Sandee Cotton Slip-on Competition Shinguard Review
Sandee is a staple of the Muay Thai world, founded in 1977 they have over 35 years’ experience producing some of the highest quality boxing and Muay Thai equipment in the world. With their manufacturing facility based in Bangkok they offer worldwide delivery centred in the UK, and they can boast a stable of sponsored fighters throughout the years including Jo Calderwood, Daitan Jackson and previously UFC middleweight star Michael Bisping.
About the shin guards
These shinguards are, as the name suggests, are the slip on style. Rather than having a pair of straps that fasten round the calves to hold them in place the whole shinguard is a sleeve, with a strap at the top to hold it in place. They’re typically designed for competition rather than sparring, and consequently tend to be thinner than your standard sparring shins. Sandee sell these in red and white or black and white variations. The sizing on these is a bit strange; you can buy them in Adult, Small, Extra Small or Junior. I tested out the Adult size, which came up a bit small on me, but I’m about six foot three so they’d suit an average height fighter nicely.
As I said, Sandee sell these shins in either red or black, both with white detailing, and I tried out the black variants. I love the way these look, they’ve got a great, understated design. The majority of the shin is black, with a white strip down each side, the Sandee Thailand logo two thirds of the way up the shin, another smaller one on the back of the calves and ‘Unbreakable’ printed in a stylised font just above the ankle joint. Overall they have a crisp and modern look, and I’m a big fan.
Sandee have kept this very simple, nothing but cotton and a bit of foam padding. Because these shins are designed for use in competition and not regular sparring they haven’t got any of the more advanced technology in the padding, there’s no impact absorbing gels or moulded foam. However this doesn’t mean Sandee haven’t put any thought into the padding – it’s been carefully placed to provide maximum protection to your shin and instep.
As with the other Sandee products we’ve reviewed, the craftsmanship on these shinguards is top notch. There’s very little that needs stitching, which should help with durability, but everything that needed it has been double stitched and reinforced. Every whole in the material – the toe, leg and heel hole – has been doubled stitched and curled over, and not a single stitch is out of place.
I’ll start by stating the obvious, these shins are not as comfortable as standard sparring shinguards. This is because they don’t have the thicker padding found in those as they’re designed for amateur fights rather than training. But, that being said, they are a pleasure to train with. The slip on ‘sleeve’ style means they fit really firmly and the adjustable elastic strap at the top stops them from slipping too much. This, combined with their lightness, means that they don’t feel like you’re wearing anything and I definitely felt faster with my kicks. This tightness will also be beneficial for anyone training MMA, you’ll be able to grapple and practice your ground game with the shins on without worrying about catching them or having them pulled off. The main drawback to this was I did feel that I needed to hold back a bit more than normal in sparring though, I was aware that there was less protection for my partners when I had these shins on.
Sandee are selling these for £20 each at the moment, which I consider as brilliant value. As I’ve said they don’t offer the protection of thicker shins, and I wouldn’t recommend that beginners get them until they have a bit more control, but I think a lot of people would consider these as a starter set of shinpads due to this low price. For more experienced fighters they offer great value for money as a second set of shinguards or as a competition pair.
Looking to buy these?
+ High quality materials
+ Tight fit
+ Great value for money
– Not much protection for sparring partners
– Limited colour choice
– Sizing options aren’t very straight forward