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Muay Thai Shorts

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What is special about Muay Thai shorts?

Maybe you like wearing your tattered cotton basketball, compression shorts or general training shorts to your class. That is definitely your prerogative. But Muay Thai shorts come in virtually every color and design that you can imagine. And they really are purpose built for the rigors of the sport.

If you’re in Thailand, as in most of Asia, there are loads of knock-off, crap quality Muay Thai shorts. You can find these at little pop-up, sidewalk shops in the main shopping and tourist areas of pretty much any city in the country. You may see some eye-catching color combination with an interesting, dragon-inspired design and think, “ Those are cool Muay Thai shorts!” And looking closer, you may think to yourself, “Awesome, these are only a few hundred Thai Baht. I can afford that!”

I would highly recommend that you tap the brakes before going any further. Technically, these cheap items may look like authentic Muay Thai shorts, but there are some things to look out for. First, there are loads of different materials used. The cheapest will look and feel like that- cheap. Generally speaking, if you see shorts for 200-300 THB, they will be garbage. Made from little more than a thin sheet of some synthetic throwaway material which will probably not last more than a few good workouts.

What’s worse is that the cheap Muay Thai shorts will be easily recognizable once they are seen next to a quality pair of shorts. And you will never (really, not ever!) see an experienced Nak Muay, Fighter or Trainer in a cheap pair of shorts. Wearing a quality pair of shorts doesn’t make you good at Muay Thai. But wearing cheap shorts announces to the world that you are both cheap and have no game. So, just suck it up and gro– Er, I mean, purchase a pair…

Beyond aesthetics and instant respect, your quality Muay Thai shorts will more than re-pay you in longevity. A good pair of shorts will require little in terms of maintenance and last you for years. That’s not an exaggeration. You really should get a few years, at the very least, out of your Muay Thai shorts.

Before this ridiculous pandemic brought the gym business to a screeching halt and with the stuttered nature of the re-openings of the country, I used to rotate my 2 pairs of Muay Thai shorts between the morning and afternoon sessions. It was nice to pull on a fresh pair before beginning training- even if they would be slick and heavy with my own sweat in just minutes.

Depending on customer flow, I probably did 10 of the 14 sessions that we offered throughout the week. On top of that, I would fill in for some privates or group privates every now and then and I’ve had the same two shorts for about 3 years- every since we got this latest design. They still look good with only some slight wear and tear and a few oddly-unidentifiable stains scattered around.

They get machine washed between each use and are air-dried in the sun. So apart from the training that they get, they are also not cleaned delicately. To be honest, the cleaning is overkill. I would recommend just giving them a quick rinse with whatever soap is on hand next to the bathroom sink and hanging them to dry. But I also have cleaners in my gym who insist on doing things their own way. And I have more important battles to wage and win.

Traditional cut Muay Thai shorts from Fairtex

What material is used for the best quality Muay Thai boxing shorts?

So, when we talk about cheap shorts, they tend to be made from Nylon and are very thin. Trust me, you’ll know it when you see it. Just avoid these. They won’t hold up and because they were designed for a quick, cheap sale, they also tend to be of a poor cut and design.

Lately, there has been a little semi-trend of Muay Thai shorts made of some sort of printed fabric- usually a cotton/poly blend, which is then cut and sewn into a pair of Muay Thai shorts. There may be some interesting designs, but I personally don’t like the feel of the shorts. They tend to grab hold of your skin when they get wet with your sweat and bunch up in places. I can’t attest to their longevity as I only had one pair of them and I gave them away after using them only a few times.

What you want to get is a good pair of satin Muay Thai shorts. I know, I know… satin. It’s not just for country singers anymore! The satin shorts that you can get in Thailand are good, long wearing, have a rich, shiny luster and tend to repel most stains. They are thicker and will look better as they age. You can get years out of them even under heavy use and that makes them the most economical choice , as well.

Modern cut Muay Thai shorts from Sandee

Where is the best place to buy Muay Thai boxing shorts?

Without a doubt, whenever you possibly can, purchase your gear from your gym, or any gym that you would like to support. Trust me, most Muay Thai gyms don’t make a ton of money and they really appreciate any help you can give them. Muay Thai shorts should be priced anywhere from 900- 1500 THB (30-45USD) in a gym in Thailand. This is cheap considering how long they should last you. You can be sure that the shorts you purchase at a Muay Thai gym will be authentic and not any of the cheap knockoffs which won’t hold up to the tough workouts you put on them.

The suppliers for the gyms usually customize the shorts with the gym’s name and email address. It looks cool, shows respect to your gym and trainers and serves as a bit of advertising for them, as well. I once even had the name of my head trainer stitched onto the shorts of all of our gear at the gym. He was a bit of a legend in Southern Thailand Muay Thai circles.

Purchase multiple pairs if you are training fairly regularly. They make great souvenirs to remember your stay in Thailand. They are great gifts for close friends and you can use them for any kind of workout.

If you are not able to purchase from a gym for whatever reason, you can go direct to the websites of any of the name brands or you can choose shopping sites like Amazon, Alibaba or Lazada to find Muay Thai shorts.

Which are the best brands of Muay Thai shorts?

When it comes to pretty much all things Muay Thai, you’ll keep hearing the same names over and over again-Twins, Fairtex, Top King and Yokkao. All of these brands make terrific Muay Thai shorts with top-notch materials. Twins has a lot really interesting designs and in a few different styles. The color combinations are appealing but they still stick to a traditional style. Top King has fallen off when it comes to innovation and new designs, but their shorts are still some of the best that you can find when it comes to quality. Fairtex is always a good bet when it comes to quality and eye-catching designs. And Yokkao has really been pushing the envelope recently. Their Muay Thai cuts are great and the design elements are really creative while sticking to traditional Muay Thai roots.

Some other brands that you may come across that I would recommend would be MTP- these shorts just look cool. I love the fit and the style. Fight Lab has some exciting new looks also. There’s a company in the south of Thailand called Fighter Muay Thai that makes really good quality, rugged shorts. If you are in Europe, you may come across a company called Booster, which has some really nice color combinations in a kind of retro style, which is nice. By no means is this a complete list. Now that you know what to look for, you may find some other quality brands while out on your travels.

Are Muay Thai shorts the first item of equipment to buy/own?

So, you’ve been to a few Muay Thai classes and realize that it is an amazing workout, a great way to meet people, lots of fun and teaches you some really valuable self-defense and striking. You’re pretty sure that you want to stick with it and now you want to start getting yourself kitted out so that you look the part of a Nak Muay (Muay Thai trainee). Where do you go from here?

Most people like to have a personal set of handwraps and make that one of their first purchases. This is definitely a good idea- especially in the time of Covid. Personally, I would recommend wraps and gloves as your first pieces of Muay Thai kit. Not only will it be immensely more sanitary than using the loaner equipment from your Muay Thai gym, but the gloves will start to mould to your hand and will not quickly become oversized from extended use by various people. Also, there is not a lot of pleasure derived in sliding your hands into a Muay Thai glove wet from the sweat of an unknown previous customer.

Next up, Muay Thai shorts.

Can you wear Muay Thai shorts in MMA?

Yes, it is possible to wear Muay Thai shorts for some MMA training activities.

However for MMA competition, the majority of MMA fighters will wear a tighter fitting compression shorts instead. These are significantly more comfortable for wrestling on the ground.