Start with this gear, then begin your own research. Tutorials below will also help you with what to expect at first class and with basic techniques.
The research is done. We were all beginners and wasted money on gear we thought was good, then replaced soon after. Let's not get this confused with the "best" gear suggested by seasoned fighters. They are looking for way different features than you are. What you are looking for should be gear that doesn't break the bank, is comfortable, and made with solid materials (not the best materials ever invented).
If you jump right into $100+ gloves, good for you. I wish I had that money. However, what if you have a sudden life change (new job, new partner, kids, whatever) and those gloves end up just taking up space in the closet or rotting in your garage? If you spent $30-50 on a great pair, you wouldn't feel nearly as bad donating them to your gym for another new beginner to use. Have your gear grow with you!
For this reason, I chose the gear below to help you get started. NONE OF THESE BRANDS PAY FOR THIS PLACEMENT. This is honest advice.The only way I get compensated is if you find the information valuable and purchase using a link from this site. By doing this, I keep my integrity and you get unswayed suggestions. This is a labor of love!
This is not my favorite brand but I have friends who like their gear. This is where preference comes into play. Explore RDX on your own but make sure to takes notes on what makes the best Muay Thai gear.
I chose the Elite Adult Star Muay Thai Gloves to get you started. The profile of the glove is much like the high end brands as it features a flatter top, slimmer design, most the protection is in the upper knuckle area, and the thumb is nice and close to the rest of the glove.
The standout feature: the wrist cuff. Your wrists probably aren't strong if you haven't trained at all, so the webbed elastic allows you to make the cuff nice and tight. That elastic does not feel cheap and will last quite a while. Plus, they look pretty high-end.
For versatility, the 16oz use are good for pad/bag work and sparring. I personally used 12oz versions for pad work to put them to the test and the support was very nice. They don't have the soft leather feel, but don't stress that until you want to upgrade gloves. These are great for beginners at about $30.
Classics never go out of style and these will be around for quite some time. Sanabul Battle Forged Muay Thai Gloves have a good profile and plenty of protection. "Sophistication in Simplicity" is how they put it and I couldn't agree more. My first and second pair of gloves were not as good as these, so I'll be jealous you made a better decision.
UPDATE: A friend of mine got these in white so I got a chance to get hit by them and then he let me try em out. I highly suggest them if you want to spend about $50 on gloves.
Another great option are the Sanabul Core Series Gel Gloves. I see many fighters in the gym training with Sanabul gear because of the affordability and quality. These gloves have a sleeker profile than other models by Sanabul as the thumb doesn't stick out as much. The wrist cuff is on the longer side, so smaller fighters might not like them.
The mesh inside the palm makes them light and breathable, but I am not a fan of it since I don't run as hot. You will be wearing these gloves for quite some time before you need to replace them - that mesh should outlast you!
If you fall in love with Sanabul and their movement to sustainability, their gear all matches really well for style points.
Note: I have arthritic hands and my wrists are shot from breaking and dislocating them.
This make my choices a little more subjective BUT I put most of it aside.
I really like the design on the RDX Muay Thai Hand Wraps. Being elastic and colorful put them a little above basics, but I am really into this point at the end. I always tend to pull my wraps off at the same corner and wear one piece out.
Originally, the Sanabul Gel Quick Wraps reminded me of something one of those wannabe pro cyclist would wear. Truth is, if you are going from a jiu jitsu class to Muay Thai, this style makes the transition quicker. Solid knuckle protection, but I like more wrist support. This is all up to you and they are a great option.
The muay thai shinguards made of soft foam and slip-on are tempting, but you will quickly outgrow them for sparring.
Using them on the heavy bag may seem like a good idea, but the bag is to help condition your shins.
Simple and ergonomic design, affordable, and comfort all make the Elite Muay Thai Shin Guards the best for beginners. If you looked through the gloves, you will see these are easy to match.
One feature that sets them apart is the elastic strap that goes around the achilles and the placement of the lower strap being higher. I own Fairtex shinguards and my achilles got super torn up by the lower strap. Start with Elite's guards and work your callouses up.
I could not provide another supplier as the reviews for anything at entry level pricing were not good. Torn straps, ankles creasing in and hurting, bad design overall.
Therefore, to get you to the proper level I suggest the following.
To avoid splitting my achilles anymore, I purchased ankle guards. The Sanabul Essential Striking Gel Ankle Guard are great because they add grip and the gel helps when practicing on a kicks early on in your training.
With the ankle guard, I believe the Sanabul Battle Forged Muay Thai Kickboxing Shin Guards are a good choice. I have no used them, but the materials are high quality and I had great response from the company when reaching out. The connection from shin to foot guard looks better than their Core and Essential series. I am not a fan of a left and right strap (I prefer one strap that loops thru the other side) but these could be your ideal guards.
DO NOT train without a mouthguard. I watched someone get accidentally smashed with a knee and blast their lip open. ACCIDENTALLY! Dude wasn't even throwing a knee!
Mouth guards are cheaper than dental repairs. Even custom guards are cheaper (but I am not going to feature those here).
The Venum Predator Mouthguard has a slightly bigger profile than other models and brands but it is very comfortable. I like the rubber exterior for stability and strength, mixed with the custom molding (boil and bite). The design helps me breath better too.
Traditional Muay Thai shorts are a popular design but now there are more options. From material to features, I will explain the pros and cons.
It is way more expensive to fix a chipped tooth than to have a mouth guard...or two...or maybe even 20 or more. Get the point?
Seems basic, right? A wrap around your hand. What about size, elastic vs non, slip-ons (with gel!)...get the idea?
Much like hand wraps but for the opposite end of your body. After a few kicks, you'll see why I recommend them.
When the time comes and your gym allows you to spar with elbows, you will need pads. Your partner doesn't want a split eyebrow.
Another buffer that allows you to throw a little harder but not hurt your partner. Plus, protect your joints as you get older.
These are the most popular pads at your gym. However, sometimes the gyms are destroyed, so own a pair.
Great for increasing accuracy and speed. These little pads have huge benefits and can be used anywhere.
Conditioning your abs in the beginning is great! As you level up, the teeps get tougher!
This is a very versatile pad and there are slight features that matter quite a bit. You will love this for training with strong kickers.
Dead legs hurt! Believe me, I will get to a great story in here of a week long dead leg. These also help you flex into kicks.
What's more important than a cool graphic? Discord why I choose certain materials, length, and brands.
A big duffel works and so does a backpack. But, what if you ride a motorcycle - where are the waterproof bags? See our suggestions.