One of the main differences between Muay Thai and other martial arts are the Muay Thai shorts used in training and fighting. If you want to determine the background of a stand up fighter, look at the shorts they use in training.
If you see a stand up fighter wearing tight spandex shorts (MMA grappling shorts), they probably train at an MMA gym or a fighter wearing longer Kickboxing shorts, probably comes from a Dutch Kickboxing style. If you see a fighter with Muay Thai shorts, that is a tell-tale sign that they come from a Muay Thai background.
While Muay Thai shorts are a tell tale sign of a fighter with a Muay Thai background, how a fighter wears his shorts can also reveal subtle details of a fighters experience and background. If a fighter has his shorts rolled up a specific way, it is usually a sign that they have trained a significant amount of time in Thailand.
Muay Thai shorts are the unofficial uniform of Muay Thai fighters. Wearing Muay Thai shorts signals your respect to the tradition. Besides being the best looking training shorts on the market, Muay Thai shorts have a long history of tradition.
Most Muay Thai shorts are unisex, while there are certain styles that women prefer using because they look more flattering when worn the right away.
In the past few years there has been an explosion in the amount of designs that are available for Muay Thai shorts. It is no longer good enough to have a simply design with Thai script on it. People are demanding more vibrant colors/patterns and new cuts.
This has led to Muay Thai shorts evolving from their traditional approach to more modern cuts that are available. Most shorts are now designed to be shorter in length and appeal to the more fashion orientate crowd. Companies like Yokkao have done an excellent job of pushing forward new styles that are used around the world.
The Different Styles
Unlike Boxing, which hasn’t seen a change much changes is the shorts used by fighters over the past century, Muay Thai shorts have gone through an evolution.
In the past 10 years, we have seen a new emergence of non-traditional cuts, colors, and fabrics being used to create unique Muay Thai shorts.
Most Muay Thai shorts are made from thick satin material (sometimes nylon) because they don’t absorb sweat and are lightweight for training purposes. However, some modern cuts utilize other materials like dry-fit or cotton fabrics for design purposes.
With so many different styles available, it can be difficult to navigate which Muay Thai shorts are the best options for you. This article is going to break down the different styles that are available and some of the top brands you can expect to find when it comes to Muay Thai shorts.
The Traditional Cut
One of the things that makes Muay Thai shorts so attractive is the variety of colors, patterns and images used on the shorts. Each pair of short can be completely customized with a unique pattern or script.
Traditional cuts are designed to be very spacious in the leg and a little bit longer than the new modern style shorts that are available.
If you are the type of person that likes your shorts a little baggier and want a wider leg cut, you’ll like the traditional style of shorts.
Traditional cut shorts remind me a little of the style of the 90s and early 2000s, when baggier style clothes were more fashionable. While some people still appreciate these shorts, most people in the Muay Thai gyms are wearing more modern cuts of shorts.
Ideal for: Heavyweight fighters or people who have very large legs. This cut will give you enough leg room to allow you to move around without feeling constricted.
The Narrow Cut
Narrow cut Muay Thai shorts typically the same length as the traditional shorts, however the leg width is reduced to make them less baggy. This is good for people who have thinner legs and want the shorts to fit a little better, however, if you have thick legs this will not be the best choice.
The narrow cut can be restricting around the leg if you don’t get the right sized shorts because the slit on the side of the shorts can be
Ideal for: People who like the traditional style shorts but have thinner legs. If you like classic looking shorts, but want a thinner profile, go with this pair.
Retro Cut Shorts
Retro cut Muay Thai shorts typically have a side mesh that is stitched on to the shorts and the legs are cut a bit shorter and narrower than standard Muay Thai shorts.
These shorts first became popularized by the brand Yokkao and have now become a standard cut among all brands that produce Muay Thai shorts. The reason people like the retro cut is because it gives you a shorter length and a large slit that allows your leg full movement.
The retro cut is form fitting and is popular among men and women because they look good when you wear them. If you want to show off the muscles in your leg, these are a great option for people who like that.
Unlike the traditional Muay Thai shorts, the retro cut shorts typically don’t have fancy patterns on them and have colors schemes that look more modern. You won’t see a lot of the pattern prints that are typically on most Muay Thai shorts on these cuts.
Modern Cut Shorts
A new type of cut that is available is the modern cut shorts. The modern cut is popular among women because they are the most
With that being said, there are a lot of men who like wearing these shorts because they are tighter as well. They are designed to be tight around the legs, but still give you the mobility when you train.
