You probably know the “art of eight limbs” or Muay Thai (MT). Muay Thai is the national martial arts of Thailand that’s famous for adept clinchwork, kicks, elbows/knees attacks and more. If you’re into Muay Thai or only an avid fan of the sport, you’re also familiar with padwork.
You’ll observe heavy padwork use in Muay Thai gives you decent kicking and – of course, protection. Hence, we’ll talk about the best Thai pads in this review. But before that, let me show you how to choose the best Muay Thai pads.
How to Choosing the Best Thai Pads
You don’t use a Thai pad-based only on price and color. Smart buyers (particularly kickboxers) consider the following criteria in choosing Thai pads.
Yes, most buyers consider the thickness of the pads before buying these. In choosing thicker pads, you’ll have the following benefits:
- The pad holder has more protection in using thicker Thai pads.
- Thick pads absorb shocks from kicks and strikes. Hence, you don’t experience bruising and other worse injuries.
Your Thai pad choice could be a little tricky when you consider the pad’s shape. Take note: other pads have perfect spots where a boxer can hit. But the purpose of other pads is for counter kick or precise kick.
You have three selections when it comes to the shape of Thai pads, namely :
Straight kicking pads are best for beginners because these are excellent in catching kicks. The fighter targets the pad’s center easily because of the curvature of the pads. Compared to straight pads, it’s easier for the padholder to catch the fighter’s kick.
Meanwhile, Hybrid Thai pads are great for quickness and speed training sessions. If a fighter likes performing kicks and punches combinations, the Hybrid pad is an excellent choice.
Remember: Since Hybrid pads are thinner than Curved and Straight pads, hard kicks aren’t an option for these.
The Thai pad size of your choice depends on your training session. For example, use big kick pads if you aim to perform spinning strikes and other techniques. (The padholder would thank you after the training because he wouldn’t suffer any injuries.)
Small kick pads are an ideal choice if you want to hit a moving opponent using a high kick. Hence, small kick pads are good for precision.
Comfort and Durability :
Don’t forget to consider the durability and comfort of the kick pads. If you aim to throw hard kicks, Hybrid kick pads aren’t the right pads for the padholder. Straight pads are good for hard kicks, but the most durable pad to use are curved pads.
For the padholder, straight pads offer the best comfort of all.
The Best Thai Pads for Muay Thai and MMA For 2020
Now that you have an idea of choosing the right Thai pad for you, here are the top best kick pads I recommend.
Fighters who are dedicated to their training are also serious about their gear. The Battle Forged Series gives you durability and grit you’ll find in Sanabul Thai pads. Unlike the Fairtex pads, Sanabul pads are more affordable. But don’t let the price fool you!
Sanabul pads are quality kick pads that every fighter should have. These pads offer a center target for easy punching. Despite its toughness, the pads are very light-weight, so you’ll have the comfort you need.
Like other Thai pads, Sanabul pads have engineered leather material. The pads fit on the forearms of the pad holder securely. The pads have loop closure Velcro and hook that helps the padholder to hold the pads easily.
- Offers a target for punching
- Not suitable for big padholders and fighters performing large kicks
If you’re looking for Thai pads to last for years, the RDX pad is the right pads to use. The pad is more aesthetical pleasing than you can see. You have two color selections – red and blue. That’s not all. The triple reinforced stitching makes padholders happy to use these pads.
The double-layered forearm straps offer reliable usage. If you’ll observe the padding, it’s also reinforced too! (Wow, that’s maximum force absorption for any kicks or elbows!) Oh, the pad is leather built, so the kicking shield doesn’t suffer from wear and tear in future training sessions. Take note: besides Muay Thai, the RDX pad is also ideal for Jiu-jitsu, karate, and kickboxing.
- Awesome design
- Perfect for hard or heavy kicks
- Reinforced to last
- A little expensive
- Only comes in a single pad (you need to buy another one)
Athletes who are looking for extra thick pads would choose Cheerwing Thai Pads. These are 9cm or 3.54 inches thick. (That’s 2cm more than the thick pads on this list). The pads have PU leather that makes these durable and simple to clean.
If you aim for precision in most of your training, these pads are an excellent choice. The curved surface design provides an excellent striking surface for precision during punching. Also, the EVA foam material is effective in reducing frontal impact. Hence, you wouldn’t suffer worse bruises and injuries.
But some buyers complain that the pads don’t absorb force effectively. You’ll need to try it to prove the pads’ effectiveness.
- Perfect for traditional martial arts
- Ideal for children
- Extra thick pads
- Not ideal for powerful kick absorption
- Doesn’t have a center target
Let’s admit it – Combat Sports isn’t that famous like other Thai pads brands. But don’t let that discourage you in owning a pair of Combat Sports Pads. You see, Combat Sports is an affordable alternative to other kick pads on the market. But, mind you, the quality of these pads is excellent.
