Storelli BodyShield Leg Guard Protective Soccer Gear Review

Storelli BodyShield Leg Guard Review

Going all in without suffering the physical consequences of doing so is what Storelli’s BodyShield Leg Guard is all about. Protecting your lower leg and ankle, the sleeve offers extra protection against tackles so you can focus on your game. Even better, it doubles as a pocket for your slip-in shin guards. Keep reading to find out what we think of them and if they’re worth the money.Storelli BodyShield Leg Guard Protective Soccer Gear Review

Tech Specs

Storelli’s BodyShield Leg Guard is a protective lower leg and ankle sleeve with a shin guard pocket. They should be worn under your socks for extra protection against tackles. They’re armored with flexible PORON XRD® foam that absorbs up to 90% of impact. Check out this video showcasing its ability to protect a cinder block from the force of a bowling ball below.

Its revolutionary design holds shin guards in place without the need for constant manual adjustments or tape while providing effective impact protection for the legs, shins, and ankles. The shin guard pocket is designed to fit most slip-in shin pads. 3mm of stretchy Poron XRD® padding feels soft and comfortable when worn but absorbs impact when hit. 

The leg guards are enhanced with anti-bacterial treatment to reduce germs and odors and they protect skin from harmful UV rays. The also employ lightweight materials that wick moisture away from the body to keep you cool and dry. They’re available on Amazon for $34.99 in youth sizes or $39.99 in adult sizes here. Storelli BodyShield Leg Guard Protective Soccer Gear Review

The Verdict

Storelli’s BodyShield Leg Guards are not overly expensive for the amount of protection they provide, but before you spend $34.99 or $39.99 on them, you should know how they perform.

During testing, I found these leg guard sleeves to be very comfortable to wear. I noticed they feel quite thin and flexible, making me wonder just how protective they really are. Curious to find out, I put them on and hopped in goal for an entire match. Several tackles and 50/50 balls later, I can safely say these allowed me to play my best without worrying about getting cleated, kicked, or stepped on. When another player comes in contact with your ankle or lower leg area, you don’t feel the impact because the flexible yet effective Poron XRD foam absorbs the majority of it (90%, that is).LegGuardsBlack_1024x1024This foam covers the ankles and side of the lower legs, the areas most prone to injuries during tackles; it’s far from bulky so you hardly even notice you’re wearing the sleeves, except when you’re making a tackle and have opposing players on top of you, of course. Then you’re glad that you’re wearing them. Even if you’re not a goalkeeper, these leg guards are still a necessary piece of protection to wear on the pitch. Forwards, midfielders, and defenders all suffer from ankle and lower leg kicks quite often so slipping these on under your socks will keep you protected and at a better chance of staying injury-free. lguard_g4An added bonus of this product is that you can put your shin guards in them and not have to worry about them sliding around. Your slip-in shin guards, that is. Slip-ins are the only type of shin guards that will work with these sleeves since that’s all the built-in pockets can fit. Considering the design of these leg guards and the protection they provide, you’re better off ditching your shin guards with built-in ankle protection (if you own those, of course) and buying a pair of inexpensive yet protective slip-in shin guards. Click here to view our current favorite slip-in shin guards on Amazon. 

After several weeks of testing Storelli’s BodyShield Leg Guards, I can safely say the “BodyShield” name holds true. As both a goalkeeper and field player, I feel more confident giving it my all on the field while I’m wearing these. Their thin and lightweight properties might deceive you, but once you get in a tackle with these on, you too will become a believer in this product. Click here to purchase them on Amazon.

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Storelli SpeedGrip Insole Review

Storelli Soccer SpeedGrip Insoles ReviewStorelli knows that the stock insoles found in every new pair of soccer cleats are not optimized for traction, causing your feet to slide and slowing your reaction time when it makes all the difference. That’s why they created their new SpeedGrip insole. By adding grip to your cleats, they help you gain traction and focus on your game. We put them to the test to find out how they perform and if they’re worth the $40 price tag.Storelli Soccer SpeedGrip Insoles Review

Tech Specs

The idea of anti-slip insoles would sound good to any athlete, but how exactly do they work? The top layer of the insole is made of a proprietary suede-like grip material that is very effective at gripping socks, therefore eliminating slippage underneath your feet during play. It offers increased traction in both dry and wet conditions. Besides grip, these insoles are designed to give you a more responsive feel, more stability, and more speed, hence the name “SpeedGrip.”

