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Best Kick Pads for Mixed Martial Arts Reviewed

last updated Mar 24, 2019

Kick pads have been an integral part of combat sports for as long as people can remember. However, most people do not remember the true reasons behind why they are beneficial. Using kick pads can greatly improve your skills and abilities. It can also help you punch through that fitness ceiling you have been hitting with frustration.

One of the biggest things a kick pad can do is increase your muscular strength. This isn’t about making you physically bigger but makes you stronger. Practicing on a kick pad can increase your muscular strength by tenfold. Because there is a very slim chance of injury to your opponent, you can use as much force that your body can muster. Over time, this will improve how much strength you can exert per kick. This occurs because your muscles become resistant to your constant training, thus making them stronger.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 4 hrs of research

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Sanabul Essential Curved
99.4/100 our score
Materials
100
Insulation
100
Style
100
Size
99
Value
98
Sanabul Essential Curved
Why is it better?

Multiple colors

Comfortable to wear

Machine stitched

Easy to maintain

Maya leather

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Sanabul Essential Curved
Test Winner: Sanabul Essential Curved
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#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
99.4
Materials
100 %
Insulation
100 %
Style
100 %
Size
99 %
Value
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.08.19)
Amazon Link
$23.48
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.4
Materials
98 %
Insulation
97 %
Style
98 %
Size
96 %
Value
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.08.19)
Amazon Link
$55.47
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.4
Materials
95 %
Insulation
96 %
Style
97 %
Size
94 %
Value
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.08.19)
Amazon Link
$99.99
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.6
Materials
94 %
Insulation
92 %
Style
90 %
Size
94 %
Value
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.08.19)
Amazon Link
$14.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Materials
89 %
Insulation
88 %
Style
87 %
Size
89 %
Value
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.08.19)
Amazon Link
$13.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.2
Materials
88 %
Insulation
91 %
Style
95 %
Size
82 %
Value
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.08.19)
Amazon Link
$38.49
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.4
Materials
85 %
Insulation
84 %
Style
85 %
Size
83 %
Value
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.08.19)
Amazon Link
$17.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.6
Materials
80 %
Insulation
82 %
Style
80 %
Size
80 %
Value
81 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.08.19)
Amazon Link
$16.99
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.2
Materials
78 %
Insulation
78 %
Style
79 %
Size
77 %
Value
79 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.08.19)
Amazon Link
$59.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75.4
Materials
75 %
Insulation
75 %
Style
78 %
Size
74 %
Value
75 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.08.19)
Amazon Link
$15.99

Top 10 Picks

1. Sanabul Essential Curved

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
99.4
Sanabul Essential Curved
Amazon Link
Materials
100
Insulation
100
Style
100
Size
99
Value
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$23.48
Pros:

Multiple colors

Comfortable to wear

Machine stitched

Easy to maintain

Maya leather

Cons:

Kick pad is a little to wide for hands

This is a company that has been on the market for many years. They are well known for producing combat fighting gear for training and also for personal protection. Many athletes choose this particular brand as their products are very durable and will last a long time. Coupled with the fact it is very easy to maintain the cleanliness of the kick pad, this is a product you do not want to miss!

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Over a period of training, the design can become incredibly uncomfortable for the person that is holding it. This will cause the wearer to have a sore hand and if the pads are not in the correct position, it can also cause an injury. This particular product is made with a slight curve that follows the natural curvature of your hand. This allows your hand to relax and rest comfortably inside the pad between hits.

These products were created to be hit, punched, and kicked. This means that every part of it needs to be incredibly durable otherwise it will not be able to withstand the energy from the impact. This particular product has precision threading that is stitched and tightened with a machine. This guarantees that each stitch is perfectly placed and tight enough so it holds everything together.

2. Contender Fight Sports

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.4
Contender Fight Sports
Amazon Link
Materials
98
Insulation
97
Style
98
Size
96
Value
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$55.47
Pros:

Rectangle shape

Easy to wear

Good mobility

Pair of two

Reasonably priced

Cons:

Smells really bad when brand new

This is a brand that is heavily invested in combat sports. They have everything from fight gloves to athletic apparel. This particular shield combat shield is suitable for all types of combat training. It can be used for general practice or precision training. The large rectangular shape gives the person holding the shield extra protection from injury.

