Human hands come in different shapes and sizes. Finding the right pair of gloves is a matter of luck and some trial and error. Ask a variety of fighters what the best boxing gloves are, and you’re sure to come up with a very varied response. With hundreds of models to choose from, it can seem like a daunting task to find the perfect pair. ROUGH has handpicked five of the very best gloves out in the market, don’t even bother with the rest— these are the top five Muay Thai gloves that truly matter.
Fairtex reigns supreme when it comes to high-quality Muay Thai gear. With almost five decades of gear manufacturing experience behind them, Fairtex has managed to build itself up as a reputable fight brand, offering a diverse catalogue of martial arts gear and equipment.
The BGV1 is the brand’s flagship glove model and a regular chart-topper on recommendation lists. Before jumping onto the bandwagon, there are a few qualities of the BGV1 you need to know. Firstly, it is most notable for a distinctive compact silhouette, due to a thin foam padding. The padding is more dense than most entries on the list with a foam distribution that is light on the knuckles, which gives a more realistic feedback on the bags. The gloves are missing grip bars which may be a quirk for some people but it makes clinching easier. In terms of durability, this is where the gloves shine. Fairtex is right up there at the top, their workmanship amd premium leather are second to none.
Twins Special Air Flow
Twins Special is the brand of choice at the world-renowned Rajadamnern Stadium; their reputation speaks for itself. The company was started in 1992 and is now a household name in the world of Muay Thai.
Twins Special gloves are huge and puffy, offering ample protection for the knuckles. For this reason, they are also popular with western boxers. It also helps that they are reasonably priced compared when to high-end boxing brands. The Air Flow model is a step-up from their standard model, incorporating a mesh panel on the palm. This feature allows for better ventilation which is a big bonus for folks with sweaty palms. The only gripe some users have with these gloves is that they look massive. Overall, these are about as good as it gets.
Yokkao Ready to Fight
It may come as a surprise that Yokkao was only founded within this decade in 2010. In just a few years, the company has built itself as one of the most prominent Muay Thai brands in the world. Today, Yokkao is renowned for having the trendiest and most stylish fight gear in the industry and a massive presence on social media.
Yokkao’s “Ready to Fight” is the brand’s premium boxing gloves line. These genuine leather gloves have a very uniform foam distribution, offering an all-round protection from the knuckles through to the wrists. The wrist support is exceptional due in part to the inner padding around the cuffs. The overall quality has definitely improved leaps and bounds over the last couple of years. Yokkao gloves are now comparable to the top contenders here in terms of overall quality, but is well above the rest when it comes to style and variety.
Top King Superstar
Another fan-favorite Muay Thai brand, Top King came into the scene in 2009 when its founder left Twins Special to start his own company.
Like Twins gloves, Top King gloves are famously bulky and pillowy due to the puffy foam padding. But the benefit is that it offers an outstanding hand protection like few others. The heavy padding makes them ideal for pad and bag work as well as sparring. One main distinction is that Top Kings gloves have extended wrist cuffs that sit further up the forearms than most Muay Thai brands. The extra-wide straps secure the gloves in place and provide excellent wrist support. With the experience and knowledge acquired from the Twins Special days, Top King has successfully ported the high levels of standards over and it shows in these gloves.
Hayabusa is a mixed martial arts brand that stands out above the competition with innovative designs. Founded in 2007 by MMA fighter, Luke Harris and three good friends, the brand quickly caught the attention of fight fans worldwide through the sponsorship of numerous UFC fighters.
The T3 is the brand’s newest flagship boxing gloves model. Hayabusa charges a premium on these feature-packed punching gloves so it is a minor letdown that they decided to use synthetic (PU) leather rather than genuine leather. They make up for it with a list of nifty qualities such as antimicrobial inner lining to combat glove stench, and dual-X cuff system for phenomenal wrist support. Hayabusa T3 is the only entry on the list that is not made in Thailand. Although they are not designed specifically for Muay Thai, the T3 will meet all needs of a Muay Thai practitioner.