Boxing gloves come in many shapes and sizes, but one of the big divisions that can be made is between traditional boxing gloves and Muay Thai gloves. Out of the second group, only some models have been more popular than the Fairtex BGV1.
Fairtex BGV1 Muay Thai Gloves Rating
The Fairtex BGV1 model is a staple Muay Thai glove and lives up to it's reputation. If you're looking for a glove perfect for Muay Thai training, look no further.
Fairtex BGV1 Muay Thai Gloves
Fairtex BGV1 Muay Thai Boxing Gloves Key Features
Fairtex produces dozens of different models of boxing gloves, covering every possible segment and inventing a few along the way, but their flagship model is the BGV1. It's not the most expensive or the newest one, but it's THE Muay Thai glove you will see in every single Thai or MMA gym.
Their original design still stands strong. While it is not for everyone, it is a solid, reliable, and preferred model for beginners and professionals alike. Let's see what the official promo card says:
Here is the place to say that Fairtex offers similar gloves to the BGV1, some with mesh palms, others with longer cuffs, and others still with grip bars. But we will take a look at the classic and original BGV1 model.
Craftsmanship And Quality
I’ve yet to try Thai-made gloves that are not great quality. The genuine cowhide leather Fairtex uses is thick, of high quality, and has a very pleasant feel to it. You can see the grain on the leather, and the color is rich. The gloves have a gloss finish, further enriching the feel and look of the leather.
The stitching on the Fairtex BGV1 is excellent, and I haven't found any flaws whatsoever. There is double reinforced stitching in many places, like the palm and thumb, and everything is precise and clean.
When you see the stamp "Handmade in Thailand/Genuine Leather," you can be sure you are getting high-quality materials and excellent craftsmanship; these gloves are just another proof.
The inside of the glove feels nice and smooth thanks to the nylon liner usually used in boxing gloves because of its sweat-wicking qualities. What is different here is that there is a piece of leather on the top of the wrist instead of nylon. I like this idea a lot because it feels more comfortable if you are without hand wraps.
The padding is three-layered foam. What is characteristic of the BGV1 is that this padding is very thin. I have a 12-ounce pair, but the same goes for the 14- and 16-ounce versions.
It's evenly distributed around the gloves like a Thai glove, but there is just a little to it in terms of size, especially on the knuckles. However, the density compensates for the volume at least partially.
The outer layer is a bit softer, and the innermost is much stiffer, as it should be. This way, you feel the impact of the punches without hurting your knuckles.
There is also a very nice, thick, and firm piece of padding on the outside edge of the palm, which is perfect for blocking kicks. Outside of that, there is no padding on the palm or wrist.
Comfort And Feel
One of the biggest highlights of these gloves is how small they are overall. The BGV1 is perhaps the most compact glove I've tried, which is both a pro and a con.
Again, I have the 12-ounce model, but the difference, even with the 16-ounce model, is not big at all, and they are on the small end compared to both other boxing gloves and Thai-style gloves.
Then the shape of the punching area is angular, with the big knuckles part more forward than the last knuckles, creating a flatter and more natural punching surface.
The thumb is placed in a classic Thai style, and it looks very wide from the side. The finger compartment is elongated and wide to facilitate clinching, something we will get back to a bit later when I share my experience training with the Fairtex BGV1.
The thumb has a small canvas attachment, which I find strange for such a nice-quality glove. Usually, genuine leather gloves have leather attachments, but this model has a small canvas attachment. It feels sturdy right now, though, so I hope it won't cause any problems.
The Fairtex BGV gloves are comfortable, that’s for sure. But I find it a small miracle how much space there is inside for such a small glove. Even in the 12 ounces, there is more than enough space for my very average-sized hands, and with the 16 ounces, you will need long hand wraps or gorilla hands to fill the space.
The finger compartment feels excellent and is both wide and long. There is no cramming of fingers at all. Making a fist is very easy, and the break-in period is short. Perhaps they will soften up more with time, but they feel perfect even after just five or six training sessions.
What is important to know, though, is that there is no grip bar, which is rarely found in modern boxing gloves. Of course, this is done to have your palm free for grabbing. The finger compartment is longer, and the padding itself is further elongated. This way, when you squeeze the fingers, they go all the way to the wrist.
