December 5, 2020

Best Muay Thai Gloves: Top Picks & Guide

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If you’re new to Muay Thai, your trainer will recommend you to wear gloves while practicing. Traditionally, Muay Thai fighters do not wear any sort of gloves. Some fighters, however, wore hand wraps. As it evolved as a combat sport, rules were put in place so that everyone can enjoy the game with lesser injuries.

Choosing the best Muay Thai gloves is no easy task. You will have to consider the material, size, weight, color, etc. Muay Thai has become a global sport, and as usual, the Muay Thai gears and accessories industries popped up in numbers. There’s a lot of varieties out there, each with their pros and cons.

At first glance, most get confused between boxing gloves and Muay Thai gloves. Don’t fret, we got you covered. Here are two major differences –

  • Compared to Boxing gloves, Muay Thai gloves are more flexible. This enables fighters to clench their fists easily.
  • Unlike boxing gloves, Muay Thai gloves have more padding around the wrist areas. This is to provide better resistance against the landing kicks.

There is a wide range of different Muay Thai gloves available, with different features suited for sparring, bag training, clinching, and competitive fighting. And, to get the right pair, you need to make an informed decision.

Best Muay Thai Gloves for Beginners & Reviews

1. Sanabul Essential Punching Bag Gloves

The brand has put a lot of effort to make these gloves visually attractive and well-performing without burning a hole in your pocket. Made from high-quality performance engineered leather, these gloves are comfortable on the knuckles while being durable and easy to wear.

It features a gel impact foam that provides superior protection and softness. The quality of the material makes it a great product for repeated use. The longitudinal arch design is unique to the brand and is built keeping in mind the natural curvature of a closed fist while striking. Thus, you will get the most comfortable and controllable throws when you take a swing. The Velcro closure keeps the gloves in place when you punch, making it much more likely to connect cleanly every time. The gloves are easy to get on and off, delivering an easy-to-use solution. The mesh palm is a great feature as well. It helps keep the hands cooler while increasing the breathability of the gloves.

The glove is easy to clean and take care of. That is because the finish is shiny and elegant. Like any other leather product, however, you need to manage this periodically. This involves wiping and cleaning, airing and ensuring it is completely dry after each session. Only in this way will it retain its good looks.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Value for Price.
  • Comfortable and durable.

Cons

  • Can be a bit tight.
  • Not comfortable with hand wraps.

2. Fairtex Training Sparring Gloves

Handcrafted in Thailand, Fairtex gloves are well-acclaimed. These are all-purpose gloves that can be used for pad work, bag training, and sparring. They are made of high-quality leather and come in great colors.

It has a tight-fitting, meaning as soon as you put your hands in, there isn’t much space. Glove weight distribution is good with more of the padding being around the knuckle at the front of the glove than other glove parts. These features make it the best choice for landing quick punches or blocking kicks. They are lightweight but provide ample protection to your fingers and wrists. It can endure long sessions of intense training, because of the heavy threading and pure leather. The smaller size (width and height) of these gloves makes these 16-ounce gloves a little lighter than other models. This makes it easier for you to break the rival’s defense with back-to-back punches. Since it snugs perfectly, fighters get an extra grip on their throws.

Based on the features and quality, the manufacturer has priced it moderately. Prices vary by the models, but you can rest assured that you will get a pair of gloves that’s as genuine as the manufacturer claims it to be.

Pros

  • Extremely high-quality build.
  • Great fit.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • Comparatively lesser padding for sparring.
  • Price can be adjusted a bit.

3. RDX Ego

Built from resilient Maya Hide leather, RDX boxing gloves are stubbornly durable. The brand has proven itself as one of the most trusted names. Great gloves at moderate prices – that’s what RDX is known for. The RDX Ego Egos is the cheapest boxing gloves that can be used for sparring and training. They come in a range of 8 oz. to 16 oz. weights.

It has extra-thick padding that guards the hooks & jabs in your hands. The areas around the wrists also have a distinct padded mass that covers the fist and the thumb attached. Like all RDX gear, the craftsmanship of these gloves is very strong – you won’t have any problems with stitches, etc. The inner side of the gloves is fantastic and has a smooth texture. Compared with some of the scratchy inner linings those low-value gloves, it provides a little bit of extra comfort on the fingertips. The gloves have ventilation holes in the palms, and an inside wick coating to remove moisture from the skin. As a result, for quite a long time, the gloves stay smell-free. Yet from time to time, you will still need to give the inside a wipe.

