MMA Shorts for Muay Thai
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is possibly the world’s fastest growing sports right now. Internationally acclaimed institutions like Phuket’s Tiger Muay Thai and Singapore’s Evolve MMA offers the whole shebang of MMA training from Muay Thai to BJJ to fight-fitness programs. Here, fighters come and cross-train several forms of martial arts for leisure, fitness and competitive purposes.
Modern MMA brands have come onto the market, responding to the demand for MMA products and offering a wide variety of fight gear, apparel and equipment. Fightwear like rash guards (See related article: “Rash Guard for Muay Thai”) and MMA shorts are especially popular across the board as they can be worn for different types of martial arts training. You might have seen a guy or two rocking mma shorts at your Muay Thai training. Most of these guys possibly cross-train a few combat arts or practise MMA. So for those who train primarily in Muay Thai, are MMA shorts an ideal form of workout apparel?
What are MMA shorts?
Specifically, there are 2 types of shorts that are worn during MMA training and actual competition, namely the board shorts (left) and the skimpier vale tudo shorts (right). MMA board shorts reach down to the knees and look similar to swim/surf boardshorts while the vale tudo shorts are like thicker -and sometimes shorter- versions of compression shorts.
Vale tudo shorts are rarely worn outside of MMA training or the fight arena and can look awkwardly out of place at the Muay Thai gym. While they fit comfortably and are actually ideal for martial arts training, the man-bulge due to the hip- and groin-hugging material can be a bit distracting. The MMA board shorts are more commonplace at Muay Thai trainings and are getting more and more popular as MMA as a sport continue to rise in popularity.
Benefits of MMA Shorts
Muay Thai shorts is still the number one choice for training Muay Thai. They are, after all, made for that purpose. The satin short-shorts style allows for your full range of motion but the thigh-revealing design may not be favored by everyone. It can also be hard to find a pair that fits the way you want as they are often way too small, even for Asian standards. Here are some benefits of wearing MMA board shorts:
- As most MMA brands are American- or European-based, their board shorts are geared towards American and European sizes. They fit as they are tagged so a Large will fit like an American Large. Some brands also come in actual waist measurements in inches and this makes buying from online retailer a lot easier.
- Even though the comparatively excessive fabric makes them look restrictive, MMA shorts are actually made with stretchable material and there are slits up the outer side to allow an unrestricted range of motion. When you wear them, your high kicks are only limited by your own flexibility.
- MMA shorts are designed with tough fabric to meet the harsh nature of the fight sport. As such, they are made to be more durable than regular fitness shorts and surf board shorts. Besides durability, the fabric will usually incorporate moisture-wicking properties, keeping you cool and dry regardless of how much you sweat during training.
- Many MMA shorts are not only functional and feel comfortable to wear, they also look stylish enough to wear to the mall, the beach, or for a walk in the neighborhood. With a huge range of slick designs and striking aesthetics to choose from, there is bound to be something for everyone.
MMA Board Shorts Review
With so many MMA, BJJ and even traditional Muay Thai brands offering MMA shorts, you may have a hard time making up your mind. To help you narrow down the choices, here are our top recommendations:
A pioneer of MMA apparel, Clinch Gear has been making MMA board shorts since as early as 2003. The American label began with the mission to create the best training shorts in the world and they probably aren’t too far off. The Pro Series is the best the brand has to offer and after years of refinement, Clinch Gear has set a high bar of standards for MMA shorts.
The shorts are made using moisture-wicking fabric for dry and cool comfort during training. The use of lightweight microfiber makes them feel soft and and smooth to the touch. Seams are also triple stitched for durability to withstand all sorts of rumble and tumble. Except for the camouflage design, the aesthetics are mostly a little subdued, but there is a good range of colors to choose from. For the best in comfort, durability and overall performance, this is one of the top choices.Highly recommended!
Hayabusa is one of the most trusted brands in MMA and is a staple on many of our gear recommendations. The Canadian brand is known for extensive research and innovation in the design of their products. They offer a good range of MMA board shorts featuring innovative engineering and great looking graphics.
These Kickboxing shorts utilize reinforced T3 stitching for durability, a high side split for unrestricted range for motion during training or sparring, and stretch breathable fabric for a very comfortable fit. Sizes come in actual inches for a perfect fit. At last count, there are 11 colors to choose from so you can hardly go wrong with these.
The French MMA label is one of the most popular fighting gear and apparel brands in the market. In terms of aesthetics, Venum has always been my favorite modern fight brand. They offer such an amazing range of great looking MMA shorts that they should have an entire article dedicated to reviewing them!
Venum has so many awesome looking fight shorts that we can’t decide on which one to feature! Almost got brain cancer trying to pick our favorite design. If you like bold attention-seeking graphics, this is THE brand for you. And in case you wonder, Venum MMA shorts offer all the properties that make a great pair of fight shorts for Muay Thai training. Breathable anti-bacterial material, durable stretch microfiber fabric, mesh panels for optimal sweat escape, checked, checked and checked. Plus they look great!
If you don’t want to spend 60 or 70 dollars on a pair of shorts, Anthem Athletics are a great deal. The USA brand has promoted itself as an affordable yet good quality option for martial arts training. The Resilience line is one the their most popular collections and has received a 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon. These are currently one of the best-selling mma shorts on the market.
I have recommended the brand in the past for its apparel as the American label understands what it means to be an American. The sizes are on point, and the shorts come in actual waist sizes instead of generic small-medium-large measurements. The designs are simple, nothing fancy compared to other brands but there are over 30 designs to choose from. The material is a little lightweight compared to competitors but the overall quality is reasonable for its price.
While traditional Muay Thai shorts are most suited for Muay Thai training, MMA board shorts are a welcome alternative with modern good looks, great comfort and excellent mobility. They are so versatile, you might wear them to commute to the gym, wear them at the gym, and wear them at home after gym. In fact, you might not want to take them off! There, you have been warned.