If you’re reading this article then you have probably realizing one important thing – choosing the right Muay Thai gloves is no easy task.
Glove materials, weight and size, colour and style come first. You’ll need to consider the brand, the country of origin, and the type of glove. There are countless things that make up a great pair of Muay Thai gloves, and it’s all relative.
- Training Gloves
- Sparring Gloves
- Other Types
- The Top 10 Gloves
- Last Thoughts
At the end of the day a very popular, well-reviewed pair of gloves may not be the right pair for you. The gloves may not fit right, they may be too light for sparring or too heavy for those long training sessions.
We may not be able to put the gloves on your hand and see if they fit but what we can do is present you with the best damn Muay Thai gloves out there right now, and give you enough information to make the smartest choice.
Remember- you do not need to know every single piece of information on glove material and manufacturing.
However, it will aid you greatly in your search to know some information concerning Muay Thai gloves.
Firstly, you should know the main difference between boxing gloves and Muay Thai gloves. Basically:
- Muay Thai gloves are more flexible enabling the wearer to clinch.
- The area around the wrists is thicker for better resistance against kicks.
But rest assured, our top 10 list is specific to Muay Thai, so all the pairs recommended are best suited to Muay Thai.
Secondly, the gloves you purchase should be made in Thailand, the birthplace of Muay Thai. I feel this point is self-explanatory.
Lastly, before we fire out our “Best Muay Thai Gloves” list you should familiarize yourself with the different types of gloves used in Muay Thai.
Training gloves can be used in every part of your Muay Thai training. They are great for heavy bag and pad work, clinching, and sparring.
They are seen as the “jack-of-all-trades” type of glove and are the most used and popular type.
For beginners we highly recommend buying Training gloves as your first pair, as they can be used for everything. You can continue to use training gloves without having to buy any other type of glove.
However, if later on you get more serious about your training, you can invest in a pair of sparring gloves and used them interchangeably.
Sparring gloves are, true to their name, perfect for sparring.
They tend to be more reinforced at the wrist and knuckle areas and are meant to fit tighter to prevent your hand and wrist from shifting within the gloves.
As mentioned above, many Muay Thai practitioners use their training gloves for sparring too.
But if you get heavily into sparring and decide to compete in competitions we highly recommend investing in a good pair of sparring gloves.
Bag gloves are specific for bag training and should never be used for sparring as they offer no protection.
Clinching gloves are made from a different material which makes clinching easier, however Velcro sparring gloves work to the same effect.
For Muay Thai we believe the bag and clinching gloves are quite unnecessary and recommend investing in either training or sparring gloves for the best results and versatility.
The Top 10 Gloves
Through experience, trial and error, and a lot of training we present to you the very best Muay Thai gloves in the world at the moment.
Twins Special Muay Thai Gloves
It is globally accepted that the biggest brand in Muay Thai is Twins and have long gone global.
The Twins Special Muay Thai gloves are one of their top products and the most widely used gloves in and outside of Thailand.
Let’s look at what makes these gloves so damn popular among Muay Thai practitioners:
The gloves are made from 100% cow skin leather.
There is a Velcro wrist strap providing increased security and protection against kicks, and the gloves are flexible, making them great for clinching.
The gloves are also extremely affordable for the quality.
These gloves are perfect for beginners.
Although many swear by the Twins Special gloves, the don’t fit everyone well and are said to be a little heavy close to the knuckles, making your punches a little harder to throw.
The gloves are also known to fall apart quicker than other brands.
Fairtex Muay Thai Style Training Gloves
Fairtex has built a reputation of one of the best designers and manufacturers of premium gloves.
Their designs are eye-catching and cool and the quality, comfort, and durability of their products is unrivalled, with their gloves lasting for years.
The gloves are made of leather and extremely comfortable. They are also known to last much longer than other Thai-made gloves.
The Fairtex foam system offers excellent hand and knuckle protection and creates a perfect balance of shock absorption.
The gloves are also smaller than other brands, making them perfect for sparring
The gloves are a little pricier than most.
Top King Muay Thai Gloves
Top King produce some amazing gloves.
The brand founder is actually brothers with the owner of Twins and once worked for Twins.
However, he left to create his own brand and succeeded greatly, with Top King being the second most popular brand in Thailand.
Top King products are of great quality and on par with Twins.
The Top King gloves are similar to the Twins gloves in some ways, yet very different in others.
The design is completely different, as Top King offers more aggressive designs.
Top King gloves feature extra strategic padding in the wrists and knuckles to avoid injury and help with shock absorption.
The foam padding and large space between the inside of the glove and the outside surface may make the gloves feel “puffy” and too loose.
Some swear by the Top King gloves while others hate the feel of them.
Try them out!
Hayabusa Tokushu Gloves
There is a long standing riff between Muay Thai and MMA fighters and many passionate Nak Muay refuse to wear gear that isn’t made by a Thai brand.
However, there are many MMA brands out there that create fantastic products which can easily compete with the big Muay Thai brands, even in the glove department.
