Welcome back to Shin Guardz 101, our look at the underrated importance of shin guards. Yesterday, we wrote about Puma shin guards. In our final installment, it’s Nike.
There is simply no other place to start than at the top, with the Mercurial Blade, which just might be the King of Shin Guards. This is a “hinge guard”, meaning there is a center line that flexes to wrap around your leg. Nike’s Mercurial Blade is made of carbon fiber, so it can stay at a low weight, while possessing remarkable strength. Memory foam adorns the back to keep your shin free of direct impact. There are probably the most safe guards on the market, but they also come with the highest price tag at $120 retail.
Since the Blade is out of some of your price range, we’ll move onto Nike’s “lightest and strongest shin guard”, the Mercurial Flylite. While they don’t hinge like the Blade, the Flylite has a unique waffle pattern behind a flexible shell. This waffle design allows air to flow through for a breezier, less sweaty leg. Plus, the Nike shock system diffuses the impact on the guard. Comfort and safety, it’s a win-win! Dri-FIT sleeves are also included to assist in keeping your shin area dry and cool. At $55 retail, the Mercurial Flylite resides at a much more reasonable price point.
Remaining in the Mercurial lane, next up is the Mercurial Lite. This one differs from the Flylite because of the different materials involved and the lack of that waffle pattern. The Lite has a low profile shell for protection against heavy impact that is made with 69% K-resin, a clear resin manufactured by Chevron-Phillips Chemical Company, and 31% EVA, or ethylene-vinyl acetate. Both have excellent clarity and gloss, impact toughness, and resist cracking in extreme temperatures. These guards also have Nike Guard Lock sleeves for a snug and strapless fit. For $25 retail, you can grab the Mercurial Lite, and if you’re a Neymar fan, you can get his branded shin guards on SoccerPro.
Moving away from the slip-in guards, we come to Nike’s most popular ankle shin guard, the Nike Protegga. Also at $25, these have a strapping system under your foot with multi-point adjustments for a customized fit. A ventilated shell and foam padding provides more protection and airflow for your leg and foot. The main distinguishing factor on the Protegga is those light, detachable ankle guards that keep your lower leg from getting banged up. Nike have designed these with “cleat shape integration” for seamless heel comfort and fit.
Everyone knows Nike make spectacular products and that’s no different when it comes to shin guards. They have the state-of-the-art Mercurial Blade for the hardcore players, but they also offer the more affordable Mercurial Flylite and Lite with excellent technology of its own. And if slip-in guards aren’t your thing, you can go for the Protegga, one of the finer ankle shin guards around.
Take a look at all of SoccerPro’s Nike shin guards.
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