What are the best Muay Thai gloves?TL;DR The Best Muay Thai gloves have a few important qualities that you should look out for including premium leather construction, reinforced stitching, multilayered foam padding, adequate wrist support, comfortable fit and reasonable price tag. Without a doubt, Thailand brands like Fairtex, Twins Special, Yokkao, Top King and Windy have produced the best Muay Thai gloves over the years at affordable prices. Not everyone is the same so I recommend reading the whole article for detailed reviews of each model to find the pair that would suit you best:
In a hurry? Check out my top picks of the best Muay Thai gloves in 2020 below.
How to Choose the Best Gloves for Muay Thai TrainingYour very first purchase when you start Muay Thai, will be a pair of training gloves. While many gyms allow their members to loan their on-site gloves to use for free, they usually stink after so much punching mileage over time. The padding would have thinned out too and may not offer enough protection for your hands. You will eventually own a second, third, or even more pairs of gloves as you travel down this path. Be it for sparring, amassing your gloves collection, an alternate pair for rotation or simply to match your workout attire. But as your very first pair of gloves training this pugilistic sport, it is worth investing a little time to pick the right pair. Here are some essential factors to take note of when it comes to choosing your first pair of training gloves:
Right SizePunching gloves sizing are measured in terms of weight and for general-purpose training, they typically run from 4 to 18 oz. The heavier the gloves, the thicker the padding and theoretically speaking, the better the protection. Generally speaking, 10 to 14 oz are the norm for training and are acceptable so long as they fit right and provide adequate padding for protection. If you are on the heavyweight scale, you can also consider a heavier 16-18 oz. Here’s a training gloves general (not definitive) size chart -based on body weight- for a quick reference:
|Body Weight||Recommended Gloves Size|
|100lbs & below||8oz – 10oz|
|100lbs – 125lbs||8oz – 12oz|
|125lbs – 150lbs||10oz – 14oz|
|150lbs – 180lbs||10oz – 14oz|
|180lbs & above||12oz – 16oz|
Reasonable CostThe budget-conscious will be happy to know that punching gloves are priced relatively affordable. Good quality, made-in-Thailand, pure leather gloves can be had for around $70-$100 online from Amazon or Thailand-based online shops. The price tag will be on the lower end of the price range if you have contacts to buy them directly in Thailand.
High-Quality MaterialsMuay Thai is a high impact sports and right from the start, you will be hitting a lot of tough pads and dense heavy bags. If you want them to last, you are going to need reasonably durable gloves with good padding to withstand the constant and regular punishment. As for the exterior, genuine leather lasts longer and has always been favored over the comparably stiffer synthetic leather. However, the quality of synthetic material has improved tremendously over the years. Just like real leather, there are varying quality of synthetic leather with high quality ones rivaling some genuine leather. Microfiber leather is becoming a popular and great alternative to real leather. The ethically-inclined will also favor animal-free synthetics over real leather. Whichever your preference is, you will be able to find good hardy gloves in either material.
|Sweaty Hands? One thing I have experienced and learned is that genuine leather is a more breathable material. Synthetic leather tends to be less so and feels markedly warmer to train in. This causes hands to sweat more and tougher to dry up due to poorer ventilation, resulting in the easy build-up of odor-causing bacteria. If you have sweaty hands, go for genuine leather and/or mesh panels on the palms that I recommend in my article about breathable gloves.|
Lace-up vs VelcroPunching gloves come in either lace-up or hook-and-loop (velcro) versions. Lace-ups offer a secure fit and will not shift easily when tightly laced. However, they inconveniently require assistance from another person to tighten up which is impractical for gym training. In a typical training session, there will be a myriad of exercises done with or without gloves. So straight up, no competition, velcros are the way to go since they can be taken on/off easily by yourself.
