Remembering my kid in all his new soccer gear for the first time is a memory that brings a bittersweet smile to my face. He is now a few inches taller than I am and looks more “handsome” than cute in his uniform. He’s also a lot more serious about the sport these days. No more chasing butterflies on the field!
I’ll never forget those early days. He put up such a fight as I wrestled him into his uncomfortably long socks. (Florida kids revile socks.) I explained we had to put on shin guards to protect his legs because sometimes kids miss the ball and accidentally kick each other instead. And while his mickey mouse crocs were his favorite, he still had to wear special big boy soccer shoes, called “cleats.”
Pork Chop dripped sweat and cuteness in equal measure. After his first game, I was so proud of him that I immediately posted his photo online for all my friends and family to see.
Needless to say, I didn’t even think to ask anyone how to put on shin guards. I thought I knew how!
After seeing the photo, one of my cousins called me, laughing, and told me he was wearing his soccer socks and shin guards wrong. I was a first-time soccer mom. Nobody told me how any of the stuff should be worn!
Sure I played soccer as a kid, but that was a long time ago and not for very long. I was an Air Force brat. The kids played pick-up games of soccer in our base housing neighborhoods every day. However, we didn’t play for the same coach at the YMCA for years like my kids did before moving up to other leagues. We were always moving.
To be honest, I never thought that this would be something I would write. I figured that I’m kind of an airhead and lack the soccer experience that most other soccer moms have.
Then, a year later a friend of mine messaged me asking how to put them on her kid. She played soccer in high school but the equipment for little kids are not the same ones she remembered. She was not the only person to text me asking how to put those darn things on her kids over the years. So I finally decided to actually write this “how kids should wear their soccer socks and shin guards” guide and share some of our experiences with the different types of shin guards.
First let me emphasize that shin guards are a MUST HAVE for youth soccer. These kids kick each other in the shins constantly. No joke. Some kids think it’s the worst part of the sport and others (like my crazy son) think it’s the best.
How To Choose The Right Type Of Soccer Shin Guards for Your Child
I didn’t even know there were different kinds of shin guards for kids. Below we share our experiences with all the different types we tried. My son (and later my daughter when she also started playing soccer) prefered the different styles of shin guards at different ages.
Here is a quick overview on shin guards from Dicks Sporting Goods.
How to wear shin guards?
Well, it all depends on the type of the shin guard. We tried several different kinds with our son. We’ll run down how to put on each of them.
Pork Chop hated his shin guards the first season. I bought him the traditional shin guards that he wears now that he’s older.
Guys, he limped around the field like his legs were taking turns being broken. It was the most pitiful sight. (He was barely four at the time and has some sensory issues.)
So I got him this softer shin guard…
These were easy to slip on over his soccer socks. He scratched at his ankles and cried.
So then I got him shin guard socks. (Clearly I was determined to keep him on the field. I am a firm believer in physical activity and fresh air being good for my overactive kids.) These are little soccer socks with an inner pocket and hard plastic inserts.
We had a winner. He wore these things for the first four seasons he played! Plus it solved the question of whether shin guards go over or under socks. It’s one piece. You can’t make it any easier.
So yeah, I definitely recommend shin socks for the little players. They don’t really make “toddler shin guards” so these shin socks work best. However, if you’ve already bought the soft stirrup version or the regular velcro and hard plastic version, here is how you put them on.
(They graduated up to more protective versions as they get older and more rational lol!)
How to put on shin guards on a new soccer player
- First put on the long socks and pull them all the way up. They usually are long enough to go up the thigh!
- Then, you are going to put on the shin guards over the sock.
- Pull them up high too, taking care to make sure the ankle padding is positioned correctly if the type of shin guard you purchased includes that.
- Then take the top of the soccer sock and fold it over the shin guard. So to answer a popular question, soccer shin guards are worn both over and under soccer socks!
- Easy peasy!
Related: 5 Soccer Mom Must Haves
Are you a new soccer mom? Anything confusing you? I’d love to help. Leave me a comment or email me!
Need some healthy snack ideas to keep your new soccer star fueled? Grab my free 50 Healthy Snacks Printable.
More Soccer Mom Resources:
PS. I walk around the soccer field during practice and I love these compression socks for myself.