If you’re going to train Muay Thai, you need to come equipped with the correct shorts.
You can get away with turning up to your first few classes in run-of-the-mill sportswear, but you’ll soon want to look the part and be the part with a pair designed for the art of eight limbs.
Traditional Muay Thai shorts are lightweight so you can move, kick, and knee freely. The material also means your feet won’t get caught on them.
They’re also breathable for comfort in hot conditions. Even if you’re not training in Thailand, you’ll get sweaty in a tough training session!
Muay Thai traditionally has no rankings or grades like other martial arts, so in all but a few gyms, you are free to express yourself and wear what you like.
Here’s our guide to what to look for so you can pick the best Muay Thai shorts for your needs.
There are two basic styles of Muay Thai shorts to choose between.
The most common style of shorts for modern Muay Thai fighter has a retro look. These are shorter with a high cut.
Classic shorts are longer, but still don’t go as far down the leg as most western boxing shorts. Some fighters will roll up the legs.
Whatever you choose, just make sure they’re comfortable and you have appropriate underwear on underneath (you want it to protect your modesty without being seen).
Unfortunately, there is no standard sizing for Muay Thai shorts.
The measurements for a pair of one brand’s XL trunks are almost certain to be different from another company’s.
Your best bet for getting a pair that fit is to try them on. If you’re not lucky enough to have a brick-and-mortar martial arts store in your area, you can check size charts on the website of the brand you choose.
It’s also important to remember that Thai sizes do not generally match Western standards. Thais are naturally smaller and so are their clothes.
If you’re a size L in the US, you might need to add an X or two to find your perfect fit if your equipment comes from The Land Of Smiles.
If in doubt, go smaller. You can always squeeze into a tight pair or stretch the elastic. However, there’s nothing much you can do if your shorts are so big that they fall around your ankles.
When it comes to what your shorts look like, you’re the boss.
Muay Thai shorts come in every combination of colors you can imagine, with all kinds of designs.
Many simple, cheaper pairs are plain and might have the sport’s name on the front in Thai script (มวยไทย). You can’t go wrong with your favorite color and that simple design.
Others will carry the logo of the brand you choose or might come with some kind of crazy design. We’ve seen everything from tigers to ice creams on Muay Thai shorts, and everything in between. If any of these fit your personality, go for it!
Another option is the signature shorts used by your favorite fighter that comes emblazoned with their name, but you might pay a premium for those.
You can also customize your apparel to your own specifications, but if you want your name, your gym’s logo, or some unique, crazy design, you’ll have to dig a little deeper in your pocket.
If you go your own way, almost anything goes, but there are a few things to avoid. In Thailand, it is considered disrespectful to wear the symbols of gods, royalty, or the Thai flag below your waist, so avoid those.
Muay Thai shorts are made from a variety of fabrics.
In recent years, a lot more polyester equipment has come into the market. It’s tough and stretchy but traditionally used more for MMA apparel.
When it comes to traditional Thai shorts, there are two main varieties.
The highest quality gear will be made from satin or a satin blend. It will be light, comfortable, and durable, but that comes at a cost to you.
Nylon shorts are kinder to your wallet and dry more quickly, but they probably won’t last as long. However, they’re not a bad choice for a beginner.
Thrifty Muay Thai fighters can find some real bargains when they’re shopping for shorts, but it may be worth stretching your budget if you can afford to.
The cheapest deals are usually online, but you won’t get the chance to feel the quality or try your apparel on until it has arrived in the mail. Then, you might be stuck with something that’s not quite what you’d imagined.
For ultimate peace of mind, pay a visit to a brick-and-mortar martial arts store if there’s one nearby. There might even be one in your gym.
That way, you can support a local business that is promoting martial arts. You’ll know exactly what you’re getting, so you can be sure it’s a perfect fit and looks good on you.
If you’re dedicated to your Muay Thai training, it’s also probably worth spending a bit more to get shorts that are built to last.
If you pay a premium, there’s a better chance that your purchase will be built to last with high-quality stitching, so you won’t have to dip into your savings sooner rather than later.
The number of pairs of Muay Thai shorts you own is up to you and how often you train.
A novice can get away with just a pair or two, but a hardcore enthusiast or pro fighter should invest in a few.
Unless you’re planning to do your laundry a handful of times a week, you need enough pairs of shorts to ensure you always turn up with clean fight wear.
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