Best kicking pad

Fitness Gear

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Which kicking pads are best?

Are you a fighter who trains to strike hard and fast? Turn into the ultimate competitor with help from a formidable, no-mercy opponent: the kicking pad.

You need more than time in the ring (or octagon) to take your kicks to new heights. Kicking pads help you examine your technique — particularly how and where you land kicks. These densely packed pads also provide moderate resistance, so you’re able to experience a bit of realistic pushback.

To learn more, keep reading our buying guide on kicking pads for your martial arts training. Our top choice is the Fairtex Curved MMA Muay Thai Pads. Its elongated design provides a large striking surface as well as plenty of forearm protection for the holder.

What to know before you buy a kicking pad

Styles of kicking pads

  • Tae kwon do: Given their shape, these handhand pads are often called “pork chops” by practitioners of tae kwon do. They’re crucial for training technique for tae kwon do’s signature high and aerial kicks. The holder simply grasps the handle and can place it anywhere for the martial artist to fire off a series of explosive kicks.
  • Kickboxing: These pads are on the longer, thicker side to protect holders during striking. They’re outfitted with secure hand or forearm straps to ensure a firm grip and reliable protection. Kickboxing pads are also densely packed to provide significant realistic resistance and to absorb intense force.
  • Low-kick: Low-kick pads (sometimes called strike or kick shields) are usually rectangular in shape. At an average of three feet in length, they protect the holder and provide a larger striking area. They’re ideal to practice low kicks, scrapes, and sweeps, though the holders can raise them for mid- or high-level kicks.

What to look for in a quality kicking pad


Depending on their design, kicking pads have varying densities. Generally speaking, the more densely packed a kicking pad is, the more resistance you receive. In terms of thickness, it really depends on the nature of practice intended for the pad. With that said, the closer the kicking pad is held to the holder’s body, the thicker it usually is, for obvious reasons.

Stability grips

Kicking pads have stability grips, straps, or handles to provide an ergonomic grip for the holder. These aim to prevent fatigue and eliminate rug burn on hands and forearms. Kicking pads that can be held in more than one way have handles or grips in several areas.

Functional designs

Kicking pads can be monochromatic, feature the brand’s logo, or have target markings. Some fighters prefer buying plain kicking pads to apply target designs of their own with paint or markers. Keep in mind that with both stock and customized designs, over time, markings and logos usually wear off from constant contact with feet.

How much you can expect to spend on a kicking pad

Lightweight yet durable kicking pads can be found for under $25, though if you’re looking for better materials and design, expect to spend closer to $50-$75. For advanced fighters who need top-quality kicking pads, it’s best to go for those priced $100-$200.

Kicking pad FAQ

What’s the best kicking pad to buy for my kid who is a beginner martial artist?

A. For younger kids, especially lower-ranking belts, invest in low-kick pads. That way, you’re able to protect yourself while they practice kicking at several levels. Low-kick pads can also be manipulated by kids as a piece of equipment, as is usually done in their martial arts studio.

Are kicking pads made with latex?

A. Most kicking pads are made from leather or high-grade PU (polyurethane) and are marked accordingly on the packaging. Some kicking pads may contain latex, so if you have an allergy, contact the manufacturer directly to rule it out before buying.

What are the best kicking pads to buy?

Top kicking pad

Fairtex’s Curved MMA Muay Thai Pads

Fairtex’s Curved MMA Muay Thai Pads

Our take: This well-made, versatile design features a bullseye to improve precision and targeting.

What we like: It has reinforced handles and forearm straps. It’s made from thick, durable material. The curved design gives with force.

What you should consider: Some holders feel the kicking pad is on the narrow side.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Top kicking pad for the money

Yosoo’s Tae Kwon Do Kick Pads

Yosoo’s Tae Kwon Do Kick Pads

Our take: These are budget-friendly, handheld targets that hold up through thousands of kicks.

What we like: You just wipe to clean. They provide modest resistance. The hand strap ensures the target doesn’t fly away from its holder.

What you should consider: These require technique and precision, so they are best for intermediate and advanced kickers.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Worth checking out

Everlast’s Strike Shield

Everlast’s Strike Shield

Our take: This offers a simple, durable design from a leading brand in martial arts equipment.

What we like: It’s made from high-quality synthetic leather. The length and width rotect the holder. It is densely packed, with good resistance.

What you should consider: The larger striking surface doesn’t have target markings.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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