Last Updated on February 2, 2021
Anyone that has done some form of combat training knows the importance of Thai pads in developing different aspects of your striking game - kicking or punching.
Muay Thai Pads, commonly referred to as “Thai Pads” or “Kick Pads,” have become an essential tool for every combat fighter, be it a beginner or a professional fighter.
Whether you’re into MMA, Kickboxing, Boxing, Taekwondo, etc., Thai pads are a sure way to elevate your striking skills to elite levels.
Many local gyms have Thai pads available for training, but the chances of it being the right fit for you is low. So you’re going to have to consider purchasing your pair of kick pads. Factors like size, budget, thickness, quality, etc., have to be considered before purchasing a Thai pad. It is easy to get confused about choosing the right one for you with several things to consider.
After expert consultations and from personal experiences, I’ve reviewed the best Thai pads considering these factors. It would serve as a comprehensive guide, and in no time, you would be sweating it out in the gym with your Thai pads.
This early, let me also mention, our top pick is the Fairtex Curved MMA Muay Thai Pads for its versatility for those in a hurry.
- The 5 Best Thai Pads Reviewed
- Thai Pads Buyers’ Guide
- Wrapping Up
The 5 Best Thai Pads Reviewed
1. Fairtex Curved MMA Muay Thai Pads - Top pick
Fairtex is a reputable brand known for producing quality sporting products, and our top pick is a prime example of that.
If you ask several fighters what they like most about the Fairtex Curved MMA Muay Thai Pads, the typical response you’ll get is versatility. Irrespective of fighting style, the pad would prove essential for your training.
It is made from premium cowhide leather, making it durable and an effective shock absorber. Experienced fighters would also find it thick enough to absorb their powerful kicks and punches. It also has a lightweight design to prevent arm fatigue during training.
The curved design helps improve performance, which is great if you’re a beginner. You would be able to make precise kicks in no time. It has a tight fit that’s designed to absorb blows and kicks.
It comes in different sizes – small, standard, extra-long, and extra thick. The standard size is usually the preferred option for athletes of all skill levels.
The biggest drawback to Fairtex Thai pads is they’re not budget-friendly. So if you won’t be a regular user of the pads, you might want to consider a cheaper alternative.
Regardless, it is a great Thai pad for either beginners or pro fighters.
- A versatile pad that’s suitable for several fighting disciplines
- Effective shock absorption
- Tight fit on the forearm
- Long-lasting construction
- Adjustable straps are short.
The Fairtex Curved MMA Muay Thai Pad is the best Thai pad you can get. While pricey, it is worth every penny with its high-quality construction. It would be an excellent training aid for beginners. With proper care, it sure would last for years.
2. Valleycomfy Curved Muay Thai Kick Pads – Best Budget
Like Fairtex Thai Pads in terms of versatility, the Valleycomfy kick pads are more affordable. They are the cheapest Muay Thai pads on this list.
The focus mitts have practical designs that help improve punching and defensive skills. They are made easy to handle, so it doesn’t hinder your training technique.
Valleycomfy pads are made from quality leather that is soft, comfortable, and non-toxic. For the price it goes for, it has terrific shock-absorbing capabilities. You wouldn’t normally expect this from a cheap kick pad.
Another great feature is the sweat-resistant lining. It keeps the material dry at all times and doesn’t slip while you train. You also don’t have to worry about bacteria build-up.
Many, myself inclusive, do not like the one size fits most design. People with bigger or smaller hands wouldn’t find it as comfortable. I used it once, and while I was astounded by its durability, I had to adjust the wrist strap several times for a proper fit.
Valleycomfy’s mission is to provide sporting goods equipment at an affordable price, and these Muay Thai kick pads are a great example.
- Excellent shock-absorbing pad
- Easy to transport
- Sweat-resistant and odor-free
- Very affordable
- One size fits all, not suitable for all.
Valleycomfy might not get as much attention from pro fighters, but it is an excellent pick for price-conscious fighters. It would offer similar performance to some of the best and more expensive Thai pads.
3. Venum Giant Kick Pads – Largest Pads
It is frustrating when you cannot find a pad that fits your large hands. If you’re big or tall, you likely have this issue. Well, Venum has giant kick pads that are made for you.
As the name suggests, Giant Kick Pads are perfect for “giant” athletes that pack really hard kicks. The large surface area means there is more room to catch kicks and punches. It features a multi-layered density foam padding that can absorb the hardest kicks, knees, and elbow strikes.
Venum Giant Kick Pads are built to last. They are made from premium Skintex leather and rip resistance laces. The adjustable straps made from Velcro are easily adjustable to fit snugly in your arm.
Venum Giant Kick Pads are not pre-curved, so it might only be suitable for experienced fighters. Beginners would require time to break in. Despite the straight design, they’re still an exceptional product.
- Suitable for large hands
- The large pads have a wide striking surface.
- Excellent padding for shock absorption
- Extremely durable
- It has a good grip handle.
- Expensive option
- Only one size available
- Stiff padding
- Heavier than most kick pads
Venum Giant Kick Pads are ideal for bigger and experienced fighters who need a large and super thick pad to absorb their powerful kicks.
With its thick and large padding, the holder wouldn't feel the impact of powerful strikes.
