Having the right gloves on your hands can make all the difference when you’re throwing hard punches, but which gloves are the right gloves? The short answer is pretty simple; the ones that protect your hands the best. I know already that the different sports of Boxing, Muay Thai, and MMA have their own sets and styles of hand protection, and that they were designed with their different styles in mind.
Boxing, a sport entirely focused on punches, has a much thicker set of padding on it than MMA gloves, which have to focus on grappling as well. But how does that translate into hand protection? Well, there are arguments for each style of glove and, on paper, both of them make sense. As for which is better… well, you’ll just have to weigh in on that down in the comments section; all I can do is give you the info.
For this comparison, I’m working on only one principle, Newton’s Third Law, which says that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, IE, the more force you put out, the more force comes right back into your hand. If we just look at punching tests, it seems that the glove that puts out the most force is also the most damaging to your hand, and thus the least protected.
The Case for Boxing Gloves:
Pros: More Pads and Bigger Area.
Just looking at boxing gloves, you can tell that they’re much bulkier than their MMA counterparts, and for good reason. In a sport where you’re doing nothing but punching, your knuckles are going to take a lot of repeated abuse. As such, having more padding just makes more sense; you don’t need to grapple in boxing, so you can pad your punches a bit more and not suffer for it.
Compared to the 2 centimeters worth of padding in a standard MMA fight glove, the standard boxing glove has nearly three times that amount. You’ll also notice that boxing gloves have a bigger striking area on the knuckle. In addition to giving the gloves more room for padding, this also spreads out the force of punches over a larger area.
If that doesn’t make sense, think about it like this; you’d have a bit of trouble lifting a hundred-pound dumbbell in one hand because all that weight (or downward force) is concentrated in one place. Put that same hundred pounds across your back, and it’s suddenly much more manageable.
On the other hand, it takes a lot more energy to get a boxing glove going than it does an MMA glove. Here, we’ve got Newton’s Second Law to help us out (And you didn’t think you’d learn anything today, did you?). Simply put, it says that the force equals the weight of an object multiplied by how fast it’s going. So, in theory, it makes sense that a heavier glove, like a boxing glove, would put out more force than a lighter MMA glove.
Best Boxing Gloves – Our Pick
- Hayabusa T3 Boxing Gloves
- Fantastic wrist support
- One of the best-looking gloves
- Premium quality end to end
- They can get quite tight when you wear them on hand wraps
- It can take some time to break into them as the foam is hard
- Winning Professional Boxing Gloves (Lace-Up)
- Cleto Reyes Boxing Gloves
- Ring to Cage c17 2.0 Training gloves (Japanese style)
Hayabusa T3 Boxing gloves are one of the best boxing gloves we recommend. They are built with the finest materials and best in class foam padding that offer incredible protection to your knuckles and wrists. The dual strap wrist support ensures that your wrists stay aligned & protected even when you throw bad punches. What really stands out is the inner fabric which feels smooth and keeps your hands cool and less sweaty.
If you are in the market for a new pair of boxing gloves that will stand up to the test, the Hayabusa T3 is a great pair of gloves to get.
Winning is widely regarded as the BEST BOXING GLOVES in the world of combat sports. Over the years, the Japanese brand has retained not just its brand respect but more importantly its quality control. There isn't any hype unlike other brands and they are not dependent on sponsorships. Winning gloves have become the defacto standard for professionals around the world. No gimmicky marketing or annual redesigns just simply amazing gloves. The gold standard and a favorite among professionals and serious amateurs alike.
Cleto Reyes is one of the most respected names in boxing and has developed some of the highest quality gloves available. When you're training for a competition, you want to make sure you're using gloves that are designed with your striking needs in mind.
These gloves have many excellent features, including an intelligently designed thumb and wrist support system that is made of 100% leather and waterproof nylon padding to keep your hands dry and ensure you have a superior training experience. These gloves are very comfortable and also feature a wrap-around hook enclosure that doesn't ever seem to slip. When it comes to comfort and performance, these are great gloves, second only to the winning boxing pair.
Ring to Cage C17 2.0 gloves are third on our Top 10 list. R2C has been successful in making more affordable Winning alternatives. The overall performance and design truly rival Winning for half the price. It is usually difficult to find a pair that works perfectly for both bag work and sparring but R2C provides the right mix with ample padding and is small enough for the canvas. R2C gloves are available in both Velcro and Lace-up depending on what you prefer
The Case for MMA Gloves:
Pros: Denser, more stable padding.
Cons: Smaller area of protection, less use of wraps.
