Muay Thai Gear: an ultimate guide for Beginners

What kind of Muay Thai gear would I need to start training effectively?

This should be the first question that you ask yourself before you start searching for Muay Thai equipment to buy.

Stay with me and I will explain to you what kind of stuff you need. And how to tell whether you're looking at a quality product or just a piece of junk.

There are plenty of Thai boxing equipment brands around which doesn't make your decision any easier.
The upside to this situation is that thanks to the stiff competition you can find good gear at a decent price.

Muay Thai gear and training equipment

It is worth investing some extra money to buy expensive quality gear. It doesn't mean that you have to buy premium gear straight away. At least not until you can tell the difference yourself.

Just trust me on this: do not buy the cheapest stuff. It will most likely break or lose shape quickly and it may cost you a nasty injury.

Type of Muay Thai gear that you will need for effective training:

  • Boxing Gloves: proper leather gloves not cheap plastic ones.

    "(...)a cheap one may lose its shape pretty quickly and will offer poor protection and may cause a painful wrist or a thumb injury.

    A good pair of light and firm boxing gloves with quality padding will also increase fighter's performance while offering the same level of protection like some other cheaper and bulkier mitts(...)" Click the link to read more.

  • Shin Guards: essential for sparring, especially before you condition your shins for taking heavy punishment.

    "(...)If you really want to get budget shin pads then buy vinyl pads. They are sturdy and offer better shin protection. Unfortunately, they are also heavier which will affect your movement during sparring(...)" Click the link to read more.

  • Heavy Bag: that goes without saying. Essential for training kicks, punches, and practicing combinations.

    "(...)shorter and usually softer than the banana bag. Great for improving boxing skills and practicing boxing combinations. It emulates the feeling of boxing a real person(...) Click the link to read more.

  • Headgear: some people use it, and some people don't. It's advised to use it, especially at the beginning of your training.

    "(...)there are two kinds of people in this world: those who enjoy the pain and those who don't like it so much and would like to avoid it if unnecessary. If you belong to the latter group you should probably buy a headgear(...)" Click the link to read more.

  • Thai Pads and focus mitts. Pad workout is one of the main forms of training in Muay Thai.

    "(...)The best thing about pad drills is that this kind of training is more effective than a simple bag workout.
    The main advantage of a kick pads workout is that you can practice with a real target and also get constant feedback from your sparring partner during the training (...)
    Click the link to read more.

  • Elbow Pads: absolutely essential for training elbow strikes with a sparring partner. Elbow cuts are the nastiest injuries that you can ever get in Muay Thai or any other combat sport for that matter.

  • A Mouth Guard is a must if you are about to have full power sparring and don't want to lose your teeth.
    16 oz Muay Thai gloves provide better protection against this type of injury than much smaller MMA gloves but this will not help you in case you get an (unblocked) head kick. It is highly advised to wear a mouthguard when going full power.

  • Muay Thai Shorts and Muay Thai vest: most of the gyms will provide you with a vest and trunks with their logo printed on them but obviously they may not be as cool as shorts imported from Thailand.

  • Handwraps protect your hand and wrists against injury by keeping your wrists in the correct position when punching.

Buying the right Muay Thai Gear:

It is especially important to buy the right Muay Thai gloves.

I was pretty happy with medium and upper-medium-priced Muay Thai equipment at the beginning of my training. I had only made a single important exception for the most important piece of gear: the boxing gloves.

It is wise to invest some extra money in top-shelf Thai gloves. With price comes quality, and endurance. and comfort of use.

Also, thanks to the better quality materials they can be lighter than regular gloves but still deliver the same level of hand protection as the more bulky, cheaper gloves.

In general, Muay Thai equipment made in Thailand by brands like Twins or Fairtex is of good quality at any given price - they don't produce very cheap stuff and they make some premium quality training accessories. Also, some non-Thai companies like Venum have recently started to make good Thai boxing gloves at a competitive price.

Equipment made in Pakistan is considered to be of poor quality. This is not always the case. I've tried Farabi gloves once and I think they are quite decent entry-level budget gloves. Obviously, the best stuff is handmade in Thailand and you'll have to pay a premium price for it.

There are differences between top brands too. For example, Twins gloves are softer than Fairtex ones and they may be better for sparring, especially for beginners.

A good gym will provide you with all the necessary stuff like heavy bags, weights, dumbbells, medicine balls, skipping ropes, and training facilities like mats and boxing rings.

Most of them will offer you sparring equipment as well. I wouldn't recommend using it. Generally, it's of poor quality and in a "one size fits all" size.
You will be better off bringing your own personal stuff.

Build your own small home gym:

If you want to train outside of a gym you can assemble your own small workout space at home you will just need to get some basic training accessories for a starter.

The best thing about it is that you can train a bit now and then between doing other things. It is also useful if you decide to have a few less intensive training sessions instead of one heavy workout a day.

I started with a heavy regular boxing bag and a hard banana bag to train on. This way I could condition my shins with a softer bag and then move progressively to a harder one. Get some dumbbells, weights, a medicine ball, and a skipping rope and you are good to go. This should be good enough for a start.

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