Anyone who has ever been hit anywhere on the body by a hard, fast cricket ball knows exactly how painful it is!
When you are in the crease, facing fast balls off the bowler, your sensitive shins are at a high risk or being bruised, battered, and injured by speeding balls. This is why a good quality pair of cricket shin pads is essential for any batsman.
A good pair of pads isn’t cheap, so you want to do your research and get pads that will offer you optimum protection without restricting your movement (you don’t want to get tripped up while sprinting for the line), and which will give you your money’s worth before they fall apart.
So, let’s go through exactly what to look for when choosing cricket shin pads, and our recommendations for some of the best cricket batting pad brands that you can buy today.
We are going to be talking a lot about the different elements of the cricket pads, so it is a good idea to have an overview of the different elements that make up a leg pad before getting started.
This is the main protective portion of the pad that sits over your shin. In traditional cricket pads, it is composed of seven vertical sections, which allow the pad to wrap around your leg, each with a cane for stiffness and other types of padding for protection. Today, you can get moulded pads that do not require the seven sections. They tend to be lighter, but offer a little less protection.
The knee roll is the protective padding that sits over the knee, and will generally have three horizontal sections of padding that allow the knee to bend. Mould pads don’t necessarily require a knee fold, but they will often have a simulated knee fold as umpires also use this to determine the trajectory of the ball when making LBW (leg before wicket) calls.
This is the section above the knee pad that protects the lower part of the thigh. It should only come up a few centimeters above your knee, and comes away from your let when you bend your knees. The fleshy thigh doesn’t provide the same level of protection as the shin.
The wings sit on either side of the face and offer extra protection around the sides of the shins. Often the wings will only be on the side facing the bowler, and not on the back, as this helps reduce the weight of the pads. This does mean that you do need to look out for left-hand, right hand, and ambidextrous batting pads.
No surprises here, this is what keeps the pads on your legs! While traditionally the pads used metal clasps, today they are usually made from lightly padded elastic and secured with Velcro. There will be two or three straps depending on the size and weight of the pads.
Best Cricket Batting Pad Brands
There are a lot of different batting pad options out there, but one of the best things that you can do is start with a reliable, specialist brand.
Lots of general sporting goods brands make cricket pads, but they tend to be of lower quality and using generic technology, so it is a good idea to choose a brand that specializes in cricket.
We think that these are the best cricket brands that are producing cricket pads and selling them directly in the UK. They range from high-end to affordable.
Kookaburra is an Australian sporting equipment brand that specializes in equipment for cricket and hockey. They produce the most widely used balls in one-day international competitions.
They produce a variety of different pads, but we love their Kahuna 3.0 range, which is a traditional style pad that utilizes the latest technology.
Available in youth, small adults, and adult sizes, choose from left and right-handed options.
The traditional cane style with reversed foam padding is reinforced with a HDF extended side wing which enhances protection without adding bulk. The knee pads are enhanced with shape-retaining bolsters which mean that they should last for longer, and covered with durable PVC.
The pads also use ergonomically shaped calf straps for maximum comfort, reducing pressure on the legs and increasing comfort.
- Traditional style
- PVC outer layer
- Reversed roam and reinforced cane padding
- Left and right-handed options
Gunn & Moore
Gunn & Moore, often just marketed as GM is a Nottingham-based cricket equipment manufacturer that has been in operation for more than 130 years.
They have a huge range of pads, but we love their Diamond Batting Pads, endorsed by English cricket legend Ben Stokes.
Another traditional style pad, the PU facing is padded with high-density foam using reverse cane production. Further protection is given by a low-density foam vertical bolster over the chin.
The pads are relatively light, weighing just 1kg per leg, and they are designed for comfort with tri-layer foam knee protection and moisture-wicking mesh instep.
Available in three different adult sizes, as well as youth and junior options, choose right or left-handed styles depending on your batting preferences.
- Traditional style
- PU outer later
- High density foam and reversed cane inner
- Various size options
Gray-Nicolls is another English brand, made when the two companies merged. Based in East Sussex they have been in the business since 1855.
Of their many great options, we love the Velocity XP1 pads, available in options for both adults and youths, and batsmen or both right and left-handed persuasions.
Made with 20mm high-density foam and cane construction, they are a moulded-traditional hybrid pad that is lightweight and shop absorbing.
The pre-moulded knee cup has additional protective inserts that provide extra protection around this sensitive area. This is one of the more affordable options on the market, which will be welcome for less serious and junior cricketers.
- Traditional-moulded hybrid
- High-density foam and cane construction
- Reinforced knee cup
Newberry is another British heritage cricket brand that has been creating great gear for cricketers since the early 1900s.
While we love their premium pads, their Phantom series is worth looking at for anyone looking for an affordable option for club-level games.
They are a traditional pad with a seven-bar face, covered with PU for durability. They use a high-density, low rebound foam padding.
