Best Muay Thai Gloves – Buyer’s Guide

Best Muay Thai Gloves of 2021

Product Size, OzMaterialProtectionColors 
Fairtex Boxing Kickboxing Muay Thai Style Sparring Gloves (Editor's Choice)Fairtex Boxing Kickboxing Muay Thai Style Sparring Gloves10, 12, 14, 16, 18Premium leatherThree layer foam paddingVarietyCheck Price
RDX Ego Boxing Muay Thai GlovesRDX Ego Boxing Muay Thai Gloves8, 10, 12, 14, 16Faux leatherTri-slab Shell-Shock gelBlue; Green; Golden; Pink; RedCheck Price
Anthem Athletics STORMBRINGER Fight GlovesAnthem Athletics STORMBRINGER Fight Gloves12, 14, 16Buffalo leatherTriple Density foamVarietyCheck Price
Twins Special Boxing GlovesTwins Special Boxing Gloves8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18LeatherHigh-quality multilayer foam Black; Blue; Green; Orange; Pink; Red; White; YellowCheck Price
Venum Elite Boxing GlovesVenum Elite Boxing Gloves8, 10, 12, 14, 16Skintex leatherTriple Density foamVarietyCheck Price

1. Fairtex Muay Thai-Style Sparring Gloves – The Cream of the Crop

Fairtex is by far the most popular and successful brand of Muay Thai gloves outside of Thailand largely because of its absolutely relentless commitment to high quality. Fairfax tests its gloves exhaustively in all areas, and this work and commitment certainly shines through when you examine them. These gloves, which are the basic BVG1 model, are made of genuine leather and so can be relied upon for extreme durability.

In fact, even among genuine leather gloves, they are able to withstand an exceptional amount of wear and tear.

Fairtex gloves also stand out for how small they look. A pair of 16 oz. Fairtext gloves can easily be as small as a 12 oz. pair from another brand. The reduced bulkiness makes it easier to punch through an opponent’s guard or just remain compact, small, and more difficult to hit. Despite what one might think about the disadvantages of smaller gloves, they still provide more than sufficient knuckle protection and wrist support.

There have been some users who have complained that the compact and streamlined design of the gloves results in poor ventilation and a tendency for the gloves to stink even after they’ve been washed. Although the number of such complaints has been small, they should be borne in mind.

Fairtex gloves also come in an enormous array of different colors and with a wide range of different designs.

Though they are more expensive than most brands of Muay Thai gloves, their noticeably superior quality and excellent craftsmanship make then unquestionably worth considering. We highly recommend them.

PROS:
  • extremely durable
  • provide excellent protection for your hands
  • smaller and more compact than other gloves of a similar weight
CONS:
  • more expensive than most other brands
  • compact design may make for poor ventilation

2. RDX Ego Gloves – Best For Those On a Budget

Since these gloves can be had for under $50, you might wish to consider getting them if you either can’t or don’t want to spend too much. If you’re looking simply to take a few beginner’s courses in Muay Thai and would rather not break the bank looking for gloves, these gloves are an excellent choice.

You should be aware that these gloves are not made of genuine leather. “Maya Hide Leather” is a term for synthetic leather and so you should not buy the RDX gloves with the expectation of getting a pair of real leather gloves. Along with synthetic leather, of course, come to its drawbacks, especially in the form of lower durability and poorer ventilation.

Though there is undeniably some sacrifice in quality that goes with buying less expensive gloves like these, all things considered, they still put on a respectable showing. The padding and wrist support that they provide are adequate, and since your hands are more likely to sweat in synthetic leather gloves, they also include a moisture-wicking inner fabric meant to counteract this tendency and keep your hands cool.

All in all, these gloves should not be used in the course of serious training or fighting. If, however, you are a beginner or have a more casual interest in Muay Thai and remain aware of the need to upgrade to a better set of gloves before long, they just may be the gloves for you.

PROS:
  • inexpensive compared to most other brands
  • decent padding and wrist support
  • even though they are made of synthetic leather, they contain some materials designed to counteract somewhat your hands’ tendency to sweat in them
  • best suited for beginners or those with only a casual interest in Muay Thai
CONS:
  • not made of genuine leather and so not as durable or well ventilated as a pair of genuine leather gloves
  • not recommended for serious training or fighting

3. Anthem Athletics STORMBRINGER Fight Gloves – Great Gloves For the Price

Given how relatively inexpensive these gloves are, the level of genuine quality that they showcase is rather unexpected. They are highly versatile, being suited to everything from sparring, to training, to bag and pad work, to the actual competition.

These gloves are packed with triple-density polyurethane foam, giving them the significant shock-absorbing ability, but also adding to their thickness.

As genuine leather gloves, they can generally be relied upon to last a long time,  though a relatively small number of people have voiced complaints that this glove is not suited to the strains of sparring. 

