How to buy Muay Thai Kick Pads

How to buy Muay Thai Kick Pads
Anyone who has trained authentic Muay Thai knows how essential kick pads are for Muay Thai training. Muay Thai Pads, or more commonly known as “Thai Pads”, or “Kick Pads”, might be the most important piece of equipment in the striking development of a fighter. Kick pads help fighters to develop their kicking techniques against a simulated opponent who is protected from injury by holding the pad. 

Pad work is a core part of Muay Thai training, so a good pair of pads are essential. Whether you are looking for pads to train at home with a partner, or want your own pair to use at the gym, you need to find pads that suit your needs. Kick Pads are an essential part of Muay Thai training — without these pads, you can’t properly train.

This guide will walk you through the types of pads used in Muay Thai, how they are used, and how to select the best Muay Thai pads for your training.

Types of Kick Pads

When buying for kick pads, you will notice that the pads are either curved or straight. Although the differences are slight, there are still important in helping you choose the right pad for you.

If you are a beginner, curved kick pads are better for you because they are better at catching kicks. Because of the curvature already built into the pads, it makes a great target at the center of the pad. So it's a lot easier for the pad holder to catch the kick and the for the kicker to target the center.

Straight pads are completely rectangular with a flat striking surface. Some people find straight pads a little uncomfortable to kick (especially when new) but they often develop a natural curve after taking a few hundred heavy kicks. These will aid towards your shin conditioning and prepare you for the knocks that come with sparring or fighting.

The Pad Thickness

Thicker pads are more ideal than thinner pads. Smaller pads are often bought because they are not difficult to hold, and won’t exhaust the holder, but the opposite side to these facts is that they won’t provide as much impact protection.

Cheaper and thinner Thai pads put you at risk for bruises and potential injury from a strong, powerful kick. High-quality Muay Thai pads provide sufficient padding that protects the holder from feeling every kick.

The Pad Size

There are four standard sizes of kick pads offered by most manufacturers. These sizes range from small to extra-large. For instance, the small size is appropriate for females and men in smaller weight classes. A taller man might need a large pad. A pad’s size affects how you will have to hold it. Because of this, you will need to buy pads that will able to be used by you and your regular training partner(s).

Thai kick pads come equipped with an adjustable strap. As you and your training partners use the pads, just tighten or loosen the straps.

The Pad Shape

The shape of Thai kick pads varies depending on the manufacturer. For example, there are pads that have smaller heights, but also have the same amount of thickness. Because these pads are smaller, kicking accuracy is a must because not hitting the target accurately can result in bruising or injury. Still, other pads are made with a longer length.

These pads are bulkier and sometimes more difficult for holders during punching drills. When using these longer pads for kicking drills, they provide a bigger area to land kicks, but the downside is that they are much heavier.

With these pros and cons regarding size, the answer as to whether shorter or longer pads are preferable depends on holding style, which varies for each person.

Pad Maintenance

The best way to assure that you have longer-lasting kick pads is to keep them dry. This means that you need to thoroughly dry them after every training session. The reason this is important is that if you don’t dry the pads before they are put back in their bag, they will remain moist. If you keep the pads moist for too long, the leather will begin to separate from the stitching.

To keep your pads clean, use Dettol, a natural disinfectant, or another germicide. Thoroughly clean the pads to kill bacteria. This will keep the pads good hygiene. It isn’t necessary to sanitize your pads every day, but you should clean them at least weekly.

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