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Best Gloves for Muay Thai

Our Top 5 Recommended Gloves for Muay Thai

See product reviews below.

Selecting your Muay Thai Gloves

There are a few characteristics of Muay Thai boxing gloves that make them different from traditional boxing gloves.  First of all they are designed to be more flexible to enable better clinching.

The padding (and weight) is distributed differently with more on top (in front of the fist) and on the sides.   The padding also tends to be a little softer.  This makes them ideal gloves for sparring.  They are not as particularly well suited for heavy bag work.  For regular heavy bag work see our recommended Gloves for Heavy Bags.

Muay Thai gloves are noticeably shorter on the wrists than traditional boxing gloves.  This enables more weight to be moved to fist area.  The material that is over the wrists has padding to protect against kicks.  There is a break in the padding around the wrist to provide greater flexibility for cupping.  The obvious tradeoff is less wrist support.

The majority of good Muay Thai gloves are handmade in Thailand.

It is worth noting that gloves made in Thailand often have smaller hand compartments than gloves made elsewhere, like the USA.

What Is the Best Material for Muay Thai Glove?

Leather is a popular material for Muay Thai gloves. But you can find Muay Thai gloves in made with other materials.

Genuine Leather

Genuine leather is the best material for Muay Thai.  It is more expensive than other options because of its durability and quality. Even though it is excellent, genuine leather may take some time to mold to the shape of your hand. But once it does it is more comfortable. It is not unusual for the inside of leather gloves to wear out before the outer leather.

Polyurethane (PU) Leather

This type of leather is not as durable as real leather.  It is a type of manufactured leather that looks and feels like real leather. However, in terms of quality it is better than vinyl.  Some popular glove manufacturers use this material to provide gloves that are of such good quality it is difficult to tell they are not leather.

Vinyl

Vinyl is the cheapest material for gloves. It is a popular option for most budget-friendly and beginner Muay Thai gloves. The material is inferior to other options and inappropriate for professional Muay Thai gloves. It is not as breathable, comfortable, and durable as leather.  But there is nothing wrong with vinyl if you are looking for a pair of gloves to get you started.

Additional Information

For more help on selecting a pair of boxing gloves see our article on How to Select a Pair of Boxing Gloves.

Selecting Muay Thai Gloves

Size and Weight

The size of your gloves is an important consideration.  The most popular adult sizes are 12oz, 14oz, and 16oz.  Note that the sizes indicate the weight of the padding, NOT the size of the hand compartment

The heavier the glove the more padding there is.  This is to protect your sparring partner first and foremost, so the bigger you are the heavier your gloves should be (in ounces of padding).  More padding also protects your hands when repeatedly punching solid objects like heavy bags.

Larger gloves are heavier so your arms will tire quicker.  They are also bigger which can make it more challenging to get through your sparring partner’s guard.  However, these are actually beneficial for raising your game when training.  Think of the old cliché ‘Train hard, fight easy.’

Once you determine the size of glove (in ounces of padding) that is suitable for you it is then a matter of finding a pair of gloves with a comfortable hand compartment.

Closure

Find a pair of gloves with a decent closure system. It makes a significant difference in the protection of your wrists. Laces and Velcro are the two available options. Your choice depends on your specific needs. If you want to be sure of really snug fit then laces is the way to go.

However, for most of us, including competitive trainers, today’s Velcro technology provides  adequate wrist support with the convenience of being able to quickly put the gloves on and take them off on your own.  This is why for most of us Velcro is the best option.

Hand Wraps

Hand wraps are an important yet often overlooked consideration when buying Muay Thai gloves.  If you intend to wear hand wraps make sure that you are wearing them when measuring your hands your new pair of gloves.  Likewise be sure to wear your wraps when trying on a pair of gloves for the first time.

Material

There are various types of materials for making boxing gloves (see above). Some of them are more durable than others. Genuine leather is the most durable option. However, these gloves are more expensive than gloves made from other materials.  There are some good PU leather gloves that are nearly as good as genuine leather but at a lower cost.

