January 21, 2013

The Muay Thai Glove Guide

Alright guys,

The number one question I get asked in regards to training is:

What gloves should I buy?

Let me start off by saying, every glove is different.  This muay thai glove guide can also be used for any sport invovling striking with the hands.  The amount one spends doesn’t necessarily commensurate the quality of the product.  I have used gloves that cost near the hundreds that, within the week the stitching has come undone, or I have seen premium gloves where one weighed more than the other (left glove weighed 16 oz, right glove weighted 15.2 oz), double u tee eff. amirite?

In contrast i have used gloves that were mid-range priced (your average cost per pair of gloves) that have lasted me YEARS.  sure, they smell worse than that sweaty gym shirt you forgot in the back of your trunk; but they’re sturdy and dependable, like a honda civic.

The last thing I will say is it always a good idea to have two pairs of gloves, one for bag/pad work, and one for sparring.  This rule doesn’t generally apply to everyone, this is more for the fighter or aspiring fighter to be.  Reason being is that when you spar, you have to consider the health and safety of both your partner and yourself.  Training gloves get the padding that protects the knuckles beat the heck out of, thus leaving you with a small layer of leather and whatever materials used to pad the gloves.  If you a heavy puncher, expect the gloves to wear out faster than your average user.  What this translate to is gloves that won’t fully protect your hand when it is time to spar, or gloves that will hurt your partner during your session.

For example:

I remember an instance where i sparred someone with worn out, used up gloves and the first jab he connected, i could feel the bones in his fist across my forehead. Conversely there was a time i fractured my hand throwing a hook because i was the guy using worn out gloves.

Safety first, it’ll save you much heartache later down the line.

Next Question:

What size/weight?

The size of glove depends on your body weight.  Not everyone follows the rule but it’s a good one to go by.

I found that this works best:

under 100 lbs to 120lbs:  10 ounces
120 lbs to 150lbs:  12 ounces
150 lbs to 165lbs:  14 ounces
over 165 lbs:  16 ounces

This guide is for training gloves.  There are a few exceptions to consider.  If you have fragile hands, it’s always a good idea to buy heavier gloves for more padding and protection.  Or if you want to increase hand speed, heavier gloves are good for that as well.

In regards to sparring gloves:  Whether you’re just technical sparring for timing and speed or going full contact, it’ is always a good idea to use heavier gloves.  14, 16 or even 18 ounce gloves for safety.

Well, enough reading, what damn gloves should I buy?

I can’t tell you what gloves to buy, but I can suggest some.  The beauty of this guide is all the research has been done for you, it’s just a matter of choosing weight, color, and punching your CC info into the interwebz, waiting for them eagerly by the door, them getting to you, you taking super cool facebook/instagram pictures to post and THEN actually using them.

Cool story bro? Right on.


ok, so I broke them down by the price range, and then gave you a few pro-tips.  Hope you enjoy and if you find this useful, please share it, retweet it, reblog, etc. etc.  comments are always welcomed and appreciated. :).  The images link to the product page if you are interested in buying them or researching further. oh, and always consider shipping cost!

AFFORDABLE (under $30)

Title Boxing makes some affordable beginner gloves.  If you are a beginning Muay Thai/boxing these are a great pair to get you going.  Don’t think they will last long and if not properly cared for they will stink quickly because of the material used (mostly vinyl) but if you just getting your feet wet and don’t want to entirely commit than i would go with either of these two options.


TITLE Classic Boxing Gloves, L


MID-RANGE ($30-$60)

This is about the average range for cost of gloves.  The gloves i listed in this section vary from the ones listed above as in the quality of material used.  These tend to be made out of synthetic leather or leather and the material used for padding tends to be a little more sturdier.

TITLE Classic Hook-and-Loop Leather Training Gloves, Black, 18-Ounce

Continuing with Title, these are the upgrade to the others.  Leather is used and secured with a Velcro strap.  Leather tends to smell less so you might want to consider that factor.

