The sport of Muay Thai is a very demanding form of martial arts that requires the maximum level of protection without hindering movement, agility, and strength. With the sheer volume and power of strikes thrown in a single session, it is obvious why finding the best Muay Thai hand wraps is a priority for many fighters who want to secure their knuckles and protect their joints (fingers and wrist joints) from major injuries.
In this guide, we help you understand why it is important to train with Muay Thai hand wraps, provide you with a guide to place the best hand wraps for Muay Thai on your own hands and wrists, and present to you our 5 top picks.
Why You Need Hand Wraps for Muay Thai
In boxing, Muay Thai, or any other combat sport that involves striking (also known as stand-up fighting), the use of hand wraps (as well as other support gear and equipment) is very important to protect the fighter from any number of injuries, whether it be muscle injuries or bone injuries.
The hand wraps serve as an added layer of protection. Just like a pair of boxing gloves or Muay Thai gloves, the wraps serve as padding or cushioning to keep your knuckles safe and secure.
Another way that hand wraps protect your hands and wrists is by proper alignment. Most injuries that come about because of the absence of wraps are due to misalignment of the forearm and hand when landing a strike. The hand wraps, when worn, not only train your muscles and movement to throw a perfect shot, they also make sure that your wrist is stable upon impact.
Even the best fighters in the world who undergo the best stretch techniques and warm-up support drills know that hand wraps are necessary to train in the majority of Muay Thai workouts. This includes heavy bag work, sparring (any intensity), mitt/pad work, and other exercises and drills in Muay Thai.
How Muay Thai Hand Wraps Differ from Hand Wraps of Other Sports (and the Different Types of Hand Wraps)
In the modern era, especially during training and casual sessions, wraps come in all different shapes and sizes, but is there an actual difference between sports? The boxing wrap is not so different from a Muay Thai wrap, kickboxing wrap, MMA wrap, or any other type of wrap.
However, historically speaking, there has definitely been a certain degree of variation with regard to the type and material of hand wrap used.
In this section, let us take a look at the different wrap types.
Most competitions and sanctioned matches in boxing require the use of gauze bandage.
The advantage of using gauze bandage hand wrap, especially in 12-round bouts, is very significant.
The gauze bandage hand wrap does not have velcro straps built-in. It is very breathable, lightweight, durable, flexible, good at shock absorption, and can be any length you want.
You can also stretch this material with minimal risk of breaking.
If you are a professional boxer looking to enter the competitive scene, then look to purchase a hefty length of gauze bandage for your matches.
The disadvantage, however, is the reusability of gauze bandage. In most instances, we recommend using another batch of gauze instead of reusing previously used gauze as this type of material is very absorbent and difficult to clean.
Mexican style hand wraps have assumed an identity that is as big as any boxing brand or MMA brand in the market today.
A Mexican-style hand wrap is usually 2 inches wide and 180 inches in length, so there is plenty of room to secure your wrists and hands.
Mexican-style hand wrap is also thicker than traditional, modern-day hand wraps. This allows for extra durability and longevity, so you can confidently expect your Mexican-style wrap to last for a very long time.
In the old days of Muay Thai, rope wraps were very popular. Veteran athletes and fighters in Thailand swear by this type of wrap mainly because of the craftsmanship, quality, durability, and style that rope wraps bring.
Usually made of hemp rope, this type of wrap serves as both a glove and support wrap for stability and alignment of the forearm and arm.
Wraps come in many different styles, but we personally find this kind of wrap to be the coolest and most aggressive.
Modern-day Hand Wraps (Elastic Cotton and Fabric)
A modern-day hand wrap is usually what is offered in the market these days.
The length of a modern-day wrap is usually 120 inches, which is a good enough length for athletes with small to medium-sized hands.
These wraps typically have a hook and loop closure, are built with elastic cotton, a thumb loop, and other high-quality material.
The length may need some improvement for larger individuals with larger hands, and it may not be as durable as the other types in this list, but when it comes to training, these modern-day hand wraps made of elastic fabric and cotton allow for a very enjoyable experience.
These are easy to wash and maintain as well and maintain a good stretch even after repeated use.
We have noticed, however, that the velcro component of some modern-day wraps is not as durable as the rest of the gear.
When it comes to a preferred brand for this type of wrap, you can never go wrong with Fairtex and Top King as either brand is very popular in the martial arts community.
As an alternative to boxing hand wraps that sport a hook and loop closure, are made of cotton and elastic fabric, and have a standard length of 120 inches, there are inner gloves.
Each inner glove is designed for light bag workouts and probably low-intensity mitt work, but is not ideal for any other type of workout or increased intensity.
These gloves have cotton and elastic fabric built inside of them, but with a leather, rubber, or polyurethane shell.
The length or size of the gloves usually comes in limited sizes. On the other hand, these only require the use of a velcro strap that is usually situated at the back portion.
This is a very convenient option for casual fighters, as a pair of inner gloves is easy to wash, easy to pack into the gym bag, has no hook and loop closure, has an easy-to-use velcro strap mechanism, comes in a variety of brands (so quality should not be a concern), and has a relative stretch that would allow certain hand shapes and sizes.
This piece of gear, however, is the least safe option to get out of all the types listed and if you are looking for the best safety and stability for your wrists and hands, then we recommend looking elsewhere and finding actual wraps.
