Muay Thai came off the battlefield and became a sport in the 19th century. Then, in the 20th century, the traditional martial art came into contact with western boxing and adopted many aspects, including equipment like boxing gloves and shorts.
The Thais quickly transformed the boring one-color shorts into something completely new with exciting designs, loud colors, and graphics.
Today, Muay Thai shorts are even widely sold as a souvenir. Still, we are here as fighters and want to help you choose Muay Thai shorts to let you practice the art of 8 limbs without discomfort.
There are plenty of brands and models and quite a few subtleties you need to know before choosing the right pair of shorts, so let's get going.
Best Muay Thai Shorts
Best Muay Thai Shorts For Big Guys
Best Muay Thai Shorts For Beginners
High-quality satin blend with a dry-fit textile
Best Muay Thai Shorts
Yokkao is a relatively new brand, starting in 2011. Still, in this short time, they have pushed the boundaries of Muay Thai gear more than anyone else. The CarbonFit shorts emerged in 2012 and revolutionized the market with carbon panels on the sides and contemporary cut design.
The CarbonFit shorts resolve traditional shorts' problems, like being too wide or too long. The current version of the shorts does not have the carbon sides visually. Still, they maintain their stellar design and fit, optimized for the best gym and fight night performance.
Another area where Yokkao laps the competition is their fabric. It is a blend of classic satin with added dry fit material for much better sweat-wicking properties. The visual designs are very diverse. Ranging from outright crazy designs through bold colors to more minimalistic designs, there is something for every taste.
Where most Thai-made shorts are a nightmare to pick the right size for westerners, Yokkao runs true to size and has hands down the best sizing instruction on their website. That takes you through a few steps that guarantee you will take the correct size.
When you weigh all these things, the Yokkao Carbon Fit shorts win our top spot as the best Muay Thai shorts.
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Yokkao CarbonFit Shorts
Best Muay Thai Shorts For Big Guys
Their Muay Thai kickboxing shorts range to waist 45" and run true to American sizing. These shorts not only come in sizes for monsters but are also of high quality and reasonably priced.
The Anthem Muay Thai shorts have a 4-inch waistband, aggressive side slits for unrestricted high kicks, and high-quality micro-fiber material. All of this is at an excellent price, which makes it a tremendous price-to-value offering.
There are many color options, but they all have a minimalist design, which is not very "Thai."
Best Muay Thai Shorts For Women
Muay Thai shorts are unisex. There are no specific model details for the ladies, only visual designs and color schemes that are feminine. Muay Thai shorts are flashy and colorful.
Some with floral designs are popular among female warriors who want to emphasize their tender nature while breaking skulls with their elbows. Venum, Fluory, Yokkao, and other brands have colors and graphics that are visibly designed for ladies.
For example, the Yokkao Snake CarbonFit shorts below.
Yokkao Snake CarbonFit Shorts
Best Venum Muay Thai Shorts
Venum offers several models, but we'll focus on their most popular traditional Muay Thai shorts. They are handmade from 100% polyester in Thailand. The design is classic, with a wide waistband and mid-cut legs. Visually, they sport the famous snake head of Venum as well as some tribal figures, which are very popular in Thai-style shorts.
Despite being a western brand, these shorts are made in Thailand and suffer the same fate as most other shorts made there—they run too small.
Best Fairtex Muay Thai Shorts
Fairtex is one of the most respected Muay Thai brands, and their shorts can be seen very commonly in gyms and the ring. Their traditional shorts have a wide leg opening and are suitable for bigger guys. They also have more fitted retro styles, which are also very good.
Fairtex always makes quality products, and these shorts are no exception. Produced from high-quality satin, they offer everything you expect from premium traditional shorts.
Their designs are also well received, but to be honest, they are a bit dull compared to some of the others. But if you want genuinely classic, high-quality shorts both in design and aesthetics, Fairtex has you covered.
As is often the case with Muay Thai shorts, you should size up.
Best Muay Thai Shorts for beginners
Muay Thai shorts are not reserved for fighters. Anyone can wear them on their first day of training. But you may not want to invest much in your first pair of shorts, which is where brands like Fluory come in.
They offer good quality Muay Thai shorts made from polyester that has an authentic satin feel and is light, tear-resistant, and sweat-wicking. It is clearly visible that all of their designs come from established brands like Top King and Fairtex but at a fraction of the price.
With more than a thousand positive reviews on Amazon, the Fluory shorts are a solid first choice for any beginner. As with many other brands, check the sizing table, the customer reviews, and order at least one size up from the table.
Best Hayabusa Muay Thai Shorts
Although a predominately MMA brand, Hayabusa also ventured into boxing and Muay Thai. Their Falcon Muay Thai shorts are traditional Thai-style shorts with the pretty falcon logo on one side and a Thai tribal sign on the other.
The Hayabusa shorts are a classic mid-thigh height, with a wide elastic waistband and a drawstring. Like all Hayabusa products, the materials are superb, high-quality performance satin that feels and looks premium.
For a change, the Hayabusa shorts do not run small like most others but are a bit large. Given their already wide leg openings, this may be a problem for skinnier dudes.
