Boxing gloves — the one absolute piece of gear you need for every contact sport. These sports include Muay Thai, Boxing, MMA, Kickboxing, and probably a lot more.
Because boxing gloves are so universal a requirement..and Boxing and MMA are so global a sport now, boxing gloves are THE most popular piece of fight gear on the market. And because they are so popular, the market is saturated with all sorts of brands competing for your money and attention.
My article is intended to provide a realistic and accurate buyer’s guide for boxing gloves.
The aim is to give you some no bullshit recommendations — stuff that I have used myself (as someone who has training and competed in both Western Boxing, MMA, and even Muay Thai.
Because of my extension hands-on experience using just about every major boxing glove brand over the years, I give my recommendations for the best gloves for certain categories from the many that are sold to fighters and trainers.
The target audience for this guide are Boxers, Muay Thai fighters, Kickboxers, and MMA fighters. This article focuses on Western Boxing gloves, but I also make recommendations for Muay Thai Boxing gloves. Note if you are a Nak Muay (Muay Thai student) looking for specific Muay Thai glove recommendations, then please check out my sister list ‘The Best Muay Thai Gloves‘ which focuses SPECIFICALLY on Muay Thai gloves.
No, boxing gloves and Muay Thai gloves are not the same, though you can use either in Boxing, MMA, or Muay Thai. Boxing gloves, however, are better for pure boxing. Muay Thai gloves are better for mixed standup sports like Muay Thai.
Choosing the Right Pair of Boxing Gloves
When you are ready to invest in boxing gloves, you will need to be able to distinguish good gloves from average and poor gloves.
Some of the many factors that help to determine the correct glove for you are:
- The amount of padding
- The weight of the glove
- The glove material
- The glove’s intended use
- Amount of boxing experience
- Martial art/combat sport being practiced
Keep in mind that boxing gloves will be the most significant item of boxing gear you will purchase. Your boxing gloves and boxing shoes will have the greatest impact on your form and performance.
Best Tips on Choosing the Right Glove:
Picking the most appropriate boxing gloves depends on:
*The primary use of the glove
*The amount of money you want to and able to spend (Ask yourself: What is my budget? Am I going to buy the cheapest pair I can find? Do I want to balance quality and price and get the gloves that provide the best of both?)
*What you intend to use the glove for. There are gloves are appropriate for various uses and sell at different price ranges. With the wide range of gloves available at different levels of quality and price points, you shouldn’t have to settle for gloves that are not suitable for your needs or that will bankrupt you.
You can read our full guide on how to choose the best boxing gloves.
Real Versus Fake Gloves
Some gloves are better than others. Boxing gloves are products where you get a quality product when you spend the appropriate amount of money. Discounted gloves costing $15-$25 won’t last long, won’t be very comfortable, and won’t provide hand protection.
Therefore, my strongest advice is this: Don’t be cheap when you buy gloves. Buy the best pair you can afford. There are three great reasons to do so:
- Since you will be training and possibly fighting in them for several hours every week, it’s worth the investment
- Buying quality gloves in the beginning will save you money because you won’t be spending more on replacement gloves every few months
- Your hands are at the mercy of whatever gloves you buy. Buy a pair of cheap gloves, and you are more likely to unnecessarily hurt them.
Average Glove Prices
The Standard Price Range for Gloves: $20-$500
On the low end of the price range, for about $20-$60, you can buy a good, basic pair of gloves. Mid-tier gloves cost from around $60 and tops out at $150. For professional grade gloves, you will spend anywhere from $150 to $400 for a major-league boxing glove brand such as Grant, Cleyto, and Winning. If you want to pay for top of the line, premium, customized gloves by brands like Winning and Grant, you will pay from $400-$700.
Boxing Glove Categories
Boxing gloves can be separated into two general categories, General Glove Styles and Specific Training Gloves:
General Glove Styles
The following types of boxing and combat art gloves, but they differ in the sports they are used, the general design, and specific features.
Pure Boxing Gloves: These gloves are designed specifically for Western Boxing. MMA and Muay Thai brands make what they call “boxing gloves.” However, they are usually modified gloves designed for their specific sports to accommodate clinching and grappling. Therefore, traditional boxing gloves are made specifically for Western Boxing. Pure boxing gloves usually differ from MMA and Muay Thai gloves by having different weight and balance, shape, and gripping capability. They usually have a simple design and made by hand with double-stitched leather and foam pad stuffing. Modern features can include foam padding that absorbs punching impact and provides other benefits. Traditional Western Boxing brands include Grant, Ringside, Winning, Cleto Reyes, and specific types of Everlast gloves.
