The 10 Best Kickboxing Pads to Buy In 2020

Combat, Reviews

Kickboxing is a martial art that has grown massively in popularity in the United States, even though it’s been a primary sport in Japan since the 1950s. Kickboxing is a popular sport because it combines the benefits of physical strength training with cardiovascular fitness and coordination.

Learning to kickbox is an exciting way to get cardio, learn self-defense, and develop a new skill. However, it is not a good idea to get into the sport without buying the right safety gear, including kickboxing pads.

The best kickboxing pads offer protection for both you and your sparring partner. It allows you to deliver hard and effective kicks without injuring a partner. Before you start training, it is a great idea to find a safe and reliable pair.

Features to consider in Good Kickboxing Pads

Kickboxing is a combat sport that utilizes both punching and kicking to attack another fighter. Its roots are in boxing and karate. Gyms teach kickboxing as a form of self-defense, contact sport, or for general fitness.

Regardless of why you’re getting into the sport, you need the right gear before you begin practicing it. The best kickboxing pads have the necessary padding to absorb most of the kick from the leg instead of your partner taking the abuse.

Buying the Right Kickboxing Safety Gear

Before your first training session you need to invest in the right safety gear. Thankfully, none of these items are too expensive.

  • Kickboxing Pads
  • Boxing Gloves
  • Head Protection
  • Mouth Guard
  • Chest Protection
  • Groin Protection
  • Bandages

Kickboxing pads exist in a few different forms. In addition to head, chest, and groin protection they cover other parts of the body, namely your arms and shins. For example, a partner may use arm pads to block high kicks that target the upper body. Meanwhile, kickboxing shin pads protect your legs from kicks.

Students of kickboxing should never pursue a training session without the proper protection. Unfortunately, many beginners think of face and mouth protection yet fail to get the right defense for their arms and legs.

Therefore, it doesn’t do you any good if you have three or four of the kickboxing safety essentials, but lack something like chest, groin, or arm protection. The best kickboxing pads on the market cover all the essentials.

Types of Kickboxing Pads

Kickboxing is a type of hybrid martial art that uses elements from different styles of fighting. Therefore, during training, you need to cover all parts of your body since both punches and kicking are allowed.

While kickboxing pads are straightforward it is not to suggest that they are all created equal. Some pads are better than others. Like any product, there are cheap kickboxing pads that lack adequate padding, and others that are extremely overpriced.

There are a few important factors to judge when you shop for the best kickboxing pads for 2020:

  • Size
  • Thickness
  • Shape
  • Price

Underneath our product reviews, we’ll go over each of these in more detail in our Buyer’s Guide for the best kickboxing pads.

The Best Kickboxing Pads 2020

Let’s examine the best kickboxing pads for 2020 in more detail:

1. Fairtex Curved MMA Muay Thai Pads

Why we like it: The Fairtex Curved MMA Muay Thai Pads are everything you would want with kickboxing safety gear. The set of pads has a terrific reputation as fighters of all experience levels rely on their versatility and dependability.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance

When you ask fighters what they like the most about the Fairtex Curved MMA Muay Thai Pads, a common answer is the versatility. Fighters of all disciplines rely on these kickboxing pads for daily protection.

The pads are versatile enough to protect kickboxers at different levels of experience. Beginners appreciate that the tight fit and adequate padding keeps them protected. Stepping into a fight, even with a sparring partner, is intimidating for the first several rounds. However, with such a reliable set of protection pads your confidence will grow.

The curved design of the pads assists with performance. It creates a tight fit that is specially designed to absorb blows to the hands and arms. The soft padding is ideal for leg strikes with no sharp edges or angles.

The Fairtex Curved MMA Muay Thai Pads are also lighter than your standard kickboxing pad. Despite being produced with leather the pads don’t get in the way in terms of performance. One drawback of a lot of beginner pads is that they are heavy and bulky because of the excess padding. That’s not the case with these pads.

Features

There are plenty of features of the Fairtex Curved MMA Muay Thai Pads to enjoy. The lightweight punch shield is properly designed for beginners new to the sport.

