Best Muay Thai Sparring Gear

You’ve suffered countless bruises from kicking, kneeing and elbowing those rock hard heavy bags. You’ve done enough pad work and you know pretty much most of the basic Muay Thai maneuvers. You have proven yourself and your Kru believes that you are now ready for the next level: Sparring.

Welcome to Muay Thai sparring. The first rule of sparring is: you need the appropriate sparring gear. As a full contact sport, there is bound to be a certain degree of health risks involved during sparring. Getting injured is not uncommon, so it is most important to suit up properly with well-fitted protective gear to prevent or minimize the risks of injury. This article has all the information you need to get you ready for your very first Muay Thai sparring session.


About Muay Thai Sparring

As with many combat sports, sparring is an important aspect of training Muay Thai. You don’t necessarily have to enter an actual fight just because you train Muay Thai but sparring is the practical aspect of Muay Thai where you get to put the things you’ve learnt into practice. Sparring gives you the opportunity to practise techniques and combos with an actual opponent. Sparring trains you to improvise; it trains you to think on your feet under pressure; and it sharpens your reflexes amongst other things. And if you do plan to compete, then you most certainly can’t avoid sparring altogether.

While sparring attempts to mimic actual fights, it is typically conducted at a much lower intensity. In Thailand where fighters compete on a regular basis (once or twice a month), getting injured during training is simply impractical. As such, they focus on light, technical sparring with emphasis on techniques, and where there is little risk of injuries. Outside of Thailand, the intensity can vary from gym to gym, depending on the instructors and the culture of the gym.

The majority of modern Muay Thai practitioners are actually non-competitive at all, and many do it purely for fitness or recreational purposes. If you aren’t comfortable with the level of intensity or even the idea of sparring, you are always free to opt out from sparring sessions. But if you do want to spar, it makes for a fun and exhilarating experience.

Basic Muay Thai Sparring Guidelines

Courtesy of my Krus, here are some basic and simple sparring guidelines they have shared to help ensure a pleasant, and fulfilling training experience for yourself and your sparring partners.

#1 Sparring is not a competition: no one is keeping tabs on points scored. Sparring is never about winning or losing. (But trying telling that to the competition freak where “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”.) When you spar with someone better, it’s a chance to learn and improve on your weaknesses. Appreciate each spar as a learning opportunity. You will hit, and you will get hit. So leave your ego in the locker instead of losing your cool and leveling up the spar into an all-out fight trying to prove that you are the better fighter. Stay humble and strive to improve instead.

#2 The protective gears are there to keep you safe from accidents, and not a license for you to destroy your partner. Sparring is NOT an excuse for you to destress and unleash your pent-up fury onto your sparring partners. There are heavy bags for that purpose. A lot of Muay Thai practitioners shy away from sparring simply because they don’t fancy getting hit. But when some of them actually pluck up enough courage to spar, some douche will go unnecessarily hard and ruin the whole experience for them. Don’t be the douche.

#3 On the other hand, if your opponent is going too hard, be sure to let them know. It doesn’t make you a wuss because you ask to go light. If you hit back harder, this will soon escalate into a brawl. Unless agreed upon to go hard, focus on techniques rather than speed and power. If you are going to be competing in actual fights, hard sparring can be beneficial in preparing you for the intensity of the real thing. But there will be a right time and the right training partners for that.

#4 Keep it simple. My Kru likes to emphasize this point very often. Focus on mastering and applying the basics like the jab, cross, low kick, roundhouse kick, and push kick. Save the double spinning flying back kicks and the Saenchai cartwheel kicks for practice when you have become adept at the basics.


Muay Thai Sparring Gear

The first rule of sparring is: you need proper sparring gear. The second rule of sparring is: you NEED proper sparring gear. For obvious safety reasons, sparring should only be performed with  proper protective gear. Many people train Muay Thai for fitness and recreation purposes. And even though each of us strive to improve in the sport, nobody likes or wants to get injured from sparring. Having the best sparring gear can help you enjoy the sport while staying injury-free.