PROS:
  • relatively inexpensive
  • versatile and fairly all-purpose
  • overall of high quality, considering their price
  • highly shock-absorbent
CONS:
  • not really able to withstand the strain of sparring for very long

4. Twins Special Boxing Gloves – Best For Those With Big Hands

The Twins Special is probably the most popular brand in Thailand at the moment, and these gloves’ quality makes them worthy of that accolade.

Made of exquisite-quality cowhide leather, these gloves also offer an exceptional amount of padding and protection for the entire hand, making them very well-suited for long sparring or training sessions.

The thicker wrist and frontal areas on these gloves, in particular, make them especially well-suited to protect yourself from kicks. These gloves are also quite roomy and would, therefore, probably be best for you if you happen to have big hands.

The high-quality leather makes them able to withstand significant use.

Wearing them feels somewhat different from wearing Fairtex gloves and which of the two is best is largely a matter of personal preference. A few have complained that Twins gloves are somewhat rigid, even after significant use, but such complaints tend to be rare, and the gloves remain very highly touted by professionals.

With this said, Twins gloves have recently become significantly more expensive than they used to be. Though the quality certainly makes the price worth it and certainly earns our wholehearted recommendation, the high price is nevertheless something for everyone to consider.

PROS:
  • provide extra padding for excellent knuckle protection as well as for protection from kicks
  • are highly durable
  • are suited for extended training or sparring sessions
  • are quite roomy and are best for those with bigger hands
CONS:
  • are rather expensive
  • will likely be uncomfortable for people with smaller hands
  • some can find the gloves a bit rigid and uncomfortable

5. Venum Elite Boxing Gloves – Good For the Price, But Nothing Special

Venum Elite gloves are entirely adequate for anything between casual and regular gym use, though it’s not recommended that you use them for much beyond this. Though they offer decent padding, protection, and wrist support, they are not anywhere near the top of the line in any of these respects. You may use them for sparring if you have no better pair of gloves to turn to in a pinch but to be honest, that is not an area where these gloves particularly shine.

All in all, they are mid-level gloves – gloves with features that are neither disappointing nor especially impressive.

Because they are made of synthetic leather, they are not particularly durable and may cause your hands to sweat profusely.

 However, that is not to say that the gloves are poorly constructed.

Giving their average price range, they are quite comfortable and provide decent padding. Aesthetically, they also look rather flashy, and you may want to consider that if that is something that interests you. However, the glove, especially in the thumb area, does leave a lot.

Overall, if you’re looking for gloves in which to some casual to regular training, we can wholeheartedly recommend them. However, if you want to train especially hard or plan to fight competitively, it is best for you to select a different brand.


PROS:
  • decent padding and overall quality, given the price and given the fact that they are made of synthetic leather
  • suitable for casual or regular training
CONS:
  • not particularly durable
  • not recommended for heavier training or fighting or sparring
  • the thumb design is a bit awkward and leaves a fair amount of excess room

Buyer’s Guide

Muay Thai gloves come in some different styles and weights. It may not appear so to the uninitiated, but there are actually significant differences between these various types. Some are designed with versatility in mind and are more generally applicable to a wider host of situations, while others are built for a more specific purpose.

Furthermore, the proper glove weight you might need may also vary depending on your weight, your sex, and the purpose for which you intend to use your gloves.

To help simplify some of this complexity and impose some order on this chaos, we will go through the different glove styles and glove weights, covering important information that you will need to keep in mind when selecting the right pair of gloves for you.

Glove Types

Training Gloves

This is, if you like, the “workhorse” among all Muay Thai glove types. Through primarily intended for use during training – while hitting punching bags, pads, and so on – it contains a broad range of features and a versatile design that make it applicable to virtually any purpose within Muay Thai. Because this type balances many of the features found in the other Muay Thai glove types, it is highly recommended that beginners in Muay Thai start by using training gloves.

Though glove weight will be discussed in more detail below, the most popular weight for training gloves is 12 oz. Women or lighter men (those weighing less than 130 lbs.) may want to consider the 10 oz. gloves. 14 oz. gloves are more appropriate for those weighing 180 lbs. or more.

Bag Gloves

As the name suggests, this type is intended to help fighters strike a punching bag more quickly and efficiently during training. As such, bag gloves are generally much lighter than the other gloves types, sometimes weighing as little as 6 oz. Bag gloves have significant padding on them meant to cushion your hands as you let punches fly, but they provide protection without adding on any excess weight.

It should be pointed out, however, that although this reduction in glove weight can be an advantage, and although some do prefer it, it is not strictly necessary. Training gloves are usually perfectly acceptable for use when hitting a bag as well.

