Are you relatively new to combat sports and sick of relying on the worn and tired equipment at your local gym? If you’re serious about your training and want to invest in your own accessories and tools, Thai pads are a great place to start. Incorporating the right size, shape, and style of Thai pads into your training regimen can significantly enhance your progress and improve your performance.
But knowing what kind you should buy isn’t always cut and dried. There are many brands and designs to choose from, all with their own benefits and drawbacks.
Best Thai Pads Reviewed
Our team of experts gathered a list of the best thai pads reviewed to pick the perfect brand for a guaranteed comfort and boost your kicking power & speed :
Fairtex has a long established reputation in the world of Muay Thai, mixed martial arts, and boxing. Their products are high-quality designs, manufactured in Thailand, and built for combat athletes of all skill levels. The Fairtex are probably the best and most popular option on the market. Made with premium materials and a curved design, these are built to last. You’ll definitely notice the difference, both as the kicker and the holder, when using these Thai pads instead of pretty much any other style.
This particular pair exceeds just about every expectation. Quality is, of course, the biggest factor. Made from premium cowhide leather, they’re pliant and soft but still incredibly durable. And with the reinforced stitching, they’ll stay intact no matter how hard and often you train with them. The foam padding inside somehow manages to be dense enough to protect the holder and absorb and redistribute the shock from even the hardest blows, all while still being lightweight and easy to wield.
The Fairtex Thai pads also get full points for performance. The curved design is ideal for kicks, contouring to meet the strikes more effectively and comfortably than the straight designs. Plus, the ergonomic shape and padded straps add comfort for the holder as well. The straps use a hook and loop closure that provide a secure, adjustable fit. There are 4 sizes to choose from, but the standard size is the most versatile and functional for athletes of all skill levels.
These genuine leather Thai pads are made in Thailand and beat all other models on both quality and performance. They’re one of the least affordable options on the list, but the investment is easy to justify when you consider their durability and overall value. You’ll notice the difference immediately once you switch to these, and like most users, you’ll probably never go back to using other brands. They’re high quality and you won’t regret making the upgrade.
|Premium cowhide leather|
|Double, reinforced stitching|
|Effective shock absorption|
|Versatile and good for all skill levels|
|Padded straps with adjustable hook and loop closures|
2.Hayabusa PTS 3
While it’s true that brands based in Thailand are recognized as the superior options for Thai pads and other Muay Thai equipment, Hayabusa is a western company that can certainly hold its own in the world of combat sports products. The Hayabusa PTS3 Thai pads are a great quality, long-lasting, performance enhancing option that you can trust. With their pre-curved design and ultra-thick construction, they’ll come through for both the holder and the kicker in even the most intense training sessions.
The structure of these Thai pads employs 5 layers of foam to fully absorb the impact of even the hardest strikes, so your sparring partner can rest assured they won’t sustain serious injury while wielding these. Since they’re already curved for you, they won’t take very long to break in. And they’ll conform comfortably to the forearm, with the help of adjustable straps to provide an ergonomic, secure fit. Lace stitching around the edges work to ensure they can withstand heavy, frequent use, and the handles are reinforced to prevent ripping.
Though not made with leather, the PU shell is just as durable and pliable, staying soft and flexible without falling apart. It’s also nonabsorbent, so you can easily wipe away any moisture and keep the exterior from cracking or holding onto odor. Since they only weigh about 40 ounces each, you can hold them for longer without tiring out. And your kicks will land with precision and comfort, especially after breaking them in a bit.
Premium quality Thai pads demand a significant investment, and these are definitely premium. They provide solid comfort and protection to the person wearing them, with multiple layers of foam padding to cushion blows and absorb impact. The standard size is lightweight and versatile, and the moisture-wicking exterior shell makes for easy maintenance. Whatever your proficiency, you’ll be happy with the improve performance that these provide.
|Versatile and good for any skill level|
|5 layers of foam padding|
|Effective shock absorption|
Venum is based in Thailand and has earned a solid reputation for designing quality combat equipment. Their Giant Thai pads are known for withstanding heavy hits and fully absorbing the shock, while maintaining complete integrity and durability. Like the name suggests, these are perfect for “giant” athletes who pack really hard kicks. They don’t just look and feel strong; they truly are built for performance and endurance.
