Having studied Judo since I was 5, I’ve experienced my fair share of gis, some good, some not so good.
Today I would like to go over some of the best Judo gis currently available and discuss some of the main ways to distinguish a decent gi from a bad one.
I personally like to have a few different gis, a couple of lighter training gis (usually one blue and one white) and a thicker gi for competitions. This is just a personal preference, however a lot of other Judokas I know have a similar sort of set up, so I thought it was worth mentioning.
By having a few different gis, you’ll keep your competition gi in good shape for longer, and also be able to wash one training gi whilst using the other.
Ok, lets get to it.
Comparison of Our Top Picks
List of the Best Judo Gis
Ok, lets' take a closer look at some of the best gis for judo currently available.
Mizuno Shai Competition Gi – Best Judo Gi for Competitions
First up on our list of the best Judo gis is the Mizuno Shai Competition Gi, a top notch gi ideal for anyone looking to compete in Judo. Like most gis do, the Mizuno Shai comes in both blue and white in a wide variety of different sizes.
Depending on the type of competition you plan on entering, you may need both a blue and white gi due to the fact that each competitor is required to wear different colours. It’s worth checking prior to the event, as most competitions for anyone who is not a black belt utilise red and white belts to differentiate between the two opponents.
In terms of design, the Mizuno gi features a fairly minimal amount of branding, with a logo being located on the top of the right sleeve and at the top of the pants.
Handily, the Mizuno Judo Gi comes pre-shrunk, meaning that you don’t have to worry about the gi shrinking down to an unwearable size upon its’ first wash. That being said, do expect a slight bit of shrinkage, as despite coming pre-shrunk, these gis do get slightly smaller when they’re washed for the first time.
Finally, the Mizuno Gi is designed with a competition cut, meaning that the fit of the gi is slightly tighter, with less excess material than training gis. This is done in order to offer your opponent less material to grip and provide you with a slight advantage.
Fuji Double Weave Gi – Great Gi for Training & Competing
Fuji are an incredibly well known producer of high quality gis, both for BJJ and for Judo. Fuji was created in 1969 by an 8th Dan black belt named Frank Hatashita, former Vice President of the International Judo Federation and one of the driving forces behind Judo becoming the Olympic sport that it is today.
With that in mind, it’s easy to see how years of knowledge and experience as birthed one of the most popular, high quality brand of Judo gis in the world. Over the years, Fuji have also brought in other Judo experts, such as Jimmy Pedro, 4 X Judo Olympian and former coach of the American Olympic team to further enhance the quality of their gis. (Jimmy also has an awesome DVD called ‘Fury on the Mat’ that I would highly recommend watching).
Now, with a wealth of knowledge at their disposable, Fuji gis are the go to brand for Judokas across the globe, with their Double Weave Gi one of their most popular options.
As the name suggest, the gi is constructed using double weave cotton that is both thick and durable. The durable nature of the double weave gi makes it a fantastic option for both competition and training and meets the IJF (International Judo Federation) size and weight specifications.
The Fuji Gi also makes use of reinforced stitching along the seems, allowing it to withstand the hours spent on the mat both training and competing.
Finally, the Fuji Double Weave Gi has become the gi of choice for many famous Judo clubs, for example the Morris Judo Center and Cohen’s Judo Center, two of the worlds most reputable Judo establishments.
Considering the price of this gi, it really is one of the best Judo gis, both in terms of value for money and in durability.
Fuji Single Weave Gi
Having just taken a look at their double weave gi, Fuji also produce a lighter, cheaper gi in the form of their single weave gi. This is one of the best Judo gis for beginners due to it’s extremely affordable price tag, however the single weave material means that it isn’t the most durable gi in the world.
That being said, it does make a great gi for training, especially in the summer months as the gi itself is pretty lightweight and not particularly thick.
Of course, the gi possesses the highly quality finishing touches that we’ve come to expect from Fuji, including reinforced stitching, minimalist design and even comes alongside a free white belt, saving a you a few extra bucks buying one separately.
It’s also worth mentioning that Fuji develop and design their gis with versatility in mind, allowing them to be suitable for both BJJ and Judo training.
All in all, not a bad gi, especially when you take into account it’s incredibly affordable price.
Pro Force Gladiator Judo Gi
I’m going to be honest here, this isn’t going to be winning any awards for the most durable Judo gi in the world. It is however, an affordable gi for those of you looking to give Judo a try, but don’t want to invest a ton of money in a top quality gi.
The gi comes in a variety of different colors such as white, blue, black and natural white. To be honest, I’ve never really seen anyone wearing a gi that isn’t blue or white, so I’m not too sure why they’re offering a black option. But hey, if you like it, go for it, however you more than likely won’t be able to compete in a black gi, so it’ll have to be purely for training.
Making use of single weave fabric, the Pro Force Gladiator Judo Gi is incredibly lightweight, however won’t be as durable as some of the double weave gis that have been featured in our list.
All in all, this gi is ideal for those of you who are looking to try your hand at Judo and are looking for an affordable gi to train in.
