If you thought you could pick any random boxing gloves for your Muay Thai practice, think again! Choosing the best Muay Thai gloves for yourself can help alter your performance drastically. With the overwhelming amount of choices in the market, it can be daunting to make a decision. This is why I’ve shortlisted the 5 most popular ones that are worth considering.
Equip yourself with the right pair of gloves, and you can protect your hands from injury and also increase the power in your punches. From choosing a pair that suits your fight style to how comfortable it feels, many elements of your game changes when you change your gloves. Before I tell you what my favorite ones are from the market, it would help to throw some light on a few other aspects that would make shopping for these gloves easier.
Types of Muay Thai gloves
The one place I struggled to make a decision when I first started looking out for Muay Thai gloves is finding the right type of gloves.
Each type of glove has a purpose, and using them interchangeably might limit the possibilities to some extent. Picking the right pair of gloves will improve your performance significantly.
1. Training gloves
Known to be some of the lightest among the lot, these are the gloves you might find to be convenient to use during long and intense training sessions. Given that these are light, you can wear them for a long time without feeling any strain on your hands. I love them for the versatility they carry.
2. Sparring gloves
You can identify them from their slightly bigger profile. As you can see from the name, these gloves are for sparring, and so they come with dense padding. They are good at absorbing impact and protecting your hands.
3. Competition gloves
If your competition venue doesn’t offer standard pairs of gloves to use during the contest, you might need these gloves. Tightness and stiffness are the traits that distinguish them from the other glove types.
4. Bag gloves
As long as you stick with light punches and as long as it’s a punching bag that’s going to bear your punches, you can use these gloves. These are light and sparse when it comes to padding. These are the worst choices if you are looking for a pair for sparring.
5. Clinching gloves
When you are clinching your opponent, the grip that your gloves give can be the most crucial aspect to consider. This is where clinching gloves can be efficient as they are safe for the wearer and the opponent alike.
Know that most people who practice Muay Thai might not need all 5 pairs with them. From my experience, I can tell you that you can do well with just two pairs of gloves for the most of your training and practice. A sparring glove pair for hard sparring and a pair of resilient training gloves are the ones worth splurging on. Most competitions hand you a pair of competition gloves, and if you do need a third set of gloves, a pair of bag gloves can be a worthy consideration. Now that you know how many pairs of gloves to pick and what types to choose, let me tell you about the critical aspects to consider when you compare gloves.
What to look for when you pick Muay Thai gloves?
I prefer gauging the value than the price directly. Value depends on aspects like the life of the gloves, frequency of use, ease of use, and practicality of the design. If your pair satisfies all these aspects, then you have picked something worth the money you spend.
Ventilation and comfort
The material of the glove, fit, and the design determines the comfort. The other aspect to consider is ventilation. Some of them feature mesh fabric for an increase in air circulation. The padding of the gloves also determines the comfort and safety of the user.
Make sure that you pick the right weight no matter what segment you shop from. For bag training, a simple 8 or 10 oz glove might be all you need. On the other hand, you might need something heavy, like a 16oz glove, if you are into hard sparring. Men and women can pick different weights depending on what feels comfortable.
There are different materials used in the gloves, and each comes with a different type of closure as well. This can influence how easy it is to wear gloves. When you’re taking part in a competition, you might need something that you can put on and take off quickly. However, when you are sparring, your glove should stay put no matter how much power you exert in your punches. The material should also be such that it doesn’t give in with just a few sparring sessions.
5 Best Gloves for Muay Thai
1. Savviest Choice- Fairtex Muay Thai Style Training Sparring Gloves
Premium gloves for training and sparring
I have a few friends who have been holding on to their Fairtex gloves for ages. Show some love, maintain them well, and these can easily last for years. This is my favorite all-rounder in the lot because of the plethora of features it carries along with the durable construction. This durability comes from the premium leather that the brand uses in this glove. The many vibrant colors in this model is another feature that makes these gloves a pleasure to choose. Did I tell you there is even a bold yellow and mellow pink in the range? Accommodating all types of users and all types of practice sessions, these gloves come in 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16 oz sizes. With its tough design, you can use it while you are training or even during sparring.
