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FlavesEnt 09-07-2009 05:54 PM

Product Review: Everlast Elite Kickboxing Shin Guards
The first pair of shin guards I ever owned were by Kwon, and they were pretty much like wearing a piece of paper on my shin. After plenty of sparring sessions resulting in pretty bruised and painful shins, I decided to buy a pair that was much thicker and had more padding. I ended up going with a pair of Combat Sports shin pads. They offered plenty of protection, but the down side was they were too bulky and heavy. This prompted me to continue my search for a quality pair of shin pads. I ended up settling on the Everlast Elite Kickboxing Shin Guards. This product gave me a nice combination of Protection and Flexibility. Let me tell you the highlights of this product, and also what I felt could be improved.

A major concern for my shin guards is having enough protection to protect my shins from extensive swelling or bruising. At this point, my shins are actually pretty well conditioned after plenty of sparring and bag work, but you can never be too safe when training. The Everlast Kickboxing Shin Guards have a dual layered foam padding on the shin area. What this means is that in addition to the initial layer of foam there is a raised second layer over the core of the shin. This provides additional protection and shock absorption. The shins also wrap around the entire shin to make sure the entire kicking area is protected from injury. Overall, I have been very happy with amount of protection that the shin guards provide.

The problem I have had with other shin guards is that once you have additional protection and padding, you tend to lose flexibility or the pads become too heavy. Having a lightweight shin guard gives you a lot of flexibility however you sacrifice protection. I was able to maintain flexibility without sacrificing protection with the Everlast Shin Guards. The shin guards come up to just under the knee, which do not prevent
me from utilizing my knees during sparring sessions. Also, instead of being one continuous piece of leather, the shin section and the instep guard are actually too different pieces, which are sewn together. This allows for a larger range of motion at the instep.

As with most of the new Everlast products, the Everlast Shin Guards are lined with the EverDri lining, which provides Anti-Microbial protection. This wicks away the sweat from the inside of the pad which provides odor control and aids in the prevention of skin infections. This is always a concern with me because of my previous bout with MRSA. I typically seek out products that offer this in some capacity, as you can never be too safe when it comes to skin infections.

Hook And Loop Straps
The Hook and Loop Straps are a new feature that I have not seen on any shin guards previously. Typically, most shin guards have velcro straps that attach in the back of the calf. Basically, you step into the elastic band at the instep, and then pull the strap through the hook on the other end, pull tight and fasten. The straps allow for quick adjustment and a secure and tight fit. Removing them is easy as well, simply release the velcro and pull the shin guards forward and they slip right off.

There were too concers I encoutered with the Everlast Elite Kickboxing Shin Guards. The first was regarding the Hook and Loop Straps. Although I like the conveinence of this feature, I had to pull them really tight to provide a secure, snug fit. What would happen is that the end of the strap hangs over beyond the shin guard. Depending on which way I wore the shin guards either the straps would rub the inside of my other leg, or they would protrude on the outside and be an annoyance when I was shin blocking or kicking. This could probably be solved by extending the soft side of the velcro further along the strap. I’d like to see Everlast make this adjustment on future models.

The second concern is a minor one. I mentioned above that the shin guard and instep guard are seperate pieces that are sewn together. I love this feature, but my concern is that there appears to only be one row of stitching holding the two together. A second row of stiching on the inside on the top of the instep guard would be ideal.

Although I have not tried every pair of shin guards on the market I would definitely recommend these shin guards for Muay Thai or Kickboxing. They are lightweight and flexible while also providing a lot of protection. The product also has some cool features such as the EverDri lining and the Hook and Loop straps. If you are seeking guards for a lot of Grappling this is not the best option as the guards will move around too much during the ground training, but that is what these guards are made for or marketed towards. Overall, I have been happy with my decision to go with these guards, although I did have a few concerns which I mentioned above. I would score this product at 7.5 out of 10.

These shin guards are priced at $69.99. To see the full review with photos, or check out my other product reviews, check out:

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