Despite the straight design, these are an exceptional product. And once you’ve broken them in and they become more pliant, they will develop a concave shape on their own. It’ll just take a bit more time. But the multi-layered, dense foam padding will prevent injury to the wearer and effectively absorb the impact from heavyweight blows without losing their shape or sturdiness. Double stitching at the seams keeps them intact for longer, so they’ll withstand regular and intense training for a long while.
The Venum Thai pads come in a standard size and thickness, so they’re easy to use and fit most people. Despite not having a wide variety of sizes to choose, these are a reliable universal option that you can count on working for just about anybody. Made with premium Skintex leather and rip resistant laces, they’re designed to last for years to come. The straps use Velcro and hook and loop metal rings, so they can be easily adjusted to fit snugly. Moreover, the back side provides extra padding to cushion the arm so you won’t feel the impact of the blow at all.
Venum’s Giant Thai pads are ideal for bigger, more experienced fighters who need extra-durable, super thick padding. They effectively shield the person holding them from the bulk of the impact of the hardest kicks, distributing the force evenly for improved performance. Though not designed with a curve, they still provide comfort and safety to both parties. Overall, they’re a sturdy, effective piece of equipment ideal for heavyweight athletes.
|Dense foam padding absorbs impact|
|Good for experienced athletes|
|Extra padding for arm|
Sleek, cool, and lightweight, Sanabul’s Battle Forged Thai pads are an eye-catching, high-end product that stand apart aesthetically and technologically. The simplistic and subtle design is the only thing about them that’s basic. Sanabul has taken an innovative approach in their design, boasting one of the lightest pairs of Thai pads out there, while still delivering sturdy, durable performance for consistent training.
Coming in at just 1.5 pounds each, these will be noticeably easier to use for the duration of your training sessions. They come in a standard size, offering a pretty big strike area and covering your partner’s entire arm. And since they’re so light and easy to maneuver, they provide the ability to respond quickly to a combination of strikes. For this reason, they’re really great for new students who are working on improving their technique.
The shell is made from engineered leather, which packs all the punch of 100 percent genuine leather without any of the drawbacks, like cost. It’s thick and sturdy, but still very soft and pliant. With proper care, it will last for a long time without cracking or tearing. Plus, they’re slightly curved and won’t need to be broken in for comfortable use. You can hit the gym on day one and get the most out of them.
Sanabul’s Battle Forged Thai pads are super light and sleek, with a clean aesthetic that stands out from other brands. Since it’s so incredibly light, you can spar for longer without getting fatigued. However, this does reduce the effectiveness of the pads. The foam is not thick enough to absorb the impact of very hard blows, so heavy kickers should steer clear of these. But they’re perfect for beginners and smaller athletes, who won’t be disappointed by the efficiency they provide.
|Weigh less than 2 pounds each|
|Engineered leather shell|
|Durable and long-lasting|
|Good for any discipline|
|Not thick enough for hard kicks|
Contender Fight Sports is a low- to mid-range option for combat equipment overall, and their Thai pads are no exception. Good for beginners or anyone on a tight budget, these are not the highest quality set you can find, but they are one of the most affordable. Though they won’t hold up as long as other brands, they’ll do the job well enough while they last. When it comes to value, the Contenders Thai pads definitely deliver.
Aside from the smell, the Contender Thai pads are a great entry level set, perfect for new fighters. If you’re hesitant to invest in a top pair right of the bat, these are a good place to start. Granted, they won’t last nearly as long as the high-dollar versions, but they will hold up well for months to come. The handle is riveted to prevent ripping, and the vinyl shell is quite sturdy. They’re big and thick, so they prevent injury from light to moderate strike force. Heavy kickers may leave bruises, though, and they can be a bit heavy to hold after a while, so they aren’t lightweight and easy to wield.
They are also not pre-curved, which does mean they’ll need to be broken in, and the Velcro on the straps is known to lose its strength after a while. But they are a very economical choice, and they perform very well for their cost. We do want to note that the arm straps are smaller and better suited for people with smaller arms. Bigger fighters will have a hard time getting these to fit comfortably.