Both genders use the same set of gear save for an additional groin protection that is mandatory for men and optional for women. For Muay Thai sparring, you will need sparring gloves, shin guards and a mouth guard. On occasions, and also depending upon the individual’s choice, some will double up with a head gear and/or knee pads for extra protection.

Best Sparring Gloves

You will already have at least 1 pair of gloves at this point for general training. As your training gloves receive plenty of punishment from bagwork and padwork, the thinned padding and busted exterior provides little protection for your partners and your hands. This is why if you intend to spar, you need a separate pair reserved just for sparring.

The choice of glove sizing depends largely on the weight of the user. In most gyms, most guys use 16oz for sparring; women and lighter guys use 14oz; while the heavyweights use 20oz. The reason for using heavier gloves in sparring is because gloves at these weights offers more padding which minimizes the impact when it lands on your sparring partner. You are also going to need that extra bit more of padding to protect your hands and wrists against kicks when you block. Effectively, the padding is for protecting your hands as much as it is for your partners’ safety and well-being. As a general guide:

Body Weight Recommended Gloves Size
Below 130lbs 14oz
130lbs – 170lbs 16oz
Above 170lbs 18oz – 20oz

Here are my picks of the top 3 brands for Muay Thai sparring gloves:

Fairtex BGV-1 & BGV-5
Fairtex Muay Thai Boxing Gloves BGV1 Size : 10 12 14 16 oz. Training Sparring All Purpose Gloves for Kick Boxing MMA K1 (Solid Black, 16 oz)
  • All-purpose boxing gloves.
  • Tight fit design.
  • Constructed of premium leather with vectro straps and handmade in Thailand.
  • Free Shipping upgrade. Gloves ship express with standard shipping cost.
  • Service centers for return/exchange in U.S. and Thailand.

Fairtex Super Sparring Gloves BGV5 Solid Black (Black, 16 oz)
  • Extra-thick padding across the knuckles.
  • Pre-curved foam contours the hands.
  • Wide hook-and-loop closures support the wrists.
  • Shock-absorbing, high-density foam core.
  • Leather construction.

Both the BGV-1 and BGV-5 are ideal gloves to use for Muay Thai sparring. The BGV-5, however, is the Fairtex model designed specifically for sparring. It is very similar to the popular basic BGV-1 model but with wider cuffs and velcro straps for firmer wrist support. The padding is firm and dense for both models, but thicker in the BGV-5, which helps to cushion your blows.

Compared to other Muay Thai gloves, Fairtex gloves are much compact in size for the same weight. The streamlined design makes it an advantage in sparring as it allows your punches to squeeze through your opponent’s defense more easily.

If you want something more fancy-looking, the BGV-1 is produced in a wide range of colors and designs, compared to the BGV-5 which only comes in standard, monotone red, blue and black colors. Both models are made with the same high quality leather and are built to last. You won’t go wrong with either one.

>> Click here to purchase Fairtex BGV-1 at Amazon Now << 

>> Click here to purchase Fairtex BGV-5 at Amazon Now << 


Twins Special Premium Leather Boxing Gloves BGVL-3
Twins Special Leather Boxing Gloves - BGVL-3 - w/Velcro Wrist Strap (Black, 16oz)
  • Experience for yourself why Twins Special Boxing Gloves are widely considered the best boxing gloves in the world. Made in Thailand at the Twins Special factory, these leather boxing gloves are crafted from the finest materials and constructed with care to endure through years of use in the toughest Muay Thai, Boxing, and MMA gyms in the world.
  • Inside the boxing glove, high-quality multilayer foam protects your hand from impact. The foam is skillfully shaped to best support your hand while you are punching.
  • For sparring, training, and competition, our top-selling Velcro Boxing Gloves provide excellent wrist support and hand protection. You will find Twins Special Velcro Boxing Gloves in the best training places, because experienced trainers trust Twins Special quality.
  • The Twins Special Velcro Boxing Glove comes in several different sizes. In Thailand, the 6 oz boxing gloves, 8 oz boxing gloves, and 10 oz boxing gloves are often used for competition bouts. For high-impact training and sparring, Thai boxers will wear 12 oz boxing gloves, 14 oz boxing gloves, 16 oz boxing gloves, and 18 oz box gloves.
  • The padded wrist of the boxing glove, with its integrated Velcro-wrist strap, helps hold the wrist steady and guard against impact from kicks and punches The high-quality Velcro used by Twins Special in the wrist-strap of their Velcro Boxing Gloves will maintain its value for years.

