Like any new soccer mom, seeing my kid in all his gear for the first time is a memory that brings a smile to my face.
I wrestled him into his uncomfortably long socks. (Florida kids revile socks.) I explained that he had to put on shin guards to protect his legs because sometimes kids miss the ball and accidentally kick each other instead.
Pork Chop dripped sweat and cuteness in equal measure. I was so proud of him that I immediately posted his photo online for all my friends and family to see.
I didn’t even think to ask anyone how to put on shin guards.
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 I didn’t play in an organized league. The kids played soccer in our base housing neighborhoods. I don’t remember anyone playing in a club or at a YMCA back then. Maybe it’s because we were always moving. Our friends rotated in and out, just as we rotated in and out of their lives.
I watched soccer practices and matches in high school. We had band practice at the same time that the soccer teams practiced. But I didn’t have to wear those things!
To be honest, I never thought that this would be something I would write. I figured it was my own flakiness and lack of soccer experience. I got an awesome shirt, settled into my chair on the field, and sunk hip deep into soccer mom life.
Then 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.
First let me emphasize that shin guards are a MUST HAVE for youth soccer. These kids kick each other in the shins constantly. Constantly. Some kids think it’s the worst part of the sport and others (like my crazy son) thinks it’s the best.
How to choose the right type of soccer shin guards
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.
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PS. I walk around the soccer field during practice and I love these compression socks for myself.