The SpeedGrip insoles measure a mere 3mm thin and weigh around one ounce, about the same thickness and weight as the stock insoles that come with every new pair of soccer cleats. They feature a patented heel cup design to lock your feet in place and give you that extra grip that stock insoles don’t give you. In addition, they’re enhanced with anti-bacterial treatment to reduce germs and odors. However, these insoles aren’t for everyone; they’re not recommended to players with very sensitive feet.Storelli Soccer SpeedGrip Insoles Review

The Verdict

Upon first glance, you’re probably wondering why these insoles have a tail, or a piece of material extending upwards at the back of the heel. Made of the same suede-like grip material as seen on the insole itself, the tail or heel tab serves a purpose of smoothing out the heel cup crinkles that are created when you put on the boots. All it takes is some slight adjusting and tugging on the heel tab to get the heel cup to sit flush with the boot’s heel liner. If you were thinking of cutting the tail off, that’s not such a good idea; it’s the only way to smooth out the heel cup inside the boot for a comfortable fit.Storelli Soccer SpeedGrip Insoles ReviewNot many soccer insoles feature this built-in heel cup and heel tab, but it’s very effective at eliminating slippage in the heel liner area, an area highly susceptible to blisters (and we all know friction causes blisters). Storelli’s SpeedGrip insoles cover all bases when it comes to providing grip; the forefoot, mid foot, heel, and heel liner, where most soccer insoles only cover the first three areas and skimp on the last one.Storelli Soccer SpeedGrip Insoles ReviewAt the back of the heel tab and underneath the toes, there are stickers that you need to peel off before inserting the insoles into your boots; they ensure that the insoles remain stationary inside your boots. The foam base of the insole is nothing too fancy; it’s just a single layer of foam with perforations in the forefoot area. These insoles are very thin and low profile, so they’ll definitely fit into any pair of soccer cleats. If anything, the heel area is slightly thicker than what you’ll find on stock insoles, but these will still easily fit into any pair of boots (it might be trickier to fit the heel cup/heel tab into boots with more padded heel liners, though).Storelli Soccer SpeedGrip Insoles ReviewThe suede-like grip material covering the surface of the insole is very effective at eliminating slippage and increasing grip inside your boots. By gripping well to socks, it allows you to have a more instantaneous reaction time and get a more responsive feel during play. I thoroughly enjoyed wearing these SpeedGrip insoles over stock insoles because of the noticeable grip they provide underfoot. For those who are familiar with TRUsox grip socks, these insoles would be considered in competition with them. TRUsox socks provide grip between your foot and the sock and your sock and the boot, whereas Storelli SpeedGrip insoles only provide grip between your sock and the boot. However, after testing both products separately, I wouldn’t say one is necessarily more effective than the other; both do a great job of providing grip inside your boots.

Forty dollars might seem like a hefty price to pay for a pair of insoles, but considering how effective these are in reducing slippage, we believe they’re worth it. With their unique heel cup/heel tab construction and a width and weight similar to that of stock insoles, they truly are unlike anything else on the market. Plus, you can use them for other sports, too; they’re best suited for sports where agility, sprinting, and foot control are particularly important. Want a pair for yourself? Click here.

Currex CleatPro Soccer Cleat Replacement Insole Review

Currex CleatPro Soccer Insole Review

Currex CleatPro Soccer Cleat Replacement Insole ReviewUnfortunately, we’re all used to the cheap, thin foam insoles that come inside every new pair of soccer cleats (even the $300 ones). They lack arch support, cushioning, and comfort, something soccer players shouldn’t have to play without. Therefore, Currex have created the CleatPro insole which features an improved forefoot pad for comfort, an anti-slip top surface, and a triple layer cage construction for breathability. Simply put, they’re not your average cheap insoles; they’re way better. We put them to the test to see how they feel and perform underfoot.       Currex CleatPro Soccer Cleat Replacement Insole Review

Tech Specs 

Currex’s new CleatPro insole is equipped with an anti-slip top surface and an improved forefoot pad for comfort, speed push, and rapid acceleration. It’s specifically designed for all field sports, such as football, soccer, baseball, lacrosse, and rugby, and all court sports, such as tennis, badminton, squash, volleyball, and pickle ball. A triple layer cage construction allows for optimal breathability underfoot while Poron foam in the rear and forefoot absorb shock. IMG_3486In addition, the insole features a decoupled heel which allows the heel to remain stable while the arch naturally pronates. It’s designed to reduce foot pressure and fatigue, improve performance, and prevent injuries by reducing stress on joints, ligaments, and tendons, the cause of many injuries in the foot, knee, and hips. All sizes (low, medium, and high profile) differ in density and size of the arch support to respect different forces and weight of players. World class soccer professionals like Rafinha Alcántara currently use Currex CleatPro insoles, and, in regards to the design, the lines on the left and right insoles are together the passing lines of the final goal from Mario Götze in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Talk about a design with meaning!

To fit the insole to the exact size of your cleat, the insole is designed to be trim to fit. If the CleatPro insole is too big, place your current cleat insole on top of the CleatPro, use a pen to mark the edge, and cut the excess material with a scissor. CleatPro insoles come in three different sizes (low, medium, and high profile) to cater to your exact arch, flex, and knee shape. They’re available to purchase here.IMG_3485

The Verdict

The big question is how do these insoles stack up against the other replacement insoles currently on the market? Are they better or worse? The short answer is yes, they’re much better…let us explain why.

