RDX T1 Leather MMA Shin Guards Review
RDX is one of the UK’s most widely known fight brands, who are now pushing their products over to the US, as well as already having popularity in a large number of countries. They have a reputation for producing quality gear for any level, with reasonable price tags. They’re often people’s first choice for equipment when they’re starting out in martial arts.
Note: Since we originally wrote this review, RDX have made some minor updates to the product name and printed logos. As a result, some details may not be fully accurate, although the review is still representative of the current product.
About the shin guards
These RDX T1 shin guards are advertised as being 3D moulded to provide a greater build quality, as well as featuring some of RDX’s Impact protection in the form of dual gel foam padding with nylon inserts designed for intermediate and advanced kickers. Offered in black with either red or gold detailing, they can also boast of being 50% lighter than standard RDX shins, whilst still providing 26mm of protection across the shin. All in all on paper they appear to be a brilliant pair of shin guards, but how did they live up to this in the real world?
The colour choice on these shins is very limited, leaving you with the choice of black with gold detailing or black with red detailing. I opted for the gold for this review, and I have to admit I found them quite plain. The shins themselves are a matte black and have a white and gold ‘RDX’ down the shin with a gold ‘R’ at the top of the pad and a white and gold T-1 on top of the foot. This design would suit a fighter who preferred an understated look to their gear, but many fighters favour a slightly flashier look which I felt these shinguards lacked somewhat.
Weight and distribution
As is natural with all shin guards the majority of the weight is down the shin, but as long as they can be tightened sufficiently the distribution is unnoticeable as it’s tight against the leg. This is the case with these RDX T1 Leather MMA Shin Guards, they’ve used their ‘Neo-1’ neoprene and ‘Quick-EZ’ Velcro closures, alongside a standard elasticated underfoot strap, to make sure the shins fit very well. Once you’re wearing these shins it’s easy to move and kick, and the lightweight design keeps you quick.
Materials and Craftsmanship
On the plus side, these shin guards are very well made. RDX have 3D moulded them to get a uniform build quality, and all the materials are of high quality. They have used a 300 denier nylon based outer cover for durability, and it seems to work exactly as RDX claims – months of hard striking haven’t worn it down at all, it still looks as good as they did coming out the packet. The QD-2 inner lining is designed to wick away moisture and keep your skin dry and it’s held up to the hottest of training sessions. Finally the dual padding, a mixture of Shell-Shock gel and Max-Shock padding, totalling 26mm over the shin, gives great padding throughout sessions.
The first thing I personally look for in shinguards is the fit, in my opinion they should be tight against the leg and hold in place throughout a session, as well as being easy to put on and tighten up. RDX achieve both these goals. Their strap and loop Velcro fastening system makes the pads quick and easy to put on at the start of a session, and can easily be adjusted to make sure they stay in place throughout hard sparring. However I wouldn’t say they’re snug enough to use in grappling because they’re loose enough to catch and get torn off during groundwork.
The 26mm thick padding makes them ideal for striking though, it’s thick enough to give confidence that you aren’t going to hurt yourself or your sparring partner even if things get a bit rough. My only complaint for these shins is that I quite often find they dig into the bottom of my knee cap. Being a little bit taller or a little bit shorter would have fixed this issue, although this could be more of a sizing issue than a design issue. I went for the large size, which for most shin guards fit me fine, so we would definitely recommend trying out a few sizes to get the fit right if you can, or considering buying a size up if getting them online.
These shins can be found on Amazon for between £20 and £25, making the RDX T1 Leather MMA Shin Guards very affordable. Combined with the thick padding and durability these are a good addition to any kit bag, either for a beginner or advanced fighter. I’d recommend them for someone just starting out in sparring, they’ll easily hold up to training until you can decide if you want to continue sparring or purchase a more expensive pair of shins.