The biggest distinction between the modern cut and the retro/traditional cuts is the slit on the side of the shorts. The modern cut have a rounded side the make them easier to move around than the traditional V or U style shape on the side of shorts.
Avoid these Cuts
While there are many good Muay Thai styles, there are some that you should avoid. Any Muay Thai shorts that don’t have a slit on the side of the shorts will restrict your leg when you kick. That is not good.
MMA brands like Hayabusa are known to make bad Muay Thai shorts, so avoid buying shorts from any brand that specializes in MMA products.
Besides the style of the shorts, there are a number of different materials that are used to make Muay Thai shorts.
Nylon is the lightest material used for Muay Thai shorts. The benefit of Nylon shorts is that it feels like you are wearing nothing. The material is extremely light and translucent when you put it up against the light.
Another main advantage of buying Nylon shorts is this is the cheapest material used, therefore the shorts are typically very cheap. You can find cheap Nylon shorts for as little as $15-20 in some places.
The biggest downside of Nylon shorts is the fact that they don’t look vibrant when you compare them to the traditional satin material that is commonly used for Muay Thai shorts. In addition, you will also notice that when your shorts get wet, the material becomes very see through.
This means you have to wear dark underwear under your shorts, and this is a very bad option for women. If you don’t mind people have a clear view of whatever underwear you are wearing during training, then the Nylon shorts are the right ones for you.
Traditional Muay Thai shorts are made from high-quality Satin material. Satin has a beautiful reflective quality about it that makes it look rich with color and texture.
Satin shorts come in a wide range of colors and is the main material used in 90% of Muay Thai shorts today. If you like having vibrant rich colors in your shorts, then a high-quality satin is going to be your preferred choice. The material itself is extremely silky and smooth and is very comfortable to wear.
Since most Muay Thai shorts utilize satin materials, it comes down to the cut of the shorts that will determine which pair you should get. While satin shorts do a great job of providing protection, it is important to know that the lighter colors may become slightly translucent when your shorts are wet. This means you should take note to wear the proper underwear if you are wearing shorts with white satin.
Satin shorts will often have patches that are printed and stitched on them to provide detailed contrast to the shorts. Traditional shorts will typically have flames stitched on the shorts with Thai lettering on the very front.
Sublimation shorts are made from a lighter Satin material that has sublimated images printed directly on the shorts. While traditional Muay Thai shorts have patches and images that are sown into the shorts, sublimation images are printed in the material.
Sublimation shorts may have a patch printed on it, but that can take away from the appeal of having the sublimation shorts.
Because of this print method, this makes the shorts lighter than traditional satin shorts. They are very light to train in and won’t absorb any of the moisture from your sweat.
Similar to other
More and more brands are beginning to produce sublimation shorts which are rapidly becoming a popular material to use.
Another style that is becoming popular are Muay Thai shorts that are cut from different polyester print backgrounds and made into Muay Thai shorts. These patterns range from flower prints to color variations.
Most shorts that are made from fabric prints are often limited availability depending on the supply. Once a producer runs out of print, you won’t be able to get the same pair.
The downside of getting print shorts is that the material is not satin and they don’t have the same soft and reflective look of satin.
Dry Fit Material
Another print that is used in shorts is dry fit material. These materials are very durable, but they stray away from the unique Satin materials that are classically used in Muay Thai shorts.
This is a material that is fast drying and doesn’t absorb moisture, but the feel is a little bit rougher and doesn’t have the vibrant color that classic Satin materials have.
Invading Pop Culture
In the past few years, there has been a massive invasion of Muay Thai shorts in pop culture. Muay Thai is more than a niche sport that is practiced by hard-core enthusiasts in Thailand, it is becoming
Recently, British actor Idris Elba (The Wire, Thor) trained in Thailand for a few months in preparation for his first Muay Thai fight. He has become one of the many popular celebrities who are turning to Muay Thai.
Another famous celebrity who has adopted Muay Thai as his sport is Rapper Wiz Khalifa. If you follow his Instagram account, you will notice dozens of training photos of Wiz featuring Muay Thai shorts.
Most of the cuts of shorts Wiz Khalifa uses are the retro cut shorts because they are a tighter fit and show up his ripped physique.
Fashion model Mia Kang is another big advocate of Muay Thai. If you follow any Muay Thai topic on Instagram, you will notice Mia Kang popping up all over your news feed.
She is extremely popular because she happens to be a high end model that is also a Muay Thai fighter. That is a pretty rare combination in the Muay Thai world.