For more information on selecting a pair of boxing gloves see our article on How to Select a Pair of Boxing Gloves.

Tips to Keep Your Muay Thai Gloves Fresh

Without the right care, your Muay Thai gloves can develop a vile smell. This is particularly true for non-genuine leather gloves, but sooner or later all gloves will build up sweat from repeated use and consequently an odor.  The following tips may help you keep them clean and safe for a long time.

Wipe Them

Wipe your gloves down after every workout. Use an anti-bacterial wipe and spray to wipe down both the inside and outside of the gloves. Like with other equipment, regular cleaning will keep the smell away.

Freeze Them

When your gloves have dried completely, put them in a big freezer bag, and keep the bag in your freezer for about 24 hours. It is a great way to get rid of bacteria and bad odor.

Suck Up the Bad Odor

Get something that can absorb moisture from your gloves. If you can’t get commercial odor absorbers, you may use pieces of dry sheets and newspapers. Even though they don’t necessarily clean your gloves, they suck up the sweat.

Wash Them

Even though you don’t need to wash your gloves every day, there are times when you can clean them safely. Clean them in your sink with some soap and water. Squeeze out the water and dry them outdoors.

Get Rid of Them

If you have used your gloves for a long time, you may have trouble getting rid of the foul smell. Even the most durable pair of gloves won’t last forever. If you struggle with bad smell from your gloves, get rid of them.  Chances are they are wearing out anyway and it is time to get a new pair.

Our Top 5 Recommended Gloves for Muay Thai

Product Reviews

Fairtex Muay Thai Style Training Sparring Gloves

These gloves are a popular choice with Muay Thai fighters.  They are reliably firm and high quality. They have a snug and comfortable fit with wrist protection. They are a great choice for both beginners and experts. The gloves have a contoured and snug-fit hand compartment for a secure fit.

We also think it is great that Fairtex offers 24 different color designs to choose from.

The craftsmanship is good quality.  The seams and stitching are neat and tidy.  The material is genuine, high-quality leather with Velcro straps for convenience. The simple wraparound hook and loop wristband offers better control.

They are supple and have just enough stretch to remain comfortable. The gloves are designed for Muay Thai, so they offer lots of freedom for your fingers.

Fairtex has their own branded foam for shock absorption.  While it is unclear if the foam technology is much different to other gloves the padding is effective and distributed as you would expect with a pair of Muay Thai gloves.

Gloves like Fairtex that are made in Thailand tend to have smaller hand compartments than gloves made elsewhere, such as the US.  So if you have large hands and intend to wear wraps you may find them a little too snug.  But they are certainly worth trying on to see how they fit.  Don’t forget that genuine leather construction means they will stretch some stretch with use.

Also, typical of Muay Thai gloves, Fairtex gloves do not come down the wrist as far as traditional boxing gloves.  This makes them more flexible, especially for clinching, but the tradeoff is less wrist support and protection.

Pros Cons
  • Ergonomic design
  • Solid construction
  • Genuine leather construction
  • Good padding
  • Reliable shock disbursement
  • Neat stitching
  • Short wrist protection
  • Can be too snug for large hands with wraps

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Yokkao Matrix Breathable Muay Thai Boxing Glove

These Muay Thai gloves are popular with experienced fighters.  As another Muay Thai glove made in Thailand they are firm, comfortable, and breathable. They are a dependable pair of gloves that come at an affordable price.  They come in eight different solid colors.

These gloves are designed to make it easier to open and close for parrying and catching kicks. The thumb is attached for extra support.  They provide good shock absorption. The padding is sufficient, soft, and strong. The firm wrist support and protection makes them ideal for Muay Thai.

They are durable because of their handcrafted quality construction, which is made of high-quality cowhide and double stitching throughout.  With the right care, these gloves can last a long time.  No gloves last forever, but you can expect to get longer use from these then many other gloves.

If you have large hands and intend to wear wraps you may find these gloves are too snug.  But we think they are definitely worth trying on.  However, because they are made from genuine leather you will get some stretch with use.

