Twins Special SGL-3 Slim Padded Leather Thai Shinguards Review
Twins Special is one of the largest Thai manufacturers, and despite only being a registered company since 1992, they’ve been producing top level Thai boxing gear and equipment for 60 years. They export their equipment all over the world, and have become well known as a very reliable and well-made brand, with their boxing gloves growing in popularity with western boxers as well as Nak Muay.
About the shin guards
The SGL-3 are a slim, compact shin guard offered by Twins Special. While they definitely have all of the typical features of Striking style Muay Thai shin guards, they also have a much smaller, compact feel compared to other typical Thai shin guards, such as the Fairtex SP5 Shinguards or the Top King Super Star Shin Guards, which has lead to them being a popular choice for those looking to avoid bulky shin guards.
These shin guards avoid using any flashy designs, instead opting for a much more basic style, with only the Twins logo at the top of the shin and Twins’ genuine leather assurance icon below. In terms of the logo, there seem to be two different versions of these; Versions featuring a stitched on patch (as seen in the photos), while the version we’ve been reviewing actually feature the more rounded Twins logo printed on instead. The images on the internet mostly show the first version, however seeing as ours are a 2017 edition, we’re inclined to believe this was a recent update to the design.
The available colours vary depending on where you look. Most places seem to have basic colours such as red (which is the version I’ve been testing out), blue, black or white. There are a number of other versions though, available from websites such as muaythaifactory.com which are a little harder to find, including green, pink, purple, light blue, yellow and even brown.
The Twins SGL-3 Shinguards are constructed with genuine leather, which has a great texture and typically proves to be highly durable over time. The inner lining of the shin guards is more or less what you’d expect, and has enough grip to stop the shin guards slipping around too much. more importantly, the elastic used on the foot is thick and highly durable, and seems to be holding out a little better than many of the other shin guards we’ve tested.
In terms of padding, the shin section of these use a fairly firm, high density foam which manages to block the majority of impacts without being too thick. The padding on the foot however is much softer, which allows for more flexibility and comfort but I found doesn’t offer quite as much protection if you accidentally kick an elbow or knee.
These shin guards are well made with solid stitching, using a tried and tested design that has since been copied by a couple of other brands. After having used these, I can see why they’re a popular choice. They’re designed to feel less wide than other shin guards, which allows you to get into gaps when kicking without sacrificing much in the way of shock absorption. They don’t come up above the knee, instead stopping just below. This obviously means there isn’t any knee protection, but for some people this isn’t an issue, and having less knee protection can give a little more manoeuvrability. The other thing I like about the way these shin guards are constructed is that the foot padding is directly attached to the main body of the shin guard. As well as being straightforward, it also means there isn’t any gap between the two sections of padding.
Overall I’ve found that the Twins SGL-3 Slim Shinguards feel really light, offering a great alternative to the typical thicker Muay Thai shin guards. While they’re small, I found myself quite surprised at just how well the shin padding eliminates shock. The shin guards fit really well too, with two velcro straps around the back, and just the single strip of elastic across the bottom of the foot. By moving the lower velcro strap further down, they’ve removed the need for a second elasticated strip around the back of the ankle. Not only does it make them a tiny bit simpler to put on, but I actually found it helps you to get a much tighter fit around the lower shin.
These might be easy to get hold of in Thailand, but thanks to import fees, these shin guards can be a little expensive to get hold of in the UK and US. The prices we’ve found generally sit somewhere in between £75 and £100, which is a little bit steep, however we’ve also found them as low as £50 new on some sites such as eBay.If you can find these at a good price then they’re well worth it for a durable pair of shin guards.
Looking to buy these?
+ Slim, lightweight design
+ Well made
+ Durable materials
– Basic visuals
– No knee protection
– Price varies a lot