Muay Thai – Top Shin Guards

The art of 8 limbs is definitely a rough undertaking. While primarily built around kicks, this weapon can do some serious damage if it lands. Imagine being struck by a baseball bat repeatedly to the arms, body, legs and potentially your head. Not exactly a good time. However, what is actually worse is how you defend against that kick. Checking. The fine art of blocking an opponents shin with…well…your shin. Initially this will be excruciating. Not only for you but more so your opponent. As painful as this can be it is the most effective way to stop a kick from striking vital points on your body like the ribs, liver or head. With that being said, it takes a great deal of reflexes to consistently check kicks. Some Nak Muay are incredibly fast at throwing their legs and build their game plans around simply kicking their opponents into submission. The only way to build those reflexes are to drill, drill and drill some more. Drilling checks, bare shin however will last about 10 seconds before your shins will be in agony and training will cease until they heal.  So in order to rep this essential skill you will need a good pair of shin guards. Before we get into our top picks, here are a few things you should take into account first. Shin gaurds are essential for any Nak Muay. If you haven’t already, have a look at our previous blog: “Taking up Muay Thai? Here’s what you’ll need.”


The first thing you will need to know is how to size your shin guards. Typically they are measured around the thickets part of your calf or by your weight class. However you will have to look at the individual companies sizing chart to determine what measurement equals what size.

Second, ensure they have an instep protector.  An instep protector is the portion of the guard that covers the top of your foot. The reason I recommend this is that as a new Nak Muay your accuracy/control will not be developed yet and kicking someone’s elbow accidentally, can cause injury, bruising and ultimately a cease to training. It will happen eventually, so you might as well be protected.

Finally, buy a pair with thicker padding. Do not buy competition style cloth shin guards. They do very little in the terms of protection, and are used in Amateur competitions because they are closest thing to not wearing shin guards at all. These will not be effective for training purposes or a high level of repetition.

Shin protection is key to being able to effectively train Muay Thai consistently. Kicks are always being thrown whether to the legs, body or head and you want to keep yourself and your training partner in good health in order to develop these essential skills.

Top Picks

Fairtex SP5 Competition Shin Gaurds


After what we just said, do not take the word “competition” to heart. These are not actual competition style shin guards as far as I have seen. Either way I have never had any issues wearing these in training and checking hard kicks. They are made of Syntek leather and have a double layered foam core for superior protection. With a sleek design these shin guards feature an “open” system which means no stitching between the shin and the instep to avoid discomfort. They are a snug fit and have extended sides for extra calf protection. Fairtex has been in the Muay Thai game for years, so it is expected that they would provide the highest level of protective equipment for Nak Muay. Either way these shin guards are perfect for training and should be considered as a contender when making your purchase.

Twins Special Leather Muay Thai Shin Guards


Twins is another reputable company for supplying Muay Thai gear. They have been around for decades and were providing Nak Muay with equipment within Thailand long before the company was actually named “Twins”. These Shin guards are made of genuine leather and are extremely tough. They provide probably the highest level of protection in a shin guard I have seen to date, However you will notice, they are somewhat bulky so please ensure that you select the right size if you decide to purchase these. All in all an excellent and extremely popular shin guard for new and seasoned Nak Muay, which are built to last.

Top King Muay Thai Shin Guards


Another top provider of Muay Thai equipment, Top King gear is not only tough and durable but stands apart in looks as well. The shin guards can probably be seen in almost any gym you visit being worn my someone. They have a very dense foam core providing ample protection as well as having excellent leg coverage.  Not only that, they are a very sleek fit and do not feel bulky whatsoever. As an added bonus Top King’s product line looks fantastic and have a flashier look to them for those that want to stand out a bit more in the gym. All in all if you have any doubts about shin guards, these will not disappoint you in any shape of form and are highly recommended.

In Closing

All of the above Shin guards of the highest quality and well known within the Muay Thai world. Whether training in your native country or in Thailand; the birth place of Muay Thai, you will witness either trainers or practitioners using these brands of shin guards. I must stress the importance of purchasing a good pair from a reputable company and protecting your shins. If you have questions about what to buy, price range etc. email us, or better yet ask some experienced Nak Muay at your gym what they’ve used or currently use. Ask for advice if you are unsure. There are loads of great products out there, however it is up to you as to what you decided to wear. Either way, make sure you check those kicks and kick back hard.

Scotty Mac

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