Pros Cons
  • Suitable for experienced fighters
  • Premium construction for durability
  • Genuine leather construction
  • Double-stitching
  • Good shock-absorbing foam
  • May be too snug for large hands and wrap

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Twins Special Muay Thai Boxing Gloves BGVL-3

Twins already has a great name for quality gloves in the boxing world.  For Muay Thai we rate these gloves highly for their quality, soft and comfortable padding, comfort, and solid construction.  We find these gloves are not as pricey as similar quality gloves with the same features.

Their simple yet efficient design is really appealing and there is a noticeable absence of fancy graphics.  Looking at the quality we can believe that these are handmade.

Twins claim these are made with top-grain leather.  The look and feel supports this claim. Their high density makes them perfect for repetitive heavy punching.  The tradeoff is that the leather is not as soft and pliable as other leather gloves.

The padding is good but they do feel a tad bulkier than some other Muay Thai gloves.  However, you can still get through your sparring partner’s guard with accurate strikes, and even with the occasional lucky one!

They have a wraparound hook and loop closure for improved wrist support. They have reliable wrist support that offer extra protection. And they are still good for clinching.

If you have large hands and intend to wear wraps you may find these gloves are too snug.  But we think they are definitely worth trying on first.  Because the leather on these gloves is stiff it will take longer for them to soften around your hands, and don’t expect too much stretching if they are tight on your hands.

Pros Cons
  • Solid construction
  • Genuine leather construction
  • Simple design
  • Improved wrist support
  • Soft and sufficient padding
  • Firm leather and less stretchy
  • A tad bulky
  • Can be snug for large hands especially with wrap

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Top King Gloves for Muay Thai

The brand Top King is popular for its great quality. The design of these gloves is typically flashy. Top King Gloves are good for experienced fighters but also suitable for beginners. They also have plenty of exciting colors and patterns to chose from.

They have plenty of padding which makes them feel soft and comfortable. However, when striking solid objects the softness of the padding provides less feedback.  This is particularly true when using them on heavy bags.   We like the thumb and wrist support which is designed to prevent injuries.

Because these gloves are shiny they have a vinyl look and feel, which we are not sure about.  However, they are made with genuine leather and you these gloves do stand out, in a good way

The stitching is reinforced in high-stress areas. This gives extra confidence that these gloves will hold up against punishing training sessions.

The padding makes these gloves feel a tad bulkier than some other Muay Thai gloves.  However, you can still get through your sparring partner’s guard with accurate strikes, and even with the occasional lucky one!

The inside of the gloves is soft, comfortable, and breathable. They have an extra reinforcement layer above the fingertips. We like the extra ventilation holes around the thumb.

Pros Cons
  • Quality padding
  • Thumb and risk support
  • Genuine leather construction
  • Sufficient wrist protection
  • Fun and modern design
  • Soft padding  (does not give the same feedback)
  • A tad bulky

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WINDY Leather Muay Thai Training Sparring Gloves

These gloves are classics. They are versatile and a great choice for Muay Thai. They are an appropriate choice for all skill levels. They are made with synthetic leather, but it is of such high quality that you can barely distinguish them from real leather.  They are also handmade in Thailand.

With 21 different colors and patterns to choose from you can easily make a personal statement.

The hook and loop closures system is convenient and provides good support for the wrist.  There is thick padding convenience and thick padding for maximum comfort and protection.

The filling is four foam layers and this does make them comfortable and good for hitting hard.  But expect a breaking in period.  These gloves are high quality and we like the double stitching to ensure durability.

Pros Cons
  • Durability
  • Double stitching
  • Good wrist support
  • Will fit larger hands
  • Classic design
  • Breaking them in may take some time

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Conclusion

The Twins Special Muay Thai Gloves are our favorite.  However, the best gloves for Muay Thai will come down to your individual preference.  We think these are the best gloves for Muay Thai.  There is just enough difference in the material, padding, weight, size, and budget for you to find the pair that will work best for you.  Go get ‘em, tiger!

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