On my search for the best MMA Hybrid gloves to spar with I came across the Combat Sports Max Strike MMA Training gloves. Now not only do they have one of the longest names of any gear ever, they also are my favorite MMA Hybrid gloves to use. Previously I used cheap TITLE Classic MMA training gloves and some Revgear Hybrids. Both gloves felt like you were getting hit by solid rock, very firm foam and both tore open quickly. The CS Max Strikes on the other hand was definitely a big step up in quality and have become my go-to MMA gloves.
Combat Sports Max Strike MMA Training Gloves Review
Protection and Padding
These gloves have amazing protection for what they are. Considering they are MMA Hybrid Training gloves, they manage to beat out even some Boxing gloves. The Max Strikes have thick 2” of padding on the knuckles which is composed of IMF. Because of this they break in easier but also retain their shape and bounce back almost good as new after a little bit of time. The padding also stretches past the middle joint of the fingers which is ideal considering some MMA gloves cut off at that joint which means you end up hitting with pure bone if you land a punch wrong.
The wrist support is also excellent and again, better than even some Boxing gloves. There is a small hoop which the velcro strap goes through that then tightens up to seal in your wrist. That strap plus the firm EVA foam on the back of the wrist keeps your wrist straight through and through. Now there’s a con to that as you lose some, minor mobility in your wrist for grappling but in my opinion, it’s a justifiable compromise as the more wrist support, the better.
As I mentioned the foam is IMF and while I usually hate IMF, I absolutely loved these. When you first get them they’ll most likely be very firm but some pad work and also breaking them in by hand softens them up quick. Afterward they become some of the best sparring gloves for MMA. They combine great design with high ease of use. The foam absorbs shock and due to the thickness, you never feel your knuckles going through. After they break in enough they’re also great for your sparring partner as they feel more like a hard cushion and less like a rock.
Even though they offer amazing protection I would still refrain from using these on the bag. First of all MMA training gloves are not designed for hard bag work. They are made with hand protection in mind during MMA sparring, particularly grappling and light striking. While you can definitely put some force into your punches because of the great protection, again a bag just doesn’t move as gracefully as a human head or a punch mitt. If you buy these to use solely on the bag, you’re going to have a bad time.
Comfort is sort of a mixed bag. Overall their comfort is moderate, it’s decent. First of all the IMF and the overall shape makes them sort of conform to your hand/fist which is excellent. The inner foam near the knuckles is significantly more firm than the outer foam which is uncomfortable. Due to them being MMA hybrids it’s also not too easy to wrap your knuckles up a lot because of the compact size and finger compartment. While I praised the back EVA foam, it’s also a little uncomfortable against the wrist. It’s very firm which is excellent for wrist support but still just not too comfortable.
The liner used is also a little rough and acts as a sponge which just makes the gloves feel dirty. It’s not the best liner to manage sweat and it’s just not inviting against bare skin. It’s a very scratchy liner and to add insult to the injury these gloves also have a scratchy tag on the inside which can be cut off of course but I find it as an unneeded hassle.
Quality and Durability
Throughout our Combat, Sports Max Strike MMA Training Gloves Review we were continually impressed and surprised by the overall performance and durability of these gloves. The Combat Sports Max Strikes are pretty good quality and are definitely durable. After almost a year of grappling and striking, contorting them through awkward positions, they have held up very well. Even the striking surface and foam are absolutely fine. The stitching is also on point and clean.
The materials used are a wide array and it seems to be leather for the knuckles, what appears to be a synthetic for the back of the wrist, the strange liner, and even rubber for the logo. Now I know for sure that the knuckles are leather, I’m not entirely sure that the back of the wrist is. Nevertheless, the materials used have held up just fine.
The design of these is one of their best qualities. First of all the foams such as the IMF padding which was one of the best choices and also the EVA on the back of the wrist. The closure system is also excellent as it does a perfect job of locking the wrist in place and in conjunction with the EVA, gives some of the best support of any glove. Even the finger compartment is designed very well because of the stitching and also thickness. On previous gloves, I’ve used all that holds the fingers in place are small loops that end up ripping off which then cause the foam to be exposed.
The overall shape of the glove is ideal. Instead of having several sections which then caused a loss of support and protection, instead, these gloves are made up of primarily two sections. First, the wrist which is almost completely straight but slightly curved that way it conforms to your forearm. Secondly, the actual fist curves down and again just shape into a natural fist. The fist itself is also one of the best because it completely covers the fist instead of cutting it short. While it is curved it still gives you an almost full range of motion in your hand though which is excellent for grappling. Even with the thick knuckle padding, it is still very easy to grapple while wearing these gloves which is again just a great example of a well-designed MMA glove.
The overall aesthetics of the Max Strikes are pretty attractive as well. The gloves come in three colors, red, blue, and white. Each color is absolutely beautiful and the overall style of these gloves reminds me of the Ringside IMF Fight Gloves with the colors themselves and also the partial section wrist.
Pros & Cons
- Wrist Support
- Closure System
- Quick Break In
- Slight loss of flexibility