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It can be quite frustrating to have gear that is hard to put on. This rings especially true for kick pads as often times it’s difficult to put one on once you have one on. This particular product has made it incredibly easy to wear one with just using one hand. It comes with a strong thick elastic that is closed with velcro. This allows you to adjust both pads till they are snug and once you have it adjusted, you can easily slip on and slide off every time.

When you deliver a kick or a punch, it can cause the kick pad to move. This can cause great injury and is also a hassle to have to fix your shield every time. This particular product stays on your arm once it is put on. The topmost loop of the shield is a handle which you can grip onto. This ensures that it will not fly off suddenly while in combat.

3. Ringside Fairtex

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.4
Ringside Fairtex
Amazon Link
Materials
95
Insulation
96
Style
97
Size
94
Value
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$99.99
Pros:

Strong and durable

Three handles

High quality foam

Flexible leather

Wide padding

Cons:

Expensive

This product is extremely durable and meant to take a beating. The outside layer is made with tough synthetic leather that has some flexibility to it. This means it will not rip as easily nor will it snap in half. The interior of this product is made of collapsible foam so that it protects the users and softens the blow. Investing in one of these kick pads can last you at least two years of daily use.

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This product comes with a curved design on the strike face of the item. The curved design is meant to come in handy when you are kicking from the sides. Most people tend to get joint injuries or overextend their leg when they are kicking a flat target. This is because the person who is holding the shield is bracing for impact while the person kicking it is using their body weight. The curvature of the shield helps to dampen the impact for both users and reduces the possibility of injury.

It can be quite fearful when you are gripping the striking shield and it slips out of your hand. This exposes you to your opponent who may have been in the middle of delivering a hit and not be able to stop in time. To prevent this from happening, there is a thick curved handle designed near the top of the kick pad. You can keep a firm grip on the handle and ensure that the shield does not go anywhere.

4. BreaDeep Kick Pads

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.6
BreaDeep Kick Pads
Amazon Link
Materials
94
Insulation
92
Style
90
Size
94
Value
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$14.99
Pros:

Individual purchasing

Snapping sound

Durable foam

High quality materials

Long handle

Cons:

Loose stitching

This is a product that every combat fighter should consider investing in. This brand allows for purchases of one individual target, which may be all you need for your training. The product is made with strong and durable foam that is meant to collapse on impact. This reduces the amount of energy and shocks your body as to absorb, thus reducing the amount of fatigue you feel afterward.

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As a combat fighter, it is very important to keep up your strength as it makes a huge difference during competition. This particular product can help with that as it offers you a target that you can hit with full strength. It makes a satisfying snapping sound so you know that the hit connected well. This product comes with a handle so you do not have to worry about accidentally hurting your opponent.

Combat fighters constantly need to be on their toes and be able to move fast. One of the most important elements of that is having high endurance. This allows you to focus for longer and move quickly over a long period of time. This training target is small and light enough it can be set in place extremely quickly. This allows you to continuously kick one after another and thus increasing your stamina and agility.

5. Overmont Taekwondo

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Overmont Taekwondo
Amazon Link
Materials
89
Insulation
88
Style
87
Size
89
Value
89
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$13.99
Pros:

Durable foam

Stays in place

Extra grip handle

Reasonable priced

Reinforced stitching

Cons:

Outer vinyl coating cracks easily

This is a great kick pad which has got you completely covered. It comes with a fully adjustable strap which you can pull and tighten to your liking. An additional feature to prevent it from budging is the thick handle near the top of the target. Holding the grip and securing your arm in place with guarantees that your target does not move or slip when you need it the most.

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It can become quite dangerous if the kick pad is not secured onto your body tight enough. This can cause the kick pad to slip or move in a way where you are no longer protected. If your opponent is not quick enough to react, the blow may be directly against your body. To prevent that from happening, this product comes with a strap that is fully adjustable so that it fits your arm perfectly.

One of the most important aspects of a kick pad is the durability of it. There is no point in having a target that breaks or crumbles after a few uses. This product is made with a thick sponge that inflates itself after every kick. This allows for a product that can be hit over and over again without worrying that the interior material is compromised.

6. RDX Focus

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.2
RDX Focus
Amazon Link
Materials
88
Insulation
91
Style
95
Size
82
Value
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$38.49
Pros:

Painted target

Well known brand

Reliable and trustworthy

Durable

High quality material

Cons:

Inside of the glove not grippy enough

This brand has been around for decades and is known for its products. They often product workhorse products that last for a significant period of time. While they do have a more expensive line, people enjoy their original line more as it is more durable and tough. When you are purchasing these kick pads, you know that this is a brand you can trust to deliver reliable products.

