Skin-tight shields like the Defiant's are a possibility, for both sides of the war. We've seen that bubble shield configurations don't work for the Federation in regards to Dominion firepower, and yet when the Defiant's in battle during the war itself, even with the appearance of "non-shields," there are still shield readings in the dialogue. Indeed, in Nemesis, the Enterprise appears to have skin-tight shields as well (just with more graphics and blue splash). Important to note that shields aren't the end-all defense, either. Hull breaches have been shown despite shields being up in some occasions.
We saw "bubble shields" used by the Defiant
against the Jem'Hadar at the start of Favor the Bold
I was really just pointing out that unless the ship was a "hero" vessel they tend to only take one or two shots and then they are gone. Didn't mean to suggest that no one used shields because we didn't see a glowing bubble around a ship every time it was hit by weapons fire.
Look at Tears of the Prophets
, the weapon platforms immediately does massive hull damage to a Warbird and a Galaxy
class but the Defiant
gets hit several times and gets through without so much as a dent in its hull.