Taekwondo Equipment List

Taekwondo Equipment List

Taekwondo Equipment

Taekwondo is a martial art and sport that is practiced around the world, as well as at the Olympic Games. Taekwondo focuses on kicking and jumping moves, not solely punching or wrestling techniques. Competitors attempt to land kicks or punches on their opponent’s body, earning points for specific moves or sequences. Read on to learn more about the equipment used in taekwondo.

Chest Protector

Taekwondo Chest Protector

One way to score points in taekwondo is to kick or punch your opponent in the torso, which is covered by a chest protector, or hogu. The hogu is a vest that covers your entire torso so you will not be injured during competition or practice.

When looking for a chest protector, it should be very durable so it can protect you and also be snug. You do not want it to be moving around during competition or training. Some hogus are made with an electronic scoring system attached to the inside. This is how competitions are scored. Chest protectors typically cost between $30 and $50.

Foot Protector

Taekwondo Foot Protector

In taekwondo, kicking is a great way to score points against your opponent because of all the momentum that is drawn from the hips. However, all that force makes your feet susceptible to injury, so foot protectors are worn to help prevent these injuries during competition and training. When looking for foot protectors, you should pay attention to the style and adjustability.

There are two main styles of foot protectors: boot and form-fitting. Boots are shoes that have open bottoms and are made from dense foam. Form-fitting protectors are like a glove for the foot. They have a sleeve for each toe and have light padding on the top. Adjustability comes from the hook and loop as well as the elastic strap. The hook and loop is exactly what it sounds like. A strap starts on one end of the boot, then it is looped around the bottom to make an “X” on the top, and it is attached to the other side. The elastic strap just wraps around the top of the ankle. Lastly, the protectors must have World Taekwondo Federation approval in order to be used during competition.

Foot protectors can cost $20 to $40, depending on the style.

Forearm Guards

Taekwondo Forearm Guards

Forearm guards are used to reduce the impact that punches and kicks make. The most important factor to consider when buying a forearm guard is how the product fits. It needs to be tight enough to remain in place but not to the point of cutting off your blood circulation. You should also consider the material. The thicker the material, the more shock it absorbs. 

However, this means you have to find a middle ground between thickness and comfort. Studies show that it is highly recommended to have a double-layer material on the forearm to prevent bones and muscles from injury. A good pair of taekwondo forearm guards typically costs between $20 and $40.

Groin Guard

Taekwondo Groin Guard

Accidents happen, and sometimes in taekwondo, an opponent will kick you in the groin. To reduce some of the pain this causes, it is advised to wear a groin guard during competition and training.

You should prioritize protection and fit when searching for the right groin guard. The two styles of groin guards are hard cups and soft cups, and they offer different levels of protection. Hard cups offer the most protection because they are made of rigid plastic. They can be uncomfortable at first, but when participating in any combat sport, you want full protection.

Soft cups are made of gel and wrapped in silicone. These groin guards can be extremely comfortable because they are flexible, however, they are often worn in sports that do not have a lot of contact. Both of these cups can be worn in compression shorts or jock straps. They usually cost $20 to $45.


Taekwondo Hand guards

In taekwondo, punches can be delivered to your opponent's body and head to score points. In order to protect yourself and your opponent, you should invest in some gloves.

There are two types of gloves: World Taekwondo Federation competition gloves and sparring gloves. WTF gloves are light, compact, and have sleeves for each finger. They resemble MMA gloves and have light padding on top. Sparring gloves are much thicker and are made of foam. They have holes at the end of the glove where you can place your fingers and have straps on the wrists that secure the glove. World Taekwondo Federation gloves cost about $12 to $30, while sparring gloves are typically between $7 and $30. 

Hand Wraps

Taekwondo Hand Wraps

Training can take a toll on your hands and wrists, which is why many fighters use hand wraps to prevent injuries. Hand wraps are usually made out of cloth and are used to wrap a fighter’s wrist and hands. This prevents the skin from being cut and prevents the wrist from bending in awkward positions when punching. 

