Best MMA Gloves Reviewed
MMA gloves are an essential piece of equipment if you plan to mix the martial arts appropriately in your MMA training.
While they aren’t the smartest training implement in power punching, wearing them produces noticeable technical differences in sparring among both striking and grappling. Check out our top picks for the best MMA gloves here:
Durable finger strap design
Solid Velcro straps
Great finger strap construction
Smaller in size and easy to fit
Firstly, BJJ with gloves on opens up ground and pound striking which makes grappling totally different. On top of that, securing under hooks in tight circumstances and locking up certain chokes can be harder with gloves on so you’ll want to be used to that before the competition. In striking, distances change slightly when the fear of the takedown looms and blocking must become more precise as smaller MMA gloves slip into holes that the bigger boxing gloves can’t.
Editor’s Picks & Things to Consider When Buying MMA Gloves
MMA gloves are inherently more dangerous in training than boxing gloves. They are smaller, have significantly less padding, and have more creases to scrape yourself on. For any hard sparring, hard bag work, or pad work to emphasize power, boxing gloves should be used instead.
When I choose MMA training gloves for myself I have a few things in mind. Firstly, I need a good amount of padding on the knuckles for those strikes that get away from me, it happens even when you’re trying to go light. Then, I make sure to find gloves with solid Velcro straps that are entirely covered by the strap to reduce the likelihood of Velcro burn-in grappling.
Finally, I want those gloves to be smooth, almost aerodynamic in their design, so I can slide them into small openings to get under hooks or to secure submissions.
TOP 5 Best MMA Gloves For Mixed Martial Arts Training
1. Combat Sports Max Strike MMA Training Gloves Review
Combat Sports is one of the best domestic brands in MMA training gear. These Combat Sports Max Strike MMA Training gloves have 2 inches of solid padding on the knuckles for strikers and ground and pounders. The construction allows for a person to make a tight fist without resistance and the leather finger holes are durable and comfortable which is a big point as this is usually the first spot to deteriorate over time in these types of gloves.
Combat Sports MMA Training gloves are smooth and relatively easy to slip into tight spaces but they have one protruding edge on the bottom side of the top surface that tends to get caught as you pull your arm out of things (like armbars for example). The prevailing theme of these gloves is durability and quality. These are especially great for fighters who like to strike. The weak link here is the Velcro straps, but you can always tape those down.
- Thick 2-inch knuckle padding for striking.
- Comfortable feel.
- Durable finger strap design.
- Velcro strap has been known to deteriorate over time.
- A bit bulky for grappling.
2. RDX MMA Fighting Gloves
These RDX MMA gloves are the gloves that I’m currently using myself. I’ve had them for over 3 years and the only signs of wear and tear are aesthetic. The “RDX” logo on the knuckles has started to peel off a bit. Aside from that, the leather finger holes on the bottom edge of the glove are some of the most secure that I have used.
The Velcro strap goes twice around your wrist and adds support while making it pretty clear they aren’t going to need you to tape them down for a very long time, if ever. The thumb has an edge on it that can be a bit uncomfortable to your training partners and maybe even scrape a bit. There are also a few hard edges that can make them difficult to pull out of submission or takedown attempts including a big edge as a result of that awesome Velcro strap. All in all, best price vs quality.
- Best price vs quality
- Solid Velcro straps
- Great finger strap construction.
- The thumb seam may be problematic for training partners
- A bit bulky for grappling.
3. Fairtex FGV15 MMA Sparring Gloves
Fairtex is one of the top suppliers of combat sports training equipment throughout the world. Despite their steep history in striking, these MMA training gloves are actually a bit smaller, smoother, and better suited for grappling than the Combat Sports or RDX previously listed.
There are basically no edges to get caught on anything and the Velcro is high quality and circles completely around the wrist securing on the bottom side instead of the top making them even more of a better fit for grappling. While they can be a bit tough to break in, they have a good amount of padding on the knuckles and are well suited for striking in addition to the natural grappling qualities of this glove. These are, without a doubt, the best all-around MMA gloves on this list.
- Smooth and dynamic for both grappling and striking
- Smaller in size and easy to fit into small grappling openings
- Most durable
- They can be hard to break in at first
- A seam that protrudes out away from the padding may be inconvenient to some
4. Sanabul Essential 7 oz MMA Hybrid Sparring Gloves
Sanabul is starting to become a headline equipment manufacturer in MMA. Firstly, these are the cheapest on the list but considering that they don’t seem to skimp in quality as much as the price would indicate. I have never used these gloves personally but for that price, you really should be getting a 1 to a 2-month piece of equipment. These gloves look like they will last you quite a bit longer, maybe even years.