4. Farabi Sports Thai Pad - Best Single Pad
Farabi is still relatively unknown in the MMA world, but their quality products are beginning to catch fighters’ attention.
Farabi Sports Thai Pad is thick but still surprisingly lightweight. This is due to the synthetic PX-Fiber composition. Other thicker pads from other brands are usually heavy and can fatigue the holder’s arm quickly.
Its large surface is long and wide enough to block punches and kicks that might not hit the target, especially for beginners prone to miss.
Being thick, they are perfect for big guys with powerful strikes. The EC-Gel C-Shock Technology evenly distributes the force of the blow and absorbs it, thereby protecting the holder from feeling the impact.
Many users don’t like that it only comes as a single pad. They would have to purchase another pad to complete the pair. Therefore, even though it is an affordable pad, you have to buy two pads separately, increasing costs.
- Impressive quality for its price
- Thick padding to absorb powerful strikes
- Shock absorption technology is reliable
- Absorbs and redistributes shock effectively
- It only comes as a single pad, so you have to purchase another to make a pair.
- Not as durable as other pricey options
Thick and lightweight, Farabi Thai Pads have somehow achieved something most brands can’t do, and it is all on budget. It might be a single pad, but a variety of training can be done with one pad, especially for beginners in kickboxing training. You can also choose to buy another pair.
5. Contender Fight Sports Pads – Alternative Budget Option
This is another budget-friendly option. Contender Fight Sports has been around for a while, so they know a thing or two about quality sporting equipment.
Contender Thai pads stand out due to the design material. It is designed from vinyl, which makes it easy to clean. This is not a common material used to make MMA pads, but somehow, it works.
The design takes nothing away from its durability as it can withstand powerful kicks as it features dense foam padding, which has good impact absorption and keeps the holder protected.
Even though the pads are not pre-curved, they are still a decent option for beginners as it has a large base for striking, but it requires time to get used to. The two hook and loop straps secure the hands for a comfortable fit.
Many users have complained about the odor of the pads. I recommend airing the pads regularly to help with this problem.
- Thick padding to absorb most punches and kicks
- A broad striking area that allows a large margin for error
- Strong handle
- Easy to clean
- Not pre-curved
- Some fighters have complained about the pungent smell of the pad.
- Small straps
The Contender Fight Sports MMA Muay Thai Fight Pads are pads that are worth considering. They aren’t only budget-friendly; they also have an alternative vinyl construction instead of leather, which some users prefer as it is easy to clean.
Thai Pads Buyers’ Guide
Whether it’s kickboxing, Muay Thai, MMA, Thai pads have become an essential training tool for beginners and professional fighters. The general preference is a high-quality, long-lasting, and affordable pad that can actually withstand the fighter's kick even when he's wearing the best Muay Thai shin guards.
For each fighter, the decision to purchase a Thai pad comes down to personal preferences. Beginners, especially, might need to try out different pads before finding the right fit.
Some important criteria to consider before purchasing a Thai pad are listed below.
Muay Thai pads come in varying sizes. Most brands offer four sizes ranging from small to extra-large for you to choose from. It is important to get the right size since you will be using it for years.
Most women and average built men would go for the small or medium sizes while the large sizes are suitable for tall or big kickboxers.
The size of the pad will dictate how it fits in your hands. Pads with adjustable straps are preferable as you can make sure it fits your arm by tightening or loosening the straps.
Smaller and lightweight pads are comfortable to hold and don’t tire your arm as much. A rule of thumb is that the bigger they are, the bulkier they are to hold.
Having said that, let's see how to properly hold these Thai Pads from this video, below:
One of the first things to consider when purchasing a Thai pad is the thickness. Smaller pads might be more comfortable to hold and not tire your arms as much; however, they don’t provide the same protection level as thicker pads.
For most cheap kick pads, you feel the shock every time a strike lands on the pad. This could result in bruising, especially when you hold the pad for a heavy kicker.
A good Thai pad should have excellent padding, so you don’t feel the shock of each strike. I once witnessed a guy who dislocated his shoulder due to the impact of heavy kicks.
Thick pads absorb shock easily, so you don’t experience bruising or injuries during training.
Shape Of Pads: Curved vs. Straight
Thai pads are either curved or straight. The curved pads tend to be pricier than straight pads, but the benefits over straight pads are undeniable.
Curved pads are designed to make striking or kicking comfortable for the fighter delivering the strike and the trainer receiving it. The curve allows the kick to land on target without glancing off or sliding away.
Straight pads are usually more difficult to kick and take time to break-in. They eventually get a natural curve, but the months of training beforehand are rough.
Experts recommend curved pads for beginners due to its low learning curve.
Quality & Price
Most times, quality and price are directly related. The higher the price, the more quality is expected. The best quality Thai pads cost between $100 - $150, and it should last you for years.
Most pro fighters prefer kickboxing training pads made in Thailand over other countries as it is believed they produce the highest quality of pads for different training exercises.
Finding the right Thai pad should no longer be an issue for you.
You should find one that fits your expertise level, budget, or size.
Most fighters want the most versatile Thai pads for a variety of training. They also want a long-lasting one. This is why I’d recommend the Fairtex Curved MMA Muay Thai Pads. It also comes in different sizes, so you will surely find the right fit for you.
If you’re on a budget, Valleycomfy Curved Muay Thai Kick Pads is your best option.