If you’ve played hockey, you’ve taken a hit to the shin and you know how much that hurts. Shins can be the most sensitive part of the human body since the bone is close to the surface and protected only by a small layer of tissue and skin.
Ensuring your’ve chosen the right shin protection can make a difference to a hockey player’s overall level of play. This article will look at the pros and cons of two of the best hockey shin guards on the market.
Choosing a guards that allows mobility and ease of movement while offering the maximum protection is important. There are so many brands that making a decision can seem overwhelming. Here are the straightforward facts to simplify your selection process.
The Best Hockey Shin Guards
We will compare two of the most popular name brands in hockey equipment, CCM and Bauer. We’ve chosen a top-rated pad from each company and, based on customer reviews, will explore where you will get the best protection for your money
CCM QLT 250 Senior Ice Hockey Shin Guards
CCM’s quick, light shinguards maintain their fit and lightweight feel. They have a new vent shielding technology meaning that they breath while providing protection. This protection comes from a strong but light shell that helps to disperse first impacts when blocking shots. This means the hit is shared over the surface of the pad rather than at the point of impact.
- exterior absorbs high rate impacts for better protection
- dry foam liner is removable, lightweight and comfortable
- anatomical shell fits snugly and is designed to follow leg contours
- available in multiple sizes
- available in multiple colour combinations
Bauer Senior Vapor X60 Shin Guard
The Bauer Vapor Shin Pads are made with a taper towards the ankle that are designed to increase the quickness and protection of these pads. Made with curve composite and light technology they give a new level of impact protection. The adjustable straps allow for maximun comfort. The surface material diperses the impact.
- three strap system with top anchor strap
- similar to Bauer’s top of the line X900 at a much reduced cost
- molded MD foam & insert in calf wrap offer protection
- available in multiple sizes
- available from a variety of stores
Reviews of the Best Hockey Shin Guards
The Bauer Senior Vapour was rated at 4.5 stars with no ratings at less than 3 stars. Helpful comments included:
“Comfortable and light weight.”
and the only less positive comment we saw stated
“a little shorter than other 14′ pads”
The CCM pads were rated 4.5 stars with no ratings beneath 2 stars.
The CCM pads are far less reviewed than the Bauer pad. Negative comments discussed both the difficulty in obtaining the pads and the lack of flexibility in the materiil.
Things to consider when choosing a shin pad:
- Level of Play
- Distance Between the Middle of the Kneecap and top of your Skate
When sizing a shin pad, you must determine first if you will wear the shin pad over top of the skate tongue, or if the skate tongue will sit in front of shin pad and “flop” forward. This will determined the length of the shin pad you will want.
Helpful Hit- Bone structure of the players leg features prominently in this choice. Try both ways and spend some time in the shin pad before purchasing.
Lookk for the pad that rubs the least and hugs your shin best. This is ultimately much more important than name brand or aesthetic.
What About Cost?
A recent article on the site Hockey Now talks about the challenges of choosing hockey equipment. The value isn’t just about the finding cheapest gear, it’s also to do with the level of protection. If there isn’t a noticeable advantage between a much more expensive shin pad and a less expensive one then it really isn’t worth the extra money.
Experts recommend that the top priority should be fit. If it’s not comfortable,your player won’t wear it right, or even worse, they won’t wear it at all. The next most important factor might be protection level. Another factor (usually mom’s favorite) is breath-ability.
Do remember that if you’re playing at an entry-level you don’t need the top gear .
That said, cost matters and the price comparison here is pretty similar.
In Conclusion-Our Choice For The Best Hockey Shin Guards
Affordability Winner- Both pads are equally rated
Availability Winner- Bauer
Flexibility Winner- Bauer
Level of Comfort Winner – Both pads are equally rated
Breathable (pads are less stinky) Winner- Both pads are equally rated
Best Fit Winner – Bauer
The Bauer Senior Vapor X60 Shin Guard edges out the CCM pad to be chosen as our best hockey shin guard. Although both pads offer similar techology, both pads are from top companies, and both pads are light in weight reviews tip the scales in favour of the Bauer pad.
Listening to players who use and recommend a product make sense as a consumer.