the nike mercurial alpha lite shinpads are a relatively new product with lots of great innovations. i am often sceptical of new football products (boots, gloves etc) as i cant see how they can keep improving them. materials get lighter and stronger but already there is a lot of controversy about whether these lighter materials are causing metatarsal injuries to players. otherwise (as mentioned in a previous blog post on football boots) new ranges from nike and adidas in particular are usually more about fashion than function. but now i have found something that seems to actually solve some problems, which is really what product design is all about.

the video below shows it better than i can describe it, but you have to wait till near the end for my favourite feature. the 'pocketed dri-fit fabric sleeve' that holds the pads removes the need for straps round the back. altogether the overall fit of the pad will therefore be more snug and streamlined, whilst still giving you the protection you need. nike have a few different styles that have this feature so it can't be that new, but it impressed me a lot!

£20 is very expensive for a set but i guess it depends on how much you play football. i'd say they look like a very good investment!

link to nikestore