Firstly, unlike custom orthotics that are usually too bulky and stiff for soccer cleats, the CleatPro insoles are thin and have a low enough profile to fit into any soccer cleat—any brand, any model. During my testing period, I found it very convenient to slip them in and out of different boots and have them fit perfectly in each one. They’re nearly as thin as the stock insoles that come with your cleats but are much more comfortable, durable, and supportive.

All you need is one training session with the CleatPros underfoot to see why they’re the insoles you’ll never want play without; the comfort, grip, and support is immediately noticeable. You do have to pay somewhat of a pretty penny for these insoles, though…they cost fifty US dollars per pair. If you can bear the cost, why wouldn’t you want something that’s much more comfortable and supportive than what you currently have?Currex CleatPro Soccer Cleat Replacement Insole ReviewThe white arch support element (which comes in three different heights—low, medium, and high profile) on the underside of the insole is thin yet strong and flexible, making for a very comfortable experience underfoot. Because it’s flexible, it can bend in the direction that your cleat is bending, therefore producing proper flex and foot movement; the last thing you want is to have your game messed up because your cleat is flexed, but your insole is not. Once you discover what your arch height is for these insoles (watch this video to figure it out), you’ll no longer have to live with excess or dead space inside the boot, something you might not have even noticed before but makes a sizable difference when it comes to comfort and overall fit.IMG_3473The silicone-like grip element placed on top of the liner is located in three different key areas; at the forefoot, the midfoot, and the heel. By tackling all three “zones” of the foot, it grips it very well, preventing any slippage on the top surface of the insole. This is something you likely won’t find on any other soccer cleat replacement insoles.Currex CleatPro Soccer Cleat Replacement Insole ReviewThe mesh liner is soft to the touch and has proven to not only be comfortable, but durable, too. On the bottom of the insole, Currex have incorporated a Poron foam insert into the heel for shock absorption and cushioning. They’ve also incorporated a denser, rubber-like foam at the base of the forefoot for even more cushioning. Despite inserting foam pads into the underside of the insole, Currex have managed to keep the insole lightweight (it’s just slightly heavier than the cheap, bare bones stock insole) and thin; this just goes to show that you can have both comfort and thinness, a combination we don’t usually see from custom orthotics.Currex CleatPro Soccer Cleat Replacement Insole ReviewWithout a doubt, the Currex CleatPro insoles are worth the money because of the comfort, arch support, cushioning, and grip they provide; they provide all of these things better than any other soccer replacement insole currently on the market, all while maintaining a low profile so they’ll always fit into any pair of soccer cleats. These are insoles you buy to immediately replace the stock ones with, so if you’re looking for a new pair of boots but trying to stick to a budget, keep the price of these in mind…it’s safe to say you won’t regret spending the fifty bucks on these.
Currex CleatPro Soccer Cleat Replacement Insole Review

Unequal protective cushioning action contact sports insoles soccer football lacrosse comfortable cushioned

Unequal Cushioning Sports Insoles Review

Unequal protective cushioning action contact sports insoles soccer football lacrosse comfortable cushionedIt’s common for all athletes—both pro and amateur—to suffer from foot, ankle, knee, and lower back pain, which can affect one’s health, mood, and energy level. You can reduce the risk of these injuries by replacing your current insoles with ones that absorb and disperse shock. Unequal Cushioning Sports Insoles provide 24% better shock dissipation compared to typical OEM insoles, reducing the risk of foot injuries and leaving you with more end-of-day energy. We put them to the test to see how they perform underfoot, so keep reading to see if these are the insoles for you.IMG_3111

Tech Specs

For insoles promising to reduce the risk of foot injury, you’re probably wondering how they can do so. Well, they provide 24% better shock dissipation compared to typical OEM insoles, offer orthotic grade arch support, and feature military grade coated aramid fabric to help block the shock. In addition, they feature a low-friction top cloth, a deep heel cup, fast compression rebound, and heel strike gel cushioning for comfort. An anti-microbial coating helps to reduce odor, ensuring the insoles remain stink-free after every practice and game. They’re best suited for football, lacrosse, and action sports, and since each insole weighs less than 2 ounces, you won’t even notice them beneath your feet. The Unequal Cushioning Sports Insoles are available to purchase here.Unequal protective cushioning action contact sports insoles soccer football lacrosse comfortable cushioned

The Verdict

From the very first step you take with the Unequal insoles underfoot, you immediately notice how much better they feel compared to the insoles that come with your cleats or sneakers. Made out of cheap foam and feeling overly thin, the stock insoles lack any sort of viable comfort, support, or cushioning, leaving you with a subpar experience when running or playing sports. 

