You’re ready to join an MMA gym and get started with your training. But how do you pick the right set of gloves? There are MMA gloves, boxing gloves, bag gloves and more. Here are some helpful tips on how to pick the right gloves for MMA.
MMA gloves are different from boxing gloves in that they are smaller and have less padding. The gloves are crafted so fighters can not only strike, but also grapple and apply submission holds. This is why they feature open palms, and fingers are covered only to the knuckle area. Some MMA gloves leave the thumb completely uncovered, while some cover the thumb just like the rest of the fingers. They generally weigh four ounces.
If you are training for MMA, these will be used for fights and also hard-sparring. They are also used to hit focus mitts at times. They are not used in every facet of training though. There are other gloves for different types of training and sparring.
Boxing Gloves/Standup Gloves
Boxing gloves, also known as Standup Gloves, will cover the entire hand, and all fingers will be enclosed in the glove. Boxing gloves generally come in weights of eight to 16 ounces. What size glove you use generally depends on what type of training you are doing.
If you are hitting a heavy bag or focus mitts, you can use any size of boxing gloves. The lighter weight gloves will give you more feel and a better understanding of how crisp and precise your punches are. But they also have less padding and protection.
For the beginner, 16oz. gloves are probably best, although you could even go to a heavier set for more protection. When you first start hitting a heavy bag, your hands will be sore. It’s important to use handwraps to protect the bones in your hands. 16oz. gloves have more padding, so they are probably a good choice if you are new to striking. Heavier gloves can also help you develop more speed than if you just used 8oz. gloves.
If you are sparring with someone, you are probably going to use heavier gloves. Sparring is not the same as competing, it’s more like practice. And in practice, you are not trying to hurt or damage your sparring partner. The heavier gloves will help prevent that since they do have more padding, and you’re also trying to protect your own hands.
If you plan to compete in boxing, 8oz. & 10oz. gloves are used by pros. According to the IBO website, the divisions of strawweight through welterweight use 8oz. gloves, while light middleweight through heavyweight use 10oz. gloves. In amateur bouts, fighters can wear gloves weighing from 10oz. up to 16oz. It just depends on the organization and sanctioning body.
MMA Hybrid Gloves
MMA Hybrid gloves are used for MMA sparring and grappling. They feature more padding than traditional MMA gloves, but still have open palms and cover fingers to the knuckle. They are mostly used for full sparring, but can be used for all types of training.
The extra padding allows for fighters to go all out in sparring but protect their hands, as well as limit the impact of the punches on their sparring partners.
Muay Thai Gloves
Muay Thai style gloves are a bit different than regular boxing gloves. They feature more of an open palm so fighters can get a better grip in the clinch or thai plum.
It’s always a good idea to ask your instructor what type of gloves they recommend or if they have any rules on what types of gloves can be used during the different styles of training.