If you do martial arts which involve kicking or just want to improve your kicking power, training with a kick shield, which can provide various kick types (linear, special…), is essential and helps you step up your game.
There is a myriad of kick shields on the market and these come in a lot of different types and shapes. With that, I gathered best kick shields on the market and below you can find the materials’ qualities, how you can use these shields more effectively and I also included a section which explains why you should train with kick shields instead of punch mitts during your kicking sessions.
After the reviews, you can also find a detailed guide which explains how you can choose the right product.
1. Sanabul BattleForged
Training Quality: 9.5 / 10.0
Durability: 9.6 / 10.0
Quality / Price Rating: 9.8 / 10.0
Check It Out: on Amazon
- Really good foam
- Soft and quality leather
- Very light
- Looks really awesome
- Great quality price ratio (seriously, it is great)
SBL engineered leather is the reason why this kick shield is really popular. Because it is soft and it is quite durable at the same time. So you will not get a lot of bruises and it will not have any defects or rough spots to cause discomfort.
With that, I checked out SBL Engineered leather and it can be produced at affordable prices. This actually explains the really good quality-price ratio of Sanabul BattleForged.
Sanabul is also incredibly light. One pad weighs only 1.5 lbs. So it will protect the trainers and they will not get tired at the end of the workout.
Sanabul BattleForged also uses classic velcro straps and it is easy to use.
2. Revgear Kick Shield
Training Quality: 9.9 / 10.0
Durability: 9.4 / 10.0
Quality / Price Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
- Vinyl coated leather
- Really dense padding
- Good design
- Great for heavy kickers!
- You can control it easily
- Costs initially more
The high-density foam distributes the impact really fast and this is why people who kick really hard, train with Revgear Kick Shield. This is also a very good option for explosive workouts as well. So it is suitable for many martial arts.
The durability is also off the charts. Nylon coated vinyl and the foam can last for years without any major defects. However, as you can guess, the price also increases.
Considering the training quality and the protection, Revgear should be at the top, however, the price can be more than you expect. However, if you care about only the quality of your kick sessions, then have a look at Revgear.
Side Handles: It has 4 handles. This allows the holder to try out different positions for kicking, improves versatility vastly. Surely it can help you step up your game. You can do low kicks, flying drop kicks or any other variation you can think of. People, who are flexible and can deliver sidekicks, can practice these with the help of the handles.
The difference with the older Model (Economy): Apparently Revgear increased the quantity and density of the foam. Other than that, there is not much difference.
3. Combat Sports Kickboxing Muay Thai MMA
Training Quality: 9.4 / 10.0
Durability: 8.9 / 10.0
Quality / Price Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
- Synthetic leather
- Triple stitched
- Good Padding
- 3 handles
If you go to an MMA gym, I am sure that you can see someone kicks this pad.
The triple stitching improves the durability and it can take tear and wear for a long time. So it will not tear apart in near future. It is basically really suitable for regular training.
The shell is also easy to clean. You can just get some antibacterial wipes and clean it.
When this is the case there is no wonder why MMA gyms keep buying Combat Sports. It is sturdy and really easy to clean.
3 handles provide versatility and allow you to do different kick types (crescent kicks, front kicks…).
4. Contender Fight Sports
Training Quality: 8.6 / 10.0
Durability: 9.0 / 10.0
Quality / Price Rating: 9.3 / 10.0
- Made of vinyl
- Bulky design
- I have good experiences!
- Velcro fasteners
If you are a heavy kicker, while kicking these pads you will feel like the shock is dissipated really quick since the padding is built for this task.
If you have been following me on Google Plus, you would probably have seen that I kicked Contender Fight Sports over 4 months in Thailand. Basically, the absorption was great and it did not give “the sinking feeling”
Considering that I am a really heavy kicker, do many kick types including midsection kicks, front kicks and give my %100 during sessions, I did not even have s small injury. It also has velcro closures and the holder can comfortably hold them in different positions.
5. Everlast Strike Shield
Training Quality: 9.1 / 10.0
Durability: 8.9 / 10.0
Quality / Price Rating: 9.6 / 10.0
- Synthetic leather
- Can withstand constant punishment
- Best cheap kick shield
Everlast produces a variety of MMA equipment and this kick shield (Everlast Strike Shield) is one of the highest rated ones. The synthetic leather is built to last and can take tear and wear for a long time. Basically, the leather can take kicks without any problem and it can continue lasting for years.