Sparring Gloves

Sparring gloves generally have a more angular shape than ordinary Muay Thai gloves. They also have some extra padding near the knuckle and wrist areas to protect both your hands and your opponent. Due to all of this, they tend to be a bit heavier than other types of Muay Thai gloves, with most opting for the 16 oz. version, women and lighter men generally using the 14 oz. version and heavier fighters sometimes going as far as to use the 20 oz. version.

If you plan to spar often, this might be a type of glove that would be of great benefit to you, although 16 oz. training gloves can usually double as effective sparring gloves as well.

Clinch Gloves

Once again, as the name here implies, clinching gloves are useful for those who expect to spend a lot of time in the clinch. These gloves have special velcro lining protection that shields fighters against receiving the velcro scratches that they sometimes get from the untaped velcro area in ordinary gloves while in the clinch.

Glove Weights

It is important to know what the weight is of the gloves you’re using. With gloves that are too light, you may find that there isn’t enough padding on them for you and may ending up hurting your hand while punching a bag, unintentionally hurting your sparring partner or discovering that you’re not allowed to use them at all, whether while sparring or during a competitive fight.

Glove weights progress in increments of 2 oz. and range from 8 oz. to as high as 20 oz.

8-10 oz.: For Fighting

In Thailand, competitive Muay Thai fighter typically uses 8 oz. gloves. Heavier fighters may sometimes incline toward using 10 oz. gloves. Other than in a fight, it may be useful to wear gloves of this weight while doing pad or light bag work, particularly when you are close to a fight, as this may actually simulate the feel of a fight rather effectively. However, for longer punching bag training sessions, it is wiser to use heavier gloves that are loaded with more padding.

12-14 oz.: For Pads or Punching Bags

Although it is possible to use 16 oz. gloves while training with a punching bag – and it may even be advisable to do so if you are a heavier fighter – a glove wight of between 12 and 14 oz. is usually optimal for training with pads or a punching bag. Indeed, the best course of action may be to choose the lighter gloves in this range – 12 oz. gloves – as this will enable you to throw faster punches while still providing adequate padding for your hands. As before, depending on whether you are especially light or especially heavy, you may want to either go down or go up about 2 oz. in glove weight, respectively, from this suggested range.

16 oz.: For Sparring

16 oz. gloves tend to be the most apt and reasonable glove weight to use while sparring. Once again, fighters above 180 lbs. may be advised to consider graduating to 18 oz. gloves when they go sparring, while for women and men weighting less than 130 lbs., we suggest choosing 14oz. gloves.

A should be clear from what we’ve said above. There isn’t such a thing as a universally “best” glove type or weight. Although training gloves tend to be quite versatile, you could easily find yourself in a situation where the specific distinguishing features of some of the other types could be of use to you. The right glove weight for you will also vary along with your sex, body weight, and what you mean to use the gloves for.

Therefore, the most important things to keep in mind when looking for a pair of Muay Thai gloves are both what you are like and what situation(s) you expect to find yourself in with your gloves.

A Bit About Glove Materials

Muay Thai gloves are made either of genuine or synthetic leather, and it is important to know how gloves made of these two types of materials contrast with one another. Throwing countless high-velocity punches at punching bags, pads, or other fighters will subject not only you and your hands and wrists but also your gloves to significant strain over time. For this reason, good Muay Thai gloves must be made of durable material.

Generally speaking, genuine leather tends to be more durable than synthetic leather, although it must be said that the quality of synthetic materials has improved substantially with time.

One area where genuine leather has a marked advantage over synthetic leather, however, is that genuine leather is much more breathable. Your hands are much more likely to begin sweating much sooner if you are using synthetic leather gloves, which will head to a much faster build-up of rood-causing bacteria both on your hands and in the gloves. If you have sweaty hands, genuine leather should be your material of choice when picking out gloves.

Also, gloves can come in either lace-up or velcro versions. Since the lace-up version requires assistance from another person both to tighten up and to loosen, if you’re practically-minded, you might want to opt for gloves with velcro.

Conclusion

Having the right pair of gloves is an absolute necessity in the sport of Muay Thai, no matter your degree of involvement in it. However, you must know your own needs and situation before you can determine what the right pair is.

As some gloves are better for certain purposes, like light training or sparring than others, what the best pair of gloves is for you will depend on the use to which you intend to put them. Furthermore, since better-quality gloves generally cost more, like any shopper, you’ll have to find the right way to balance quality and cost.

If you are willing to pay the higher price in exchange for its exquisite design, great durability, excellent padding, versatility, and compactness, then we strongly recommend the Fairtex Boxing Kickboxing Muay Thai Style Sparring Gloves. On the other hand, if you find yourself strapped for cash and are willing to accept a step down in quality, we recommend the RDX Ego Boxing Muay Thai Gloves. For a surprisingly good balance between these two opposing tendencies, we recommend considering the Anthem Athletics STORMBRINGER Fight Gloves.

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