Overall, the Contender Thai pads are a reliable option for beginners. Despite the strong vinyl smell, they’re a well-designed set that will last longer than some of the other similarly priced options. The shell is strong and will hold up to frequent hits, and the padding does a good job of protecting the arm of the person holding it from the impact of most blows. If you’re just starting out and not sure what brand to invest in, these are a good place to start.
|Good return policy|
|Strong vinyl shell|
|Large strike area|
|Ideal for beginners|
|Strong plastic smell|
|Small arm straps|
Built for long-lasting performance, the RDX Thai pads are designed to enhance your training while keeping the person holding them protected from injury. They may not be a premium, name brand option that’s handmade in Thailand, but that doesn’t make these any less worthy of your consideration. By utilizing advanced technology and attention to smaller details, RDX has designed Thai pads that go the extra mile for the athletes using them, both for the kicker and for the holder.
However, despite only coming as a single and not a set, the RDX Thai pads are quite reliable and effective. They use a triple stitched design for ultimate reinforcement that can withstand the impact of intense, frequent use. Additionally, they’re got three layers of gel foam padding to provide comfort to both the person doing to kicking and the one holding the shields. Though some users have noted that super heavy blows still leave a sting, so that’s something to consider if you’ll need them to stand up to hard hits. But the padding generally does a good job of absorbing and redistributing the shock of impact.
Instead of genuine leather, these use a synthetic leather that isn’t quite as durable as the real thing. But they are still pliable and tough, manufactured for a lengthy lifespan. One thing that does set these apart is the straps, which are designed with extra padding and support to keep your wrists secure and cushioned. The handle is riveted to prevent it from pulling apart and uses a shredded textile material which is meant to provide a secure grip. These small details all combine to deliver a uniquely effective product that’s great for any athlete of any skill level.
They do not come in a pair, which is a pretty significant drawback. However, if you do invest in a set of these, you definitely won’t regret it. The little things, like the structure of the straps and the textured handle, make them more comfortable and safe for the person you’re training with. And the thick padding, curved shape, and strong synthetic leather shell will ensure that you can count on them in your training for months, even years, to come.
|Triple reinforced stitching|
|Padded, adjustable straps|
|Three layers of gel foam padding|
|Textured material on handle for secure grip|
|Effective shock absorption|
|Durable and long-lasting|
|Not sold in a pair|
Pace up your training with the Meister XP2 Thai pads. Super lightweight, curved, and made with real leather, they offer quite a bit of quality for a great value. They’re handmade and reinforced throughout. This means you can count on them lasting you for quite a while. And though they are professional grade, they’re a great choice for beginners and fighters of any level.
One feature of the Meister XP2’s that makes them unique is the reinforced padding in the center, which is paired with a very handy target on the exterior shell. This is really helpful for fighters who need to practice their aim, and beefing up only the padding in the center allows these to remain so lightweight. They are curved as well, but the curve isn’t very deep so they will still need a bit of breaking in.
Since they are made with genuine cowhide leather throughout, they’re going to be very durable. The riveted handle is thick and stiff, ensuring a strong grip that won’t bend and warp over time. The two leather straps along the back are padded to give some extra cushion to the person holding them, and they’re adjustable to fit any size of arm. They provide a comfortable fit and solid protection for the holder.
Top quality without being top dollar, the Meister XP2 Thai pads are a superior choice for any fighter, whether novice or professional. Handmade with quality materials, including premium leather, they’re designed for long-lasting performance. They are lightweight and ideal for fast-paced training, providing comfort and protection to both the holder and the kicker. If you want to enhance your speed and accuracy, these are the Thai pads to get.
|Lightweight (just over 2 pounds)|
|Target on exterior shell|
|Extra thick padding in center|
|Genuine cowhide leather|
|Strong, secure handle|
|Adjustable, padded straps|
|Durable and built to last|
|Great for improving speed and aim|
|Not thick enough for heavy hitters|
8.Ring to Cage
Ring to Cage is a fight gear brand with a trusted reputation for designing quality equipment, and their Thai pads are no exception. Though definitely on the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to expense, these are worth every penny. What makes these a fan favorite for many fighters is that they strike the perfect balance between being lightweight but still thick enough to withstand a good amount of force. They’re versatile and great for pretty much any drill you want to run with them.
When it comes to the inner side, the holder will be sure to be appreciative. Gel padding along the center where the forearm meets the back gives an extra comfortable layer. And the wide, sturdy straps keep any size of arm firmly secured in place, avoiding injury. With the ergonomic contour and reinforced handle, the person holding them can easily and safely move around to meet every blow. There are thicker Thai pads that are made to match heavy, harsh blows. But these are a great middle of the road option that will be both lightweight and effective against a heavy weight hitter.
