You don’t need much equipment to start Savate. but after a while you will want to buy a few things, especially when you want to compete or to grade. Below are my informal recommendations for London Savate, with links to some products and shops (with which I am not affiliated) and some tips and advice. I hope you find it useful. Message me on 07950 456307 with any questions or if you have links to any good products I have missed.
If any of the links are broken, please message me. I have tried to name the products after the link so you have the chance to run a search as well.
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Let’s start with a link to The Great Britain Savate Federation’s (GBSF) rules on what you need in order to compete in the UK.
Any boxing gloves sold at sports shops and online stores will likely be fine. Choose a style and a colour you like. You can spend anything from £5 to £100. Make sure you get boxing gloves and not bag mitts or wrestling gloves and ensure you buy gloves that fit your body weight:
Less than 60kg: 8oz gloves
60-75kg: 10oz gloves
75-85kg: 12oz gloves
over 85kg (men only): 14oz gloves
I favour smaller, lighter gloves for fast movement and to puncture my opponent’s guard, but you may find other preferences influence your choice. These are what I wear for everyday training:
http://www.decathlon.co.uk/fkt580-boxing-gloves-id_8313162.html (DOMYOS FKT580 boxing gloves)
And these are about the cheapest available:
http://www.decathlon.co.uk/boxing-gloves-fkt180-white-id_8281393.html (DOMYOS FKT180 boxing gloves)
http://www.sportsdirect.com/boxing/boxing-gloves (Sports Direct boxing gloves search)
Boots are the main weapon in Savate so finding a pair that you find comfortable for training and competition is important. Boots with ankle support I find far better than low-cut trainers or squash shoes. I recommend getting Rivat Savate shoes if you can afford them, or boxing boots if you cannot.
Quoting from the rules for competing in the UK:
“Boots must protect the fighter’s own feet whilst being unlikely to cause injury by snagging on the opponents clothes, tearing or cutting an opponent, or by being excessively hard. Boots must therefore be free from jagged edges, with minimal tread and no protruding heel, have no buckles or sharp bits, metal eyelets, rutted soles or reinforced tips. Laces must be hidden or taped up. GBSF-recommended shoes are FISav-sanctioned Savate boots, but some boxing boots, squash shoes and indoor sports shoes may also be permitted.”
Buying from either of these French stores will set you back a minimum of 60 EUR plus postage, but the boots are very good and your training experience will improve in them. For international competition, you will likely need these.
Good alternative – Blitz Titan Boxing boots.
Cheap purchase – Lonsdale boxing boots
Look for a style that has minimal tread, sharp edges or protrusions.
I recommend a cricket protector which I buy from Sports Direct. The martial arts ones are not as easy to wear.
www.sportsdirect.com/slazenger-classic-abdo-guard–857029 (Slazenger AbdoGuard)
With the matching shorts:
http://www.sportsdirect.com/slazenger-cricket-box-shorts-mens-335018 (Slazenger Cricket Box Shorts Mens)
The Shock Dr Pelvic protector:
As hard shin guards are not permitted, the best buy is Blitz Elastic shin pads. Get the ones that cover only the shins. Guards that have ‘kickers’ over the feet as well are not useful in Savate.
I usually have these in stock, so ask me first.
Any single or double gum shield is fine. I usually have some in stock.
Female chest guards
Receommended: Blitz Sport Cool Guard with inserts
So long as it fits and doesn’t cause any safety issues, you can wear it in class. For competition, nothing baggy will be allowed and you need long trousers.
UPDATE Nov 2016. Sport7 in Paris is no longer operating, so I am seeking an alternative good supplier for (especially men’s) Savate trousers.
It can be more comfortable to wear a 2-piece outfit, with trousers and top rather than the traditional 1-piece Savate Integrale. Sport7 have Savate trousers on their rail so if you are in Paris, go in and try them on. To order them online you will need to give your weight, height and inside leg measurements. I thoroughly recommend these. As with boots, wearing trousers that have been designed for the sport really makes a difference.
An alternative is full contact trousers. They are a little wider, so not ideal, but perfectly usable. The satin variety are more flexible than the cotton ones and do not weigh down when wet.
http://www.blitzsport.com/Adult-Classic-Satin-Full-Contact-Trousers?sc=9&category=2271748 (Blitz Sport Adult Classic Full Contact Trousers)
If buying tracksuit bottoms, make sure they are not baggy and have no zip on them. Zips are a safety hazard and the usual placement is at the ankle – just where it will cause damage when you kick. Cotton tracksuits and joggers can be found in many high street stores. Just make sure you have range of motion for your kicks. Otherwise, running trousers, yoga pants (not baggy) or leggings will work. These are generally easier to buy for women than for men.
Recommendation for women:
Puma Essential Regular Pants
Any tight fitting polyester or lycra top will be good. Decathlon sell a breathable tank top which is not expensive: