Best Muay Thai Gloves Guide 2016
Need a new set of Muay Thai gloves? You’ve come to the right place!
Or perhaps you’re just thinking of taking up Muay Thai? Good. You’re about to enter a world of power, toughness and old school fighting spirit. It’s a long journey, but it’s worth every step of the way. All you’re going to need is Heart and some sturdy equipment. The first you can’t buy, but you’ll get it along the way. As for the second, we got you covered.
Ideally (i.e. having a ton of money) you would take the first step down the Warrior’s path equipped with the best of the best of fighting gear. After all, equipment plays a fundamental role when it comes to protecting your body. Make no mistake; that’s what your gloves are for. Protecting your sparring partners face is just an added bonus. Luckily, “ideally” is not necessary to kick start your training.
You don’t need to spend a fortune on your first set of fighting gear. The goal is to break a sweat, not your bank account. That said, don’t go cutting too many corners either. If there’s one thing you absolutely must invest on, that’s your gloves. A good glove is a thing of beauty. It allows you to distribute the pain, while keeping your hand (and your partner’s face) in one piece. It’s a long term investment and one you would do well to think through, before you become acquainted with other realities of the sport (e.g. boxer’s fracture; look it up).
There are certain standards you are looking for when choosing your pair; protection level, material quality, and fit comfort. Not sure how to choose out of all those brands out there? Relax; we said we got you covered this guide below summarizes the important information but if you need a more comprehensive guide check out our ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BOXING GLOVES 2016
Here’s the list of the top Muay Thai gloves in the market.
The Twins name commands a special kind of respect in the Muay Thai world. If you’re out for some first class gear, look no further. If you decide to go with the Twins Specials as your first pair, you’ll probably always own a pair of Twins throughout your career.
Protection Level: The padding level of the Twins is no laughing matter. These gloves have a lot of padding. Triple to be exact – soft outer, medium middle, and firm inner. Now you can’t have this kind of protection without some sacrifice and in the Twins’ case that means extra thickness. The Twins are not the subtlest of gloves when it comes to bulkiness, however the all-around protection they offer, combined with their built-in flexibility, will more than make up for it when you fight in a tight spot (i.e. a clinch). Their wrist support is very solid too, making them versatile and appropriate for all kinds of workouts, whether you lean towards heavy bag-work or sparring. Keep to the heavier types though, if you really want to make sure your knuckles won’t bruise.
Fit Comfort: Overall the Twins are a bit on the heavy/ bulky side. While well within traditional Muay Thai territory in terms of build and feel, these gloves take up considerable space, which might seem a bit constraining for some fighters. Their hand compartment is snug without being too tight. As always, this sits well with most “standard” hand sizes, but ninja-hands and bulldozer-hands have to adjust accordingly to wear the Twins comfortably. Their velchro strap is pretty standard-issue for this price range. Nevertheless, you would be hard pressed to notice, even after hours of training, since the fit and comfort level of the Twins is nothing short of exceptional.
Material Quality: The first thing that will draw your attention when you pick up the Twins is the exquisite cowskin leather these gloves are made of. Few things beat the feel and durability of real leather and the Twins offer the ideal combination of quality materials, toughness and protection level. These Twins are made to last and they can take all the punishment you throw at them, whether it’s sparring or heavy bag work. If you are new to Muay Thai (and considering the title of this article you probably are) it is safe to say that the Twins will give you the most “bang for your buck”, as far a first gloves are concerned. These authentic Thai gloves come in too many color styles and designs to count; and for their price tag of under 80$, there’s really not that much to think about before taking a pair home.
Anyone who has ever stepped into a Muay Thai camp is familiar with the Fairtex brand. One of the best (if not the best) fight gear manufacturer, the Fairtex gloves shine in all areas landing top grades in comfort, protection and material quality. These gloves go for a somewhat smaller build than their competitors, something that proves quite handy if you are an aggressive fighter, hell-bent on guard penetration.
Protection Level: The Fairtexes follow the road of Muay Thai tradition when it comes to protection; but with a twist. Although they take no shortcuts in terms of padding or shock absorption, they opt for a smaller design which is evidently geared towards sparring. This makes even their heavier series look and feel like one or two weight categories lighter, when compared to their counterparts by other Muay Thai gear manufacturers. Their padding leaves nothing to be desired, offering a perfect balance between absorption and shock response. Their weight is also distributed quite smoothly indeed, making these gloves ideal for a rapid-fire, punch-heavy game.