With Unequal’s Cushioning Sports Insoles, you have much more cushioning underneath your feet, especially in the heel area; Unequal have inserted TPR GEL Pods into the heels to cushion heel strike impact and reduce heel pressure. This is one of my favorite features about these insoles because they drastically enhance the comfort underfoot, making it feel like you’re walking on clouds. Paired with the orthotic grade arch support in the midfoot, they leave you with more energy to run faster and farther on your runs or during your workouts.IMG_3104The coated aramid fabric handles shock dissipation very well, especially during box jump exercises when you’re repeatedly sticking a landing. This exercise can easily take a toll on your feet, legs, or knees, but when you’ve got Unequal insoles inside your shoes, you can just focus on your workout instead of any pain or discomfort you might sustain.

The forefoot crash pad is made of Spenco’s SpenCore material, which cushions and reduces pressure in the forefoot area. Running throughout the entire insole is Spenco’s Polysorb PU foam, which provides cushioning and impact suppression in all areas of the foot. With multiple layers of cushioning and shock absorption materials, this insole is best for people who stand or walk for long periods of time, or for those who engage in high-impact sports, such as soccer. For athletes who work, you can wear them in your soccer cleats and in your work shoes for comfort and support underneath your feet at all times. Unequal protective cushioning action contact sports insoles soccer football lacrosse comfortable cushionedA concoction of premium fabrics, gels, and foams is what makes the Unequal Cushioning Sports Insoles so comfortable to wear inside your shoes. Whether you choose to wear them in cleats or sneakers is up to you, but they perform very well in both, providing you with cushioning comfort, shock absorption, and impact suppression so you can focus on your performance. You can purchase a pair of the Unequal Cushioning Sports Insoles for yourself here.Unequal protective cushioning action contact sports insoles soccer football lacrosse comfortable cushioned

Unequal Halo 3 protective headgear headband Ali Krieger USWNT FIFA Women's World Cup Briana Scurry Concussion Prevention Soccer Contact Sports

Unequal Halo 3 Protective Headgear Review

Unequal Halo 3 protective headgear headband Ali Krieger USWNT FIFA Women's World Cup Briana Scurry Concussion Prevention Soccer Contact Sports2-time Olympic Gold Medalist Briana Scurry can recount the details of the head injury that ended her career. Well…sort of. Since she doesn’t actually remember the hit, she shares what she’s been told by other people. That’s why she swears by Unequal’s protective headgear, such as the Halo 3, for staying safe on the pitch. It looks just like a headband, but it offers incredibly effective head protection in a lightweight, comfortable design. Keep reading to find out why the Halo 3 is head protection you’ll never want to play without. Unequal Halo 3 protective headgear headband Ali Krieger USWNT FIFA Women's World Cup Briana Scurry Concussion Prevention Soccer Contact Sports

Tech Specs

Rated 4/5 stars by Virginia Tech and Top 15 Innovation in Sports Technology by ESPN, the Unequal Halo 3 holds a lot of promise as the headband that can save players from devastating, lasting head injuries. It offers great protection for falls, collisions, and headers by absorbing and dispersing impact force and reducing acceleration up to 75%. It weighs in at 1.86 ounces and measures 6mm thick, making it the most minimal headband in Unequal’s headgear arsenal.  

To be precise, the Halo 3 is constructed of a patented military grade composite and a coated aramid fabric. It features a strong nylon outer layer, moisture wicking material, and Airilon comfort foam for a soft, breathable feel. Together, these advanced materials handle blunt force trauma and impact shock better than typical plastics and foams. Unequal Halo 3 protective headgear headband Ali Krieger USWNT FIFA Women's World Cup Briana Scurry Concussion Prevention Soccer Contact SportsThe headband slides on for a snug, comfortable fit and provides 360 degree impact protection due to its closed loop design. It reduces concussion risk by 56% without altering ball rebound speed or direction, making it especially great during drills where the head is at repetitive risk. It’s been tested to the American Society for Testing and Materials’ headgear standard and is FIFA Law 4 compliant (The players’ equipment – dangerous equipment or jewelry is not allowed to be worn, but soft headbands are allowed). The Unequal Halo 3 headband is available to purchase here.Unequal Halo 3 protective headgear headband Ali Krieger USWNT FIFA Women's World Cup Briana Scurry Concussion Prevention Soccer Contact Sports

The Verdict

We recently reviewed the Unequal Halo 1 headband which, unlike the Halo 3, features velcro adjustability for a truly custom fit. If you haven’t read our review of that headband, you can do so here.