Most hand wraps are about 15 feet in length. This seems like a lot, but some wrapping techniques require even more than that. Some wraps also have a thumb loop. This is used as a starting point in any style of wrapping. The most common material for wraps is cotton and elastic blend. This allows the wrap to stretch and create more tension, making the wrap significantly tighter. It is also not uncommon to just have 100% cotton wraps. Hand wraps are relatively inexpensive and typically cost between $5 and $20.


Taekwondo Headgear

Protecting your brain may be the most important precaution you can take as a fighter. Although some competitions do not require headgear to be worn by fighters, it is a necessity to prevent injury in training.

For competitions, you should get headgear that is approved by the World Taekwondo Federation. Headgear has padding that covers the entire head, including the ears, all while having holes to provide ventilation. They are made of spongy material that serves as a great shock absorber and are covered in urethane. Another feature that these pieces of headgear have is an elastic strap to secure them. In competitions, you will wear either blue or red headgear, so having one of each color is not a bad idea. Taekwondo headgear tends to cost between $20 and $60.

Heavy Bags

Taekwondo Heavy Bags

Training is an essential part of any sport, so athletes need different types of equipment to help improve their game. For taekwondo, it is a heavy bag. The heavy bag allows you to train by yourself so you can work on your kicks and punches without being hit by your sparring partner. It helps you develop your technique, endurance, and strength. When looking for a heavy bag, you should consider adjustability, durability, and materials.

The first thing you want to find out is how you are going to set up the heavy bag. Most hang from the ceiling, so you should follow directions on where they can and cannot be placed. Durability is also important because you are going to be wearing out the bag with punches and kicks, so you want a bag that lasts. Finally, you should pay attention to the materials before buying a heavy bag. Most bags are filled, but some are not, leaving it up to the consumers to fill them up with whatever they want. These types of bags are typically filled with sand or fabric.

Heavy bags can cost between $115 and $400, depending on the brand, style, and weight.

Kicking Paddles

Taekwondo Kicking Paddles

In taekwondo, your strikes need to be extremely precise and powerful. To train for precision, you need to have some kicking paddles handy. A training partner holds paddles in both hands and places them where they want you to kick. You can even perform combinations to work on speed. If you hit the paddle precisely, it will make a loud sound. Kicking paddles should be extremely durable. Most are made out of synthetic leather, so they are long-lasting and flexible. A good kicking paddle costs about $15. 

Kicking Shields

Taekwondo Kicking Shields

During some training sessions, you’ll want to put your kicking power to the test. You can try to go all-out on a training partner, but you risk them checking your kick with their forearm or knee. This is where kicking shields come into play. They are handheld pads made out of foam and gel, and they are covered in leather. This makes the shield incredibly shock-absorbent and durable. 

While your training partner holds the shield, you deliver a variety of kicks with as much force as you can while still maintaining proper technique. The shield helps prevent you from injuring yourself or your partner. Prices for kicking shields commonly range from $30 to $100, depending on the size of the shield and the quality.


Taekwondo Mat

The last thing you want while having a training session is to slip and fall on a hard floor, so having a proper floor mat is necessary for your protection. Not only do taekwondo mats protect you when falling down, they also give you stability, so you are less likely to fall. The thickness, firmness, and quality of the foam all play into having a good mat. Taekwondo mats are about an inch thick, which makes them firm and allows you to be more stable. They also have foam inside and are covered in vinyl. A quality mat typically costs about $130.


Taekwondo Mouthguard

If you are in any contact sport, a mouthguard is a must-have. It protects you from losing teeth and biting your tongue. There are different types of mouthguards.

The boil and bite mouth guard is the most common type. This type of mouthguard is made with a material that softens when it is put under boiling water, so when you take it out, you can bite down on the guard and mold it to your teeth. It will eventually harden so it can slip right on and off.

The other kind is the custom mouthguard. These are much more expensive and can sometimes require you to see a dental professional to get them made. This style offers the most protection because it is the most customizable. Boil and bites can cost about $20, while customized mouthguards are about $85.

Rebreakable Boards

Taekwondo Rebreakable Boards

A common practice in taekwondo is board breaking. It can be used to build force and power, or used as an artistic expression by breaking multiple boards at once. Instructors often use them to test their students before moving on to a higher belt. Instead of buying new boards every time one is broken, rebreakable boards are used.