A Muay Thai brand that needs no introduction. Twins gloves are one of the most widely used gloves in Muay Thai gyms the world over. They are favored and worn by everyone from recreational to professional fighters alike.

Twins gloves have often been described as pillowy but the puffy design offers excellent overall cushioning for better protection for your hands and your partner’s skull/body. They are certainly bulkier and may not pierce through defenses like the Fairtexs but if you value protection, you won’t go wrong with Twins gloves.

Like good Muay Thai gloves, these are flexible enough for some effective clinching that can add value to the whole learning experience. In terms of fit, the hand compartments are slightly roomy than snug compared to the other Thai brands, making them a favored choice for Western hands. These are good quality leather gloves giving you good mileage at great prices.

>> Click here to purchase Twins BGVL-3 at Amazon now<< 


Top King Boxing Gloves

Offering comparative protection to Twins gloves, it is interesting to note that the 2 brands are actually each owned by 2 brothers. The difference between the 2 gloves is that Top King gloves have a tighter fit compared to Twins’ roomier hand compartment. One reason why Top King gear is so well-liked is because of their bold and distinct aesthetics. For cool looking gloves, the quality of the craftsmanship and the cowhide leather used is exceptional.

Top King sturdy gloves are well constructed and have good foam padding to protect the knuckles and wrists. One thing to note is that the cuffs extend almost halfway up your forearms and would make very solid support for your wrists. As mentioned earlier, Top King gloves have a snug hand compartment and so if you have small- or medium-sized hands, they will fit very well. With such great qualities and paired with striking looks, it is no wonder it is such a sought after brand for Muay Thai gear.

>> Click here to purchase Top King gloves at Amazon now<< 


Best Shin Guards

You have had your fair share of shin bruises by now so you are well aware that our shins are one of the most sensitive bones in the body. If you have ever experienced a knee or shin bone clash against your own shin, you will fully appreciate the importance of wearing shin guards especially during Muay Thai sparring.

When it comes to finding the right shin guards, there is always a compromise to be made. Essentially, wider shin guards cover a larger area of your legs and hence provide more protection. However, this also makes them bulkier and will thus slow down your movements to a certain degree. On the flip side, narrower shin guards are lighter, so your movements will naturally be more mobile. The takeaway is that you are more likely to walk away with bruises on the uncovered area of your legs. If possible, try on as many different brands and models to find one that best fits your legs, either asking your gym mates or the local fight store.

Here are 3 of the most popular shin guards for Muay Thai sparring (for more options and info, read “Best Muay Thai Shin Guards“):

Top King
KINGTOP Top King Shin Guard Protector Empower Creativity Superstar Color Black White Size S M L XL for Protection in Muay Thai, Boxing, Kickboxing, MMA (Empower Black,M)
  • Specially designed with extra attention paid to the areas around the lower leg muscles and under the knee caps to offer more protection than other shin guards. Hook and loop closure for for a secure fit.
  • Size S - Length (does not include feet) 15.5"
  • Size M - Length (does not include feet) 16.5"
  • Size L - Length (does not include feet) 17"
  • Size XL - Length (does not include feet) 17.5"

THE most popular choice as voted by reviewers and users everywhere. Top King’s premium leather shin guards are constant chart toppers in Muay Thai gear reviews. With good leg coverage that reaches up almost the whole knee, and a high density foam padding, these shin guards will give you ample protection for your sparring needs. For a secure and stable fit, the shin guards feature a hook and loop strap system that holds them comfortably in place. No more constant shifting and readjusting during sparring.

