Do Soccer Socks Go Over Shin Guards?

Do Soccer Socks Go Over Shin Guards?

As a parent of a young soccer player, you may be asking yourself, “do soccer socks go over shin guards?” The answer is yes! Soccer socks should go over shin guards to help keep them in and prevent them from shifting.

In this article, we’ll explain the importance of shin guards in soccer.

Why Are Shin Guards Worn Under Socks?

Here are the major reasons why shin guards are traditionally worn under socks:

Adhering to the Rules

The biggest reason why soccer players hide their shin guards under their socks is that it’s simply been in the rules for many years. Official soccer rules require that shin guards be covered with socks during the game.

If the referee sees that a player’s shin guards are visible or not in at all, the play will be stopped. He or she will tell the player to pull up his socks or put their shin pads in before play can commence.

In addition to protecting the players, one of the supposed other reasons for this rule is that the shin guards might distract the referees from the team’s colors.

You might notice that everyone on a soccer team, aside from the goalie, wears matching uniforms, down to socks and shoes. This makes it easier for the officials to identify which players belong to what team.

It Secures the Shin Guards

Although most shin guards come with straps, many players are fond of using the strapless ones as they feel more comfortable.

These traditional shin guards need to be worn underneath tight-fitting soccer socks to keep them in place. If the socks slip down, the shin guards might slip out, making the player prone to injuries.

In addition, wearing loose shin guards can be quite uncomfortable, making the player adjust them during much of the match. This can add more risk to injuries. For added support, many soccer players also wear leg sleeves to help keep the guards in place.

It is Tradition

Old Soccer PhotographsUnlike other professional sports, football is deeply rooted in its traditions. Wearing shin pads with long socks has been part of the game for so long.

If you examine the old photographs of the first soccer games ever played, they are also wearing some form of shin guards back then.

The global sport of soccer loves to maintain traditions and shin guards are a staple and really of the few pieces of equipment you need to play.

Can You Play Without Shin Guards?

Technically, you can play soccer without shin guards, but why would you want to?

In a sport where the players use their feet most of the time, the risk of getting kicked in the shins is very high.

I realize that many kids in today’s training sessions don’t wear shin guards or high socks. For many players, it’s because of the “coolness factor” but I highly recommend every player wears shin guards and socks over them in training sessions and games. All it takes is one swift hit to the leg to put you out weeks or months.

If you’ve ever accidentally hit your shin on a table leg, imagine that pain and multiply it several times over, that’s how much getting kicked in the shins by another player playing defense.

Additionally, if you look at the kinds of footwear players use, just imagine how much damage those spikes can do to your bare skin. You would be lucky to come away with a bruise. Worse case would be a fractured tibia bone.


The main reason why players wear shin guards is for protection.

Making sure socks go over shin guards is mandatory. It’s easy to get in the habit at an early age and make sure players do so.

Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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