Mexican Boxing Gloves: These gloves are a sub-style of Western (Pure) Boxing gloves. These gloves include horse hair padding, and are handmade in Mexico. Cleto Reyes is the brand that most typifies Mexican Boxing Gloves.
MMA Boxing Gloves: These are boxing gloves (and not traditional finger-less MMA gloves) made by MMA equipment manufacturers. They are used by MMA fighters for bag and pad work and sparring. These gloves usually have modern design and features. They often incorporate design elements and features from boxing manufacturers and even other non-combat sports. The prevailing philosophy driving the glove manufacturers is making the best glove, and breaking the traditional mold as often as needed to perfect the final product. They are heavy on features and usually include highly technical or scientific design. But these high-tech designs and features tend not to advance the gloves’ capabilities, and in some cases, they actual make the gloves less effective. These gloves are normally visually attractive and appealing. MMA boxing glove manufacturers include Hayabusa, Rival, Ring to Cage, and Venum.
Muay Thai Gloves: The traditional boxing glove often made for Muay Thai fighters. Most of the more reputable brands are in Thailand, but now there are Muay Thai glove factories all over the world. Muay Thai gloves differ subtly from Western Boxing gloves accommodate the needs of Muay Thai fighters, who clinch and block kicks during training and actual fights.
Toy Gloves: These are not actual gloves, but they represent a boxing category, and the worst category. These gloves are sold from $15 to $40 by greedy boxing glove manufacturers, or non-boxing manufacturers attempting to expand their product lines and/or take advantage of uneducated fighters and trainers. These gloves are not authentic gloves and are not made to stand up under the rigors of actual training and fighting. Sometimes, they are branded as fitness gloves because of the true nature of their worth. Using these gloves will lead to you and/or your training partner being injured. You can’t say that you weren’t warned!
Specific Training Gloves
Each glove has subcategories within it that are geared toward a specific area of training. These specialized gloves have adjustments that have changed the nature and character of the glove. Since these gloves are created for a designated purpose, it is better to use them for that purpose, and only that purpose. It is advisable not to use bag gloves for sparring, and sparring gloves to hit the bag, use fighting gloves to hit pads, and so forth.
General Training Gloves: These gloves are multipurpose gloves to use for hitting the bag, pad work, and sparring. Lots of fighters use training gloves to spar and sparring gloves to train. But I advise that you use general training gloves as your multipurpose gloves, and not mix and match with other specialty gloves.
Sparring Gloves: These gloves are specifically for sparring sessions. They are typically 16 oz. and are made with extra padding. Usually, they come with softer padding which gives you and your sparring partner additional protection. The use of dedicated sparring gloves shows your training partners that you respect them and are mindful of their health and wellbeing.
Light Speed Bag Gloves: These lightweight gloves are made for use with the speed bag. I don’t recommend buying these gloves because they don’t provide hand protection, plus they are much less of a glove than regulation gloves used for fighting, pad work, and sparring. Yes, these gloves will help you to hit the speed bag and heavy bag. But that doesn’t justify their existence. It is better to use general training or heavy bag gloves. These gloves are not worth the expense.
Heavy Bag Gloves: These heavier gloves are made to hit the heavy bag. This can be confusing since there are lighter gloves that are marketed for use as bag gloves. But actual bag gloves are not smaller, but closer in size to regulation boxing gloves. They feature additional padding and sometimes, special padding that provides shock absorption above the amount provided by regular gloves. For fighters who are not professional, this type of glove is unnecessary. A more experience boxer, a power puncher, or a fighter who has chronic hand injuries is more likely to find these gloves.
Fight Gloves: These are the gloves that the professionals use for fighting. These gloves weigh either 8 oz. or 10 oz. The big-name brands are almost always worn, but glove weight is preset per the organization’s rules and regulations. These gloves are made to deliver speed, power, and they provide a snug fit. They are fastened with laces. The big-name glove makers usually have combat gloves used in professional fights.
Specialized Boxing Glove Recommendations
My rankings of the best boxing gloves are coming up, but first, here are my recommendations for the best gloves in special glove categories. This makes it a bit easier to pick out a boxing glove that fits a specific profile you are looking for.
