate size of shin guards.

Differences in shin pad size and profiles

Hockey players can find shin guards from various makers that come in different sizes and profiles to suit their protection needs and preferences.

All shin guards have a padded kneecap on the inside and an exterior hard shell that covers the front and sides of the leg from the knee to the ankle.

The plastic shell consists of two parts with a joint located just below the knee. This design allows for enhanced flexibility and improved fitting.

The shin guard design is wider at the top and narrows down towards the ankle for better ergonomics.

Use the calf straps to create a custom fit for the calf, either attaching sideways or crossing diagonally. This can be done with either a 2-strap or 3-strap system for added security.

Some models have removable padding, which allows you to wash them in a machine at home.

The width of the front molded piece can differ, which means that if you are playing a defensive position, you may prefer a shin pad with more coverage.

The CCM Tacks or the Bauer Supreme are good choices for more protection.

If you are a speedy forward, you might opt for a shin pad with a sleeker and narrower design like the CCM Jetspeed, or Bauer Vapor line.

You may have to try different fits, and sizes until you find your perfect match.

You’ll get max coverage with these CCM Tacks AS5 Pro Shin Guards.
For an elite-level lightweight feel go with these CCM Jetspeed FT6 Pro Shin Guards.

Shin guard fit

To ensure your hockey shin guards fit correctly, make sure that your knee falls directly into the center of the knee donut.

Test out each strap to confirm that it holds tight against your leg for a secure and snug hold. You should not be able to spot any gaps between the skate and shin pad.

With a proper fit, you’ll have optimal protection from sticks or pucks throughout every game!

If the shin guards are too big, they will be unsteady, feel uncomfortably loose and your knee won’t fit properly in the donut. Shin guards that are too big may not stay in place properly and could fail to provide enough protection in case of an impact or collision.

Alternately, if the shin guards are too small, it’ll be visible in two distinct ways: space between your skate and the shin guard, or an unprotected calf. Also, if it’s too tight, you may experience discomfort or restriction of movement while playing.

Hockey shin guards come in distinct fit profiles, suiting different playing styles, so take the time to test out a variety of choices to find the right fit for you.


A traditional fit hockey shin guard is the ideal choice for defensemen, beginners, and power forwards since it offers superior protection without compromising comfort. Because of this extra layer of security, these types of guards are heavier and bulkier than other designs. However, they remain a popular option amongst young athletes as well.


Contoured-fit hockey shin guards offer a slim and snug fit, making them the preferred choice of agile forwards who anticipate minimal contact with sticks or pucks. Not only do they feel lightweight and comfortable, but their low profile ensures maximum speed without sacrificing protection.


Shin guards featuring a tapered fit offer the best of both worlds. Traditional protection on top and contoured flexibility throughout the lower half for enhanced mobility. This special design helps to protect your shins while allowing you to move freely during your game.

How do you know if shin guards fit?

When shin guards fit properly, they should feel snug without feeling uncomfortable. Also, there won’t be any space between the shin guard and the skate.

Your knee should also be centered in the knee donut. And you should be able to move your legs and ankles easily while wearing them.

Test the shin guard straps to ensure a secure fit and prevent the pad from slipping.

Recommendations When Buying Shin Pads

To find a comfortable fit, it’s recommended to wear your hockey skates and pants when trying on new shin guards. This will help you assess how the equipment fits together.

How to Clean Hockey Shin Guards

If you take good care of your equipment, it’ll last longer and perform better. The same is true for hockey shin guards – a few simple steps will keep them in top condition for as long as possible.

You can simply throw them into the washing machine and hang them to dry. Just make sure you remove any liners from your shin guards before washing them.

For more detailed information, please read The Best Ways To Clean Your Hockey Gear.

General care & maintenance of shin pads

Hockey Players, Here's How To Fit Hockey Shin Guards.
Girl's leg with hockey shin guards on

To ensure your shin pads last, as long as possible, it’s important to take good care of them. It’s a good idea to check your shin guards regularly for any signs of wear and tear to prevent possible problems.

Let your shin guards dry out after each practice or game. Also, wear a base layer that can absorb moisture. This will create a barrier that can help pull sweat away from your body and equipment.

When not in use, store the pads in a cool dry place that’s free from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight, which can cause the material to degrade over time.

If properly maintained, hockey shin guards can provide adequate protection for several seasons.

Final thoughts

The bottom line is that a properly fitting shin guard can make all the difference when it comes to protecting your shins on the ice. It’s important to measure yourself and make sure that you are wearing the right size for optimal protection and comfort.

With a variety of shin guards to choose from, you’ll be sure to find the perfect fit.

With the right pair, you’ll be able to play your best without any worries about safety or comfort.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *