3-D printing is very quickly becoming an incredible way to create products at an astonishing pace with unparalleled design freedom. All you need is the proper hook-up to your computer, and anything that your mind can create can quickly be printed out in whatever material your printer is set up to handle. Luckily, for us, the footy world is starting to see the benefits of this intriguing technology, and, today, we’ll be bringing you a review on one such item. Despite belonging to the realm of science fiction only a few years ago, 3-D printing is truly changing the world (and we like it).
These are the ZWEIKAMPF shin guards.
When looking for the right shin guard for you, it’s all about how it fits into your particular game. Some players prefer thicker, heavier protection and some players swear by the small ankle pads that would make some physically ill simply at the thought of having to wear the ankle sleeve.
If you’re looking for the ankle sleeve on the ZWEIKAMPF, then you’re out of luck. The first thing that you notice about these shine guards is that they are incredibly thin. A fraction over 1/4 of an inch, the ZWEIKAMPF is out to provide maximum protection with minimal weight and bulk. The size definitely translates to how light the guards are, with them sitting right around 75 grams per guard.
However, don’t think that this is going to take away from the level of protection that the guard provides. Utilizing an ultra-high impact protection design (all the Y structure grooves), three layers of padding (the 3-D shell), an XRD tech custom layer (the yellow under the grooves), and the XRD tech soft touch layer (the gray padding on the back of the guard), and boasting a ton of tech for something so small, it would take a sledgehammer to even come close to impacting your delicate shins (note: SoccerPro and The Instep do not promote taking a sledgehammer to an opponent’s shins). Throughout testing (and those first few minutes with a new shin guard where you thump it really hard to see what happens), the ZWEIKAMPF held up to everything that we threw at it.
Something that we are always on the look for when it comes to shin guards is the ability to completely forget that it is there until its services are required. The last thing we want is a shin guard that’s either constantly sliding around or one that’s so bulky and uncomfortable that we find ourselves incapable of focusing on anything else. The ZWEIKAMPF avoids all of those issues. During play, if we hadn’t been working on a review and trying to focus on how the guards felt, we would have totally forgotten that they were even there. By being so thin and lightweight, it allows you to focus completely on the task at hand. In terms of avoiding sliding around, the guards come with some fantastic tape to hold them in place (simply create a band of tape right below where you want the guard to sit…not too tight though…blood flow is important) and the backing also has a nice bit of tackiness to it.
The only real negative that we experienced during testing was that the Y-shaped design, as it does have a bit of texture to it and sticks out ever so slightly, can grab hold of your sock when you’re slipping these guards into place. It isn’t too big of an issue and merely adds a small amount of time to your prep, but it was something that shin guards with a smooth surface typically avoids.
If you’re looking for a new pair of elite shin guards that will give you an extremely high level of protection while letting you focus completely on having the ball at your feet, then the ZWEIKAMPF is certainly for you. Add in the cool presentation box you get, the customization available, the tape (seriously, who doesn’t love getting extra tape to hold your guards in place?), and the ridiculous level of technology used on these guys, and you have a serious winner on your hands. Plus, anybody who orders ZWEIKAMPF shin pads within July can return them for free within 30 days in case they are not satisfied. We fell in love with our pair, so you’re going to have to get out there and get your own!