How to Fit Hockey Shin Guards

As an Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
How to Fit Hockey Shin Guards

Did you know that greaves are the origin of modern shin guards?

The indications of the greaves were found in ancient Rome history. Infantry troops used these to safeguard their shinbone. 

In 1809, cricket brought greaves to the sports in the form of today’s shin guards. Later, Sam Weller, a former cricket player, used these pads also in football, for the first time as he used to play both games.

In hockey shin pad has a significant role compared to other sports. Safety and performance both depend on the fit of it. In this article, we will describe issues on how you can find the best-matched shin guards for you.

How to Fit Hockey Shin Guards?

The first mistake we do is by following the size chart blindfolded.

The proper fit varies from person to person. Because different individuals have various senses of comfort and physical growth also; relying only on the manufacturers’ size chart might not help you to find the proper fit. 

In the beginning, you have to measure your size manually. Measuring the shin guard size is very effortless. You can measure yourself or get someone to help you. 

Before you measure, decide the way you prefer to wear the pad. You can wear a shin guard over the boot tongue or below the tongue. The measurement will vary due to the below or over tongue preference. Let us put an example:

Suppose, you wear the guard below the tongue. Now, you have measured the length over the tongue by mistake. You will end up buying at least one size bigger.

5 Easy Steps to Measure Shin Guards at Home

how to measure hockey shin guard

To measure the shin pad size, you have to wear the boot properly. Some of you may disagree with getting on your boots or your skates. However, it is necessary to ensure the right measurement. 

  • Wear boots and lace-up properly.
  • Sit on a chair where you can reach the ground naturally.
  • Place your foot on the ground.
  • Place the tibia perpendicular to the foot.
  • Take the measurement tape and measure from the top of your skate to the center of the knee cap.

The fifth step requires more explanation. The start point of the tape should be on your skate. It explains where you want the shin guard to rest horizontally. If you want to wear the guard over the tongue, begin measuring over the tongue. If you want it under the tongue, measure accordingly. 

You may round up the measurement figure to avoid fractions. This measurement indicates the length of your shin guards. You have to choose the size comparing the measurement in hand. 

Shin Guard Sizing Chart:

Player Hight 
Shin Guard Length 
kneecap to Ankle joint length 
3′ 33” – 4′ 1”  7” 6-7” 
3′ 33” – 4′ 7”  8” 7-8” 
4′ 3” – 4′ 9”  9” 8-9” 
4′ 5” – 4′ 11”  10” 9-10” 
4’7” – 5′ 11”  11” 10-11” 
4′ 9” – 5′ 4”  12” 11-12” 
5′ 5” – 5′ 9”  13” 12-13” 
5′ 7” – 5′ 11”  14” 13-14” 
5′ 9” – 6′ 1”  15” 14-15” 
5′ 11” – 6′ 3”  16” 15-16” 
6′ 1” – 6′ 5”  17” 16-17” 
6′ 3” +  18” 17-18” 

How to choose the size to fit hockey shin guard?

Most of the new players tend to buy shin guards following the size chart. There is no problem in that unless you know the suitable height of the pad. You may ask, “Why?” Let us be clear. 

Assume three persons A, B, and C of 5’9” ft tall. According to the standard size chart, they should purchase shin guards of 13” inches in length. In reality, it is not right. The measurement of the ankle to knee cap will not be the same respect to their height. One may fit better in 14” size where others might go for size 12” as well. 

If you have had measured the shin-length, compare the result with the size chart. Lastly, put on one size bigger of smaller to compare the fit. 

3 Ways to Understand the Proper Fit for the Hockey Shin Guards

the Hockey Shin Guards


There should be no space between your tibia and the inner body of the shin pad. You have to strap accurately. It should be snug fit with your leg. If not, it is not a proper fit for you, or you have missed something to strap correctly. Redo the strapping to be sure enough. 


The guards should sit properly on your foot. Most of the danger comes from the opponent’s slap shots. Shin guard will not come beneficial if you expose your ankle. If you find the worn shin guards are not hiding your ankle well enough, you should move on to the larger size. 

Besides, the knee cap should be in the middle of the knee doughnut. If you find the knee doughnut is too above the knee center, you should downsize for a better fit. Otherwise, you will suffer restriction to move flawlessly. 


The two points above focus on the safety and technical aspect. Proper fit immensely depends on your choices. Many skaters prefer a smaller size as they wear the shin guards under the tongue. On the contrary, other players love to wear a bigger size. It helps them to move the knee properly. 

So the choice is yours. Try to put on one size bigger and smaller. During the trial, stand and hockey stances. Lean down as much as possible. You will see one of these sizes will provide the best flexibility with comfort.

Final words

The right fit will give you not only safety but also comfort. You should not sacrifice most of your flexibility on the mark of protection. Balancing both issues is the original test in this game. 

Once you have ensured safety and flexibility, you will have a boost in your confidence. In sports, confidence is the key to success.

Our Related Resources:

How tight should Hockey skates be

Hi, I am Prince. I’m a semi-professional hockey player. I’m the founder and chief editor at “Hockey Ever”. I love playing hockey and helping players to improve their game and that’s why I decided to start this blog.

Leave a Comment