Best Lumpinee Muay Thai Shorts
Lumpinee Retro Shorts are another "retro" shorts that are becoming more commonly used nowadays than traditional shorts. The extra wide side slits and different materials used there are inspired by Yokkao's CarbonFit technology, which is the most popular today.
Lumpinee shorts are handmade in Thailand from the highest quality satin that is light and tear-resistant. The design allows for a full range of motion and has a lot of models with different colorings and designs. This model features some of their most creative designs with camo pixels integrated into the overall retro design, making them stand out.
Sizes range from kids to heavier and bigger guys. Don't pick your usual size; consult the size table after taking measurements.
How To Choose The Best Muay Thai Shorts For You
Size & Fit
The most challenging part of choosing Muay Thai shorts is the sizing. Especially if you are a westerner, which most of the people reading this review will be, the sizing tables for Thai shorts can look confusing and intimidating.
Thai people are naturally more petite, and the sizing is catered to them. This means an American that is a lightweight and usually wears a size small or medium will have to go for extra-large or even further when buying Muay Thai shorts.
Thai shorts run small, and you should always take that into account. Another thing is that different manufacturers and models have different widths. Some are too tight around the waist, others are too tight around the legs, and others are too short in length.
Ordering online can be a nightmare, and it's perfect if you have access to a real shop, at least to try a few brands out and then shop online to get a better price.
Western brands like Venum and Hayabusa have much more standard sizing and are usually true to size, so with them, you can go with your normal size most of the time.
But there are no standards across the board. So the best advice I can give you is to measure carefully, follow the sizing tables of each manufacturer, and always read customer reviews. Very often, they are the key to unlocking the sizing table.
There are two major types of materials used in Muay Thai shorts. The most commonly used material among good-quality shorts is satin. Satin is light, comfortable (it does not stick to the skin when wet, so you can kick and move freely), and highly durable.
When you have to get rid of a pair of shorts, it's usually because of the straps or because you've grown tired of them, not because the fabric is torn.
Cheaper Muay Thai shorts are made from nylon. There are some very cheap nylon shorts, but to be honest, they are only good as a souvenir, not for actual training.
You can find thicker and better nylon shorts that are decent enough for everyday training. The significant advantage is that they are much cheaper than satin shorts.
There are two main designs of Muay Thai shorts. Traditional, also called classic look, and retro design. The classic shorts have a wide waistband and usually end somewhere mid-thigh.
The waistband is much like in boxing shorts and, in theory, should help cushion the impact (I personally think this is ridiculous, no fabric band will soften a properly thrown Thai-style roundhouse). Still, many fighters roll the waistband down, and the shorts become shorter.
The retro-style models have a much narrower waistband. They are shorter and narrower as a whole, which makes them very popular nowadays. The leg openings on retro shorts are also narrower and look better than some of the "parachute" looking traditional shorts.
The aesthetics of Muay Thai shorts make many people love them and make others hate them. No other fight apparel has as many crazy, loud, and flashy designs.
If you spend more than ten minutes online shopping, you will notice that many brands have identical designs. This is because they are likely made in the same factory in Thailand. The choice of colors and design is ultimately yours. The diversity is stunning, so you will surely find something to your taste.
Frequently Asked Muay Thai Shorts Questions
What Is The Best Brand Of Muay Thai Shorts?
No brand can be called the best. Many brands produce great shorts, and the best is not the same for different people.
With that said, I believe Yokkao is the premier Muay Thai brand today. Where others still create high-quality products but remain lazy in coming up with new ideas, Yokkao is constantly pushing the industry boundaries in quality, innovation, and aesthetics.
The CarbonFit Muay Thai shorts they introduced in 2012 became the new norm and are still the best product on the market in their current version.
Is It Disrespectful To Wear Muay Thai Shorts?
No, anyone can wear Muay Thai shorts. They have even made an appearance on fashion stages and are worn by celebrities who probably don't have a single day in a gym. The opinions on this are mixed, and I, for one, don't like it one bit, but it's not disrespectful.
Can Beginners Wear Muay Thai Shorts?
Anyone can wear Muay Thai shorts in the gym. Even kids on their first day of training wear them. There is no particular level you must first reach before you are allowed to wear Muay Thai shorts. There is no belt or formal ranking system, so anyone can wear shorts in any color.
However, the shorts' color has symbolism in the stadiums in Thailand. They are a part of the culture where, for example, the favorite is always in the red corner and wears red or pink shorts, while the underdog is in the blue corner.
For once, pink shorts are usually worn by the highest-class Thai fighters. But these traditions are rarely followed today, even in Thailand.
Should You Size Up Muay Thai Shorts?
In most cases, yes. Thai sizes are much smaller than western sizes, so you must often size up more than once. But always consult the size table and the customer reviews before ordering.
Are Muay Thai Shorts Comfortable?
Muay Thai shorts are comfortable, and the whole point is to be able to move and kick without any restrictions. The choice of satin as the primary material for Thai shorts was made so that shorts are light and do not stick to the skin even when you are very sweaty.
You can find it hard to choose with that much variety on the market. But if you want to buy the best Muay Thai shorts, I strongly recommend trusting Yokkao. They have earned the reputation as the best manufacturer for a reason. If the higher price puts you off, look through the other offerings on this list, I am sure you will find what you are looking for.
Yokkao CarbonFit Shorts