The pads are suitable for a home or commercial gym. They support two forearm straps with a reinforced riveted handle to provide a clean fit. The reliable pads also ensure balance and stability while you train.

The pads are sold in two different sizes which you don’t see with every kickboxing pad on the market. You can find them in a standard or extra thick size. Regardless of your intentions you’ll surely love this premium martial arts training aid.

Verdict

The Fairtex Curved MMA Muay Thai Pads are the best kickboxing pads you can find in 2020. Even though they are a little pricey, you can’t beat the high-quality leather construction and durable padding. It’s a terrific training aid for beginners that will hold up for quite some time with the proper care.

Pros
  • High quality leather construction
  • Curved design great for absorbing kick strikes
  • Tight fit with support straps
  • Versatile pads that work well with several training exercises
  • Sold in two different sizes with an extra thick version for beginners
Cons
  • More expensive than most products on the list

2. Valleycomfy Curved Muay Thai Kick Pads

Why we like it: Valleycomfy Curved Muay Thai Kick Pads are an excellent value. You can’t beat the price of these training pads. The curved pads assist with all the martial arts from kickboxing to karate, dojo and Muay Thai. It is an excellent sparring aid.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance

The Valleycomfy Curved Muay Thai Kick Pads are excellent in terms of performance.

Another versatile set of kickboxing pads like the Fairtex Curved MMA Muay Thai Pads. While the latter may receive more attention from advanced fighters, the Valleycomfy Curved Muay Thai Kick Pads are much more affordable.

The focus mitts improve punching and defensive skills. The pads are comfortable to handle and don’t restrict your movement or training technique. They also help with accuracy and timing while you master footwork with a non-invasive pad.

Valleycomfy has a terrific reputation for providing affordable sporting goods. The Muay Thai kickboxing pads are prime example. You get excellent value with something that will last for a while.

The pads are built with genuine leather and introduce shock absorbing aspects. The pro impact style relies on a curved design, like most of the best kickboxing pads on the list, for ease of use. You can’t argue or complain about the performance or reliability of the pads.

Features

The Valleycomfy Curved Muay Thai Kick Pads feature terrific shock-absorbing padding. The Pro Impact focus mitts offer a curved design for practicality.

The sweat-resistant lining is another fine addition to the list of features. It keeps the material dry and avoids slipping while you train. The odor-free technology prevents excess bacteria buildup.

The wear-resisting padding features nearly two inches of one-step molding dense foam. It absorbs most of the shock from kicks to the hands and arms. While the padding is thick most fighters don’t complain about the pads being too restrictive or heavy.

The Valleycomfy Curved Muay Thai Kick Pads are available in two versions: white and red. The one size fits most design is enough for larger hands. An adjustable wrist strap with Velcro secures the wrists and hands into place. The snug fit is lovely and offers peace of mind for those new to kickboxing.

Verdict

The Valleycomfy Curved Muay Thai Kick Pads are a bargain for the price. The pads retail at a little over $20 which makes them a fantastic value. You will not be disappointed or feel cheated out of your money.

While the kickboxing pads may not have the reputation of the Fairtex Curved MMA Muay Thai Pads they’re still outstanding. It is hard deciding between the two, yet the stark contrast in price is enough for some beginners to settle for the Valleycomfy Curved Muay Thai Kick Pads.

Pros
  • Crafted with premium and genuine leather
  • The shock-absorbing padding is excellent
  • Curved design for handling impact
  • Sweat-resistant and odor-free design
  • Sold in a couple of different colors
Cons
  • The one size fits all design may not accommodate huge hands

3. Overmont Taekwondo Kick Pads

Why we like it: The Overmont Taekwondo Kick Pads are for a variety of mixed martial arts including karate and kickboxing. The kick pads work well for shield training and sparring. The premium leather serves as a good barrier to protect you from kick strikes.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance

The Overmont Taekwondo Kick Pads are suitable for all ages. An adjustable armband allows the pads to adjust to anyone from teenagers to grown adults. It is also safe for beginners with a front striking area protection of 16 inches by 8 inches.

