Hey you, I’m glad to have you here. If you’ve been here before, you already how much I love everything related to Muay Thai. If not, I’m even more excited to share God’s gift to martial arts with you.
If you’ve been interested in Muay Thai for a while, you’ll probably have noticed something: not many people use knee strikes. That’s because they are incredibly dangerous.
It’s not something for Nak Muay who don’t know exactly what they are doing. Knee strikes can lead to cuts, dislocations, ligament tears, etc. So whenever you perform a knee strike, you need a knee pad.
In this article, you’ll learn about why you need Muay Thai knee pads, what to consider when buying Muay Thai knee pads, and the 5 best knee pads for Muay Thai.
In a hurry?
If you don’t have much time check the table below to quickly find the best Muay Thai knee pads for you on Amazon. You can be assured I only choose the best products…
Last update on 2023-06-01
Why You Need Knee Pads for Muay Thai
For the longest time, it did not occur to me that I needed knee pads for Muay Thai but when I took things to the next level, I had to use them. Here’s why:
- Self-protection: It should be no news to you that Muay Thai is an incredibly intense and potentially deadly sport, especially if you’re integrating knee strikes into your routine.
But it isn’t only dangerous for your opponent. In the heat of the moment, you will sustain an injury if you use a knee strike seriously.
The only question is whether it’ll be a minor laceration or an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament tear) which may put you down for months and require surgery.
- Partner-protection: I assume you’re practicing with a fellow Nak Muay because you either like the dude or think he/she has something to teach you. Well, that Nak Muay would teach better if you didn’t break their skull or put a gash in their head.
Remember, Muay Thai was invented to be used in wars. Those things can and will happen if you are not careful. Knee pads help to protect your partner too.
- Performance: To become the best, you need to do your best; to do your best, you need to be at your best. Knee pads are designed to stabilize your knees and provide you with as much comfort as possible.
Not only do Muay Thai knee pads protect you, but they also make you a better athlete. But that only happens if you buy the right knee pads.
Things To Consider When Buying Muay Thai Knee Pads
- Fit: My coach always says “if it doesn’t fit right, it doesn’t work right” and that is the truth. If your Muay Thai knee pads aren’t the right size, they are a waste of money. Ideally, you should try them out at purchase. When that is not an option, you can always measure your knees and compare what you get to the measurements for the item on its webpage. If it is less than an inch off, you’re good to go.
- Straps: Unless you are the knee model used to manufacture the pads (and if you are, congratulations dude, you’re winning), you might need to adjust them a teeny tiny bit. Hence, the need for straps. The best straps are ones that are just above and below the knee; they allow you to make adjustments that are more specific than what a single strap in the middle could do. The best material for straps is Velcro or elastic. If you use metal or plastic fasteners, they could potentially injure you or your opponent. Even if they don’t, they are pretty uncomfortable to wear for long periods.
- Cap: By cap, I mean the pointy bit of padding in front of your knee. Knee pads have a lot of uses in different sports and professions and each of them needs something different from their knee pads. For Muay Thai, your knee pads should be hex pads. They are called that because they have a hexagonal or honeycomb structure. That is important because it breaks up the force bit by bit as it travels through each chamber.
It’s only really important for activities where you will be purposefully slamming your knees against structures potentially as hard as bone or concrete (i.e when you fall onto your knees).
Product Review: The 5 Best Knee Pads for Muay Thai
That’s a lot to take in and apply at once. No worries though, here’s a list of my knee pad recommendations to get you started.
1. Venum Contact Gel Knee Pads
If you’ve ever bought Muay Thai gear before, this is not the first time you’re coming across the Venum brand. So of course you know there’s an awesome cobra head right in front.
Cool design aside, the unique selling point of these knee pads is in their name: the contact gel. If knee pads are for shock absorption, then this is THE knee pad. Its outer coating is made of 75% neoprene with 25% gel rubber.
This is the perfect combination to protect you from injury. Somehow, it manages to do this while you forget it’s even on and that’s probably because it’s made of ultra-lightweight fabric. Heck, it weighs less than half a pound.
As such, it makes you feel lighter and faster. Another reason it can do this is that it has a bunch of well-spaced ventilation pockets so it doesn’t end up reeking of sweat after your workout.
It comes in black and red which lets you look as cool as possible. As expected, they come in medium size so they will most likely fit you.
