Since forever if you went onto any website or into any store that sold muay thai shorts, you'd always see the same cuts of shorts - the low waist short leg silk ones from Han, Fairtex and other thai brands, the modern cotton or nylon Raja type ones, the longer leg retro styles ones. But as many colours, designs and sizes as they might have, they are ALWAYS "unisex"... but what does that even mean?
Muay thai was traditionally a male-only sport, with women not allowed to compete or even touch the ring let alone compete. So with so much of muay thai's history being male-dominated, it would only be natural that the gear made for the sport was made for the ones practicing and competing - men.
So while the shorts now say "unisex" to cover both men and women, the way that the sewing patterns were made and are still to this day were based on the male body - the body of those who were the sport. Slim and slight male bodies with very little ratio difference between the waist and hips, and with low rises since they didn't have any pronounced waists the way women do. Room at the front for protective cups and barely any room at the back since they weren't curvy the way we are.
In fact, when you shop online, the 'women's section' is often just the same as the men's but with more of the 'girly colours', and when you check out the size chart, it just gives you the waist size and short lengths - but no hip measurements which is one of the key measurements for women when choosing our bottoms!
So how are our Women's Muay Thai Shorts different?
We get this question all the time and for some reason when it comes to muay thai shorts, people forget that all other pieces of clothing that women wear are made differently to men's. Leggings, trousers, swim shorts, casual shorts, bike shorts - ALL bottoms are either made to women's sizing specifications, or men's. So why should we treat muay thai shorts any differently?
1. Higher waist to hip ratio
When you look at the difference between men's and women's size charts, you'll notice that the ratio between the waist and hips are much higher on women. We generally have a smaller waist and much wider hips, meaning anything that is made to go straight down from the waist is likely not going to work on us unless we size up to fit the hips (which means the waist is too large).
So our shorts are made to the women's measurement ratios, meaning our shorts have a higher waist to hip difference to accommodate our generally smaller waists and wider hips.
2. Wide hips
Again, we focus on the fact that women have hips! Not only do we use women's measurement ratios but we also add in extra width at the hips for our extra wide Athena Muay Thai Shorts to accommodate more curves.
3. Higher-positioned waistband
With low rise "unisex" muay thai shorts, a lot of women find that the waistband doesn't high enough on the body, so it ends up pulling everything upwards as the waistband elastic tries to contract to the smallest anchor point on the body (i.e. our mid-waist). So we extended the crotch height to bring the waistband further up and sit more comfortably at the best anchor point on our bodies.
4. Larger back rise (room in the trunk)
We have curves and a lot of it is at the back! When you look at muay thai male athletes, they don't exactly have a lot of curves to them right? But when it comes to women regardless of the size, there are many who do have more curvature at the back, and anyone who does knows the pain of squeezing into straight legged bottoms! So we made our muay thai shorts with a slightly extended back rise to give that bump a bit more room.
5. Safety shorts
Last but not least, we had to add a little something that just made our lives more convenient. After having forgotten to pack compression shorts a few times, we thought "wouldn't it be nice if they were just sewn into the muay thai shorts?" And so here we are, with our built-in safety shorts made of a buttery soft, thick and stretchy spandex blend that helps to keep you feeling supported during training, especially through all those kicks. Plus you can still wear your normal compression shorts or leggings underneath if you prefer, and it also works a treat to keep you just that little bit more protected during your period!
Plus we're in the process of transitioning all of our muay thai safety shorts to an anti-camel design with POCKETS ✨ (for those who have to run before training!)