Which Muay Thai Gloves Should You Buy
In this article, we’re going to focus on Muay Thai gloves for boxing.
Muay Thai is a Thai martial art that uses boxing as a part of its fighting techniques.
Thai brands can vary in design. They can be soft and pliable to protect the fighter’s hands and wrists, or they can be more rigid and stiff to absorb a great deal of the impact from the strikes.
They are an essential piece of equipment for every boxer.
It is important to have a properly fitting boxing glove so that it can perform its job.
If the glove doesn’t fit the fighter, they will not be able to hit their opponent properly.
These training, sparring, and competition items have been around for a long time and have seen a lot of changes over the years. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes and all have a particular purpose. The two most common types are the traditional lace-up style and the Velcro.
With a lace-up style, the strap wraps around the wrist and crosses over the back of the hand to connect to the glove. Velcro styles are more common and can be found on all levels of boxers from professionals to beginners.
Nowadays, they have been made with different materials that have been designed to increase safety and comfort. With the increased importance of the sport, many different types have been created.
Muay Thai brands are designed specifically for martial artists. They are smaller and fit the fighter’s hand better than traditional ones, but many are now interchangeable for both sports depending on what you’re using them for.
It can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. I hope that with this information, you’ll find choosing the right pair has been made easier.
What Are Different Boxing Gloves For? The differences between them are meant for different striking purposes, uses in training, and competition. They can range from 4 oz up to 20 oz, the super-light boxing mitts, the heavy bag, training, sparring, and competition gloves.
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Muay Thai Gloves vs. Boxing Gloves
There are still differences between them when used in sparring and competition.
The length of Muay Thai brands is much shorter than traditional boxing products. They come in eight and six half inches in length. It”is believed that that’s why traditional makes are sometimes also referred to as Thai boxing gloves.
They need to be for catching kicks and clinching. The ones for Muay Thai need to be designed in such a way that they are easy to grab the opponent’s leg and stick to the body. They need to open easily for clinching the hands and elbows.
There is a difference in the glove thumb as well. When looking at the traditional makes for boxing you can see they have a thumb that is sewn in. They keep it stiff and straight. The thumb in Muay Thai styles is sewn in the palm but remains flexible.
The material used can also vary. Most of them today consist of several layers of foam padding. They can absorb a great amount of impact, and they can be molded to the shape of the hand for better comfort.
Can you use Muay Thai gloves for boxing? You can use them for boxing but depending on your style of boxing you might want to consider changes in technique, movement, or hand protection from strikes. The Muay Thai have shorter lengths and are far lighter compared with traditional boxing pairs.
Boxing Bag Gloves
What Are Boxing Bag Gloves? These are also known as boxing mitts are made just for hitting a punch bag. They are not meant for sparring or to be used in human-to-human contact. These should be light and have padding on the inside to protect the hands from the impact of the shock being transmitted to the hands from hitting the punching bag.
Bag mitts use closed-cell foam made up of cells that are pressed together to keep air and moisture out of the foam. This foam is more solid and secure than open foam. A boxing bag glove’s material is also lighter and firmer, they’re harder, which means there’s no air to get out of them.
If you’ve ever been on a yoga mat or wrestling mat, then you’re already familiar with the feel of closed-cell foam. You can imagine a comparison between a Louisville slugger and a foam bat, that’s the difference when you go to hit someone with these. Their life span will decrease dramatically.
A glove designed for bag work should be used for bag work and a glove designed for sparring should be used for sparring.
A new pair of sparring gloves requires you to break them in for around 20 rounds. You don’t want to ever enter a sparring match with a new pair of stiff ones.
They are made of softer material inside them that will break down a lot faster than the harder material found in others made for heavy bags.
These are made of only high-density foam providing you with thicker padding around the thumb, knuckles, and hand compartment. Most of them have open cell foam which means they’re deliberately left open, creating a softer and more flexible foam. This is the type of foam that you press on and rise back up.
The sparring glove is meant for bone-on-bone contact. Using these on heavy bags is only going to break down and damage them faster if you’re constantly beating on them.
The Four Types
Another name for these is the Mexican style. They’re called punchers because of the multiple punches thrown, and because of their big bounce and recoil effect. They are made with a flatter punch surface than the others. The puncher’s glove is designed to throw a lot of punches, not for one-punch knockouts. Trying to use these to do that is most likely going to cause you injury and even break your hand because of the materials they are made from. These are also not a good fit for people with weak or delicate hands. If you still decide to use them, make sure to wrap your hands well.
Some Brands That Carry Punchers:
1. Cleto Reyes – The material inside comes from a rubber tree, and natural latex padding which is one of the most responsive materials used. This rubber is a very bouncy material.
