Ditch your silly MMA shorts and save your spats for rolling on the mats. Same goes for the leggings ladies— wearing Muay Thai shorts for training and competing in Muay Thai is imperative; it looks and feels way cooler.
Nothing screams Muay Thai as arrestingly as a pair of Muay Thai shorts. Ditching the tradition loincloth, Thai boxing shorts were actually an import of western boxing culture. By the sixties, Thai fighters began to wear boxing shorts sporting embroidered patches in their native script. From there they took on a life of their own, adding bows and colourful patterns.
While boxing shorts evolved to the current knee-length style, Muay thai shorts retained the shorter style exposing the muscular thighs of the fighters who wear them. This length is ideal for to the high-kicking nature of the sport.
The Muay Thai gear industry has expanded beyond a market formerly dominated by domestic brands. There is now a generous selection of both Thai and international brands proffering a bewildering range of Muay Thai shorts. Things got funkier and more elaborate along the way. Brands and fighters outdo each other with exceedingly garish and striking styles.
Some foreign brands have opted to manufacture Muay Thai shorts in Pakistan or China due to lower costs. The difference in quality is apparent, as these shorts lack the smooth, shiny quality of satin made in Thailand. However, the majority of Muay Thai shorts continue to be manufactured in Thailand. Foreign brands like Booster Fight Gear, Venum,and Infightstyle have stepped up the game and giving established Thai brands a run for their money.
With so many Muay Thai brands fighting for consumer dollars, the overall standards and sheer variety has certainly gone up in recent years. Some of the veteran brands like Windy and Thaismai are gradually falling out of favor with the new generation of fight fans. Top labels continue to update and innovate, pushing out new designs, as they compete with new vibrant brands that have sprouted the last few years.
Here’s a look at some of the more outstanding options that are currently available on the market.
Twins Special shorts are what everyone thinks of when it comes to the classic Muay Thai style. Twins shorts are famously worn in the rings of Lumpinee and Rajadamnern stadiums, boldly customized with flashy colors, and characterful patches. Almost every respectable Thai fighter owns a pair at some point in their career. Their thick, luxurious satin are renowned for exceptional durability although some might favour other brands that are generally more lightweight and breathable.
When it comes to aesthetic appeal, Bangkok-based Yokkao may arguably be the best in the business. The brand can be credited for popularizing the retro style with the Carbon shorts, first worn in the ring by Buakaw Banchamek in 2012. They followed up with the new CarbonFit collection last year for a short and lightweight design that rivals traditional nylon shorts. The Yokkao designers have also gone all out with the dye-sublimation printing to unleash imaginative creations that are both modern and refreshing. Recommended for those who prefer something a little flashier and fancier.
In comparison, most of Boon Sport’s main Muay Thai shorts selections may seem a little conservative. However, they offer a basic Retro series that deserves a special mention. The retro shorts are cut with a narrow waistband and shorter lengths in comfortably light stain. Originally available only in a standard black model, they now come available in 17 colors to choose from with the option of customisation. These are ideal for folks who prefer their shorts to be more functional and less flamboyant.
Here’s a foreign brand that deserves a mention. Infightstyle is a North American Muay Thai company that started in Canada. Over the last five years it has become a prominent label in the local fight scene. The brand’s claim to fame was through bridging a gap in the market by offering full Muay Thai shorts customization services on the web. Meanwhile, their inventory keeps expanding with fashionable designs released under its own label and caters fittingly to Western sensibilities. With offices in both Canada and the US, Infightstyle shorts are all made in Thailand with pride.
For many Thai fighters, there is no school like the old school. Many Thais still stand by the classic nylon shorts that can be seen on sale at every night market in Bangkok. It’s an airy, lightweight fabric especially great for training in the blistering Thailand heat. On the downside, there is no denying that the durability is inferior compared to regular satin, with stitches coming apart in matter of months. There is also the peril of showing off your underwear when all drenched in sweat as nylon shorts get undesirably translucent. However, they are so affordable, it may be easy to overlook some of these drawbacks.