There is no training judo without a gi. Judogi, as it is named in Japanese, has been a part of judo since its early days. While it looks quite similar to gi’s used in karate, judo gi’s are engineered to endure the throws and ground game that is used in judo.
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned veteran, owning a quality judo gi is a must. If you are having trouble finding the right gi for you, we’ve created a list of the 5 best judo gi’s in order to help you make your decision.
Quality, durability, materials, and breathability are the main factors we’ve looked at before making this list.
What is a Judo Gi?
A judo gi is a traditional uniform that judo practitioners must wear. The judogi has three separate parts: the jacket, pants, and a belt.
Very few things have changed from the very first judogi; the pants sleeves are a bit longer, but other than that, the design has stayed pretty much the same.
There are two available colors for a judo gi: white and blue. Competitors must wear white or blue gi’s in competitions, and not only that, before they compete, they must pass a gi check. A gi must not show signs of wear and must pass dimension checks.
Judo gi’s have very thick lapels, and they are thick so they can withstand the pulling and throws. Gi’s used in judo also have some reinforcement in the back and chest area.
5 Best Judo Gi’s for 2022
Now that we know what our judo gi’s are and how they are designed, let’s take a look at our 5 top picks.
1. Mizuno Shiai Competition
Mizuno is a Japanese brand that makes equipment for many different sports. Founded way back in 1906, Mizuno is a trusted brand in the judo gi world, as their judogi are worn by some great judo fighters.
Mizuno Shiai Competition is a popular option, made from cotton which makes it very breathable and comfortable. Since it’s made for serious competitors, the Shiai Competition has a double weave thickness, implemented in the gi for more durability.
With this gi, you can expect the highest quality and no stone left unturned in terms of construction. You will feel the difference in the fabric and quality even more if you upgrade from a cheap, old gi.
It is pre-shrunk, but since the gi is thick and durable, it needs so time to get fully broken in. Other than that, this is a near-perfect gi for competitors, and it comes in white and blue, with sizes ranging from 1-7.
2. Fuji Double Weave Judo Gi
If you are looking for a more affordable option, Fuji Double Weave Gi is a good option. Made by a respectable brand that has been around for more than 50 years, Fuji Double Weave Gi is a very comfortable one. This one has a simple design with the Fuji logo on the left sleeve and also comes in white and blue like most other competition gi’s.
This is one heavy gi; you can just feel how rugged and durable it is made. Fuji’s cotton blend that this gi is made from is one comfortable material, and will not cause itching on your skin.
The Fuji Double Weave Judo Gi is not pre-shrunk, so you should keep that in mind when choosing your size. On the other hand, this gi will last a long time, and it’s great for beginners and professionals.
3. Pro Force Gladiator Judo Gi
Made from 100% cotton and having an affordable price tag, the Pro Force Gladiator Gi is an excellent option for beginners and young judoka. It’s very interesting that you get 4 color options to choose from: white, natural white, blue, and black.
While the quality of the jacket is excellent, especially for the price, the quality of the pants is not, and that is noticeable almost immediately. As the gi is not pre-shrunk, after a couple of washes it will shrink drastically, so you need to be careful when choosing your size.
Those are the two drawbacks to this gi. However, at this price, you can’t get much better. Beginners and non-competitors don’t need to spend a huge amount on a professional gi, and the Pro Force Gladiator Gi is a perfect choice.
4. Fuji Single Weave Gi
Another gi from Fuji find its place on this list, and it’s their Single Weave Gi. One of the most popular single weave gi’s on the market, if you are a beginner, you will be happy to hear that this one comes with a white belt.
Made from a mix of cotton and polyester, which adds to the durability, this gi is extremely comfortable. Like their Double Weave Gi, this one also has a pretty simple and elegant design. Nothing flashy, just as judo gi’s should look.
Since it’s a single weave gi, it’s much lighter than double weave gi’s, which is something that beginners will prefer. The Fuji Single Weave Gi provides excellent value, comfort, and durability, as Fuji gi’s are known for it.
5. Ronin Single Weave Judo Gi
Ronin may not be as familiar to the wider masses as Fuji or Mizuno, but they are a brand that produces high-quality gis for BJJ, karate, and judo. This single weave gi is made from 100% cotton, and it’s a great choice for beginners.
Lightweight and pretty durable, the Ronin Judo Gi makes for a great investment. Especially when you hear that it has reinforced shoulders, knees, and sleeves, and it comes with a white belt.
The stitching on this gi is also very good, adding to its overall durability. This gi is not pre-shrunk, so you should think about that before choosing the size.
How to Choose a Judo Gi
Being a newcomer in judo and wondering what gi to choose can be a very demanding task. There are many different options, and you have to make sure that you choose the right one.
Let’s go over different factors you should think about before making a decision.
Back in the day, most gi’s were made from 100% cotton. Nowadays, that is rare, and brands make gi’s with a blend of polyester and cotton. Polyester adds to the durability, but cotton adds to the comfort.
There are a couple of options on the market that are 100% cotton but are very rare to find. However, trusted brands have blends of cotton and polyester that make the gi durable and comfortable at the same time.
What is a gi worth if it rips after a couple of practices? Judo is a demanding martial art, and the gi suffers a lot during practice and competition. Well, that’s what it’s made for, and getting a gi that will last you a long time is essential.
Single vs Double Weave
As a beginner, it’s important to understand the differences between the single and double weave gis. What weave a gi has determined its weight, price, and durability.
Single Weave uses less cotton, therefore making up for a lightweight and affordable gi, however, its durability is no match for the double weave gi’s.
Double Weave gi’s has two cotton layers, which increases the weight, durability, and thickness of the gi. This type of gi is preferred by competitors.
How Many Gi’s You Need?
Judo practice is hard, and, no matter what, you will be sweating. A gi absorbs that sweat during the practice, but after practice is over, if you don’t wash your gi, it will start to smell and stains may appear.
A sweaty gi will present a problem for you and for your practice partners. Therefore, it’s recommended that you wash your gi after every practice.
And, this is where a question arises. How many gi’s do you need to own? If you practice almost every day, one gi is not going to cut it. There is simply no time to wash it and for it to dry up before going to practice.
Competitors own a couple of gis in both white and blue colors, and when one gi is drying, they have another one that is ready for use.
Whether you are a competitor or not, owning at least two-three gi’s is highly recommended.