- Fine finish of these handmade gloves complements the premium looks
- Broad and secure velcro keep the gloves intact while sparring
- High-density foam absorbs impact and protects your hands when you punch
- Ergonomic design makes these gloves feel comfortable to wear even for a long duration
- It comes with a tight fit design mainly to make the glove protective during sparring
- There are endless choices in terms of sizes even for bigger hand size
- Reinforced stitches keep the glove and the padding intact even when you increase the power of your punches
- Tight fit design comes with the downside of poor ventilation.
This might, therefore, get slightly uncomfortable if you have sweaty palms.
If you are looking for gloves that you can rely on for the support they offer while training and sparring, then this is my top recommendation.
2. Upgrade gloves – Hayabusa T3 Boxing Gloves
Comfortable tight fit gloves
It is all about protection with respect to the T3’s design. Resilient premium leather with 5-layer foam padding combines the best of performance and reliability. Tough construction, especially at the knuckles, can make you feel more confident when you deliver your punches. The brand places multi-layer padding at the knuckle region for this reliable support. I recommend T3 for those who are very serious about improving the efficiency of their training. However, you might want to pick a different option if you need the best clinching support. On the other aspects, this one does perform pretty well. From design to the durability and quality of the gloves, many factors have made this model a big hit among Muay Thai specialists and boxers alike.
- Antimicrobial lining on the gloves is a feature I particularly like because it makes them more hygienic for long term use
- Intuitive thumb position make these gloves practical in their design
- Snug fit closure delivers no room for the gloves to move or come apart even during the most powerful punches
- With its tough build quality also comes the right flexibility for the thumb that helps curate your punch style
- These gloves take slightly longer to get used to given the tightness.
This is one reason why I do not suggest these gloves for anyone but people with good experience in using different types of Muay Thai gloves.
If budget is not a problem and you simply want the best ones to upgrade your collection, I would recommend considering T3.
Comfort and protection for sparring and training
Trideer Pro Grade offers an excellent affordable option to try when you are picking your first-ever Muay Thai gloves. Multi-density foam nicely absorbs the impact and cuts down the strain on the knuckles. One other handy addition I found is the friction-free inner lining material. This prevents irritation and itchiness if you have sensitive skin on your hands. As an added advantage to deliver comfort, these gloves come with air holes. Therefore there is no worry about ventilation when you are practicing with them.
- I felt a significant wrist stability enhancement with these gloves thanks to the comfortable wide design
- These gloves hold up well during training, punching sessions with a bag as well as during sparring
- Pocket-friendly pricing is one of the biggest attractions
- Widened design of these gloves make them convenient when it comes to cleaning
- The subtle glossy finish quickly shows scratches and other signs of wear and tear. Mine started looking like they are old in just a few months.
- The glove’s finger compartment is not the most comfortable option especially for those with large hands
For women who need something comfortable as well as for beginners who are looking for a reliable pair, this model works like a charm.
4. Budget Gloves- Sanabul Essential Gel Boxing Kickboxing Punching Bag Gloves
Design suitable for use during training and bag training
Suitable for beginners, these are reliable gloves known for their construction quality, which makes them good value for the money spent. You can pick from a variety of color accents and sizes ranging from 8-16oz. Engineered leather enhances the aesthetics and also improves performance. One thing I noticed with the regular use of these gloves is that these are very good at resisting odor. These continue smelling clean thanks to the good air circulation that comes from the mindfully done design aspects.
- Fit of these gloves feel comfortable and customized for different hand sizes
- These are long-lasting gloves that you can confidently pick for regular training sessions
- For added comfort and efficient ventilation palm area comes with a mesh fabric that regulates airflow
- Velcro closure on this glove is easy to use, and I was able to quickly put on and take off the gloves without any hassle
- These are not the most durable gloves in the market for intense practice
- Padding might seem slightly insufficient if you are looking to handle heavy bag work
If you have a tight budget, you can still pick something efficient and protective like this one from Sanabul.
5. Lightweight and ergonomic – Everlast Pro Style Training Gloves
Comfortable performer for training
These are training gloves which you can also confidently use them for heavy bag punching exercises. It’s got a beautiful natural shape to it that follows the contours of your hand to offer excellent support all over. This design aspect can drastically enhance the whole experience and punch performance with these gloves. The sizes available depend on the color you choose. There are not many options you get in these two segments. The brand makes use of synthetic leather that carries a premium look and finish. Thumb-lock feature is a patented design aspect that this brand uses to improve the thumb positioning and enhance the protection.
