Muay Thai kick pads: 3 important things to consider when buying a pair of pads
Training with Muay Thai kick pads is an essential part of a Thai boxing workout. It improves speed, power, and accuracy of strikes. The best thing about pad drills is that this kind of training is more effective than a simple bag workout.
The main advantage of pad workout is that you can practice with a real target and also get a constant feedback from your sparring partner during the training. It allows you to test techniques that you would not be able to practice with just a bag. Training with pads let you strike with a full power without worrying that you may injure your sparring partner who is holding them.
3 important things to look for when buying a pair of Muay Thai kick pads:
#1 The main purpose of training: first you need to decide whether you want to buy a pair of Thai pads or a focus mitts too? You have to decide whether you want one universal pair for kicking and boxing or two pairs: one pair of kick pads and one pair of focus mitts.
It is always good to have both, but if you don't feel like buying a second pair you may want to choose curved pads instead. They are more useful than flat ones since they combine most of the best characteristics of both and are easier to hold than straight pads. Thanks to its unique build it also forces you to deliver a strike with a greater precision.
On the other hand, when training with a beginner, curved pads may upset your or your sparring partner wrist. The reason behind it is that some of the hits might land on the edge of the pad and it may not get absorbed well. In this case, I would advise you to get straight pads or a pair with a minimal curve.
#2 Comfort of use: buy a pair with an adjustable double velcro belts. You should also pay attention to the quality and the number of foam layers which absorbs the impact of strikes. Choose a pair with a triple layer of shock absorption padding built into its structure. It will make them much more comfortable and suitable for long training sessions.
#3 Another important aspect is durability and a quality of used materials. Just like with gloves choose a pair with triple stitches. Full leather Muay Thai kick pads are the most durable but these are also the most expensive ones. You can also get one made of a synthetic leather, which is cheaper than real leather, but it will not last as much as the more expensive leather pads.
I would not recommend buying a vinyl Thai pads: they are cheap - that is true - but also very plasticky in touch, will not offer the same grip and comfort of wearing. This type pads may crack quite easily when used for an intensive training session and once cracked they will not offer great protection and even may damage your gloves. If you serious about your training you should look for savings when buying most important equipment like pads and gloves.