The need for a glove that suits the peculiarities of mixed martial arts led to the development of MMA gloves. MMA gloves are open-fingered gloves specifically designed for use by MMA fighters. In MMA, the hands do more than just delivering blows to the opponent’s face and body. A fighter needs the hands for grappling; hence, MMA gloves cannot be replaced by any other type of glove.
MMA gloves are one of the essential gears a mixed martial artist needs. They provide protection for the knuckles while the fighter dazes the opponent with punches. With this understanding of the importance of MMA gloves to MMA fighters, our team of reviewers perused the MMA gloves market to draw up this list of the best MMA gloves in 2021.
RDX MMA glove is made from high-quality synthetic Maya hide that ensures durability. With the RDX gloves, you won’t be needing a new pair of gloves in a very long time. It is ideal for sparring or working on heavy bags.
RDX MMA glove is dual stitched for added durability
The glove weighs 8.01 ounces
The glove is available in four colors
The glove’s open palm design ensures breathability to keep the hands dry during use
MMA gloves are to a mixed martial artist what boots are to a soccer player – an essential gear that protects the wearer and ultimately elevates their performance. Through our review of the best MMA gloves, you have seen the different brands and types of MMA gloves available in the market.
The array of options may leave you with the tricky task of settling for one. This buying guide gives detailed explanations and tips that will help you to choose the best MMA glove. The guide also contains a section where frequently asked questions about MMA gloves are answered.
What are the Differences Between Boxing Gloves and MMA Gloves?
Boxing gloves and MMA gloves are designed for combat sports. However, the peculiarities of each combat sport differ. The differences between the two gloves will be explained under two headings – design and padding.
Boxing gloves are full gloves that cover the palms and fingers entirely. On the other hand, MMA gloves do not cover the fighter’s entire palms and fingers because MMA involves grappling. An MMA fighter needs the fingers uncovered to grapple opponents.
Boxing gloves are more padded than MMA gloves. The extra padding found in boxing gloves is because boxing involves punching only, while MMA involves the combination of kicking, punching, and grappling.
What are the Types of MMA Gloves?
Based on the purpose they serve, there are three main types of MMA gloves – fighting gloves, grappling gloves, and sparring gloves.
Fighting gloves are also called competition gloves. They have less padding than the other types of MMA gloves and are used in competitive fights. They usually weigh 4 ounces and are designed to sting the opponent with every punch.
This category of gloves has room for more finger movement and padding than fighting gloves. Grappling gloves are used for ground training like grappling and clinching.
Sparring gloves are used for practice bouts between two individuals. They have extra paddings to protect both fighters and often weigh more than other gloves. Fighters should not use any other type of MMA glove for sparring to avoid injuries to the sparring partner.
What are the Things to Consider Before Buying MMA Gloves?
For long-lasting MMA gloves, there are various factors to consider. When carefully considered, these factors will help you make a sound buying decision.
Comfort is the first factor you should consider when buying a pair of MMA gloves. Comfort entails how well the gloves fit your hands. An oversized pair of gloves will make the fighter clumsy, put them at the risk of sustaining injuries and take the sting out of their punch.
Apart from the obvious discomfort that comes with wearing undersized gloves, there is also the risk of limiting the fighter’s punching and grappling range. Thus, getting the correct size is an important factor to consider when buying MMA gloves.
This is perhaps a more straightforward factor. Your answer to the question ‘what do I need the MMA glove for?’ will help you to pick the ideal glove. For example, if the glove is not meant for a competitive fight, that means you are either buying a sparring glove or a grappling glove. The choice between the two will now be narrowed to the specifics of your training.
Type of Material
The type of material used to make the MMA gloves affects durability. Usually, MMA gloves are made of either genuine leather or synthetic leather. Natural leather is the more preferred material of the two but comes at a high cost. On the other hand, synthetic leather is quite cheaper and almost identical to genuine leather. There are different types of synthetic leather used to make MMA gloves. Buyers should look for the best quality to ensure durability.
Lace-up Gloves vs. Hook and Loop Gloves
Another factor to consider is the choice between lace-up MMA gloves and hook and loop gloves as it relates to fastening the gloves to the wrist. Lace-up gloves have laces like shoes and give the fighter absolute control over the tightness of the gloves.
The downside of lace-up gloves is that you need an extra pair of hands to get them tightened. Hook and loop gloves are also known as Velcro gloves. They are fastened through the pressing together of two sides of a fastening fabric.
Unlike lace-up gloves, a fighter does not require extra hands to fasten. Also, hook and loop gloves are faster to put on since they do not require the intricate picking of laces to fasten. However, one advantage of lace-up gloves over hook and loop gloves is the added stability they possess.
How Much do MMA Gloves Cost?
The price of MMA gloves ranges from $15 to as high as $250. Durability and overall efficiency increase proportionally with the price. Low-end gloves sold for $15 are not expected to have the same durability as the high-end ones sold for $200. One could find a middle ground between cost and durability with the MMA gloves priced between $50 and $150.
MMA Glove FAQ
Which hurts more between MMA gloves and punching gloves?
MMA gloves tend to hurt more because they have less padding than boxing gloves. This means the knuckles do more of the damage than the foam paddings.
Should MMA gloves be tight?
MMA gloves need to be tight. However, care should be taken to avoid making the gloves too tight. If the gloves are too tight, it may lead to disruption of blood flow around the wrist and hand. They should not be too loose either to avoid slippage. Thus, it would be best if you struck the right balance.
Can MMA fighters wear hand wraps under the gloves?
Yes, they can. However, the wraps are not as padded as those used by boxers. Also, some fighters choose not to wear wraps because of personal preference.
Can I use sparring gloves in a competitive match?
No, you can’t. This is because sparring MMA gloves weigh more than fighting MMA gloves.
Growing up with five brothers, Kelsey knew how to hold her own. She had to fight for the respect of her siblings, and she's carried that same underdog mentality throughout her life. She frequents her local gym and loves to spar with the best they have to offer. Specializing in combat sports, she will be providing valuable insight to all the different gear that you may need. From the boxing ring to the MMA octagon, Kelsey is your go-to to keep you upright in any fight.