For the BMX rider, a trusty pair of shin guards isn't just gear—it's a necessity that stands between them and a world of pain. But as any seasoned rider knows, not all shin guards are created equal. Factors like comfort during extended rides, subtlety under clothing, unobtrusiveness during tricks, and price all come into play when choosing the perfect pair.
In a sea of options, it can be hard to determine which shin guards will provide the right balance of comfort, stealth, freedom, and affordability. That's where we come in. We've handpicked four top contenders in the BMX shin guard market and put them through their paces, literally. We've consulted riders who've had their share of spills while wearing these shin guards and also hit the track ourselves to feel the comfort (or discomfort) firsthand.
So, if you're an intermediate or advanced BMX rider looking to upgrade your protection while keeping your ride smooth and your style intact, you're in the right place. Stick with us as we delve deep into the world of BMX shin guards, helping you make the best choice for your BMX journey.
After our extensive research and testing, we've decided on the SixSixOne Comp AM Guard as the best all round shin guard. Keep reading to see our recommendations on guards for all types of rider.
BEST OVERALL PICK
SixSixOne's Comp AM Shin Guards have a lot going for them, making them a solid choice for BMX riders. Part of the COMP AM line, these guards are made with breathable, durable ballistic nylon, giving them the right amount of padding and the durability you need on the track. The smaller Velcro connections outshine traditional full slip-on designs, offering better ventilation, more adjustment options, and reducing sweat buildup.
While some riders have reported sizing issues with the Velcro straps, these guards generally provide good coverage of the shin. Keep in mind that these guards work best with plastic composite pedals; metal pins may tear the fabric if you wear shorts while riding.
One standout feature of these shin guards is their versatility. They've found fans among riders of various sports, from hockey to dirt jumping, downhill and, of course, BMX.
FOR MOST PROTECTION
Stepping up the game for BMX protective gear are the Fuse Omega Shin Guards. Crafted by rider-run Fuse Protection, these shin guards leverage durable materials and high-tech features for top-tier comfort, durability, and performance. The use of breathable Lycra reduces weight and ensures a snug fit, while the robust Neoprene and Cordura impact zones promise improved durability.
The guards also feature SAS-TEC, a visco-elastic foam insert that hardens on impact, offering stellar protection. Other smart features like Sharkskin grippers keep the guards firmly in place, and the Kevlar padding guarantees advanced protection. Yes, they're pricier, but if you're pushing your BMX boundaries, these shin guards deliver a powerful blend of protection and comfort.
For BMX riders who value lightweight protection, the Shadow Invisa Lite shin pads are worth checking out. Made by the BMX-specialist brand Shadow, these pads have a minimalist design that doesn't compromise on protection. They may seem too thin at first, but they're specifically designed to reduce the pain of pedal impacts and lessen shin injuries—not to block out every bump.
The Invisa Lite's slim profile and sock-like feel make them a discreet choice that can easily fit under any clothing. Many riders wear them under jeans, maintaining a casual look while staying protected. Features like the silicone ring around the ankle keep the pads from slipping and spinning during rides—a detail that shows Shadow's thoughtfulness in design.
Offered in four sizes, from Small to X-Large, it's crucial to get the right fit for these shin pads. A poorly fitting shin pad can affect your ride and concentration more than you might imagine. If you're seeking a balance of lightweight comfort and substantial protection, Shadow Invisa Lite could be your perfect match.
ANOTHER GREAT OPTION
The Shadow Conspiracy strikes again with their Super Slim Shinners, another top-notch option for BMX riders. Designed to reduce the pain of pedal strikes—aptly named "shinners"—these pads are both light and unobtrusive.
Their construction involves neoprene and airprene, much like a wetsuit, which means they're snug but comfortable. You'll barely notice them while riding, let alone see them shift around. Inside this neoprene body is high-density EVA foam for substantial protection, working alongside an impact-resistant ABS guard.
