I recently had the opportunity to test and review the Superior Fencing padded shin guards. They are very protective, although the standard size were a bit too large for me.
This review: motivation and transparency
Superior Fencing gave me these shin guards for reviewing in August 2018. I wore them a little for testing and review, but did not end up keeping them as part of my regular fencing gear.
(Edit: this “motivation” section was added on the 9th of March 2019, as part of an effort to improve the transparency of the various reviews on this website.)
The Superior Fencing padded shin guards provide excellent coverage for the front and sides of the shin. They have a thick layer of padding to ameliorate the force of incoming blows, and they have a separate layer of hard plastic over the top – they feel pretty bomb-proof!
They wrap around the leg very well, so that only the back of the calf remains without protection.
A nice touch is that there is some protection extending downward around the ankles. The sides of the ankles are often quite vulnerable, especially to one-handed swipes with the longsword, and putting some protection in this direction will help to keep people safe against such attacks.
Sizing, bulk, and mobility
The standard size for the shin guards is fairly large. They were simply too large for me and my lower legs, but would probably be a good fit for someone a bit taller and bulkier than me.
When discussing this with the manufacturer after receiving the shin guards, I was informed that custom sizing is available free of charge. So, if you would like a pair of these, and worry that they might be too large for you, just send a message with your order to ask for a smaller set.
Ease of fastening
There are two Velcro straps that go around the calf, and one Velcro strap to secure the guards in place around the ankle.
The two straps around the calf are well-sized and make it easy to put the guards on or to take them off quickly. The strap around the ankle, however, is quite long, but it doesn’t become short very easily. If you have small ankles, then the strap may not be able to secure the guards in place around your ankles, and they will float somewhat uncomfortably.
Price and availability
Superior Fencing sells the padded shin guards for $20 USD.
When these are worn with the fencing trousers and the knee protectors, there is very little of the leg that remains unprotected! However, the standard size might be too big and bulky if you are a slightly smaller person, so you may need to ask for custom sizing when placing your order.
Keith Farrell teaches HEMA professionally, often at international events (why not hire me to teach at your event?), and has an interest in coaching instructors to become better teachers. I teach regularly at Liverpool HEMA, and help behind the scenes with running HEMA in Glasgow at the Vanguard Centre.