I'm sick of people telling me that you have to lift your leg up as high as possible, as if your whole shin is a magic shield.
The right way to check a kick is to stop the kick with the top part of the shin (near the knee). The guy in this YouTube video shows how to do it properly.
Like everything, it takes drills and practice - and after time you can magically plant the top part of your shin on the incoming kick, and if you do it well enough, it will put your opponent off landing any more for a while.
Checking calf kicks is a different story though, let's see how Conor McGregor gets on with that when he faces Dustin Poirier on July the 10th for the trilogy.