One ingenious detail is that the guard is replaceable—an excellent feature if it ever breaks or if Shadow releases an improved version. While Shadow designed the Super Slim Shinners for high durability and impact resistance, they didn't prioritize weight and breathability as much, according to our experience.
What to look for in a Shin Pad for Biking?
When choosing the right shin pad for your BMX riding you need to think about a few things. Firstly, what type of riding are you going to be doing? This will give you an idea of how much protection you need to look for.
As you can see from the products on this list, each product provides you with a very different amount of protection. The trade off is that you get a more comfortable, subtle pad when you have less protection.
Fitment type is another important factor in BMX knee guards. You can have a velcro connection, slide on pads or sometimes you can get a mixture of both. The way your pads connect is a big factor in how comfortable they are.
Material is always an important area of a product like this. The body of the pad is often a different material to the protective element itself. You will often see neoprene being used to keep the fit tight and comfortable around your leg. Many brands then stitch their padded or plastic inserts into the neoprene.
When choosing a new pad I also like to test how they feel under my clothes when performing tricks. I'll often be wearing trousers or jeans when at the skatepark. If the pads fill up my jeans too much then it's going to severely impact my riding.
Why Should You Trust Us?
I have been riding BMX and dirt jump bikes for years. I've worked my way through many types of pads for all different types of riding. I've also had my fair share of crashes so I know which pads protected my well and which ones resulted in the scars I now carry.
We have also scoured reviews and forum comments throughout the BMX, mountain biking and dirt jumping areas of the internet. There are people who have had huge crashes with pads I haven't. They can give us a much better idea of the protective abilities than I can after just testing the products.
SixSixOne 661 Comp AM Shin Guards
Photo by sixsixone.com
Established in 1999, California, SixSixOne was established to target all bike riders, whether you're on dirt or concrete. The company did well and quickly became a recognisable brand with their great logo.
The main products sold by SixSixOne are helmets and protective equipment. Gloves, shin pads, knee pads and goggles are some of the products that you'll often see with the notable 661 logo on them.
661 Comp AM shin guards are a part of the COMP AM line. They accompany knee and elbow pads in a similar style. The knee pads are designed to fit comfortably when wearing the shin pads and knee pads at the same time. Personally I wouldn't recommend wearing shin pads and knee pads at the same time on a BMX.
I like the construction of these shin pads. A breathable, durable ballistic nylon is used to contain the shin padding and calf connection. The smaller velcro connections are much better than a full slip on design, reducing sweat, keeping you cooler and giving you a lot more adjustment.
I think the fabric and amount of padding on the Comp AM guards are perfect for a BMX. Our pedals are generally a plastic composite with integrated plastic pins. We receive less grip compared to a mountain bike but we're riding in better conditions so it works well.
I've found metal pins tear through the fabric of this product too much if you wear shorts while riding. The plastic pedals cause much less damage, while still protecting you against shin strikes.
The main complaint SixSixOne receives with these guards is to do with sizing. Many riders have reported and complained about the sizing chart being way off. The guard length is generally quite good and covers a decent amount of your shin.
661 seems to have used a weird dimension for the velcro straps. They always seem to only just connect to each other. If you have larger calves then it's possible they may just not connect at all.
Another reason I prefer this design over solid plastic is the versatility it affords. I've seen people buying these shin guards for everything from hockey to dirt jumping, downhill and BMX. It's great that you can use one product for many hobbies.
Photo by sixsixone.com
- Very comfortable
- Works with other 661 products
- Sizing is inaccurate
- Not tough enough for some pedals
- Stitching can come loose with sharp pedals
- Impact protection through polypropylene and integrated EVA foam
- Fits and works in conjunction with Comp AM Knee
- Abrasion resistance and durable ballistic nylon
- Stays secure with hook and loop closures
- CE 1621:1
- Sizes S-XL
Fuse Omega Shin Pad Review 2023
Photo by fuse-protection.com
Fuse Protection, born out of the sister brand WeThePeople, has been providing quality protective gear for BMX riders for over seven years. The company was founded as a response to the demand from team riders for more comfortable and better fitting protective pads.