Table 1. Cleto Reyes Boxing Gloves Types (Part 1):
|Cleto Reyes Boxing Gloves Type||Training Glove||Sparring Glove||Fight Glove||Bag Glove|
Table 2. Cleto Reyes Boxing Gloves Types (Part 2):
|Cleto Reyes Boxing Gloves Type||Mitt Work||Velcro||Lace||Leather|
|TRAINING w/ HOOK & LOOP||Yes||Yes||Highest Quality|
|EXTRA PADDING||Yes||Yes||Highest Quality Handmade|
|BAG w/ HOOK & LOOP||Yes||Yes||Yes||Premium|
|BAG w/ ELASTIC CUFF||Yes||Yes||Elastic Cuff||Premium|
Imagine how a rubber ball bounces back from the ground after dropping it. These are going to hit the surface and bounce off. Cleto Reyes can retain their shape immediately.
Table 1. Cleto Reyes Boxing Glove Sizes (Part 1):
|Cleto Reyes Boxing Glove Size||5.6 oz||6 oz||8 oz||10 oz||12 oz||14 oz||16 oz||18 oz|
|PROFESSIONAL||105 to 147 lbs.||154lbs. and up|
|OFFICIAL SAFETEC||105 to 147 lbs.||154lbs. and up|
|TRADITIONAL||105 to 126 lbs.||130 to 154 lbs.||160lbs. and up|
Table 2. Cleto Reyes Boxing Glove Sizes (Part 2):
|Cleto Reyes Boxing Glove Size||S/M/L/XL|
|TRAINING w/ HOOK & LOOP||S/M/L/XL|
|EXTRA PADDING||130 to 154 lbs.|
|KIDS||3 to 5 Yr Old|
|BAG w/ HOOK & LOOP||S/M/L/XL|
|BAG w/ ELASTIC CUFF||S/M/L/XL|
2. Everlast – The Everlast MX is similar to the Cleto Reyes which uses natural latex padding.
Table 1. Everlast Boxing Gloves Types (Part 1):
|EVERLAST MODEL||TRAINING GLOVE||SPARRING GLOVE||FIGHT GLOVE||BAG GLOVE|
|EVERLAST + RVCA – SMITHFIGHT||Yes||Yes|
|EVERLAST + RVCA PRO||Yes||Yes|
Table 2. Everlast Boxing Gloves Types (Part 2):
|EVERLAST MODEL||MITT WORK||VELCRO||LACE||LEATHER|
|MX HOOK & LOOP||Yes||Yes||Premium Mexican|
|C3 PRO WEIGHTED||Laced||Weighted||Yes|
|MX PROFESSIONAL||Yes||Premium Mexican + Custom Horsehair|
|POWERLOCK PRO (HYBRID)||Yes||Premium Full Grain|
|MX||Yes||Yes||Premium Piel Planchada|
If you don’t have strong hands you may want to invest in Pillow style. They almost feel like you’re hitting pillows. These are softer on your hands and sparring partners. They will completely wrap around your knuckles due to their three to five multi-layers of high-density foam. The force of impact when you hit anything is also going to reduce the shock, the recoil is practically not there. This doesn’t mean that there’s more padding. The padding is thin but high-density.
A good example of a pillow glove is the winning glove. You can use full-power punches with less chance of injury and they’re great for people who have weak hands and have great cushion support. The only disadvantage to the pillow style is that they will break down faster, bend more, and don’t snap back into shape like the latex material used in the punchers.
Another brand that makes good pillow products is Hayabusa. They’re a little smaller, use the exact type of leather, the same type of multi-layer foam, and offer you and your partner great protection.
These styles are big, bulky, and rounded with a thick wall of padding to keep your knuckles and wrists safe. They’re considered to be between the punchers and the pillows. They’re mostly used by power punchers and defensive fighters. An example is the brand called Grant which is used by many boxers. These are made out of latex and orthopedic foam. The space between your knuckles and the contact point is very large, with around two to three inches of padding. They’re also able to be opened very easily if you need to parry any punches. The size of these is also advantageous for protecting the side of your head when compared to the puncher’s flat glove.
Another good example is the Ringside IMF tech foam, which uses injected molded foam (IMF). These come with a very large layer of foam where your knuckles are, about three inches and it’s rounded towards the top. The padding is very hard and stiff.
Everlast Powerlock – These are some of the most dynamic hybrids on the market. This is a mix between the pillow and defensive styles. They offer a lot of space between your knuckles and the target, It’s big and opens wide for parrying and catching shots similar to the defensive style, but it has the multi-layer foam that’s going to wrap around your knuckles for added protection. You can hit hard with the Powerlocks like with the defensive and pillow, without feeling any backlash from them. You’re not going to feel much impact on your hands and shoulders when using them.