The kickboxing pads are also durable and lightweight. The pads are built with high-quality PU leather. A thick sponge fills the center of the pads for more padding. Therefore, the pads are capable of handling most strong punches and kicks. Yet the pads only weigh nine ounces, so it doesn’t inhibit movement or hinder technique.

Those that are new to kickboxing want something that is comfortable and easy to use. The kick pads are not only ergonomically designed but feel great. Elastic armbands fit the wrists snugly along with tightly woven strings.

Features

The Overmont Taekwondo Kick Pads are professionally manufactured in every regard. It allows you to absorb multiple strikes of the fists or legs without feeling long-term pain or suffering injury.

Sparring partners can feel comfortable going at each other without fearing long-term injury. As a result, the features of the Overmont Taekwondo Kick Pads significantly improve your training experience.

The kick pads are available in two colors: red or black. We definitely like the traditional kickboxing colors even if the pads are squarer and more basic compared to some of the other products on the list.

Verdict

The Overmont Taekwondo Kick Pads are incredible value. While some may be hesitant to purchase something so affordable, there are not that many concerns with the Overmont Taekwondo Kick Pads.

While they may not be as durable as the Fairtex Curved MMA Muay Thai Pads and Valleycomfy Curved Muay Thai Kick Pads you are still getting a high-quality product. The Overmont Taekwondo Kick Pads are ideal for children, teens, and young adults first getting into the sport of kickboxing.

Pros
  • Excellent starter set for beginners
  • Extremely affordable kickboxing pads
  • Lightweight pads are not restrictive for training
  • Produced with comfortable PU leather
  • Available in a couple of different colors
Cons
  • You’ll probably want to upgrade to something curved and more professional once you get deeper into training

4. RDX Curved Kickboxing Pads

Why we like it: The RDX Curved Kickboxing Pads are one of the most stylish kick pads on the list. They not only look amazing but also work effective at providing safety, which is the number one objective of any dependable kickboxing pad.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance

RDX Curved Kickboxing Pads are multi-purpose for kickboxing, MMA, Muay Thai, and karate. The padded punching and kicking target serve as a coaching strike shield for training.

The curved hook and jab focus pads work well for punching but can also absorb kicks as well. It is a good universal option, especially for sparring partners that like to throw a lot of punches since you can block both fighting techniques.

The kick pads are built with Maya Hide for durable performance. It not only helps withstand the heaviest strikes but also helps the pads last over the long term. The pads feature Eva-lution Foam for absorption. The Shell-Shock gel and Tri-Slab padding stuff the interior for an extra layer of shock absorption.

Features

The RDX Curved Kickboxing Pads are suitable for both kickboxing, other forms of mixed martial arts and conventional boxing training. The strike mitts have excellent padding and the middle of the road price makes them affordable for just about anyone.

The list of features of the kick pads also include a no-slip grip with Ez-Grip technology. It helps keep your hands in place even during the most intense exercises. Additionally, the Supremo-Shock Foam Cushioning helps protect the wrist.

CoolX mesh is useful for reducing sweat and body odor. It helps keep your hands and arms comfortable throughout the course of the training session.

Verdict

The RDX Curved Kickboxing Pads are a versatile option. They perform well for not only kickboxing but also traditional boxing. The universal set will get you started with workouts.

The kickboxing pads are also very affordable. It is a good middle of the road option in terms of price. You won’t spend a fortune, but also have peace of mind knowing you aren’t getting an extremely cheap set of safety gear.

Pros
  • Kickboxing pads feature Eva-lution Foam protection
  • Ez-Grip technology maintains traction even while you sweat
  • Maya Hide construction is suitable for long-term performance
  • Kick pads resist sweat with wicking technology that keeps you cool and dry
  • Curved design is preferred by most beginners
Cons
  • A few fighters complain about the pads losing traction on the wrists over the course of a long, intense workout

5. MaxxMMA Thai Kickboxing Pad

Why we like it: MaxxMMA Thai Kickboxing Pad is a new name that is gaining some traction in the mixed martial arts scene. While experienced fighters might shy away from the new brand the pads are very effective for beginners.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance

When it comes to the performance of one of the best kickboxing pads you need something that is reliable and dependable. Kick pads are first and foremost for safety. How can you have peace of mind if you don’t trust the gear?