Initially, Fuse Protection crafted knee, elbow, and shin pads out of super tough and durable material. Recognizing the popularity and longevity of these pads among professional riders, the company decided to expand their efforts into designing a full range of gloves, pads, helmets, and apparel.
Now, Fuse Protection is the only rider run and owned protection brand in BMX, offering a comprehensive product line-up that has been designed and tested by BMX riders to ensure the best fitting and most durable gear on the market.
Fuse Protection's products are designed by a team based in Cologne, Germany. The design process often begins with a request from a team rider or as a result of new technologies and materials that come onto the market. The design team, composed of three riders, tests the products they design, and then pass them to pro and local riders for final input.
After researching a lot of different protective BMX gear, the Fuse Omega is surely the most high-tech piece available. A load of new features have been added to the Omega line. In the hopes of providing BMX riders with more confidence when out on the trails.
Lycra has been used to increase comfort while keeping the fitting tight, just like a wetsuit. Lycra is also easy to stitch to. The impact zones have been designed more accurately so you have less weight but a better quality pad.
“When redesigning the pads we focused on three key areas; comfort, durability and performance. The pads now make use of Lycra, which offers incredible comfort and breathability, and at the same time a reduction in weight. The impact areas of the pads use a new super tough Neoprene and Cordura material for improved durability.” –Fuse
Fuse have thrown every piece of technology they have at the Omega line. SAS-TEC is a trademark viscoelastic polyurethane foam insert that have been added to the Omega and Echo pads. Fuse developed SAS-TEC to be as flexible as possible when riding normally. Once it has an impact the material reacts instantly, turning completely rigid and dispersing the impact energy over the rest of the construction.
You can see the pattern of grippers along the inside of the pad. These are called Sharkskin grippers and are developed from neoprene and silicone. The idea is to keep the fabric stuck to the correct location on your leg without the need of any straps.
Kevlar is used for the bulk of the padding in the front. Unfortunately this does cause the Omega to be quite expensive. It's worth it for the biggest jumps and toughest trails but not everyone will benefit from this product.
Photo by fuse-protection.com
SAS-TEC Impact Technology
Kevlar inserts for impact resistance
Silicone grippers keep the pad in place
Harder to fit under clothing
- Weight: 240g
- Colors: Black/Yellow
- Certification: EN 1621-2012 - Level 1
- Sizes: S - XXXL
- Anti-bacterial neoprene
- SAS-TEC Viscoelastic foam insert
- Compression technology, with printed Kenesio™ bands
- Silicone gripper to prevent slip
- Articulated whip pads
FUSE Protection BMX: Brian Fox Rides the OMEGA Pads
Shadow Invisa Lite Shin Pads 2023 Review
Photo by @gitstagram
The Invisa Lite pads are some of the only BMX specific shin pads available. Most other products are primarily manufactured for dirt jumping or mountain biking.
Shadow is a clear leader in the BMX market. They don't make complete bikes or any of the bigger parts like frames or bars. The products they do make are next level quality. Such as the Interlock chain, Ravager pedals and all elements of the protection product line.
First impressions give the idea that this product is too thin and won't offer enough protection for any substantial riding. I think Shadow are going for a different target than most other products on this list.
They don't want to eliminate the feeling of every bump, they just want to reduce the pain of a pedal impact on the shin and reduce the injuries caused to your shins.
Opting for this USP has allowed them to significantly reduce the weight and create what is effectively a long sock that can fit under any piece of clothing. Many riders use the Shadow Invisa Lite pads under their jeans without anyone actually knowing.
Shadow produces quite a few different pads for BMX riders. The Invisa Lite and Super Slim models are their best current designs. Within each model they sell knee, shin, elbow and ankle pads in the same design.
I love the silicone ring placed around the ankle of the pads. Without this the pads would start slipping and spinning around your leg after 30 minutes of riding.