The cuffs and Velcro straps are nice and convenient. You won’t find any difficulty taking them on and off constantly. Extra-long bands offer great wrist support and fit your hands comfortably. These gloves feature Quadro-Dome technology, which is far too efficient than conventional layered-foam boxing & MMA gloves. This technology aims to protect for the eventuality. When striking, it assists in natural alignment, as well as keeps the wrist and thumb position stable.

Pros

  • Great quality at a very low price.
  • Well padded.
  • Attached Thumb Support.

Cons

  • Small Cuffs.
  • A bit uncomfortable.

4. Elite Sports Muay Thai Gloves

This is a good choice for entry-level fighters. With a minimal design theme, these gloves look good and are made from the highest-grade PU Leather. It features a pre-curved anatomic hand design which makes it extremely comfortable to wear during extended hours of training. You don’t even need to worry about completely closing your fists while training.

The triple-density gel and impact foam applied to these Elite gloves offer great protection. The pre-curved nature adds to its greater safety, elegance, and functionality. Not only are these gloves extremely lightweight, but they also are super comfy and super-easy to clean. With a stretchable wrist strap, the sturdy Velcro wrist closure makes these gloves easy to put on and take off. Proper alignment of our gloves during preparation, sparring, and matches prevents needless sprains and fractures providing the requisite protection to your hands and wrists.

It also has a stretchable-cuff feature that really helps secure the gloves around the wrists to fit various sizes of wrists. This is a great design for those with skinny hands, and it makes us wonder why other brands didn’t think earlier about it. Weighing between 10 oz. to 16 oz., Elite gloves can be used for sparring as well as other workouts.

Pros

  • Great Price.
  • A perfect balance of security, safety, and style.
  • Highly durable.

Cons

  • Limited sizes.
  • Break-in Issues (might cause sores initially).

5. Fairtex Microfibre

Fairtex has been around for a long time. They have been releasing excellent quality gloves one after another. While many of their models are a great fit, Microfibre stands out from the rest. It is an all-rounder pair of gloves that allows you to choose from 10 oz. to 16 oz. sizes/weights.

That glove is handmade in Muay Thai’s hometown, Thailand. Fairtex is known for stringent quality control and rules so that every glove is as reliable as it can be. The Microfiber gloves are ergonomically designed with a special hand-compartment that is contoured and closely fitted to ensure a safe and snug fit. It helps you to help make a fist inside the glove, as well as prevents damage to your hands and fingers. Given the tighter fit, you will still be comfortable wearing these gloves with hand-wraps. It is made of premium leather and has a reliable Fairtex Foam System for A-grade knuckle and hand protection.

There is one problem though. The ventilation isn’t as good as compared to other gloves, but the durability is excellent. But that is not as a problem as the gloves are made of premium leather. And, premium leather doesn’t smell. Everything is in top shape – from binding to lining, to leather. As with many other Fairtex gloves, you can choose from a variety of various colors and styles.

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable.
  • Durable.
  • Shock absorbent.

Cons

  • Little pricier than most brands.
  • Breaking-in the padding takes time.

6. Yokkao Matrix

Compared to other brands, Yokkao has a moderate fit that feels stable and snug. These pairs of gloves are manufactured by the Yokkao brand based in Bangkok and are remarkably very budget-friendly although they are made of pure leather.

The foam insulation is very well spread, providing great cushioning on the back of the hand for the knuckles, and even around the wrists. All gloves provide some versatility to allow for clinching but ample protection not to overstretch the wrists. Between the Synthex and Matrix, the latter has more comfortable padding. You’ll never get any hand injuries with Yokkao Matrix. The Matrix gloves are designed to last and give athletes unparalleled comfort and elegance when working their way up to higher Muay Thai skill levels. The shock-absorbing padding spread across the knuckles and wrists guarantees all-round protection. This protecting padding also provides the ultimate cushion and support for hard-hitting action on the pads, the bags, and sparring.

They come in sizes/weight ranging between 8 oz. and 16 oz. You will also find double-stitched seams for additional reinforcement with Hook & Loop closure. The only problem is that these gloves will feel a bit tight initially, and it takes some time for the padding to break-in.

Pros

  • Original Leather.
  • Various Color Options.
  • Good thumb attachment and well-spread padding.

Cons

  • Doesn’t have much ventilation.
  • Cuff (Velcro) doesn’t fasten securely at times.

7. Venum Elite

Venum Elite Gloves are excellent for all entry and intermediate-levels of Muay Thai trainees and fighters. They are a quality product made from Premium Skintex leather with fantastic flashy designs alongside superior protection. Although Skintex is synthetic leather, these gloves feel smooth and snappy (quite similar to latex leather).

