10 Best Muay Thai Kicking Pads: Reviews and Buying Guide 2018

Muay Thai kicking pads are an absolute necessity for someone who wishes to train in Muay Thai kickboxing. They will help boost kicking power, accuracy and speed.

In any case, using Muay Thai feels more authentic than using standard boxing sandbag. In addition, it allows you to practice different types of kicks.

While many gyms don’t require the patrons to bring their own kick pads, there is nothing wrong with purchasing your own gear. If you take a look at online retail stores, you will notice that there are thousands of Muay Thai kicking pads available for purchase.

So how do you differentiate between the good and bad ones? Better yet, how do you know which model best suits your needs?

The main differences between a good pair of kicking pads and a bad pair are how long they last and how comfortable they are during use.  Another important factor is the level of protection offered.

In this post, we tell you everything you need to know about choosing the right Muay Thai kicking pads and review the 10 best models on the market.

Keep reading to learn more…

What are Muay Thai Pads?

Otherwise known as Thai Pads or Kick Pads, Muay Thai Kicking Pads help fighters develop kicking techniques against stimulated opponents. They offer added protection from injury and are an essential component of Muay Thai fighting.

Quality Muay Thai kicking pads are handcrafted and durable enough to absorb powerful shocks from the elbows, knees, shin kicks and punches for a long time. They are considered the big brother to Boxing Focus Mitts.

In addition to Muay Thai fighting, these pads are also good for kickboxing training and MMA training.

Our Best Muay Thai Pads Picks:

1. Fairtex STPAD4 Muay Thai Kickbox Training Curved Kick Pads Review:

Fairtex is a Thailand-based company that manufactures a variety of fight equipment, most of which are focused on Muay Thai. Established in the 1970s, it has a long history of manufacturing high quality handmade equipment. One of their best offerings is the STPAD4 curved kick pads.

The Fairtex STPAD4 Curved Kick Pads are designed to help you train leg and knee strikes safely. Their curved design creates a tighter fit and their ability to better accept leg kicks makes them essential for all disciplines in the gym.

Highlights include durable leather construction and sufficient padding to ensure protection from impact. The panels are held together by extra thick stitching and the handle is riveted on. Everything about these pads screams expert craftsmanship.

Fairtex did a great job of ensuring that the forearms fit comfortably against the back of the pads. In addition, these Muay Thai are delightfully light, making them good to hold. They are a pleasure to hit and don’t require much of a period to break in.

There are two forearm support straps as well as a riveted handle, which provide added stability and balance. At more than $100, these are not the cheapest pads on the market. The good news is that they are of good quality and will get you through serious training sessions.

Highlighted features:

  • Beautiful black and white color
  • Curved design for versatility
  • Made with cowhide leather
  • Two forearm support straps
  • Reinforced riveted handle

2. RDX MMA Strike Shield Curved Training Thai Kick Pad Review:

I always recommend you pony out $120 and get high quality kick pads. However, if you cannot afford that, then the RDX MMA Strike Shield Curved Training Thai Kick Pad will do. Its biggest selling point is that it costs less than $50, making it an excellent purchase for beginners.

It is way cheaper than most Thailand brands and offers great value for your money. They don’t offer as much quality as more expensive models but the synthetic leather construction is as much as you’d expect at less than $50.

The good news is that they make up for lack of quality with some snazzy MMA style elegance. RDX combines black, white and red in beautiful patterns. Sold as a single item, the pad is 37cm long and 19cm wide and boasts heavy duty strong Maya hide leather construction.

Also included are three layers of Gel that are integrated into the thick foam padding. These go a long way towards boosting shock absorption. The two Velcro straps work together with reinforced handles do a good job of cushioning the wrist area.

The buckle straps are reinforced and feature double layered webbing. This ensures a secure fit when sparring. The integration of Aero Punch Technology offers more effective shock absorption. This innovation includes molded foam that absorbs shock and helps reduce the risk of injury.