Fighting Films Black Label Gi
Oh, how Fighting Films holds a special place in my heart. When I was competing in my younger days, my Dad would sometimes reward me with a new Fighting Films gi if I had performed particularly in well in a competition. There’s just something special about the gis by Fighting Films, I’m not sure if it’s the design, the feel or the quality, maybe it’s all of it put together? All I know is, you’ll struggle to find a better gi any where else.
There are very few gis in the world able to compete with the exceptional standard that Fighting Films have to offer, however, this unfortunately means that the gis often come accompanied by a rather hefty price tag. As such, I would only recommend these gis if you’re a serious Judoka looking for a high quality gi for competitions.
The Fighting Films Black Label Judo Gi is available in both blue and white and features durable, double weave material with reinforced seems. The inside of the gi is constructed using brushed cotton in order to make the gi as comfortable as it is durable.
If you’re looking for a long lasting, comfortable gi able to withstand the intense nature of competitive Judo, then look no further. Fighting Films have really nailed it, however do expect to pay a premium for a premium gi such as this.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Gi for Judo
One of the best ways to identify how durable a gi is likely to be is by taking a look at the type of weave used to construct the gi itself. When shopping for a Judo gi, you’ll more than likely come across two different types of weaves – single weave and double weave.
Single weave Judo gis are popular amongst beginners and for training gis due to the fact that they tend to be the cheapest, lightest option. Single weave gis sacrifice durability in order to offer a cheaper price tag, hence are less ideal for serious Judokas looking for a long term gi.
Double weave gis essentially use double the amount of weaves as a single weave gi, often resulting in a material that is twice as thick and durable. Due to the increase in quality and material used to construct the gi, double weave gis tend to be more expensive than their single weave counterparts.
Unlike BJJ, where gis (see examples here)come in a variety of different colors like white, blue, black, pink and even camo, Judo gis are typically either white or blue. Similarly, Judo gis feature very little in terms of design, with no vibrant patches and a minimal amount of branding.
That being said, there are some slight differences in design from gi to gi, for example the thickness of a gis’ collar. Thicker collar and lapels are ideal for competition gis, as it makes establishing a grip a lot harder for you opponent.
Also, some brands allow you to embroider your gi with custom text, for example a used to have my surname – Davis, on the back of my gi. I’m not sure why, I just thought it looked cool, but have stopped doing that now I’m a bit older.
If you’re on the hunt of a training gi, I would recommend going for blue. This is because you’re going to be sweating a fair bit during training, which can cause a white gi to stain over time and go a yellowish color. By training in a blue gi, you won’t be able to see the sweat stains, meaning you can get away with using it for longer before having to get a new one.
With a Judo gi, you really get what you pay for. Cheaper gis tend to be ideal for training as they’re lightweight and it doesn’t matter to much if it starts to show a bit of wear and tear. If you’re looking for a competition gi, I would recommend splashing out a bit more and finding a thick gi that’s both durable and comfortable.
SizeSomething to be aware of when you’re shopping around for a gi is that it’s going to shrink the first time you wash it. If you’re finding your caught between two different size brackets, I would go for the larger option, as the chances are it will shrink down to your size after it’s first wash.
Best Judo Gi Brands
FujiIf in doubt, go for a Fuji gi. They’ve spent years perfecting the art of crafting high quality Judo gis and have a wide variety of options at different price points to choose from. They now have started to offer gis for BJJ as well as a number of different pieces of gear for MMA such as gloves, pads and even rash guards. One thing that remains consistent amongst all of Fujis’ different products is their emphasis on offering a quality item at an affordable price.
Fighting Films are by far my favorite brand of Judo gi and offer a number of different gis designed for different aspects of Judo such as training and competing. Worn by world champions and Olympians all over the world, you really can’t go wrong with a Fighting Films Judo gi.
Judo Gi FAQ’S
How do I wash My Judo Gi?
When washing a Judo gi, always make sure you use a cold wash. If you use a regular, warm wash, there’s a pretty good chance your gi is going to shrink. Similarly, make sure you air dry your gi after you wash it, as putting it in the dryer will also shrink it, potentially to the point where it no longer fits.
What’s the Difference Between a Judo and BJJ Gi?
While being very aesthetically similar, Judo gis tend to feature a looser cut, with longer sleeve and pants length. As well as this, Judo gis often have a thicker collar and lapel with minimal amount of branding, unlike BJJ gis which tend to be plastered with patches and embroidery.
Should I Have More Than One Gi?
This really depends on how serious you’re taking, or planning on taking Judo. If you’re training multiple times a week, having one or two training gis to alternate between is a good idea. This way, you’ve got one to wear whilst you wash the other. If you’re competing in Judo, I would also recommend you have a gi you wear specifically for competitions, this gi should be high quality with a thick lapel and collar.
Thanks for taking the time to read our list of the best Judo gis, hopefully now you’ve got a better understanding of some great options and are able to determine which Judo gi is right for you.
If you’ve got any questions regarding what I’ve discussed in this article, drop a comment down below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.