With MMA gloves, you get less padding, but the padding you do get does a great job of staying in place and staying tough. The combination of a Velcro strap on the wrists and individual fingers means that your padding will move with you, instead of being distributed over a large area.
In addition, most MMA gloves use stiffer padding, so ideally you’d get the same level of protection behind each strike. Here, oddly enough, the MMA glove’s smaller size is almost a benefit; if the padding is only on the knuckles, it can’t get squished out of the way of your strikes.
Of course, less padding does seem to be an issue, as does the fact that hand wraps are less common in MMA than in boxing. Even though the padding is denser, you can’t escape the fact that you’ve got so much less of it; combined with the lack of extra wrist support from hand wraps, it seems like the extra force would mangle your hands just as bad as the target you’re striking.
Best MMA Gloves – Our Recommendation
The Fairtex Combat Sparring Gloves are one of the finest creations ever for MMA training. These gloves are relatively expensive, but if you are looking for something durable for your training, these are highly recommended. They come with a top-grain leather shell and offer complete protection for sparring and bag training. These are probably the only gloves that have an all-black look and are sure to turn heads at the gym.
We found the foam to be extra thick but not so thick that your movements are affected. Their ergonomic built-in curve in the foam ensures good movement and protection. It also has a full wraparound wristband and a hook and loop closure for added wrist protection.
Crafted in the heartland of muay thai, Thailand, this boxing gear embodies the essence of quality, these weighted gloves come in sizes ranging from 8 to 16 oz.
- If you are someone that always values quality and value for money, these gloves are for you. They are not relatively expensive, but their quality justifies the price.
- With complete protection in mind, these gloves excel in both functionality and style. Their all-black design sets them apart, ensuring you not only stand out at the gym but also have the confidence of adequate protection during intense training
- These gloves might be an overkill if you are novice and just getting started in the sport.
The most important job of gloves is to safeguard knuckles and wrists, and RDX excels in this arena. Crafted with 100% authentic Maya hide leather, they outshine conventional PU leather gloves. Maya Hide offers heightened resilience, lasting durability, reduced weight, and a distinct texture.
Gym practitioners, attest to RDX gloves' stellar knuckle protection, eliminating tears and blisters. The gloves feature a hook-and-loop system for added wrist support, without compromising movement.
Versatility stands out - these gloves smoothly transition between exercises while ensuring knuckle protection. Their lightweight construction and easy on/off design are a boon for varied training sessions.
But the real game-changer? The tri-layered padding disperses punch impact shock, tailor-made for impact resistance. Moreover, the cut-curved palm design ensures flawless bar gripping during workouts while open-palm style keeps airflow steady, avoiding bad odors.
Price wise, RDX strikes the perfect balance between quality and affordability. No more costly yet fragile gloves or flimsy inexpensive pairs.
- Unbeatable knuckle protection, versatile workouts, and premium Maya hide leather, all within your budget!
- These gloves take a while to break into, so if you are looking for gloves that offer immediate flexibility, these are not for you.
The Louis-Vuitton of MMA gloves, the Hayabusa T3 LX Leather gloves, are made from high-end hand-crafted Italian leather. It’s not just about the looks, their premium multi-layered foam technology absorbs heavy impacts and offers best-in-class protection for your knuckles and fists. It is also very versatile and allows you to smoothly transition between striking and grappling moves thanks to its Y-volar no-shift design.
We were concerned about durability as this is not genuine leather, but the gloves held up well against the most intense training exercises over a 9-month period and is still going strong. The leather does fade if exposed to extreme heat or if it isn't maintained properly.
- If you are someone that hates wearing hand wraps, these gloves are for you.
- The dual-x closure of these gloves will ensure a snug fit. They are also easily one of the best-looking MMA gloves on the market today!
- If you are someone that likes a looser fit, you may find these gloves very tight especially if you have bigger hands.
- If you don't want to compromise on genuine leather, although the quality of the leather is extremely good and long lasting
The Verdict? Inconclusive.
According to the video above from Fight Science, the results are pretty much inconclusive; it seems that, despite the boxing glove’s excessive padding, both gloves deliver the same amount of force to a target.
Based on my criteria, we can assume that the same amount of force went back into Bas Rutten’s hand with both gloves, and thus conclude that more padding isn’t always better. However, this test is hardly the end-all of hand protection debates; unfortunately, to accurately gauge what kind of force is going into Bas’s hand would require different measurements.
Bottom line? We’d need a new test that accurately showed how the force of these punches is deflected with each set of gloves. Until then, all we can say is that whether you use MMA or boxing gloves, your fists are going to remain about as protected.
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