After extensive testing, the Halo 3 has proven to be one of the most comfortable, low profile, and lightweight protective headbands on the market. It excels at providing a consistently snug, stretchy fit without having the material overstretch, something I was initially skeptical about considering the lack of velcro adjustability. The headband slides onto your head smoothly and easily, but if you feel that it fits too snug, you can stretch it slightly for a better fit. It comes in two sizes, size one (20”-21”) and size two (21” +), and if you don’t know which size you are, place a soft tape measure around the upper forehead crown/hair root area of your head and check the measurement. Unequal Halo 3 protective headgear headband Ali Krieger USWNT FIFA Women's World Cup Briana Scurry Concussion Prevention Soccer Contact SportsIn terms of protection, the patented military grade composite does a great job of absorbing and dispersing impact force; once you sustain your first hit, you feel relieved to be wearing protective headgear. As a goalkeeper myself, the Halo 3 has made me feel safe, resilient, and confident while wearing it, and because it’s so lightweight, you hardly realize it’s there. Just to note, advanced tech causes the headband to stiffen in cold environments when not on your head. Therefore, it’s important to take a few minutes to knead it with your hands in a warm room or car to soften it up. The headband should be warm before it’s stretched out for the best possible fit. Also, If you’ve never worn a protective headband before, it may feel a bit foreign or tight at first; but by the second week, you should be used to the feeling of wearing it.

In summary, the Unequal Halo 3 delivers on everything a protective headband should deliver on: comfort, advanced technology, light weight, durability, protection, and breathability. Just to give you an idea of players who’ve approved of it, USWNT defender Ali Krieger called it her “lucky charm” throughout the FIFA Women’s World Cup and 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist Briana Scurry called it “absurd” to play without it. Its lightweight, sleek design and impressive protection make this a no brainer if you’re in the market for a protective headband; you can purchase the Halo 3 for yourself here.Unequal Halo 3 protective headgear headband Ali Krieger USWNT FIFA Women's World Cup Briana Scurry Concussion Prevention Soccer Contact Sports

soccer sports concussion headgear headband protection unequal halo review

Unequal Halo 1 Protective Headgear Review

soccer sports concussion headgear headband protection unequal halo reviewWith millions of sports players getting concussions each year, it’s imperative that players protect themselves to reduce the risk of getting one. Slipping on a lightweight, comfortable, and protective Unequal headband can reduce concussion risk as much as 74%, according to Virginia Tech’s extensive independent research. Knowing you’re protected means saying goodbye to the possibility of having headaches, blurry vision, and difficulty thinking clearly, all side effects of a cerebral concussion. The headband is available to purchase here.

Tech Specs

The Unequal Halo 1 headband is a must have for any sports player who experiences frequent collision and contact during play. What makes it one of the best protective headbands on the market is the fact that it reduces concussion risk by 74% and is rated ‘Best Available’ by Virginia Tech. It provides great protection for falls, collisions, and headers, and is especially great for practice drills where the head is at repetitive risk. It does not alter ball rebound, speed, or direction; it simply absorbs and disperses impact to keep you protected.

Constructed from military grade, patented, and coated aramid fabric, the Halo 1 meets all aspects of American Society for Testing and Materials’ headgear standard and is FIFA Law 4 compliant (The players’ equipment – dangerous equipment or jewelry is not allowed to be worn, but soft headbands are allowed). It features a nylon outer layer, closed-cell Accelleron foam, Kevlar, 360 degrees of impact protection, and velcro for a custom fit. The aramid fabric and other advanced materials handle blunt force trauma and impact shock better than typical plastics and foams, making the Unequal Halo 1 a top choice for players looking for extra protection.soccer sports concussion headgear headband protection unequal halo reviewWeighing in at 4.12 ounces and measuring 10mm thick, the Halo 1 is one of the most lightweight, slender, and comfortable protective headbands on the market. The velcro closure makes it adjustable to your head size, so it can fit your head perfectly without fitting too tight or too loose. Because of its streamlined design and lightweight performance fabrics, you no longer need to sacrifice comfort for protection, and you don’t need to look silly wearing headgear, either. The Unequal Halo 1 headband is available to purchase here.

The Verdict

The Halo 1 sounds like it’s one of the most comfortable and protective headbands on the market, but how does it really perform? I put it through its paces to find out.

I tested the headband for several months in both training and games and I must admit—it’s pretty awesome. Originally, I wasn’t sure that a combination of comfort, protection, breathability, and durability could exist, but Unequal quickly proved me wrong. Aside from the incredible protection this headband provides (which we’ll touch on shortly), my favorite thing about it is how thin and minimal it looks compared to other headbands on the market. We’ve all seen the bulky, full-head helmet worn by Petr Cech, but who really wants to attract everyone’s attention by wearing such prominent headgear? Something as noticeable and bulky-looking as a helmet is what prevents most people from wanting to wear protective headgear in the first place. Thankfully, Unequal is showing us that we can have both protection and a slender design, something that has got more players opting for extra protection on the pitch.IMG_2493In regards to protection, the most important part of the headband, Unequal is unrivaled. The Halo 1 features a battle ready composite fortified with Accelleron and Kevlar. Kevlar is a patented lightweight fiber used in law enforcement and the military, and when woven into a sheet, it’s five times stronger than steel. On the other hand, Accelleron is an elastomer with amazingly durable cushioning qualities that multiplies shock absorption capabilities. With these two protective materials combined into a composite, the Halo 1 is capable of handling blunt force trauma and impact shock better than typical plastics and foams. Whether you collide forehead to forehead, forehead to post, or head to ground, this headband will protect you and lower the risk of getting a concussion.soccer sports concussion headgear headband protection unequal halo reviewWhile testing, I got into several collisions with other players. Some of those collisions were head to head which, without a headband, would be beyond painful and dangerous. In the past, I’ve witnessed my unprotected teammates go in for a 50/50 ball from a throw in, bang heads with their mark, and immediately fall down onto the ground. Tears start rolling down their face and the coaches come running over. In one particular case, my teammate had to be carried away immediately because she had trouble speaking—she was diagnosed with a severe concussion a few days later. It’s always devastating to see these things happen, especially knowing that that could be you. Thankfully, the Halo 1 protected me during those collisions and gave me the confidence to play harder.