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It can become quite dirty and gross when you wear a kick pad over a long period of time. This is because your hand sweats and as a result, the inside of the target will become slippery. To prevent that from happening, this particular glove has holes inside the glove that your hands go in. This will allow the moisture and heat to escape, keeping the glove cool and dry.

It is very important for a combat fighter to work on their aim and accuracy. An inaccurately thrown punch can work not only against you but also has the potential to cause an injury. These practices have a target painted right in the middle, which allows for easy practise. Over a period of time, your eyes and arms will become trained to find that spot even without the painted target. This means you’ll be able to hit your opponent exactly where you want to.

7. Yoosoo Pack Taekwondo

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.4
Yoosoo Pack Taekwondo
Amazon Link
Materials
85
Insulation
84
Style
85
Size
83
Value
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$17.99
Pros:

Wrist strap

Comfortable to hold

Thick foam

Long handle

Easy to manipulate

Cons:

Cover material a little thin

This is a great product in its design. Many of the other product requires you to put either an arm or a hand into the pad. This means that when people are kicking or hitting, the force of the blow is absorbed by your body. This particular product comes with a long handle which you can easily grip. The actual target is at the end of this stick, which helps to reduce the amount of energy your body is absorbing from the impact.

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Most kick pads can get quite large and bulky which makes it harder to maneuver and move around. These pads are very lightweight and you can hold them very comfortably. They fit your hand easily thus you are able to dodge and move around with ease. This makes these targets especially good for speed and stamina training.

One of the most dreaded feelings is when you accidentally drop a target. During this time if your partner is not aware, they can accidentally hurt you. This particular product comes with a wrist strap so that even if it is dropped you are not bending down to pick it up. Studies have shown that common injuries that occur in combat fighting are head injuries. Since you are only holding a kick pad, you may not have a helmet that can protect you from that blow.

8. Overmont Curved

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.6
Overmont Curved
Amazon Link
Materials
80
Insulation
82
Style
80
Size
80
Value
81
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$16.99
Pros:

Good shape

Thick padding

Reinforced seams

Thick handle

Reasonably priced

Cons:

Needs some time to break in

If you are looking for an all-purpose sort of target, then look no further. This kick shield is a great product that can help improve your training. It has thickly reinforced seams to prevent the product from deteriorating too early. The rectangular shape gives the person holding it extra protection to prevent getting hit and the curved cushion prevents your leg from overextending when the target is kicked.

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One of the most important things when using a kick pad is for the experience to be comfortable for both users. Both people need to be protected from injury and every little upgrade in the pad makes a difference. This particular product was designed with a curvature that matches the natural curves of your body, making it more comfortable to hold. The curvature also softens the impact on the joints of the attacker.

This product is incredibly strong and absorbs shock like no other. When impact is delivered to the kick shield, energy is absorbed by the extra thick foam. This can prevent the human body from taking a lot of the impact, which may lead to joint damage. The insulation is made of a thick polyurethane foam that can collapse and expand after every blow.

9. Sanabul BattleForged

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.2
Sanabul BattleForged
Amazon Link
Materials
78
Insulation
78
Style
79
Size
77
Value
79
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$59.99
Pros:

Easy to use

Comfortable and ergonomic

High quality material

Durable leather

Multiple colors

Cons:

Quite expensive

Quite expensive

This is a good brand well known for the quality of its products. Items produced by this manufacturer last a long time and are very comfortable to wear. These targets are no different. They come jam-packed with technology that makes them stand above all their competitors. From high-quality material to the durability of their craftsmanship, this is a product you do not want to miss.

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One of the things people tend to forget to consider when purchasing a kick shield is how much it weighs. If the target is heavy, the person holding it for a long period of time will become fatigued easily. This can lead to sore arms and shoulders. It will also significantly decrease the amount of training time as more breaks will be taken in between sets. This product is made with the most lightweight foam insulation available on the market, thus keeping you comfortable and energized.

The exterior of this product is made with the toughest material possible, which is synthetic leather. This is a type of leather that has synthetic fibers that run through and reinforce every strand, thus making it last significantly longer. The leather is flexible enough that when it is kicked, it can help absorb the impact and not snapping.

