Combat Sports MMA shinguards
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.