The MaxxMMA Thai Kickboxing Pad assuages doubts new fighters might have even when it comes to taking the gym during a practice session. Sparring with a partner, especially one that is more experienced, is intimidating for new kickboxers.

Thankfully, the MaxxMMA Thai Kickboxing Pad helps take your mind off any worries and start to focus on improvement. You can really develop your skills and technique .

The professional size and grade means it offers dimensions of 16 inches by 7 inches by 6 inches. It is wide and thick enough to absorb kicks and punches for new fighters.

Features

The MaxxMMA Thai Kickboxing Pad is a professional-grade training aid that should be in your arsenal. You may decide to pair it with another set of smaller kickboxing pads for variety.

It provides optimal safety for blocking kicks, knees, punches, and elbows. The reinforced handle offers dual Velcro strap for a secure hold.

The thick dense foam padding provides heavy duty shock absorption. You’ll find that you don’t experience any abnormal pain or suffering from taking shots to the pad, even over an extended training session.

Verdict

The MaxxMMA Thai Kickboxing Pad is a great new addition to mixed martial arts. Some seasoned fighters may shy away from the new brand, but we like everything is has to offer for beginners.

The MaxxMMA Thai Kickboxing Pad is modestly priced so it fits within any budget. It’s a good safety pad to get started with. Just keep in mind that you only get one pad compared to most products on the list that are sold in a set of two.

Pros
  • Oversized kickboxing pad for added protect
  • Provides the optimal amount of protection
  • Safe kick pads for new users learning the sport
  • Velcro strap keeps your hands and wrists in place
  • Affordable kickboxing pad within any budget
Cons
  • Only sold as one pad, so if you want two, you’ll need to pay double the price

6. Meister XP2 Professional Curved Thai Pads

Why we like it: The Meister XP2 Professional Curved Thai Pads are another stylish option worth considering. You look great in the gym with these well-designed alternatives. There is a bullseye on the front of each pad which has reinforced padding. This padding leaves an indentation when you strike, which is a fun and satisfying target to aim for.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance

The Meister XP2 Professional Curved Thai Pads are built for warriors of the gym as well as professional fighters. The curved design is great for beginners as it doesn’t restrict technique while also providing the necessary type of protection.

The pads feature select hides for durability. The Meister XP2 Professional Curved Thai Pads are ready to withstand punishment over the long-term because of their high-quality construction. Strikes remain centered because of the curved design where it hugs the contours of the forearm. The center is reinforced with padding of four and a half inches for outstanding protection.

The two padded forearm straps on the back helps with a custom fit. You can adjust the straps to accommodate your hand and wrist size. The soft leather handles are a nice touch to reinforce the stable grip.

The reliable pads are approximately two pounds apiece. There is enough versatility to make the pads moderately lightweight to avoid getting comfortable with sloppy technique that is the norm with a bulkier, heavier pad.

All in all, the pads are sized as 14.5 inches by 7.5 inches. The pads support both individual power striking as well as multiple target training.

Features

The Meister XP2 Professional Curved Thai Pads have an impressive list of features. The curved design, reinforced center padding and forearm straps are all excellent features.

The safety workout pads are also lightweight and versatile. You can use the items as a pair or just use one pad for other types of exercises.

All in all, the kickboxing pads are durable because of the high-grade construction and attention to detail. The nearly five-inch reinforced center is amazing padding for new fighters and help with comfort and peace of mind when sparring for the first time.

Verdict

The Meister XP2 Professional Curved Thai Pads are worth being higher on the list. The only thing that holds them back is their price. While affordable for experienced fighters that generally pay more than a hundred for a set of reliable kickboxing pads, it may seem a little expensive for newcomers.

Though you may want to start with something cheaper to make sure you like the sport before getting too invested, the Meister XP2 Professional Curved Thai Pads are worth considering – even if only further down the road. They are clearly professional grade and built to hold up over time.

