3 Best Muay Thai Pads in 2023 (Tested and Reviewed)

Are you wondering what the best Muay Thai pads are in 2023?

In this article, we’ll dive into the 3 best Muay Thai pads in 2023, explaining what makes them better than other pads on the market and looking at any cons.

The following products are also the best MMA pads on the market.

1. Best Muay Thai Pads Overall (Used by UFC Fighters)

Fairtex Superior Curved Kick Pads – KPLS2​

Fairtex KPLS2 Muay Thai Kick Pads Superior All Genuine Leather | Professional Training Pads for Boxing, MMA, and More | Cow Hide Leather, Curved Design, Velcro Closure, Padded Straps (Black/Red, Std)
  • Enhanced Feel & Comfort: The Boxing pads are made with smoother…
  • Ergonomic Curved Design: The curved design makes these kick…
  • Premium Cow Hide Leather: A variant of the best-selling KPLC2…

>Dimensions: ‎15-inch length x 8-inch width x 4.5-inch depth

>All parts are made from 100% premium cowhide leather for the highest quality on the market

>Extra padding at the top allows the holder to jab and hook

>Ergonomically fit forearm padding provides more comfort, protection, and balance

Made first available in May 2014, the Fairtex Superior Pads are the upgraded version of the best-selling Fairtex KPLC2 curved kick pads, now made from 100% premium cowhide leather for superb quality.

This offers a premium look and feel, insane durability, increased shock absorption, and better breathability compared to synthetic materials. Their increased breathability makes them more sweat-resistant.

Another standout feature of the Fairtex Superior Pads is the slightly curved design on the back as well as the striking surface. 

The curved design perfectly fits the forearm of the holder, making them very comfortable, easier to hold, and improving balance. They also have forearm padding from top to bottom, further enhancing the mentioned qualities.

It also means they’re fantastic at minimizing the impact from strikes (especially kicks) for the holder. On top of this, the body is 4 and ½ inches thick, perfect for minimizing impact to the holder.

This reduces the chance of injury and striking sessions being cut short.

They also have adjustable straps, allowing for a snug fit and preventing any slippage after impact. The straps have soft padding for maximum comfort.

This is further supported by its raised and reinforced riveted handle at the top for a safe and comfortable grip.

The padding offers a smooth finish, with a much firmer feel than the standard model (Fairtex Curved MMA Muay Thai Pads). This is perfect for those looking for better shin conditioning qualities – which should be everyone.

They come with extremely durable thick red stitching, which also adds to their premium look. The stitching doesn’t have any sharp edges, nor does any other part which could be struck.

The Fairtex Superior Pads come as a pair, with each pad weighing 3 lbs (1.36 kg). 

This is lighter than the KPL, KPV, and KPB Fairtex models, again making them the perfect Muay Thai pads as the holder can more easily move around and control them.

Also making these pads stand out is the extra padding at the top. This extra padding allows the holder to jab the striker, without the striker having to worry about wearing headgear or receiving hard strikes.

The only downside is they only come in a black/white color combination and only 1 size.

Overall, the KPLS2​ Fairtex Superior Fairtex Curved Kick Pads are the best Muay Thai pads in 2023. They’re 100% premium cowhide leather and are designed with both the striker and holder in mind.

Their premium quality is supported by their 4.7 overall rating from 78 Amazon reviews, 90% of which are 5-star.

For those who don’t need 100% cowhide leather and would prefer to save around $40-50, the Fairtex KPLC2 is a great option.

The main difference is the KPLC2 has alternative leather on the straps, piping, and forearm pads. This helps reduce their cost without compromising strength.

Also, the KPLC2 model has 4 variations: small, standard, extra-long, and extra-thick. 

It has a 4.9 overall rating from 1,200 Amazon reviews, 91% of which are 5-star.