These Ring to Cage Thai pads are made with real leather, which is only to be expected from premium brands. And the thick stitching along the outer edge will keep them intact for an impressively long time. Even after breaking them in, the 3 inch thick foam padding will stay firm and absorb shock consistently. Recognized as one the longest lasting sets of Thai pads on the market, they’re a very risk free investment overall.
If you want to invest in a reliable set of Thai pads that won’t need replacing any time soon, look no further than the Ring to Cage deluxe pair. They will not only last for what seems like forever; they will deliver consistent, quality performance long after you’ve broken them in. With moderate thickness and weight, they’re versatile and effective for most athletes. And the gel lining along the forearm and super wide, adjustable straps will keep the holder comfortable and protected from injury.
|Gel pad along forearm|
|Super wide forearm straps|
|Thick but not too heavy|
|Effective shock absorption|
|Difficult to break in|
While Farabi is a much less known entity among combat sports gear brands, their Thai pads definitely deserve to be taken seriously. Super thick while somehow still being very lightweight, these Thai pads are impressively effective. Ideal for the heavy hitters, they absorb shock better than even some of the name brand options on the list. They also take the cake for being the most budget-friendly, quality Thai pads you’ll find.
Being that they are so thick, they’re perfect for using with big guys who can pack serious kicks. The EC-Gel C-Shock technology evenly distributes the force of a blow and absorbs it before it can reach the surface of the other side, therefore preventing the holder from feeling the strike at all. But what’s really special about these is that they’re still somehow very lightweight. Ultra-thick options like these usually weigh more and can fatigue the holder much quicker. But the Farabi Thai pads manage to be both thick and lightweight.
They’re made with synthetic leather, but still quite durable and long-lasting. The handle is secured by machine with steel rivets, and the reinforced stitching rivals the quality of more high-end brands. They also have that helpful pre-curved shape, for total efficiency with the first use. The anatomical shape contours to the forearm, and a breathable cushion along the center adds extra comfort to the person holding them.
Both super thick and super light, the Farabi Thai pads have achieved the seemingly impossible. And they’ve done it on a budget. If you want a pair that will effectively absorb the shock of intense strikes without fatiguing the person holding them, these are one of the best options, hands down. Just be sure to order two of them, as they are not sold in a pair.
|Absorbs and redistributes shock effectively|
|Great for heavy hitters|
|Not sold in a pair|
Cheerwing’s Muay Thai pads are the thickest on the list, measuring nearly 4 inches in thickness. For this reason, they are billed as one of the better options for absorbing hard hits. However, they may not be very effective in this regard, despite their impressive size. They are very affordable, though, so for fighters on a budget, these might be a good choice. Overall, they’re low- to moderate in quality and performance.
However, these do employ the use of an added layer of foam cushioning for the forearm, which can help to prevent the person holding them from feeling the full force of a hit. It still may not be the best option to use with big fighters, though. Since the most important function of Thai pads is to prevent injury, this brand falls short in a big way. We would advise that only smaller fighters and beginners use these particular Thai pads for their training.
When it comes to durability, these aren’t too bad. The PU leather shell is sturdy enough, and the stitching is thick and rip resistant. The handle isn’t reinforced with double rivets, but since you should only use these with lightweight fighters, that shouldn’t be a problem. The straps are adjustable, but bigger people might struggle to comfortably wear these.
As far as overall performance goes, the Cheerwing Thai pads are low on the list. Professional, experienced, and heavy hitting athletes definitely won’t want to use these in their training, as the person holding them is liable to get hurt. If you are buying these for a child or novice fighter, they’ll do a decent job. But just remember, they are not sold as a pair.
|Extra cushion along forearm|
|Great for beginners and kids|
|Not sold in a pair|
|Not good at absorbing hard hits|
Thai Pads Buyer’s Guide
From Muay Thai to boxing to MMA, Thai pads have become an essential training tool in every combat sport gym all over the world. Authentic Thai pads are high-quality, effective, long-lasting equipment that will improve training and performance for novice and experienced athletes alike. However, there are also some imitation designs on the market that may compete with the Thai manufacturers when it comes to budget, but often fall short in delivering on performance. Knowing how to spot reliable Thai pads and sift through the poorly made options can be tricky. So we put together this comprehensive buyer’s guide that outlines all of the key features to look for when shopping for a set of Thai pads. Be sure to get the size, shape, and design that will best suit your particular training needs, and don’t waste your time or money on cheap knockoffs that are sure to fall apart within weeks of use, or worse, result in an injury due to poor protection. Armed with this buyer’s guide, choosing the perfect pair of Thai pads to suit your needs and your budget will be easier than ever.
