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Ask any MMA trainee and they will tell you how important a good pair of gloves is for their safety and performance. As a fighter, you should several pairs of MMA gloves, each catering to a different training area.
But, how do you choose the best MMA gloves?
Ideally, one has to be highly specific in buying the perfect match for their training needs. For instance, sparring gloves serve a whole different purpose than competition gloves. While some brands out there are quite versatile, it is ideal to understand the pros and cons of each before buying.
It is quite a daunting task to find the right pair, mostly because there are so many different types of MMA gloves to choose from. Gloves are an essential safety item that you need to wear during MMA bouts and training sessions. Some believe that MMA gloves exist to protect their opponents, but this is not true. Ideally, MMA gloves weigh around 4-6 oz. and have paddings which are meant to protect the wrist and fingers of the person wearing it, while allowing the fingers free for attack and defense maneuvers.
Honestly speaking, some of the best MMA gloves can be really expensive. Hence, it is important that you choose based on fit and comfort. The pros recommend choosing gloves that are designed with extra padding on the outside to protect the knuckles.
With the popularity of MMA as a combat sport, the related industry (accessories and gears) has become a big business. Hence, the market is flooded with products, both good and bad. Worry not, we did the work for you. In this article, we’ll tell you about the top 10 MMA gloves alongside their pros and cons. We will also share some cool tips to help you select the best MMA gloves.
10 Best MMA Gloves & Reviews
1. Hayabusa T3 MMA Pro Style MMA Gloves
The Hayabusa T3 MMA gloves are suitable for fighting, sparring, or punching. It is suitable for athletes of all levels and a good addition to your range of MMA gear. These MMA gloves make use of a proprietary Dual-X wrist closure to give you the most ergonomic wrist and hand alignment. This is important not only to give you the most striking power but also to help prevent wrist and hand injury.
The pre-curved finishing helps to reduce fatigue when sparring or fighting. It is one of the best products in the market in terms of craftsmanship and attention to detail. It is resilient and durable as well as provides superior control and stability over any other MMA gloves.
Priced economically, this pair of gloves flaunt an inner material that is gentle on your knuckles. The feel and wrist support are top-notch, and it is equally lightweight. Hayabusa’s attention to detail with the T3 gloves is impeccable, because everything from the inner lining to the stitching looks perfect. The use of high-quality foam often ensures that the gloves do not require a traditional break-in, regardless of whether you are a stand-up fighter or would like to take it to the ground.
Although the overall level of comfort is high, some fighters may not find the use of full grain leather suitable for them. Anyone concerned about scuffing, scraping and ripping, though, can be confident that the cloth can hang on.
- Multi-directional Dual Strap closure.
- Grade-A foam and leather.
- Ultra-durable and economically priced.
- Initially a bit tight (snugs after multiple reps).
- Size-chart isn’t very clear.
2. RDX T2 MMA Gloves
RDX is one of the biggest manufacturers of high-quality boxing and MMA gear. They have quite an assortment of MMA gloves to choose from – one of which is RDX T2. RDX MMA gloves are cheaper compared to those of its rivals. Prices range from $30 to $50 depending largely on design and quality.
The RDX T2 is sturdy and snugly fitted 4 oz. MMA gloves that are ideally suited for grappling and are designed primarily to protect your hands, without hampering your finger mobility. If you’re training regularly, these gloves will be sure to withstand the hours you spend sparring. These gloves are made from 100% original full-grain cowhide leather and has an extra-thick foam padding.
The Velcro strap wraps around the wrist twice, adding support and making it quite obvious they won’t need you to tie them down for a very long time, if ever. The thumb has an angle on it that will make your training partners a bit uncomfortable and maybe even scratch a little bit.
It features a Quick-EZ hook and loop closure that makes sure it fits the wrist perfectly. Besides, the micro fabric used soaks the sweat away from your palms. And, to top it all, RDX T2 has the Nabla-Palm architecture that ensures ultimate grappling.
- Full-grain cowhide leather
- Half-finger and open-palm design
- Quick-EZ loop and hook closure
- Wears out when used regularly.
- Limited color options.
3. Venum Impact MMA Gloves
This is one of the most-famous gloves from the Venum franchisee. The Venum Impact MMA Gloves are made from high and premium quality Skintex leather, which is one of the most durable types of artificial leather. Hence, you can expect these gloves to be durable.
