Radius R1 MMA Sparring Glove Review

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Overview

Radius Wraps is a company with a great reputation, professional fighters and trainers are on a long list of people who sing their praises about hand protection with their innovative wraps. I own and use the Radius Wraps and was so impressed that when I saw they offered MMA sparring gloves, I had to try them out. Read our review on the Radius Wraps here.

Trainer Ryan Parsons created radius wraps to fill a need for fighters that no other company offered, their MMA sparring gloves have the patent pending ‘radius roll’ built into the knuckle protection on the 7 oz full leather glove, and as someone who has tried several options for MMA sparring gloves, there is a need for a dependable, safe, and functional MMA sparring glove. We’ll see if Radius Wraps is able to fill this need as well.

Radius R1 MMA Sparring Glove Review

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Break-In

Upon opening the package for the radius wraps MMA gloves you notice 3 things: One, the craftsmanship and materials are awesome. In fact, the best leather construction of any MMA glove I’ve tried. Two, these gloves are very firm. So firm that if you care for your training partners, you’ll spend some real time breaking these in before use. And 3, these gloves don’t look so much like the gloves on Radius Wraps’ website, they look a lot better.

Since these gloves needed a good breaking in, it gave an opportunity to hit pads and heavy bags with the gloves and see how they do. I have some Combat Sports Max Strike 7 oz gloves to compare to; these seem to be a top pick for MMA sparring gloves. I tend to hit pads at full power when working drills, and since the radius wraps do such a great job under some boxing gloves, I threw full power with these MMA gloves, though I didn’t know what to expect, I got sore knuckles. This is something that hasn’t changed since I have broken the Radius R1 sparring glove, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering this is a sparring glove, not a bag glove. I will say these gloves did just as well as the Combat Sports Max Strike on bags and pads.

The break in period was actually not too long, the leather is soft and the padding just needed compressed over a couple weeks of here and there knuckle push-ups and pad sessions. I found that wearing a gel hand wrap liner glove was a really nice compliment to these gloves.

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Actual Use

My favorite thing about these gloves is the ‘relaxed’ curvature to them, while the Combat Sports Max Strike gloves are curved at almost a 90 degree angle with a round bulge for knuckle protection, these gloves let you determine your hand positioning and the padding is less of a ball shape. While making a fist or grappling, this glove doesn’t hinder your hand movement in any sort of way. With most other MMA gloves, this flexibility means you sacrifice padding and knuckle protection, but that is where the Radius R1 MMA Sparring Gloves show their merit. The knuckle protection is as good as the Max Strike on regular strikes, when you increase to about 70-80% power on your strikes; you feel the radius roll right in front of your knuckles giving that extra protection you need. While grappling, the double wrist wrap on these gloves makes certain you won’t lose them pulling out of your partners grip, or scratch them with exposed Velcro.

Radius R1 MMA Sparring Glove Review

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Summary

The Radius R1 MMA Sparring Gloves perform very well in all aspects of MMA sparring. The materials are top notch, as is the protection. Your movements are not hindered, and with proper care of the leather, these could last you 5-10 years of regular use.

The gold standard of MMA Sparring gloves is the Combat Sports Max Strike 7 oz. gloves. The Radius gloves in a head to head comparison performed almost identically in protection (even a little better with power punches). The main difference being that you have to make a fist while using the Radius gloves, while the Combat Sports gloves are formed in a way that you are already mostly in a clenched fist position. I switched with my training partner so we had one Radius glove and one Combat Sports glove each. In the stand up, there was no difference in the feeling of punching or being punched.

9.4 Total Score
Radius R1 MMA Sparring Glove

While grappling and clinching, the Radius R1 MMA Sparring glove performed much better than the Max Strike 7 oz, they stay out of the way and give you exactly what you need during intense sparring sessions. With a price point at $59.99, the Radius R1 MMA Sparring Glove is a great glove at a fair price. I’ve had MMA sparring gloves from Everlast, Hayabusa, Bad Boy, and Combat Sports, my favorite all around glove is now the Radius R1 MMA Sparring Glove.

Protection & Padding
10
Comfort
9
Quality
9
Design
10
Cost
9
PROS
  • Top quality leather construction
  • Long wrist strap allows you to wrap twice around the wrist
  • Radius Roll protects knuckles during power punches
  • ‘Relaxed Curvature’ great for striking and grappling
CONS
  • Padding very stiff when glove is new – you’ll need to properly break these gloves in before sparring
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We thank the nice people from Radius Wraps for sending us this set of gloves. This did not influence the outcome of the review, which was written after several months and many rounds of training.

9.4 Total Score
Radius R1 MMA Sparring Glove

While grappling and clinching, the Radius R1 MMA Sparring glove performed much better than the Max Strike 7 oz, they stay out of the way and give you exactly what you need during intense sparring sessions. With a price point at $59.99, the Radius R1 MMA Sparring Glove is a great glove at a fair price. I’ve had MMA sparring gloves from Everlast, Hayabusa, Bad Boy, and Combat Sports, my favorite all around glove is now the Radius R1 MMA Sparring Glove.

Protection & Padding
10
Comfort
9
Quality
9
Design
10
Cost
9
PROS
  • Top quality leather construction
  • Long wrist strap allows you to wrap twice around the wrist
  • Radius Roll protects knuckles during power punches
  • ‘Relaxed Curvature’ great for striking and grappling
CONS
  • Padding very stiff when glove is new – you’ll need to properly break these gloves in before sparring
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Reviewer

Greg has been a student of multiple disciplines of martial arts since 2010. He is a former amateur kickboxing champion, and an avid fight gear enthusiast.

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