Best Muay Thai Gloves for Small Hands
Updated 6 April 2020: Time for an update! Check out the latest recommendations of Muay Thai Boxing gloves for small hands.
You know what they say about men with small hands? That’s right, they need small gloves.
If you have small hands and skinny wrists, many ready-made gloves can be loose-fitting and may not offer sufficient protection when you train. Training with ill-fitting boxing gloves can cause harm to your wrists and hands. As someone with thin wrists, I can attest to that.
It is of great importance to wear well-fitted gloves for Muay Thai or boxing training that can provide sufficient padding and wrist support. If you are a kid, woman, or man blessed with small hands, this is the article for you.
“Fits like a glove”
As the idiom goes, you need your gloves to fit like they rightly should. What does that mean? 1) They shouldn’t fit so tightly that blood flow is restricted and your hands feel numb after a rounds on the bag. 2) They shouldn’t fit so loosely that they move all over or that you need to readjust your velcros or laces after every few minutes during pad work. Number (2) is especially applicable for people with small hands. As for the degree of snugness, it’s more a matter of preference. Some like it a little more snug, and less so for others. You should try a few pairs to decide what type of fit you prefer. As they say, comfort is key.
How to Choose the Best Muay Thai Gloves
In order for you to choose the best possible gloves for training, there are a few things to take note of. (Click here to skip right to the recommendations)
Boxing gloves sizing are typically measured in terms of weight and run from 8oz to 20oz. There are also smaller sizes, like 4oz and 6oz, catering to kids; and bigger sizes above 20oz for specialised training purposes. Generally speaking, the choice of the weight of gloves depends on the application (more on that later), as well as the size/weight class of the boxer. Here’s a general (not definitive) sizing chart based on body weight for 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|
Training vs SparringLace up vs Velcro (Hook n Loop)
Lace-ups will definitely fit more securely whether you have big or small hands and wrists. When tightly laced up, they won’t shift and will feel extremely secured. But the one downside to using lace-ups is that you will need someone to help you put them on. This is impractical for a normal training session where you will be doing a myriad of exercises and you may need to take your gloves on and off multiple times.
In sparring and especially competition for boxing, the lace ups are favored. The trouble with velcros for small wrists is that some may not wrap around your wrists tight enough to offer adequate support. But velcros are a certainly the more popular choice for most training circumstances since they can be taken on/off so easily by yourself.
Training gloves are used for padwork and bag work while sparring gloves are used strictly for sparring. The reason for having separate gloves for sparring/training is that you will wreck your gloves padding when you work on those mitts, pads and heavy bags. It is not going to feel good for your sparring partners when they feel the increased impact of your knuckles through the thinned padding.
The recommended size for most men for sparring is 16oz and bigger guys will use 18oz, even up to 20oz gloves. If you find them too big or heavy, the lowest weight you can get away with for sparring is 14oz. Most women and smaller sized men use 14oz for sparring. The reason for using heavier gloves is because gloves of these weights offers more padding which minimizes the impact when it lands on your sparring partner. You are also going to need that extra bit more of padding to protect your hands and wrists, especially against kicks when you block.
The other traditional reason for using heavier gloves for sparring is to get accustomed to the weight for building arm strength. When you enter a fight with lighter fight gloves, they are going to feel light as feather and you are going to be punching like a machine.
As for training gloves, anything from the whole range of sizes is acceptable so long as they fit right, support the wrists and provide sufficient protection for your knuckles. The lighter padding allows you to feel the power of your punches as they land on bags, so you need to make sure that you have the right techniques. Lighter gloves also allow you to work on your techniques as well as flow & rhythm in padwork. If the feeling of lighter gloves is a bit too raw for you, feel free to use a heavier pair for a more cushioned impact. Just make sure it fits right.
Brands of Gloves
There are many Muay Thai and boxing gloves makers out in the market. Of course, they are not all built equally; some are more equal than others. If you make comparisons based on price, a Thai brand will often offer better quality in terms of the materials and workmanship. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since labor costs and materials are comparatively cheaper in Thailand.
Fairtex, Twins Special, Yokkao and Top King are the most popular brands made in Thailand. You can hardly go wrong with these. The other Thai brands include Boon Sport, Windy, Raja, Sandee, Thaismai and they are all reasonably good quality gear. Reviews can be a bit mixed but on the whole, all the Thai brands mentioned will offer you reasonable mileage.
Traditional boxing brands like Cleto Reyes, Winning, and Grant are excellent choices too. Boxing gloves tend to be stiffer but if you intend to do some boxing training, they will be good investments. Price-wise, they are normally costlier compared to the Thai brands.
