There are many important factors to consider when purchasing a pair of Muay Thai pads, so before you go mad and buy the most expensive pads think about the purchase and what are your goals in Muay Thai and how serious you are taking the sport.
After considering many different types of Thai Pads, I’ve decided to recommend the Fairtex Curved Muay Thai Pads( link to amazon here). These are leather made in Thailand and are curved for easier kicking. They will last years and are the very best Thai pads money can buy.
The most important thing you should remember from this article is not to spend money on cheaper Thai pads. Whilst you can buy cheaper Thai pads like from Everlast they are poorly made and will not last long and even can cause the pad holder pain or injury.
Cheaper pads are also sold in singles so as a pair they might only be $60 cheaper than the Fairtex pads but last 1/6 as long with worse protection. Just something to remember.
If your a budget girl/boy like I am, I highly recommend the Farabi Sports Thai Pads(amazon link), you need to buy 2 but it will only cost you around $60 and the pads are very good quality for the price and whilst I still feel the kicks compared to Fairtex pads they around 1/3rd the price and will last a long time.
What To Look For With Thai Pads
- Size & Thickness Of Pads. Using cheap Thai Pads you will feel every kick you hold for, ideally with a quality pear like the Fairtex you shouldn’t feel the shock of every kick, you can even get injuries from holding super strong kicks with cheap pads so be careful.
- What Size? Typically Thai pads will offer 4 sizes from small to extra large since you will use these for years so make sure to get the right size. If your average build get the medium or your a little larger get large if your a woman or a small guy get small.
- Curve Or Straight Pads? Curved pads are ideal as they are easier to kick and don’t need to get broken in like a new pair of shoes. Curved might cost a little more but trust me it’s worth it as you need time to break in a straight Thai pad.
- What Shape To choose? Thai pads have different shapes of pads, like normal and extra thick for added protection. Larger pads/thicker pads are easier to hit but they are heavier and less effective for boxing.
- Quality Vs Price. The cheaper Thai pads you buy the more injuries/pain you will feel like as a pad holder. Thai pads built in Thailand have the best quality available and will last you the longest. A pair of good Thai pads will cost between $120-$140 and will last you years. Buying cheaper could damage your forearm and who wants an unnecessary injury?
- What Brands To Run Away From? All the top Thai brands like Fairtex, Twins, Top King offer fantastic Thai pads and are well made. Avoid brands like RDX/Everlast and they will not last & offer poor protection; a pair would not be that much cheaper than a genuine Thai brand. FARABI mentioned earlier is different as it is a LOT cheaper than the Thai brands especially in the UK making it more worth it.
When Should You Replace Muay Thai Pads?
It depends on how often you use them, if your a trainer and use them every day for heavy bad holding, don’t expect them to last as long as something who uses it twice a week for Muay Thai lessons.
If you train in a colder climate like in the UK compared to a tropical humid climate like in southeast Asia/near the equator, pads will wear out faster.
When you feel the impact from the kicks directly on your forearm, then perhaps it’s the time to look for new pads. Especially if you hold a brand new pair and you feel a lot more protected than using your own pads.
The worst sign is the stitching on the side of the pads started to go, when this happens your pads protection will only get worse and worse so it’s time to reach for the wallet!
How To Make Your Thai Pads Last
Just like with all your other training gear, ensuring your gear is properly dried after use is key to making the materials last. Leaving your gear in your training bad is a big no-no, especially if you train in a humid country like Thailand.
To prevent skin infections like staph, clean your hands at least once a week but if different people are using your bands then quickly wiping the pads with a disinfectant wipe will go a long way to prevent infections.
Check out the video below for a general guide on how to clean your martial arts equipment.