Kids and youth aged catchers need leg guards that will keep them safe and comfortable behind the plate, and our top pick meets these requirements (and more).
Keep reading to learn more about our top pick and our other highly rated options...
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Best Youth Leg Guards - Our Reviews & Top Picks
There's only a handful of pieces of catchers gear that a catcher must wear, and leg guards (also commonly called shin guards) fall into that category.
Leg guards are a required piece of catchers gear, built to protect the catcher's knees, shins and ankles from things like wild pitches, cleats, blocking, and foul tips.
Measuring Your Catcher
Don't be afraid to buy shin guards directly online without first trying them on in the store. It is super simple to find the size you need.
To find the right size leg guards, all you need to do is measure from the center of the knee down to the bend in the foot. The size you get in inches is the size of leg guard that you should purchase.
If your measurement is in between two sizes, then choose the higher number. Simple!
Leg Guard Sizes
We know that many people, especially parents of young catchers, get confused when trying to pick out the correct size of leg guards.
While your best bet is to measure your catcher (as instructed above), it can be helpful to know general size guidelines by age. Details will differ by brand or manufacturer; however, generally speaking, sizes are as follows:
|Age Range||Name||Leg Guard Size (inches)|
|6 - 8||Jr. Youth||~ 11.5|
|9 - 12||Youth||12.5 - 13.5|
|13 - 15||Intermediate||14 - 15.5|
|16 +||Adult||16 - 17.5|
Again, we strongly urge you to measure your catcher before buying a pair of youth leg guards, that way you know the exact size to get.
One last point of clarification before we go on. Unless told specifically otherwise, all leg guards being sold online from established marketplaces are sold as pairs - not as a single leg guard.
Now that we've established this information, let's move on to our picks.
Our Top Picks
We believe the top youth leg guards for catchers that are available today are:
- All Star System 7 Axis Youth Series
- Easton Elite X
- Easton Gametime
- Easton M7
We'll begin by reviewing our first pick, the All Star System 7 Axis.
#1. All Star System 7 Axis Youth Series
Premium leg guards for serious young catchers
After many hours of research, our conclusion is that All Star makes some of the best leg guards on the market right now. This generally rings true not only for adult baseball and fastpitch softball but at the youth level as well.
The System 7 model is arguably the best known line of catchers gear in the All Star collection, the Axis version being the newest addition to the System 7 family.
These leg guards have a lot of great features built in, such as the gel enclosed "Patella Plus" knee pad technology, which gives excellent protection and comfort to the knee.
Speaking of the knee, the Axis version has a smoother and wider knee area than its predecessor, increasing the mobility of the catcher using it.
The DeltaFlex™ harness system does a great job of keeping the leg guards firmly in place throughout the game. The padding and exterior plastic are vented which allows air to circulate, helping keep catchers cool behind the plate.
In short, System 7 Axis Leg Guards were designed to take a beating while keeping the wearer safe and comfortable. In our view, it is tops among the youth catcher shin guards on the market.
Made with proprietary hinge system, preventing excess shifting
Superior ventilation due to its perforated padding and shell
Triple knee protection and knee pads due to D30®
Moldable plastic, which allows the leg guards to better conform to your legs with use
It is a premium product, so the cost is higher than average
Rear of the Leg Guard
#2. Easton Elite X
Top leg guards that are easy to move around in
One of the more recent releases of leg guards from Easton is their Elite X line. This is the same set of leg guards that were used in recent Little League World Series!
The knee area has added protective material, and it is wider than previous Easton lineups to help with your mobility and blocking.
You will notice right away that Elite X leg guards are lightweight and easy to move in. Also, the outer protective shell has vents to help keep you cool behind the plate.
A pretty cool feature of the leg guards is that behind the knee and shin the internal padding is adjustable so that you can have a custom and more comfortable fit.
Depending on your measurement, you can order the Elite X in either intermediate (15.5 inches) or youth sizes (14 inches).
These are worth checking out for sure!
It features an attractive design that looks good behind the plate
Built with good knee protection, containing adjustable knee and shin pads
The protective shell is ventilated and has a design that is supposed to push out hot air
Its wider knee helps with increased stability when blocking
It is on the more expensive side, though it's not the most expensive Easton brand of leg guard
View of the Back Side of the Leg Guards
#3. Easton Gametime
Another excellent set of youth leg guards from Easton
The Gametime is another high quality leg guard made by Easton. Like the Elite X series, the Gametime also has an "asymmetric" design, meaning that the leg guards fit the specific shape of each leg.
The knee protection provided in the Gametime is top notch, with shock absorbing memory foam referred to as a "reinforced knee" system.
Although they can appear wide out of the box, with a little bit of effort they do a good job of form fitting and molding to your legs.
These youth catcher shin guards have vents and foam lining to help increase airflow and to give them a lightweight feel.
Designed specifically for the contours of the left and right legs
Impressive foam based knee protection system
Allows for the quick movements needed when blocking
Very good ventilation
The amount of shin padding could be thicker
Budget Pick: Easton M7
Our budget pick for youth leg guards is the Easton M7.
For reference, our budget pick is what we consider to be the best product in terms of things like quality and comfort available at an affordable price. The goal is to provide helpful information to someone who is on a budget and is concerned primarily about cost.
There are a few things that stand out about the M7. Like the other Easton leg guards mentioned in this post, the M7 comes with really good knee protection, equipped with Easton's Inner Knee Protection system.
Additionally, it comes with a triple knee cup, which provides extra layers of protection and shock absorption over the knee.
The liner is machine washable, making it super easy to clean after a long, sweaty season (or a long weekend!) of use.
Lastly, these shin guards come in multiple colors, all at a competitive price.
Very affordable - great value for the quality you get
Solid knee protection and comfort
Durable - they were built to take abuse behind the plate
It's an Easton product
Variety of colors are available
They don't look quite as flashy as some other leg guards
Rear of the Leg Guards
Tee Ball Pick: All-Star Youth League Series
Our pick for the best leg guards for tee ball catchers is the All-Star Youth League Series. This pick is based on our assessment of tee ball leg guards having the best current combination of cost, quality, and design.
We like that these leg guards contain a good amount of internal padding while still remaining lightweight and allowing for mobility.
They have good knee protection and they come with a toe cap, providing a bit of extra protection over the foot.
Made by All Star – a really popular catcher’s gear manufacturer – these leg guards are a good starter set for your little tee ball catcher.
And as an added bonus, they are very affordable.
Good padding and cushioning around the knee
Made by All Star, a popular brand among catchers
Priced very competitively
Does not have all the new features and technology built in like some other "premium" models have. However, keep in mind that you don't necessarily need all of those premium features for tee ball.
Thanks for Reading!
We hope this review of the best youth catcher leg guards was helpful to you.
If you have any questions for us - whether it's about catcher's gear or catching in general - please don't hesitate to reach out top us by heading over to the Contact Us page.