Available in sizes from mini to extra-large, they are ultralightweight and have a dynamic fit system which makes them easy to adapt to the unique proportions of your body.
One of the things that stands out about these pads is that have left, right, and ambidextrous options, so there is something for every type of player.
- Traditional style
- PU outer
- High-density, low-rebound foam padding
- Left, right, and ambidextrous options
What To Consider When Choosing Cricket Batting Pads
When choosing the right cricket batting pads for you, there are a lot of things to consider. But we think that these are the most important, and they will help you narrow down your search.
You will see cricket batting pads for as little as £30 and as much as £200, so you need to know what price range you are looking at before you get started.
Generally speaking, the more your pay, the better quality they will be, and the less, the less protection you will get and the quicker they will wear out.
But not everyone needs top-quality pads. Youths and juniors, who are growing quickly and will be needing new pads regularly, can get away with cheaper options. They aren’t going to be facing super-fast balls, and basic but good quality padding will be sufficient.
A lot of club players also won’t need great pads, as again, they aren’t facing top bowlers.
However, if you play at a higher level, you could be facing balls coming at you at upwards of 80 miles per hour, so get yourself some good pads. This is especially true if you bat near the top of the roster, and therefore are likely to face the toughest competition.
As we have already said, we suggest that you limit your search to specialist cricket brands, and skip over options from the likes of New Balance, Adidas, and Nike.
That is not to say that none of these broader brands produce good pads, but this is an effective way to narrow your search.
If you go with one of or recommended specialist companies, you can be sure that you are getting an option designed with the latest professional tech, and not cheap options using dated approaches.
Pads are designed slightly differently depending on if you are a right hand, left hand, or ambidextrous batter.
There are no particular regulations regarding the design of batting pads, but the reality is that there are very few designs to choose from.
By far the most common design is the traditional pad that uses the seven sections. While these were traditionally made from leather, these days you will see PU and PVC options, both of which are great choices.
There are also moulded designs that don’t feature the canes and are pre-shaped. But these are pretty rare and tend to be expensive, which is why we haven’t featured any of them on our list.
Similarly, while most pads use foam for internal padding, you can get options with carbon or Kevlar inserts. But again, these are expensive, and not really necessary for any but the most serious players.
You will want to choose something that is as lightweight as possible, and which is right for you depending on whether you are a right-handed batsman, a southpaw, or an ambidextrous hitter.
Once you have chosen your brand and style, you do need to choose the right size. This will largely determine how well they stay in place, their comfort, and whether they protect the full area of your shin bones.
Sizing does differ between brands, so you are going to need to measure your legs and consult their sizing guide.
You should measure from the middle of your knee to the top of your instep.
As well as the length of your legs, you need to consider your body frame. May brands will also offer small, regular, and large adult sizing in terms of the amount of wrap-around protection you get.
If possible, you should always try before you buy. Ideally, you are looking for the knee roll to come up over your knee and the bottom of the pad to rest on top of your foot.
If you are looking for a bat, check out our review of the best cricket bats available in the UK.
Caring For Your Cricket Pads
As with most things, you can ensure your batting pads last as long as possible by treating them well.
Fortunately, they are pretty easy to care for, with the essential thing being to keep them clean.
This means giving them a wipe down after every use, whether that is a game or time in the nets.
You should also dry them out completely after every use, so that sweat and other liquids don’t soak in and leave behind an unpleasant smell.
But don’t place them in direct sunlight for this purpose as this can harden and dry out the padding, rendering their protection more or less useless.
What is the cost of Cricket pads?
Cricket batting pads can cost anywhere from £30 to £200. Junior and low-level amateur players can generally get away with pads at the £30-50 mark, and most players should not need to spend more than £100. Only professional players and serious club players near the top of the batting line-up really need more expensive pads.
How do you wear batting pads?
Batting pads are designed to be worn over the trousers, and are secured with simple straps. You do need to choose pads designed for whether you are a right-handed, left-handed, or ambidextrous batsman. Pads will have extra protection on the side facing the bowler. This is not added to the back of the pad in order to reduce weight.
No batsman would want to risk going into the crease against a fast bowler without a good pair of batting pads to protect their shins. Cricket balls are hard, and fast bowlers throw at speeds of 80 miles per hour of more, so protecting yourself is essential.
There isn’t actually that much variation easily available in terms of style of batting pads, but there is a lot of variation in terms of quality.
To make sure you are getting something good, focus your search on specialist cricket brands. After that, the essential consideration are finding the right size and the right options for which hand your prefer to hit with.
Of course, not everyone needs the best quality pads. Young players, for example, are unlikely to be facing fast pitches. So, choose how much you are willing to spend based on how much protection you really need.
- The Ultimate Guide To Selecting Cricket Equipment – Sportskeeda
- Cricket Research: Left and right-handed batting combinations
- Top 10 fastest bowlers in Cricket history – SACricket Mag
Last update on 2021-05-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API