Muay Thai is a sport that is growing at such a rapid pace, that it is becoming mainstream enough that big celebrities are now sporting the shorts on a regular basis.
Most Popular Brands
In the past 5 years, there have been an explosion in the number of brands that produce Muay Thai equipment. There used to be only a handful of brands like Top King, Twins, and Fairtex that produced Muay Thai equipment. However, now, there are dozens of brands out there that manufacture Muay Thai shorts.
It can be difficult to know what brands are what, but this guide is going to walk you through the most popular brands on the market and talk a bit about each one. Please keep in mind that everyone has different preferences when it comes to Muay Thai brands, so this is simply an opinion.
When it comes to Muay Thai shorts, one brand has been leading the way in terms of innovation. Yokkao has done an excellent job of constantly pushing forward new styles and patterns.
While they have had some controversy over some of their questionable business practices (how they deal with disputes), they are one of the leading brands in terms of overall influence on the market.
Yokkao built they brand from the ground up by acquiring some of the best talent in the sport of Muay Thai and putting on large shows that feature their products. They have grown into one of the largest Muay Thai brands in the market and have a large following among people who follow social media.
Yokkao is known for their retro style cut that have become extremely popular. In addition to their retro cut, they also have sublimation prints that printed on different materials.
You can purchase Yokkao shorts on Yokkao.com
One of the most famous Muay Thai brand in the world is Fairtex. Whether they are selling gloves, shin guards or shorts, they sell a lot of everything. Fairtex is known for their premium quality and sense of style.
Fairtex was one of the first Muay Thai brands to infiltrate the USA and start building up their brand in North America over the past few decades. They have a big head start over some of the other brands are the Muay Thai equivalent of Nike.
You can purchase Fairtex shorts on Amazon.com or directly from retail shops
Twins Special is probably the largest Muay Thai brand in the world. They dominate the local Thai market and the international market. They are best known for their gloves and shorts and have been producing equipment for many decades.
If you look for Muay Thai shorts there is a high chance that the shop you search will carry a pair of Twins shorts. Twins is known for their traditional Muay thai shorts that feature fancy patterns and a variety of different colors.
Twins Special supply a lot of the Muay Thai gyms in Thailand and produce custom shorts. Since they are such a large brand, you need to find a retailer that has the specific shorts that you want.
MTP Fight Gear
MTP Fight Gear is a brand created by Muay Thai Pros. Our focus is to provide high-quality shorts that look good at an affordable price. We launched in 2017 and have been slowly expanding our
Our most popular cut of shorts are the retro cut, which are extremely comfortable among women because of their fit. These shorts are designed to allow more leg room, and also have a short cut.
You can purchase our Muay Thai shorts at mtpfightgear.com
Ultim8 Fight Wear
Ultim8 Fight Wear is a small apparel brand that is based out of Hong Kong and focuses on apparel for women. They make high quality shorts and t-shirts that are well designed. All of their equipment is produced in Thailand and they ship direct from Hong Kong.
There shorts are used widely at a lot of gyms in Hong Kong and Sumalee Muay Thai gym in sponsored by them.
You can purchase Ultim8 Fight Wear here
Booster Fight Gear
Booster is a Belgium based brand that sells Muay Thai shorts from Europe. They are harder to find unless you look online, and are typically a little more expensive.
Booster have a lot of retro shorts that have nice colorway patterns. They also sponsor some shows in Europe so you will see some of their designs on big name European fighters.
You can purchase Booster Fight Wear Here
Fightlab is a Muay Thai brand that was started in Phuket. They have a style that is typical of a lot of MMA brands and are popular among people who visit Phuket to train.
One thing that Fightlab does well is custom shorts. If you are looking to purchase a large batch of shorts for your gym, Fightlab will help you create custom shorts free of charge.
The owner of Fightlab is Owen, who is an honest businessman and a good family man. The benefit of working with
InFightStyle is a brand that is very popular in North America, especially on the West Coast. They are partnered with West Coast Muay Thai and produce most of the shorts for the gyms located in the US.
They do a great job of creating unique and beautiful designs that look great. They focus mainly on the retro cut style because the shorter cut shorts are very trendy these days.
If you go into any gym located in California, you are likely to see someone wearing a pair of InFightStyle shorts. They are very focused on North America, but have done a great job of expanding their reach on social media.
Hayabusa is an MMA company that has now started to produce Muay Thai shorts. Since there focus is on MMA, they don’t do a good job of offering any unique styles, cuts or designs.