Fairtex Curved MMA Muay Thai Pads for Punching, Blocking, Kicking,Punch, Hitting |Light Weight & Shock Absorbent Boxing Mitts | Extra Padding for Sparring – Black/Blue(Std, Pair)
  • Curved shape: Fairtex Thai pads are specifically designed for…
  • Safe and easy to use: Made with premium cow hide leather, the…
  • Comfort first: Fairtex kick mitts are made with two support…

2. Best Muay Thai Pads for Lightweight & Aesthetics

Fairtex KPLC5 Muay Thai Kickboxing Lightweight Thai Pads

Fairtex KPLC5 Muay Thai Kickboxing Lightweight Thai Pads (Black)
  • Improve your kicking accuracy with the Fairtex Microfiber Curved Kick…
  • Curved design allows for more accurate targeting and a more realistic…
  • Thick foam padding provides excellent shock absorption and protection…

>Dimensions: 15-inch length x 8-inch width x 3.5-inch depth

>Uniquely ramp-shaped pad under the forearm for maximum comfort and shock absorption

>High-quality microfiber offers odor resistance and a consistent striking feel

>Lightweight design makes them more comfortable and easier to incorporate footwork, movement, and striking angles

Made available in December 2018, Fairtex KPLC5 Lightweight Thai Pads are the newest product on this list. 

This has allowed Fairtex to create an exceptional product, combining the best elements from each of their pads.

One of the standout features of the KPLC5 is its remarkable lightweight design, weighing just 2.4 lbs each (1.1kg). This is 0.22 grams lighter than the standard-sized KPLC2 and 0.6 lbs lighter than the KPLS2.

This makes the KPLC5s the best Muay Thai pads for those who want to focus on their footwork and movement while practicing their striking.

Despite its feather-light nature, there’s no compromise on padding, ensuring users get the perfect balance of agility and shock absorption.

The padding is made from high-quality microfiber. Fairtex used this material for its lightweight, odor resistance, and consistent texture and feel when striking the pad.

The high-quality microfiber material also resists wear and tear, making these pads a long-term investment for trainers and fighters.

The pad is 3.75 inches thick and offers sufficient firmness for kicks, as well as being cushioned enough to be gentle on the shins during strikes, reducing the risk of injury when hit with the foot.

The pad has a height of 15 inches and a width of 8 inches, offering a spacious striking area for various combinations to land.

Comfort is another area where the KPLC5 shines. 

While it doesn’t have the top-to-bottom padding the KPLS2s have, it has a uniquely ramp-shaped pad under the forearm and a spacious handle, ensuring a snug and comfortable fit. It also features 2 comfy adjustable nonslip straps.

Every detail of these pads, from the meticulous stitching to the durable velcro, is crafted with longevity in mind.

Moreover, much like the esteemed KPLS2 Superior Pads, the KPLC5 boasts a curved design, facilitating easier catching of roundhouse kicks and distributing the force of strikes more evenly across the pad.

The curve design also fits perfectly to the forearm, making them very comfortable, easier to hold, and improving balance.

However, there are a couple of minor drawbacks. The stitched Fairtex label on the forearm padding can be a tad irritating during extended training sessions, and the velcro straps might feel short for those with bulkier forearms.

For Amazon Prime members, there’s the perk of free delivery, with packages typically arriving in about five days.

Lastly, they come in black or gold, with both featuring the circular striking target in the center.

Overall, the Fairtex KPLC5 is one of the best Muay Thai pads in 2023. This is supported by its 4.8 overall rating from 250 Amazon reviews, 92% of which are 5-star – the highest in the industry.

3. Best Muay Thai Pads on a Budget (Value for Money)

Elite Sports Muay Thai Pads

Elite Sports 2 Pcs Muay Thai Kickboxing Pads MMA Knee and Elbow Target Kicking Strike Shield Pair for Martial Arts (White)
  • ✅ DURABLE: Quad-layer Muay Thai kick pads are made from durable…
  • ✅ MAXIMUM COMFORT – Adjustable two hook & loop straps of…
  • ✅ SHOCK ABSORBTION: Our martial arts/ muay thai kick pads have…

>Designed in America and comes with a 1-year warranty

>Nylex Leather offers consistent feedback

>Quad-layer construction with multi-layered gel foam padding for brilliant shock absorption

Designed in the heart of California, USA, and first made available in November 2018, the Elite Sports Muay Thai Pads stand as a testament to quality combined with affordability. 

