Why Gel Armor?
Developed by a liscenced USSF Referee, USSF Coach, and former player. And most importantly, a Dad.
The Lack Of Standards
I was shocked to find there is a complete lack of standards governing protective equipment in soccer. See Law 4: The Players Equipment. The guidance is for "suitable material" only.
Shin Guards Alone Are Not Enough
Research shows thats 95% of soccer related hospitilizations for broken shin bones have occured while the athlete was wearing traditional shin guards. Recovery time for broken shin is at least 6+months.
Don't Forget The Metatarsals
The area that has brought us to develop Gel Armor protection. There simply wasn't any suitable products available that offered protection and comfort. Broken Metatarsal recovery time average 12weeks.
Protection. Confidence. Comfort.
Gel Armor Shin Protection has been designed to work as secondary layer of defense along with your existing shin guards. Together, they synergistically provide the maximum protection out there.
Gel Armor Metatarsal Protectors have been designed as the leading protection option for foot metatarsals. Comfortable and discrete, use your existing socks and cleats without any sacrifice.
Gel Armor Bruisers have been designed as the leading protection option for the "other" category! Cover over bruises, wounds or generally any area it will fit where you need that added protection and confidence. Discrete and flexible, it's the use-anywhere protection pads for when you need them. Trim to fit as needed.
Gel Armor is designed to absorb forces transmitted and effectively disperse them away
The Importance of Gel Armor
Protection Where You Need It
Gel Armors impact dispursing properties help protect athletes from the unpredictable. Our shin and metatarsal protectors have been designed from those who have played the game.
Get Back In The Game
Shin and metatarsal injuries are devestating. They require significant months of healing and rehabilitation efforts. Add Gel Armor as part of your protection and recovery routines.
Comfort And Confidence
Gel Armor is designed to be non-intrusive and non-restrictive, thereby allowing you to play at your full potential. Lightweight and discrete, giving you added confidence while knowing you are protected.
The Industry Standards Exposed
Red Card Issued
As a liscenced USSF Referee, I hereby issue a RED CARD to the industry regarding shin guard and metatarsal protection standards. This simply isn't acceptable.
Reviewing The Research
IFAB, FIFA and EN Standards merely state that shin guards are only to protect against bumps and bruises, and be constructed of "suitable materials". Not very assuring!
The Bright Idea: Gel Armor
Armed with the motivation as a parent of an injured child, and with a science degree, I went to work. And thats how Gel Armor was conveived.
Exposing the industries lack of standards
Did you know that both FIFA (Players Equipment), The FA (England), and IFAB (Law 4) have incredibly weak requirements when it comes to the design and manufacture of shin guards? There simply is no guidance other than "suitable material". Did I mention I'm also a certified US Soccer Referee? Thats why I'm doing something about it with Gel Armor as I've seen too many injuries to children in our game today. It seems the above agencies are more concerned about your shirt being tucked-in, than player equipment standards. Interestingly, the only quality standard is one for a ball bearing a FIFA logo. Now if the principal responsibility of a referee is safety, we obviously have a disconnect when the ball has more quality governance than the players protective equipment. And I've never seen a FIFA professional ball at a kids game.
Furthermore, the European standard EN 13061:2009 governing "The standard design and requirements of acceptable shin guards" merely only advises against reducing the severity of laceration, contusions (bruises) and skin punctures caused by impacts. And while we put our trust (and taxes) in these regulatory agencies to protect us and our children, their standards are just as good as the old rolled-up newspapers used from past generations. It's absolutely shocking!
I did all the research for you and exposed the industry. Read on!
The Effectiveness of Shin Guards Used by Football Players - PMC (nih.gov)
Tibial shaft fractures in football players - PMC (nih.gov)
The footballer's fracture | British Journal of Sports Medicine (bmj.com)
Comparison of Soccer Shin Guards in Preventing Tibia Fracture - Anthony C. Francisco, Roger W. Nightingale, Farshid Guilak, Richard R. Glisson, William E. Garrett, 2000 (sagepub.com)
Design and manufacturing of shin pads with multi-material additive manufactured features for football players: A comparison with commercial shin pads - Aitor Cazón-Martín, Macarena Iturrizaga-Campelo, Luis Matey-Muñoz, María Isabel Rodríguez-Ferradas, Paz Morer-Camo, Sergio Ausejo-Muñoz, 2019 (sagepub.com)
The Fifth Metatarsal Bone Fracture in Athletes ‐ Modalities of Treatment Related to Agility in Soccer Players - PMC (nih.gov)
Pathogenesis of Fifth Metatarsal Fractures in College Soccer Players - PMC (nih.gov)
8 footballers to suffer from a metatarsal injury (sportskeeda.com)
Law 4 - The Players' Equipment | IFAB (theifab.com)
Law 2 - The Ball | IFAB (theifab.com)
Law 4 - The Players' Equipment (thefa.com)