Similar to the SixSixOne product, 4 sizes are offered from Small to X-Large. Make sure you measure the thickest part of your leg and get the right size. Poorly fitting shin pads impact your riding and concentration more than you would think.
Photo by theshadowconspiracy.com
Fits under any clothing
Works with other Invisa Lite products
Silicone ring to keep them in place
Impacts will still be noticeable
Harder to fit on larger legs
Pads get warm and sweaty
- 3D impact foam
- Breathable, lightweight lycra body
- Interior anti-slip silicone band
- Double and single needle heavy duty stitching
- Weight: 140g (pair)
- Size: S, M, L, XL
- Colors: Black
Shadow Conspiracy-Invisa-Lite shin pad review
Shadow Super Slim Shinners Pads
Photo by sourcebmx.com
The super slim shinners are another great product from The Shadow Conspiracy. Also with a clever name. A “shinner” is when you smash your pedal into your shins when you slip the pedals. Slipping the pedals can happen for numerous reasons but it always ends in several expletives and often blood.
Super Slim Shinners are designed in a similar way to the Invisa Lite pads. They're aiming to be super light and almost unnoticeable while reducing the main pain of a pedal strike.
Shadow have also used a neoprene and airprene construction for the body of these pads. Just like a wetsuit, they'll be harder to get on but you'll be completely comfortable while riding. You're also unlikely to feel them move at all.
Sewn into the neoprene is a high-density EVA foam. The foam offers a large amount of protection but it's main job is to work alongside the impact resistant ABS guard. Shadow have intelligently integrated the guard so it can be replaced. Whether a better guard is developed or your current one breaks, it's great knowing you can replace them.
As you can see from the radar chart below, Shadow planned on the Super Slim Shinners to be durable with high impact resistance. Unfortunately weight and breathability weren't the highest priority, as we've experienced.
Photo by sourcebmx.com
- Great Impact Resistance
- Larger Coverage Area
- Slightly Heavier
- Terrible Breathability
- Not Very Flexible
- Neoprene and airprene construction
- High density EVA foam
- Articulated and removable impact resistant ABS guard
- Heavy duty hook and loop closures
- Impact Resistant Bone Shield
- Weight: 426g
- Sizes: S/M, L/XL
BMX Safety Gear Review!! Shadow Super Slim V2 Knee Pad / Shinners Shin Guard
Our top choices
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I use BMX shin guards?
The main use of a BMX shin guard is to protect your shins from pedal strike while riding or performing tricks. It's common for riders to get long, deep wounds from the pins in their pedals tearing through their clothing and shins.
What should I look for when buying BMX shin guards?
You should consider the level of protection, comfort, fit, and durability. The guard should fit snugly without restricting movement, be comfortable enough to wear for extended periods, provide robust protection, and be durable enough to withstand impacts and wear over time.
Can I wear BMX shin guards for other sports?
Yes, BMX shin guards can often be used for other sports like mountain biking, motocross, and skateboarding, where similar risks to the shins are present. Some shin guards on this list have also been used for field hockey.
How do I clean and maintain my BMX shin guards?
Most shin guards can be cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft cloth. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives. Air-dry the guards thoroughly before storing them. Inspect them regularly for signs of wear or damage.
Do BMX shin guards come in different sizes?
Yes, BMX shin guards typically come in different sizes. Most products are sold in sizes from Small to X-Large. It's important to measure your shin and compare it with the manufacturer's sizing chart to ensure a proper fit.
Are there BMX shin guards designed specifically for women or children?
Most shin guards are unisex. A lot of companies also produce their shin protectors in youth sizes.
Are BMX shin guards expensive?
The price of a shin guard can vary a lot. You can expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $100.
Can I wear BMX shin guards under my pants?
Yes, most BMX shin guards are designed to be slim enough to wear under pants. Some, like the Shadow Invisa Lite are designed specifically to be worn under jeans.
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