Priced at a modest $60 for a pair, these pads offer unparalleled value, especially for those on a budget.

They’re made from Nylex leather (synthetic), known for being durable and ultra-lightweight while keeping costs down compared to using real leather.

Nylex leather also has a non-porous surface. This means liquids and other contaminants don’t penetrate as deeply into the material, making it easier to wipe off and clean.

Also, as Nylex leather is synthetic, it has a consistent texture and appearance. This uniformity means wear and tear are more even and it offers a consistent impact upon striking it.

Another feature is its quad-layer construction, with multi-layered gel foam padding for brilliant shock absorption and increased resistance to powerful strikes.

The pads are very firm but offer pleasant feedback for the striker. They also make great popping sounds when striking them. They’re durable and can take a lot of abuse.

The impact is further reduced by its 3 riveted leather handles, a top handle, and 2 adjustable hook & loop (metal) velcro straps (one at the wrist and the other at the forearm). 

The straps don’t slide, and this allows the holder to keep the shield in place with good balance and stability.

The velcro straps also make the pads very easy to put on and take off, and the placement of the handles helps avoid wrist fatigue and discomfort.

The stitching is out of the way (some on the bottom of the pad) and smooth so the striker isn’t scratched.

They’re also comfortable for both holder and striker as they have a curved design. The curve mimics the natural arc of punches, kicks, elbows, and knees, reducing the risk of injury to both.

The back of the pads also has extra padding for the forearm to rest on, providing further comfort and shock absorption for the holder.

For the price, the striking zone is generously sized, accommodating kicks, knees, and punches with ease. 

Their light and compact nature makes them a perfect fit for standard 60L MMA gym bags.

Additional perks include a hassle-free return policy for items in new and unused condition and quick, free delivery for Amazon Prime members. All Elite Sports products are covered by a 1-year warranty policy.

It’s worth checking the Elite Sports website too (unaffiliated), as they sometimes have discounts and Amazon can be out of stock. I’ve seen it as low as $24 for a pair (albeit out of stock).

They also offer wholesale on their website, so you’ll be able to get a good discount if you’re buying in bulk.

Lastly, they have a simple design with stylish sublimated graphics and are available in black, blue, gold, red, and white.

In terms of cons, some find the top handle a little too soft and moveable, and while comfortable, the hand is better protected by a more structured and sturdy top handle – especially against heavy kickers.

Overall, the Elite Sports Muay Thai pads are a standout product in this price range. Their quality and overall package are supported by their 4.8 overall from 440 Amazon ratings, 85% of which are 5-star.

While the Fairtex KPLC2s might have a slight edge in some aspects, the Elite Sports Muay Thai Pads come at a $40 cheaper price point, making them a worthy contender in the market.

Overall and Other Options

The best Muay Thai pads in 2023 are the Fairtex Superiors (KPLS2), Fairtex Lightweight Pads (KPLC5), and the Elite Sports Muay Thai Pads.

There are some other great options out there, but they don’t offer the same quality and overall package.

It’s also worth mentioning some brilliant Thai brands for high-quality Muay Thai pads, but which are hard to find/ship to the USA and other Western countries (unaffiliated).

For those interested in more readily available options, the Hayabusa PTS 3 Thai Pads are also excellent. 

However, for $149, it’s hard to justify this price and therefore purchase over the Fairtex KPLS2 or KPLC5.

Hayabusa PTS 3 Thai Pads – Black, Pair
  • These kickboxing and Muay Thai pads are designed to absorb a huge…
  • Hayabusa kickboxing and Muay Thai pads are made of a high quality…
  • Designed to last: These kickboxing and Muay Thai pads were to…

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