This essential list will introduce you to the gear and equipment you need to practise Muay Thai. Most of the items are mandatory while some are optional (but highly recommended).
Muay Thai Beginner Gear
There a few essential items you need to own when you start training in Muay Thai. Muay Thai is becoming more and more popular over the years so you will have no trouble tracking down some specialty or sporting stores that cater to your gear needs.
(Click here if you want to know what to wear to your first Muay Thai class.)
Of course you need Muay Thai or boxing gloves. Instead of loaning the gym’s smelly gloves, you should have your own pair or two, based on your weight and provides proper fit.
An ill-fitted pair of gloves can cause harm to your wrists and hands. It is important to wear well-fitted gloves for Muay Thai training that can provide sufficient padding and wrist support.
See related articles: “Best Muay Thai Gloves“, “Best Muay Thai Gloves for Beginners“, “Best Muay Thai Gloves for Small Hands”, “Best Muay Thai Gloves for Big Hands”, “Breathable Boxing Gloves”, “Synthetic Muay Thai Gloves Review”, “Muay Thai Gloves Maintenance”.
Hand wraps are your first and most important line of defense against wrist injuries. They are worn to hold and compress your knuckles, wrists, tiny bones and the soft tissue, keeping them in place and lessening the impact of your punches on them.
Besides providing support for your hands, handwraps will soak up some of the sweat while you train. This reduces the amount of moisture seeping into your gloves which can cause unsavoury odors.
See related article: “Muay Thai Wrist Support”.
You’ll be happy to know that there’s a pretty laid back dress code for Muay Thai. In general, anything you would wear for your gym workout works at a Muay Thai gym too.
The most pervasive attire in Muay Thai is of course the Muay Thai shorts. The leg openings are wide so as to allow for full range of kicks. MMA board shorts or Vale Tudo shorts are also worn but usually by MMA practitioners.
Rash guards are also fast becoming a popular option for both men and women training Muay Thai. But you will never go wrong with a tee and Muay Thai shorts.
Muay Thai Sparring Gear List
Sparring is a personal choice in many gyms and most definitely not included as part of a beginner’s curriculum.
Once you are familiar with the basic Muay Thai techniques to a certain degree, your instructor will usually give you the go-ahead to join the sparring.
Sparring should only be performed with the proper protective gear to prevent unnecessary injuries.
Here are the main sparring gear including shin guards, mouth guard, groin guards and in some gyms, head gear for extra protection.
This just means a separate pair of gloves from your training gloves. The reason for having separate gloves for sparring/training is that you will wreck your gloves padding when you work on those mitts, pads and heavy bags.
It is not going to feel good for your sparring partners when they feel the increased impact of your knuckles through the thinned padding.
The recommended size for most men for sparring is 16oz and bigger guys will use 18oz, even up to 20oz gloves. If you find them too big or heavy, the lowest weight you can get away with for sparring is 14oz.
Most women and smaller sized men use 14oz for sparring. The reason for using heavier gloves is because gloves of these weights offers more padding which minimizes the impact when it lands on your sparring partner.
See related article: “Best Muay Thai Sparring Gear“
Your shins are one of the most sensitive bones and a hard shin-to-shin knock is the least pleasant of sensations. There are far safer and better ways to condition your shins such as with heavy bag or even just regular pad work.
There are a few factors when it comes to selecting the right pair of shin guards. You need to consider characteristics such as the protection coverage, the bulkiness, the fit and the density of the padding.
The right shin guards will save you a lot of agony from dealing with bruises so make sure to check out a few before deciding on one.
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, accidents can and have happened.
You can either get a ready-made boil and bite cheapie or a custom made from your dentist. The latter is a more comfortable option and will fit better.
See related article: “Best Mouthguard for Muay Thai Boxing“
A groin kick is known to destroy 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. Be smart. Get your life-saving groin protector.
Although it is usually more common for men than women, there are female groin protectors too. A kick to the groin will hurt regardless of gender. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have additional protection.
See related article: “Best Muay Thai Sparring Gear“
This is not commonly worn in Muay Thai as much as boxing. Head gear protects the head from concussions and is worth investing in one if you plan to do some pure boxing sparring on the side.
Head gears are worn in some amateur competitions and sometimes in hard sparring. They are not all build the same and some are more comfortable than others.
They can look a little over-the-top in a Muay Thai setting but if you need that extra bit of security, no one is going to put you down. If they do, feel free to knock them out.
See related article: “Best Headgear for Muay Thai“
Judging by the amount of items on this list, it’s no surprise that you are going to need a sizeable bag to hold all your fight gear.
You want to watch out for a few things when it comes to choosing the right gym bag such as material, size, whether it has compartments and the style for the aesthetic-conscious.
See related article: “Best Gym Bag for Muay Thai”.
Ankle guards are fairly common in Muay Thai and you may sport them on fighters and trainers alike. They keep the ankles warm and if you have bad ankles, they can offer some joint support especially when you will be kicking a lot of heavy bags and firm pads.
Ankle guards are also good for providing some traction and friction against slipping especially if the mats are a little slick.
The wonder oil. The famous Thai liniment oil is a miracle product. Rub them over your legs before training to warm them up, and after training to ease the soreness.
It is especially handy when you need to rub out those nasty shin bumps or bruises.
You may need to get used to the smell if you are not acquainted with Asian liniment oils. The analgesic content is strong enough to soothe your soreness but not overly dosed that it causes skin irritations.
Not mandatory for Muay Thai but I always make sure I have a bottle in my gym bag.
See related article: “Thai Boxing Liniment Oil Review“
It’s almost a no-brainer. This helps you to stay hydrated before, during and after training instead of running for the water cooler. It can also help to monitor the amount of fluid intake to make sure you are drinking enough water each day.
And that’s pretty much all you need!