What Muay Thai Gear Do I Buy?!!

by Angela

For LKE Dojo Students:

As a Muay Thai practitioner, you need to at least own boxing gloves and shin guards. These are your tools and an important part of your art and path as a martial artist. Just as you would not pursue tap dance without tap shoes, or run a marathon without running shoes, or go climbing without climbing shoes (yes, these examples are all about shoes, I know), you need boxing gloves and shin guards to properly learn Muay Thai.

While we have a selection of communal gear, they are meant for first-timers only. If our regular students are using up the limited selection of communal shin guards, we do not have enough for first-time drop-ins. Also, these communal items are not just shared amongst LKE Dojo students, they are shared across all of the classes at HMC. They are used by individuals of varying cleanliness, are often not cleaned or aired out, and that is why most of the communal gloves are… gross. Have you smelled your hands after using the communal gloves? YUCK. That is the smell of bacteria sourced from people’s sweaty hands. All sorts of people. Lots of people. All over your skin. BLEAH.

As you continue your Muay Thai journey, you may want to also own mitts and thai pads. A huge advantage of owning your own mitts is never having to put your hands into the communal gym mitts. Do I really want to put my hands in the communal mitts then back into my clean, beloved boxing gloves? No thank you.

Gear ranges widely in price and quality, and everyone has their favorite brands. If possible, try gear on in person to see which gloves and shin guards fit you best. Here are two on-island local shops to check out:
Hawaiian Fight Gear (mid-range prices around $50, best place for larger-sized shin guards, good quality at good prices)
HNL Fight Shop (mid to high range, you can get bougie here)

Some of our budget to mid-range recommendations for boxing gloves, shin guards, and mitts you can order from Amazon (prices as of June 2024) are below. This is just a starting point, feel free to explore past these recs and make sure everything is returnable!

NOTE: You may encounter $15-$20 boxing gloves at various stores like Ross. DO NOT BUY THESE. They are typically ill-fitting, offer poor protection, and do more harm than good. They will also wear out fast and you will have to buy new ones. Also, avoid stocking-type shinguards to lessen the chance of bacteria growth.

GLOVE FIT: The ounces of boxing gloves does not determine how they will fit in your hands. Every brand fits differently, and true comfort can get pricey. You want at least 12-ounce gloves to protect yourself and your training partners, and sparring typically calls for 16-ounce gloves.

SHIN GUARD FIT: All brands fit differently. You want your shin guards to feel secure on your legs, sit right under your knee cap, and mostly cover your toes. NOTE: The piece covering the top of your foot should NOT touch the ground, that will make it very difficult to move around. If they do not fit well, return them and try a different brand/size.

Sanabul Essential Gloves 12-16oz $30
RDX Gloves 12-16oz $30

Sanabul Essential Shin Guards $36
(Sanabul size chart)
Elite Shin Guards $40 (Only two sizes)

Jayefo Mitts $18
Sanabul Mitts $27
RDX Mitts $33

Venum Challenger Gloves 12-16oz $60
Hayabusa S4 Gloves 12-16oz $60
Ringside Sparring Glove 12-16oz $50-$80
Fairtex Gloves 12-16oz $90

Venum Challenger Shin Guards $70
Fairtex SP3 Shin Guards $80
Fairtex SP5 Shin Guards $90

Ringside Apex Mitts $40-$58
Hayabusa Mitts $80

Venum Elite Boxing Gloves 12-16oz $90-$110
Hayabusa T3 Boxing Gloves 12-16oz $160

Venum Elite Shin Guards $110-$130 (Students have raved about these)
Hayabusa Shin Guards $150 (Seem to fit large calves on tall people, but read the reviews to find best size)

Mouthguards (for Level 2 sparring):
There are many mouthguards for all sorts of prices, but my favorite thus far is lobloo (10-13yo, $27) as it does not gag me or feel ridiculously thick. If you purchase this mouthguard, take care to not over boil it. Mouthguards are also sold at sporting goods stores and places with a sport section such as Walmart and Target, they can start at around $10.
Venum Mouthguard $15-18 (kid size and adult size)

Remember, these are just a starting point for those who do not want to comb through the plentiful options online. Also, if you want to get bougie, you can spend hundreds of dollars on gear. We own Winning gloves (run $300-$400), and they are wonderful, comfy, and fitted. However, we also enjoy our $30 RDX gloves, though they are showing some wear and tear. I really like the colors/designs of Yokkao, but shipping can sometimes take eons.

Hope this helps!

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