The sleek silhouette of Top King shin guards is another of the reasons for their popularity with the Muay Thai crowd. They fit better, look better, and feel less bulky -and hence more mobile- compared to other brands. There ain’t no perfect shin guards but these are as good as it get for a good balance of protection and mobility. With great looks and great quality, you really can’t go wrong with the Superstar shin guards.

>> Click here to purchase Top King at Amazon Now << 


Fairtex Shin Guards SP7
Fairtex Twister Shin Guards, SP7 - Detachable In-Step Shin Pads (Yellow, M)
  • 1. Constructed of Syntek Leather.
  • 2. Detachable shin protector and foot protector to adjust to fit user the most and for various purposes of use.
  • 3. Shin protector can be twisted 90 degree from foot protector to follow your movement for maximum comfort and natural feeling
  • 4. Good for all kinds of Martial Art that attack with toe kick
  • 5. Soft back straps for maximum comfort (same system of straps as famous Fairtex Thai Curved Kick Pads).

Some people see bruises as badges of honor. It sounds badass to say you got that sexy purple calf bruise from Muay Thai. But if you aren’t particularly keen about bruises, you need shin guards that can provide maximum protection for your lower legs. For that, the Fairtex SP7 may be the best candidate. You will feel like your legs are fitted with impenetrable armour when you strap these on. As far as leg protection goes in sparring, this is the creme de la creme. The SP7 covers as much of your lower legs as is possible without restricting your Muay Thai kicks. Your feet, shin, and ankles are all padded up for maximum protection and safest sparring experience.

These are very comfortable in all ways and the detachable shin and foot design allows for the most natural range of leg movements. The super thick padding are excellent and will withstand even the hardest of kicks. As synthetic gear, these hold up against to any other genuine leather shin guards in the market and lives up to the reputation of the brand name. Admittedly, they are bulkier than other options but are surprisingly lighter than you would expect. For best overall protection, these are my top choice.

>> Click here to purchase Fairtex SP7 at Amazon Now << 


Venum Elite Shin Guards

Sale
Venum Elite Standup Shinguards, Neon Yellow, Medium
  • Premium skintex leather construction
  • High Density foam with additional padding for enhanced shock Absorption
  • Lightweight design providing unrestricted mobility and speed
  • Large Velcro straps for a no-slip fit
  • Handmade in Thailand

If loud colors are your thing, then Venum is our top recommendation. Venum are best known for their eye-catching aesthetics, but they make pretty darn good fight gear too. The Elite model is a step-up from the entry level Challenger shin guards. Like the popular Venum Elite boxing gloves, these shin guards are proudly made in Thailand for the best assured quality, using a high grade synthetic “skintex” leather. The lightweight design provides unrestricted mobility while the dense dual layer foam padding offers protection against the hardest knocks. There is also padding on the foot for a more well-rounded protection. To round it up, the extra wide double velcro straps provide a good enough secure fit that will hold up even in the heat of action.

They are priced on the higher side but you will get good lasting quality gear for what you pay. As an added advantage, match these with your Elite gloves and your sparring partners may just get blinded by the flashy neons and won’t see your strikes coming.

>> Click here to purchase Venum Elite at Amazon Now << 


Mouth Guard

The mouth guard is the third compulsory item. No sparring is done without mouth guards, especially if you don’t fancy getting your teeth knocked off. While Muay Thai sparring is usually performed with a low level of intensity, traumatic dental injuries can and have happened. It is not a pretty sight, in every sense. It has also been argued that mouth guards reduce the risks of concussion and spinal injuries. Findings remain inconclusive but it’s not a bad thing to err on the side of caution.

There are 3 main types of mouth guards for your combat needs. You can get a stock, boil-and-bite or a custom made mouth guard. Ready-made stock guards can be easily found in every sporting goods store and can be had for cheap. However, they won’t fit accurately or comfortably. Boil-and-bite guards are a step-up from stock guards and don’t cost very much more. Good boil-and-bite guards will fit almost perfectly and offer better protection over stock guards. For the perfect fit, a custom-made is the way to go. This can be done by heading to your dentist or purchasing a custom-made kit. Good custom-made guards fit comfortably in your mouth and even allow you to have a proper conversation without sounding like you have a mouthful of marbles.