Fit Comfort: It is hard to identify what makes the Fairtexes stand out in the Muay Thai gear market, since they seem to excel in all respects. If it had to be one thing though, it would surely be their comfort level; which is nothing short of impressive. These gloves provide excellent weight distribution, fit, support, and comfort, and all the above at a price which leaves no questions as to why the Fairtexes are the gloves of choice of many amateur and professional fighters across the board of combat sports. Their wrist support is second to none and their range of available models is sure to fit your particular fighting style. Their smaller build makes for a snug fit, although perhaps a bit too snug for some.
Material Quality: Real leather, handmade in Thailand, durable as hell. These qualities make the Fairtexes a hair-thin second to the Twins, and that’s only due to their higher price tag. They feel like a puncher’s dream should feel like and they are so well made, that they’re bound to cover your fists for many years to come. There’s not really much to be said about the Fairtexes that’s not already common knowledge in the Muay Thai world. These gloves are a surefire hit in terms of durability and overall quality; so much so that choosing them between them and other top brands is just a matter of subjective personal preference.
Top King is another heavyweight name in the world of Muay Thai, comfortably being a part of the “holy trinity” of fight gear. Although the Top Kings make no effort to hide their Muay Thai heritage, these gloves are flirting with the modern, fancier design that one expects to find in MMA brands. Don’t let that fool you though, since Top King is and always has been a stalwart Muay Thai glove manufacturer.
Protection Level: Top Kings offer superior padding levels, very much like their figurative (and literal in terms of company ownership) brothers the Twins. Top King is also quite liberal with their gloves’ padding, meaning that their products tend to be on the bulkier side. These gloves offer the great all-around coverage that leading Muay Thai brands have accustomed us to, providing extra padding for the wrist, while at the same time being longer overall. Their padding is comprised of the standard multi-layered shock absorbent foam, which makes the Top Kings feel a bit unresponsive when it comes to bag work. However, this exact same trait is something you’ll be grateful for when you spar, as this is where these gloves really shine.
Fit Comfort: The Top Kings look and feel like a glove sized freight-train-of-pain should look and feel; tough, comfortable and classy. Their puffy, longer-than-most design envelops your fists in a cushion of protective material which extends well beyond you wrist. This makes for a glove that fits snuggly around your hands and stays put no matter how aggressive your game. Their wrist support is also worth special note, as the Top Kings standard-issue velcro strap and extra wrist padding work nicely together to keep your wrists safe and sound. The hand compartment has a pleasant silky feeling to it, and the extra ventilation holes in the thumb area make sure that your fists will be nice and cozy when you duke it out in the ring.
Material Quality: The Top King gloves exist in the realm of extremes. Nobody has lukewarm feelings about them; you’ll either love them or hate them on the spot. Overall, they offer a superb balance between quality and price, especially considering that they are made of real cowskin leather. Their appearance is a bit deceptive though, since their flashy, “fast-and-furious” look makes them appear a bit less high-end than they actually are. Top Kings are shiny and aerodynamic, very much like a tuned car. And much like their automotive equivalent, they will go hard and fast for a good, long stretch of time, even several years in less humid environments, but when they start breaking down, they’ll disintegrate like a meteor.
The Hayabusas are the go-to gloves for the eager beginner. Combining great padding with good flexibility, these gloves are perfect for solid striking and won’t stand in the way of your clinch-work when you feel the need to get up-close and personal. You just keep those fists up and rest assured the Hayabusas will hold their end of the deal.
Protection Level: The heavy padding of these gloves keeps your hands nice and cozy while you pummel your partner over many rounds. Equipped with additional shock-absorbing padding on the palm, side and the back of the hand, these gloves certainly have your fists covered with their 360o protective design. The thumb positioning is less than perfect, but only slightly. Your wrists will also thank you for the Hayabusas full-elastic wrist wrap; especially since, in the beginning, the alignment of your punches won’t do you any favors and spraining your wrist is a legitimate concern. The level of support this kind of wrap offers is essential and combines nicely with that of your bandages.
Fit Comfort: The Hayabusas offer a very high level of comfort. The snug fit and the generous amount of protection that these gloves offer, make them a popular choice for many beginners. Considering that they come with a price tag of about 90$, it’s hard not to see why. Offering top-notch balance between protection and fit does not come without its drawbacks though. In the Hayabusas’ case, their secure, full-elastic strap does offer enhanced mobility and comfort, but you might have a hard time sliding your (bandaged) hands inside without help; especially if you have fists the size of sledgehammers (which sure is handy in Muay Thai; pun intended).
Material Quality: The Hayabusas are very durable and you’ll be introducing your partner to their business end for a long time. Thanks to their Vylar® Engineered Leather exterior these gloves are sure to follow you well into your intermediate proficiency level; way after having just one pair of gloves is your operating standard. Also, the Hayabusas are very easy on the eyes, combining classic Muay Thai embroidered design with a black and gold Thai inspired tiger motif.