Highlighted features:

  • Made with Maya hide leather
  • Filled with IMT three layers of gel-integrated foam
  • High intensity foam
  • Double-layered webbing and reinforced buckle straps
  • Aero Punch Technology
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    Reinforced handles
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    Two Velcro straps

3. Contender Fight Sports Kickboxing Muay Thai MMA Training Kick Punch Strike Shield Thai Pads Review:

Contender Fight Sports is a brand that has always been synonymous with great kickboxing and Muay Thai training equipment. Their products are known for quality and good value. One of their most notable offerings is the Contender Fight Sports Kickboxing Muay Thai MMA Training Kick Punch Strike Shield Pads.

Whether you want to train legs and knee strikes, these pads have got you covered. Each of the pads features two hook and loop straps that allow for a secure fit. These push and kick fight shields also come with a riveted handle that ensures stability.

The pads are durably made with easy to clean vinyl. They are designed to withstand hard hits in the gym or at home. The high density foam padding does a good job of absorbing shock from hard kicks and punches.

The Vinyl construction helps uphold the dexterity. These pads are 16 inches tall, 8 inches wide and 3.5 inches thick. This makes for solid protection during sparring sessions.

Highlighted features:

  • Two hook and loop straps for secure fit
  • Durable vinyl construction
  • High density foam padding
  • Sleek black color
  • Riveted handle for stability
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    Solid protection and shock absorption

4. Everlast Thai Pack Review:

Another budget Muay Thai kicking pad is the Everlast Thai Pack, which costs less than $30. Sold as a single pad, it is designed to offer optimum protection and comfort. Unfortunately, the low cost is achieved by compromising quality. The good news is that you still get good value for your money.

The Everlasting Thai Pack is a professional grade training device that features an authentic Thai design. It boasts durable construction with synthetic leather for lasting functionality. The high density foam padding in multi-layered stuffing that absorbs the impact of powerful kicks and punches.

We love the hook and loop straps as they provide a secure fit. Its lightweight design makes the Everlasting Thai Pad a good option for kicks and knees striking combinations.

Highlighted features:

  • Affordable kick pad
  • Authentic Thai design
  • Synthetic leather construction
  • High density foam padding in multi-layered stuffing
  • Hook and loop straps
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    Lightweight design

5. Cheerwing New Target MMA Boxing Mitt Focus Punch Pad Review:

This is a punching kicking mitt that will come handy for MMA training, boxing and even Muay Thai training. It boasts durable construction with PU leather and  high potency foam. The ergonomic design and advanced appearance are a nice touch.

The thick foam padding allows the Cheerwing New Target Boxing Mitts to absorb shock and impact in an anatomically correct foot position. This in turn allows for greater stability. At 200grams, these pads are incredibly lightweight and portable.

The curve of these pads make for an easy target, particularly for the individual who is kicking the pads. The handle is riveted to ensure stability and the straps can be loosened or tightened as required.

Highlighted features:

  • Durable PU leather construction
  • High potency foam for shock absorption
  • Lightweight, portable and compact design
  • Riveted handle
  • Adjustable straps

6. Farabi Curved Kick Pad Review:

The Farabi Curved Kick Pad is a pro-size pad designed for kickboxing, strike shielding, Muay Thai training and kick training. They boast a curved design that minimizes the break in period and offers increased comfort.

The pad is durably constructed with fine quality synthetic leather for long lasting functionality. The handle is very strong and has excellent Velcro straps. It allows for a firm grip during kick strike training.

The thick high density padding offers unprecedented shock absorption and the reinforced stitching ensures long-term usability. The straps are adjustable for a secure fit while the riveted handle provides increased stability.

Highlighted features:

  • Curved kick training pad
  • Made with fine quality synthetic leather
  • Strong handle that has adjustable Velcro straps
  • Thick high density cushioning

7. Fairtex Extra Thick Thai Pads STPAD3 Review:

Another of our favorites is the Fairtex Extra Thick Thai Pads STPAD3. The pair is incredibly similar to the Fairtex SPAD4 but a little cheaper. They boast durable construction with cowhide leather, which is easy to clean and lasts a long time.