Here are 2 mouth guard options in the market:

Shock Doctor Gel Max Convertible Mouth Guard

Sale
Shock Doctor Gel Max Convertible Mouth Guard, Blue/Black, Adult
  • CUSTOM COMFORT & FIT - Gel-fit Liner Technology is easy to fit, silicone mold forms specifically to your teeth and gums, providing a comfortable fit for extended use, available in a variety of customized colors
  • BREATHABLE - Integrated breathing channels make it easy to breathe while wearing the guard and maximize your performance
  • PROFESSIONAL DENTAL PROTECTION - Heavy duty Exoskeletal Shock Frame provides full mouth protection during the hardest impacts, protects cheek and tongue, teeth grinding, and secures teeth in place
  • DURABLE - Crafted using heavy duty silicone, combined in our Triple Layer Design for added protection and durability
  • RECOMMENDED SPORTS - Suitable for all contact sports where a mouth guard is required or recommended including football, wrestling, boxing, and more! Includes a detachable helmet strap for football

This is the best-selling mouth guard brand in the market. Shock Doctor offers a wide range of mouth guards designed for different contact sports including martial arts. As with all their mouth guards, this is a boil-and-bite that gets the job done.

The outer/bottom rubber layer has indentations which makes it easier to bite down unlike most mouth guards which tend to have a flat, rigid outer layer. The inner gel layer moulds to the shape of the teeth but can take a few boils to get the fit right even if you follow the instructions of the moulding process. Many people find it a little bulky and it’s certainly hard to speak with it in your mouth.

Shock Doctor mouth guards can be found in many sporting goods stores, both online and brick-and-mortar. If you are looking for a cheap, quick and easy solution, this will do just fine.

>> Click here to purchase Shock Doctor Gel Max on Amazon Now << 


Impact Custom Mouthguard

Impact Custom Professional MMA/Boxing/Muay Thai Mouthguard (Black)
  • WEAR IT LIKE THE PROS! We will craft you a perfect fitting mouthguard you will love to wear! Custom fitted with our professional grade fast and easy to use impression kit , includes paid postage to dental lab. 100% perfect fit guaranteed.
  • THE DESIGN: Maximum protection with minimalist feel for athletes of all ages and levels
  • SUPERB QUALITY & PROTECTION: At 6-7mm thickness, it assures heavy impact absorbance, and allows optimal oxygen flow to speak clearly and communicate with ease
  • HOW IT WORKS: Once we receive your order we'll ship your Super Simple Fit Kit the next business day. With the kit in hand, you'll make an impression of your teeth right at the kitchen table. It only takes about 2 1/2 minutes to complete. Follow the easy directions included with your kit. Once it's done send your impression back to Impact using the postage paid label provided. Upon receipt of your impression, we'll have one of our craftsman create your guard and send back the finished product
  • MATERIALS: Finished product is BPA free, made in the USA, Over 25,000 mouthguards specially handcrafted

You can now get a custom mouth guard right in the comfort of your own home without a trip to the dentist. Impact will ship you a kit which you will use to make an impression of your teeth with the instructions provided. After which, just send it back using a postage paid label provided and they will craft you a custom mouth guard based on the teeth impression and voila! Your very own custom mouth guard. Not only that, it will stay in place even if you don’t bite down on it. And of course, it does a fine job of protecting your teeth from being smashed.

Impact custom mouth guards come in a few thickness (3mm, 5mm, and a 6-7mm). For maximum protection, go with the thickest. There is a wide range of colors and designs to choose from and all BPA-free to ensure your health and safety. With a great fit that allows you to speak clearly, nothing beats that. As far as fit and safety goes, this is one of the best choices available.

