What makes Muay Thai brands the absolute best Muay Thai brands? Do they have to be made in Thailand or outside of Thailand? Does it have to come with premium leather or synthetic leather? Should the brand be exclusive for Muay Thai or can it be for combat sports or martial arts in general? These are the questions our comprehensive guide will answer for you today.
If you are planning to become one of the best Muay Thai practitioners and Muay Thai fighters in the world and are looking to invest in the best possible pair of gloves and other pieces of quality Muay Thai gear, take a some time to read through this and learn more about the sport and the Muay Thai equipment needed.
What Makes a Great Muay Thai Brand?
There are several factors that affect the quality of professional Muay Thai training gear and training equipment. In this section, we break it down into the different factors that need to be considered to have a better assessment of what quality Muay Thai gear is and what poor quality Muay Thai gear may look like.
Popularity: Is the brand known around the world? Is it used in Muay Thai training and boxing by the leading Muay Thai practitioners of today?
From where we are from, we hear brands like Fairtex and Twins on a regular basis when we go to our local Muay Thai gym and training facility. Top King is another brand that is mentioned in a positive light and is one of those brands that a few professional Muay Thai practitioners would highly recommend.
Popularity is an important factor to look into when picking a brand. Of course, it goes without saying that popularity alone should not be the only indicator of identifying the top brands in the sport of Muay Thai. There are several more considerations to be had when looking into fight gear and training equipment for sparring, training, and actual competition.
However, for starters, it would be a relatively safe option to have a good eye and ear for learning about the most talked-about Muay Thai brands around the world today to get an idea of which brands or companies may actually be doing product promotion right.
Scope: Does the brand focus only on Muay Thai training gear and equipment or does it also cover boxing gear and other types of fight gear?
An interesting factor to look at is the scope of the brand or company when it comes to producing fight gear and training equipment. Other sports-centric brands offer gear and equipment for a wide array of sports.
We have seen companies cater to bowling, darts, and billiards. Others accommodate tennis and table tennis. Some have even swept all ball-centric sports and have created products for the likes of basketball, football, soccer, and volleyball.
Is variety good, however? In our opinion, the more spread out the company is in creating fight gear and Muay Thai equipment, especially in the world of Muay Thai, then the more challenging it would be to actually find the fight gear that is tailor-made for Muay Thai specifically.
A common combination when it comes to brands that deal with Muay Thai equipment and gear is MMA, Muay Thai, and boxing, especially when it comes to hand wraps and gloves. Muay Thai Gloves have very fine differences in details compared to boxing gloves. However, in an attempt to combine MMA, boxing, and Muay Thai, companies tend to produce products that somehow blend the functions of the two together.
The most salient example, in this case, would be the palm area of the gloves. In Muay Thai, it is important that the palm area of the gloves are capable of not just catching or parrying a strike, but also allowing the Muay Thai practitioner to execute clinch techniques and clinch strikes. This may not be relevant in Muay Thai training if only striking or Muay Thai boxing is practiced, but when training in the sport of Muay Thai as a whole, the palm area of the gloves matters.
Value: Does the general price range of the brand, its gear, and its equipment correspond to the quality, craftsmanship, and durability offered?
When speaking of value, we are not specifically looking at the price tag of the Muay Thai equipment or gear. We are simply using the price point as an indicator of how well the product corresponds to the value it is supposed to offer.
Top-tier Muay Thai equipment and gear come at a price, even more so for products that are based in Thailand. However, more expensive does not always equate to the best value. If you are the type of person looking for the best bang for your buck, then this factor is probably the most important to you.
At this point, the question you should ask yourself is what kind of quality and protection is necessary for your skill level, body build, fitness experience, and type of training.
If you are a casual or beginner Martial Arts student looking to dabble in MMA, boxing, kickboxing, and Muay Thai, then brands such as Venum, Hayabusa, and Everlast should be good for you in terms of pricing, availability, and quality.
On the other hand, if you are a more devoted Martial Arts student with intermediate experience in the likes of MMA and Muay Thai, then we would highly recommend investing in top brands like Fairtex and Twins. Top King is another brand to look into.
