So you’ve been training Muay Thai for a while now and you’ve been using the gym’s gloves and shin pads. You notice that when you take off the borrowed gloves a peculiar and unpleasant scent rises from your hands and greets your nostrils. When you slide the shin guards over your legs, you notice that they’re damp… it then hits you that the moisture is from someone else’s sweat. It’s at this point that you realise you should probably begin to invest in your own training gear. The world of Muay Thai gear is expansive and sometimes scary. There are so many options! Below is a guide I have prepared to help you decide what products are best suited to you and your needs.
Handwraps are absolutely essential for your training to ensure that you will not sprain your wrist or damage your knuckles. Handwraps provide support for your hand during the impact received during boxing. There are many variations in handwraps in terms of length, fabric and elasticity. Longer handwraps will provide more cushioning for your hands so you will avoid knuckle and finger injuries.
The function of gloves are fairly straightforward and much like handwraps there is a large variation in the gloves available for purchase. Gloves are measured in ounces, the heavier the glove is the more protection a person will receive (on both ends of the punch).
8/10oz: 8/10 ounce gloves are predominantly for people who are lighter and smaller due to the low weight of the glove. This means it won’t feel too heavy when they are hitting the bag or pads. 8/10 ounce gloves are not appropriate for sparring with as they do not provide enough padding for the person who is on the receiving end of the punch.
12/14oz: 12/14 ounce gloves are suited to multipurpose training. They are the perfect weight for hitting the bag and pads (again this is all depending on the size of the owner of the gloves). 12 ounce gloves are still too light to spar with, but there is more lenience with 14 ounce gloves.
16oz: 16 ounce gloves are the perfect sparring weight. This weight of gloves provides the person receiving the punch a more cushioned blow (no one should be hitting hard in sparring to begin with). 16 ounce gloves are probably too heavy to hit the bag and pads with as they may slow you down and make it more difficult to keep your hands up.
As for the brands to purchase: favour Thai brands. These include Fairtex, Raja, Top King etc. it is suggested that you try the gloves on yourself prior to purchase because all gloves feel different and all hands are of different shapes and sizes- some may fit better than others.
Shin guards are worn mostly during sparring (sometimes people will wear shin guards when learning how to execute sweeps in the clinch). This product will protect your shins from clashing with others, ultimately protecting them from being injured. Shin Guards vary in sizes depending on the height of the person and they also vary in terms of the brand. Again, Thai brands are often favoured.
In terms of other equipment, it is important that you purchase a mouth guard to use while sparring to avoid any unnecessary dental bills. Also, buying ankle guards to wear during training for people who may have weak ankles is also recommended. On a more superficial level, investing in Muay Thai shorts is also a good idea so you can look good while you train!
For those in the Perth area, I recommend purchasing your training gear from TKO warehouse which is located within Bailey Fitness in Morley. If it’s your first time hitting the pads, speak to the Bailey Fight Team to help get started in Muay Thai training.