The inside of the gloves consists of multi-layered foam that provides a tremendous amount of shock resistance, helping to reduce any pain experienced on the hands and wrists of the wearers. Using a special Velcro wrist strap for clamping ensures that the gloves fit your wrist well.
These are specially designed to protect the wrists and feet, unlike other MMA combat gloves that you might find locally. They have a high density couture base, an integrated multilayered foam system for improved shock absorption, and a Velcro strap which makes it much easier to put them on and take them off.
As with most of the other products from Venum (Challenger, Attack, Impact, etc.), the high-density threading seems to allow the gloves to stand hours after hours of intense training without falling apart. When compared to similar gloves from other manufactures, Venum MMA gloves are worth the price tag.
- Extremely durable Skintex leather.
- Available in almost every size.
- Competitive pricing.
- Wrist support could be a tad bit better.
- The Velcro fastener is placed a bit lower.
4. Hayabusa Tokushu Regenesis MMA Gloves
Comparatively a newer addition to the Hayabusa gears and accessories, the Tokushu Regenesis is constructed with an ergonomically-improved 30% pre-curve design. But, it still keeps the signature Dual-X Wrist Closure system.
These premium gloves provide maximum protection and produce maximum power. The proprietary Hayabusa AG interior fabric is used for the internal Lining for ultimate comfort Tokushu Regenesis weighs at best 4 oz. It also has a patented antimicrobial technology that doesn’t wash off and stays till the gloves last. Besides, the Upgraded Vylar-2 Engineered Leather provides advanced crack resistance for unmatched glove longevity.
With these add-ons and its open-palm style, this pair of gloves are guaranteed to keep your hands protected, cool and comfortable at all times. They have just about everything you need from a good-quality MMA glove.
- Antimicrobial technology.
- Signature Dual X Wrist Closure system.
- Less durable.
- It takes time to snug.
5. RDX MMA Gloves for Grappling
Made with 100% authentic Maya Hide leather, these gloves are built for superiority. The gloves are unrivaled when it comes to grappling training for mixed martial arts, working out, Muay Thai or boxing. When you go punching and grappling with this pair of gloves, it helps you a lot. The leather consistency offers better tractability, resistance to cracking, wear and tear and more.
It features a Polymax Contoured Tri-Slab PC3 Padding that delivers quality protection and is designed for impact resistance. With tri-layered padding, it can flawlessly dispense the shock evenly across the surface of the gloves.
It also has an improved Quick-EZ Hook & Loop Closure that is super-easy to wear. The strap is ergonomically built to deliver all-around protection for the wrist and fingers while increasing the strength of grapples. RDX grappling gloves are made in D-Cut curved-palm shape to foster ventilation and keep hands and palms dry.
- Resilient Maya Hide Synthetic Construction
- Polymax Contoured Tri-Slab PC3 Padding
- Improved Quick-EZ Hook-and-Loop Closure
- Limited color options.
- It isn’t as durable as its competitors.
6. Anthem Athletics Predator MMA Gloves
Weighing at 4 oz. and 7 oz., these gloves are great for training as well as professional competitions. Made from original full-grain cowhide leather, this pair of gloves from Anthem Athletics is highly durable. It fits comfortably and offers a great amount of flexibility to perform clinch and grapple moves.
One of the standout features of these gloves is they break-in (snug fit) within the first couple of days itself. It features a wide-open palm design that compliments the flexibility of the fingers. In addition, it also provides greater breathability, thus preventing sweating.
As the manufacturer isn’t into flashy ads and celebrity endorsements, not many know about this brand. They have raised the bar when it comes to affordability and quality. If you are looking for a low-budget yet value-for-money deal, do check out this brand.
- Affordable pricing.
- Offers 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Pure cowhide leather gloves.
- Limited color options.
- Comparatively thin padding.
6. UFC Official Gloves
Come on! We are talking about the best MMA gloves…And, UFC Official Fight Gloves deserve a mention. This is what the pros wear when fighting. It weighs around 4 oz. and is a highly sought after pair of gloves. It has a pre-curved, anatomically correct design that offers a comfortable and secure fit.
Plus, it has a layered gel protection over the knuckle area and an open finger design which is aimed at giving you free movement and greater flexibility. And, to top it all, the dual-locking closure system ensures premium wrist support without impacting motion and/or comfort.
For the most flexibility and dexterity during wrestling, these gloves are both open-palmed and open-thumbed. The UFC gloves are multi-layered (like all the best MMA gloves) and have pre-formed curves for shock absorption and comfort during your fights and training sessions.