Best Western Boxing Gloves
These gloves were selected based on
- Decent cost
- Low cost
- Easy fit
Based on these criteria, I have selected three of the well-known manufacturer gloves and a fourth glove on the cheaper side. As a reminder, these are traditional boxing gloves made for boxers and fighters in other sports who concentrate on punching. These do not include MMA or Muay Thai gloves.
Ring to Cage Japanese-Style Training Boxing Gloves C17 2.0
The selection of an overall best boxing glove is very hard to do. It is difficult because there are so many specialty gloves – bag gloves, sparring gloves, and general training gloves. It’s a lot easier to suggest best of gloves for specialized categories instead of a comprehensive best glove.
But I have accepted the challenge to pick a best glove. To decide on my recommendation, the main criteria was cost because I know that this is the main factor for most people choosing a glove. Winnings is without a doubt the best glove. However, they cost $300, which means that most people will not pay that much for a boxing glove.
I’m not under the illusion that the Ring to Cage C17 is the top of the line boxing glove. But when you consider cost as the primary factor, it’s the winner. That means that many fighters reading this article will want to make the same choice.
The Ring to Cage C17 2.0 is not only less expensive, but it provides an easy fit, top construction, and clean punching. The C17 is a traditional glove that is appreciated by knowledgeable boxers.
The C17 is a top glove because it provides many of the benefits of the expensive Winning gloves, and it costs a third of the price. In addition, they feature plush insulation and an enjoyable fit, which is remarkable for a low-cost glove. These gloves are advertised the way they are because they are a direct knockoff of Winning. Getting a solid glove for under $100 makes the obvious rip-off acceptable.
This glove is not ideal for brand new boxers. In this case, you might as well purchase a cheap or novice glove below $60. But the experienced fighter will find the Ring to Cage C17 to be more than worth it. These gloves don’t have the highest level of quality, and they can’t compare with Winning. But the low cost evens it out.
Winning Training Boxing Gloves
Without considering costs, the top two Western Boxing gloves are made by Grant, which costs the most, or Winning. Grant and Winning gloves cost more than $300, but Winning is to considered to possess the best quality. At one time, Grant was known at the best glove on the market. They are still in high demand with pro fighters, but their reputation has suffered with charges of low quality and lack of durability. Not to mention that they cost more than they worth. By default, and due to their excellent quality, Winning has become the best glove. Many of the best fighters use Winning gloves for training and some in actual fights. If you can pay the cost, buy them.
These gloves provide the best security against hand injuries. Their padding is excellent because it is fluffy, gentle, and a soft fit. The only complaint about Winning is that the gloves are too snug and that the padding is a hindrance to punching. Besides these potential issues, these gloves are worth buying if you can pay the cost.
Grant Boxing Gloves
Grant is my recommendation for best Western Boxing gloves regardless of price. Grant gloves are highly regarded for their performance, ability to last, and price. They are unquestionably a top boxing glove when numerous high-level fighters use Grants in the professional ring, hitting pads, and in sparring sessions.
Grant provides greater comfort and pad protection than Cleto Reyes gloves, meaning they are superior for working the bag and sparring. Using Cletos, you are more likely to either injure your hand or your training partner. They are also cheaper than acknowledged glove leader Winning, offering better pad protection, an important benefit considering a history of hand injury, and the kind of training you are pursuing. If you are sparring or hitting the bags and pads, Grant gloves are ideal for you.
Because of these facts, Grant ranks in the middle of comparable gloves for pad protection and comfort. Numerous fighters declare that Grant is the most comfortable glove on the market, and they are often worn in extremely high-profile fights. Grant gloves are additionally the best-looking gloves available, and the priciest. Their starter gloves cost more than $350.
Title Classic Boxing Gloves
Title Classic gloves are top beginners, basic boxing glove combining extreme value and quality. At a cost of about $35, it is impossible to find another quality glove at such a low price. Title Classic gloves outlast every other glove. You will retire from fighting before they fall apart. Title Classic don’t provide high-tech design or the artistic stylings offered by the latest brands. What they do provide is durability and comfort. These gloves are totally legitimate and won’t let you down.
It is impossible to discover a cheaper glove on the market that also possesses both the quality and price. The exception is that you might find something inexpensive if you live in Thailand and discover a local Muay Thai equipment store selling Thai gloves wholesale. For example, you can buy Twins and Top King gloves for around $35 – $40 if you happen to find the Bangkok merchant.
