Product Review: Fairtex Competition Shin Guards

Fairtex Competition Shinpads

Reviewed By: AJ Hoffman
Aug. 01, 2011

Disclosure: I bought this product from www.muaythai-fighting.com.

When I started training standup, I had a pair of shin guards, from a manufacturer that will remain nameless. They were basically useless. I wasn’t comfortable checking kicks. I wasn’t comfortable throwing kicks. They offered very light protection on the rare occasion that they would stay in place on my legs. I decided I needed to go out and pay more than $25 and get something that would actually protect my legs so I could concentrate less on the pads and more on training in pads. I asked around and most people said Fairtex would offer maximum protection. I shopped around for these pads and found the best price at muaythai-fighting.com. I was able to get them for $55.95 plus $24 shipping from Thailand. Fairtex offered the same pads on their website for $79.95 plus shipping. The choice was pretty easy for me.

Features The pads feature a stitching free system between the shin protector and the foot protector that prevents the pressing of stitching on your foot that cause injury and discomfort. There is no metal loop and they are allowed by major events to be used in amateur competition. The pads are constructed of Fairtex durable Syntek Leather with double layers of high impact foam core. There is soft piping on the turn-up foot protector to avoid foot irritation and a durable cotton stretch jean lining to prevent slipping.

[rating:5]


Quality The first thing I noticed when I opened the package was that the shin pads were beautiful. They also looked extremely comfortable. I strapped them on for my first session, curious as to how they would compare to my last pads. The differences were immeasurable. I absorbed kicks a lot better, even when I didn’t check them properly. I was much more comfortable throwing kicks of my own knowing that it wasn’t going to hurt me as it would my sparring partner. I felt like my entire leg was protected. The most noticeable difference though was I never need to adjust them. I can go 3 or 4 rounds without even re-tightening the straps. My feet never slipped out of the stirrups. I had a training partner mention that it looked like it would be tough use these should I get taken down, and because they are a lot bigger than my other pads, I had the same concern. They weren’t nearly as bad as you would think. While it’s unlikely you will be able to pull off too many triangles while wearing them, they give you a lot more freedom to move around than they look like. (Side note: the concerned training partner has since bought a pair of these for himself.) I have used these pads for going on 9 months and nothing has changed. There is no ripping or stretching to speak of, and the pads still look pretty new. I honestly don’t have a negative thing to say about the construction of these pads. My one complaint is that when I ordered these they had to be “made to order” in my size, which took an extra 3-8 weeks. They took the full 8 weeks.

[rating:5]


Value As I mentioned in the intro, I bought these from a site where I found them cheaper than the manufacturers. Shipping is not cheap either way, as every place I found these (at least at the time) shipped from Thailand. The site I found had the pads for about $25 cheaper than Fairtex offered, and looking at it now, the bargain seems unreal. Had I payed the full price I don’t think I would compain. I would have gladly forked over $100 for these things and felt like they were completely worth it. At the price I paid, they were a steal.

[rating:5]


Summary

These are honestly the best piece of training equipment that I own. If you are in the market for shin pads I could not give a more glowing recommendation. In fact, if you think you aren’t in the market for shin pads, but the ones you have leave you bruised up or just aren’t holding up to the level of striking you are doing, I would give these a serious look.


PROS CONS
  • Superior padding and protection. Absorbs impact incredibly both offensively and defensively.
  • No need for adjustment, even during hard sparring. The pads stay securely strapped to your shin even under heavy use.
  • Incredible value for the price.
  • Shipping from Thailand is pretty expensive.
  • While it may have been an issue with the site more than the product, it was annoying to have to wait 8 weeks for my pads to ship so they could make my size.
  • If you are a fighter, you probably want to toughen your legs up a little to prepare you for kicking and being kicked without protection. These pads may actually provide TOO much comfort and protection to prepare you for life without them.

Overall [rating:5] 5 Stars