Rebreakable boards are made out of high-impact molded plastic, which allows them to be broken and remolded hundreds of times and saves you a lot of money.

You should pick the thickness of the board based on your skill level, so here is a reference that compares rebreakable boards with wooden boards. 

  • 1/4" thick yellow board is the equivalent of a 1/2" wooden board
  • 5/16" thick blue board is the equivalent of a 3/4" wooden board
  • 3/8" thick red board is the equivalent of a 1" wooden board
  • 5/8" thick black board is the equivalent of a 1-3/4" wooden board

A set of rebreakable boards typically costs about $80.

Shin Guards

Taekwondo Shin Guards

Continuous kicking can cause your shins to bruise up and even fracture, so it is important to invest in some shin guards to prevent injury. In order to wear shin guards during competition, they need to be approved by the World Taekwondo Federation. These are made of a dense foam that protects your shin by dispersing the impact.

You should also keep in mind how they attach. Many are equipped with hook-and-loop closures that give them a snug fit. When choosing a shin guard, you should also make sure it is snug to begin with, or else it will move around during competition and training.

A good pair of taekwondo shin guards can range in cost from $20 to $40. 


Taekwondo Shoes

It is extremely common to see taekwondo being practiced barefoot, but some instructors or schools may require you to wear shoes. When looking for shoes, they should have a non-slip rubber sole. This will prevent you from slipping during training.

The upper material is also important to pay attention to because a rigid one can cause discomfort. Upper materials are usually made out of soft leather, canvas, or synthetic materials. Soft leather shoes are more durable, while canvas shoes are very breathable.

Shoes can also be lace-up or slip-on. Taekwondo shoes can cost anywhere between $25 and $95. 

List of Taekwondo Equipment

  • Chest Protector
  • Foot Protector
  • Forearm Guards
  • Groin Guard
  • Gloves
  • Hand Wraps
  • Headgear
  • Heavy Bags
  • Kicking Paddles
  • Kicking Shields
  • Mats
  • Mouthguards
  • Rebreakable Boards
  • Shin Guards
  • Shoes

Taekwondo Training Equipment

Outside of the many forms of protective equipment Taekwondo practitioners utilize, there are also a fair few forms of training equipment that Taekwondo participants can use to improve their overall performance and technique.

Popular Taekwondo training equipment includes:

  • Heavy Bags
  • Kicking Paddles
  • Kicking Shields
  • Mats
  • Rebreakable Boards
  • Shoes

Taekwondo Protective Equipment

As taekwondo is a combat sport, protective equipment is extremely important to make sure that athletes can practice their skills effectively and safely. This equipment is mainly utilized when sparring against an opponent or training partner.

There is a wide range of protective equipment available, including:

  • Chest Protector
  • Foot Protector
  • Forearm Guards
  • Groin Guard
  • Gloves
  • Hand Wraps
  • Headgear
  • Mouthguard
  • Shin Guards


What equipment is used for taekwondo?

Most taekwondo equipment is protective gear to guard athletes from punches and kicks. Taekwondo is a physical and dangerous sport without proper protective gear, and competitions will not let you compete without the necessary padding. Equipment like kicking paddles or kicking shields are used for training and help you build up your taekwondo skills. A taekwondo mat is also necessary since it provides a safe surface for athletes to compete barefoot.

What makes taekwondo equipment special and unique?

Unlike many major sports, taekwondo does not require special equipment to compete outside of protective gear. Since taekwondo is a very physical sport, most of the equipment necessary is just for the protection of each competitor’s body. Competitors use only their bodies and skills to compete.

What is the most important equipment to buy for taekwondo?

The most important taekwondo equipment for you to have are pieces of protective gear. The following pieces of equipment will help you stay safe and allow you to compete in any competition: chest protector, foot protector, forearm guards, groin guard, hand wraps, mouthguard, shin guards.

How much does taekwondo equipment cost?

Each individual piece of protective gear typically costs between $10 and $30, making it a reasonably affordable sport. Higher-end gear may cost you a bit more, but it should last you a longer time than cheaper gear would. Keep in mind that you may need to repurchase gear as you wear it out or grow out of it and need larger or better equipment.