I strongly recommend these gloves to anyone who is beginning their fighting career in the combat disciplines that uses this equipment, and has a limited spending budget.
Best Sparring Boxing Gloves
Good sparring gloves must have two important qualities. They should be lightweight and they should have enough padding to protect your hand and your opponents/training partners.
Of all the specialized gloves you may have to and want to buy, these gloves are the ones where it is very important to buy gloves that provide the necessary protection and support. If you decide to buy a cheap set of gloves without proper padding and sufficient wrist and hand support, you are very likely to hurt your hand and your sparring partner. Due to the need for maximum quality and effectiveness, I am not recommending any cheap-priced gloves in this category. If you buy bargain basement gloves for sparring, you are disrespecting your fighting art, your opponent/sparring partner, and ultimately, yourself.
Winning Training Boxing Gloves
Most dedicated boxers will recognize the Winning brand concerning sparring gloves. Winnings sparring gloves are unquestionably the best because they feel great on your hands and provide the best padding. Their padding is so renown in fighting circles that have been nicknamed “pillows.” They cost a lot of money, but if they are affordable to you, they are more than worth the purchase. For gloves that can provide punching protection and safeguard your opponent, Winning is what you will want to wear. After using numerous gloves, and considering the many brands and categories that are available, I’m certain that Winning are my personally preferred gloves.
Ring to Cage Japanese-Style Training Boxing Gloves C17 2.0
One way to spar using gloves that look and feel like Winning gloves is by using a Winning rip-off manufacturer, and specifically, their C17 2.0 Boxing Gloves.
The Ring to Cage Japanese Style gloves have velvety feel, a basic, not-so-fancy appearance, a snug, easy fit, and they are perfect for protracted sparring (they have the same features and benefits of Winning Gloves). And, they cost a third less of what you would pay for Winning gloves – an excellent deal for fighters who are trying to save money.
Those gloves are my recommendations for sparring boxing gloves for budget conscious fighters. They can be used for bag work, pad work, and for sparring. The problems with these gloves are they wear out quickly and their quality is questionable. Even so, they have a great feel. I believe they are a good deal. At a cost of about $100, these are more expensive gloves, and not for fighters on a limited or fixed income. But for awesome mid-level gloves that provide equipment exactly like the much more expensive Winning gloves, the C17 are a worthy choice.
If you want a solid general training glove and you’re on a budget, try the laced 12-oz. version. They cost $99, while the Velcro model costs $20 extra. For sparring, go with the 16-oz. laced gloves.
Ringside Pro Style IMF Tech Sparring Gloves
This is a brand that enjoys a positive public image. Their gloves last longer than most in the industry. The Ringside IMFs gloves I purchased ten years ago are still around even after my years of training in extreme temperatures. Even after being used in the chilly Canadian air and the stifling hear of Thailand, my IMF gloves are still ready to go.
The Ringside IMF Gloves are Ringside’s best sparring gloves.
The IMF gloves feature a novel, efficient lacing process that cinches the gloves (this saves you the trouble of having manually lace up the gloves). They fit well, are lightweight (important when you spar) and last, but not least, they feature a great padding system that comes with special foam padding that provides shock absorption.
Costing around $120, they are not inexpensive gloves. However, when it comes to regular sparring, these are my recommended gloves if you cannot pay the high cost of Winning gloves.
Best Muay Thai Gloves
Muay Thai gloves are decidedly different from Western Boxing gloves. The following gloves are my selections for this combat art’s gloves.
Fairtex Muay Thai Gloves (BVG1)
Fairtex gloves feature all the most important details: quality, easy fit, well-padded, and simple, basic style. The Fairtex BVG1 gloves are my favorite pick. They are what I use every day in my training sessions. Of course, there are low-cost manufacturers around, but they cannot match the workmanship, long-lasting quality, and hand protection that Fairtex provides in their gloves. Yes, these gloves cost 20-30% more for as opposed to the more inexpensive brands, for instance, Twins. It is hard to imagine you finding a better glove for the money, costing around $80. While the BVG1 are specifically Muay Thai gloves, they are fine to use for overall boxing and MMA training. Fairtex is one of the most popular and greatest values of any combat sport glove, especially when these factors are combined with a reasonable cost.
Twins Special Boxing Glove BGVL-3
The Twins brand and the sport of Muay Thai are inseparable in thought and practice. By a large margin, Twins is the favorite Muay Thai manufacturer not only in Thailand, but all over the world.
