Traditional vs Modern Muay Thai Shorts: The Verdict

One of the most recognisable aspects of Muay Thai is the traditional shorts worn by fighters. Everyone that has stepped foot in a Muay Thai gym, knows that special feeling when you put on some brand new Muay Thai shorts. (Whew!) It’s almost become hand-in-hand with people’s love for the sport & a chance to showcase their personality and style. Muay Thai shorts, along with the sport as a whole, has evolved to keep up with modern times.

The ancient art of the eight limbs has changed dramatically just even over the past year. Within 2022-23, the sport has been introduced to the Rajadamnern World Series (RWS) and ONE Lumpinee. Both elite-level competitions with a major goal of bringing Muay Thai into a ‘new era’ and becoming a household internationally-loved sport. Both competitions also have their own modern twist to the Muay Thai rules, with some traditionalists even criticising Chatri (the CEO of ONE) for his ruleset being too far away from the original artform, due to the use of MMA gloves and lack of lenience towards clinching.

RWS: Rajadamnern World Series” announces a special showdown between Buakaw  Banchamek and Kota Miura” where the Muay Thai legend squares off against  Japan's rising star - SIAM FIGHT NEWS

In the case of ONE, this could be an attempt to create a product of the sport which is appetising for markets outside of Asia, as seen in ONE’s latest deal with Australia’s Channel 7. Muay Thai as a prize-fighting sport could very well be on the path to becoming ‘the next big thing’. Only time will tell.

ONE x SEVEN logo lockup

There is undoubtedly a shift for modernity in the Muay Thai sport, however, it seems finding the right balance between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ is the biggest challenge the sport faces in its attempt to be appetising for audiences across the globe. One thing both traditionalists and modernists can agree on – the more interest in Muay Thai, the better for the sport.

Recently, just like the sport itself, Muay Thai and its respective shorts have become more modern to keep up with the times. Some argue that modern fit shorts provide a better fit and performance than traditional shorts. This is a trend that more and more fighters and Muay Thai hobbyists are starting to get behind. Just look at our fight team which has proven their confidence in our modern shorts even at the highest levels – such as One Championship and Glory Kickboxing.

Despite this, INFIGHTSTYLE prides itself on embracing both the traditional and modern aspects of the game, as we work with many traditional and modern athletes, trainers, and gym across Thailand, the USA, and now Australia.

Below is a list of main differences in the industry’s shift from traditional to modern fit Muay Thai shorts:

The Fit

Traditional shorts are designed to be loose-fitting and baggy, which can be problematic for fighters who prefer a more streamlined and form-fitting style.

Modern fit shorts are tailored to fit closer to the body, and cut shorter, allowing for better movement and less restriction. This does wonders for overall mobility & flexibility and allows you to kick, knee, and even twist your hips into your elbows & punches, as fluid as possible.

Specifically, when it comes to INFIGHTSTYLE’s modern shorts – we use 4-6 waist rows whilst most traditional shorts use 9 waist rows. This limits the overall flexibility of fit for traditional shorts. And may also be a huge factor as to why female Nak Muays swear by our shorts.

The Material

Traditional Muay Thai shorts are often made from heavy and thick fabric, usually satin and polyester. The iconic glossy shorts come from the satin fabric that has been traditionally used. Despite their looks, this can be uncomfortable to wear and can lead to overheating during your training sessions – or worse, your fight night.

In contrast, modern fit shorts are made from lightweight and breathable materials, which can help fighters stay cool and comfortable, even for the most intense sessions. INFIGHTSTYLE’s Nylon Lotus shorts take this up a notch, providing the best material possible to make your shorts feel like a breeze. Nylon was also a traditional material used for Muay Thai shorts in the past, however, the industry long stopped using it.

INFIGHTSTYLE are the proud pioneers of being the first ones to bring nylon back into the modern Muay Thai scene. Nylon is thinner, waterproof and is also an easy-to-care-for material. Resistant to stains and odours (and we all know how much Muay Thai gear can start to stink!) and can be easily washed and dried.

The Design

Finally, the traditional design of Muay Thai shorts may not be as versatile as modern fit shorts. Traditional shorts often feature elaborate designs and patterns, which may not be appropriate for all occasions or training sessions. Modern fit shorts, on the other hand, are often designed with a more minimalist and functional aesthetic, making them suitable for a wide range of activities and settings. (Or in other words – our modern designs are usually waaay cooler!) 

In sum, while the art of eight limbs, Muay Thai, has a rich history and cultural significance, there has been a shift towards modernity – and for good reason too. As the sport enters a new era, so too have the needs & demands for Muay Thai shorts. INFIGHTSTYLE has found success throughout Thailand, the USA & now Australia for its modern trend-setter approach, whilst paying respects to the centuries-old Muay Thai traditions. Explore our range today.


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