Use any search engine and you will find dozens of different Muay Thai shin guard brands from all over the world claiming to be the best. How then do you pick?
It comes down to taste, how much coverage you want, and depending on how long you have trained, how much protection you really need. Below is a list of various western Muay Thai shin guard brands that have reputations for being the best in the business. Most can easily be found online. If a review peaks your interest, look the shin guard brand up and try them out. Like most people who have trained, you might find one brand you love or even a few different brands that you can start a collection with…if that’s your thing ;).
Muay Thai Shin Guards from Ring To Cage
A relative newcomer to the game, Ring To Cage is a western company based in New Jersey. They came about in the era of Mixed Martial Arts but have quickly grown to be a viable alternative to the older brands associated with traditional Muay Thai. They have a style for everyone, from the pure striker to those that need shin protection while engaging in MMA. Their Muay Thai lines come in a variety of graphics and a few color choices, similar to their counterparts in Thailand.
Muay Thai Shin Guards from Venum
Venum is another western Muay Thai shin guard brand that came out of the MMA era and expanded to include products similar to Thai standards. Their designs have evolved over the years before settling on a style that most Muay Thai practitioners really like. Prices vary but for the most part the design is similar, leaving you to decide how much protection you want to pay for. Again, that will depend on what your goals are and how “real” you want your training experience to be. Venum mostly has dual straps that attach to themselves by velcro in the back. This is an older type of attaching system that some brands have abandoned for the strap that loops through an opening on the side. Some people like this, some people really don’t.
Muay Thai Shin Guards from Booster
A more recent addition to gear here in the states, Booster is a Belgian company that is rapidly becoming popular with gyms that have athletes sponsored by the company. This has helped the company go from relative obscurity to being seen on a number of shows promoting organizations such as the UFC and Glory. They also have numerous styles and various prices to fit almost anyone’s needs.
Muay Thai Shin Guards from Hayabusa
Finally, Hayabusa is another company that provides excellent protection and designs that people really seem to like. Hayabusa has multiple shin guard styles at various prices to fit their customers’ individual needs, much like the other western companies described above. One innovative design that seems like it would be a great idea (I have no personal experience with it myself) is the Mirai style, featuring the “patented Boa Closure System providing a smooth, powerful closure and easy, one-handed micro-adjustments for optimal fit and comfort” (see here).
I personally have a pair of Tokushu style that have served me pretty well. They do have a few minor drawbacks. The metal on the strap loop isn’t a big deal, but it’s still metal and a potential hazard. The flange on the outer part of the leg is also a minor bug for me, but I haven’t heard too much about it being an issue for others. Even though these are minor issues, for the price (comparable to the cost of Top King + shipping) I would rather have no issues. Regardless, with all the new styles available (including a version similar to the now somewhat standard shell and heavy foot cover), you should be able to find one that fits you.
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