When it comes to choosing a good pair of Muay Thai pads, Fairtex is a brand that has established itself as the premium choice for anyone who is looking for quality, comfort, and style. If you can compare Fairtex to other brands, Fairtex kick pads are among the best Thai pads you will find on the market.
A good set of Muay Thai kick pads is one of the most important investments you can make. People don’t realize the amount of wear and tear kicks can have on your forearms, especially if you are holding pads for a heavy kicker. While you may get tempted to purchase a cheap pair of Thai pads online, the protection cheap pads offer are absolutely terrible.
The Best Fairtex Muay Thai Kick Pad
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The basic curved Fairtex kick pads are by far the most popular pads you will find and my personal favorite pick.
These pads are built with quality in mind and have a nice curve shape to ensure that they feel crisp when you kick them.
For the quality that you get, the price on these pads are very reasonable. Even though there are cheaper pads out there, you can’t compete with the quality and look of these excellent Muay Thai Pads.
Anyone looking for the best pads available should definitely consider choosing these curved Fairtex pads.
If you go to a gym that has communal Thai pads that everyone uses, the first thing you will notice is many experienced trainers try to get their hands on Fairtex kick pads first.
Sometimes you will see guys go early to training and even try to reserve the Fairtex Pads so they can use them in training.
Why do people want to use Fairtex pads so much?
Well, compared to other brands Fairtex provides serious protection for your arms while having a comfortable fit. In this review, I will break down some of the different Fairtex Kick pads that are available and talk about the pros and cons of each one.
Before I talk about specific Fairtex models, I think it is important to look at a few criteria that make a quality Muay Thai kick pad. Each of the following criteria is important in a well-made pad.
Protection and Size of Pads
The first and arguably the most important aspect of a good pair of Muay Thai kick pads is the protection that it offers the pad holder. This is by far the biggest difference you will notice when you buy a cheap pair of pads versus an expensive one.
The cheaper brands made in China and Pakistan are poorly made and do not offer good protection to the forearm. Any brand that does not advertise MADE IN THAILAND, sources their product from cheap factories in China or Pakistan. You can tell a cheap brand right away when you hold pads for a heavy kicker because you will feel the impact of the kicks directly on your arm, instead of the pads bearing most of the force.
When it comes to sizes and protection, Fairtex offers 4 different options: Small, Standard, Extra-Thick and Extra Long. Their regular pads are ideal for most pad holders because they offer adequate protection to the forearms that you won’t find in many other pads. Most people buying Fairtex pads will be perfectly fine ordering the regular pads.
The Extra Thick pads are designed for people who are going to be holding pads for bigger, stronger guys at the gym, while the small pads are better for people who like to be more active in their pad holding. If you plan on holding pads for 250 lb guys who can kick hard, you might even consider getting the extra-long pads that provide more thickness and surface area to kick. The downside of the extra thick pads is that they are heavier. However, it is safe to assume that the pad holder is probably going to be strong enough to hold the weight.
The most common sizes that people choose are the small or the regular pads. If you are buying the pads to hold for a few people around your size, pick something that you are going to be comfortable holding. While the thicker pads do offer more protection, it is important to point out that they are very bulky and make it difficult to transition from one position to another. Something who is very big will probably want a bigger set of pads that will fit them better.
The small size pads are better for people who like to combine boxing and kicks together because they allow you to move easier with the smaller size. You will also notice that the small pads only have a single strap in the back of the pads, instead of the dual strap that the other pads have.
The next thing most people will probably look at is the overall design and aesthetics of the pads. If you are going to pay premium money for your pads, you better expect the Thai kick pads to look the part as well. Fortunately, Fairtex has very clean designs that have the premium feel and look.
They keep everything basic and simple, which is something that keeps the overall design consistent and premium. Most of the Thai Kick pads from Fairtex come in two color combinations like black and white, red and black, or yellow and black.
Overall I think Fairtex are one of the best looking Thai Kick pads that you will find on the market. Obviously, this comes down to personal preferences and choice, but I like simple designs that aren’t too flashy.
One of the biggest features of the Fairtex Thai pads is they are very durable. It is rare to see a set of Fairtex pads that have holes in them from over use. While every pad will break down eventually, the quality of leather and stitching of the pads ensures that you have a maximum life rate on these pads.
If you take care of your pads, you should get years of use out of them. The key is to make sure that they don’t stay wet for long periods of time because the moisture can soften the leather making it susceptible to tears. Thailand is probably the worst country for any Muay Thai equipment because the humid weather makes it difficult for equipment to dry.
