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Neo Sigma
10/10/2010 9:03pm,
I've had these for about a year and a half of regular use by now, so I figure a review is in order. Anyone who trains at an MMA gym has probably seen at least one person with these things, so here's the breakdown for the curious.

Durability, 9- It's been a year and a half since I bought them, and they don't show any signs of wear, other than the color being a little more faded than it was at the start.

Flexibility/mobility, 8- I use these exclusively for muay thai, so I can't speak to their quality while grappling. For standup, once they're on, it's not too hard to forget about them. As with all shin guards, the guarantees of "no sliding! really!" aren't as advertised, but they don't slip and twist as much as some others, so I guess that's something.

Ease of use, 5- Here's where we run into a problem. The "sock" design seems like a good enough idea, and getting them on isn't too troublesome as long as you turn it sideways first. But if you sweat a decent amount, taking these things off is an exercise in frustration. The fact that they haven't broken during some of the tug-of-war matches I've had is the reason why they get a 9 for durability.

Material/production quality 6- They're pretty well-made, with the exception of the sticking problem, and the shins hold up well to heavy kicking use. One strange thing about them is that for the first six months or so, they would leave red marks from the dye on my training partners' legs, which they weren't too happy about. I don't know if the blue does the same thing, but it was kind of aggravating.

Protection, 7- The shin area is great, you'll barely feel anything. The instep protection leaves a bit to be desired, though. The pad is fairly short and leaves about half of my foot uncovered, which has resulted in some unpleasant bruises and swelling from kicks with less than stellar aim. I understand that too much more than the padding already offered would probably catch and pull during scrambles when you're grappling, but it's something to take into consideration if you're a kickboxer looking for shin guards.

Overall, they're not bad, if you don't like the "two velcro straps and a prayer" design of standup-specific shin guards. Just be aware that these have their own issues to deal with.

dwkfym
10/12/2010 12:28pm,
THese shinguards are decent. My legs don't do well with neoprane backed shinguards so I had to return them, but I liked them while I had em.

Top Contender makes a cheaper copy of this shinguard. I've fought in them before and they were pretty good.

unclejustin
10/12/2010 5:03pm,
Seconded on the Top Contender. I have TC and a few people at my school have the Combat Sports, they seem identical. My TC's have lasted about 7 months now with no problems. I grapple in them as well and them seem pretty "invisible" to me.

Diesel_tke
10/12/2010 8:57pm,
I would like to second the remark about not being able to get these damn things off!! I have considered cutting the damn things off a few times. Son of a bitch! I'm getting frustrated just thinking about it!!

Pikey
10/21/2010 4:50pm,
I'm going to chime in also and let my thoughts be known in removing these shin guards. Since I've only had these for about a month I can't really make an extensive review/input as Sigma has but will agree that it is very cumbersome to remove.

I should of did my search a bit more but I happened to stumble across these shin guards which apparently negate the problem by using a zipper. Hope this helps anyone who likes this style of shin guard.

http://mmagearguide.net/renegade-mma-xtrainer-shin-guards

Neo Sigma
10/23/2010 11:14am,
Interesting, I didn't know they made them with zippers. I'm a hairy beast, though, so I'm always a little wary of anything with zippers near my wookiee coat.

maofas
10/23/2010 11:54am,
I suspect any leather product from CSI that's dyed red is going to have that problem. My old gloves (Max Spar) had red wrist-straps and I'd leave red streaks all over peoples necks from clinching and all over my own wrists as things got sweaty.

Neo Sigma
10/24/2010 4:22am,
Oh, one other thing about these that may or may not be visible from the picture. Like most MMA shin guards, these will leave about two inches between the bottom of the knee and the start of the actual padding. Whether this is a good thing or not is entirely up to you.

Also, I'm trading them in for a pair of Top King muay thai shin guards this week, so I'll try to get some thoughts posted about those, too. Handing the Combat Sports pair off to one of my wife's younger cousins who's just starting to get into MMA himself.