>> Click here to purchase Impact Custom on Amazon Now << 


Groin Guard

The groin protector is more applicable to men than women due to the biological and physical construct of the more outwardly placement of the man’s genitals. A groin kick is known to destroy many a man’s sense of being. It is a soul-crushing pain that will leave the strongest of men writhing in pain, curled up like a fetus in the womb. Dear boys and men alike, be wise. Never spar without a life-saving groin protector. Stay safe, don’t bust a nut.

Some nuts and bolts about choosing groin guards. The right groin guard should amply encompass the family jewels in its entirety i.e. no slippage. The guard should fit snugly such that it doesn’t shift about during movement but should also be comfortable. And of course, the cup itself should be tough and durable for proper protection against accidental hard knocks.

There are 3 main types of groin guards: the jock strap, the compression shorts with cup, and the Thai steel cup with laces. Different design, same objective. The choice of groin guard all boils down to individual’s preference of fit and comfort. The way I see it, it’s akin to the eternal debate of boxers vs briefs and both options come with their supporters. And of course, there are those who like the thong-style Thai steel cups.

Here’s a low-down of 3 different types of groin protectors to help with your choice:

Fairtex Thai Steel Cup
FAIRTEX STEEL CUP GC2 GROIN PROTECTORS PROTECTIVE GEAR MUAY THAI KICK BOXING MMA (Black, M)
  • Professionals choose Fairfex Steel Cups for groin protection
  • Steel Cup comes with nylon strings to tightly secure it in place for a snug fit
  • Can also be used with briefs
  • Steel cup comes with dense latex padding

Steel cups seem like the most natural choice when it comes to safeguarding the crown jewels. It’s steel over balls, you can’t go wrong with that. However, having a string up your crack isn’t the most comfortable feeling, so many people wear it over their briefs to avoid the flossing.

The archaic securing system where you tie 2 of the strings/cords around your waist and one up between the butt cheeks can be tricky without assistance. If not properly secured, the cords can loosen during sparring, which can lead to devastating consequences. But WHEN well secured, it’s a great protection system and many pro fighters still swear by it. Give it a try, it might just be your cup of tea.

>> Click here to purchase Fairtex Steel Cup at Amazon Now << 


Shock Doctor Jock Strap (Core Supporter with BioFlex Cup)

Sale
Shock Doctor Core Supporter BioFlex Cup, Adult , XLarge, White
  • Leading sports protection manufacturer
  • Performance and protection in mind
  • Worn by professional and college athletes worldwide
  • Size: X-Large
  • Color: White

The jock strap is the most common groin protection system in many contact sports. It is easy to put on, easy to clean and maintain, and it does a reasonably good job of protection. Just avoid going for cheap plastic cups as there have been horror tales of breaking cups upon hard impact. It is also vital that the jock strap fits snug and doesn’t shift during sparring.Chafing can be a problem so some people wear it over boxer briefs for comfort. Mostly an affordable option and can be readily found in most sporting goods stores.

>> Click here to purchase Shock Doctor at Amazon Now << 


Diamond MMA Groin Protector (Compression Shorts) thumbs-up
Diamond MMA - Compression Shorts with Built-in Jock Strap & Athletic Cup System, Large
  • The Diamond MMA compression jock and cup system is the ultimate in groin protection for high-impact sports and delivers the most effective groin protection without sacrificing comfort.
  • Made from military grade elastics and premium spandex, the Diamond MMA Compression Jock leverages a high performance 4-strap jock system to hold a specially designed athletic cup in place within a perfectly tailored cup pocket. This patent pending system prevents both lateral and vertical movement of the cup. The Diamond MMA Compression shorts have a drawstring providing a custom fit.
  • The Diamond MMA Athletic Cup incorporates a co-molded elastomer design coupled with a polycarbonate core to provide uncompromising comfort and protection for the athlete.
  • The cup's patent pending design protects sensitive groin muscles and nerves with a specially designed ergonomic soft elastomer edge. The core of the cup is made with a rigid but flexible polycarbonate, the same plastic material utilized in bulletproof glass.
  • Designed by award winning designers and Stanford University engineers, the system has been approved by Doctors and Urologists as the best groin protection on the market. Diamond MMA products are used by professional athletes worldwide without sponsorships.