Taking care of your pads and storing them in a dry, cool place will allow them to get the maximum shelf like that you can get. Since all of the Fairtex Thai Kick pads are made from quality leather and good stitching, there isn’t a difference between Fairtex pads in terms of how long they will last.
The last point that we will look at is the price of Fairtex pads. Because Fairtex is a premium Muay Thai brand, expect to pay more than lower quality brands made in Pakistan and China. Remember if a brand does not advertise Made in Thailand, they are made in Pakistan or China. I get about 5 spam emails every week from Pakistan suppliers trying to offer their manufacturing services of Muay Thai equipment. Needless to say their products are sub standard and I wouldn’t buy them, yet alone sell them.
I know the topic of price is always a sensitive one especially if you don’t have a lot of money. While you may be tempted to opt for a pair of cheap pads found on Amazon, I urge against it. While you don’t necessarily have to buy Fairtex pads (there are other good pads out there) it is important to purchase a quality set of pads above anything else.
While you can look online and buy pads for $50, you are far better off spending double the money and getting a product that you will be happy with. For around $110 bucks you can grab a brand new set of Fairtex pads on Amazon.
Bargain hunters often don’t consider the life span of a product when calculating the price. If you buy a cheaper product that lasts half as long, that cheaper product is essential twice the price because you will have to buy a new set of pads much faster.
In addition to the longer life span of Fairtex Kick pads, you should also consider the extra protection. Unless you purchase another quality brand like Twins or Top King, buying cheap Thai pads can result in getting pads that offer inferior protection.
With all this being said, some people will be more comfortable buying the cheaper brands, and there is nothing wrong with that. As long as you are aware of the pros and cons of the different options available.
Now that we have talked about some of the factors that are important in selecting Thai Kicking pads, we can look at some specific Fairtex models that are available.
List of Fairtex Kick Pads Models
Original Fairtex Kick Pads (KPL2)
The original Fairtex kick pads that have been popular over the past few decades are made without a curve and are straight down. Due to the straight design of the pads, they used to be uncomfortable to hit for the first few months before you ‘broke’ them in. After a few months of kicking the pads, they would start having a natural curve in the center of the pads.
I wouldn’t recommend you purchase the original Fairtex pads because they have come out with much better models since then. However, those of you who are used to the originals are don’t like to waver from tradition, can certainly purchase these pads knowing that they will last you a long time.
As I mentioned above, you can choose up to 4 sizes in the originals from small all the way to extra long. The ideal size will depend on your size and preferences. Remember that bigger is not necessarily better.
Fairtex Curved Kick Pads (KPLC)
Fairtex curved kick pads are a step up from the regular Fairtex pads. The curved shape of the pads ensures that it gives a nice target for kicks to land. The curved pads solve the problem that the straight pads have because you don’t have to break the pads in when you use them.
If you are planning on purchasing a set of Fairtex pads, I would recommend you get a pair of Curved pads. In my opinion, there is a huge difference between the original pads and the curved ones when considering comfort level and the overall fit of the pads.
Fairtex Superior Curved Kick Pads (KPLS)
The last model of kicking pads offered from Fairtex is the Superior Curved Kicking pads. This model has the same build as the regular curved kick pads, with the added addition of premium leather around the straps and sides of the pads.
The addition of more leather makes the price of these pads higher, but it also gives them a higher end feel compared to the regular pads. Other than the added bits of leather, these pads are essentially the same as the other curved pads. They just look and feel a bit more premium.
I would assume they would have the same lifespan as the other models because the stitching and leather is the same in the other parts of the pads. These are ideal for people who want the best in class product offered by Fairtex.
If you go around and do a quick survey from Muay Thai gyms and Pad Holders, you will probably find that 95% would use or recommend Fairtex Muay Thai pads.
In my opinion, the Thai pads offered by Fairtex are the best in class and the strongest line of products that they offer.
You have to realize that these pads were constructed to withstand the strongest of kicks in the world. For this reason they have built a quality product that offers excellent protection, design and quality that lasts. While there are other good options out there (most notably Twins or Top King) in my opinion, Fairtex is still the best you can get.
Make sure you check out our guide to the Best Thai Kick Pads.
I think the biggest knock on Fairtex is the higher cost you will pay for your equipment. However, if you compare the price of Fairtex Kick pads to other brands made in Thailand, you will see the price is very reasonable.