The foam thickness is medium and has a quite lightweight. It has a good design and you can practice knee strikes without any discomfort and the holders will not have a hard time to position this shield. Considering the versatility, this shield has a definite advantage.
The vertical straps are a bit rougher than usual and can withstand heavy kicks.
Considering all of these, the price is just too good to be true. If you are interested, have a look at the most recent price of this kick shield.
Doing good and different drills will provide you amazing results. So after you own one, I highly recommend you to check out the video below.
How to Choose the Right Kick Shields?
Padding and Thickness
Size changes versatility and usage a lot. If you are doing light and fast kicks, then the thickness of your shield should not be much. Because the holder may not be able to hold it until the end of the session and considering that you do light kicks, you can go with less thick models. In that way, the shield holders will not get tired much as well.
However, if you are a heavy kicker, then get one which is thick. So it can absorb the shock better and more so the holder will not have much hard time to control the shield after you kick it.
Padding quantity should be a lot and it should be high quality for absorbing the impact better. According to my experiences, if the thickness of foam is between 4″ and 6″, it is ideal. Sure there can be other shields which have different thickness and high-quality, however, the sweet spot is between 4″ and 6″.
Stitching: When you look at the sides of the strike shields, you can see that these are really well stitched and these are quite big. So after a hard blow, these stitchings help foam stay more stable and improve the durability of the shields. This is the one thing which I am extremely careful about since shields, which don’t have solid stitching, aren’t even worth your money.
The foam should be superb. It needs to absorb the shock from every point so trainer’s hands will not get bruises and one thing is to note that when the shields fail to do that, these can move a lot and you can even have small bone injuries. So in my opinion, always go with more known products and trustworthy brands. After all, there are a lot of cheap kick shields which are made in Pakistan and can jeopardize your health.
Sizing Requirements: Some kick shields may have a sizing requirement. Group X, which is not a well-known brand, is a good example for that. However, most of the MMA kick shields do not have one and are suitable for many weights. So you don’t need to worry about the size since 99% of the kicking shields come as one size.
Break-in Period: Normally, the leather of these shields are relatively soft and you will actually get a more natural feeling during the break-in period. This period depends on the shape and construction. However, if you kick a shield regularly, I can easily say that this period does not take more than 6 weeks. Normally, it is just 3 or 4 weeks.
What do Kick Shields Provide?
Kick shields have larger surfaces so these can protect holder’s body. These (handles, straps) can be controlled by trainers quite easily. Also, the construction, foam of these shields provide safety for you and your trainer. So you can kick as powerful you can without any issues.
MMA kick shields are built for you to practice different combat kicking techniques and you can do them fast, slow or explosive. Good kick shields can take it.
You can basically do any martial art kicks with them. This includes sidekicks, cut kicks…
So, kick shields become really important for anyone who wants to improve his/her kicking technique and condition.
If you train with high-quality MMA kick shields, your legs and shins will be less sore and the holder is less likely to get injured or have bruises.
Why Should You Train with Kick Shields instead of Focus Mitts?
First of all, punch mitts are constructed for punches, basic kicks and these are just not suitable for powerful kick strikes. However, the construction and coverage of shields allow you to do these. Also, the holder is protected better.
Kick shields have way more impact than focus mitts because kicks create more impact and we can strike from different angles and use our shins. This is why the stitchings of kick shields are bigger than punch mitts.
These are the reasons why it is crucial that you should do your kick sessions with kick shields. Also, getting a kick shield can be a better choice since you can also practice punches with it.
Don’t Settle for Low-Quality Kick Shields!
The kick shields on this list are preferred a lot for hard and long training sessions and many trainers in commercial MMA gyms (my online sources), authoritative figures picked them as best kick shields. With that, Sanabul BattleForged provides really good shock absorbing, feels “natural” to strike and in addition to these, it has a great price tag. If you are interested, definitely check out Sanabul BattleForged on Amazon.
If you have questions or need further more information related to this topic, just have a comment below. I always try replying within a day.