These gloves differ from traditional boxing gloves the most because the cuff is shorter and differently built. The cuff is round and made from a single piece of padding inside. This padding is stiff and provides a nice collar around the whole wrist. It is also relatively short, like all Thai-style gloves, and there are no long padding pieces on the inside of the wrist.
This is all done to allow the wrist some mobility, which is needed for clinching and catching kicks. For those, it works perfectly, but if you are used to more of a boxing glove feel with the longer and stiffer cuffs, the BGV1 may not be the best for you.
Sometimes less is more. Fairtex hasn't changed the look of these in a very long time, and they don't need to. In my eyes, the design of the BGV-1 is excellent, recognizable, and perfect just the way it is. You get the iconic Fairtex logo in the middle, the handmade in Thailand seal beneath it, and a logo patch on the cuff. Clean and classy.
The colors are rich and stand out. I have dark blue, which is a bit cooler than pure black. Still, Fairtex also offers these in various colors and graphics, and the more vibrant ones are eye-catching. The visuals are just the classic look you'd expect from Fairtex.
Using The Fairtex BGV1 Boxing Gloves
The Fairtex BGV1 may be classic Muay Thai gloves with all the proper features, but it is also very much a puncher's glove. The punching surface, very compact padding, and overall slim design make them perfect for those who like to feel the impact of their punches and land their punches around and between guards.
Personally, I love hitting the pads with these. The feedback makes me feel like I can knock out a bull (or at least a horse), and you get some conditioning on the knuckles.
For the heavy bag, they also perform great but are not the most protective pair I have tried. This is a good thing for me, but definitely not for someone with injured hands or some other issues.
Cinching is very easy, as expected by the features, including the elongated fingers and the lack of a grip bar. You get a better grip than you can hope for with other gloves, and the same goes for catching kicks. The wrist is also mobile, just as much as it should be. After all, these are Muay Thai gloves, which are great for what they are designed for.
Sparring is where the BGV1 is lacking the most. While the slimmer shape and thin padding are excellent for all kinds of training, they are bad for hard sparring.
Even the 16-ounce version will raise eyebrows compared to the pillows most people spar with. I have tried the 12 ounces in sparring (we don't have very strict rules about what you should spar with, to put it mildly). Still, I had to be careful with controlling the punching power.
If you want to be the enforcer in the gym, the BGV1 is perfect, but if you want to protect your partners, they will not do it. Then again, Thai fighters usually don’t spar hard, so there is no need for too soft padding.
But the features that make them suitable for Muay Thai also make these gloves very good for MMA sparring with big gloves. While you won't get any complex submissions, they allow much more hand and wrist mobility than other boxing gloves.
They can be perfect for MMA sparring with big gloves where you can do takedowns and some ground fighting. The slimmer contour also makes them closer to MMA gloves than other boxing gloves.
All in all, the Fairtex BGV1 is a classic glove and a staple in countless Muay Thai and MMA gyms for a good reason. They are high-quality, great-performing train gloves with exceptional grip and punching feedback. All the negative sides of it are just deliberate features that help the model excel where it wants to.
It's why we've ranked the Fairtex BGV1 the best Muay Thai gloves for beginners.
If you need gloves for all-around Muay Thai training or MMA sparring with big gloves, I strongly recommend the BGV1. You should stay away from these if you are a heavier guy needing sparring gloves or someone with problematic wrists.
Price and Competitors
The price of the BGV1 varies depending on where you are buying them, but they go for around $90. In my opinion, this is a bargain. The craftsmanship is excellent, as always, with Fairtex.
The leather and other materials are high quality, and there are few brands where you can pay that much for the same quality. And I've seen them sold for around $75, which is a steal and worth it even if you want to leave them on the cupboard as decoration.
The Fairtex BGV1 is a staple of Muay Thai gloves and does its job perfectly. The thin padding and flat punching surface will give you tons of feedback.
The elongated fingers, the lack of a grip bar, and the easy opening of the hand give you a phenomenal grip that is good not only for Muay Thai training but also for MMA sparring with big gloves. A true classic Muay Thai glove suitable for all levels.
Fairtex BGV1 Muay Thai Gloves