Top King shin guards are sold in the UK. Been doing Thai Boxing or MMA for a while? If so, you will no doubt be aware of how much it hurts to clash shins with someone in sparring. Never trained Muay Thai or MMA before? Take my word for it, it hurts like hell. Don’t get me wrong, after a while of training, and with numerous shin clashes under your belt, the shins get tougher and the pain becomes bearable. Those already competing in full contact Thai fights, or considering it will definitely have to get used to the pain if they want success. However, it’s still something you don’t want to experience every time you go training and do some sparring. That’s where shin guards come in.
Shin pads do a great job of protecting the shin bone and front foot from heavy impact. The cushioning takes most of the power out of the strike and makes the blow much more tolerable. One thing to be aware of though, and this is mainly regarding the cheaper pairs, it a lot of the time after an exchange of low kicks, or a successful block from a low kick attack, the shin guard will be turned to the side and won’t actually be in front the shin anymore. This will see you constantly moving it back into place to ensure its protecting the front of the leg and not the side. Needless to say, If you don’t re-adjust the padding the shin is no longer protected.
This is an issue with the cheaper pairs that have a big fat block of padding at the front and nothing at the sides. If you spend a bit more money on some RDX, Valour Strike (both cheap but good), Fairtex (Excellent), and of course, Top King (Pictured), this issue happens far less frequent. If at all, as these pairs, which are mostly velcro fastening, cover the front and side of the shin and foot. The padding is thinner but offers much better protection by covering a lot more area.
If you’re just starting out, or more experienced and on a tight budget, I would recommend the cheaper pairs from RDX and Valour Strike as they will serve you well. If you want the best quality and know that you are in Thai Boxing (or MMA) to stay it has to be either Fairtex or Top King. Both brands are made in Thailand (almost always handmade) and produce top quality products. Their shin pads are always made from high quality leathers and really are top-notch. They also offer a massive range of different colours and designs, from red, white, black, multi-coloured and even snake-skin ( not real snake skin!).
They are expensive but definitely worth the money outlay. Some people are suspicious of people selling them in the UK because there are a few fakes flying around, but there are genuine resellers who import them to England directly from Thailand. So not to worry, just read some of the customer reviews beforehand. Other names well worth checking out if you’re after the best are Sandee and Twins. Venom Elite are worth a mention too. Looking for shorts, check out the Lumpinee range.