Table 1. Everlast Boxing Glove Sizes (Part 1):
|EVERLAST MODEL||8 oz||10 oz||12 oz||14 oz||16 oz||18 oz||20 oz|
|EVERLAST + RVCA – SMITH||Yes|
|EVERLAST + RVCA PRO||Yes|
Table 2. Everlast Boxing Glove Sizes (Part 2):
|ELITE PRO||10 oz|
|C3 PRO WEIGHTED|
|MX PROFESSIONAL||10 oz|
|POWERLOCK PRO||10 oz|
Another glove that is a puncher and pillow glove is the Adidas Hybrid 300. These have multi-layer sandwich foam, which doesn’t have a lot of space, and it’s flat. Because of the sandwich foam and how much it’s folded, when you punch it expands right back into place. When you make contact with your target it’ll bounce right back. As I mentioned there’s not a lot of space but the padding is softer The pillow style is good on your hands and knuckles giving you that support and good for your partner. They allow you to get a lot of solid punches in with good recoil. These Adidas hybrids are for people who want to get a good pair of “punchers” without getting the hand injuries to go with them.
The Rival RS11 sparring tends to have all three in one. Their padding is very soft like the pillow style going down to the sublayer underneath where you hit and recoil off. It’s not a latex material but is just a stiffer foam. The head area around the hand is huge, wide, and rounded allowing for a lot of space between your knuckles and your target just like a defensive glove. This kind of glove is excellent for sparring but also offers you all of the three style’s benefits offered in one glove.
Different companies are going to offer different types and styles.
Recap For The Four Types
They are puncher, pillow, defensive, and hybrid gloves.
The puncher’s glove is not meant to be used for a one-punch knockout, but it’s for people who throw a high volume of punches. It has a flatter surface and requires you to wrap your hands more than you normally would if you have weak hands.
The pillow style is great for training, removing some of the power from it because of the amount of cushion in it. You might find that as a deficiency in the glove if you’re looking to use more power in your punches, but you can hit as hard as you want without damaging your hands.
The defensive ones have the big, thick rounded layer of padding to protect your knuckles but don’t lack the power to behind your punch, allowing you to hit as hard as you want.
The hybrids are going to let you mix and match any of the other three types together.
Highly Recommended By Fighters And Enthusiasts
- Top King
Windy Muay Thai Original
Windy is the original Muay Thai equipment provider. Their traditional products were released in 1951 and remained at the top in Thailand until Fairtex hit the scene about twenty years later, a company that would eventually become the biggest glove producer and seller in the world.
This brand might not be as large or as well known as Fairtex, but its products are top-notch. This company manufactures boxing gear out of Bangkok, Thailand, and they sell them worldwide including in the United States, Mexico, and all across Europe. To keep the highest quality possible, they perform tests on them in both Thailand and Europe, and need to be approved in both countries to meet European safety requirements.
They are made from both 100% premium leather and the highest quality synthetic leather on the market. They utilize a four-layer foam system for extra protection and completely double-stitch the whole glove.
The all-around Windy “Classics” are their most popular. These can be used in punching bag training, pad training, and sparring. The classics are made of high-quality synthetic leather, four different layers of foam, the right balance of softness and hardness, and are completely double-stitched for a longer life. It can be used by both men and women and is offered for all levels from beginner to professional.
Fairtex Thai Brand
Fairtex doesn’t just make boxing products, they also train fighters in MMA, BJJ, and Muay Thai in their Fairtex Training Center in Pattaya, Thailand. They have trained fighters who went on to become champions such as Yodsanklai, Naruepol, Neungsiam, Jongsanan, and Bunkerd.
They have and currently, take on new students to train of all ages. If you’re interested and can get to their camp, go for it. They do give you the option of choosing how you want to train. So if you don’t want to do any sparring or clinching, then you don’t have to but it’s advised and expected.
Table 1. Fairtex Muay Thai Boxing Glove Sizes (Part 1):
|FAIRTEX MODEL||4 oz||6 oz||8 oz||10 oz||12 oz||14 oz||16 oz||18 oz|
|BVG6 LOCKED THUMB||X||X||X||X|
Table 2. Fairtex Muay Thai Boxing Glove Sizes (Part 2):
|FAIRTEX MODEL||4 oz||6 oz||8 oz||10 oz||12 oz||14 oz||16 oz||18 oz|
Table 2. Fairtex Muay Thai Boxing Glove Sizes (Part 3):
|FAIRTEX MODEL||4 oz||6 oz||8 oz||10 oz||12 oz||14 oz||16 oz||18 oz|
|THE HEART OF A WARRIOR||X||X||X||X||X|
Fairtex is a Thailand-based manufacturer. They make quite a few different types from heavy bags to sparring bag mitts, Thai pads, Jiu-Jitsu training you can get set up by enrolling online, and much more.