Finally, if you are one of those high-level Muay Thai fighters that are fully dedicated to the sport, then take a look at the more niche brands like Yokkao and the Fairtex Muay Thai line of premium products for greater value and absolutely amazing quality and protection.
Quality of Materials: Are components such as leather construction quality, sturdiness of the materials to build guards, protection of headgear and hand wraps, and thickness of the heavy bags and pads prioritized?
"Quality leather" and "genuine leather" are terms that are most relevant to this particular topic simply because most top-quality equipment and gear, whether it be a glove, heavy bag, focus pad, or mitt rely on the tough and durable qualities of these types of leather.
Does it mean that synthetic leather or other alternatives to quality leather and genuine leather are bad? Not necessarily, but temper your expectations when it comes to products made of alternative materials as they may not be as durable or last as long.
Muay Thai shin guards, headgear, and hand wraps must not only possess sufficient materials for padding and protection, but they must also have the needed lightness in weight and mobility so as to not hamper the movement and agility of Muay Thai fighters.
A great example of good leather construction would be a lot of products from the Top King gloves line-up (also known as the Top King boxing gloves). Popular products like Twins gloves (or Twins Special gloves), Fairtex, and Yokkao also have great genuine leather products.
If you are considering synthetic leather, then we would suggest viewing products from Venum and Hayabusa as the technology and components they use are better than their competition (in their respective segments).
Design and Design Quality: Are the themes, designs, and paint utilized on the gear appropriate and high-standard?
The sport of Muay Thai, especially in Thailand, is more of an art, tradition, and culture rather than just a fighting sport or competition. This is why it is also very important to understand the design and quality of design in each and every Muay Thai product, whether it be a piece of equipment or a piece of gear for training.
Take a look at the brands in Thailand, for example. The design languages of Yokkao, Fairtex, Twins Special, and Top King are so unique and intriguing. In those brands, you can observe different colorways and combinations, almost identical to what you would see in some pieces of art.
This is in slight contrast to the likes of Venum and Hayabusa. These are not brands in Thailand and therefore have a different type of design and art to them. They still look very beautiful and well-designed but when it comes to nailing the heritage of Muay Thai in Thailand, there is nothing like the products that were actually made in Thailand.
Company Longevity: How long has the brand been in operation? Is the company brand new or has it been in existence for several decades?
Brand longevity is also something worth considering when talking about martial arts gear and equipment.
From a legal perspective, there are a lot of lawsuits and complaints filed against companies that either fail to meet a certain standard or regulation or claim that a product has this feature and that benefit when, in fact, said product does not have such a feature or benefit.
In a sport that involves physical contact and inflicting pain on opponents, it is very important to consider a brand that has been in the market for a long time. This is an indicator that the company behind the brand has held its end of the bargain well and is not the subject of constant controversy when it comes to the products that are being offered.
Twins Special, Fairtex, Venum, Yokkao, and Top King have been established brands for the past few decades.
Heritage: What are the brand's origins and traditions? Did it come from noble goals and ambitions?
Although this consideration may be a little bit off-tangent when it comes to determining the best brands available when it comes to Muay Thai and Muay Thai boxing gloves and other pieces of gear and equipment for training, sparring, and competition, it is nevertheless helpful to take a look at the origins of the brand.
A lot of the leading Muay Thai brands today such as Fairtex, Yokkao, and Twins Special come from humble beginnings and noble aspirations. Whether it be to create the most comfortable pair of boxing gloves or headgear and shin guards that offer the most protection, brands like these are great examples of genuine brands led by genuine people to deliver the best products and services.
Before committing to a specific product or brand, take a little bit of time to look up the company's heritage to have a better idea of what to expect from their products, gear, and equipment.
Location: Are the best Muay Thai brands from Thailand?
Back then, during the 1990s and early 2000s, it was clear to us that the best top-quality gear and top-quality equipment specifically for Muay Thai originated from Thailand. The non-Thailand brands truly had nothing of note to match up with the likes of Yokkao, Fairtex, and Twins Special back in the day.
Thailand is a special place that has huge communities that follow and adore Muay Thai as both an art and a sport. This is why a lot of people who want to learn Muay Thai often decide to stay in Thailand for extended periods of time to immerse themselves not only in the sport but also in the traditions and culture behind it.