Now this is an excellent pair of gloves if you are a Muay Thai old schooler. This may well be the most traditional pair of gloves you can get your hands on, hand-made by the oldest Muay Thai gear manufacturers in the world. The brand enjoys wide respect in Thailand thanks to its quality products and this is immediately evident when you slide your hands inside these gloves.
Protection Level: The padding level of the Windys is good, but not great. Going berserk on your partner is relatively safe, but not the best option, as these gloves are quite top heavy around the knuckles, but not much elsewhere. The Windys are designed with the balanced Muay Thai fighter in mind, meaning that avid punchers can probably be happier trusting their primary weapons to another brand. However, if you favor a more versatile fighting style which incorporates elbows, knees and kicks, as much as punches, the Windys are a good, solid choice. These gloves are also geared towards sparring, with their bag work capacity being somewhat wanting as they don’t provide the best feedback. The Windys are the Muay Thai traditionalist’s gloves, neither over nor under performing in any particular area, but remaining true to the end.
Fit Comfort: The Windys are designed with fist-size “firepower” in mind, and you can tell right away when you put them on. If your hands look like they could knock out a silverback gorilla, these gloves are for you. On the other hand, if your hands are smaller, you must rely on bandaging to make good use of these gloves. The hand compartment feels comfortable enough, but nothing that you would talk to your camp buddies about. Although support is not compromised, especially since their velcro strap keeps your hand alignment secure, you might need to tighten your grip a bit in order to simulate the snug feel you are used to. If by putting the Windys on you are reminded of other traditional Muay Thai gloves’ feel, odds are it’s because those brands copied it from Windy.
Material Quality: The Windys are a very balanced choice for the novice and intermediate fighter, and you’ll be seeing them a lot if you train in Thailand. Handcrafted from premium cow hide leather, the Windys are some of the finest Muay Thai gloves in their price range of about 100$. Their style remains true to the traditional feel of the art, utilizing a “Spartan” look, very far from the visual extravaganza other brands tend to favor. These gloves say “utility first, looks second” and that shows in their overall manufacture quality. The Windys are discreet and uncompromising. If you take good care of your pair of what is the grandfather of Muay Thai gloves, the Windys will be by your side when you share “war stories” for years to come.
Picking up these Hayabusas is walking the line between Muay Thai and MMA. And that’s no accident. The result of World-Leading University research and long years of experience, these gloves are sure to satisfy the technically, as well as the aesthetically, oriented fighter. They are durable, slick and offer superb protection. The multitude of technologies funneled into these gloves make them a personal favorite of many a fighter, and not only in Muay Thai.
Protection Level: The first thing you’ll notice putting the Tokushus on is how light they are. Do not think for a moment that their protection level is compromised though. They come equipped with the Deltra-EG® Inner Core and advanced Crush Zone™ complex work which shields your hands in a dispersive sheath against unwanted energy transfer. And for the final touch, Hayabusa integrated their Patented Dual-X® Wrist Closure and Fusion Splinting® technology with the Tokushus, offering superior wrist support and near perfect alignment. Combining the best of both tradition and innovation, these gloves use the classic layered padding, which may not be the softest, but it certainly keeps your hands safe and punch-ready. You’ll like it, your opponent won’t.
Fit Comfort: Entering the clinch with the Tokushus on you’ll feel right at home, as they allow you to fully open your hands. A lot of thought has gone into the thumb positioning in these gloves and it shows. The result is exquisitely ergonomic ensuring your thumb and wrist will avoid unnecessary strains. The fit can be best described as somewhat tight, although you’d be hard pressed to notice since their flexibility makes up for it. Unless you are gifted with wrecking balls in the form of human fists, the Tokushus will feel nice and cozy. Their double Velcro wrist straps may seem a hassle at first, but you’ll feel well compensated when you realize they keep the gloves from twisting while you rain the pain down on your partner.
Material Quality: These Tokushu bad boys will definitely impress you with their manufacture quality; they look and feel awesome. Their wear and tear resistance is phenomenal, largely thanks to their Vylar®-2 Engineered Leather material; it’s not real leather, but it might well be. Now as for the “enemy within” – that is sweat and stink – the Tokushus come with X-Static® XT2® anti-bacterial technology, as well as the exclusive Hayabusa AG™ inner fabric. These futuristic features offer improved ventilation, odor-resistance and significant thermal regulation, which you’ll surely appreciate. The suede texture of the thumb, for wiping the sweat off your eyes, is also a nice touch.
Now this is an excellent pair of gloves if versatility is your number one concern. Sparring, bag or pad work, these Fighting Sports gloves can do it all, without compromising comfort or protection. The brand is universally respected for its high quality products and this is immediately evident when you slide your hands inside these gloves.