Pros
  • High-quality construction promotes long-term use
  • Curved design is ergonomic for deflecting the power of the punch or kick
  • Extra thick reinforced padding in the center where it matters the most
  • Professional-grade design is a good long-term solution
  • Wide striking base avoids missed punches or kicks that land on your body
Cons
  • Far from the cheapest set of kickboxing pads on the market for beginners

7. Sporting Style Curved Muay Thai Kick Pads

Why we like it: The Sporting Style Curved Muay Thai Kick Pads are a universal option for those new to the sport. The kick pads are not only effective for kickboxing, but other types of martial art like dojo, karate, and Muay Thai too.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance

What can you ask for when it comes to the performance of a good kickboxing pad? Kick pads are only effective as their cushioning and durability. You need something that not only absorbs heavy impact from punches and kicks, but also over the long-term.

The Sporting Style Curved Muay Thai Kick Pads are a good example of both qualities. The wear-resistant padding offers 1.5 inches of one-step molding dense foam for hard punches. The cushioning is made to keep your body safe while also limiting excess weight for training purposes.

You get more flexibility with your workouts to try out a variety of strikes or fighting styles. The high-quality PU leather offers a smooth surface that avoids any cuts for your sparring partner. The pads are soft and comfortable to wear with non-toxic production.

The strong nylon string prevents the padding from bulging out, therefore increasing its longevity. The one size fits most fighters. There is also an adjustable wrist strap with Velcro to tighten a grasp. Most fighters feel like the pads fit snugly with an adequate amount of breathability.

Features

Training for anything new is difficult enough. Therefore, you also want reliable safety gear that is not going to get in the way or obstruct the learning curve.

The Sporting Style Curved Muay Thai Kick Pads help you develop your defensive skills while focusing on footwork, accuracy, and timing.

The sweat-resistant and odor-free technology is one final great addition. Every fighter wants to feel cool and comfortable during a workout. The pads avoid excess sweat and slipping pads as a result while you train.

Verdict

The Sporting Style Curved Muay Thai Kick Pads are within any budget as they are very competitively priced. The pads are sold in two different colors (red and black) so you can look stylish at the gym.

Pros
  • Premium leather construction
  • Shock absorption technology is good for price paid
  • Curved design is more ideal for absorbing heavy blows
  • Comfortable fit with anti-slip and anti-sweat technology
  • Adjustable wrist strap to secure your hands and wrists
Cons
  • Dependable entry-level kickboxing pad but you might want to advance to something more professional grade after your training sessions become more demanding

8. Farabi Thai Kickboxing Pad

Why we like it: Another affordable kickboxing pad which provides the necessary cushioning and support for workouts. Although they are not available in a set, you can always double up and buy two.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance

The Farabi Thai Kickboxing Pad is what you would expect in a beginner kickboxing pad. It’s nothing too fancy yet gets the job done with adequate cushioning.

The strike shield is built with synthetic leather. The durable padding assists with maximum impact absorption while you get started with training exercises and sparring.

Kickboxers – especially those new to the sport – appreciate that Farabi has managed to offer a sturdy and protective pad without adding a ton of extra weight to the fighter. When you’re first starting out heavy or bulky kick pads can serve more as a hinderance than anything.

The Farabi Thai Kickboxing Pad has the appropriate balance of protection and weight so you can feel nimble on your feet as you strike.

Features

The Farabi Thai Kickboxing Pad features dimensions of 35 cm by 18 cm by 7 cm. It is enough space to block most punches and kicks, especially for those new to the sport that are prone to miss on the occasional strike.

The strong Velcro around the wrists helps stabilize the pad during a training session. While sold in a single unit you can always buy a double to match one with each hand.

The unique extended strike depth of the pad is also worth mentioning. It helps ensure that the pad maintains symmetry. Therefore, it absorbs the impact of a punch or kick more fully, and the EC-Gel C-Shock technology takes care of the rest, taking most of the punishment instead of your hand.

Verdict

The Farabi Thai Kickboxing Pad is a good choice for beginners. Some may avoid buying it because you only get one pad (compared to a set of two with some of the other best kickboxing pads). Still, there are plenty of routines that only involve or require the use of one pad, so having one like the Farabi Thai Kickboxing Pad in your arsenal is a wise decision.