All in all, the best use of these pads is for someone who’s had knee injuries from hitting someone in the past. I haven’t seen any Muay Thai knee pads that offered better protection.
2. Bodyprox Protective Knee Pads
The unique selling point of Bodyprox’s protective knee pads is the amazing flexibility and range of motion they offer and everything can be traced back to the fact that its composition is 45% polyester, 25% rubber, and 30% Eva.
The rubber allows it to change its shape to perfectly adjust to the size of your knees. The polyester makes the knee pads incredibly light, unobtrusive, and elastic so they keep you flexible.
Meanwhile, the Eva (a high-tech type of plastic) is another material known to be quite elastic.
Add on the fact that the knee pads are specifically made from compression material (which stabilizes the joint) and it’s clear to see that they are a great deal.
Unlike the Venums, they have small and large sizes so you won’t have too much trouble finding the right fit. It’s also lined with premium quality foam, which has exceptional absorptive properties.
The foam is also very high density and that protects your partner from injuries. That being said, its best use is for people who already have stiff knee joints and need something to get them back in the game.
These pads will make you as flexible as any knee pads possibly could.
3. McDavid Knee Pads
These Muay Thai knee pads stand at the pinnacle of durability and that is no surprise when you find out what exactly they are made of.
These knee pads are completely latex-free and instead rely on Sorbothane viscoelastic gel. This gel makes the pads capable of taking heavy amounts of damage and also contributes to the immense shock absorption properties of these pads.
They only come in black but make up for that by adding extra padding for impact absorption on top of the Sorbothane gel. The durability is reinforced by the ultra-strong nylon coating that goes all the way around it.
It also contains a neoprene coating that, among other things, provides the right kind of heat to your knee, keeping them warm and springy before your workout even starts.
The design is also nothing to scoff at as it’s carefully shaped to fit the knee of the average user using a unique anatomical design system. The look is also pretty fashionable all things considered with the perfect blend of black and red.
The variety is nothing to scoff at and it comes in 6 different variations with increasing levels of protection.
Overall, its best use case is for people who want Muay Thai knee pads that won’t wear out with heavy usage.
4. Shinestone Knee Pads
The unique selling point of the Shinestone knee pads is their focus on joint stabilization. It’s one thing to protect against direct hits, it’s another to protect against the kinds of stretches that can occur during Muay Thai training.
Thanks to their ultra-compression, 3D knitting technology, my joints felt extra stable no matter what position I assumed.
Its kneecap padding also felt better suited for falls. These Muay Thai knee pads are made from anti-slip silicone so I never had to worry about them slipping off with prolonged use.
Better yet, they are made from a mix of bamboo charcoal material and nylon. This combination is very breathable and I was genuinely surprised by how well-aerated they felt.
They also contain spandex which allows them to exert a constant pressure of 13-20mmHg at all times. This feature makes sure that your knees remain comfortable; it feels like you are receiving a massage from the knee pads.
These pads are double-lined which gives them a premium feel and ensures that they keep your knees cool when you get hot and keep your knees warm when you are cold.
These knee pads are best suited for people who fall a lot because they protect against them far better than they do against human-to-human hits.
5. Mclako Knee Pads
I had never heard of Mclako before but if this is how they make all their products, I’ll be looking out for them in the future because these knee pads have a good mix of everything.
The unique selling point of the Mclako knee pads is their sheer versatility. When wearing these, I felt like I had the best of both worlds.
What do I mean? The other Muay Thai knee pads do one thing excellently and everything else, decently but the Mclako pads do everything very well.
Using the ergonomic design of their extra thick foam, they can gently nudge your knees into the safest position. The polyester material is particularly comfortable because of how elastic it feels.
It complements the sponge material which contains air pockets that make the knee pads very breathable without compromising on safety.
Meanwhile, they have a beam-mouth design that is very effective at reducing slippage. The design is awesome too because these pads look and feel premium.
They also come in black, black with white, blue, and pink. They come in small, medium, and large sizes so there’s something for everyone.
I advise you get these pads if you aren’t sure what exactly you want or want knee pads that do everything well.
In conclusion, you now know everything you need to know about knee pads. Get some before you start doing knee strikes. Good luck and stay safe.
Last Updated on June 17, 2022 by Deni