The upper palm uses a woven lining with drilled holes on the hand for better ventilation. The lower side has tiny but quite thick padding for punches to parry and block. It has a thumb attached, and enough holes for ventilation. This durability is due to its double-stitching, resulting in reinforced seams that last longer. They also make the gloves sturdier and less susceptible to wear and tear. Additionally, it provides better support and greater protection for the wrist. You can use these gloves for bag training as well as sparring.

Venum Elite gloves have a critical ergonomic balance that lets the users get the most out of a punch. It is built in such a way that your palm bends towards the wrist joint. This forces the hands to punch directly with the knuckles which is good for Muay Thai since it naturally allows the hands to rest on a punching position. Although most products from Venum end up on the higher side of the price chart, Elite is surely an affordable product (and, totally worth the price).

Pros

  • Made from original Skintex leather.
  • Great thermal regulation and triple-density foam padding.
  • Extremely comfortable.

Cons

  • Mostly suitable for entry-level and intermediate trainees.
  • The Cuff could be better.

8. Twins Special Gloves

Twins has been a known-name in the game Muay Thai for more than 25 years. The best part about Twins Special is that these gloves come from the very root of Muay Thai, Thailand. Handcrafted from 100% authentic leather, these gloves are meant to last long while being equally comfortable.

These gloves come in weights ranging from 8 oz. to 18 oz. and includes a high-grade Velcro fastener that makes it super easy to put on and off. The air mesh is a really good breathability feature too. The Twins Special Gloves are perfect for you if you’re someone who sweats a lot or constantly feels like you’ve got no circulation through your gloves then. The inner side of the glove contains multiple vents which allow them to be breathable. You get a good amount of padding which caters to beginners and professionals alike. The extra padding helps fighters to land quick and hard punches without hurting the wrists. And, the special Hook and Loop wrist strap ensures full security.

The glove padding helps keep the temperature inside regulated, so you don’t sweat inside it. Because these gloves are made of leather, it’ll take some time to break-in, so you’ll need to be vigilant when hitting hard objects initially.

Pros

  • 100% Authentic leather.
  • Heavy-duty stitching.
  • Thermal regulated.

Cons

  • It takes time to break-in.
  • The gloves are a bit heavy (14 oz. gloves feel like 16 oz., because of the extra padding).

9. Yokkao Vertigo

One of the newer releases from Yokkao, the Vertigo is made from high-quality microfiber leather. It is completely hand-made in Thailand. They fit reasonably well and have the iconic Muay Thai glove look. These gloves also provide a good cushion and a decent amount of wrist support.

Microfiber leather provides many benefits over conventional synthetic leathers (vinyl, PU, etc.) including higher wear and tear resistance, greater breathability, and lighter weight. It’s also very antibacterial, odorless, and easy to clean. Choosing microfiber leather offers YOKKAO the opportunity to offer durable gloves at competitive prices without compromising on the quality. Vertigo uses the same multilayer foam lining which is used across all quality YOKKAO gloves. As is the norm with Muay Thai gloves, for a comfortable punching structure, the padding is distributed evenly across the gloves while providing complete protection from the knuckles to the wrists.

It allows fighters to land stronger punches while ensuring extensive protection. The only drawback is that it seems to be a bit too tight around the fingers, especially the thumbs. Thus, it gets difficult to wear it for longer durations. Considering the moderate price, Yokkao presents a tough competition to brands like Twins and Fairtex.

Pros

  • High-quality Microfiber leather.
  • Durable and provides good protection.
  • Suitable for light training and sparring.

Cons

  • Limited color options.
  • Fits tight around the thumbs, thus it gets difficult to wear for a longer duration.

10. Anthem Athletics STORMBRINGER II

Stormbringer II gloves offer an undisputed combination of fit, style, quality, and performance – everything at an extremely affordable price. It is made from highest-grain buffalo leather and is highly versatile. You can use these gloves for training, sparring, pad and bag work, and even professional combats.

Lined with polyurethane foam of triple-density, these gloves have the substantial ability to absorb shock. Besides, this foam also contributes to the overall thickness of the Stormbringer II. Not only are the mitts well-padded, but the manufacturers have also made sure to add quite a lot of padding to the thumb areas. This padding provides greater coverage while ensuring better protection. The closure system of these gloves is straightforward. It has a Velcro closure that makes it easier for fighters to take the gloves on and off without any assistance. Initially, the Stormbringer might seem a bit too tight, but give it some time, and it will break-in. The inner foam is set in a way to conform to your fist with continuous use. It also has reinforced extra-durable stitches, so you can rest assured of its longevity.