Pros
  • Kickboxing pad is built with synthetic leather
  • Impact shock absorption technology is dependable
  • Lightweight kick pad doesn’t act as hinderance for development
  • Fairly wide striking surface to avoid collisions with your body
  • Affordable price for a single kickboxing pad
Cons
  • Only sold as a single unit compared to other products that include a pair
  • Not the best long-term solution as the construction materials are good but not great

9. Contender Fight Sports MMA Muay Thai Pads

Why we like it: The Contender Fight Sports MMA Muay Thai Pads make you look legitimate. Everything looks intimidating in black, so naturally people are going to respect you when you step into the gym with such a stylish pair of training pads.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance

The Contender Fight Sports MMA Muay Thai Pads are terrific for training for leg and knee strikes. You can learn how to approach the blows from a defensive standpoint without worrying about injury.

The punch and kick fight shields are complete with two hook and loop straps that secure to the hands for a comfortable fit. The fairly wide base of the pad (16” x 8” x 3.5”) helps shelter you and block more attacks than a smaller blocker.

Features

The Contender Fight Sports MMA Muay Thai Pads feature durable and easy to clean vinyl. It is an unusual material for kickboxing pads (most are made with leather), but that doesn’t mean they lack in quality. In fact, some fighters prefer vinyl over leather.

The pads are suitable for a home gym or commercial gym setting. You and your sparring partner can get down to business and exchange blows without worrying about harming each other.

It is a good entry-level product that will get you started in the sport. Over time you may decide to progress to something professional-grade or stick with the reliable pair of pads.

Verdict

The Contender Fight Sports MMA Muay Thai Pads are worth considering. It offers a refreshing alternative to leather with a vinyl construction, even though they are pricey.

You may want to try a pair out before deciding to spend full price on them. Yet the reputation is good among fighters that have used them before for training.

Pros
  • Good for new kickboxers looking to learn the sport
  • Solid and dependable protection from injuries
  • Hook and loop straps for easy use
  • Adequate base to absorb most punches and kicks
  • Produced with vinyl instead of leather preferred by some fighters
Cons
  • Not the cheapest kickboxing pad available
  • Some fighters complain about a lingering odor from the pads during use

10. Combat Sports Leather MMA Muay Thai Pads

Why we like it: The Combat Sports Leather MMA Muay Thai Pads are the final product to make the list. It deserves one of the spots on the best kickboxing pads for 2020 because of the reputation and construction.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance

The Combat Sports Leather MMA Muay Thai Pads utilize the exclusive Dome Air Technology (DAT) with the pads for maximum efficiency. The technology assists with shock absorption to keep you protected.

The kickboxing pads are also extremely lightweight. It is nice for beginners who are still building up hand strength and overall endurance. You can train longer with the lightweight kick pads without having to tap out early.

Features

The features of the Combat Sports Leather MMA Muay Thai Pads are noteworthy. The dependable pads provide two hook and loop straps for a proper fit. Most fighters don’t complain about the pads being unstable.

The leather construction is good for withstanding long-term punishment. The dimensions of the pad are 16 inches by 8 inches by 4 inches. You get plenty of thickness to absorb hard kicks and punches.

Verdict

The Combat Sports Leather MMA Muay Thai Pads are a quality middle of the road option. They’re moderately priced at $75. The kick pads also look stylish with a pleasing blue and black combination. They’re comfortable and durable for long-term use.

Pros
  • High-quality construction for a kickboxing pad
  • Dome Air Technology for shock absorption
  • Wide base for beginners that aren’t always accurate with their defense
  • Hook and loop closure for secure fit
  • Very lightweight safety gear doesn’t get in the way
Cons
  • Not the most expensive or most affordable kickboxing pad
  • Solid entry level option but you might want to advance to something else over the long-term

Guide to Buying the Best Kickboxing Pads

Kickboxing pads are sold in a few different varieties. When you are new to the sport it is difficult to understand which types are best for you. While there is no black and white answer, there are a few important factors that can help you find the best kickboxing pads for your needs.