Muay Thai vs Boxing GlovesFor general Muay Thai training involving bagwork and padwork, you can use either Muay Thai or pure boxing gloves. There are subtle differences in the aerodynamics construct but won’t affect the casual fighter/martial arts student. Boxing gloves tend to have more padding around the knuckle area since there is more focus on hands. Muay Thai gloves are more uniformly padded around to allow for blocking of kicks. They are also more flexible to allow you to open your hands more easily, unlike the more rigid construct of boxing gloves. This feature is made to allow for clinching. If you aren’t expecting to do any serious clinching with your gloves on during training, both types of gloves will work equally well. Otherwise, it is best to go with a Muay Thai brand. To learn more about their differences, check out “Muay Thai Gloves vs Boxing Gloves“.
There is a good selection of affordable, high quality gloves available in the market most people tend to stick with the main 3 Thai brands (which I discuss in this comparison article here). But if you are looking for something beyond the usual , there are many decent options available too. You will find my top recommendations below for your consideration:
|Buying Gloves from Online Stores Due to heavier operating costs, brick and mortar stores tend to price their gloves higher than the online stores. The price difference can be quite considerable and so many people make their purchase off the web. There are several options available when it comes to shopping Muay Thai goods online (which I review in my article, “Best Muay Thai Online Stores“), a few of these are based in Thailand and they often offer the best prices even with the shipping costs factored in. However, I personally recommend buying from Amazon for a few reasons. Firstly, depending on the shipping method, Thai web stores are typically slow in shipping their goods. It’s not unusual to wait a month or longer to have something shipped over unless you pay more for premium couriers like DHL. Second, customer service can be lacking due to language. Thirdly, Amazon has a great return policy with no questions asked and ships fast. For me, the choice is clear. Go with Amazon. This list is created with that in mind and features gloves that you can purchase easily from Amazon.|
Fairtex Muay Thai Boxing Gloves BGV-1
First up in the hierachy of Muay Thai brands is the top-of-the-line Fairtex. This is definitely the most popular and best-selling option outside of Thailand, and especially in USA. This may be due in part to the brand’s successful publicity campaign back in the 90s, but Fairtex gloves are favored for more practical reasons. Among its many selling points, these real leather gloves are made with the intention to last. The padding and leather are of high quality, and they boast a streamlined design, making them look smaller and less pillowy than other Thai brands. Fairtex gloves feel less soft compared to Twins or Top King, but the knuckle protection is still adequate for most people. The BGV1 is also produced in so many colors and printed designs, you will surely find a pair that catches your eyes. What’s there to be said about the quality of Fairtex gloves that hasn’t already been said? As your very first Muay Thai gloves, these will live up to all expectations. This top Thai brand prides itself on producing top quality products. Serious testings are conducted regularly for quality control and if you look around on the web, this is the brand which you will hardly ever find any complains on. Even as users report a drop in standard with other brands over the years, Fairtex has held up strong, producing top-notch martial arts gear to fighters and gyms all around the world.
|– “I’m in love with these gloves! They’re less bulky feeling than others I’ve tried.“ – “They provide ample wrist support and keep a smaller profile than a lot of other gloves, which is perfect for muay thai.“|
|Read “10 Reasons to/Not to Buy Fairtex BGV-1” to see what other users and reviewers have to say about the Fairtex BGV-1.|
Yokkao Matrix Muay Thai Gloves
|– “The fit to these gloves are amazing. No air pockets between my knuckles and the inside layer. They needed minimal break in time. Overall an awesome Product from Thailand.“|
|Read my article “YOKKAO Boxing Muay Thai Gloves Review” if you want to know my personal experience with the YOKKAO Matrix Boxing gloves.|
Twins Special Muay Thai Gloves BGVL-3
Twins Special is arguably the most popular Muay Thai brand right now in Thailand. These premium cowhide leather gloves are favored by everyone from casual gym goers to trainers to professional fighters alike.
As a high impact sport, you want gloves that can give you good wrist support and provide sufficient protection for your knuckles and Twins gloves will offer that.
The great overall padding -from the knuckles to the back of the hand- offers ideal protection while you work on your techniques and strengthen your hands to withstand the impact of your punches.
