Updated 27 July 2019: Updated price and review after one year of usage.
For the third of my in-depth gloves review, I have picked Bangkok-based brand, Boon Sport. While the company isn’t quite as prominent as its competitors, it is a hit with serious Muay Thai fans everywhere in the world.
Boon’s back-to-basics gear designs seem to have struck a chord with many fighters and trainers.
About Boon Sport
The Bangkok-based Muay Thai brand was founded in 2002 by Australian entrepreneur, Scott Marr together with his wife, Su.
The brand’s name translates to mean “making merit” or “doing good” in Thai language and culture. In fact, Scott is big on giving back to the Muay Thai community by sponsoring many small gyms in Thailand. And Boon does this without tooting its own horn.
The company has come quite a long way since its humble beginnings. Today, Boon is one of the most trusted Muay Thai brands in the world known for top-quality fight gear and reputable custom shorts service.
The company is modest-sized with around 30 employees and its products are all handmade at 2 factories located in central Bangkok.
Boon Sport may not be as prominent as its competitors like Fairtex, Top King or Yokkao. But for Muay Thai enthusiasts, pro fighters and gym trainers who are serious about the sport, Boon is a brand that they know they can count on.
Boon Sport Gloves Review
Boon Sport relies on little more than a dedication to gear making and word-of-mouth to get to where they are today. No flash, no splash.
For the longest time, they had a small range of premium leather gloves decked in no-frills basic colors like black, white and a signature-brown.
They recently added a new velcro boxing gloves model, featuring a shorter cuff but in the same leather as their flagship line. I was fortunate to be among the first to try out the new velcro gloves.
This review will be based on my experience with the BGN black (model no. BGNBK) as seen above.
I love the fit. These gloves have a compact hand compartment, which is excellent fit for smaller hands and wrists like mine. Not the tightest I have used but the fit is snug in a comfortable way.
I didn’t even need to break into the gloves and these were ready for prime-time action on the first day of usage. First impression was great and after a session in the gym, I could already see these as my regular training gloves.
Given that these are real leather, the breathability is excellent and well-ventilated. Your hands don’t heat up like in synthetic leather gloves. Lovely.
Based on the comparisons above, you can see that the gloves are almost identical in shape and size to Twins Special. Boon BGNs are wide like most regular Muay Thai gloves in the market which tend to look bulkier than the more streamlined traditional boxing gloves. Nothing out of the ordinary, so this isn’t a major issue for most folks.
Very well-balanced padding on the gloves. Not top-heavy and hence you get protection from the knuckles all the way to the back of the hands.
There’s also a single layer of padding around the wrists. My gloves are 12oz and obviously not suitable for sparring, but in heavier weights like 14oz or 16oz, I have no doubt that these BGNs will function perfectly.
Compared to the flagship Boon model, these BGNs have shorter/narrower hook-and-loop strap. The longer cuffs in the previous model lend to exceptional stability. However, the wrist support is ample here with enough flexibility for clinch training.
As far as I know, Boon has always had a good reputation for the durability of their gloves. With the local-sourced leather and excellent stitching, I figure these would last for quite a while. I’ve had these for a few weeks and so far, so good. (Check back in 6 months to see how these hold up)
Edit: After a year of regular usage (I train with these twice a week), they have held up well and remain in my regular rotation. Padding is still in good shape, as is the leather and stitching. These have lived up to all my expectations and I highly recommend them.
Now, you either love the brand’s basic gear design or you would stay far, far away. Boon doesn’t pride itself on the prettiest designs and there isn’t a fancy line like in other brands.
However, these are the perfect gloves for folks who only want to work on their skills without posting photos of themselves posing in the gym on their Instagram every other day.
I’m a very visual person and style is always a factor when I buy my gear. But these are really growing on me and I’m actually starting to dig the 2-tone design.The white version looks clean and slick too. (See cover image as worn by Swedish fighter, Linnea Arnevall)
These retail for $95 on the Boon website which is comparable to the other major Thai brands. If you are anywhere in Bangkok, head over to the factory outlet at On Nut where a pair will set you back for slightly lower than the online retail price.
These are real leather gloves so it’s a reasonable price for what they’re worth.
Boon Sport Retro Shorts
I thought I would give these shorts a special mention, since they are getting quite popular.
I own a pair of these (pictured above and customized with the crossbones) and I have to say they are the lightest, and among the most comfortable Muay Thai shorts I own (and I own a lot of shorts!).
It’s no surprise for me when the folks at Boon told me that the retro shorts are among their bestselling products. The shorts come in 17 different colors including 2 trendy camo print choices.
If you are looking to customize your shorts completely, the retro shorts will make the perfect canvas to go wild with your creativity and design skills. Highly recommended!
Purchasing Boon Sport Products
The brand -finally- launched their online shop this year and you now have access to their complete stock wherever you are. I have personally used the website and it has been a pleasant process.
If you are in Bangkok, it is still recommended to check out the shop in person as you get to try out the gear before you pay. Friendly goods and even friendlier staff awaits at the store located in On Nut (near the BTS station).