Worn by USWNT player Ali Krieger in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Unequal headband is the perfect solution for those looking to up their safety on the pitch. It may just look like any other headband, but it offers serious protection to reduce the risk of getting a cerebral concussion. You can purchase the Unequal Halo 1 headband here.soccer sports concussion headgear headband protection unequal halo review

Bamboo Shin Guards Review (Legend Soccer Co.)

IMG_1790While Nike J Guard and Mercurial Lite shin guards have dominated the market for their protection and affordability, there are a new pair of shin guards on the market that are worth taking a look at. They’re called the LEGEND 1, they’re made out of bamboo, and, as the company claims, they’re the only pair of shin guards you’ll ever need to buy due to their strength-to-weight ratio higher than graphite. They’re available to purchase here.IMG_1782

Tech Specs

Designed for high performance, LEGEND 1 is ridiculously lightweight, relentlessly strong, and offers a low-profile that gives you the freedom to play. With a 100% bamboo shell, this is the world’s first sustainable shin guard, so LEGEND 1 makes a statement. The shin guard weighs in at a staggering 1.5 oz, which gives a player the feeling that they’re not even there. Utilizing the natural properties of bamboo, the outer shell has a strength-to-weight ratio higher than graphite, a higher tensile strength than many alloys of steel, and a higher compressive strength than many mixtures of concrete. LEGEND 1 has been tested in 20,000+ hours of game time and can withstand any tackle in a match. 

LEGEND 1 span just 7’’ long and 3’’ wide and have 1/8 inch padding to protect against the highest of impacts. Through their innovative tear drop design, they’ve provided 7 inches of protection at the highest impact zone while maintaining a minimal profile. Through the anti-microbial properties of both bamboo and their closed cell protective padding, LEGEND 1 shin guards are nearly odorless. This high performance foam will help protect from moisture, mildew, and keep the shin safe at the same time.IMG_1771LEGEND 1 is presented in a customized box, which has a set of shin guards and their custom Legend sleeves. Their sleeves complete the package by keeping your guards tight to the shin to prevent movement while playing in the game. Everyone wears their guards differently, but they recommend using the sleeves to keep LEGEND 1 up and out of the way.

LEGEND 1 shin guards run one size fits all (ages 13 and up), are shipped worldwide, and can be customized for teams, tournaments, and camps with names, numbers, tournament logos, or team crests. Whether it’s a gift for your team, a tournament prize, or a gift for your camp attendees, Legend Soccer Company can make it happen. The LEGEND 1 shin guards are available to purchase here.IMG_1784

The Verdict

Intrigued by the idea of the world’s first sustainable shin guard, my expectations were pretty high when I first received my pair of LEGEND 1 shin guards. After putting them through their paces, my expectations were not only met, but exceeded. 

At first, I was a little taken aback at how small they are, only spanning 7 inches long and 3 inches wide, but after playing in them for a few hours, that concern quickly went away. As Legend Soccer Company states, they really do provide protection at the highest impact zone while maintaining a minimal profile. They sit comfortably on my shins with their custom Legend sleeves wrapped snugly over them and they’re so lightweight, only weighing in at 1.5 oz, that I often forget I’m wearing them. When I put these on at practice, my teammates always look and ask about them since they’ve never seen shin guards like these before. I gladly inform them that they’re made out of bamboo, they weigh in at just 1.5 oz, and they’re nearly odorless. They look at me like I have ten heads, wondering how there’s a shin guard as revolutionary as this one, but there’s no denying that there is. And on top of all that, they have a higher compressive strength than many mixtures of concrete, the solid material that we walk on everyday. IMG_1774I did experience a few tackles while testing these shin guards, which I was thankful for to see first hand just how strong they really are. I must say, the strength, protection, and durability of the LEGEND 1 is very impressive, making it worth its $59 USD price tag. Not only are they stronger, lighter, and much less bulky than many of the popular and inexpensive shin guards currently on the market, they’re also less smelly due to the anti-microbial properties of bamboo and the closed cell protective padding which protects against moisture and mildew. Having played in both the LEGEND 1 and Mercurial Lite shin guards on extremely hot, sweaty days, this closed cell padding on the LEGEND 1 is a real game changer.