Very soft, very easy on the hands while offering adequate protection and wrist support. Definitely the best choice of gear for any beginner to the sport.The hand compartments are slightly roomy than snug compared to the other Thai brands, making them a favored choice for Western hands. Good quality leather gloves giving you good mileage, this is a real workhorse. The designs for the flagship BGVL-3 are basic, no-frills single-colored, so if you want something a littler fancier, you can consider the Twins FBGV for fancier looks. Twins Special has increased their prices over the last year and even in Thailand, they cost about the same as Fairtex. They are no longer the working class hero I previously dubbed them. For the purpose of Muay Thai training, I would rank these among the top.
|– “they have more cushioning than other gloves I have used for Muay Thai and I highly recommend getting them.“ – “Comfy gloves for punching people in the face. Training partners almost enjoy getting hit as much as hit them, just kidding“|
|Read my article “Twins Special Boxing Muay Thai Gloves Review” as I share my experience in a comprehensive review of the Twins gloves.|
Top King Boxing Gloves
Another popular Muay Thai choice that you will see often in the gym is Top King. Offering comparative protection to Twins gloves, it is interesting to note that the 2 brands are actually owned by 2 brothers.
One reason why they are well-liked is the bold and distinct aesthetics of their gear and they are certainly one of my personal favorites. For cool looking Muay Thai gloves, the quality of the craftsmanship and the cowhide leather used is commendable. They probably took some of the Twins experience over.These sturdy gloves are well construct and have good foam padding to protect the knuckles and wrists. One thing to note is that the cuffs extend almost halfway up your forearms and would make very support for your wrists. Top King gloves have a really snug hand compartment and so if you have small- or medium-sized hands, you will love them. With such great qualities, you might not be switching brands ever after.
|– “Been using these for a year. No signs of damage. Great gloves.“ – “They’re durable as a train.”|
Windy Muay Thai Gloves BGVH
- durable leather construction
- attached thumbs
- convenient hook & loop closures
Hayabusa T3 Boxing Gloves
- A Revolutionized Training Glove: You need a glove that checks all of the boxes, from protection and comfort to durability and fit. T3 Boxing Gloves do just that, with a decade of sports science &...
- Built For Comfort With A Tailored Fit: Interior fabric feels smooth and cool on your hands and helps to regulate your hand temperature. Two interlocking velcro wrist straps adjust to fit your hands...
- World Renowned Wrist Support: The dual wrist straps and splinting system work together to keep your wrists aligned with each punch. It locks your wrists in place when you strap up, preventing risky...
|– “ I spent a long time going through reviews and looking at higher end gloves before taking the leap on the T3s, and I couldn’t be happier.“ – “They have great wrist support, aren’t too hot, and fit my hands well. They also don’t retain the smell from the inevitable sweat that comes when using proper boxing gloves. Very happy with these.”|
|Looking for cheaper options? If you are on a budget, no worries. I got everyone covered in this article. Here are 5 of the best value-for-money gloves that you can have for under $50 (or there abouts):|
Venum Challenger 2.0 Boxing Gloves
- Breathable interior mesh
- 100% fully attached thumb
- Designed in Thailand
|– “I get so many compliments on my gloves, it’s insane.“ – “Highly recommended. I can’t believe I have spent all these years without them.“|
|Read my article “Venum Boxing Gloves Review” as I share my experience in a comprehensive review of the Venum Challenger & Elite gloves.|
Title Pro Style Boxing Gloves
- An exciting re-creation of our famous signature Leather Pro-Style Training Gloves with even more added features and benefits!
- Genuine full-grain leather cover is super tough and durable
- Multi-layer shock absorbing high and low density foams
For a pair of genuine leather gloves at under $50, these are a real steal. You will find it a real challenge to find another pure leather gloves at this price point.