The Twins Special gloves are stripped-down gloves that are solid for daily training, including pad and bag hitting and sparring.
The glove has a great feel, provides excellent safeguards, and is a sturdy glove compared to the overall market. These gloves have a reasonable price of around $75-$80 in America. Be aware that there are places in Thailand, usually non-tourist retailers, where you can buy Twins Specials for around $35-$40.
A Muay Thai fighter who trains regularly in Thailand will go through these gloves every 6 months when they will give out. Where there is a colder climate, or in situations where the gloves are not used as often, you will likely get only a year to two years from the Specials.
THE TOP 13 BEST BOXING GLOVES (Updated for 2017)
This ranking of the best boxing gloves has been compiled using the following metrics.
Given that some boxing gloves are all purposed, but others are used for specific purposes, these picks are organized around certain specialties.
Definition of My Rating Criteria
My goal for creating these ratings is to provide a comprehensive overview to the finest boxing gloves on the current market. My glove rankings are assembled by considering these six factors:
- Quality:An evaluation of how the gloves are made and how long they will last
- Comfort and Support:The way the glove will feel to the wearer, and the glove’s ability to endure the rigors of regular training and actual combat
- Durability:The amount of time the gloves will last under regular use and including variables
- Value versus quality:The balance of the overall worth of the gloves and how much they cost
- Aesthetics:The level of style and detail of design
- Price:The amount charged for the gloves
#1. Winning Training Boxing Glove
There’s a great reason these gloves are called Winning. Boxers and other combat artists revere Winning gloves. The name itself is spoken with deference and great respect and admiration. Winning gloves have achieved their lofty reputation legitimately. They are awesome gear. Winning gloves are manufactured in Japan with unprecedented craftsmanship.
They are made by hand and to individual specifications, and they are extremely expensive, but buyers are absolutely satisfied with the gloves and the results they get during training and fighting. Winning Gloves payoff for their heavy expense. They are unrivaled, particularly when lined up against other high-priced manufacturers like Grant. These other brands are not worth their cost as much as Winning gloves are worth their price tag.
Winning gloves are used by a great deal of pro boxers while preparing for their fights. They often refer to Winning as “Pro gloves” because of the care given to design and construction.
They are gloves for fighters who won’t settle for anything less than the absolute best equipment available on the market. Winning gloves are wrong for fighters who want to settle for cheap, inferior gloves, or for those who are looking for a high quality/low cost combination.
They normally are priced around $300, and must be special ordered. You are not going to find them on sale in any sense of the term. You are unlikely to find Winning gloves in a brick and mortar sports equipment store or a martial arts supply shop, nor are you likely to find them anywhere at a discounted price.
Winning gloves provide excellent padding, they are light in size and on your hands, and feature a basic, no-frills look. Even a non-fighter or novice fighter can look at these gloves and know that they are something special.
They feature non-slip construction and superior wrist support. They are without question the leader in providing hand comfort. They fit naturally and easy on your hands and their padding pays dividends when striking pads, bags, and training partners.
In fact, their padding is both celebrated and criticized. The gloves’ extra padding is sought after by fighters who have experienced constant hand injuries and breaks. They appreciate the additional padding during sparring sessions because it reassures them that their hands are receiving extra care.
The criticism comes in the form of some fighters referring to Winning gloves as “pillows” by fighters who would rather use gloves with lesser padding, such as Cleyto Reyes gloves. Of course, this is a matter of personal preference. Nothing is liked by everybody. However, it is quite telling when the bigger drawback to a product is that it has too much protection.
If you can afford to buy Winnings, after the first time you put them on, you will be finished with every other glove in the category. I own Winnings gloves, and they have become my number one training gloves. Occasionally. I prefer a greater amount of feedback that I would receive from a stiffer, smaller glove, but overall, I train with my Winning gloves around 80% of my sessions.
Winning are made for and should be used in boxing training sessions. Muay Thai fighters should train with gloves that provide more wrist security for kick checking, and feature a flexible thumb to clinch (Fairtex and Twins manufacture Muay Thai gloves that fit this description). However, Muay Thai fighters should use these gloves for pure boxing training purposes.
