Best Muay Thai Gloves (2021) Reviewed By Professional Muay Thai Fighter

September 28, 2021

Having competed professionally in the pro circuit of Thailand for 6 years I was able to try out a range of different Muay Thai boxing gloves and really get a good feel for each brand.

Training and fighting extensively throughout that time and then transitioning into a professional strength and conditioning coach led me to see first-hand each brand's durability, protective features, and best use cases.

Working with many elite-level fighters in Thailand over the years exposed to me which brands were able to withstand the heavy training volume that was commonplace in Muay Thai gyms. Based on my extensive experience, here are the best Muay Thai gloves that I believe are worth your money.

Header

Best Muay Thai Gloves

Twins Special Muay Thai Gloves

Best Muay Thai Gloves For Heavy Bag

Best Muay Thai Gloves For Sparring

Best Muay Thai Gloves For Beginners

Brand

Price

Get 10% OFF your Yokkao Matrix Gloves using discount code "SWEETSCIENCE"

Yokkao Muay Thai Gloves

If you are looking for a glove that combines comfort, durability, and support with a large range of styles and prints to choose from – look no further than a pair of Yokkao Matrix boxing gloves (you can find my full review of these gloves here). They have a slick and durable design made from high-quality cowhide leather which is very protective and enduring.

The curvature of the glove allows for optimal force absorption so no one area takes too much punishment. The Velcro strap is long-lasting and the gloves themselves just seem to go on forever. These gloves have personally lasted me over 4 years now with me using them on average 3 times per week, a great purchase for someone looking for a well-rounded pair of gloves.

Yokkao sets itself apart by combining arguably the best features of each brand and streamlining it into a glove perfectly suited to a variety of use cases.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Great design which allows for a large range of shots to be safely thrown from a diverse set of angles.
  • Quality product that is long-lasting and able to withstand heavy training volume.
  • Many unique styles to choose from which means there’s something for everyone in terms of aesthetics.

Cons

  • Gloves can be a little bit clunky at first (especially with the larger pairs) and need to be broken in over several sessions
Yokkao Muay Thai Gloves

Best Muay Thai Gloves

Yokkao Matrix Muay Thai Gloves

Get 10% OFF your Yokkao Matrix Gloves using discount code "SWEETSCIENCE"

Best Muay Thai Gloves For Heavy Bag

Twins Special

Twins Special Muay Thai Gloves

Twins have always had a very durable glove with a hard outer leather design. Their gloves, albeit a bit wider in shape, are very solid and protective which is perfect for working power punches on those hard, dense heavy bags.

There’s just something about that feeling of satisfaction you get when you land a perfectly placed shot into one of the hard Thai heavy bags that have been molded for impact by literally thousands of strikes before you.

This feeling of satisfaction is amplified when you do this with a pair of Twins gloves. The shape, the sturdiness, and just overall design - feel and sound amazing as you slam your fist into those bags.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Very durable gloves with great outer protection
  • Some very eye-catching and really nice designs and signature to the Twins Special line
  • Really nice fit inside the glove – your hand feels very supported and comfortable on the inside
  • Long-lasting – very durable and can withstand many years of hard training without deteriorating

Cons

  • Can be a bit clunky and block like in shape which means you need to place your shots correctly or you may feel an excessive force on your thumbs
Twins Special Muay Thai Gloves

Best Muay Thai Gloves For Heavy Bag

Twins Special Muay Thai Gloves

Best Muay Thai Gloves For Sparring

Top King – Super Air

I’ve used a lot of different brands for sparring and my number one always remains the Top King Super Air range. The 16oz (sparring size) gloves have a very light feel to them and are highly breathable with an intuitive design – hence the name 'Super Air'.

Our hands being one of our centers of heat, can during hard spars overheat and give us a feeling of fatigue. These gloves eliminate this and make you feel as if you could spar all day. The Velcro wrist strap is quite expansive which also gives an added degree of support at the wrist, which is an area susceptible to injury in heated exchanges.

Lastly, the glove has a lot of padding over the knuckles which are great for hard sparring as it prioritizes padding over your main point of contact. These gloves under heavy usage have lasted me about 2 – 3 years before starting to deteriorate.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Nice and light feel with great wrist support
  • Very breathable, meaning you don't feel like you are going to overheat during intense sparring
  • Padding feels perfectly placed for sparring with the majority of it being over your knuckles.