- Snug wrap-around closure with hook and loop fastening gives an excellent tightness at the wrist and reduces unwanted wrist movement
- Mesh fabric on the palm makes the gloves feel cool and comfortable
- Padding quality comes as an advantage when you try punching heavy bags while working on your punch power
- Velcro tabs for closure are large and convenient to handle with a single hand
- It is easy to break-in, and within just a few uses I found these gloves to be comfortable to wear
- Limited size choices can be a turn off for some users. You only get 12-16 oz weight options. Though these are meant for training, there are no lighter weight configurations available.
If you need something lightweight and reasonably priced, then I’d recommend these gloves.
Can you use boxing gloves for muay thai or muay thai gloves for boxing?
If you are very particular about your performance and if you are just beginning your journey in Muay Thai, you should pick those that are specially designed for your sport. The experienced can choose to use suitable boxing gloves for Muay Thai. The reverse might not work. You cannot use light Muay Thai gloves for boxing.
Do I need to wear hand wraps with my boxing gloves?
Most of the top-selling gloves come with a good hand and wrist support. However, protecting your palm and finger joints is critical. Therefore it is essential to wear hand wraps to complement boxing gloves.
Do Boxing Gloves come in different sizes?
Yes. Manufacturers define the sizes of the gloves in terms of the weight, in oz. It is crucial to pick the right size based on the requirement. For example, a lightweight pair might not be suitable for sparring though it works well for training.
How do I know what size is best for me?
Most brands recommend suitable weights depending on the body weight and height of the users. For kids, there are gloves in the range of 4-8 oz.
Can I buy cheap boxing gloves?
It’s better to look at the value rather than the price alone. There are cheap boxing gloves available. However, the safety of the hands and fingers lie on the gloves you choose. Look for a pair that gives you the best price and reliable protection.
Can I wash my boxing gloves?
The amount of water and cleaning agents you use depends on the material of the gloves. You should avoid harsh cleaners for leather gloves. Keeping the gloves to air dry and using a damp cloth to clean them regularly can help maintain them.
How to wash and sanitize different types of gloves?
Knowing this is a critical step towards keeping the hygiene of the gloves and preventing odor. Stuffing paper towels inside the gloves can help quickly absorb moisture and sweat after use. Lay the gloves flat and let them dry after every use. You can use something natural and safe like diluted vinegar, a few quick sprays, to disinfect the gloves. Sun-drying can also help.
What if I have sweaty hands/palms?
Pick something that features mesh fabric for the palm if you tend to sweat excessively on your palms. Also, some gloves come with moisture-wicking materials as inner lining.
Does the weight of gloves matter?
Yes. The right weight can deliver the intended flexibility and protection. Whether it is to punch a bag or to train, suitable weight influences the level of padding at knuckles.
How do I know what weight is best for me?
10oz gloves work well for kids and women as well as men below 140lb of body weight. Bodyweight 152lb to 201lb find the 12oz range to be comfortable. There are 16oz gloves for the super heavyweight champions, as well as the elders who need rugged protection.
Should I have different types of gloves for sparring and training?
Yes. Training gloves might be slightly lighter in weight and slimmer in terms of padding. Sparring gloves, on the other hand, give good padding, which makes the blow safe for the users.
Is there any difference between gloves for men and women?
It is mainly the size aspect that varies from men’s gloves to women’s gloves. The width of the gloves is another aspect that you can look at when you choose gloves for men and women. Most other functional aspects remain the same for both genders.
For a pair that you can rely on for a long time, my pick is the Fairtex Muay Thai Style Training Sparring Gloves.
From casual training sessions to intense sparring practice, these work consistently well. While the others might disappoint in terms of comfort or protection at times, this one can easily be labeled a ‘go-to’ choice.
From the grip, you feel to the flexibility of your fingers, several little details change depending on the type of gloves you wear. If you are a beginner, it is only natural that you might be looking for something that doesn’t break the bank.
Remember that you do not have to pick the most expensive ones to work on your punch styles and performance. Some affordable gloves can set you on the right track as well. I have listed gloves from diverse price segments, including the ones that graze around $20 and those above $100.
The choice here is purely based on personal preferences. You can always have a word with your trainer when it comes to recommendations and also for picking a reliable brand choice. With that, you can easily finalize one from the list that I have presented above. Each works for a different type of user. Compare the perks, weigh the downsides, and pick one that suits your needs.