Notable Fighters Who Use Winning: Canelo Alvarez; Floyd Mayweather
Advantages: The absolute tops for quality, durability, comfort, and padding
Disadvantages: You can travel to the tropics for what you will pay for a pair of Winnings
Best Used For: Western Boxing (Hitting the bag, pads, and sparring), Muay Thai (For use by hard punchers and fighters concentrating on hand striking)
- Quality: 5/5
- Comfort & Support: 5/5
- Value versus quality:3/5
#2. Ring to Cage Japanese-Style Training Boxing Gloves C17 2.0
The second-ranked best training gloves when it comes to value versus quality are Ring to Cage C17s. These gloves are a brazen replication of Winnings gloves.
First, know that I cannot ignore the fact that these gloves are lacking in several key areas. I’m not saying that they are perfect gloves. Far from it. Their makeup is terrible, and they won’t last you anywhere like Winnings and many other manufacturers gloves. Yet, these gloves cost less than a hundred bucks, and for that, you will receive premium-style glove that works well for pad and bag striking and sparring. Plus, three pairs of the C17s can be bought for the cost of one set of the Winning gloves.
There’s no question that Winning is a vastly superior glove, but at a third of the cost of Winnings (provided you buy the laced gloves instead of the Velcro closure), the C17s provide three-quarters of what’s provided by the Winning gloves. Since most fighter can’t afford the expense of buying the Winning gloves, Ring to Cage has provided a cost-effective option with the C17s.
Novice fighters or Muay Thai/MMA purists may not want to use these gloves. However, if you are concentrating on Western boxing, wanting to spar, and looking for a plush feel, the C17s will work perfectly. You just need to keep in mind that they will not last you very long. But given the hundred-dollar price tag, you should be able to reconcile the lack of durability with the lower cost.
#3. Cleto Reyes Gloves
Anyone that been close to or actively involved in the fight game is familiar with the Cleto Reyes brand. They are a top boxing glove makers and well thought up and admired worldwide. Cletos are one of the top three Boxing Gloves brands: Winning, Grant, and Cleto Reyes. Cletos are an awesome boxing glove, and may suit your boxing game.
These gloves are most ideal for hard punchers who need or prefer very light padding in their gloves. Cletos are considered a puncher’s glove due to less padding at the knuckle point. Cletos are suitable for power hitters desiring to increase their KO potential. Since they are lightly padded, they provide solid feedback when you’re hitting the bag, a feature that is lost when using a more heavily padded glove. These gloves should not be used by fighter plagued with frequent hand injuries. In addition, they should never be used for sparring because your changes of hurting your sparring partner are increased astronomically by using such a lightly padded glove.
Cleto Reyes gloves are made with the finest materials that are almost unmatched in the fight game. Their gloves include horse hair, goat leather, and heavy nylon threading. I strongly suggest that you buy these gloves and try them out. They are so visually appealing that if you use these in a session, you are sure to draw lots of attention and receive lots of admiring comments.
Cleto Reyes gloves usually range from $170-$180. You won’t regret the purchase as a power puncher who wants to practice turning out someone’s lights.
Notable Fighters Who Use Cleto Reyes: Manny Pacquiao; Amir Khan, and many well-known pugilists.
Advantages: Well-made with fantastic materials; visually gorgeous; extremely durable; lightly padded especially good for power punchers training for the knockout.
Disadvantages: Costly; initially stiff and require a breaking in period; not much knuckle padding not advisable for sparring.
Best Used By: Hard hitters who want to maximize their natural power
- Quality: 5/5
- Comfort & Support: 3/5
- Value versus quality:5/5
#4. Grant Boxing Gloves
Grant gloves are a mainstay in conversations about excellence in boxing gloves. Moreover, a large segment of professional boxers use Grant in all phases of boxing – hitting the bag and pads, sparring, and live matches.
These gloves are ideal for fighters who are hardcore punchers thriving on delivering power shots. They are almost as pricey as Winnings, and almost equal them in quality.
Grant gloves are a rare brand that are known as “Pro Gloves” in the fight game. They are among the three very best boxing manufacturers in existence.
Grant gloves are my favorite Western Boxing glove. I favor them over Winning boxing gloves because of their unique combination of
- Perfect padding
Grant gloves feature lesser padding, yet they almost equal Winning gloves in comfort. Both gloves are excellent, so choosing the best is six of one and half a dozen of the other. You must decide what is more important to you – having a great all around, nice fitting glove with light knuckle padding (Grant) or a solid, great fitting glove with heavier knuckle padding (Winning).
Additional discriminators are colors and visual appeal. Grant gloves are much more colorful than Winning gloves. Winning gloves come in either two colors – blue or white. Grants are showy and have a lot of pizzazz. If the look of your glove is important to you, Grant is going to be a better choice for you.