Currently Top King is my choice of equipment.  The gloves provide a great amount of support around the knuckles as well as tight wrist support.  The round top of the gloves gives a good pop off the pads and the way the glove is constructed makes it feel light but provides the protection I like.  Definitely a favorite.

Twins is a Muay Thai institution.  Almost synonymous with Muay Thai, the twins brand always delivers a great quality glove.  Made with leather, they provide a snug fight with wraps on and I’ve seen pairs of these gloves last years.  The only caveat I have seen with these gloves is that the Velcro wears away quickly.  Bummer.

EXPENSIVE (over $60)

Cleto Reyes Hook & Loop Training Gloves – Velcro – Black

If you are looking for quality in both construction and performance..  a glove that will last you years, gloves that provide excellent support and gloves that will keep away from odor than this is the glove for you.  There is a reason why these gloves go for over $100 dollars, and the reasons provided are why.  These gloves are made out of genuine cow leather and filled and stuff with horse hair, Cleto Reyes are built to last.  From hitting the bag, mitts, pads, and sparring, they will hold and age beautifully and when they are in their last legs you can always hang them up as trophies.  Very rarely will you see these gloves uner the $100 price range but typically people list them on Craigslist when they import a few from Mexico.

On this note, Ringside partnered up with Cleto Reyes a few years ago and provided construction and distribution for them.  When purchasing gloves make sure you are getting the Mexican made genuine Cleto Reyes.  The difference between the American, ringside made and the Mexican Cleto Reyes made are worlds apart in both quality and performance.  Please heed that warning if you are going to invest this much in gloves.

I have owned a few pairs of Cleto Reyes gloves and without a doubt, if you are thinking ‘Long-Term’ in your boxing or Muay Thai Career, consider purchasing these.  You will not regret it.


In the ‘RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE  BUT WORTH IT’ category, there is only one glove.  Accept no imitations.   This brand is used by all boxing professionals around the world, frequently used by some Muay Thai professionals and enthusiasts that are able to afford the gloves.  It is the holy grail of boxing gloves.  Is the anticipation killing you yet…  ?

WINNING is a brand from japan, made from japan.  It is considered the greatest boxing glove ever made and the brand is so superior that they need not to sponsor any fighters.  From headgear, to gloves to other protective equipment, If you are doing any sort of professional fighting or training, than this equipment is essential.

Why are they so special?

They are so special because of the material used and the way the gloves is made.  Wearing these gloves provided the BEST type of protection and really are the lightest gloves ever.  Feels like your wearing mitts of clouds on your hands.  Take a look at the construction and design.


 How much are these?

Well…  That’s usually where we most inquiries stop.  Winning glove prices vary by the ounce, typically starting at…  (drum roll please) $250 dollars for 8 oz.  Yes, jaw dropping i know, and the price just keeps getting significantly higher the heavier the glove ($250-$375 per pair).  If you’re making this your career, will that is a goal to shoot for, being able to afford a pair of winning gloves.

How To Keep Your Gloves Fresh

1.  Wrap, wrap, wrap your hands.  I can’t stress that enough.  Wrapping your hands is super important in keeping your hands from hurting, but it also provides a ‘sweat barrier’ that is the leading cause of stinky gloves.  Oh, and this may go without saying, but please try to keep your wraps clean.

2.  Air them out after use, don’t leave them in your gym bag.  Peel them open, shove a wire coat hanger in there and let them breathe.  If you want to get a little more OCD with it, you can also shove dryer sheets in there to deodorize it further.

3.  Spray  them with a alcohol solution (1:1 water and rubbing alcohol) or spray them out with Lysol or a disinfectant or you liking.

4.  Buy  Glove Dogs( ).  Gloves dogs are felt satchels with cedar chips in them which are used to absorb moisture from the gloves.  You can also make your own by buying your own cedar chips from a lumber store and putting them in panty hose.