These pads are an inch thicker than standard Thai pads, meaning they offer added impact protection. Like the Fairtex STAD4, these pads have four layers of shock-density foam for maximum protection. Their versatility makes them an ideal choice for all kinds of martial arts training. You can use them for striking drills like kicks, drills and punches.

Despite having some pretty great qualities, we had a few concerns about these pads. For starters, they are about an inch shorter than standard pads and not suitable for adult use. They are also a bit expensive. All in all, they are light enough to help you keep up with partners and strong enough to absorb shock.

Highlighted features:

  • Construction with quality cowhide leather
  • Four layers of shock-density foam
  • Very versatile
  • Double layered webbing and riveted handle
  • Adjustable straps

8. Combat Sports Muay Thai Kickboxing MMA Training Pads Review:

Available in a blue and black combo, the Combo Sports Muay Thai Kickboxing MMA Training Pads boast durable construction and maximum protection. They are made with high quality leather, which has the ability to withstand continued use. There are two hook and loop straps that allow for a secure fit.

The straps can be loosened and tightened as required to fit different sizes. Also included is a riveted handle that provides added stability. The reinforced stitching ensures that the high density padding stays in place and offers added durability.

We are not fans of the straight design since it increases the length of the break in period and doesn’t offer much in the way of comfort. However, the incorporated Dome Air Shock technology goes a long way towards minimizing shock absorbency.

The gloves use ultra-lightweight foam that is four inches thick for ease of use by the holder.

Highlighted features:

  • Exclusive Dome Air Technology for shock absorbency
  • Reinforced stitching
  • Two hook and loop straps
  • Riveted handle
  • High quality leather construction
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    Ultra light-weight 4” thick foam

9. RDX MMA Curved Thai Training Pad Review:

Concluding our list for best Muay Thai Kick Pads is the RDX MMA Curved Thai Training Pad, a budget option that sells as single item. The main highlight is the incorporation of Dual Dynamic Force Straps, a design that has a pending patent.

It boasts durable construction with Maya hide leather. The curved pad has a considerable amount of padding for increased comfort of the user. At 37cm long and 19cm wide, this pad fits most average sized people.

The Pressure Point Porelle Membrane Dome Technology P Dome Pad makes the pads bind together with your hands, thus giving you increased control. It also spreads the pressure evenly and stabilizes the pads.

There are three layers of IMT gel-integrated foam for heavy-duty shock absorption. The dual strap technology allows for manual technology and locks down the arm for added stability. Also notable is the double layered webbing.

Highlighted features:

  • Dual Dynamic Force Straps Pads
  • Pressure Point Porelle Membrane Dome Technology P Dome Pad
  • Three layers of gel-integrated thick foam
  • Double layered webbing
  • Dual strap system

Buying Guide For Muay Thai Kick Pads

There are a few factors that you should consider before buying a pair of Muay Thai Kick Pads. This ensures that you choose the right pads to propel your skills to the next level.

Pad Size

The first factor you should evaluate when shopping for That Pads is the size. Most manufacturers offer four standard sizes ranging from small to extra-large.

The size of your pads affects how well you will hold them. As a result, it is important to go for a size that you and your training partners can use.

Keep in mind that many models come with an adjustable strap that allows you tighten or loosen to accommodate different sizes.

Pad thickness

Another important factor to consider when choosing Muay Thai Pads is the thickness. We recommend thicker pads over thinner pads.

Many fighters opt for smaller pads because they are easier to hold. They also don’t exhaust the holder. On the downside, smaller pads don’t provide a lot of impact protection.

You expose yourself to the risk of injuries from strong and powerful kicks if you go with smaller and thinner pads.