- Open-palm and open-thumb design.
- Pre-formed curves for enhanced shock protection.
- A bit pricey.
- The sutures aren’t perfect.
7. Venum Challenger MMA Gloves
Designed in Thailand, the Venum Challenger MMA gloves are made from PU leather and are suitable for both gym training and ring fighting. It has a reinforced finger and thumb opening that absorbs every bit of shock generated with each strike.
These gloves have a multi-layered foam construction for enhanced shock absorption and wrist protection. Plus, the double-closure system ensures a perfect fit and easy access, thus guaranteeing great support as well as comfort. It should be remembered that each opening of the finger and thumb is sustainably reinforced and helps to withstand virtually every ounce of shock for each strike better. You can be sure to say your thumb will never get stuck with the Venum Challenger MMA Gloves!
Wide leather hook and loop closure minimizes the risk of a wrist injury. It weighs around 4 oz. and makes use of high-density thread for needle works. The price ranges from around $25 to $90, depending on the selection. Pro athletes say that it offers enhanced high-wrist support.
- A huge assortment of colors.
- Great wrist support.
- Competitive pricing.
- It doesn’t protect the palms.
- Needs hand wraps for heavy bag workout.
8. Everlast Pro Style MMA Grappling Gloves
Everlast is a well-known name in the sports gear and accessories industry. This pair of gloves is made from premium synthetic leather that provides extended functionality and long-lasting durability. It has a refined glove padding that provides a more ergonomic fist shape for enhanced flexibility and comfort.
It also features the EverDri Technology – a moisture absorbing technology that keeps your hands dry while you fight or train. The full-wrist wrap and adjustable Hook & Loop strap ensures greater fit, quick wear, and can be customized to your wrist size.
When it comes to sewing, Everlast pro style MMA combat gloves feature excellent craftsmanship. Nonetheless, you may find any frays at the ends of those stitches which should have been better cleaned up. These gloves also come with the latest EverFresh antimicrobial treatments that stop odors, thus keeping it fresh for longer durations.
- EverDri Technology for soaking moisture.
- EverFresh Technology for preventing odor.
- Customizable wrist size (full-wrist strap).
- Stitches can be better.
- Only 2 color variants.
9. Venum Elite MMA Gloves
Made from high-quality, extremely lightweight premium Skintex Leather, this pair of gloves you to land more fast and precise punches while ensuring safety and security. It has a triple-density gel and impact foam with a pre-curved design which makes it a great choice for sparring training sessions.
They are easy to clean and have an adjustable Velcro strap that maintains a snug and custom fit. It protects your wrists and hands from unnecessary injuries and sprains. Weighing at 7 oz., these gloves are handmade in Thailand. The intuitively built inner fit and wrist band snugly suits almost every hand. It cannot be emphasized enough that these gloves are extremely comfortable, and will provide an almost painless exercise environment when used with wraps.
With the Hook & Loop closure system, these gloves stay secure at their positions when you train or fight. It is the perfect protection for both attacking and defending as is able to withstand intense workout sessions.
- Premium Skintex Leather.
- Exclusive Velcro strap system.
- Ergonomic design for advanced shock absorption.
- Elastic bands holding the thumb and wrist can be stronger.
- Limited colors.
Types of MMA Gloves
Did you know MMA gloves are sometimes also referred to as Grappling gloves? Anyway, choosing the correct MMA gloves can be a daunting task, especially if this is your first time. The best way to get the best pair is to have a better understanding of the different types of MMA gloves as well as the purposes each serves.
MMA gloves can be categorized into three broad categories-
- Grappling Gloves
- Sparring Gloves
- Fighting Gloves
These gloves go by many names (so, don’t get confused). Some may refer to it as training gloves, some call it hybrid gloves, and a few call it bag gloves. Nonetheless, all of these are the same thing – grappling gloves.
Ideally, these gloves are designed for grappling. They are padded and cushioned to protect the fighter from the force of striking bags and pads. You can easily spot these out from the rest as they have segmented fingers with loads of padding. The idea behind this design is to offer the fighter maximum finger movement.
Such gloves usually have improved brace support and weigh more, usually because of thick padding. Many bag gloves could include a grip bar built into the glove. Remember don’t hit a heavy bag unless you wear the right bag gloves and don’t use it while sparring.
These are way too different than grappling or competition gloves. The sparring gloves are specifically designed to protect MMA fighters and are only used for practice fights. These have more padding to defend the fighter against sprains, and the opponent against injury.
