The Best MMA Gloves (2017 Review)
Looking for the best MMA gloves? From beginner to pro fighter, we've got you covered.
MMA gloves, otherwise known as martial arts training gloves are the single most important bit of gear for MMA. Make sure you get a pair if you are looking to get into MMA and definitely buy a decent pair if you are more than just a beginner!
I’ve put this guide together to go through the best MMA gloves on the market, so here we go.
By the way, MMA gloves are for grappling and sparring and should be worn for most of your sessions. If you are doing a heavy training session or a bag session, you can wear boxing gloves, and should wear boxing gloves! MMA gloves are different to boxing gloves in terms of padding, finger manoeuvrability, punch reach and timing.
You can wear 7oz MMA gloves for bags, but don't go to heavy on the bags!
Just to make sure you understand the difference… MMA gloves are fingerless with light padding across the hand, whereas boxing and Muay Thai gloves cover the whole first with a large amount of padding.
You need two pairs of gloves for MMA
The first is a solid pair of boxing gloves for hitting the heavy bags or heavy sparring. You can find an in-depth guide to the best boxing gloves here.
The second is a decent pair of fingerless gloves (MMA gloves), for grappling work, light sparring and general MMA training. This guide your reading now is my review of the best MMA gloves.
What are MMA gloves made from?
MMA gloves are mostly made from leather, which can be genuine leather or synthetic (cheaper). Genuine leather are much better quality.
The gloves have a simple Velcro (hook and loop) section to secure the gloves in place and for easy release.
The padding is normally made from foam, and is focused around the knuckles, where of course your hands will receive the most impact. There is nowhere near the level of padding compared to boxing gloves, typically MMA gloves are only 7oz and as low as 4oz for competitions, which also means your punches will be a lot harder, so go easy on your sparring partner if you are wearing these!
Make sure you buy the right size glove
It’s important you get the right size glove, if the gloves are too big, they will move around on your hands too much and not provide the right protection to both your knuckles and wrists. If the gloves are too small, they will be very restricting on your hands and you won’t be able to use your hands effectively, such as making a fist or grappling properly.
You can measure your hands using a tape measure just around the widest part of your hand and compare against the manufacturers size guide. Job done. Gloves then come in small, medium, large or extra-large.
Don’t forget that if you are planning on wearing hand wraps underneath the gloves, then measure your hands with the wraps on! By the way, normally you don’t have to wear wraps unless using for bags or heavy workouts.
MMA Gloves: The Top Picks
Best MMA Gloves
1) Hayabusa Ikusa MMA Gloves
These gloves are brilliant. They are super comfortable, the design provides great stability and responsiveness due to the gloves being pretty tight on the hands and they strap up with a double strap which provides great support to the wrists, hands and forearms and they don’t unwrap themselves!
Hayabusa are the leading brand for MMA gloves... high quality products that are super durable and last a long time.
They also keep your hands fairly dry due to the ‘moisture wicking interior lining’.
They are competition gloves (4oz) but you can train in them as well, however you may want to purchase a 7oz pair of MMA gloves for heavier sparring or training.
The only drawback is they are made from synthetic leather and not genuine leather.
- Official competition weight at 4oz.
- Double straps provide great wrist support.
- Durable; they don't fall apart easily.
- Super comfortable.
- Look good.
- You do have to break these gloves in as they be tight across the fingers to begin with.
- Synthetic leather.
- No palm protection (this is good for grappling however).
Might be the best competition style MMA training gloves out there. You really can't go wrong with a pair of these, comfortable, great protection, very responsive and a decent price to boot.
2) Venum Elite MMA Gloves
These are a phenomenal pair of gloves for training. They are the perfect combination of padding, comfort and support with added padding across the knuckles allowing you to absolutely pound them in your sessions without worry about your hands.
Normally Venum products are not that great, but these gloves stand out by a mile.
Great for sparring as they are 7oz. You can’t use these in competitions due to the weight however.
- Exceptional quality.
- Genuine leather.
- Great wrist support.
- Hand made in Thailand (good), but delivery may take a while.
- Expensive (but worth it).
Solid buy. Simply put, the ultimate gloves for MMA training. The price might be a bit steep for most beginners, but if you are past beginner stage and training regularly, these are worth checking out.
Note: You might need to get a pair of competition style gloves (4oz) for grappling training as the padding around the knuckles can get in the way!
3) UFC Official Fight Gloves
If you want to fight in UFC (or amateur fights similar), it's compulsory to wear these regulation UFC fight gloves, so it’s probably a good idea to buy a pair if you are intending to compete at some point, so you get used to using them.
What’s more, they are actually really good, as they should be right?
They are 4oz, so more for competition training just before your fight is coming up.
Stick with grappling or technical sparring and not heavy training / bag training as 4oz is not enough protection for your hands.
- UFC regulation gloves.
- Pretty comfortable.
- Genuine leather.
- Look good (great brand).
- Just about enough protection.
- Good wrist support.
- These gloves have no thumb protection.
If you're getting serious about MMA and looking to compete, or compete already, you need to get yourself a pair of these. These are great gloves for grappling and technical training. You will need another pair for heavy training.
4) RDX T3 MMA Gloves
The RDX T3 is another contender for best MMA gloves. They have great padding across the knuckles and back of the hand which provides a good level of shock absorption due to the gel padding. They have decent wrist support as well with an easy to fix Velcro (hook & loop) closure.
They don’t get too wet with sweat either due to the moisture wicking technology, which also means they don’t smell too bad after using them either!
There is a foam bar across the top of the palm, which promotes correct form when punching but not ideal for grappling (these are not grappling gloves).
They are 6oz, meaning you can use them for more intense training, such as bags, although don’t go too heavy!
- Excellent padding.
- Genuine leather.
- Moisture wicking technology.
- Not for grappling or competition training.
- Can feel quite tight.
- Foam bar across the top of palm can feel uncomfortable.
A decent pair of MMA training gloves. If your looking to just hit the bags or basic spar with just punching and not much grappling, then these are a stand out contender. Not for all-round MMA training.
Strange one this... as MMA gloves can serve different purposes, such as do you want gloves to train on the bags with? Or do you want gloves to grapple with? You need both really.
So here’s my two favourites, the first is the Hayabusa Ikusa gloves, the 4oz competition styles, these are the best for grappling, because they offer great support & padding and just insane value for money. You can find these here.
The second pair is the Venum Elite gloves, which are 7oz and provide a great level of padding and are produced to a very high quality. These gloves are ideal for heavier training and bagwork, but versatile enough to still through in some light grappling. You can find them here.
Thanks for reading. I hope I've helped you on your journey to an MMA superstar!