Consider purchasing high quality Thai pads that provide sufficient padding and protection from the impact of every kick. The last thing you want is to end up with a broken arm.

Pad Shape

Pad shapes vary greatly depending on the manufacturer. Some have smaller heights with the same amount of thickness. Such models call for increased accuracy because not hitting the target accurate can lead to an injury.

Other Muay Thai kick pads have a longer length. These tend to be bulkier and can prove difficult during punching drills. They offer a larger area to land kicks but the downside is that they are heavy.

You can also opt for a hybrid Thai pad. This combines the best of Thai pads and boxing pads to give you increased mobility and flexibility. Unfortunately, they are thinner than traditional pads.

Pad handle

Muay Thai kick pads usually come with two handles to push your arms through and secure them. The pad handles should be high quality and able to absorb the shock of punches that come your way.

Pad Rigidity

It is also important that you consider how hard or soft your Muay Thai pads are. Some pads are softer and absorb more energy. Such help minimize the shock of impact on your arms.

Unfortunately, softer pads may not be able to provide the bouncy feedback offered by harder pads.

On the other hand, harder Thai pads last longer and don’t absorb as much impact energy as softer pads.

Straight pads vs. Curved Pads

You must decide whether to purchase straight or curved pads. Curved pads allow for a full, hard contact. They are more comfortable for the kicker and offer increased safety.

Straight pads require some time to break in and can prove hard to kick. Think of new shoes that have to be worn and broken in before they fit comfortably. Straight pads require a similar period to adjust.

Due to the increased safety and immediate ease of use, curved pads tend to be more expensive than straight ones.

Quality vs. Price

The final factor to consider is quality versus price. Does it make more sense to spend more money on high quality pads or save money on low quality pads?

You can make an argument for purchasing cheap and saving hard earned cash when it comes to different products. However, Muay Thai pads aren’t one of those product categories. Your health and safety as well as the health of others take top priority when preparing for combat.

Muay Thai kick pads produced in Thailand are of much greater quality those manufactured anywhere in the world. Some models are manufactured in Mexico and China, but don’t last long and can prove dangerous.

Thailand has been producing Muay Thai kick pads for hundreds of years. Muay Thai is also an important sport in the country and as such, no one understands the importance of health and safety in this regard than Thai people. 

Your wallet will be happy if you decide to purchase a China or Mexican made pair of Muay Thai kick pads. However, your arms will hate you for that decision due to minimal padding.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When is it time to replace your kick pads?

While high quality Muay Thai pads last a long time, heavy use will lead to their eventual disintegration. They will bend inward and cause the cushion in the center to disintegrate.

You will certainly know it is time to replace your pads when you feel the kicks through the pad on the forearm. If the side stitching starts to disintegrate, then you should replace your Muay Thai kick pads as well.

2. How should you maintain your Muay Thai kick pads?

Keeping your pads dry is the best way to ensure that they last for a long time. This means thoroughly drying them after each training session.

If your pads aren’t dried before putting them back in the bag, they will become damp. With time, the leather will start to separate from the stitching.

Use a natural disinfectant like Dettol to clean your pads. This will effectively kill any bacteria. Make sure you wipe them between uses if other people also use the pads.

If Muay Thai pads are cleaned regularly and a kicker with an infection uses them, that infection will spread to any other kickers who use the pad. This is why it is so important to clean Muay Thai pads when more than one person is using them.

3. What are the benefits of quality Muay Thai pads?

Kick pads allow users to sharpen their skills and throw full-power strikes, which isn’t always possible during sparring. Pad work also offers the ultimate cardiovascular training. Three minutes of non-stop sparring can burn a ton of calories. In addition, pad smashing is also an effective way of training footwork.

Final verdict

The temptation to purchase cheap Muay Thai pads can be strong. However, it is important to note that a more expensive pair will last longer and offer added benefits. The right pads will provide maximum protection. If you are having trouble making a decision, be sure to check out the comprehensive buyer’s guide section.

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