There are essentially two styles of sparring gloves: (A) those that look like standard MMA gloves and have individual finger holes, or (B) gloves with a wide padded punching area and finger loops. All styles are appropriate for sparring. Selection depends on personal preference, but we recommend selecting the gloves with individual finger slots.
You can choose from 7 oz. and higher (extra padding) if you are engaged in some extensive sparring sessions. However, remember that sparring gloves take the most beating, thus durability is always a concern. But, do not go for cheaper gloves as it won’t provide you enough protection.
No points for guessing! As the name suggests, these gloves are made for competitions. Comparatively lighter than the other two types, these gloves have the least amount of padding. Typically, competition gloves weigh around 4 to 6 oz., they are designed for the real competition.
It is constructed with the idea that in a fight the players need enough to be protected from cuts and not extra padding that will soften the blows in any way. With that being clear, it is important to wear wrist wraps inside the competition gloves.
Note that you shouldn’t be using competition gloves to spar as it can lead to injuries. You might need to check with your trainer for the weight of the gloves. (size is proportional to weight).
Most manufacturers list the available sizes and weights to make it easier for their customers. But, you need to be extra cautious before buying. You don’t want to end up with a pair of MMA gloves that don’t fit perfectly or one that is heavy. Keep in mind that the size of the glove depends on the purpose it serves. For instance, competition gloves are the lightest while sparring gloves can weigh as high as 16 oz.
Before you decide on a pair, make sure to measure your hand/fist size. Here’s an idea – measure around your knuckles (just the four fingers excluding the thumb) and then across the wrist to get a fair idea of the size you’ll need. In most cases, the sizes are consistent across brands. So, if you get a correct measure of your hands, it will be easier for you to decide.
The standard size chart is as follows –
- Small (6.5 inches to 7.5 inches)
- Medium/Regular (7.5 inches to 8.5 inches)
- Large (8.5 inches to 9.5 inches)
- XL (9.5 inches and above)
Make sure to double-check the sizes with the manufacturers if you have any last-minute doubts. And, if you prefer to wear a hand wrap under the gloves, see to it that you buy one size larger than what actually fits you.
When it comes to weight, the gloves vary by requirement. Sparring gloves weigh the highest as they are intended to protect your sparring partner from injuries. Grappling gloves, on the other hand, are heavier than the competition gloves, mainly because they have extra padding to protect your fingers.
Listed below are the standard weights of MMA gloves by types –
- Sparring Gloves (7-16 ounces)
- Grappling Gloves (7 ounces and higher)
- Competition Gloves (4-6 ounces)
- Hybrid Gloves (7-10 ounces)
As you can see there are too many aspects to consider before buying a pair of best MMA gloves. They are for your protection; hence you must not compromise over its pricing.
If you are in doubt, talk to your trainer or colleagues to understand which gloves best suit your needs. Buying a high-quality glove that lasts is better than replacing cheap MMA gloves because of premature wear and tear. Buying the best MMA gloves you can afford is a good investment for your fitness.
We hope this article helps you make an informed decision. Before you buy, consider double-checking the below aspects –
- The material (Cowhide leather, Skintex, Synthetic, etc.)
- Moisture absorption and odor prevention.
- Customizable wrist wrap (Velcro, Hook & Loop, etc.)
- Padding (triple-layer, extra thick, gel and foam combination, etc.)
- Palm type (open-palm, perforated, etc.)
- Size and Weight
- Refund and replacement policy.
- Price tag.
Once you start filtering your choices based on these factors, it will be easier for you to segregate the best MMA gloves from the rest. While we recommend the above products, there are more items out there that you can try. Whatever be it, just remember that you should be the one to determine what is right for you.
Are MMA Gloves good for punching bags?
Not exactly! Ideally, boxing gloves are a perfect fit for punching bags. MMA gloves aren’t as thick as boxing gloves, thus using them on punching bags might lead them to get worn out sooner than you expect.
How to Clean MMA gloves?
MMA gloves are much easier to clean as compared to boxing gloves. You can simply dip in a mixture of water and detergent, rinse thoroughly, and dry with a towel. Try not to soak them too much, as it can hurt the inside of the padding.
Should MMA gloves be tight?
The gloves should fit comfortably. Your MMA gloves shouldn’t be tight enough to prevent the free movement of fingers and wrist. Nor should it be so loose that it slips and slides. Initially, most MMA gloves will feel tight but they snug within a couple of days of regular use.