Then there are modern brands targeted at the MMA/UFC generation such as Tuff, Venum, Hayabusa, KO Fight gear and others. Venum and Hayabusa are both very popular among the modern Muay Thai and mma crowd. They have striking aesthetic designs and incorporate heavy research-based technology. These brands tout innovative designs and are endorsed by many MMA fighters.
Tips on choosing your Muay Thai gloves
Now that you have identified the type of gloves best suited for your usage, here are some tips on how you can increase the odds of picking the best pair with your next purchase:
Tip 1 – Ask your gym mates if you can try out their gloves to check the fitting. There will be a myriad of brands and models being worn at your gym so you can try them all out. It’s also a good way to make friends if you are new to the gym.
Tip 2 – If your gym is of a decent quality, it is likely that they carry their own line of fight gear and apparel. These gloves are commonly manufactured in the factory of one of the big Thai brands such as Twins or Top King so they will be of very good quality. The best thing about buying from your gym is that you get to try them on first and you will often get a discount as a member. Prices, however, are usually higher than what you can find online for other brands.
Tip 3 – There’s a good chance that you can find at least one fight store in your town or city. If you don’t feel shy about it, you should head down to check the selection and try them on for size before committing to a purchase online.
Due to rental and other operating costs of a brick-and-mortar retail store, the prices will usually be higher than online retail price tags. However, if you are able to maintain a good relationship with your local fight store, you may be able to get some good deals or discounts. Nothing beats feeling/trying out the gears in real life and rubbing shoulders with fellow fight enthusiasts.
Tip 4 – You may want to consider having your hand wraps on when trying out gloves. Having your hand wraps on makes a whole lot of difference. If you try on a gloves without your hand wraps and it feels just right, it could end up a too tight with your hand wraps on. Some brands are a little more snug than others, and even within the brand, there might be a little variance among different models. That said, do note that some gloves will feel stiff brand-new and will require a few training sessions for them to feel comfortable
Tip 5 – Not the best suggestion but here’s a workaround for you if your gloves are too big: longer hand wraps. Hand wraps come in a few standard lengths, 108”, 180”, 200”, 210”. The purpose of hand wraps is to protect your knuckle and wrist joints and hold them in place. For most hands, 180” wraps will offer enough protection. Larger hands need longer wraps, and shorter wraps for kids, generally speaking. For people with small hands, using longer wraps like the 200” or 210” will bulk up your hands with enough fabric such that they will fit more snugly in the gloves. So there you have it, a low cost solution.
So you have digested all the information above, and still not quite sure where/how to proceed? Well, generally speaking, you won’t go wrong with most Thai brands as the Asian gloves sizes are nominally smaller than the American/European counterparts. Most, but not all.
There are literally thousands of gloves models out in the market and it can certainly get a bit intimidating. No worries. I have ploughed and searched the fields and shops to bring you a list of gloves best suited for small hands. So here’s a list of our recommendations to get you started:
- TOP KING Boxing Gloves Ultimate ultilize a multi-layed molded shock absorbent foam for the highest levels of workouts.
- Extra foam padding inserted on wrist to help protects against injury.
Based on my experience, reviews and recommendations, Top King gloves have one of the smallest hand compartments among all the Thai brands. That’s good news for you as they fit really well for the small hands. Aesthetics-wise, the tribal style could be your thing.
You will find Top King to be one of the most common gear being used at your gym. The padding is ample all round for a good protection of your hands and wrists but the all-round padding also makes them look huge and bulky. Something to take note of.
The elongated cuffs extend almost halfway up your forearms, keep your punches straight and minimizing injuries. Last but not least, the velcro straps will fasten securely even if you have skinny wrists like me.
There is practically nothing to complain about these for most training needs. Top King gloves are our top recommendations for small hands.
|– “Been using these for a year. No signs of damage. Great gloves.“
– “I have smaller hands for my size, and with wraps on my 16 oz are snug.”