With all the affordable shin guards currently on the market from top brands like Nike and Adidas, I’d be skeptical of spending $59 USD for a single pair of shin guards, too. But unlike those shin guards, these are much lighter, stronger, less stinky, and smaller yet still more protective than all of those shin guards; and since you haven’t tried out these revolutionary shin guards, you just have to take my word for it—these are worth every penny. You can purchase a pair for yourself here. 

Click here to watch our LEGEND 1 unboxing video.Legend+1+Package-03

3D Printed Shin Guards Review (Zweikampf)

3dp_shinguard_Zweikampf_full-e1461056833555Yes, 3D-printed shin guards exist and you can buy a pair! They are 100% developed and made in Austria by Zweikampf, a team of creative heads determined to prove that 3D-printed products are ready for the Champions League. The shin guards feature a 3D-printed shell, a unique “Y” structure for diffusing shocks, XRD Technology, and much more. They’re available to purchase here.

IMG_5710Tech Specs

-100% developed and made in Austria

-Innovative 3D-printed shell

-Ultra-high impact protection thanks to a unique “Y” structure that ensures maximum impact deflection

-3D grip profile and high-friction coating for perfect support

-Optimal fit in three different sizes

-Weighs just 75 grams and is 7mm thick

-Option for name and player number customization on the inside of the guards

-XRD® Technology custom layer: choose the inlay that suits you: comfort, all-round, or performance

-XRD® Technology soft touch layer: the last layer is the comfort zone of the guard

-Zweikampf string bag and two rolls of Zweikampf sock tape come included

Zweikampf Shin Guards are available to purchase here.

3dp_shinguard_3dp_processMy Thoughts

Zweikampf’s 3D-printed shin guards sit a cut above the rest in terms of build quality, design, and technology. They feature a plethora of unique features such as the unique “Y” structure that ensures maximum impact deflection, the two layers of XRD® Technology (a comfort layer and a soft touch layer), and the 3D-printed shell, to name a few.

IMG_5696Upon receiving the shin guards, I was impressed with the thought and detail put into the packaging and presentation. They came in their own presentation case with a specific section for each shin guard, a string bag, and two rolls of sock tape. It’s important to note here that the shin guards cost roughly $170 USD (€139,00) so the presentation and attention to detail should be nothing below subpar.

IMG_5709IMG_5719After testing, it’s evident that Zweikampf’s 3D-printed shin guards are thinner, lighter, and stronger than just about everything else on the market. They have a sleek, modern design with options to customize for each player’s personal preference; you can opt for a comfort, all-round, or performance XRD® Technology inlay. Being 3D-printed means astounding weight and thickness measurements, 75 grams and 7mm thick, are easily achievable while maintaining a solid, durable structure. In addition to its unmatched build quality, the unique “Y” honeycomb structure absorbs and diffuses shocks and hits by distributing the force throughout the entire structure. This distinguishes Zweikampf shin guards from virtually every other shin guard on the market. The high-friction coating does a decent job of gripping to the sock, but I personally prefer to use shin guard sleeves instead.

IMG_5715Although I am very impressed with the comfort, protection, and technology provided by Zweikampf’s 3D-printed shin guards, I don’t know if I can justify the roughly $170 USD (€139,00) price tag. They are much more technologically advanced than the majority of shin guards on the market, but creeping near the $200 USD range is soccer cleat territory for me. They definitely aren’t for everyone. Soccer gear fanatics and professional players are likely to relish in the thought of purchasing these, not your average youth soccer player. If you’re interested in the technology and don’t mind the high price tag, I highly recommend picking up a pair for yourself here.IMG_5692

Cobra Custom Moldable Shin Guards Review

IMG_4796When you buy a new pair of shin guards, you’re often stuck with the lackluster fit that the pre-molded plastic provides. You no longer have to settle for that pre-determined fit since Cobra Shinguards have created re-moldable shin guards that provide a truly custom, comfortable fit, tailored specifically to your leg shape. In addition to being re-moldable year after year, they also remain stink free due to their closed-cell foam and come with a free pair of Cobra shin guard sleeves that keep your guards sandwiched in place at all times. They’re available for just $29 USD per pair here.

Screen Shot 2018-02-27 at 11.59.28 PMTech Specs

Moldable: Cobra Shin Guards fit perfectly on your shin since they’re able to be molded specifically to your shins. The custom molding technique ensures a tight fit around your leg and eliminates bulky looking shin guards. They provide you with a light, comfortable, custom fit, are made of durable, high-impact material, and are re-moldable, so they grow with you as the shape of your legs change.

No more tape or straps: Cobra shin guard sleeves come with every pair of shin guards, keep your shin guards in place, and allow proper blood circulation for your legs so they can function without fatigue throughout the entire game. They perfectly cover the size of the shin guards and keep them steady in place while offering a comfortable fit.

Stink Free: Cobra Shin Guards are made of a closed-cell foam used for odor control while still providing cushioned comfort.

