Below is a list of equipment you will need for a muay thai class as a beginner and up to the intermediate level. As you progress in your training, you may require additional specialized equipment for higher level sparring and competition.
A quality pair of boxing gloves go a long way in your training so don’t cheap out on this item. I have had students try to save money on gloves only to replace them some months later. A good pair of gloves should last you several years at 3-4 training sessions a week and will cost anywhere between $75-$200. Velcro straps are suggested as you don’t want to waste time fiddling around with the lace-up gloves. Leather is best but synthetic leather can be just as good if it's from a reputable brand. I suggest having 1 pair for heavy bag and pad work (view standard size chart), and 1*16oz pair for partner drilling and sparring.
2. Shin Pads
Shin pads are used for partner drills, sparring, and in amateur competition. They are there to protect your shins and feet from excessive damage. They also act to reduce damage dealt to your partners during training. From my personal experience, you can get away with a relatively cheaper pair of shin guards since they are not used as frequently as boxing gloves. The lowest you should spend for shin guards would be around the $65 mark and no more than $130 unless you are a competitive fighter who has a taste for the really high end stuff. View standard size chart.
3. Hand Wraps
A hand wrap is a strip of fabric that wraps around your hand and wrist to protect the knuckles and bones from damage induced from punching as well as give additional support and stability to your wrists. It is absolutely essential that you make it a habit to wear hand wraps every heavy bag and focus mitt workout as they are often overlooked by beginners. Impact at the wrong angle on a punch can see you with a broken hand and weeks or up to months of recovery time. You should be washing your wraps after every session so I suggest you have at least 2-3 pairs of hand wraps.
4. Thai Shorts
Training muay thai isn’t the same without a pair of Thai shorts on! The high cut of the shorts allow for a wider range of motion, enabling you to kick higher and with ease. They also do a great job of "wicking" sweat to the fabric's outer surface while drying faster than your average cotton shorts. Even if Thai shorts are not mandatory for classes, you can show the coach that you are taking your muay training training seriously by wearing them :).
5. Mouth Guard
A mouth guard should be worn every partner drilling or sparring session to protect the jaw, tongue, and reduce head trauma from punches. Even when you think it’s going to be a “light” training day, you never know with some partners who always seem to go a little too hard. You also cannot prevent accidents from happening. Another reason why you should wear your mouthguard in training is so that you can get used to breathing with a mouth guard on as this will help you easily adapt to that feeling for when you are sparring or competing and required to wear one.
6. Headgear (optional)
These may not be needed until you start sparring, but if you have the funds a headgear is a great addition to your fight kit since you will eventually need one. For beginners and intermediate who want added protection, go for the headgear that has the padded cheek protection. The open-face headgear is best for more serious competitors as they allow for better vision while offering a little less face protection.