Muay Thai Gear and Guides

Your Muay Thai Equipment Will Help or Hinder.

I research gear so you make the best decision as you begin your journey and grow!


Possibly the most subjective piece of gear you will own. Here you will find what to look for in muay thai gloves. Beginners save money now and start your research for your upgrades!

Shin Guards

Conditioning your shins will come in time, but protect them now and don't feel as bad kicking your friends when sparring. PLUS, some extras to help you avoid ripping your achilles skin.


Traditional Muay Thai shorts are a popular design but now there are more options. From material to features, I will explain the pros and cons.


Why You Can Trust This Site and Me For Muay Thai Gear

There is no problem not knowing what to buy, especially when you are just starting out. It is intimidating making sure you have a respected brand and your gear has the best design for Muay Thai.

Luckily, I am wildly analytical and have a ton of experience with analysis paralysis. You are going to benefit from hours of research including watching videos, reading other review sites, contacting the brands themselves, and trying out the gear.

I promise to be honest with you and share our experience.

PLUS, I created this site to help my friends and fellow students make easy decisions. It is a labor of love, so you get my passion and not my attempt to sell you something you don't need. The only way I get paid is through affiliate links. If you click on a product you like and purchase it, I get the smallest amount in return. This does not sway our suggestions in any way.


Not every gym requires you to get your own headgear. But, I suggest you do. You don't know if the last person cleaned them properly, and that is NOT a problem you want.

Mouth Guards

It is way more expensive to fix a chipped tooth than to have a mouth guard...or two...or maybe even 20 or more. Get the point?

Hand Wraps

Seems basic, right? A wrap around your hand. What about size, elastic vs non, slip-ons (with gel!)...get the idea?

Foot/Ankle Wraps

Much like hand wraps but for the opposite end of your body. After a few kicks, you'll see why I recommend them.

Elbow Pads

When the time comes and your gym allows you to spar with elbows, you will need pads. Your partner doesn't want a split eyebrow.

Knee Pads

Another buffer that allows you to throw a little harder but not hurt your partner. Plus, protect your joints as you get older.

"Thai" Pads

These are the most popular pads at your gym. However, sometimes the gyms are destroyed, so own a pair.

Focus Mitts

Great for increasing accuracy and speed. These little pads have huge benefits and can be used anywhere.

Belly Pads

Conditioning your abs in the beginning is great! As you level up, the teeps get tougher!

Strike Shield

This is a very versatile pad and there are slight features that matter quite a bit. You will love this for training with strong kickers.

Thigh Pads

Dead legs hurt! Believe me, I will get to a great story in here of a week long dead leg. These also help you flex into kicks.


What's more important than a cool graphic? Discover why I choose certain materials, length, and brands.

Gym Bags

A big duffel works and so does a backpack. But, what if you ride a motorcycle - where are the waterproof bags? See our suggestions.

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Muay Thai Gloves vs. Boxing Gloves: The Crucial Differences Explained

April 26, 20239 min read

Boxing and Muay Thai are two distinct martial arts with different styles and techniques. Although they share some similarities, they each have unique sets of rules and equipment, with gloves being one of the most crucial pieces of protective gear in either discipline.

Muay Thai involves striking or clinching opponents with fists, feet, elbows, knees or shins while relying on speed and agility to land effective strikes. In contrast, boxing relies on punches for success. Therefore it's essential to know which gloves work best for these two distinct fighting styles. This article will provide an informative comparison between Muay Thai Gloves vs Boxing Gloves so that you can make informed decisions..

While the key differences include padding type and distribution, shape, wrist cuff, and flexibility, we will explore more differences within each sport.


Padding is a significant difference between boxing and Muay Thai gloves. Both types of gloves are measured in ounces (oz) but the padding in a 16oz boxing glove and a 16oz Muay Thai will be dispersed differently despite having the same weight. Learn more about gloves weight and size here:

Bouts in boxing only include punches, so most of the padding is around the knuckles, with less on the sides, top, and wrists.

During Muay Thai, fighters have to defend against kicks, knees, and elbows which puts their hands in danger. To protect against these strikes, more padding is added to both sides of the glove and the back of the glove to cushion heavy impacts.