Protection Level: If there’s one area the Tri-Techs make no excuses whatsoever, that’s padding. Hulking-out on your partner has never been safer, as long as you have these gloves on. Your opponents may not forget the meaning of pain, but you certainly will, as the Tri-Techs offer your hands the perfect vessel for dishing out punishment. That’s not to say that they’re hostile to your sparring partner though. They may be a bit on the bulky side, but combined with their softness, they perform equally well against a fighter and a heavy bag. Obviously, their size is not for everyone, especially if you highly favor the turtle guard. The thumb positioning could be perfect, but isn’t, without being exposed though. Their wrap around hook-and-loop strap provides comfortable and solid wrist support too.
Fit Comfort: The Tri-Techs are designed with fist-size “firepower” in mind, and you can tell right away when you put them on. If your hands look like they could knock out a silverback gorilla, these gloves are for you. On the other hand, if your hands are smaller, you must rely on heavy bandaging to make good use of the Tri-Techs. The hand compartment feels quite spacious and not necessarily in a good way. Although support is not compromised, especially since their wrap around hook-and-loop strap keeps your hand alignment secure, you might need to tighten your grip a bit in order to simulate the snug feel you are used to. They will not give you the sense of tightness you may be looking for, but in a way they will teach you how to form a solid fist.
Material Quality: The Tri-Techs are the absolutely balanced choice for the novice and intermediate fighter, since they are equipped with removable elastic and leather cuff sleeves to instantly convert them from bag to sparring gloves. Handcrafted in Thailand and made of premium quality leather to boot, the Tri-Techs are some of the finest Muay Thai gloves in their price range of about 100$. Their style remains true to the traditional feel of the art, utilizing a “Spartan” black and white color motif. These gloves say “utility first, looks second” and that shows in their overall manufacture quality. The Tri-Techs are discreet, uncompromising, and very importantly, stink-resistant.
|Yokkao Basic Boxing Gloves||Yokkao Pattern Gloves||Yokkao T Shirt||Yokkao Shorts||Yokkao Pattern Shorts|
|Title||Yokkao Boxing Gloves-White-16oz.||Yokkao Phoenix Boxing Gloves-Black/Gold-16oz.||Yokkao Thai Flag Shirt-Large||Yokkao Lumpinee Muay Thai Shorts-Medium||Yokkao Born to Fight Muay Thai Shorts-Large|
Venum is one of those brands that need no special introduction. Best known for its quality MMA gear, it surely goes toe-to-toe with many “specialized” Muay Thai gear manufacturers. In the case of the Challenger 2.0 series, Venum clearly sets the bar way up high, combining the top quality it’s known for, with a price tag of about 50$ that few can resist.
Protection Level: The Challengers are, in one word, great. They perform flawlessly in all kinds of training and competition settings, but where these gloves truly shine is technical pad work and sparring. If you’re just starting out in Muay Thai, you’ll be doing a lot of both, so investing in the Challengers is probably one of your best shots, especially if your budget is tight. Their padding is in one word plentiful and lashing out on the bag (or your partner) shouldn’t be a problem. While not as supple as their pricier counterparts, the amount of force the Challengers can handle safely is bound to impress even the strongest strikers. The strike surface of the gloves is dense and firm offering superb fist protection. Their stiffness might not be too forgiving on your partner’s head though. The support that their Velcro wrist wrap offers is pretty standard for this kind of glove and well within the safe zone, even if it won’t exactly ring your bell.
Fit Comfort: Seeing as the Challengers are geared towards versatility, putting them on will give you the impression of being “built for most”. To medium-size hands they feel ideal, and applying light bandaging makes them just the right amount of tight. If you have smaller hands, heavier bandaging will take care of any unwanted roominess as well. Now, for megaton-level fists these gloves are probably too snug for comfort. Their thumb compartment offers a little too much wiggle room, but overall their firm fist design balances out quite nicely, even during long training sessions. As for their ventilation level, well… their 9 little vent holes just won’t cut it. Since these are synthetic entry-level gloves, ventilation will always be a bit of a problem and sweating will certainly ensue. Nothing you cannot compensate with a bit of post-workout glove love, but still.
Material Quality: With the Challengers’ price tag being practically a steal, there are certain realities you have to accept. They balance quality with affordability, but they will never stand up to their real leather brethren. Their synthetic leather cover is quite pliable and comes with a smooth “new car” smell right out of the box; if you are into this kind of thing. The smell becomes fainter with time, without anything nasty taking its place. The Challengers’ impressive color range doesn’t hurt either. Don’t let their affordability fool you however. These gloves can accompany you well into your intermediate phase as a Muay Thai fighter. Striking is what these gloves are for, and you can meet out a lot of it with them on.
SOME OTHER OPTIONS: