Your Ultimate Guide to Muay Thai Gloves

Your Ultimate Guide to Muay Thai Gloves - Muay Thailand

Key Highlights

  • Muay Thai gloves are essential for training, sparring, and competition.
  • The right fit is crucial for optimal performance and protection during various training sessions.
  • There are different types of Muay Thai gloves available, each designed for specific purposes.
  • Key features to consider when purchasing Muay Thai gloves include material, durability, and padding.
  • Choosing the right size and weight of gloves is important for comfort and performance.
  • Proper maintenance is necessary to prolong the lifespan of your Muay Thai gloves.

Understanding Muay Thai Gloves

Muay Thai gloves are essential gear for practitioners to ensure you can hit heavy bags, Thai pads and people while minimising the risk of injury to yourself and your partners. Choosing the right gloves can significantly impact your performance and training experience. It's important to understand the component parts and characteristics of gloves, such as material, padding, size, and weight, so you can decide on the best pair for your needs. If you have different types of training sessions that cover pad work, heavy bag work, drill-work and sparring, it's best to have more than one pair. Typically a smaller weight pair for pad & bag work and a heavier weight pair for drill-work and sparring. For committed practitioners and fighters, specialised gloves like bag mitts and lace ups are great for developing specific aspects of Muay Thai.

The Importance of the Right Fit

Finding the perfect fit for your Muay Thai gloves is crucial for optimal performance and protection. The perfect fit is a combination of security of the cuff around the wrist, the space inside the knuckle area and minimal movement. Properly fitting gloves reduce the risk of injury which enabling your to maximise technique. They make hitting pads and heavy bags more comfortable. Ill-fitting gloves can increase the risk of injury and cause discomfort. They'll also reduce your confidence in hitting hard too.

Many leather gloves will require a break in period, whereby they need some wear in order to flex and become most comfortable. This is especially the case with high quality gloves of small weights.

Different Types of Muay Thai Gloves

Muay Thai gloves differ from boxing gloves in their construction and shape. Their padding is dispersed around the entire glove as the back of the hand can be used for blocking. Typically the cuff is a little shorter (although not all brands have this) to maximise wrist movement in the clinch, and there is a raised bar of padding on the outer part of the hand to help with block kicks.

That said, there are different types of Muay Thai gloves too. Bag mitts have very little padding, they slip on and off and have almost no cuff. The most common gloves are for all types of training and their enclosure is by hook-and-loop. Lace ups are typically used for sparring or heavy pad work in a lead up to competition. Ignoring bag mitts, there's the difference between gloves is at the enclosure method only. It's the weight of the gloves which dictates what they should be used for, most often.

 

Key Features to Look for in Muay Thai Gloves

When choosing Muay Thai gloves, your comfort and safety should come first. Don't get a pair of gloves that you love the look of but fit poorly and have poor padding. Your wrists and knuckles won't appreciate this. The materials and craftsmanship directly impact the safety of gloves and their longevity. For safety, opt for dense foam padding and secure enclosures. For longevity, opt for cow hide leather or high quality microfiber gloves.

Material and Durability

High-quality materials like genuine leather or micrfiber (often referred to as synthetic leather) are known for their durability and ability to withstand intense training sessions time and time again. The durability of the gloves ensures longevity and value for your investment, making them reliable for your martial arts needs. Durability comes from a combination of high quality materials and how they are constructed. Often people will see "Handmade in Thailand" as a seal of approval of quality craftsmanship, given the significant experience of workers in the country, many of whom have worked in factoriers and produced thousands of gloves each.

Padding and Protection

It's difficult to know what the padding is like in Muay Thai gloves - as you can't see it unless you cut open your gloves (not advised!) and the vast majority of suppliers don't show pictures of it. Most brands will have at least 3 layers of protection and a dense, yet flexible padding that covers the entire outer part of the glove. Often there will be details listed on the features section of any gloves' product description. However, this doesn't always make things clear. More often than not, the more expensive the glove, the better the padding and protection. This comes with caveats of course, as some gloves are signfiicantly more expensive than others due to their designs. However, if you're paying anything less than £50/$50 on a pair of gloves, you must expect that the padding and materials is of lower quality. This is usually fine for begginners, yet they are unlikely to last and you may want to be careful before smashing pads and bags with them.

 

Red Primo Fightwear Muay Thai gloves

 

Choosing the Right Size and Weight

Once you've found a pair of Muay Thai gloves that have the right protection, padding and materials for your needs and budget, you then need to consider what you will use them for. Size and weight is not simply correlated to hand size. Instead, it should be considered around their usage - as smaller weights are suitable for bag and pad work, while heavier weights are suitable for sparring and drill-work. This goes for both men and women. Large gloves may present some challenges for people with smaller hands that then end up with lots of empty space inside, however, this can usually be resolved by wrapping your hands in a particular way with 4.5 hand wraps.

Weights are typically measures in ounces (oz) ranging from 8oz to 18oz. Lighter gloves enable faster punches while heavier ones increase resistance and endurance training. This should be the second layer of consideration, after usage. As this only really applies to bag work and pad work. You shouldn't be getting small gloves for sparring simply because you want to punch faster. Typically we advise 10-12oz for pad/bag work, and 14-16oz upwards for sparring and drill-work. Amateur competitions typically use any weight from 10oz upwards. Professionals use 8oz or 10oz.

Ideally you will have mutliple pairs of gloves of diffierent weights so that you can cycle based on the training session. If you're a beginner, it's unlikely you want to invest in more than one pair until you're sure you like the sport. Not everyone can invest in multiple pairs either. If this is the case, go with a pair of 14 or 16oz as they can be used for all training types. However, you must be extra diligent with your care routine to ensure they don't degrade too quickly.

 

Top Brands for Muay Thai Gloves

What was a market dominated by a few players before the early 2000s, has now become one with an abundance of choice. The likes of Fairtex, Sandee, Twins and Top King have been around for decades. They are well-established and some of the most popular brands for Muay Thai gloves. They set a standard in the market. Yet there are new players that rival (and even exceed in areas) their quality and craftsmanship, while providing a greater range of designs. These include Primo Fightwear and PRYDE.

The Old Timers

Fairtex is known for their high quality gloves that have supreme durability. Their BGV1 designs is quite possibly the most popular Muay Thai glove in the world. Featuring high quality padding and a short cuff, it is a great all-round Muay Thai glove. Sandee rival Fairtex in their materials and quality, yet their gloves typically take on a larger shape with a slightly longer cuff.

Emerging Brands to Consider

Primo Fightwear take a different approach to their Muay Thai gloves, with a leaning towards a boxing glove shape and cuff length. Slightly longer and with a wider knuckle area than the majority of Fairtex and Sandee gloves, their Emblem series provided added wrist protection while maximising comfort. Their gloves are loved by global Muay Thai stars including Saenchai and Panpayak.

PRYDE Muay Thai gloves are similar in shape to that of Sandee. Again, they rival all the top-tier brands in terms of material and construction but have less variety in design. Their gloves are used regularly by Petchyindee fighters, including Capitan and Petchdam.

 

Capitan wearing Pryde Muay Thai gloves

 

Maintaining Your Muay Thai Gloves

To ensure the longevity of your Muay Thai gloves, regular cleaning is essential. Wipe them down after each session to remove sweat and bacteria buildup. Airing them out post-use helps prevent odors and maintains freshness. Additionally, storing them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight can prevent material degradation - this is especially important for genuine leather gloves. It's important to take the time to care for your gloves after and between training sessions, as this helps minimise odours and maximise longevity.

Cleaning and Care Tips

Cleaning and taking care of your Muay Thai gloves is essential to maintain their quality and prolong their lifespan. Here are some tips to keep your gloves in top condition:

  1. After each use, wipe the inside and outside of the gloves with a clean cloth or anti-bacterial wipe to remove any sweat or moisture. This will prevent the growth of bacteria and unpleasant odors.
  2. Avoid leaving your gloves in a damp or humid environment, as it can promote the growth of mold and mildew. Don't leave them in your gym bag between sessions. Instead, store them in a well-ventilated area or use glove deodorizers to absorb moisture.
  3. To clean blood or marks from the the exterior s, you can use a mild soap solution and a soft cloth. Gently scrub the gloves and then rinse them with water. Avoid soaking the gloves or using harsh chemicals, as it can damage the material.
  4. Allow your gloves to air dry completely before storing them. Avoid using direct heat sources such as heaters or hair dryers, as it can warp or shrink the gloves.
  5. Use clean hand wraps and make sure you don't leave them in your gloves after a session.

Longevity Practices for Your Gloves

To maximize the longevity of your Muay Thai gloves, it is important to practice proper care and maintenance. Here's some tips:

  1. Use hand wraps to protect the inside of your gloves from excessive sweat and moisture. This will prevent the growth of bacteria and minimize odor.
  2. After each use, allow your gloves to air dry completely. Avoid leaving them in a closed bag or damp environment, as it can promote the growth of mold and mildew.
  3. Avoid using your gloves for activities other than Muay Thai training. Using them for other sports or activities can cause unnecessary wear and tear, reducing their lifespan. Don't throw them around either.
  4. Inspect your gloves regularly for any signs of wear or damage. If you notice any tears, loose stitching, or padding displacement, make note and keep an eye on how it develops. If things get too bad, avoid a fix and just get a new pair.
  5. Store your gloves in a cool, dry place when not in use. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, as it can damage the materials.

 

Checking Authenticity and Warranty

Over recent years, there's been an explosion in fake (sometimes referred to as replica) gloves. Often coming from China, Pakistan or India, these gloves can look identical to the genuine article. However, more often than not, they have low quality materials and are not made to the same standard as the authentic goods.

It can be difficult to know whether what you're looking to purchase is authentic or not though. We recommend avoiding any glove that is on sale at 50% or less than the RRP. You can find the RRP by checking across at least 3 different stores - as they are usually all the same. Check the reputation of the store and contact them directly if you're unsure. The same goes for if you're buying from an online marketplace.

At Muay Thailand, we only offer genuine products and work hard to ensure our supply chain is transparent. We source directly from authenticated distributors and direct from manufacturers.

Conclusion

Hopefully you now understand how important selecting the right Muay Thai gloves is for your performance and protection. From understanding the fit and types to considering key features like material and padding, each aspect plays a vital role. Remember to choose the appropriate size and weight that align with your training needs. Explore different brands, take advice from those at your gym and ask sellers for their opinions too.

Once you've got your perfect pair, make sure you take the time and care to maintain them with proper cleaning and maintenance.

 

FAQs

What Makes Muay Thai Gloves Different from Boxing Gloves?

Muay Thai gloves and boxing gloves may look similar, but they have some key differences. Their padding is spread throughout the glove to help protect o the back of the hand when defending strikes. Most brands have short wrist cuffs on their Muay Thai gloves to provide flexibility when clinching. They also have a padded bar on the inside of the palm at the outer edg which helps protect your hands when defending and catching kicks.

Can I Use Muay Thai Gloves on Heavy Bags?

Yes, you can use Muay Thai gloves for heavy bag training. However, you need to make sure the cuff is secure and your hand wraps are properly applied to minimise the risk of injury.

How Often Should I Replace My Muay Thai Gloves?

The lifespan of Muay Thai gloves depends on various factors such as frequency of use, intensity of training, and quality of materials. For high quality gloves, you may find they last years. Yet if used regularly and for more than one type of training they may need replacing after 6-12 months. Signs of wear, tear, or loss of padding indicate it's time for a replacement to maintain optimal protection and performance.

Do the Colors of the Gloves Mean Anything?

The colors of Muay Thai gloves are mainly for aesthetic purposes and personal preference. The same goes with the painted or printed designs on the gloves. Nowadays, there is far more choice in colours and designs. So you can be sure to find something that suits your individual style and preference.