Twins Special Lace Closure BGLL-1
Twins Special is quite possibly the most popular Muay Thai brand right now and you will see a lot of them in your gym. Twins gloves are the official gloves used in many competitions in Thailand including the famed Lumpinee Stadium. The standard velcro gloves fit the average-sized hands so if you are tempted to try them out, the lace up is a better choice. Featuring the good quality leather and padding expected of the brand, these lace-ups will serve you well either as training or sparring gloves. They are certainly more practical as sparring gloves since you won’t need really need to take them off during sparring session. As training gloves, the lace ups will provide a really tight wrist support for those with small wrists but can be troublesome to take them on/off.
|– “Use these bad boys for sparring and competition for boxing and Muay Thai. No complaints“
– “Best Thai boxing gloves for the money.“
- Brand New collection release - High quality premium cowhide leather
- Long lasting shock-absorbing foam
- Handcrafted by Thai professionals in Thailand
- Attached thumb for added support
- Doublestiched seams for extra reinforcement with Hook and loop closure
The Matrix is Yokkao’s basic Muay Thai gloves range that comes in solid colors instead of their usual eye-catching designs. These have a pretty snug hand compartment and will fit accordingly after breaking in. I have a pair in 12oz and another in 14oz, both fit perfectly. Great for pad work, and sparring being light and yet highly protective.
The leather they used feels premium and I like the embroidered stitch on the cuff logo patches.
Yokkao have made improvements over the years and both of my loves have held up really well since I bought them. The Matrix range is produced in so many colors, designs and limited editions, you will surely find a pair that catches your eyes.
|– “The fit of the glove is amazing. They feel almost completely broken in. I could open my hand easily to parry shots and catch kicks.“
– “ This glove has been really amazing it is realy firm in the wrist and the fit is tight, which is very comfortable.”
- 4 layer foam structure that doesn’t require break in. Designed to deliver the best performance for bag work and sparring.
- DUAL-X closure system provides lace-like fit. Best in class wrist support delivered by the 4 interlocking splints at the back of the hand.
- Hand crafted with top of the line engineered leather delivers superior crack, abrasion and tear resistance.
- Wipe away sweat with our unique fabric thumb.
- Our professional boxing gloves are perfect to use as boxing training gloves, kickboxing gloves, heavy bag gloves and sparring. Color variations include Black & blue, white & black, black & grey, and black & red boxing gloves.
Hayabusa is known for extensive research and innovation in the design of their products. The T3 is an update of one of the more popular gloves model (Tokushu Regenesis) from the MMA brand. It uses a engineered (synthetic) leather which has been test-proven to outlast most regular leather. The really outstanding feature of these gloves is the dual wrist wrap, which firmly secures them on your wrist and provides ample padding for protection.
All these wonderful features on top of a nice snug fit for smaller hands. The 10oz or 12oz will fit well on smaller hands. Hayabusa gloves are less bulky-looking than Twins and Top King so they will look good even on smaller frames. They tend to be pricier than the Thai brands but you get what you pay for.
|– “The gloves run significantly smaller than the average.”
– “I have small hands and the fit perfect.”
Best Muay Thai Gloves for Women
Both Muay Thai and Boxing have been traditionally a male sport. Even as the scale is tipped over the years, majority of the gloves are still designed+manufactured with the male physical characteristics in mind. Thankfully, now there are gloves being made for the growing number of female fighters. Some of these female-friendly brands include Ringside, Grant, Cleto & Reyes and Adidas, amongst others. There are some so-called women’s gloves that are targeted at the fitness aerobics crowd but you want to avoid them. Such gloves usually offer the weight but not the best protection for hitting bags. The gloves recommended in the previous section, in sizes 8oz to 12oz, will suit most women. Here are a few more options for your consideration:
Ringside IMF Women’s Tech Sparring Gloves
- A leather/textured vinyl combo shell provides durability and good looks
- Complete with an attached thumb
- The exclusive vinyl overlay webbing on the underside of the gloves provides additional reinforcement during impact
- Mesh promotes evaporation of sweat and water
The Ringside IMF (Injected Molded Foam) is the brand’s flagship line of gloves made with their proprietary technology. Basically, the gloves are made using a molded foam system that contours the shape of the fist.
These are very snug gloves so they are one of your best bets. The long cuffs and extra wide velcro straps offer incredible wrist support, and the padding is springy enough for extra protection of your knuckles. Sounds perfect? Well, they are not as well ventilated as many other brands so the heat might bother you a bit. They are also a little stiff and won’t make the best gloves for clinching or sparring. Other than that, these are excellent training gloves that will serve most women well in both boxing and Muay Thai training.
|– “The gloves are AMAZING!!! great support on the wrist and knuckles.”
– “They are sturdy, give excellent support and comfort, and they look great! I always get complimented on them!”
– “Great fit for small women’s hands. I have super tiny hands and these are the only gloves I have found that fit well. Worth the price for the secure fit.”
