Engage Tuff & Co Shin Guards Review

Brand

Engage is an Australian Fight Wear, Fight Gear, Activewear and Apparel brand. Engage has a high focus on visuals, with their equipment often featuring bold colours, designs and styles not frequently seen in the fight gear industry.

About the shin guards

The Tuff & Co shin guards are one of the mainstays of the Engage range, and are a matching set for the Tuff & Co gloves we reviewed recently. They’re designed to be versatile, with MMA, Kickboxing and Muay Thai all considered during design.

Engage sent us a pair of these to test out and give our opinions on.

Visuals

The Tuff & Co shin guards are part of the Engage ‘Designer’ Series, a range of products that have a pretty unique take on visuals – they aim to merge luxury streetwear with MMA training gear. The design feels minimalist but bold – a fresh white guard (with a small ‘Premium Goods, Battle Tested’ logo) finished off, in the same way as the gloves, with an aqua strip running across the front of the shin guard and round the top strap that gives a pop of colour but keeps the shin guards understated. The final finishing touches are a full Engage logo on the top strap and three smaller logos on the bottom; one engage one, one saying the product is handmade in Thailand, and a third that says they use genuine leather – which is weird, because as we’re about to cover, they don’t.

Even better (for gearheads like us) is that, as well as matching gloves, you can get matching grappling and MMA hybrid shorts. They all have the same design, which is the single colour option of white and aqua.

Below you can find our Fight Gear Focus video giving you a close-up, visual look at these Gloves. Make sure you check out the rest of the video series and Subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss any of our future videos.

Materials/Craftsmanship

While their gloves are real leather Engage use a Semi-Leather and Synthetic blend for the shin guards – pretty common across most brands as shin guards typically see a lot less use than boxing gloves do and so don’t need to be quite so durable. As I just said above they do have a logo saying they’re made from premium grade leather (the same as you find on the boxing gloves), but this isn’t the case. The padding in the guards is high density foam to offer maximal protection – I’ll cover this more in a bit, but they feel quite firm when you first get them and need some breaking in, and you get a lot of feedback from your kicks, but they offer great protection. The inner lining material fits very tight against the padding, which may explain why you get the feedback from impacts.

Engage are proud to say that their products are handmade in Thailand, and the quality is apparent in their products. These shin guards are really well made, the stitching is neat and reinforced where needed, the Semi-Leather is spread evenly and the piping well done. Visuals may be their big priority in the design, but they’ve certainly not cut corners in their materials and craftsmanship for the Tuff & Co Shin Guards.

Comfort/use

The first thing I noticed using these shin guards is that they feel a bit stiff when you first put them on, but once they get broken in a bit they feel great. As I said earlier the inner lining material sits directly on the high density foam padding which means you know when you’ve kicked something. Initially I was a bit worried I’d hit my training partners too hard, but actually this additional feedback means you have a lot more control over the power you’re using and you know if you’ve kicked too hard. It might not be to everyone’s liking, but I really like it.

Another feature I like is the ankle joint on the guards, there shin section and the ankle section overlap to give extra cover over ankle joint, which means you’re protected from elbows catching the joint. It makes the ankle fractionally more stiff, but the protection is more worth it.

Finally Engage have used a two strap system for the two velcro closures. I’ve found on other shin guards that they can be harder to a good, tight fit on and so are more likely to slip round your leg during training. The Tuff & Co shin guards don’t have this issue though, I’ve had no trouble getting them tight against my calf and they fit as tightly as any of my strap and loop shin guards.

Cost

The regular cost of these shin guards are £77, but at the time of writing they’re down to £68. I’d rate these as good value for money at either price, and a great choice for anyone in the market for new shin guards – they combine good protection, great craftsmanship and beautiful visuals.

Looking to buy these?

Pros/Cons

+ Look great
+ Excellent feedback from kicks
+ Great protection

– Single colour option
– Need some breaking in
– Ankle join a little stiff

Engage Tuff & Co Shin Guards Review

This graphic is to illustrate the areas this product excels in, and is not intended for direct comparison to other reviews.

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