Do you want to train boxing at specific parts of the body instead of a lifeless heavy bag? These are the best boxing body protectors to help you do that!
Combat sports like MMA, Muay Thai and boxing require quality training gear and equipment. Investing in high-quality protective gear pays off in the long run since there is a lot of physical contact in the form of punches and kicks.
Coaches and trainers should go for body protectors that can help dissipate the shocks from strikes to the highest degree. A body protector is one of the most underrated pieces of gear but it is very important for a trainer or pad holder. The trainer should be adequately protected during training sessions where knee strikes, kicks, and punches are being practiced.
The most important aspect of a body protector is to see whether it has sufficient padding or not, especially in the midsection. It should feel comfortable so that the trainer can remain focused for longer sessions. Most body protectors have padding on the side as well to protect the ribs and organs.
The securing is done either by a velcro strap or a buckle strap. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Velcro is easy to take on and off but can wear out quickly. The buckle strap is a little more time consuming but will last longer.
For material, cowhide leather is best. Genuine leather products are becoming increasingly rare and are being replaced by synthetic leather.
The beautiful thing about body protectors is that they allow you to practice aiming your hits at specific areas of the body. This is not possible with a heavy bag where you will need to rely on your imagination to envision where the punches are landing. With a body protector, you will always be able to see where your punches are landing and continually improve accuracy.
Trainers usually combine focus mitts with body protectors to simulate a real fight scenario without having to spar.
Best Boxing Body Protectors & Pads For Training
1. Fairtex Leather Rib Guard
The Fairtex Leather Belly Pad is built to handle kicks, elbows, and knees. It is extremely lightweight and can offer very good protection against heavy hitters.
One of its best features is the velcro hook and loop closure on the rear. This makes it much easier to handle with gloves on. The strap can also be adjusted to fit securely on any waistline. The punch target on the belly pad is anatomically correct but Fairtex could have been a little more generous with the midsection.
The Fairtex Belly Pad is made of premium quality leather. Like all Fairtex products, it is handmade in Thailand. The padding at the core uses multi-layered foam for extra protection. Coaches of Muay Thai, MMA, and other combat sports will find this gear very useful.
The belly pad cannot protect against shot-gun jab to the chest, however. Its lightweight characteristic comes from the fact that it is not a full-body protector but a stripped-down “midsection shield”. You should keep this in mind when making your decision.
The product is available in black/blue, black/red and black/white color schemes. The black/blue is the cheapest while the black/red is the most expensive of the three.
2. TITLE Gel Body Protector
The TITLE Gel Body Protector is a protective and sturdy model at a very affordable price. The padding is thick, with a half-inch thick layer of gel targeting zones and three inches of multilayer foam padding to protect the wearer. The spleen, liver and stomach areas are heavily padded while you may feel some of the impact from shots that are targeted towards the solar plexus and upper chest. The shock absorption is still pretty good overall and TITLE might improve it in later products.
The body protector is quite bulky and heavy. The adjustable shoulder and back strap system are made of nylon so it is pretty durable. TITLE has installed target areas, but they are intended more so for added protection than precision punching. The “striking zones” are too broad to be much of a challenge.
It can feel pretty annoying to wear equipment filled with somebody else’s sweat. This is why the moisture-wicking inner liner is noteworthy. You can have a relatively dry gear every time.
3. RDX TKD Chest Guard
The RDX TKD Chest Guard can be the perfect body protector if you are on a tight budget. Since this is an RDX product, the quality could have been better but it is still pretty hard to beat at such a low price.
RDX is one of the few brands that can pull this off because of its brand value in the market. They have gained this reputation by consistently producing high-quality boxing gear that is superior to other brands. Their gear is used by many professional fighters in the biggest tournaments in the last few decades.
The level of care that RDX puts into the design and construction of its products can be found in the TKD Chest Guard too. It is made of RDX patented Maya Hide leather with triple stitching for increased durability. The shock-absorbent padding is 24mm thick keeping the wearer well protected. It can be fastened at the back for a more secure fit.
The unique design gives the wearer freedom of movement. The wearer can mimic realistic positions of an opponent so it is perfect for focus mitts sessions. With the help of your coach can use numerical order to refer to the targeting regions. Your coach can say 1,2,3 and you can then practice a particular combo.
This body protector has a reversible design so you can wear either red or blue color.
