Top King Professional shin guards
So after I got fed up with my MMA neoprene-backed shin guards, I opted for something a bit more specialized to kickboxing, since I don't grapple, and so have no need for my pads to accommodate that. My gym has a deal with Top King, so pretty much all of our gear comes through them, and I picked up a pair of these. After having them for about a month, here's my thoughts-
Durability, N/A- Unfortunately, a month isn't long enough to judge this just yet.
Flexibility/Mobility, 7- Better than you would think for something quite as bulky-looking as they are. Seriously, online pictures don't really do them justice, these things look like plate mail boots. Which I happen to think is awesome, but your mileage may vary. That said, they're surprisingly light, but the little bit of padding that comes up to the knee does take a bit of getting used to if you've only used the much smaller MMA-style guards. One other thing to note is that the padding over the foot covers the whole foot, so that'll also be an adjustment.
Ease Of Use, 9- I haven't really got a ton of love for most "traditional" style shinguards, due to the inadequate fastenings and how much they slip. Top King apparently also hates them, because they do it pretty much perfectly. The velcro straps actually keep the pads in place for pretty much everything but the most ferocious shin-to-shin contact. Also of note in the second picture is the extra elastic strap near the bottom, which is something a lot of other traditional shin guards lack, and probably helps to keep them secured. And after having the neoprene-backed MMA pads, taking these things off after a workout is a sheer joy.
Material/Production Quality, 9- Well-constructed and solid design. No complaints.
Protection, 9- Seriously, go kick a light post in these. You probably won't even feel it. I've hit knees and hips with these and not had any more reaction than a slightly different thumping noise instead of the "OW GODDAMN IT" you usually get. The extra padding over the shin is much better-designed than a lot of the other guards out there who just slap a thin ridge over the shin and call it done. The padding covering the entire foot is also nice for your kicks that aren't exactly perfect. The only reason these don't get a perfect 10 is the unpadded ankle joint. It WILL hurt like hell if you bonk an elbow or a hip with that part of them, but there's not a whole lot that can be done about it.
Long story short, these aren't really the cheapest shinguards on the market, but you'll get what you pay for. Unless you're one of those people who has to feel like a truck ran over them to feel like they accomplished anything from training. You should probably just stick to those tiny cotton sock pads and stay the hell away from the rest of us.
I have a pair of Top King shinguards and they rock. They give a more secure fit than any other shinguard I've tried and the padding is excellent even though it's made of relatively light material. I practically never have to pause sparring from having to readjust because the fit is so good they basically never budge, and I do a lot of kicking.
I've used all sorts of different brands and styles of shinguards, and for kickboxing/muaythai these are unquestionably the best. Plus they look pretty cool.
edit: actually these are the ones I have http://www.fightstuff.us/Items/TK-SG...rds%20%28XL%29
which from the looks of it are the slightly higher end version of what you got. Top King knows how to make a damn shin guard, in any case.
double edit: I would also like to say that I wish I would have bought these things like 5 years ago rather than wasting my money on those stupid $35 top contender pieces of crap (combat sports shinguards are basically the same). If you plan on making sparring a part of your life for at least a few years, I highly recommend biting the bullet and shelling out the $70 for these top end shinguards because they're worth every penny.
Last edited by Torakaka; 11/15/2010 11:39am at .
I will also point out, for the fools who think you need to turn your shins into jelly during training to "condition" them, those of us who do fight regularly like to keep our shins in good health and pad the hell up. A lot of the pro fighters I've known spar with two pairs of shinguards because they don't want to risk busting themselves up in training.
A few months later, and these are still holding up great. My only complaint is that my leg hair sometimes gets stuck in the velcro, but that's more my fault for looking like a half-transformed werewolf than anything the manufacturer did.
Did I mention you need to go buy these yet?
I bought these shin guards in January because of this review, and I am NOT disappointed. By far, these are the best shin guards I've ever owned and used. I've been using them regularly (at least twice per week) for almost 7 months now and they are showing zero signs of wear.
My only complaint is that, when they were shipped to me, one shin guard was stacked on top of the other. What this did was squeeze the "inner" shin guard together a bit. So, when I got them, the outer shin guard fit the contour of my shin better than the inner one. Only now, within the last month, has the inner shin guard finally been "worked in" enough such that the initial squeeze has finally loosened and widened up. However, when it was still squeezed together, it wasn't super uncomfortable, and it still definitely did the job of protecting my shins and staying on my leg.
Highly recommend these shin guards!
Good review and comments. I'm definitely looking at scooping up some of these.
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