Summary: same weight with different paddling displacement for maximum protection where the fighter needs it. 


Tight vs flexible is the main difference.

As mentioned earlier, boxing is all about punching. The entire sport focuses on a fist, so the palm of a boxing glove is designed to keep the fist tightly closed. Boxing glove palms do what the entire glove does, which is to allow for maximum power when punching. Note, the palm meets the fingers, so you will see the fingers on boxing gloves are rounded to create that natural fist look.

This design does not provide the flexibility needed for Muay Thai, where clinching and catching kicks are essential. Thai gloves have a more flexible palm structure to open the palm for greater control in the clinch and better grip strength when holding kicks. You will see the fingers on these gloves are not rounded in and are easier to open away from the palm.


I initially thought this was a tough one to describe because I noticed Muay Thai gloves being a little more streamlined in the thumb, while boxing gloves look more rounded. But, I've read on other sites the opposite. The problem here is it is in relation to the whole glove, not the thumb alone.

Positioning the thumb remains in accordance with the same laws as before. Keeping the fist curved is essential with boxing gloves, and the thumb must be out of reach. Being a deciding element when it comes to a firm grip, Muay Thai hand protection designs both the palm and thumb to support that purpose.


The wrist is a very vulnerable area when it comes to punching, and it can be easily injured if a punch is not placed correctly. To help protect the wrist, hand wraps are often used. Hand wraps provide extra support and cushioning for the wrist, helping to minimize the risk of injury. However, boxing gloves also provide additional protection for the wrist by providing a longer fit that sometimes extends up to halfway up the forearm. This helps to limit the wrist's motion while punching, reducing the risk of injury even further.

Muay Thai gloves take a different approach when it comes to wrist support. These gloves are designed with shorter wrists and forearms than traditional boxing gloves, allowing for more freedom of movement while still providing adequate protection from punches. This allows fighters to throw powerful punches without sacrificing the flexibility needed in clinches. 

Ultimately, both types of gloves offer excellent protection for the wrists for what is needed in their respective sport. Their goal is to help reduce the risk of injury during training or competition by allowing or restricting movement.


I get annoyed by the descriptions of glove shapes. Some use "square" to describe boxing gloves and "rounder" for Muay Thai. Then you look at boxing gloves and the top is rounded off and the Thai gloves are flatter. It is bothersome to me because brands tend to determine the shape of their gloves. 

Focus more on the other features than the shape. Remember, boxing gloves aid you in making a tight fist, while Thai gloves allow flexibility. 

I found this video comparing Muay Thai and Boxing Gloves pretty helpful, so figured I would share:


"Types" of Boxing Gloves (which can also be used for Muay Thai)

I want to touch on this because boxing has a few types of gloves and Muay Thai has one that is going to blow your mind. Note: both can feature velcro or lace-up options and genuine or synthetic leather, so don't get hung up on that. If you are just starting, choose velcro for ease of putting on and taking off. 

Boxing gloves are also put in some categories, which you could possible use for Muay Thai as well. They include training, bag, sparring, and competition gloves.

Training gloves provide protection and support during pad work, heavy bag sessions, and partner drills. These gloves are typically enclosed with Velcro straps, making them easy to take on and off. Many practitioners in boxing, Muay Thai, and kickboxing have one pair of general training gloves for all purposes and one pair of sparring gloves.

Training gloves are designed to protect the hands from injury while providing a secure fit around the wrist. The padding is usually thicker than that found in sparring gloves, allowing for more cushioning when striking pads or bags. Additionally, they often feature a breathable material on the back of the hand to keep your hands cool during intense workouts. With their versatility and durability, training gloves can be used for a variety of activities such as shadow boxing, mitt work, bag work, and partner drills.

Bag gloves are a type of boxing glove specifically designed for use on punching bags. They are smaller and thinner than traditional boxing gloves, with an open thumb to allow for greater dexterity and control. Bag gloves condition the hands and promote better technique and alignment when hitting the bag. This is because they provide less protection than regular boxing gloves, which can lead to more precise strikes that help develop better form.