Combat Sports has a leather construction that makes the pads reliable for many years. Hence, you’re sure that these pads are tougher and bigger than Fairtex pads.
Combat Sports Pads work effectively for people holding pads for big kickers and heavyweights. The pads are little clunky for fast fighters and ideal for front and sidekicks.
- Heavy padding
- Large and heavy for some fighters
One of the widely recognized Thai Pad design on this list is the Twins Special Kick Pads. No doubt about that because Twins Special is a tried and trusted brand by fighters in Thailand. If you haven’t tried these pads, you will soon.
Twins Special pads are designed for heavy use in the gym due to its durability. Thanks to the leather finished and heavy foam, these pads are one of the toughest and durable pads you can buy. If you’re looking for durable pads, Twins Special is an excellent choice.
- Most durable Thai Pads
- Trusted brand
- Heavy padding
- Hard and large to move around
- Only two colors available
What a surprise that Ring to Cage has introduced Thai pads such as Ring to Cage Thai Pad. (Ring to Cage doesn’t specialize Thai pads, so it’s awesome seeing this!) The pads are faster, lighter and smaller than other kick pads you see on Amazon but it provides all the comfort you need.
The pad’s handle is sewn on the outside stitching that makes this durable in the future training sessions you would do. (Thanks to the seamless handle, you wouldn’t experience any rip in unexpected situations.) You can use forearm straps that have pads, but (I don’t use it anymore because the pads move around too much.) The straps are comfortable to use already.
The Ring to Cage pads is suitable for athletes and fighters who want the best training session. Hence, these pads are worth your cash and time.
- Comfortable straps
- Durable design
- Less ideal for large and powerful fighters
No doubt that Fairtex is a trusted and most famous brand when it comes to sports equipment. Thai pads for Muay Thai are no different. The Fairtex Thai Pads are the most versatile pads you can buy today. The Fairtex pads are light-weight and have heavy padding for additional security. (Thus, you wouldn’t experience any bruises when you’re using the pads.)
For heavy kickers, Fairtex pads are excellent. Fighters can perform heavy kicks and strikers, and no harm comes to the padholder. Since these are durable pads, you can use it every day without worries! I recommend these to buyers who want an all-around and versatile Thai pad.
- Ideal for all fighters
- Very durable
- Comfortable straps
- Large in size that makes the pads difficult to maneuver
When it comes to high quality sports and martial arts equipment, Meister doesn’t disappoint consumers. You can see the brand’s excellence in the Meister XP2. The Meister pads are reinforced so you can use these days without worrying about damage.
The pad’s extra durable construction is the result of the premium leather material. These pads are also lightweight, so you can use it every day. Also, the target center allows fighters to perform precise punches and kicks.
- High quality cowhide leather
- Offers a center target
- A little expensive
The Farabi brand might be new to the MMA and Muay Thai world, but that doesn’t mean you’ll ignore it. These pads are known for their quality and durability so it’s worth your cash. Unlike other pads I’ve mentioned, Farabi Thai Pad is shorter. But here’s a surprise – these pads are very thick (7cm or 2.75 inches.)
Don’t worry if your fighter Is a hard kicker. The Farabi Thai Pad’s durability wouldn’t let you down by absorbing strong punches and kicks. Using the advanced technology (EC-Gel- C-Shock), the pads offer satisfaction not only to Thai fighters but other fighters around the world. Also, take note that the pads are lightweight, so no hassles in bringing these to the gym every day.
- Excellent quality for an affordable price
- Absorbs most powerful strikes
- Very thick
- You need to buy another Thai pad to make a pair
- Minimum risk injury
The RDX Strike Shield Thai Pads are best for inexperienced fighters. The pads have a unique shape that enables punches not to slide off from the sides. You can catch punches effectively due to the oval shape of the pads.
The pads respond to heavy kickers that also allows them to maneuver for quick or faster strikes. You would love the ergonomic design of the pads and its lightweight feature. But you would feel a little stiff at first, but the RDX Thai pads are a wise choice for you.
These pads are very affordable, but there’s no downside when it comes to quality.
- Good quality in an affordable price
- Small size but has a heavy padding for big fighters
- Great for inexperienced fighters
- The handle might break after a year or two
Consumers who are looking for quality, durability, affordability, and comfort can find these on the best Thai pads. Whether it’s your first time to buy a Thai pad or not, these kick pads are the right ones for you. So, what’s your best pick? Come and try one of these Thai pads today to maximize your training sessions!