On quality, however, the first thing I notice is the finger stitching on the bottom edge of the knuckle padding. Despite its double stitching, the fabric that it’s stitched to looks like it would give over time. The shape of the glove on top also seems to lend itself to wider hands and has a seam that protrudes out past the pad that may be a little uncomfortable for training partners in grappling exchanges. Overall, a good-looking, solid basic piece of equipment that is cheap and great for beginners and first-time users.
- Most cost effective
- Good amount of padding for striking
- Great for beginners
- New, unproven brand
- Stitching seems less effective in some places
- A seam that protrudes out away from the padding may be inconvenient to some
5. Venum Challenger MMA Gloves
The rest of the gloves on this list are suited for both stand-up striking and grappling. These, however, would be a bit too hazardous for stand-up striking in the gym. These are basically fighting gloves with a slim profile and fingered knuckled pads as opposed to the oval knuckle pads in their striking equivalents. You would use these to get a feel for grappling and light ground and pound in the gym and to that end, they would not disappoint.
Venom is one of the leading manufacturers of MMA equipment all around the world and their gloves have never disappointed in my personal experience. These are best suited for the grapplers out there who want to practice some light ground and pound.
- Proven brand quality
- Great for grappling and light ground and pound
- PositiveAesthetically pleasing with no obvious visual qualms
- Less padding makes striking more hazardous
Things You Should Consider When Purchasing The Best MMA Gloves
Having a decent set of MMA sparring gloves can open up your training exponentially. When sparring with MMA gloves on you always want to be careful of some of the things you may not have had to worry about with boxing gloves on.
Things like eye pokes are up to you, but things like having extra seams on your gloves, or pointy spots that can catch on people in crazy exchanges, possibly causing cuts or scrapes, can be avoided by purchasing the right equipment. You’ll want to consider your own style before buying. If you’re a striker or ground and pounder, you’ll need something with a little extra padding.
If you’re a grappler, you’ll want to make sure your MMA gloves are smooth and free of any extra edges that make it hard to pull them out of tight spaces. Make sure to check the stitching in between the fingers for the measurement of durability and the Velcro straps for comfort.
You’ll be rubbing these all over your training partners in grappling exchanges so it’s important you don’t scrape them up with the Velcro. Everyone hates Velcro burn when they get to shower time, trust me.
What are the best MMA gloves for a heavy bag?
When it comes to choosing the best MMA gloves for heavy bag training, there are a few key factors to consider. First, you want to find gloves that are well-padded to protect your hands and wrists from the impact of hitting the heavy bag.
Second, you want gloves that are durable and able to withstand the wear and tear of regular heavy bag training sessions. Finally, you want gloves that are comfortable and allow you to make a full range of motions with your hands.
What size MMA gloves should I get?
The size of MMA gloves you should get depends on several factors, including your hand size and the type of training you will be doing. In general, it’s a good idea to measure the circumference of your hand around the knuckles and choose a glove size that corresponds to this measurement.
For example, if your hand measures 7 inches around the knuckles, you would likely need a medium-sized glove. It’s also important to consider the type of training you’ll be doing, as different types of training may require different glove sizes. For example, grappling and wrestling may require a tighter-fitting glove, while striking and heavy-bag training may require a looser-fitting glove.
Ultimately, the best way to determine the right size of MMA gloves for you is to try on different sizes and see which ones feel the most comfortable and secure on your hands.
Can you use MMA gloves for boxing?
Yes, you can use MMA gloves for boxing. MMA gloves and boxing gloves serve similar purposes, which is to protect the hands and wrists of the wearer while allowing them to punch and strike effectively. Both types of gloves are padded to absorb the impact of punches, and they both have a tight fit that allows the wearer to make a full range of hand and wrist movements.
The main difference between MMA gloves and boxing gloves is the weight and size. MMA gloves are typically smaller and lighter than boxing gloves, which allows for greater mobility and flexibility of the hands and wrists.
This makes them well-suited for the grappling and clinch work that is common in MMA, but may not be as suitable for the heavy punching and power striking that is typical in boxing. However, many people find that MMA gloves are suitable for both boxing and MMA training, and they can be a good option for those who want a versatile glove that can be used for multiple types of training.