10. Overmont Hand Held

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75.4
Overmont Hand Held
Amazon Link
Materials
75
Insulation
75
Style
78
Size
74
Value
75
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$15.99
Pros:

Shock absorption

Easy to hold

Comfortable grip

Elastic cuff

Great design

Cons:

Pads are a little more firm

When there are many kick shields lying around, it is important to be able to differentiate which one is yours. This particular product has a classy design that stands out. The targets are black with a white seam with a logo of an animal on each side. Not only does it look nice, but the kick shield has great properties that decrease the impact of your hit. This product looks good and works well, making it something you do not want to miss!

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This product cannot be beat when it comes to absorbing shock. There are tiny air bubbles within the foam that absorb all the energy and impact from a kick. It redistributes it using a fluttering technique that uses up all the energy. This protects the person holding it from injury and having to absorb any of the impact itself.

Most handheld kick pads are made like gloves that you fit your hands through. This product comes with a long handle that holds the target away from you. Most manufacturers make the handle of wood and wrap leather around it. Over time, this can cause a lot of chafing and discomfort. This particular product has added a thin layer of cushioning between the exterior and the handle itself, making it much softer to hold.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

The material can completely make or break a kick shield. When you are out shopping, look for something that is made with Polyurethane foam. This is a type of foam that is extremely durable and meant to last a long time. It is a material that is very affordable to manufacture, hence makes the kick shield affordable. This foam bounces back really well with every impact. Polyurethane foam has many layers that are compressed to form a stiff block. There are little air bubbles within this block that collapses every time a hit is delivered. This is so the energy is absorbed by these bubbles rather than the person behind the shield. These pockets of air inflate every time the energy dispersed and the strike shield is as if it was new.

Another thing to look out for in the materials is what kind of exterior wrap it has. The recommended material is to pick something that uses maya hide as the covering. Maya hide is a kind of synthetic leather that is built to last. The leather fibres are interwoven with synthetic fibers that can take on more pulling and stretching before it start to break down. It is also easy to clean and can be sanitized using a sanitizer or some soap and warm water. This is especially important as most combat fighters get sweaty, so a lot of bodily fluids get left on the kick pad.

Insulation

This may not be something that people often think about but all kick pads vary slightly when it comes to thickness. This is because of factors such as manufacturer design, budgeting, and thickness of the material. Depending on the type of combat fighter you are, you may want to consider investing in something thicker or more thin.

Thin pads are great because they make the pad itself significantly smaller. This makes it easier for you to hold and also makes the pad more mobile. This means that you can partake in sparring where your opponent moves around while holding the targets and your aim is to hit it. Unfortunately, this usually means that these pads are thinner which does have a major disadvantage. The lack of insulation could mean a potential injury. A misplaced kick or an overzealous attack could hurt both your opponent and yourself. Thinner pads are also ideal for children or people that are just starting out because there is not enough strength built yet to seriously injure the attacker.

Choosing a thicker pad has its own advantages and disadvantages as well. One of them being that you will tire more easily. Thicker pads are often heavier simply because of the extra insulation. While you may not feel it initially, wearing it over a period of time will make it really noticeable. That being said, thicker pads are great because it gives both the attacker and the opponent the confidence to go full force and know they will not get hurt. Often times, thicker pads are also physically larger in size, thus giving the holder some extra protection.

Style

There are two main types of pads, curved and straight. Both of them offer different styles of training but are good equipment that gets you in shape. Curved pads are often ones that can be worn on your hand. There is a glove shape that is sewn into it and allows for more security as it can be gripped. The curve helps the person wearing it keep their hand in an ergonomic state as the curve usually follows the natural curvature of your hand.

This does not mean that there are no benefits for people who are kicking it. The curve of the glove is much more forgiving as the impact is much less hard. The human body is not rigid and straight. There are different curves and bumps everywhere. Having the curve of the pad will allow it to wrap comfortably around your leg or arm, thus reducing the chance of injury. The curvature of the pads will also save time and reduce the efforts you need to break it in.

The great thing about the straight designs is that the targets are very durable. Because it is made with very rigid foam, it can last for a long time. The disadvantage of these is that you have to break it in and will require some time. Once they are broken in, it can last for a very long time. Straight pads are usually also significantly larger in size, thus giving the user much more protection. Because the size is larger and bulkier, they are harder to move around. However, these kick shields are ideal for strength training as you can hit them as hard as you can without fear of hurting the person holding it.