Cobra Shin Guards are available in sizes small, medium, and large for $29 USD per pair here.

IMG_4813IMG_4815My Thoughts

When I first learned about the ability to custom mold your own shin guards, I was very excited to try it out and discover if it was actually effective. Now, having molded them and worn them, I’m even more impressed than the mere thought of being able to do such a thing.

To create the perfect, custom, molded fit, you simply place the guards (plastic face down) in a large pot/pan with one inch of almost boiling water in it. Wait one minute or until they’re soft and pliable before taking them out; in the mean time, put the Cobra sleeve on with the top of the sleeve just below the knee. The center seam should be positioned above your ankle where you want the bottom of your shin guard to be. Using a spatula, lift the shin guards out of the water and place them on a dry towel, gently wiping off any excess water. Immediately place the shinguard on your leg where you would like them molded. With the guard still warm and pliable, pull the lower half of the sleeve up over the guard. The guard should now be sandwiched between one layer of the sleeve underneath and another layer folded over the top. Use your hands to form the guard to the contour of your leg; the guards will mold to the exact contour of your legs, so remain standing while the guards cool off and harden. Leave the guards on for a total of 5 to 10 minutes.

A1QUbVtyBCL._SL1500_Once I completed the quick and simple molding process, I noticed how well the guards fit the shape of my legs. For years, I’ve been stuck wearing $20-$30 plastic Nike shin guards that always slid around, no matter how much I taped them; I’m beyond glad that, coupled with the double layer Cobra shin guard sleeves, these guards stay perfectly in place. The guards feel very comfortable and lightweight on my legs while playing; I hardly even notice I’m wearing them. The double layer Cobra shin guard sleeves are hourglass-shaped; you turn them inside out, pull them on your legs, pull the ‘top half’ up over the ‘bottom half’, and then slide the shin guards in. I found that this type of sleeve does an incredible job of keeping the guards in place at all times, much better than the subpar job Nike’s shin guard sleeves do. When playing soccer under the hot, sweaty sun in the summer, it’s very common to come home drenched in sweat, and have all of your gear, including your shin guards, smelling stinky. I am glad that shin guard stench is now one less thing to worry about since these guards are stink free due to the odor control closed-cell foam. For just $29 USD per pair, a comparable price to plastic Nike and adidas shin guards that you cannot custom mold to the shape of your legs, these Cobra shin guards are an incredible bargain and will be the only pair of shin guards you’ll ever need, since they’re re-moldable year after year. For more information or if you’re interested in purchasing, click here and check them out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.IMG_4792IMG_4794

glovestix

GloveStix Sports Gear Odor Control Review

glovestixGloveStix are a patent pending odor management system that, when placed into your sports gloves or shoes after practice or games, absorb harmful moisture, eliminate odors, and inhibit 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria growth on the product surface. They work well in lacrosse gloves, hockey gloves, goalkeeper gloves, skates, sneakers, boots, boxing gloves, and more. They’re available to purchase here.

glovestixTech Specs

-Patent pending odor management system

-Designed to easily insert into gloves and shoes when not in use

-Comes with 2 deodorizing insert bags

-Works over a 24 hour time period

-Infused with Silver Seal Technology that provides antimicrobial protection

-Absorbs harmful moisture and eliminates odors

-Inhibits 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria growth on the product surface

-Fresh scented insert should be replaced every 90 days for optimum performance

-Fits lacrosse gloves, hockey gloves, goalkeeper gloves, skates, sneakers, boots, boxing gloves, and more

GloveStix are available for $29.99 USD per pair here.

glovestixglovestixMy Thoughts

After testing the GloveStix in both a stinky pair of soccer cleats and a sweaty pair of goalkeeper gloves, I am truly impressed with how well the product works. They do an amazing job of eliminating the odor and moisture in my cleats and gloves in just 24 hours, which is super convenient if you have practice or games two days in a row. I come home from practice, put the GloveStix in my cleats, and they are as fresh as new and ready to go for the next day. All the moisture miraculously gets absorbed by the sticks, and the foul, sweaty odor is eliminated. GloveStix were also able to absorb the moisture in my goalkeeper gloves, keeping them dry, comfortable, and stink-free. It’s uncomfortable to put back on damp, sweaty, smelly gloves after a hot summer session; thankfully, with GloveStix, I don’t have to anymore. The two fresh scented inserts last for about 3 months (depending on the amount of moisture in the shoes or gloves) before they need to be replaced. Refill bags are available for $7.95 USD (Set of 2) on their website. For $29.99 USD per pair, GloveStix are a great investment for players with stinky sports equipment. They are capable of working in lacrosse gloves, hockey gloves, goalkeeper gloves, skates, sneakers, boots, boxing gloves, and more. Overall, I am very satisfied with how well GloveStix held up to their odor eliminating, moisture absorbing, and bacteria inhibiting claims and definitely recommend them to all athletes with stinky gear. You can pick up a pair for yourself here. glovestixglovestix