This is a clever system that combines the comfort of compression shorts with the security of jock strap to hold the cup in place. Coupled with an impenetrable cup made with polycarbonate core for protection, this has garnered a steady stream of followers and converts to make it a bestseller. Comfort, security, protection: everything you need in a groin protector. Enough said. (If you need further convincing, click here to watch this YouTube video)

>> Click here to purchase Diamond MMA at Amazon Now << 


Best Head Gear

You will seldom see head gears worn in Muay Thai gyms. The chances of sustaining head injuries during Muay Thai sparring is much lesser since there is an even distribution of head blows, body shots and leg kicks. This is unlike boxing where there is a lot more focus on hitting the face or the head. However, accidents DO happen from time to time and black eyes and mild concussions sometimes occur in Muay Thai sparring sessions. If there is a tendency to spar hard in your gym or if you do a mix of pure boxing and Thai boxing, head traumas do add up in the long term. In such cases, it is wise to consider wearing a head gear for protection.

There are a few factors to consider when choosing the best head gear, namely: protection coverage, fit, visibility, and the weight. Generally, the less protection coverage, the better the visibility and vice versa. And like your gloves, the heavier the weight, the more protection it offers -due to thicker padding- and vice versa. While a head gear that covers and weighs more can provide better protection against blows to the head, it can impede your reaction against evading strikes. And evasion is definitely the best way to avoid head injuries. The right head gear is hence a balance of adequate protection and good visibility, with a comfortable fit, of course.

As with gloves and shin guards, it is recommended to try on a few different models when shopping for a head gear to find one that fits and feels right. This is especially important with head gear since the discomfort can be really pronounced since they aren’t the most comfortable thing to wear in the first place. Here are 3 of the most widely recommended head gears for sparring (for more options and info, read “Best Headgear for Muay Thai“):

Fairtex Super Sparring Head Guard HG10
Fairtex Headgear Head Guard Super Sparring HG3, HG10, HG13 Diagonal Vision for Muay Thai, Boxing, Kickboxing (HG10 White,M)
  • Comprehensive coverage to help prevent injury with ears, cheeks and chin protection. Features more padding on forehead, cheek and back strap while maintaining nice and clear vision.
  • Size M - Head Circumference 52cm +/-2.5cm
  • Size L - Head Circumference 54cm +/- 2.5cm
  • Size XL - Head Circumference 56cm +/- 2.5cm

The super sparring head guard is designed for sparring (not for competition) with ample padding for protection and wide coverage to protect much of the face. These features ensure the safety of the user in Muay Thai and boxing alike. For the extensive coverage, the visibility isn’t impaired and the head gear feels surprisingly lightweight.

Like all Fairtex products, these are constructed with durable leather and strong stitching to withstand the adverse nature of full contact sparring. You know you can always count on Fairtex when it comes to your Muay Thai needs.

>> Click here to purchase Fairtex HG10 at Amazon Now << 


Twins Special Head Guard HGL-3
Twins Special Headgear Head Guard HGL-3 Color Black Blue Red Size S, M, L, XL for Protection in Muay Thai, Boxing, Kickboxing, MMA (Red,S)
  • The model HGL-3 is the most comfortable model. It has chin & cheek protection for full contact sparring also provides increased face coverage.
  • Size S - Head Circumference 19.0-20.5 inches
  • Size M - Head Circumference 21.0-22.0 inches
  • Size L - Head Circumference 22.5-23.0 inches
  • Size XL - Head Circumference 23.5-24.0 inches

As another top Muay Thai brand, Twins is another go-to brand for all kinds of Muay Thai essentials. The HGL-3 is Twins’ answer to anyone looking for sparring head guards. Handmade with 100% cowskin leather, and crafted with decades of experience, this is one tough head gear.