Make no mistake, Muay Thai is an aggressive sport, especially when talking about stand-up or striking sports (making it a great tool in MMA). However, there is more to uncover behind the sport that makes Thailand such a great place to visit for those looking to get the whole Muay Thai experience.
There's no doubt that non-Thailand brands and MMA-centric brands such as Venum, Everlast, and Sanabul have made leaps and bounds in terms of technology, protection, quality, and marketing. However, we still hold Thailand-based brands and Thailand gear and equipment as the cream of the crop when it comes to Muay Thai and Thailand-based martial arts.
We are confident in saying that any Thailand-based brand can hold its own and oftentimes do better than non-Thailand brands and companies simply because we have experienced it firsthand, done our research and seen the reviews by other people both online and in person.
When it comes to padding, premium leather, weight distribution, fabrics, build quality, and all the other components, Thailand is the best place to manufacture Muay Thai gear and products.
If you are not on a strict budget (or have just enough money to invest in high-tier Muay Thai gear and equipment), definitely go for Thailand-based products and Thailand-based equipment.
8 Best Muay Thai Brands
We have a special place in our hearts for Thailand-based brands. This is why almost all of the Muay Thai brands that made the cut, in our opinion and experience, are brands from Thailand.
If we are talking about the elite of the elite, Fairtex is hands down the best high-performance Muay Thai gear manufacturer in the world to this very day.
Established in the early 1970s by Philip Wong, Fairtex is a brand that rose in reputation and popularity because of its expansion efforts not only in acquiring legendary fighters such as Yodsanklai and Jongsanan but also in branching out to roughly 50 countries across the globe, particularly those found in Asia, North and South America, and Europe.
In terms of what they do best, it is quite hard to pinpoint exactly what they excel at simply because they have produced top-tier products across the board. Whether it be lightweight and durable hand wraps, well-padded, form-fitting headgear, or pads and mitts that produce the sharpest and smoothest of sounds when struck, Fairtex has everything down to a T. The precision in production and the standards in quality are like no other brand and we do not see this trend dying anytime soon.
Twins Special is a personal favorite for several of us. Among the Thailand brands listed here, we feel that Twins offers the best affordable products (gear and equipment). They make great gloves, pads, headgear, shin guards and heavy bags, without sacrificing any of the top-tier ingredients such as dense padding and durable design and construction.
Established in 1992 as Twins Special, Twins is definitely an A-list brand from Thailand that produces Muay Thai gear for the masses. Whether you are a casual student of the sport or a more hardcore athlete training for amateur or professional competitions, Twins is definitely one of those Thai brands you will have to consider before finalizing your purchase.
We are especially fond of the thought and effort that goes into the design of Muay Thai gear, specifically the Twins gloves and the Muay Thai shorts they offer. There are some minimalist options and colorways but we absolutely adore their outlandish-looking Muay Thai gear.
Yokkao is, at least in our eyes, the dark horse of all the Muay Thai brands today. Being the youngest brand (founded in 2010) in this list, however, does not take away from how excellent this brand's products (which are made in Thailand) have been.
The Thai Pads, heavy bags, gloves, shin guards, and headgear products that have come from this company are top-notch. This is reinforced by the fact that there are a lot of Muay Thai gyms and facilities that have all manner of Yokkao gear and equipment from head to toe.
One particular aspect we like about Yokkao is how durable all of its products are. The products may be slightly heavier than the counterpart gear and equipment of the other brands, but we think that this was intentional as the focus of Yokkao is clearly safety, toughness, and durability.
If you have not tried striking a Yokkao heavy bag, teardrop bag, banana bag, or bowling pin bag, then you are in for a surprise! You will definitely get a whole lot of conditioning from these bad boys.
If you want to talk about longevity, then look no further. Windy Fight Gear is a well-known brand that was established in the early 1950s. It's known to be one of the oldest active combat sports gear and equipment manufacturers in the entire world.
Most noted for each handmade glove and piece of headgear made in Thailand, this brand is as strong as it ever was in terms of quality, durability, and materials used.