Overall, I would rank Hayabusa as one of the least popular shorts when it comes to Muay Thai. That being said, in the world of MMA Hayabusa dominates with their MMA shorts and gloves etc.
TUFF is a Muay Thai brand that was created by Tuff.com. They offer the cheapest shorts available on the market, but the quality is not as good as some of the other brands.
Since TUFF is known as a cheaper alternative to some of the other Muay Thai brands in Thailand, they are often associated with lower quality whether that is true or not.
Raja is known for producing print pattern shorts that have become very popular. In 2018, they exploded on the scene by producing Songkran edition shorts that are were used by Wiz Khalifa.
While Raja has been around for many decades, they are recently starting to gain major popularity for their Muay Thai shorts. The one downside of Raja is they are typically hard to find. If you want to buy a pair of Raja shorts you will need to order directly from the factory.
You can purchase Raja shorts by contacting them on their Instagram
Lumpinee is a brand that has been around for a while that used to be head quartered near the old Lumpinee stadium. The Lumpinee brand focuses on classic cut Muay Thai shorts. Their shorts are classics that have a lot of the old school feels that made Muay Thai shorts popular.
Anthem Athletics is a brand that produces a lot of different martial arts equipment. This brand does not produce shorts made in Thailand and would not be considered classic Muay Thai shorts.
The benefit of this brand is that you can order from Amazon for a fairly cheap price. They use a dryfit material for the shorts, so you don’t get the quality satin look and feel.
If you are going to purchase Muay Thai shorts, I recommend you go with a brand that is made in Thailand.
Venum is Muay Thai brand that rose to prominence by focusing on MMA equipment. This is a brand that sponsors a lot of fighters and gyms. When it comes to Muay Thai shorts, Venum is lagging behind a lot of other brands in terms of style.
If you like the MMA style shorts with bold colors, then Venum has a few good options. They also sponsor the famous Sittichai Sitsongpeenong, who is by far the biggest Muay Thai name besides Buakaw or Saenchai.
Top King is one of the largest Muay Thai brands in Thailand, however, in the past few years, they have been declining compared to Twins and Fairtex. They have done little to stay innovative in the past decade and have fallen behind in terms of Muay Thai shorts.
While Top King still produces some very classic shorts that can be seen by fighters around the world, they have done little to follow the trends in short designs.
Muay Thai Shorts for Women
While Muay Thai shorts are unisex, some shorts look flattering on women (and men) and some do not. Some of the old traditional cut shorts that have wide legs and longer lengths are difficult to style properly.
The two cuts of shorts that are very popular among women are
Some cuts that are too short may ride up your back side, and be very uncomfortable training, which is why the fit is important. You don’t want to get a pair of shorts that are too small, otherwise you won’t have good mobility when you train.
The top Brands for women are Yokkao, MTP Fight Gear, InFightStyle, and Ultim8. These brands offer shorts that fit well and are used by a lot of female fighters.
Things to Consider
Besides the cut of the shorts, it is important to remember that some materials are see through if you get them wet. If you are using a white satin shorts, keep in mind that if you are drenched with sweat, those shorts can become partly translucent.
This means that you will be able to see your underwear through the shorts or lack of underwear. Keep this in mind and wear the appropriate undergarments to match your shorts if you are training in the hot summer and expect to sweat a lot.
Plus Size Muay Thai Shorts
If you are a large person, I would recommend against getting some of the new modern cuts. Shorts that are designed for the typical lean Muay Thai build, will not fit well if you don’t have the right physique.
Some of the traditional cuts of shorts are better suited if you have very large legs and find it difficult to squeeze into regular sized shorts.
Fairtex classic shorts are much larger than other Muay Thai brands and fit well for larger North American/European men who weight over 200 lbs/90 kgs. The classic Fairtex short designs provide the most leg room and have large
One it comes to choosing the best Muay Thai shorts, it comes down to personal taste and preference. If you like the classic looking shorts, you should stick to some of the more traditional brands like Twins and Lumpinee, conversely, if you want a more modern look then Yokkao and MTP Fight Gear offer a range of options designed with style and comfort in mind.’
The only thing I suggest is that you choose a brand that produces their Muay Thai shorts in Thailand. Since Thailand is the source of all things Muay Thai, I think it is important to support brands that come out of Thailand.
While you might be tempted to go with the cheapest options online, I recommend you do your research and find a cut and style that you like, then find the right size.