When to Change Your Muay Thai Boxing Gloves?

In a perfect world, boxing gloves would last forever and you only ever need to buy 1 pair in your lifetime. The reality -as we know it- functions pretty far from fantasy and on average, we need to rotate a pair every year or 2. Sometimes less. So what is a realistic amount of time before you need to get a replacement pair? And what are the telltale signs to look out for? Read on and find out.

You will find that I’m always repeating this: not all gloves are built the same. Additionally, a glove’s training mileage varies for person to person due to varying training intensity and frequency. You may find your Twins falling apart in just a matter of 6 months while a friend who has been using the same exact model might have it beyond a year. There is no fixed lifespan for Muay Thai gloves. In order to know when you might need to get a new pair, here are the signs to look out for:

Hankering

For most parts, people get a new pair of gloves for purely frivolous reasons. Mostly because we get attracted to a different design that we just saw somewhere. Most of us already own at least 2 pairs with 1 for pad/bag-work and another for sparring. Blame it on the glove-makers for coming up with some really sick-looking designs that have us hankering for more.

Stinking

Despite all the preventive measures you can take, gloves stench may someday become so overwhelming from long-term usage. This is more common in countries with tropical climate such as Thailand. With the excessive heat and humidity, the profuse perspiration can quickly lead to unbearable glove stench – something so horribly stubborn that no amount of deodorizer can help.

Flaking

Flaking -either interior or exterior- can happen either from over-usage or effects of climate. This can also happen to a pair that has been sitting for too long in a manufacturer’s warehouse. This is an early sign that the gloves are coming apart but not too severe yet.

Velcro Failing

While hook-n-loop closures are real convenient in training, defects are not uncommon. The velcros on the straps just fail to stick which render your gloves pretty much useless since they no longer provide support and stability. Velcros can be purchased easily so this is not the biggest issue and can be fixed with some DIY sewing.

Hands Hurting

This is a key indicator to get a new pair of gloves. If your knuckles are start to hurt, it means that -most likely- the foam padding is wearing thin and can no longer provide adequate protection. It may look just fine and dandy on the outside but the padding may already be breaking down inside. Don’t compromise the safety of your hands – now’s the time to get a new pair of gloves.

Ripping

Obviously, with the leather ripping and foam falling apart, there is little that can be done to salvage it. There are 3 possibilities here: 1) you’re training too hard or 2) you have been using them for way too long or 3) unfortunately, if it’s neither (1) or (2), you have bought yourself a real crappy pair. This is a no-brainer: it’s time to get new gloves or in the case of (3), time to try another brand.

Need ideas for your next pair of gloves? Remember to check out my recommendations for the Best Muay Thai Gloves in 2018.

Conclusion

Always keep your hands protected with a decent pair of gloves – injuries are just not worth it. Look out for the signs listed above, and if you spot any of them, it might be sign to get a new pair.

Chok dee!

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