We’re all no strangers to scratched and grazed shins. Not only are they painful, but with shorts in summer they also look pretty awful. Skwerel have made it their mission to keep your shins shiny without the need to don a full suit of armour. To that end, they have developed the slim and flexible Dr. anKle shin guards. Sounds like a deal, or what?
skwerel: that’s three buddies from Germany who love beer and biking. At the same time, they strive to look good. That’s why they set out to tackle the problem of MTB shin guards. We’re all enthusiastic mountain bikers, but even the best of us slip off the pedal now and then, and sometimes the bushes jump out to get you. Scratches and small injuries are part of the game. Enter Dr. anKle MTB shin guards, developed by Skwerel in cooperation with SAS-TEC: shin guards for those who want a bit more than just knee pads and a bit less than the currently available huge affairs with integrated shin guards.
For € 59.90, you’ll get a pair of MTB shin guards that you can wear as extra protection under your socks. You’ll have to wear high socks that cover the protectors to fix them in place. Skwerel offers their own at a price of € 24.90. They are a bit on the short side, though. If you feel that they don’t reach high enough, no problem – just use different ones. The Skwerel shin guards are certainly handy: weighing only just 64 g per piece, they can be easily stored in the backpack or hip bag, and can also be combined with your favourite knee pads. Developed as one-size-fits-all, they are supposed to protect your shins and be comfortable to wear at the same time – and comfy they are: the material is flexible and they’re almost unnoticeable when you wear them. The two sides are covered in different materials: one side with an abrasion-resistant layer, and the other lined with a special shock-absorbing PU foam that minimises the risk of injury in the event of an impact. If the protector pad is too long, you can shorten it yourself at the cut edge provided. The shin guards have been certified according to protection class 1 test criteria for knee guards .
MTB shin guards – really the “guardian angels” for your shins?
No guesswork is necessary when you put them on: it’s simple and easy. Put on sock – position shin guard to feel comfy – cover with sock – done. The manufacturer claims that you can use either side of the protector on the skin, whichever side feels better to you. Our testers agree: the side with the foam feels more comfy. The other side causes profuse sweating and leaves a striking pattern imprinted on your skin. But no worries: the pattern disappears as quickly as it appears. The pattern is caused by the 60 vents, which allow a bit of airflow to keep things cool Rather predictably, the thick socks are quite warm to wear in summer, but honestly, is there a protector that doesn’t build up a bit of heat when it’s 30 degrees outside?
The MTB shin guards by Skwerel have been designed to feel comfortable even during long rides. You may not notice them much, but they go a long way in making you feel less anxious about shin injuries. After the first few downhills, they tend to slide down towards the ankles a tad, which might be a bit irritating. However, the shin guards still do their job.
The Skwerel Dr. anKle MTB shin guards are one part of your gear that won’t draw attention – not that you’d want it to. True, if you are blessed with very slender ankles, these will look rather thicker with the shin guards, so they tend to be more noticeable on women. This is only an issue when you’re wearing shorts, though. With trousers, the shin guards are more or less invisible anyway. The protectors are also handy to clean: once you’re done with biking for the day, you can hand wash them in cold water.
- inconspicuous and slender design
- flexible material
- increased sense of safety
- socks too short
- shin guards tend to slide down
- sweating and imprint of air holes
Done with scarred legs in summer? If you want to protect your shins, Skwerel Dr. anKle shin guards are your friends. Our tip: buy some longer socks. The slender protector pads are virtually invisible under trousers and not readily noticeable even with shorts. If you want your shins to shine, you’ll have to brave the sweating in warm weather, but on the other hand, you’ll be smooth as silk all summer.
More information at: skwerel.de
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Words: Antonia Feder Photos: Simon Kohler