Everlast Women’s Pro Style Training Gloves
- Patented Thumb-Lok feature, Premium synthetic leather along with superior construction increases durability, Natural shape conforms to hand
- Everfresh treatment helps prevent offensive odors, keeping your products smelling fresh, Full mesh palm ensures breathability and comfort
- Improved curved anatomical grip and fit. Ideal for sparring, heavy bag workouts, and mitt work
- Wrap-around hook and loop strap closure
- Available in 12- or 14-ounce weight sizes
I have added this as an anti-example. These are what I meant by boxing fitness gloves. More suitable for boxing aerobics/cardio type of class, NOT real boxing or Muay Thai. While Everlast offers a wide range of boxing gloves, these particular gloves offer inadequate padding and won’t last very long at the heavy bags. A decent Muay Thai class requires you to be punching tough pads and bags A LOT so these are obviously not the right options. At this price, you also don’t expect them to last very long, do you? Your hands deserve better gloves, if not the best, when it comes to Muay Thai.
Best Muay Thai Gloves for Youths and Kids
More and more youths and even younger kids are taking up Muay Thai and boxing as a recreation these days. However, children are susceptible to related injuries such as knuckle bruises and wrist sprain, maybe more so than adults. Their bones are still growing (peak bone mass is acquired around age 18) and so it is important to ensure that their hands are well protected during training. A well-curated children martial arts program will be designed with such physical and physiological considerations and a good gym (instructor) will always ensure that the kids are wearing properly fitted gloves before training.
You will probably find brandless boxing gloves under $10 at the supermarket or a general sporting goods store. But it’s better steer clear of these since the quality is crap -unless you plan to use them as oven gloves. We found some reputable gloves specially designed for kids and they offer better protection for your children’s hands. And they are reasonably priced too!
Yokkao Kids Gloves
- Brand New Collection Release. Gorgeous Geometric Design. Ideal for Muay Thai and Kickboxing, MMA
- High-Quality Microfiber Leather. Doublestiched Seams for Extra Reinforcement
- Black YOKKAO Boxing Gloves Logo. Hook and Loop Closure
- Long Lasting Shock-Absorbing Foam. Attached Thumb for Added Support
- Protective Dense Foam. Handcrafted by Thai Professionals in Thailand
Yokkao is one of the most prominent Thai-based Muay Thai brands today. These designed-for-kids gloves are made using microfiber leather, a high-quality synthetic leather with qualities such as higher resistance to tear, better breathability and more lightweight. It is also antibacterial, odourless and very easy to clean. These gloves are designed for kids in sizes ranging from 4 to 10-ounce.
Yokkao gloves are reliable and are popular among kids. Your young ones will love them.
RDX Kids Boxing Gloves
- 【Shell Shock Absorbent Foam】RDX Kids boxing gloves are manufactured using dense latex padding complimented with shock-absorbent foam. It absorbs the nasty impacts and spreads it evenly across the surface of the glove.
- 【Quick EZ Hook-and-Loop Closure】These junior boxing gloves are contrived using child-friendly Quick EZ wrist design. The elastic allows for easy on and easy off application. It offers secure and protected fit around the wrists without any concern of slipping and sliding.
- 【Resilient Maya Hide Leather Construction】Our kids sparring gloves are built with solid Maya hide leather material that makes them stubbornly durable and long-lasting. They resist cracks, tear and splits.
- 【Cool X Ventilation Technology】These kids' boxing gloves offer optimal ventilation and thermal regulation with Cool X palm-mesh technology with sweat wicking inner lining to keep hands as fresh as possible.
- 【EVA-LUTION FOAM Padding】RDX junior training gloves are prepared with EVA-Lution foam padding on outer wrist for added protection. It helps in dispensing the hard impacts on the wrist segment. The foam padding is exclusively created to offer maximum wrist protection without the bulk and irritation.
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. With such accolades, you should rest assure of the quality and protection offered by their junior gloves. 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. These gloves come in 4oz and 6oz so they will fit well on your little ones.
|– “Perfect for my boys to beat on the heavy bag with.”
– “even though they are kids gloves, RDX did not skimp on the quality.“
The fit of your personal punching gloves is ultimately a personal choice: Some people like it slightly roomy, while some like it snug. But it needs to be able to provide appropriate support and protection for your hands. You may have to buy and try out a few pairs before you eventually find a pair that you love.
My advice: Wrap your hands properly. Go for a reputable brand of gloves. Train hard. If you don’t protect your hands, a visit to the chiropractor or specialist is going to cost a lot more than the very best boxing gloves.
I have personally tried on several of the gloves that I have recommended here in the article but if I had to pick one, I would go with the Top King. With the information and recommendations that is presented here, hope you can soon find your own beloved pair of gloves. Keep fighting and as always,