4. Fairtex Muay Thai Trainer’s Protective Vest
The Fairtex Muay Thai Trainer’s Protective Vest is a high-quality body protector that is suitable for Muay Thai, boxing and MMA. You should note that the padding is not thick enough to absorb high powered kicks, especially from the shin.
The Fairtex vest is more suitable for practicing knee kicks, punches, jabs, hooks, and combination drills. To train kicks, the Fairtex belly pad mentioned before is more suitable because of the thick padding although it has a smaller target area.
The surface of this protective vest is large covering a big portion of the upper body, Strikes can be safely targeted at otherwise vulnerable parts of the torso like the solar plexus, kidney, and liver. This is an advantage over smaller body protectors like the belly pad where a poorly aimed shot can hit the wearer.
Like all of Fairtex products, their body protector is high quality and is handmade in Thailand. While most of Fairtex products are made of genuine leather, this vest is made of synthetic leather so it might not be as durable. But this should not be a cause of worry because a vast majority of body protectors on the market use synthetic leather without a significant decrease in durability.
However, The large surface does not hinder the wearer’s ability to move. This is because it fits very close to the chest and the padding is made of lightweight foam. White targets have been dotted around the pads which can help beginners to strike more accurately.
5. Ringside Gel Shock Super Body Protector
The Ringside Gel Shock Super Body Protector is a very well designed protective shield from a brand that has a reputation for quality boxing gear. It is made of durable synthetic leather that can endure countless training sessions without showing signs of wear.
The gel padding is shock absorbent providing ample protection to the wearer. Trainers can wear this body protector for long sessions without feeling pain. A large portion of the upper body is covered including both sides of the abdomen and up to the top of the chest. This, when combined with focus mitts allows for uninhibited strikes from different angles at different height levels.
The design includes three dots towards the bottom end of the vest, which are meant to serve as targets. Trainees, especially beginners can improve the accuracy of their strikes with the help of the dots. The target areas are slightly more padded for added protection.
6. Ringside Cleto Reyes Coaching Body Protector
Cleto Reyes has almost 100 years of experience producing high-quality boxing gear. The Ringside Cleto Reyes Coaching Body Protector is the most expensive body protector on this list and there are quite a few justifications for its high price tag.
Cleto Reyes gloves have been used in many world championship fights in the last few decades. All-round genuine leather has been used which is more expensive and durable than synthetic leather.
The wearer’s mobility is not hindered in any way because of the way the body protector has been designed. The coach or trainer can move and use focus mitts freely while wearing it. Fluid and natural training experience with an authentic simulation of real fight motions are possible.
The design includes 3 targeting zones around the vest which can allow you to practice specific strike combinations with your coach’s guidance. It is only available in a black and white color scheme.
7. Contender Fight Sports Body Protector
Contender is not as well known as Fairtex or Ringside but their body protector is quite popular. The padding is very well done. Many MMA and Muay Thai trainers use this body protector when getting their fighters to incorporate kicks into their combos. If you are a boxing trainer, you need not worry about being on the receiving end of a heavy hitter workout.
Surprisingly, the thick padding does not add to the weight. The three-pound body protector allows the wearer to move freely and keep it on for longer without difficulty.
The strap at the back has quick-release buckles that are pretty convenient. The vest can be easily taken on and off which is not the case with a lot of cheaper body protectors.
You may find the body portion covered to be insufficient though. The upper chest remains exposed limiting the strike combinations that you can practice. Depending on the height of the wearer, the top of the protector could cover the wearer’s pecs. The affordable price tag still makes the Contender Fight Sports Body Protector a worthy buy for the right fighting style.
8. Combat Sports Dome Air Tech MMA Belly Pad
The Combat Sports Dome Air Tech MMA Belly Pad comes at a very cheap price. It is currently the cheapest body protector on the list.
The quality is pretty decent considering the price but isn’t recommended if you’re training with high-level fighters. This is because it covers a fairly small area of the body, The body protector uses a single strap closure system, unlike many other models which have added shoulder straps for more stability.
The padding is very decent though. Combat Sports uses Dome Air technology padding to disperse the impact of strikes across the vest. This goes a long way in reducing shock felt by the wearer when facing strikes making it suitable for Muay Thai and MMA kicks.
Considering the low price point, it should not come as a surprise that the make is synthetic leather. As a trainer, if you are looking to stock up on decent quality body protectors without breaking the bank, the Combat Sports Dome Air Tech MMA Belly Pad is an ideal choice.
Last update on 2021-04-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API