How to Find the Right Gloves for Your Sport

If you plan to get into the sport of fighting, the differences between boxing gloves, MMA gloves, and Muay Thai gloves might be confusing. Although these three might be the same in a casual fighting fan’s eyes, there are differences to each glove that are specific to their sport. This article will explain the differences and help you find the right gloves for your sport.

Boxing vs. MMA vs. Muay Thai Gloves

You may be wondering how these three gloves differ from each other. Although they seem alike, there are various distinctions, specifically in flexibility. MMA gloves offer the most flexibility, while boxing gloves are the stiffest of the three.

Other than flexibility, there are also some key differences in the gloves’ design and padding. Below are the differences in those three categories.


The design for each of these gloves is dependent on the form of fighting used in each respected sport. Generally, the differences between the three show how a boxing glove is more accommodating to use the fists for punching. Meanwhile, the MMA and Muay Thai gloves show the use of grappling the opponents.

Boxing Gloves

For boxing, it is an important aspect of the sport to deliver powerful blows. The rounded design of a boxing glove makes it easier for the boxer to make a fist. This allows them to dish out strong punches while protecting their hands.

Boxing gloves also have a larger cuff area to fit the wrist alongside a strap or velcro perfectly. The wrist is also important for boxing, so the gloves are made to feel naturally connected with the forearms. Muay thai gloves are made from high-quality materials and reputable brands. Durable materials like genuine leather or synthetic leather can ensure long-lasting performance and withstand the rigors of training.

MMA Gloves

MMA gloves show the most difference out of the three fighting gear. The most unique feature MMA gloves have is an open-finger design. This is because the sport includes grappling as a fundamental of fighting. The open-finger design allows the fighter to grasp an opponent easily.

Additionally, the gloves feature an open-palm design, contrasting with the fully closed and padded boxing gloves. This is to allow the wearer to have an enhanced firm grip.

Muay Thai Gloves

Muay Thai gloves resemble boxing gloves more than MMA gloves. But there are still significant differences to separate these from their boxing counterparts. Muay Thai gloves have a less rounded design and aren’t as aerodynamic as a boxing glove. This is because the sport doesn’t require quick combinations like boxing.

The weight of these is more evenly distributed and has a more open palm area for increased flexibility. Muay Thai gloves also have smaller cuff areas compared to boxing gloves.


In terms of flexibility, Muay Thai gloves offer more flexibility than boxing gloves. The purpose of these gloves is to clench the fist easily. Meanwhile, MMA gloves offer the most flexibility as they feature a full-finger opening.

Boxing Gloves

Out of the three, these gloves are the stiffest. This is because it prevents the wrist from flexing when the boxer throws a punch. The cuff area is also bigger to make the gloves more rigid, and the padding in the knuckles is less to avoid injury.

MMA Gloves

MMA gloves offer the most flexibility out of the three. In fact, it is designed to have full-finger flexibility. The purpose of this flexibility is to give the fighter a better grasp of the opponent and better grappling. They also have finger ridges for better movement of the fist and fingers.

Muay Thai Gloves

Compared to boxing gloves, Muay Thai gloves offer flexibility to allow the fighter to clench the fist without rigidity. This is due to the sport having kicks as an aspect of fighting, and it would be easier to catch the kicks with proper clenching. The flexibility also allows the wearer to get in a clinch more easily than when you wear boxing gloves. In fact, you can find muay thai gloves online with great grip.


Every glove has padding to protect the opponent from direct force and to lessen the chances of injuring the hands. It is an important aspect of any fighting glove. There are variations to the paddings of each glove as the impact source differs on the fighting style.

Boxing Gloves

The most well-padded area for boxing gloves is the knuckles. This is the most important part for a boxer when throwing a punch. Some gloves even offer padding at the side of the palm to prevent injuries. But it is usually favored that the wrist and palms aren’t padded.

MMA Gloves

MMA gloves offer more stiff padding compared to the other two fighting gloves. There are also options between a lesser and more padded variant of the glove. The padding of MMA gloves offers enough protection to the fighters even though they are less padded than the other gloves. Generally, the padding is mainly found on the hand’s knuckles, wrists, and top.

Muay Thai Gloves

The padding on Muay Thai gloves is more equally distributed than boxing gloves. They also have more padding on the back of the hand and less on the knuckles. The padding on the hand’s back is designed to block the opponent’s kicks. Some gloves also have generous padding on the sides to counter the damage from received elbows.

Sizing for Gloves

When starting in one of these sports, choosing the right pair of gloves is important. The first pair of gloves you should own should fit your hands perfectly as this can increase your performance when training. Also, wearing too tight or loose gloves increases the chances of getting injured.

Boxing Gloves

Boxing Gloves

When it comes to sizing, the most optimal sizing is when the gloves fit tightly on your hands. Glove sizes are described in ounces for better identification. Depending on your size, it can range from 6 ounces for youth and 20 ounces for heavyweight gloves. It is important to measure your height, weight, and the dominant hand’s circumference to determine your size.

MMA Gloves

MMA gloves should fit snugly on the wearer’s hand. It shouldn’t be too tight that it becomes uncomfortable for the fighter. This could cause discomfort over time and injured knuckles. When finding your glove size, you should measure your hand circumference and compare it to the recommended glove size. Smaller hands use 8-ounce gloves, and larger hands go for around 12-14 ounces.

Muay Thai Gloves

Muay Thai glove sizing is also measured in ounces. Generally, the heavier the gloves, the more padding it offers. It is recommended that beginners start with lighter gloves, such as 12 ounces. Heavier fighters can go up to 16 ounces, while kids use weights around 6-8 ounces.


It’s now clear that there are multiple key differences between the three fighting gloves. Choosing a pair of gloves that fall under the sport you are taking is important. The benefits of having the right glove can help kickstart your training and make you progress faster. Proper sizing will also lessen the chances of injury down the line. Now you can go ahead and invest in a pair of good gloves.


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