The most well-known brand that they carry is Fairtex Classics. These are some of the best-selling items you will find on any site. They’re made of premium quality leather and thick lining, and a three-layer system foam to protect your hands from shock and injury. Fairtex even offers premium microfiber that is vegan-friendly if you want to stay away from using leather.
Twins Muay Thai
Twins is an internationally known manufacturer that produces boxing and mixed martial arts equipment for safety, training, fight wear, shin guards, head protection, fighting accessories, and fight-wear for Boxing, Muay Thai, and MMA. If you need something for sparring, high competition, or training with heavy bags, pads, and mitts, then they will last you for years. If you have ever had a pair of Twins, then you know their worth.
They also manufacture equipment under other brands such as King Professional and Twins Special. Their gear is used and trusted by professionals, amateurs, recreational boxers, and some of the greatest legends of the sport. Twins have the approval of the world’s largest sports governing bodies such as the International Boxing Association (AIBA), the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and the International Federation of Muay Thai Associations (IFMA).
Twins is a Thailand-based manufacturer most famous for their hand-crafted Velcro they are known for their superior impact protection, comfort, premium quality materials, long-lasting construction, and wrist support, as well as for their visual appeal.
Yokkao Muay Thai
Yokkao Muay Thai products are handmade in Thailand with double-stitching to provide excellent protection and comfort using composite foam padding. They are designed for sparring, competition, or everyday training. You can use them inside or outside of the gym. You can use Yokkao for boxing, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and any demanding cardio workouts.
They test their gear extensively for the highest quality and are made from the highest quality 100% leather or microfiber leather. They are currently one of the best on the market.
Yokkao is also known as the first training center in the heart of Bangkok, a place where fighters can train in Muay Thai. The Yokkao Muay Thai Camp is also known as the Yokkao Saenchai Muay Thai Gym after Muay Thai Living Legend Saenchai. I’m sure you’re familiar with this great Thai fighter. If you want to train with one of the best Muay Thai fighters, if not the top fighter living today, then you have the opportunity to do so. There are other legendary fighters in their camp, so you’ve got plenty to choose from or train with them all.
This training center is open to the Thai people and to international fighters or anyone wanting to train at a high caliber. They have training available for beginners and pros.
Top King Muay Thai
Top King is another well-known Muay Thai company founded in 2008 to produce high-quality products for the martial arts and boxing communities, and the best selection of Muay Thai gear and apparel.
Their Top King Super Air model is a well-known glove that’s handmade in Thailand, It is lightweight and ventilated and is considered a hybrid between a Muay Thai Glove and a boxing glove. The design is more of a traditional style and the 16oz size is about medium, not too large or too small. It’s made from high-quality leather and excellent padding for protection with the feel of a pillow.
Raja Muay Thai
Raja is a reputable Thailand company that makes handmade products and stands on par with the likes of Fairtex, Windy, and Twins.
They make high-quality boxing equipment using leather of the highest quality cowhide. Their design is thin but tough enough for maximum flexibility and endurance from heavy training. Their EVA and Latex foams are correctly balanced so as not to be too hard or too soft for maximum protection.
All of their materials are professionally selected and tested to provide maximum protection and high performance. Raja gloves and kick pads are designed for the best protection for your knuckles and wrists, and for comfort and movement so you’re not restricted to using your techniques.
Raja also makes fight wear and is known for the “silver skin”, “gold skin”, and Thai Silk used in their products. This company is trusted by fighters and gyms alike, as well as the boxing and Muay Thai governing bodies in Thailand.
Buakaw Muay Thai
If you don’t know the name then you don’t know Muay Thai. The Buakaw glove is his line and he’s known to be one of the greatest living Muay Thai fighters, Sombat Banchamek, also known as Buakaw Banchamek.
He surprised the Muay Thai world in 2004 when he won the K-1 World Max tournament when he showed what Muay Thai can do to the martial arts world.
His accomplishments as listed in Wikipedia: He is a former two-time Omnoi Stadium, Lumpinee Stadium Toyota Marathon, Thailand Featherweight, two-time K-1 World MAX, and 2011 & 2012 Thai Fight tournament champion as well as former #1-ranked fighter in Lumpinee Stadium. Combat Press currently ranks him as the #10 lightweight kickboxer in the world.
I hope this article has helped you understand the different types of Thai gloves and how they are used. Overall, variety is key when looking. I hope this post has provided all of the information that you need to help you make an informed decision on what type to buy.