Why Use Thai Pads
Thai pads are an essential piece of training equipment for combat sports athletes of all skill levels. And while most gyms will provide a supply of reliable Thai pads for your use, investing in a solid pair of your own is really worth it for any dedicated fighter. A good, sturdy pair will allow for full range of motion while sparring and protect the holder from serious injury. They absorb the shock from any blow and imitate a real life situation, so that boxers can perfect their strikes in training.
The primary function of Thai pads is to protect the person holding them. If they can’t offer solid, sturdy protection, they’re liable to cause injury to the holder’s forearm. It’s easy to identify right away if they’re poorly made, because the impact of the kick will be felt in your forearm instead of being absorbed by the pad. The best Thai pads will be manufactured in Thailand, so that’s something to look out for. Cheaply made versions are mass produced in places like China or Pakistan, and they won’t compare to the brands that are designed and manufactured in Thailand. They may be more expensive, but if you aren’t getting adequate protection, there’s not much point in using Thai pads at all.
Size and Thickness
Picking the right size will depend on several factors. First, you want to get a set that will fit the person holding them. Shorter, smaller people will want shorter and smaller Thai pads. Secondly, be sure to accommodate the size of the person who will be doing the kicking. Smaller and medium-sized Thai pads are a safe standard for most people. But if you’re working with a larger guy who will be delivering forceful kicks, thicker and longer options would be best. Just remember that the bigger they are, the heavier and bulkier they are to hold.
Not every set of Thai pads is shaped the same. And the different variations are suitable for different needs. There are long pads which provide a lot of surface area to kick, which are great for new students who may not have as much precision and ensure that the holder doesn’t get injured. Shorter options would be better for more advanced athletes. There are also hybrid Thai pads that are shaped like a teardrop and allow the person holding them to be more active. They are lightweight and easy to wield, but they aren’t as thick so provide a bit less protection than more traditional styles.
Straight vs. Curved
Some Thai pads are designed with a curve while others come completely straight. And while the curved models tend to be a bit pricier, they have undeniable benefits over the straight design. For starters, they’re far more comfortable to kick and don’t require breaking in. Eventually, the straight ones will gain a natural curve, but it takes a while to get them there and those months of training on them beforehand are rough. The curved models are also more comfortable for the person holding them.
Since they’ll be taking a beating, you definitely want to find Thai pads that are built to stand up to the wear and tear without falling apart. A high-quality material like leather will last a lot longer than some of the other fabrics that you’ll see on cheaper pairs, such as plastic. Thick, durable stitching will greatly prolong the lifespan of the Thai pads as well, so that’s another key indicator of quality. The straps on the back are also an area where premium design is key to holding up for a long time. Poorly made options are likely to pull up and rip off the main section of padding, rendering them useless.
Care and Maintenance
Whether you invest in a premium pair of Thai pads or just get the most affordable set you can manage, proper care and storage is absolutely vital to extending the life of your equipment. And even the expensive, high-quality models can break down due to excessive moisture, heat, or dryness. How to care for them will depend slightly on the climate where you live and the material of the Thai pads. But the basics for any pair are straightforward. For starters, always wipe them down after every use with an antibacterial wipe or other disinfectant cleaner. Then, make sure to dry them off, as moisture will cause mildew and odor.
Follow that up with some kind of Vaseline or other moisturizer to prevent cracking. If they are made of leather, as most of the premium ones are, you may want to use a leather guard of some kind. Be sure to wipe off any excess, as keeping them dry is crucial. Deodorizer sprays are also a handy step, as odor buildup can make them unbearable to use over time. For storage, somewhere dry and cool is best, and definitely not in direct sunlight. In other words, do not just toss them into the back seat of your car and leave them there between every practice, or else you’ll be replacing them frequently.
Investing in a solid, reliable set of Thai pads is going to save you money in the long-term, especially if you maintain them properly. And while the urge to pinch pennies and get a more affordable variety may be strong, just remember that you’ll end up replacing them far quicker than you would the higher end brands. That being said, the most important factors are that they protect the holder and enhance your training. So as long as you use this buyer’s guide, you can be sure to pick out the Thai pads that will work for your style and training needs without having to go over budget.