Although not as sought after as some of the other brands in this list of ours, Windy is still a very valid and viable purchase option. Windy makes some great gloves and protection pieces such as headgear and shin guards.
Expect, however, a slightly more expensive price range from this brand (but if you have the money, Windy's products are definitely worth every single penny.)
Outside of Thailand, it can be argued that this brand's products and equipment rival Thai brands in terms of sales and revenue. This is largely due to the fact that the company is run by a great marketing and public relations team, along with expert glove designers and equipment manufacturers. We are talking about the brand that wrested apparel rights from Reebok over at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) - Venum.
Venum is a brand that began operations in 2016 in Paris, France. The primary thrust of Venum was to produce gear and equipment such as guards and pads that could rival the Thailand-based powerhouses such as Twins and Fairtex.
Although critics have contested the brand when compared to dominant Thailand-based companies, we firmly believe that the products they produced are top-tier and worth every dollar paid.
From gloves to Muay Thai shorts, the gear provided by this brand has proven to be as good as any.
Founded in Japan in 2006, this company may not be known for producing a lot of Muay Thai equipment. But when it comes to the best martial arts brands around the world, Hayabusa should be on that list.
Known primarily as an MMA brand, Hayabusa can compete with the likes of Twins and Top King in terms of the quality and durability of its premium leather gloves.
Hayabusa is also known for its signature crest/emblem and its stylish color shades and designs, particularly when it comes to shin guards and boxing gloves.
If you find yourself in an area where Thai brands are either pricier than normal or limited in availability, then Hayabusa should be a definite option for Muay Thai gear such as shin guards, boxing gloves, and mitts/pads.
The third and final non-Thai brand in our list of top brands is none other than Sanabul. Sanabul has an interesting and relatively young history. The company's name came from the term "sanable" which means to heal or to cure.
Based in New York, this company was founded in 2013 with a vision of creating MMA, Muay Thai, BJJ, and boxing gear that would not only cater to the beginners of combat sports, but also to the established professionals.
Last but definitely not least is Top King, one of the brand new Muay Thai companies established only recently in 2009.
If you are looking for a direct competitor to Twins (especially the Twins Special gloves), Top King is your brand both in terms of quality and competitive pricing.
One special thing we have observed from certain pieces of Top King gear and equipment is how compact they are. The glove compartments for the boxing gloves are not as roomy as alternative products in the market. However, this is actually ideal for individuals with smaller hands (or people who would prefer a more snug fit over a roomier fit).
Our friends have also been raving about Top King's other products such as the shin guards, Muay Thai shorts, and the Thai pads, and rightfully so. We personally do not have as much experience with Top King products (compared to Fairtex and Twins products), but we are still confident in claiming that Top King is one of the top Muay Thai brands in the market today, despite its relative youth in the market.
20 of the Best Muay Thai Gear Essentials
Here are the best products per category to give you a good reference point for each.
Best Muay Thai Gloves (or Boxing Gloves)
In terms of the most popular, high-quality, all-around pair of boxing gloves on the planet, the Fairtex BGV1 Boxing, Training, and Sparring Gloves are on top of the mountain.
Specifically designed for every aspect of training, the Fairtex BGV1 boxing gloves are excellent for those intense workout sessions that demand every form of training, including sparring, heavy bag drills, and pad work.
You can get this pair of gloves in 22 different colors and 7 different sizes (4 oz. - 16 oz.)
Outside of Thailand, the Venum Elite Boxing gloves are king (or at the very least, very close to it). Ironically, for a brand whose headquarters are not based in Thailand, this particular product was handmade in Thailand.
Considered to be one of the most popular martial arts gloves across digital sales platforms, the Venum Elites are a force to be reckoned with. These gloves have been fitted with triple-density foam, an oversized velcro closure system, and a patented 100% Skintex premium leather construction to ensure top-quality training and sparring sessions that evenly distribute the impact of offensive strikes and defensive guards.
Another great thing about this product is its variety. Much like the top Muay Thai gear and equipment that come out of Thailand, the Venum Elite boxing gloves are available in all the standard sizes (8 ounces - 16 ounces) and come in 17 different colorways.
