A martial artist and former coach for two decades from Houston, Texas. Specializing in the disciplines of kickboxing, karate, MMA, and Jiu Jitsu.
If you’re just getting into Muay Thai, you may notice that many fighters have tape or guards around their ankles. You might wonder, what purpose do these Muay Thai ankle supports serve?
That is why we wrote this article to tell you all about Muay Thai ankle supports. Going over why Thai boxers wear ankle supports, and different types that are used.
- What are Muay Thai Ankle Supports?
- What purpose do they serve?
- Different types of Muay Thai ankle supports
- The pros and cons of these types of Muay Thai ankle supports
- Which Muay Thai ankle support is better?
- Is it beneficial to use ankle supports?
What are Muay Thai Ankle Supports?
Muay Thai ankle supports are a protective piece of gear that Thai boxers and Muay Thai practitioners wear. They support the ankle and allow fighters to grip the mat, while also providing support to their ankles.
This is why many Muay Thai fighters and practitioners choose to wear Muay Thai ankle supports.
What purpose do they serve?
Muay Thai ankle supports serve four different purposes. These are: support, recovery, improved blood flow, and a preventative to cuts and burns.
The main purpose of Muay Thai ankle supports are to of course provide you with proper ankle support. In a combat sport like Muay Thai, where you’re standing and constantly moving, there’s a risk of ankle injuries.
It’s very easy to take a bad step and roll your ankle. Leading to severe sprains or even fractures.
When you wear Muay Thai ankle supports, they significantly lower the risk of ankle injury.
If you are recovering from an ankle or foot injury, it would be beneficial to use Muay Thai ankle supports. Your ankles/feet are not fully recovered and the stabilization muscles are far weaker after an injury.
By wearing ankle supports after an injury, they will help you in the recovery process.
Prevent cuts & burns
Muay Thai ankle supports also prevent you from getting mat burns or cuts, while you’re training or fighting. Training on a rough canvas can often burn your feet if you accidentally slide them on the surface.
You could also possibly get your foot or ankle scrapping it on your opponent or a bag. Wearing Muay Thai supports will give you a thin layer of protection that can prevent cuts or burns.
Improved blood flow
Improved blood flow can also occur when you’re wearing Muay Thai ankle supports. When you have more blood flowing to your tendons, they are warm and less likely to get injured. A cold body part is more at risk of getting injured than a warm body part.
Different types of Muay Thai ankle supports
There are two types of Muay Thai ankle supports that are used in fighting and training. They include: cloth guard and tapes.
Cloth ankle guards are the most used type of supports. They are basically like socks with holes for your toes and heels.
Cloth guards are tight fitting and generally made of either cotton, spandex, or neoprene. These are the most used, because they are the most durable and breathable materials available.
The original Muay Thai ankle supports used by Thai fighters and kickboxers was tape. Before training or fighting, they would tape up their feet and ankles to make sure their ankles were fully supported. Many that fight or train in Muay Thai still choose to use tape to support their ankles.
The pros and cons of these types of Muay Thai ankle supports
Both tape and cloth guard are great Muay Thai ankle supports to use. Each style of Muay Thai support has their pros and cons. Here are the pros and cons of each one.
Pros & cons of cloth guards
- Offers Great Support
- Long Lasting: A good pair of cloth Muay Thai ankle supports can last for years of training.
- Possible Mold Growth: If you don’t wash cloth guard, mold will grow that will cause an infection
- Cheaply Made: They are some cheaply made cloth ankle supports that provide you with zero protection.
Pros and cons of tape
- Control The Tightness: You can control how tight the tape is when rolling it around your feet and ankles.
- Can only be used once: The main flaw of tape is that you can only use it once. You will have to rewrap your feet/ankles before every training session.
- The wrapping process: You have to learn how to properly wrap your feet/ankles before using tape as your Muay Thai ankle supports. If you don’t do it right, you’ll either cut off your circulation or not provide adequate support.
Which Muay Thai ankle support is better?
The best type of ankle supports hands downs are cloth ankle guards.. Most cloth ankle guards are well made and will last you for years of training. Tape provides great support, but you’ll have to invest in many rolls of tape and learn to wrap your ankles.
Is it beneficial to use ankle supports?
Yes, if you are serious about Muay Thai, then you should definitely consider wearing Muay Thai ankle supports. They will provide extra support for your feet and ankles and help prevent cuts or burns on your feet. Wearing Muay Thai ankle supports are extremely beneficial and will help keep you on the mat and prevent injury.