The mesh layer on the palm allows ventilation to ensure that sweat doesn’t get accumulated. Overall, these pair of gloves are sturdy, robust, and reliable. If you are looking for a superior style alongside outstanding performance within budget, Stormbringer II is a lucrative option.

Pros

  • Full-grain buffalo leather.
  • Handcrafted and reinforced stitches for maximum durability.
  • Breathable mesh panel on palms.

Cons

  • Sizing runs smaller than competitors.
  • Not the perfect choice for extensive sparring.

How to Choose Muay Thai Gloves?

Choosing the best Muay Thai gloves depends on personal preferences. Muay Thai gloves come in various designs and weights. It may not seem that way, but in truth, there are significant differences between all of the different types. Some are built with simplicity in mind, and are more generally applicable to a broader range of situations, while others are created for a more specific purpose.

In fact, the correct glove weight you might need may also vary depending on your weight, age and the reason you expect to use them for. To help ease the process, take note of these 5 factors –

Quality

Ideally, gloves made from 100% authentic leather are the best. You can find Muay Thai gloves made of pure leather, Maya Hide leather, high-grain buffalo leather, and synthetic leather. Since gloves will be a part of your daily training, you must select a durable pair. Look for the quality of stitching, the material used (external and internal), the foam density, quality of Velcro and straps before you buy.

There’s a glove for every need. One that works great for sparring might not be equally good for bag training. Understand what you need, speak to your trainer for clarity (if needed), and then choose what best suits you.

Price/Value

Most buying decisions are driven by price. But, remember the adage “what you pay for is what you get”. If you go for low-tier gloves, it will cost you less, but it will also not last as long as other gloves. This means you may save money upfront but will end up paying more over time. Consider a moderate price and you’ll be able to find a good pair that will prove their value as you use them.

We aren’t saying that all low-priced gloves are bad. But, it is better to spend a bit more and get the most value than ending up with a good for nothing product.

Brand

Everyone has a different opinion on this, but we believe the brand of the gloves plays a big role in its quality. Some brands have been around for more than 25 years. You can understand how experienced these manufacturers are. Buying gloves from reputed brands ensures that you get authenticity and reliability. While there are a lot of brands around the world, it is a good idea to buy Muay Thai gloves that are handmade in Thailand.

Size

This is another important aspect to consider carefully. You don’t want a pair of gloves that are extremely tight around your fist or a pair that keeps sliding and moving with every punch. Instead, opt for a pair of gloves that perfectly fit the diameter of your fist.

When it comes to size, you might have already noticed that most gloves list sizes by weight (oz.) and not the generic small, medium, large tags. Use the below size chart for better clarity –

  • 8 oz. (used in competitive fighting where there will be full contact).
  • 10 oz. (great for pads training. Ideally used by adults with smaller hands).
  • 12 oz. (pad work and moderate training. Best for medium-sized hands).
  • 14 oz. (most common size. Can be used for sparring and other forms of training).
  • 16 oz. (used for sparring. Recommended for fighters weighing 180 lbs. and above).

Weight

There isn’t a weight chart, but based on the research and product listings, here’s a rough idea.

  • 8 to 10 oz. if you weigh 100 lbs. or less.
  • 10 to 12 oz. if you weigh 101 to 120 lbs.
  • 12 to 14 oz. if you weigh 121 to 150 lbs.
  • 14 to 16 oz. if you weigh 151 to 180 lbs.
  • 16 oz. if you weigh above 180 lbs.

Conclusion

Finding the best Muay Thai gloves needs serious consideration. Consider what purpose you want to solve with the gloves, the price involved, features and existing reviews before you make a purchase. We hope this article helps you choose the right pair of gloves.

FAQs

  • How long do Muay Thai gloves last?

It depends on the quality of the gloves. If you train consistently for a few hours daily, a good pair of gloves will last three to eight months (even more in some cases).

  • What’s the difference between Boxing and Muay Thai gloves?

Compared to Boxing gloves, Muay Thai gloves are more flexible and have additional padding around the wrists. This allows easier clenching of the fists.

  • How to clean Muay Thai gloves?

You can store them in a ventilated and dry place for getting rid of the sweat. In addition, you can also use a wet wipe or anti-bacterial wipe to clean it, then dry it with a hand cloth.

Eugene Hardy

Eugene is a professional Muay Thai fighter, with several years of experience. Also, a black belt holder. He actively participates in tournaments and provides training to his students. Eugene started this blog to share his experiences with Martial Arts.

View all posts by Eugene Hardy →

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