If it’s possible, you should buy Grant gloves. If you are a serious boxer or you are getting ready to begin training, you should do everything that you can legally and ethically to buy a pair. You will not regret the purchase. Grant gloves are my favorite overall gloves, including all styles and kinds of combat gloves, and they match well with Winning gloves as the best glove brands, period.
Personally, I prefer Grant over Winning as a punching glove since they provide better feedback when you are hitting the bag, whereas Winning gloves are more cushioned, providing lesser feedback, but offer greater hand protection. Grant provides enough padding to provide thorough hand protection, unlike Cleto Reyes. Grant gloves are suitable for Muay Thai training, but if you are going to fight in a live match, you should alternate Grant with Twins and Fairtex because you must use those manufacturer’s gloves.
Notable Fighters Who Use Grant: Floyd Mayweather, Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, Andre Berto, and numerous others.
Advantages: Easy fit & good protection; sufficient padding; superior quality.
Disadvantages: Costly; Not easy to source; up to 4 to 6 wait for delivery; occasional quality breakdowns,
Best Used For: Professional grade boxing that provides the three key glove attributes: padding, comfort, and power
- Quality: 5/5
- Comfort & Support: 5/5
- Value versus quality:4/5
#5. TITLE Classic Pro Style Leather Training Gloves
Title Classic Pro gloves are perfect as a great pair of value boxing gloves. For $50, You get great comfort, tight protection, and an attractive glove.
There are snazzier gloves that have more modern design and aesthetics, but the combination of comfort, quality, and price can’t be beaten. The Classic Pros will not be at the top of anyone’s best boxing gloves list. They are unquestionably the top low-cost gloves.
It is great that for $50, a fighter can buy a decent pair of boxing gloves. There are glove makers trying to sell $30 boxing gloves, but all you get are pretend gloves. You wouldn’t want to use these gloves for a slap fight, much less serious boxing training session. One example of this kind of scam are the Venum Contender gloves. These gloves cost $34, but their quality is nonexistent. The Classic Pros are much better gloves. With these gloves, Title has given you an authentic pair of boxing gloves that can used for real boxing situations.
Title are a venerable brand that has figured out a lot about how to make quality gloves. Their newer gloves combine the best attributes of the traditional professional glove boxing makers and contemporary glove manufacturers. I believe that Title offers a great combination of the two, combined with the best value per results rating of all gloves on these rankings.
While I love Title’s Classic Pro gloves, I don’t love their advertising and marketing strategies. Their attempts at having sales consist of them launching “sales” online and bombarding your emails with emails. And after all this marketing malarkey, all you get from their misnamed sales are phony reduced prices on gloves that amount to bringing the gloves to their standard retail price. I think that this practice is blatantly crooked. But they do make some great gloves (Keep in mind that not all of Title’s gloves are quality gloves. Some of them are terrible).
Most of the big boxing glove makers charge a minimum of $100 for a decent pair of gloves. Moreover, the crème de la creme professional quality gloves such as Winning, Cletos, or Grants cost from $250 to $400.
The good news is that it isn’t necessary to spend that much money on boxing gloves. You can buy the Title Classic Pro gloves and save a lot of hard-earned money. Spending $50 on them will go easy on your wallet, and with the proper amount of care and maintenance, you can get many years of use out of them.
The Title Classic Pro gloves are an excellent boxing glove choice for budget conscious people. They are excellent for hard-up fighters, casual trainees, and plain old cheap people. They don’t possess state-of-the art standards, souped-up padding, top-tier materials, but they provide a decent, basic glove. If you need a good pair of gloves, but have limited funds, these are your best starting point.
- Quality: 4/5
- Comfort & Support: 3/5
- Value versus quality:5/5
#6. Fairtex Boxing Gloves
Fairtex is an elder stateman in the Thai glove market. They have been in business for over 40 years. It is a Thai-based corporation that has made gear for all the major combat sports. Fairtex is not yet an industry leader in boxing, but they make an excellent glove for less than $100.
Fairtex is my number five selection. They offer great value for the cost, and they can be used not only for boxing, but for all the popular combat arts (Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and MMA).
I recommend Fairtex as the top Muay Thai glove. I’ve used and destroyed all the Thai gloves made in Thailand (Twins, Fairtex, Top King, Windy, and the others). Fairtex beats all of them. They last the longest, look the best, and feel the best. When you try them on, you will know right away that they are better than the other Thai brands.