How to Put Muay Thai Hand Wraps On (Plus a Quick YouTube Tutorial)
Wrapping your hands with wraps is relatively easy once you understand the mechanics of it. Here is a quick rundown of what you need to do:
- Unspool your hand wraps.
- Hook the loop securely around your thumb.
- Begin wrapping your hand by starting behind your wrist.
- Cover the gaps between your fingers, the knuckles, and the wrist.
- Once everything is covered, apply the remaining wrap where you prefer to add more, but always lead it back to where you began to strap on the velcro.
If you need a visual guide, then check out the below video:
The 5 Best Muay Thai Hand Wraps in the Market Today
There are so many brands and styles of hand wraps available in the market today. Whether it be boxing hand wraps, Mexican hand wraps, MMA hand wraps, or hand wraps for any other martial art, inspecting and picking the best hand wraps is a very difficult task.
This is why we have compiled a list of the 5 best hand wraps that are available in the market today.
If we are talking about a brand built for the stand-up game, the Top King Cotton Hand Wraps are a great quality pair of wraps.
Designed to be used in a variety of different contact sports, this Top King pair of wraps is a great entry-level product for beginners looking to get a long-lasting, durable, easy-to-wash, and reliable experience from one of the most reputable brands in the market.
Top King is on the same level as products manufactured by Twins so you can expect a durable and elastic training product from this manufacturer.
If you want to go for Mexican style and quality, the Pro Impact Mexican Wraps are an excellent choice.
Although this manufacturer is not as mainstream as the other brands that offer similar products in the market, expect this pair of wraps to deliver amazing comfort and safety.
This product is very versatile and can be used in other sports as well.
These Elastic Hand Wraps by Fairtex are made of 100% cotton are your go-to wraps for an excellent, no-nonsense experience from one of the most reliable brands in martial arts.
Available in 120 inches and 180 inches and built in Thailand, expect this Fairtex pure cotton product to be easy to wash, easy to store, and very elastic.
If your purpose is to have a reliable pair of wraps for training sessions, then this Fairtex product should be a very good candidate.
For those seeking unique designs for their hands and a lot of other choices from one of the greatest boxing brands ever, the Title Print Mexican Wraps are just the right ones for you.
The Title Mexican Wraps are 180 inches in length, made with thicker fabric (but still with good elastic stretch cotton), and are infused with spandex and polyester to create a durable and flexible pair of wraps.
If you need a more mainstream option, the Adidas Hand Wrap is a good product to get.
Made with 100% stretchable woven tape and a high-quality thumb hook and loop closure, this product is very good and very durable.
It comes at a very good price point, too, so for those on a budget, this should be strongly considered.
Frequently Asked Questions
When it comes to the sport of Muay Thai, boxing, and MMA, we encounter a lot of questions.
To help you out, we have listed the most commonly asked questions by fighters and our corresponding answers regarding hand wraps for Muay Thai (with a slight degree of relevance to boxing and MMA).
Do you need hand wraps for Muay Thai?
You absolutely need hand wraps for Muay Thai, regardless of the type or intensity of the Muay Thai training session. Some Muay Thai, boxing, and MMA gyms even make it a requirement to bring and wear hand wraps, with some offering rental services (for a small fee). A pair of hand wraps is worn as an added layer of alignment and stability. Without them, the risk of injury during training and competition is significantly (and unnecessarily) greater.
Should I get 120 or 180 hand wraps?
The overall length of your pair of hand wraps (usually offered in 120 inches and 180 inches) depends on the size of your hands and, to a certain extent, the type of gloves you are wearing and the type of Muay Thai training you are engaging in. If you have small to medium-sized hands, then the 120-inch hand wraps are the best hand wraps for you. If you have large hands, then we recommend 180-inch hand wraps as the best hand wraps. However, if your gloves are tight or snug (as a result of the design or the form), then it would be easier to wrap a 120-inch set of hand wraps instead of the longer hand wraps. If you regularly engage in hard sparring with experienced fighters or training sessions in Muay Thai, which both take a significant toll out of your wrists and hands, we suggest going for the 180-inch hand wraps for better protection.
How to wrap your hands for Muay Thai?
If you have experienced boxing or MMA training, then the method of wrapping hand wraps around your hands and wrists is generally the same. Unroll the hand wrap, locate the thumb loop and situate it at the bottom of your thumb, begin wrapping around the back of your wrist, and continue wrapping around the gaps between your fingers, knuckles, and wrist. For a more in-depth, step-by-step explanation of putting on your hand wraps for Muay Thai, check out the guide (and YouTube tutorial) above.
Conclusion (Plus Our Favorite Muay Thai Hand Wraps)
Finding the best pair for Muay Thai, whether it be traditional Muay Thai hand wraps, Mexican hand wraps, boxing hand wraps, MMA, or other modern-day ones, it is very important to consider the build quality, manufacturer, materials used, and dimensions (specifically the overall length).
As for our favorite, the best pair in the market today are none other than the Elastic Cotton Wraps by Fairtex!
With length options of 120 inches and 180 inches, as well as a minimalistic design and 100% cotton build, there is no better wrap for this sport in our opinion.
Just remember, if you need to refresh on information about the best Muay Thai hand wraps available, the factors and considerations to have before finalizing the purchase, and how to easily wear your hand wraps, then re-visit this guide. If you would like to know more about Muay Thai, Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, and combat sports in general, then bookmark our website! We release content like this on a regular basis. Stay tuned!