However, due to their lack of padding, there is a greater risk of injury when using bag gloves than traditional boxing gloves. For this reason, most practitioners opt not to use them in order to avoid potential harm. Instead, they may wear hand wraps or other protective gear while training on the bag to reduce the risk of injury. Ultimately, it is up to each practitioner whether they feel comfortable using bag gloves during their training sessions.

Sparring gloves provide maximum protection for both parties while allowing more aggression and power than regular training gloves. They are always bigger than training gloves, and most gyms require that sparring be done with 16oz gloves. The padding on sparring gloves is more extensive and softer, especially on the knuckles, to reduce the risk of injury when striking. This extra padding also helps absorb some of the impact from punches and kicks, making it easier to practice techniques without causing too much damage.

In addition to providing protection, sparring gloves can also help improve a martial artist’s technique. By using heavier gloves, fighters can learn how to generate more power in their strikes without risking injury. This allows them to practice their techniques with greater accuracy and speed, which can lead to better performance in competitions or self-defense situations. Sparring is an important part of any martial arts training regimen, so having a good pair of sparring gloves is essential for anyone looking to take their skills to the next level.

What People Also Ask About Boxing Gloves Vs Muay Thai Gloves

Related questions asked on Google:

  • Can I use boxing gloves for Muay Thai?
    To train, yes. You will have limitations and less protection. However, for bag work, they are fine. Don't spar with them unless you have to and spar lightly.

  • Can I use Muay Thai gloves for boxing?
    Honestly, I think this would be just fine. The support won't be as far up the arm, but you should be all good.

  • Are Muay Thai gloves smaller than boxing gloves?
    Not in weight. The profile is sleeker rather than round.

  • Are boxing gloves and kickboxing gloves the same?
    No. Kickboxing gloves need more protection on the backhand and wrist for kicks, elbows, etc.

  • Are Everlast boxing gloves good for Muay Thai?
    Maybe for beginners who have them already or don't have another option. Only use them for bag and pad work. Boxing gloves lack protection from strikes.

  • What oz gloves are best for Muay Thai and boxing?
    The intent of this questions isn't clear but I will answer it as so: 16oz gloves will cover bag, pad, and sparring.

  • Is Muay Thai considered boxing?
    Muay Thai is actually translated into "Thai boxing" - so yes and no. It is Thailand's version of boxing. I put this question here because even though the two arts are related, the equipment has to be specialized.

  • Do Muay Thai fighters learn boxing?
    They learn a variation of it. Jab, cross, hook, uppercut - they are moves in both arts. The intent may be different tho. A jab is used to measure difference in both, but in Muay Thai that measurement could be to see if the fighter should throw a cross or a kick. To build on this, an opponent may throw a jab and kick, which Thai gloves can protect the latter better or allow the ability to catch the kick.

  • Can I use boxing gloves for Muay Thai?
    It is typically not advised to use either type of glove for the other sport. Muay Thai gloves are developed exclusively for the needs of Muay Thai training and sparring, and resorting to them for boxing may not offer sufficient protection to the hand and wrist. Equally, relying on boxing gloves for Muay Thai may not offer enough agility and accuracy needed for the sport.

  • What should I consider when choosing between Muay Thai gloves and boxing gloves?
    When selecting between Muay Thai gloves and boxing gloves, it is essential to think about the needs of the sport or activity you are going to take part in. For those participating in Muay Thai, preferred Muay Thai gloves need to give the proper level of flexibility and padding for that sport. For boxing, the right choice should provide good protection for both the hand and wrist. In addition, your individual preferences such as the fit and comfort of the gloves and what you can afford come into play.

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Featured Muay Thai Gear

Below are featured because I have personally used them and they will get you started.

You won't be investing a ton of money and you will have the quality to keep you safe and comfortable.

Elite 16oz Gloves

Affordable, great design, wrist cuff stretch for incredible support

Sanabul Gel Ankle Guard

Ankle support, grip for kicks, protect stressed foot muscles

Venum Predator Mouthguard

Affordable, rubber shell over custom mold top and bottom

Elite Shin Guards

Affordable, ergonomic, ,good strap placement


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