These gloves have firm padding, and are durable enough to hold up to the stress of regular bag punching. The velcro straps are also really wide and will provide a nice secure fit that won’t shift much when you train.As far as I am aware of, the only complaint is that the colors bleed a little when you start using them. The aesthetics are simple and maybe a little dull for some. But if you are looking for durable gloves that can give you good mileage and protection, these boxing gloves are the best that money can buy at this price range. Real leather gloves do breathe better than synthetics so you may want to take that into consideration too.
|– “ they’re protecting my hands very well. I’ve sustained no injuries with these gloves (and wraps) on.“ – “I’ve had them for almost 8 months and they show very little wear and still offer the same protection as day one.“|
Elite Sports Training Gloves
- 🥊 Lightweight Comfort and Protection: Equip your little warriors with the best lightweight youth boxing gloves that come with the highest quality PU leather that is designed to provide top-notch...
- 🥇 Breathable Quality: With the ergonomic curve at the top providing sufficient breathing room and ensuring your kids’ hands stay moisture-free, kids boxing gloves by Elite Sports promise...
- 🥊 Maximum Performance and Little Risk: Our boxing gloves for youth come with cutting-edge technology that is evident in its hand wraps that include triple-density gel and impact foam that is placed...
|– “ Anyone looking to get great gloves without breaking the bank, I highly recommend these..“ – “ My favorite features are the Maya fabric and the antimicrobial lining which keep my gloves smell free. no more stinking training bag.“|
|Read my article “Elite Sports: MMA Muay Thai Gear Review” for a comprehensive review of the Elite Sports gear.|
RDX Ego Series Maya Hide Leather Training Gloves
- RESILIENCE AND DURABILITY – RDX EGO Series Boxing Gloves are manufactured with Maya Hide leather to make them durable. Ideal for Boxing, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and other similar combat sports.
- EFFECTIVE DISPERSION – Multiple layers of paddings including Diffusion are used to provide support to the used.
- VENTILATION AND AIRFLOW –S.P.P ventilation holes provides the ideal level of airflow to minimize the accumulation of sweat.
RDX is a renowned fight gear company from the UK. They are used by both professionals and amateurs, and in boxing, muay thai to MMA arenas. For gloves that retail below $50 (as of writing), these RDXs pack decent quality from good padding, comfort to wrist support. There’s also moisture-wicking inner fabric to keep your hands cool and dry while you work up a sweat.In case you were wondering, Maya hide leather is a fully synthetic leather with reasonable durability and resilience. It’s more breathable compared to vinyl and are softer too. I see this as a good alternative to Ringside Apex if you are looking for gloves at the same price point.
|– ” Fit good and can’t feel anything when you punch plenty of cushion“ – “the comfort is top notch considering how sturdy they are and how solid the wrist support/hand protection is“|
|Read my article “RDX Boxing Gloves Review” for a comprehensive review of the RDX Ego gloves.|
Sanabul Essential Gel Training Gloves
- Performance engineered leather construction. High quality and durable material is easier to clean and maintain
- Gel impact protection foam. Gel Infused foam provides superb protection and softness to help prevent injury to your hands while training
- Longitudinal arch design. Constructed to fit the natural curvature of the hand for proper fist closure while striking
Sanabul is a mma brand that also offers the whole shebang of mma-related training gear and equipment for BJJ to Muay Thai and more. The Essential Gel gloves is one of their bestsellers and actually one of the top selling training gloves on Amazon. The number one reason is of course the affordability.The use of synthetic leather is expected at this price tag and frankly, these certainly aren’t the most durable gloves. But they hold up reasonably well and offer better breathability over many other gloves via the mesh panels. The use of gel padding seem to be rather effective in terms of shock absorption compared to the more traditional foam padding. If you have plans to take Muay Thai more seriously, this will not be not the best option. But as the cheapest gloves on the list, these will work as beginner’s gloves especially if you train casually (e.g. once a week). If you looking for something hardier, consider the other options on the list or Sanabul’s higher-tier but also affordable BattleForged Muay Thai Gloves.
|– “For the price, you can’t beat it. Nice material in and out“ – “ I do muay thai and go hard 4 days a week and they are holding up well.“|