Size

Depending on how you are using the kick pad, sizing may be something that will be worth considering. Similar to clothing, there are three main sizes: Large, Medium, and Small. Large Kick pads look like rectangular blocks. These are usually the length of a person if not more. They are ideal for power training as these large squares protect the person holding it very well. The size and surface area also allows the attacker to practice in comfort. Large kick pads are often made using a thick and durable foam. It takes significantly more time to break down, but the trade off is more time is needed to break them in. They will last much longer than most targets, but these are not ideal for target training.

Medium sized kick pads are ones that can be attached to your arm. They run the length of a person's forearm and are a great way to cardio train. These targets are small enough to be moved around but offer a large enough surface area that you do not have to worry about hitting the person holding it. The cardio training comes into play for both the attacker and opponent as they can be evading or ducking from each other. These versatile targets are a fantastic way to train your speed and reflexes.

The small-sized kick pads are ones that you can either hold or slip onto your hand. They are the smallest targets of the bunch and are most effective for target training. Because there is only a small surface area for you to hit, it is important to focus and aim properly rather than just throwing a punch or kick out. These targets specifically train your hand-eye coordination to better your aim and deliver effective blows. Combat fighting is also a sport that trains your reflexes and brain function. By constantly tracking the target and trying to hit the middle, this can help improve your brain reflexes significantly.

Value

Depending on what you are looking for, these products can become very expensive. For those who want their own gym, there are targets available on the market that cost a few hundred. However, they made with the best quality material and are extremely tough. Purchasing one of these will most likely last over a decade or so.

Most people who partake in combat sports will not be in their own training grounds. Most likely, there will be a gym which most people go together to train. In situations like that, it is recommended to purchase workhorse products as your regular equipment.

Practicing three times a week with different opponents can really take a toll on your training equipment. This will require you to replace your kick pads often. To prevent from burning a hole through your pocket, purchase products that are durable but have a low cost. This can be done by selecting products that are made with foam insulation rather than gel or silicone. Foam as insulation is very effective and does not cost a lot to produce. This can be reflected in the prices for the consumer.

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Heart Health

Another benefit that often goes unnoticed is that it encourages your heart to become stronger. Many people do not consider kicking targets as cardio because there is no running or long term moving involved. However, continuously kicking a target can actually cause your heartbeat to accelerate. When it does, it makes your lungs work harder to bring more oxygen into the body. This is exactly what all cardio training aims to do. After a period of training, you will find that you have much more stamina and endurance. This can allow you to increase the length of training time and build resistance in your body.

Coordination

People that practice kicking and punching these kick pads have much better coordination skills. Your brain needs to send signals to your leg or arm to in order to get it to aim and deliver the hit to the target. This takes both coordination from your brain and your eye to get your hit in the right place. For combat fighters this is especially important as it can help build your reflexes and have your muscles move faster. Over time, your brain gets used to making these quick decisions and it can make a huge difference in your fight.

Other Factors to Consider

Bottom Line

Using these are great as there are many benefits to your workout. The biggest benefit of using these products is simply that it can help you lose weight. Every kick and punch delivered utilizes multiple muscle groups in your body. Continuously doing so can become a full body workout. When your body needs the energy to continue the workout, it will look to your fat deposits for nutrition. This can break down all the fat calls in your body and help lower your overall muscle mass.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Where can I purchase these?

a:

Any of your local sports supermarkets are a store that specializes in combat equipment will carry kick pads. Alternatively, using an online retailer will give you more options.

q: How do I maintain my equipment?

a:

To clean them, mix a little bit of dish soap and warm water. Using a cloth, dip it into this mix and then wipe your equipment with it. Using a dry cloth, wipe off the excess moisture and leave the kick pad in a cool and well ventilated area to dry.

q: Can my child use these?

a:

Any child of any age can start practicing. If your child is younger, it may not be the best idea for them to be holding it, however, attacking is not a problem.

q: What kind should I buy as a beginner?

a:

For people who are just starting out in combat sport largely want to practice at home, it is recommended to purchase the large sized kick pad. If you have no one to hold it up, they can be leaned or affixed on a wall.

q: Does bag training help you lose weight?

a:

Absolutely! It is considered to be a type of high intensity cardio and can also help lower your fat mass

Sources

  1. 301Gym Staff, The Benefits To Hit Pads..., Informational
  2. Stephen, Ultimate Guide To..., Informational