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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Real Leather vs Synthetic Muay Thai Gloves: Which Is Better?

April 28, 20237 min read

What's the difference between real leather and synthetic/faux leather?

Real leather and synthetic leather are two commonly utilized materials for the manufacturing of boxing gloves. The primary disparity between the two materials is that genuine leather is crafted from animal hides, while artificial leather is derived from man-made materials.

Authentic leather gloves usually have greater durability and longevity than synthetic leather gloves. Historically (like recent history), they tend to be more comfortable and provide improved breathability, allowing for a cooler and drier experience during training sessions. However, synthetic has come a long way, and it is much softer and breathable now.

In contrast, synthetic leather gloves are generally more affordable than genuine leather gloves, thus making them a prevalent preference for beginners or individuals on a restricted budget. Furthermore, synthetic gloves are easier to maintain and clean, as they can be wiped down with a damp cloth.

What types of animal leather are there for boxing gloves?

Real Leather Muay Thai Gloves by Fairtex

Cowhide leather

Cowhide leather is a popular option for the production of boxing gloves. This type of leather is a cost-effective alternative to other animal hides, easy to obtain, possesses both durability and flexibility, and regulates odors and moisture. 

Most of the gloves you are going to choose from will be cowhide as it is an excellent choice for constructing Muay Thai gloves.

Buffalo Leather

Despite its scarcity as a material for boxing gloves, buffalo leather is an exceptional option to consider. This type of leather is highly durable and often possesses a coarser texture in comparison to cowhide leather.

Nevertheless, it is commonly regarded as a lower quality leather due to the more visible hair marks present in the leather. This characteristic can potentially impact the overall appearance of the boxing gloves.

Metallic Leather Boxing Gloves

Metallic leather isn't quite it's own leather as you have to add this effect to smooth leather (cowhide most likely). But, because the metalized leather changes the construction, we are listing.

While metallic leather is undeniably attractive and possesses a lovely sheen, it is generally not as durable as traditional leather. This is because the leather used for this type of gloves is often thinner and the metallic coating may begin to peel off over time with frequent use. Due to this reason, metallic gloves are often better suited for fight or competition gloves as opposed to training or sparring gloves which see more regular usage.

What types of faux leather are there for boxing gloves?

Vinyl Boxing Gloves

Vinyl boxing gloves are typically made from a plastic material known as polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. This synthetic thermoplastic polymer is commonly used in the production of a wide range of products, such as clothing, shoes, and gloves.

PVC is a popular material for boxing gloves due to its lightweight and durable nature, as well as its affordability. Additionally, PVC is resistant to moisture and can be conveniently cleaned with a damp cloth, making it a convenient option for those who frequently use their gloves.

Polyurethane (also known as PU)

Polyurethane (PU) is a type of plastic material that is produced by reacting a polyol (a type of alcohol) with a diisocyanate (a type of organic compound). This reaction leads to the formation of a chain of repeating units known as a polymer, which creates the solid material that is used to make various products, including PU boxing gloves.

PU can be created in different forms, such as flexible foams, rigid foams, and elastomers, based on the specific chemical additives and processing techniques applied. The resulting material is recognized for its flexibility, durability, and resistance to abrasion and impact.

Synthetic Leather Muay Thai Gloves by Fairtex


Microfiber is a combination of polyester and polyamide (nylon) fibers that are woven together to create a soft and durable material. Microfiber boxing gloves are becoming increasingly popular among boxing enthusiasts because of their softness, durability, and ease of maintenance. They are also considered to be more environmentally friendly than other synthetic materials, such as PVC or polyurethane, since microfiber can be recycled and reused more easily.

Plant leather

Plant leather, obviously, is a type of material made from plant-based sources rather than animal hides. One of the most popular versions is the Cactus Gloves by Sanabul. Some other common options for plant leather (though not used in gloves yet) include cork, pineapple leaves, mushrooms, and even apple peels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Benefits of real leather

  1. Durability: Leather has a longer lifespan than synthetic materials. Whether using gloves for pad work, heavy bags, or sparring, leather has incredible longevity. 

  2. Comfort: Leather is a breathable material that can adapt to the shape of the hand, providing a comfortable and secure fit.

  3. Protection: Leather is a durable and sturdy material that can withstand heavy impacts without compromising the fighter.

  4. Style: Real leather gloves often have a more stylish and professional appearance than synthetic options, making them a popular choice among serious Muay Thai practitioners.

  5. Longevity: Real leather gloves tend to hold up better over time than synthetic options, which can break down and deteriorate with frequent use. This means that investing in a high-quality pair of leather Muay Thai gloves can be a wise long-term investment.

Cons of real leather

  1. Price: Gloves made of genuine leather are often pricier than synthetic alternatives, which may make them less accessible to individuals with limited financial resources.

  2. Maintenance: Leather gloves demand more attention and care than synthetic options to maintain their quality. They should be frequently cleaned and conditioned to prevent the leather from drying out or cracking.

  3. Environmental Impact: 

    The production of leather can have a considerable environmental impact, which includes water pollution, deforestation, and greenhouse gas emissions. For ethical or environmental reasons, some individuals may choose to avoid leather products.

  4. Sizing: Leather gloves can be more difficult to find in the correct size than synthetic options, which may be more widely available.

  5. Break-in Period: Real leather gloves can take longer to break in than synthetic options, which can be uncomfortable for some people during the initial period of use.

Benefits of synthetic leather:

  1. Affordability: Synthetic leather gloves are often more affordable than real leather options, making them a great choice for people on a budget.

  2. Low Maintenance: Synthetic leather gloves require less maintenance than real leather gloves. They do not need to be conditioned and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth.

  3. Animal-Friendly: Synthetic leather gloves are cruelty-free, making them a popular choice for people who are concerned about animal welfare.

  4. Lightweight: Synthetic leather gloves are often lighter than real leather options, which can make them more comfortable to wear during training and competition.

  5. Availability: Synthetic leather gloves are widely available and come in a variety of sizes and colors, making them easy to find and customize to individual preferences.

Cons of synthetic leather

  1. Durability: Synthetic leather gloves may not be as durable as real leather options, and can wear out or tear more easily, particularly with frequent use.

  2. Breathability: Synthetic leather gloves may not be as breathable as real leather options, and can cause the hands to sweat more, which can be uncomfortable during training and competition.

  3. Protection: Synthetic leather gloves may not offer the same level of protection as real leather options, and may be more prone to tearing or puncturing during heavy bag work or sparring.

  4. Appearance: While synthetic leather gloves are available in a range of colors and designs, they may not have the same stylish and professional appearance as real leather options.

  5. Longevity: Synthetic leather gloves may not hold up as well over time as real leather options, which can be a concern for serious Muay Thai practitioners who are looking for long-term equipment. 

So, which is better? Easy, which do you want? If you want the most authentic glove feel, go with cowhide. If you are a beginner and want to save money, vinyl or PU is a good choice. As they will degrade just as quickly as you progress. My only suggestion is heavy weights should probably stay away from vinyl as they will probably break it quickly.

For me, I wanted a premium, authentic, and non-animal hide glove...and that is where the Fairtex F-Day Micro Fiber gloves come in. I love them! If you want to stay away from animal hide, Fairtex makes an incredible microfiber product. 

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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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