Fairtex SP5 Shinguards Review
Fairtex are a popular manufacturer of fight equipment, dominantly focused on Muay Thai. The company is based in Thailand and is widely popular, both there and internationally. Originally founded in the 1970s, Fairtex have a long history of producing top quality, handmade equipment, endorsed by many gyms across the world.
About the shin guards
These shinguards are one of several ranges of shinguards offered by Fairtex. The Fairtex SP5 Shinguards are Muay Thai style shin guards, as opposed to the SP6 range, which are MMA style – you can learn the difference from our shinguard guide. They’re sold in a range of colours, including red, blue black and white.
These shin guards look very slick. The visuals are kept relatively subtle (which may be why you won’t see the more adventurous bright colours Thai brands often produce), but the overall effects still stand out. The majority of the shin guard is obviously whatever colour you chose (the pair we tested out was blue), but highlighted in white (on the blue or black variants) or black (on the red or white) is a square and dot pattern repeated the right hand side of the shin guard. The squares are actually Fairtex ‘F’ logo’s fitted together. The outer edge of the shin guards is covered by black piping, and the only other decoration on the shin guard is the stylised ‘Fairtex’ printed across the centre. The shin guards are understated, but still look amazing – personal preference for me would be the white, they look fresh and crisp.
As with a lot of their more recent projects Fairtex have chosen to use their synthetic ‘Syntek’ leather. Synthetic leathers are getting more and more durable (such as Danger Equipment’s Semi Leather) and the Fairtex Syntek leather is a great example of this. It feels exactly like real leather and is nice and supple. Whilst real leather would likely still be more durable, shin guards don’t go through the same stress as gloves (because they’re normally only used during sparring, whilst gloves are used for everything), so it shouldn’t make a massive difference to the lifespan of the product. In terms of padding Fairtex have used double layers of high impact foam to form the padded core, resulting in a nice thick layer of padding that’s firm enough to protect the user, whilst soft enough to avoid bruising your sparring partners too badly.
There’s a reason that Fairtex are one of the top Thai brands, they produce high quality, well made products. These shin guards are no exception, Fairtex have done a very good job on the construction, including what they refer to as a stitching free system between the shin and foot protectors to avoid damage from stitching rubbing against your ankle during use. The stitching on the remainder of the product is all neat and well done, with reinforcing on the higher stress areas, like the connection of the calf straps to the body of the shin guard.
These shinguards are some of the more comfortable pairs I’ve used. They’re designed to fit as closely to the leg as possible to allow for a natural feel, which they achieve very well – they fit tightly against the leg allowing you freedom of movement. Additionally I’m normally not a fan of shin guards with a raised section of padding under the knee – whilst they provide extra protection I’ve had issues with them digging under my knee if the sizing of the shin guard is off. Fairtex seem to have got the perfect measure on the SP5’s, the top of this raised padding stopped perfectly underneath the knee, offering no problems.
Available on the Fairtex UK website for £59.99 I’d say that the Fairtex SP5 Shinguards represent good value for money. Maybe a beginner could look for some cheaper shin guards while they’re just starting out, but if you’re looking for a pair of quality shin guards that’re going to serve you well and last then the SP5’s are a great choice.