Cons

  • With heavy usage these gloves last around 2 – 3 years before beginning to deteriorate

Best Muay Thai Gloves For Sparring

Top Kings Super Air Muay Thai Gloves

Best Muay Thai Gloves For Beginners

Fairtex

Fairtex has a really broad range of gloves and some universally appealing designs to match. From my experience of working with beginners new to Boxing / Muay Thai Fairtex Gloves tend to be well received and are a great entry-level glove for bag work and pad work.

They are reasonably priced and also widely available and their two main glove designs accommodate all hand/fist shapes and sizes. The quality is great and generally with heavy fight style training (5 – 6 times per week) will last around 3 – 4 years.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Great range of designs that appeal to a lot of people – a big part of buying your first pair of Muay Thai gloves is finding a design that resonates with you.
  • Reasonably priced
  • Great entry-level glove combining style and comfort

Cons

  • Some of their synthetic designs can be a bit less protective than other brands so as you improve in technique and power you will want to make sure you are using their genuine leather range to prevent injuries to your knuckles (more applicable to fighters).

Best Muay Thai Gloves For Beginners

Fairtex Muay Thai Gloves

What To Look For In Your Next Pair Of Gloves

Size

If you are new to the sport of Muay Thai and just wanting a good pair of gloves that you can use for most training then anywhere from 12 – 14oz for bigger hands and 8 – 10oz for smaller hands will do perfectly. If you are looking at getting into sparring or about to start sparring you will need 16oz gloves as this is the size used universally for sparring at fight gyms.

If you feel like in general you are a bigger person with bigger hands opt for a larger glove – up to a max of 16oz. If you are a smaller person and you know you don't have super big hands getting a smaller-sized pair of gloves will be important. You’d also want one that has good wrist support as wrist sprains can be an issue when throwing hard punches.

Material

From my experience, high-quality leather is the best when it comes to long-lasting quality with Thai Boxing gloves.

Synthetic material gloves are good for those out there who are ethically conscious and don't want to use leather gloves, but in general, they won't last as long as their leather counterparts.

They also often don’t provide the same degree of protection to your hands, so if you know you have a hard punch either go for a high-quality leather glove or get some really solid hand wraps to go underneath.

Padding And Support

When it comes to padding and support a lot of it is based on personal preference as everyone has a slightly different hand structure. That being said a good place to look is around the thumb and wrist.

Does the glove feel firm, padded, and supported around the thumb? This is an area that often can get injured, especially if you are new to Muay Thai and still learning how to punch.

The wrist is another area that can often get sprained when people are new to throwing punches so the more support the better in this category. You want a glove that feels like it has a good degree of support around the wrist in terms of the Velcro strap.

Design

When looking at the design of the glove you want to make sure that the glove isn't too wide, the padding is in the right places, and the shape of the glove contours to that of your hand and wrist.

There are lots of different options for varying use cases as mentioned above but ultimately it comes down to your individual structure.

If you have a long and slender wrist you want to get a glove that has a long wrist strap. If you are going to be sparring more you don’t want gloves that are going to be too big and clunky as this will slow you down in crucial moments.

You will also see lace-up and Velcro strap gloves. The main difference between the two is that the lace-up gloves give you a greater ability to control how much support you get around your wrist but take longer to put on (and you need a training partner to tie them for you).

Velcro straps are very efficient to use but don’t offer that same degree of customization when it comes to wrist support. It really boils down to how serious you want to get into it and also how much time you have to prepare before training.

Lastly, on the topic of design, you want to find a pair of gloves that truly resonates with you from an aesthetic perspective as you are going to be looking at them a lot and will inevitably create some epic memories with them. Find a pair that reflects who you are as a martial artist!

Muay Thai Gloves vs Boxing Gloves – What’s The Difference?

There isn't too much difference when it comes to traditional boxing gloves brands and Muay Thai gloves brands. In Thailand for example there are a lot of Western Boxers and they use all the brands listed above. Most of them are designed for universal use.

For example, combat sports training as a whole includes both Boxing and Muay Thai. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference and what you feel the most comfortable using.

About the author 

Steve Pipe

Steve was awarded "Best Instructor in Bangkok 2019" and has trained the likes of Superbon Banchamek, Liam Harrison, & Singdam Kiatmoo9 to name a few. He is a high-performance coach who specializes in working with elite-level Muay Thai and combat sports athletes.


Tags


You may also like