One part of your gear that most players give little thought to is their shin guards. We wear them in play, and usually throw them in our bag until the next game or training session. They become the one piece of your equipment that you don’t really pay to much attention to. If you have found the right pair, then not noticing you are wearing them becomes a positive. But as with all equipment, brands keep evolving and they continue creating more advanced protection for players.
A pair that has gained plenty of positive attention in recent times is the G-Form Pro-S shin guards. They are the world’s first soft, flexible soccer guard with sleeve that hardens on impact. We’ve had a pair in testing, and as you’ll find out below, we like them a whole lot! There is a lot of technology behind them, so here is a summary breakdown of what you can expect from a pair.
How It Works
The protection from these guards is provided by the yellow padding that covers the front.
G-Form RPT is a rate-dependent technology that stiffens on impact to dissipate energy.
Molecules in the foam slightly repel each other, making the material soft and flexible to the touch initially. Upon impact or when you get slammed by another players studs, the molecules instantly bind together to absorb the redistribution of energy. Finally, once the energy from the impact dissipates, the molecules return to their original relaxed state!
Protection – Does It Work?
Without a doubt it does! You just need to quickly push down on the guards with your finger to see how it goes from a soft foam to extremely tough guard. If you have seen the YouTube video where a wine bottle was covered with one of these guards and a bowling ball was dropped on top – the guard stopped the ball from smashing the bottle. That to me tells you they have some serious protection on offer!
Over the past week, I’ve worn this pair several times and I haven’t had any problems with heavy challenges through the pads. They feel comfortable, fit snug and give you confidence as you go for 50-50 challenges. One concern that some players might have is with the sleeve and the actual fit. I found that the material used offers enough stretch to be able to easily get your leg in and out, without being too restrictive. And during wear, they stayed in place very well without any slipping.
One of the things that makes these so comfortable is the fact the pads are flexible. You can see how there are separate sections dividing the key areas. Where a hard shell guard doesn’t adjust, these easily mold and shape around your leg. For players that enjoy something that has a little more give and can really adjust to the shape of your leg, it proves to be a huge plus.
From looking at them, you might expect that they are heavy. But that is absolutely not the case. Instead, they weigh in at a mere 2.5oz! Considering they feature a sleeve and a large protective padding, that is incredible. The foam in the padding is super lightweight, and that is what makes the difference. Since they come as part of the sleeve, you might notice a tight feel around your calf through wear, but the actual weight of the guard is unnoticeable.
I’ve seen enough players get staph infections to know that cleaning your guards regularly is very important, yet many players fail to do so. One of the most impressive aspects of these for me is the fact they can be washed. With plenty of protection on offer, having the option to be able to easily throw them into the wash with my gear post training/game is HUGE. In terms of durability, washing will not have any impact on the guards design or durability.
But, NEVER PUT THEM IN THE DRYER! After washing, take the out and let them air dry where the foam is not damaged by heat.
How To Wear Them
They are as simple as they look! First, you need to make sure you get the correct size guards. Simply slip them on like you would with a regular sleeve, making sure to keep the foam padding facing away from the front of the shin. The sleeve will keep them securely in place, with your sock pulled up over them ensuring they don’t slip down. As reference, I chose the M version and they fit real well.
Price and Overall Value
In general, you are going to pay $30 for a hard shell pair that will last a few seasons. These will set you back $79.99.
Are they worth the money? It depends on what you are looking for, but in general I would say they are definitely worth investing in. Everything about them has been positive to date, from the protection to the fact you can wash and have a fresh pair every week. A word I’d use to describe them is “convenient” as they serve their intended purpose in a non-invasive manner.
There are many $30 pairs I could recommend to players, but when you factor everything these have on offer it is like comparing a quality Honda Accord to a high performing BMW 650i. Both offer safety, drive smooth and look good…..but one performs far better than the other!