The Best Muay Thai Shorts
Although we may be a little extravagant when it comes to acquiring the craziest designs and colors for our gear and equipment, we have to give way to Fairtex Shorts (Traditional Style) in providing the cleanest and most professional look among all shorts in the market today.
Crafted with satin and fitted with an elastic band enclosure, this pair of shorts comes in 15 different designs and 7 different sizes (X-Small to XX-Large).
The fashion game in training facilities and Muay Thai gyms is an absolute confidence-booster, and why wouldn't it be? When you come to a Muay Thai training session dressed to impress, there is no exercise or drill that you feel you couldn't do.
We say this now simply because this particular pair of shorts, dawning the iconic brand logo, is not only one of the most stylish pieces you could wear, but also the most flexible and lightweight apparel in the market today. This product is none other than Hayabusa's Icon Mid-thigh Fight Shorts.
Designed for mixed martial arts and highly effective in Muay Thai training sessions, this pair of shorts is marketed as an indestructible and comfortable pair. With extended slits on each side, head kicks and flying knees are a breeze to execute.
This pair is also laboratory-tested, so the science and engineering behind this product are more than sound.
Best Muay Thai Shin Guards
Shin guards are especially important for athletes who are not used to any form of collision in that area. The shin area has one of the least amounts of skin and any contact can cause severe muscle or bone injury. This is why buying a good-quality pair of shin guards is of utmost importance when sparring.
Whether it be in sparring training or in preparation for the actual competition, the Fairtex Competition Shinguards SP5 are a pair you would eventually learn to love (despite its relatively high price point) for its toughness and durability.
Sporting an ultra-durable synthetic outer shell, dual-layer foam padding within, and a full shin and instep protection architecture, this pair of shin guards will offer you maximum safety and protection in both throwing kicks and defending against them.
When it comes to obtaining professional-grade Muay Thai gear and equipment at an affordable price, the Sanabul Essentials line, led by the Sanabul Essential Hybrid Shin Guards, should be a part of the discussion.
Tested by the likes of surging UFC bantamweight fighter Sugar Sean O'Malley and former UFC fighter and BJJ practitioner Alan Jouban, these hybrid shin guards are perfect for those intense sparring sessions in the Muay Thai gym.
Sanabul prides itself on designing high-impact protection foam for this product, so even if you feel the impact of every strike thrown and every kick defended, you will definitely be able to avoid the pain that would typically accompany them.
If you need a no-nonsense pair of shin guards that looks and feels as tough as it actually is, then Top King Muay Thai Pro Shin Guards were built for your needs.
Constructed with top-quality materials and a convenient velcro strap closure system at the back, this pair of shin guards is considered to be one of Thailand's greatest products in terms of lower leg protection and impact absorption.
Top Quality Muay Thai Hand Wrap
If you want a fully breathable and extremely durable pair of hand wraps that will help keep each glove smelling as fresh as possible even after the most grueling training and sparring sessions, then you have to take a look at the Fairtex HW2 Elastic Cotton Hand Wraps.
These are full-length 100% cotton hand wraps that are soft and flexible for maximum comfort and breathability.
This pair of hand wraps comes in 13 different colors and 2 different sizes (120 inches and 180 inches).
Top Quality Muay Thai Head Gear
If you have seen professional fighters do sparring in preparation for competitions or professional bouts, then you have most likely seen them wearing the Fairtex HG6 Competition Headguard.
This is one of the most popular products offered by the brand not only because it offers the most protection from all angles, but also because it is one of the best-fitting pieces of gear, regardless of head size or head shape.
This headgear comes in 3 sizes (Medium, Large, and X-Large).
The Twins Special Pro HGL-8 is a versatile product that will guarantee high levels of safety and protection in Muay Thai, boxing, kickboxing, MMA, and other stand-up combat arts.
This guard is made of premium leather and is meant to withstand constant, heavy abuse from all kinds of strikes (whether it be the flying variety or the normal variety).
The design, more specifically the contours and openings, were prioritized in the creation of this product to ensure adequate range of vision without compromising protection and security.
If you have this Twins product available in your local Muay Thai store, we absolutely recommend trying it out for yourself.
