What to Wear for Muay Thai
First of all, congratulations on taking up Muay Thai. You are maybe a little nervous and excited about your first Muay Thai class and stepping into a Muay Thai gym. If you are concerned about what you should wear for your training, 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.
For guys, you can wear a sports tee or singlet as a top. Going topless is the norm for many Muay Thai gyms in Thailand where it’s sweltering heat everyday. You are welcome to go topless so long as you feel comfortable.
This may not be a common practice in most countries outside of Thailand, especially in the West and varies from gym to gym, so check to see that you are not attracting unwarranted attention. For your bottoms, Muay Thai shorts are your best options, as are MMA board shorts. Basically, any shorts that do not restrict your leg movements will do just fine.
For gals, you can wear a sports bra, a sports tee or singlet as a top. Going topless is not an option anywhere, as far as I know. For your bottoms, you can go with a pair of women’s Muay Thai shorts, sports shorts or leggings. You will be throwing some leg-splitting kicks so you don’t want to be restricted by your bottoms.
A Note about Muay Thai Shorts
Muay Thai shorts are about the coolest looking and best choice of shorts for training. The leg openings are really wide so as to allow for full range of kicks so you want to consider something more appropriate to wear underneath.
We suggest dark boxer briefs -instead of boxers- to maintain some form of modesty and to prevent any slippage exposing your family jewels. Girls might want to avoid anything lacey or overly “stringy”, in case your gym partners and trainers get too distracted when you perform those high kicks. Compression shorts (spandex, cycling, tights) are also popular and a comfortable choice. Going commando is NOT recommended.
Ankle and Knee Supports
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.
Knee guards are a less common sight in Muay Thai but there is no rule stating that you can’t wear them for training. They provide the same practicality as ankle guards, offering support for knees. Both supports are helpful in keeping your joints protected to a certain degree until you get your techniques right.
These are not mandatory for Muay Thai and not everyone wears them for training. For me, I use them occasionally and not for all lessons. Some of my friends swear by them and my Thai trainers wear them.
Rash Guard for Muay Thai
Rash guards are fast becoming a popular option for both men and women training Muay Thai. Amongst their many benefits: they minimize acute muscle injuries and they keep you feeling dry and comfortable while you train. Most importantly, they look so very stylish.
A good set of rash guard is very hardy and will withstand the rigors of Muay Thai training. They are definitely not as common compared to the traditional Muay Thai outfit of tees and shorts but if you train at a gym that has MMA, then this is perfectly fine and there is nothing wrong with it.
Muay Thai training is conducted bare-footed but there are gyms -especially those in Thailand- where the fighters go for a 3-mile run as part of endurance training (or warm-up) for fighters. In this case, you can bring a pair along or show up in your running shoes if you want to join in the run.
You will obviously need boxing gloves for your training. You will be able to use the gym’s on-site gloves but they usually stink with so much punching mileage over time. The padding would have thinned out too and may not offer enough protection for your hands. If you aren’t sure where to start, check out our gloves guide for beginners. At the very least, bring your own hand wraps.
Muay Thai is a fun, interesting and fulfilling sport. Before you know, you will be filling your wardrobe with workout clothes for your Muay Thai training. Comfort is key, and your sense of style is the limit. Remember your water bottle, maybe a face towel, and you are all set. What is most important is that you enjoy your training. Good luck on your first lessons and have fun!