Some of your decision depends on personal preference. Therefore, you may need to try a few different brands and styles before settling with a preferred type. For example, some fighters prefer Muay Thai kickboxing pads while others are partial to brands that specialize in MMA-style kickboxing pads.

Regardless, the purpose of kickboxing pads is the same. To offer protection to both you and your sparring partner. Kickboxing pads allow you to develop power, speed, and technique with real kicks and punches against a live target.

However, you need to protect your live target by offering safety gear like head protection, chest protection, groin protection, and kickboxing pads. While most fighters provide their own gear, it doesn’t hurt to have an extra pair to lend.

When you are playing defense against a kickboxing partner you want your own personal set of protection if you want to get taken seriously as a kickboxer. Consequently, finding the right type of kickboxing pads is essential.

Size and Weight

The size and shape of kickboxing pads is obviously very important. In general, kickboxing pads are versatile pieces of safety equipment that can go on arms or legs. Some are specifically designed for one or the other. Nonetheless, kickboxing pads get created to take punishment.

The thickness of the pads is crucial. The old term “you get what you pay for” applies to cheap kickboxing pads that usually lack quality and the correct pad thickness. Smaller and lightweight pads are easier to hold and don’t tire your arms as much. However, they lack the same level of protection as thicker pads.

When you’re first starting out it’s a good idea to stay on the safe route. Buy something with more protection as you build arm strength and learn to absorb punches and kicks better. After you develop your body you can have the option of going down to a smaller, lighter weight size.

Kickboxing pads are sold in a few different sizes (small, medium, large, extra-large). Several kickboxers select a size based on their own metrics. For example, a woman or shorter male can get by with small pads. Kickboxers that are over six feet will want to consider a large or extra-large size.

The goal is to avoid injury during training. Cheap pads don’t absorb enough of the kick. With enough repetitions it not only tires out your arms but can also leave bruises.

Shape of Pads: Curved vs. Straight

While they all might look similar, kickboxing pads have different variations in the shape. For example, some pads are small yet as thick as a larger size. Meanwhile, other pads are longer yet not as thick. Again, it comes down to personal preference and skill level.

Beginners usually want a longer and thicker pad since the margin of error for missing kicks is higher. While the bulkier size is a little frustrating while you’re learning, it offers more protection.

Traditional kickboxing pads are usually thicker compared to hybrid Thai pads so keep that in mind while you shop. There is also the option of selecting between straight pads and curved kickboxing pads.

Pads that lack a curvature are more difficult to kick and take longer to break in. Meanwhile, curved pads make kicking more comfortable both for delivering to the other fighter and receiving. They generally take less time to break in for new fighters. Therefore, most experts recommend curved pads for beginners even though they usually cost a little more.

Durability and Price

How long should a new pair of kickboxing pads last? If they are well made and from a reputable brand you might be able to get a few years of use. It does depend on how frequently and intensely you train.

Every kickboxing pad, regardless of its reputation, deteriorates over time. The climate also impacts the length of use. Colder and drier climates are more friendly to pads compared to humid environments.

Once you notice the pads begin to bend inwards its time to consider a new set. A concave shape on the pads reduces the cushioning that was originally intended to protect the middle of it. Of course, the eye test never hurts to determine when to replace pads. If you feel more pain with each kick you absorb, the padding is no longer fulfilling its original purpose.

Buying new kickboxing pads does come with a price yet it is something worth spending more on for a decent set. Cheap pads defeat the purpose and only make your arms hurt. Some fighters prefer kickboxing pads that are made in Thailand over American, Mexican, or Chinese versions. Regardless, you should set aside enough money to afford high-quality safety gear.

Final Word

The best kickboxing pads are sold from a few reliable brands. Keep in mind that the most advanced fighters develop a preferred brand or style through experience. They try out different types of pads and eventually find the one that works best for their training habits.

While some kickboxers prefer Muay Thai kickboxing pads others like the modern versions of MMA-style kickboxing pads. It does vary based on personal preference. But if you are a newcomer and have no idea where to begin, the products listed on our Best Kickboxing Pads for 2020 will help you get started in the sport!