Best Muay Thai Training Equipment (Top Quality Muay Thai Heavy Bag)
At this point, you might be thinking we have a bias for Fairtex and its respective products. However, when it comes to offering the best of the best, we would usually end up suggesting the best of the best, which is exactly why we have yet another Fairtex product, known as the Fairtex Banana heavy bag.
Made of durable leather, this unfilled heavy bag comes with industrial-strength nylon straps on top and top-tier reinforced stitching and rivets installed in contact areas of the bag.
The Best Muay Elbow Pads
Elbow strikes are one of the most damaging and knockout-causing strikes in this sport, but as much as throwing them inflicts pain on the opponent, absorbing the impact can do as much damage to your elbow joints without protection.
Consider purchasing the Fairtex Elastic Elbow Pads/Guards EBE1 for safety and protection. Each pad is constructed with lightweight, high-impact padding, and the surrounding components are made from soft fabric materials. The pads are also easily adjustable and can fit into your Muay Thai gear arsenal flawlessly.
Top Quality Muay Thai Kick Pads
For kick drills involving pads, we have to go with the Fairtex Curved Thai Pads for that extra oomph.
Nothing much can be said about Fairtex at this point that has not already been said. The brand is simply a behemoth when it comes to producing the best possible gear and equipment for every category.
These pads are very versatile and durable. The padding is maximized to prevent or minimize injuries and the curvature of the pad allows for better target collision and acquisition.
A portable, lightweight, and durable pair of kick pads, Venum's Skintex Light Kick Pads are built to last without the extra bulk.
Made from high-quality Skintex material (an artificial leatherlike material that closely mimics the properties of actual leather), these kick pads are fitted with extra-thick padding to create the absorption barrier needed to withstand the toughest of shots, regardless of weight class.
Best Muay Thai Pads (Focus Mitt)
We have a pair of Fairtex FMV9 Contoured Focus Pads in our local training gym and the sound every punch makes when it hits the sweet spot is absolute perfection.
For the trainer, they will love the fact that these focus pads have a great soft-hand compartment with protective finger hoods. The pads are also ultra-light and shock absorbing so there will barely be any soreness on the shoulders of the trainer (although at times this is unavoidable).
Top Muay Thai Mouth Guard
Finally, we wrap things up with the best mouth guard in the game, the Fairtex MG3 Gel Mouth Guard. Of all the guards on this list, this is perhaps the most underrated piece of gear that is usually an afterthought for some.
However, for those experienced with intense sparring sessions, having a high-quality mouth guard is a priority, especially if you are not particularly fond of bleeding gums or dislodged teeth.
This product comes in two colors (White and Black).
Other Recommended Miscellaneous Gear for Muay Thai
The Namman Liniment Oil has been one of the leading therapeutic products used by professionals and Muay Thai instructors for several decades. Take advantage of this product to aid in muscle recovery and pain relief.
If you are looking for a stylish gym bag with a black and white camo design, take a look at Yokkao's camo convertible Muay Thai Sporting Bag.
Ankle support is very important in virtually all martial arts. The Windy Ankle Support is simple, lightweight, and flexible to allow for complex footwork drills and striking workouts.
Endurance, speed, agility, core strength, and lower body strength are a few of the benefits you get when using Venum's Challenger Speed Rope.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best Muay Thai brand?
Fairtex is, in our opinion, the best brand in Muay Thai overall. This is a tough choice since all the brands we have mentioned produce top-tier gear and equipment. However, when it comes to assessing all the products, from shin guards to pads to Muay Thai shorts to miscellaneous training accessories, Fairtex is definitely in the lead (but not by much).
Is Venum a good Muay Thai brand?
Venum is a good brand for beginners as it offers products on the more affordable side with materials that are almost as good as those used for the more expensive options in the market. The synthetic components and padding used by Venum are no slouch, so you can definitely consider this brand if you are only looking to try out the sport without much financial commitment.
If you have made it to this final section of our guide, then we would like to congratulate you. You are now so much more knowledgeable in the art of Muay Thai. At this point, you are now capable of not only choosing the best Muay Thai brands for yourself but also the best brands for different contexts and situations.