The HGL-3 strikes a good balance between its features and provides a reasonable degree of protection, but seems to favor visibility over coverage, and lightweight over padding. While the protection may be comparatively poorer , the better visibility and lightweight translate to better mobility for better evasion. And as mentioned, evasion is certainly the best way to avoid head injuries.

>> Click here to purchase Twins HGL-3 at Amazon Now << 


Winning Head Gear FG2900
WINNING Headgear Fg2900 (White, Large)
  • Medium(Japanese Size): 21.0-23.0inch / 54-59cm
  • Large(Japanese Size): 22.5-24.5 inch / 57-62cm
  • very light headgear 9.5oz
  • Made in Japan

If you want a top of the line head gear, this is it. Although Winning head gears cost a lot more than other brands, you are paying for first class protection for your head and you don’t want to skimp on that. Excellent comfort, super fine craftsmanship, and great overall protection without sacrificing visibility. It’s also very light for the padding that it offers.

This is made for pure boxing sparring so it’s designed to absorb head blows more effectively. If you are going to get punched in the face a lot, get this. Manny Pacquiao uses Winning head gears for sparring, so it has to be worth something. If you have any intention to practise boxing for a long time, this will be a solid investment. Proudly made in Japan.

>> Click here to purchase Winning FG2900 at Amazon Now << 


Knee and Elbow Pads

Even less commonly worn in Muay Thai sparring are knee and elbow pads.

Knee pads are usually worn by people with knee problems or injuries or looking for a more comprehensive protection. If you are practising Muay Thai recreationally, no one is going to stop you from wearing those knee pads for extra precaution. They can also lessen the impact if you are throwing knee strikes to your sparring partners.

Elbow pads are as much for protecting the elbows as they are used to minimize impact when elbow strikes are allowed in sparring. Elbow strikes are deadly dangerous and is why they are often prohibited during sparring in most gyms. Even with pads on, elbow strikes can still cause serious damage. As such, sparring with elbow should ideally be conducted with professional supervision and extra care should be taken to control the power/pace to avoid injuries.

RDX Knee and Elbow Pads
Sale
RDX Knee Support Brace Protector Foam Pads Guard Wraps Elasticated Shield, Medium, Black, Medium, Black
  • RDX Knee Featuring Dri-Fit sweat-management with soft synthetic
  • RDX Cross-over hook and loop strapping system for locking down the pad
  • Extra Light Carbon Fiber Padding ensures optimal durability
  • The Low-profile construction Pads designed to hold Knee Pads firmly
  • These guards spring back even after multiple washings

Sale
RDX MMA Elbow Support Brace Sleeve Pads Guard Bandage Elasticated Shield Protector
  • RDX Elbow Featuring Dri-Fit management with soft synthetic
  • RDX Cross-over strapping system for locking down the pad
  • Extra Light Carbon Fiber Padding ensures optimal durability
  • The Low-profile construction Pads designed to hold Elbow Pads firmly
  • These guards spring back even after multiple washings

RDX is a renowned fight gear company from the UK. Their products are used by both professionals and amateurs, and in boxing, muay thai and mma. Both their knee pads offer good padding and don’t feel restrictive. They are made with moisture-wicking fabric and the compression offers good support for the joints. One common problem with knee/elbow pads is that they tend to come in one-size-fits-all, but RDX makes them from small to X-Large to cater to different sizes. Both of these come highly recommended!

>> Click here to purchase RDX Knee Support at Amazon Now << 

>> Click here to purchase RDX Elbow Support at Amazon Now << 


Conclusion

Sparring is different things for different people but everyone spars because they want to get better at Muay Thai. It’s the one thing you must do to get better at Muay Thai. Like all full contact sports, there are always health risks associated with Muay Thai sparring but your well-being and safety should never be compromised. We have all heard the adage, “the right job requires the right tools”. With the right attitude, the right trainers, and the right protective gear, you can have an immensely enriching experience in sparring while staying safe. So gear up, guards up, relax, have fun, train hard, and enjoy the ride.

Chok dee!

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.