One of these brands is Hayabusa, which is one of the biggest brands in MMA today.
Hayabusa is known for the scientific research and relentless testing that goes into each every product they create, in order to make it as effective and optimized as possible.
Hayabusa uses a lot of fancy, scientific terms to describe their products so let me break it down for you.
The gloves are extremely comfortable and offer extreme shock absorption, able to take heavy impact and still keep your hands protected.
As the glove is made for MMA, a sport with much hand-to-hand grappling, the thumb is more flexible, aiding a Muay Thai fighter’s clinching.
The extremely high quality leather is crack resistant and made to last.
The more pure Muay Thai gloves offer more flexibility for clinching and better wrist padding for kicks. The Hayabusa Tokushu gloves are designed for MMA and thus, lack in those areas.
Due to the high-quality material used and researched construction the gloves are rather expensive..
Venum Challenger 2.0 Boxing Gloves
Like Hayabusa, Venum is another huge brand in MMA and the martial arts world in general.
Their product range is huge and they are known for their gis, gloves and fight wear worldwide.
Venum is a forward thinking company and is always upgrading their current product line, which is why you’ll find so many of their products with a 2.0 or 3.0 at the end.
The style of Venum products is aggressive and “hard-core”, which is one of the many reasons many famous fighters worldwide swear by Venum.
If budget is your main concern look no further.
The gloves are great for the price, featuring a Velcro strap to keep them secure and a sleek, modern design.
The gloves are made from synthetic leather as opposed to real leather and, therefore, are not as durable as real leather Muay Thai gloves.
Being boxing gloves and quite cheap, the gloves are not optimized for Muay Thai and more serious fighters should opt for gloves from a pure Muay Thai brand.
The Venum Challenger gloves are perfect from beginners, part-time fighters and people just looking to spar a little and exercise.
Boon Thai Style Training Gloves
Boon was built from an Australian’s passion for high-quality fight-wear and his wife’s sewing skills.
The fight-wear start-up based in Thailand is still very young, and isn’t one of the biggest brands, with their products not very well known outside of Thailand.
But Boon isn’t to be underestimated and in the few years since they began they have raised many heads in the world of Muay Thai.
The quality of their gloves is up there with the likes of Twin and Top King, just more affordable.
Before dismissing Boon due to a lack of popularity, have a look at their gloves and do some research. You may be surprised to find you love their brand image and may love the fit of their gloves too.
The gloves are made of the highest quality cowhide leather and feel amazing in your hands.
They are less top-heavy than other brands and feel more aerodynamic and less “fluffy” when you throw those punches. This makes them perfect for sparring and fighting.
The style of the gloves is very plain with only a few different single tone colours to choose from. The Boon website states that they do not make products with “flames or fancy designs.”
They focus on the quality/fighting part instead of the style. I see this as a pro, while for some it’s a con.
The gloves are made to order from their factory in Thailand and are very hard to find outside of the country. When ordering you may have to wait a while before you get your hands in them.
If you’re into aggressive, colourful, flashy gloves look at Top King or Venum, as Boon isn’t for you.
Windy Thai Training Gloves
Windy gloves came into the scene back in 1951, making them one of the oldest Muay Thai brands in Thailand.
The brand has been left behind by some of the newer, flashier brands in the country, but their products are still solid and durable.
They are great for fighters with big hands and good for punchers who prefer a more bouncy feel.
They also offer great shock absorption.
The gloves are too puffy and top heavy for some.
They are not known for durability and fall apart faster than other brands.
Sandee is one of the oldest brands in Thailand, along with Twins and Windy and produces high quality, comfortable, and extremely affordable gloves.
The gloves are of high quality (close to Twins and Top King) yet extremely cheap.
Pick Sandee if you are just looking for a second pair of gloves.
As Sandee isn’t as big as brands like Twins and Top King their gloves are quite hard to find outside of Thailand.
Owned by an Italian designer, the gloves are some of most stylish in the Muay Thai world.
Yokkao also sponsors many big names in Muay Thai and is one of the better known brands worldwide.
Yokkao offers the most visual and flashy gloves, with countless bright, unique designs and colour schemes.
The quality isn’t as high as other known Muay Thai brands.
Therefore, we recommend Yokkao only if you have a good pair of “all-round” gloves and want an extra, flashier pair.
Fairtex Muay Thai Angular Sparring Gloves
If sparring is your thing, these are the gloves for you!
- Perfect for sparring.
- Smaller width and angular design makes throwing punches much easier.
- Aerodynamic feel.
The gloves are smaller than standard Muay Thai gloves and, even though they can be used, they are not optimal as all-round training gloves.
That’s our list of the very best Muay Thai gloves.
With the best brands in mind and some knowledge on the many different types of gloves you are ready to venture out and try on some gloves.
A reminder: The popular brands are popular for a reason.
So start with a known brand and if, later on, you feel an urge to branch out, go for a more obscure brand that you think will work for you.
Choose wisely, and start throwing some punches!