The 20K line has some big improvements over the older 11K model. The most notable is the more comfortable kneecap that seems to stay in place a lot better when you bend your leg. This can also be credited to Reebok’s unique strap system which, while very different, provides more stability and will help keep the pads in place much better. Of course Reebok has also packed some new technology into these guards too, by designing the kneecap to disperse impact down the pads. There is also a removable thigh guard, and a removable liner for quick drying.
The first thing veteran skaters will notice about these pads is that they feel like they’re right off the shelf in the '90s. Luckily, I only mean that in the sense that they feel old school, because they perform and last like the cutting edge new pads that they are. The strap system is what feels nice and familiar for a lot of skaters, since many other pads are outfitted with new, higher straps. It should also be noted that the pads thin out very nicely at the bottom, which allows skates to fit very comfortably without stretching your tongue (if you like to tuck in your shin pads).
CCM U+ Crazy Light Midnight Shin Guards
Like most of CCM’s other products, the U+ Crazy Light Midnight shin pads are among the lightest on the market, but are also some of the most durable. The segmented lock zone adds extra knee protection, while a player is bending their legs. The liner is removable for detailed cleaning and is also ventilated to keep players cool. Add in CCM’s famous U Foam material that keeps the inner pads feeling brand new and you’ve got some of the best shin guards a shot blocker could want.
My only real criticism of Easton’s pads was the feel of the pads themselves, which always felt a little cheap and would occasionally crack after a few months. But I’m happy to say that the Stealth RS II has fixed that problem and the new pads feel very solid and durable. They hug your legs very well, without feeling too tight; which helps them to stay in place during the course of a game. The strap system is standard, but features some extra padding to cover the back of your leg. Great for players that frequently block shots.
It’s no surprise that Reebok’s 11k shin guards find their way onto the list, along with the shoulder and elbow pads from the same line. The JDP cap protects the knee from even the most violent of impacts and the KFS construction is designed to comfortably wrap around a player’s leg and allow the knee to slip in to a fully protected area. The pads are also designed help prevent hyperextension, and the H-Cell liner will regulate body temperature, moisture, and will not harden over time. These shin guards are used by more pros than any other brand for a reason.