If you spend a good deal of time everyday in the fight gym, you might as well look good doing it with a pair of stylish boxing gloves. Because let’s face it, many of us hit the gym to work on looking fitter, better and getting that body that we dream of. We train to look good.
Boxing gloves have come a long way since the departure of bare-knuckle fights in the 19th century. As boxing start gaining popularity and become more widespread over the years, more and more fight gear companies have come to meet the demands of amateur and recreational fighters. With Muhammad Ali and Rocky movies, boxing has gone beyond the reach of the ring and the local fight clubs. As culture, fashion and sports crossover and collaborate, your boxing gloves are no longer just utilitarian, but an extension of your individuality and sense of style.
Before we get into the detailed reviews, here’s a quick look of my top my picks:
Stylish Gloves Recommendations
Admittedly, style is very much a personal choice. While most fight brands try to jazz up their designs to attract modern buyers, most of the attempts has been rather conventional and restrained. Here are some of my favorite gloves designs ranging from classy old skool looks to loud headturners to suit every taste:
Yokkao Boxing Gloves
When it comes to a sense of aesthetics, Yokkao gloves are unparallel among all Thai brands. The company’s fashion connections via its key person, Stefania Picelli, translates into trendy and stylish creations that would make the fashion capital proud.
Yokkao gloves have made leaps in improvements since the company started in 2010. Amazingly well-padded all around, making them very suitable for beginners. The wrist support is better than many brands I have tried and offers a lot of stability. Their premium range of gloves are made with real leather with a very smooth feel – you can tell it’s high-grade real leather. It will take a couple of sessions to break into the gloves but there on, they are perfect.
Yokkao updates their premium collection every season with surprises each release. If you want Muay Thai boxing gloves that look good and feel good, they are my number one option.
Top King Super Snake Muay Thai Gloves
Top King is one amongst a list of trusted Muay Thai brands alongside with Fairtex and Twins Special. It is a very popular Muay Thai brand and often one of the most common gears being used at many gyms. One reason why they are well-liked is the distinct tribal aesthetics of their gear compared to fellow Thai brands.
For such good looking gloves, the quality of the craftsmanship and the cowhide leather used is also exceptional. These sturdy gloves are very well constructed and have thick 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 will fit small- and medium-sized hands favorably.
While you are at it, be sure to check out the matching shin guards for the complete reptilian look.
Venum Elite Boxing Gloves
Venum are known for their eye-catching aesthetics and distinct logo. They make decent gloves when manufactured in Thailand (some of their models are made outside of Thailand with inferior quality). The Elite is one of those made in the Muay Thai motherland. These gloves are constructed with skintex leather which is a high grade vinyl-based synthetic leather comparable to real leather. The dense triple-layer foam padding is excellent for shock absorption for better hand protection. The Elite gloves are also proudly handmade in Thailand and offer strong stitching for long lasting durability.
When it comes to striking looking fight gear and apparel, Venum is at the top of the game. These gloves are slick, vibrant and you can really appreciate the attention to details paid to the design. The Elite line offers different colors with the outstanding ones being the all-black, the all-white and the neon models.
Hayabusa Fightwear T3 LX Boxing Gloves
The T3 LXs are Hayabusa’s higher-end gloves made with genuine full-grain Italian leather. Full-grain leather comes from the strongest and most durable part of the hide of the animal so it’s the most hardy leather you can get. As a brand known for innovation in their product design, these gloves come with an inner fabric that boasts anti-microbial technology, delivering anti-odor properties. On top of that, the patented dual wrist wrap design provides excellent alignment of the hands and wrists, securing the gloves and providing ample padding for protection.
The classy looks of the T3 do a great job paying homage to the vintage brown leather boxing gloves of the early years of the sport. If you are in the mood for woody, earthy, and, coffee tones, the line comes complete with matching shin guards. It makes you look almost mountain-like and indestructible.
Fairtex BGV-21 Legacy Boxing Gloves
While not always known for exceptional eye-catching designs, Fairtex has upped their game in recent years by collaborating with other brands or releasing limited-edition items. The BGV-21 is one of the more outstanding design from the brand in recent times. Similar to Hayabusa’s T3 LX above, the BGV-21 are made with genuine leather reminiscent of vintage boxing gloves.
In terms of fit, protection and overall comfort, the BGV-21 is almost identical to their flagship and wildly-popular BGV-1 gloves with supposed improvement in the padding (although I couldn’t really tell). As mentioned, the classy looks do a great job paying homage to the vintage brown leather boxing gloves of the early years of the sport just like the Hayabusa T3 LX. If I were to pick between the two, I would go with Fairtex for its superior quality but I personally like the Hayabusa aesthetics more. You decide.
Leone 1947 Boxing Gloves
Although not as commonly seen in Muay Thai circles, the Italian-based Leone 1947 has been around longer than the other entries on the list. All of their gloves feature high quality buffalo leather and with 70 years of experience, Leone gloves quality live up to the reputation of their long boxing legacy. This is certainly applicable in their standard and high-end range but the lower-end gloves actually leave little to be desired.
Many of Leone gloves feature a retro and vintage design feel that reminds me of the popular scooter brand, Vespa (incidentally also Italian). Other than the retro styling, they have also experimented with different cultural elements as seen above. With roots in the fashion capital of Milan, Leone 1947 seems to have a natural acumen when it comes to aesthetic design. In fact, they have been referred to as the “Armani of boxing gloves”, a testament to their great style sensibilities.
When you make an effort on how you look, it’s not merely an act of looking good. It’s about defining yourself as an individual. It’s about defining your style. It’s about your freedom of expression. Choosing a pair of boxing gloves may seem like a simple act, but a good fit, the right weight and your deliberate choice of style makes a great deal of difference. As they say, “When you look good, you feel good.”