But be advised that they are also the priciest Thai Boxing gloves. Even so, when you look at the top-shelf Western Boxing gloves, Fairtex are only a third of the cost, and therefore are still relatively inexpensive.
Fairtex has an edge on versatility over other gear because you can wear a lot of their gear for Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and Boxing.
To be honest, Western Boxers should use dedicated boxing gloves because they are weighted for striking. Muay Thai gloves have features that are suited for that art and not for Western Boxing, including padded wrists for kicking protection and a movable thumb for clinching and gripping.
In Muay Thai circles, there are always debates about which Muay Thai gloves are best. Different people prefer different brands. I’ve used and abused most of the Thai-made gloves, and my five-year comparison experiment has concluded that Fairtex is my number one Thai glove. I heartily endorse them over all the other Muay Thai brands. The quality and feel are much better than the other gloves.
Advantages: fantastic quality; long lasting; superior protection; outstanding wrist padding
Disadvantages: Costliest Muay Thai glove; Weighted down on side and front of glove
- Quality: 4/5
- Comfort & Support: 4/5
- Value versus quality:5/5
- Price: $$$
#7. Rival RS2V High Performance Gloves
Rival is a recent addition to the boxing glove market. I think that it is one of the better new gloves, although it is easy to find cheaper gloves made by the other manufacturers that offer the same benefits.
Rivals are great gloves in all the major areas: durability, quality, padding, comfort & support, and aesthetics. Fighting the urge to become complacent, Rival works on improving their gloves with research and development on a regular basis. Consequently, their products only seem to be getting better and more refined with time.
The Rival RS2V is a wonderful example of Rival’s gloves, with a great combination of workmanship and low cost, which is unusual to find in Western gloves. While these gloves were designed for sparring (with soft padding and plusher than training gloves), but if you don’t mind sacrificing the life of your gloves, you can also use them as all-purpose gloves.
The RS2V cost around $120, and they are a great all-purpose boxing glove that comes close to the top gloves on the market, especially if you want an affordable sparring glove.
Rival gloves are extremely attractive. They are one of the better-looking gloves on the market.
As stated above, Rival engineers their gloves to be higher-tech, and the current iteration is a balance with punching prowess and nice hand protection. There are certain boxing glove makers that provide exceptional construction and better hand protection (Winning), but feel too weak when striking. Different brands like Cleto Reyes provide greater punching prowess, but have hand protection. Grant gloves sit in the middle of these two extremes. Rival are a lower-cost version of the Grant gloves. The High Performance Sparring gloves are reminiscent of Winning, but again, a lower cost version.
The Rival High Performance gloves were created to use to spar, and they are great for this purpose. In an emergency, they can be used to hit the bag and pads. However, the pads will give out quicker if you do this on a regular basis.
One drawback to the Rival High Performance’s design is that the strap is hard to cinch on your own. Your two options to handle this are to use your teeth to hold the strap (try real hard not to use that option), or you can ask your sparring partner or a trainer to help you. The upside to this is the fact that the gloves have a couple of straps that are reversed to improve the tightening grip. This ability to have a tighter, more snug glove fit helps to offset how hard it is to cinch them.
- Premium wrist support (one of the tops on the market)
- Solid pad protection
- Nice feel
- Genuine leather
- Nice looking
Advantages: excellent quality; long-lasting; easy-feel padding; great for multisport training
Disadvantages: hard gloves that need to be broken in; straps are very difficult to cinch on your own
Rival’s RS2V glove are a good pick from a brand that provides good value to quality ratio. They may not be the best, but what they lack is very little. If you want the best qualities of the premium brand, but refuse to pay several hundred dollars for them, this brand is the way to go. You can spend only $120 to get an awesome pair of gloves.
- Quality: 5/5
- Comfort & Support: 4/5
- Value Versus Quality:4/5
- Price: $$$
#8. Ringside Pro Style IMF Tech Boxing Gloves
The IMF Tech was one of the early Western gloves to use Injected Mold Foam, which is now a standard ingredient in boxing gloves. At the beginning of my MMA training in 2006, I bought these gloves. My IMF gloves lasted a very long time. When I moved to Thailand, I trained with them. They lasted a month, then I had to switch from using the Ringside gloves to a pair of Twins gloves.
The Injected Mold Foam in the IMF gloves help to set the standard for modern boxing glove technology. Before these types of gloves were on the market, you ran a greater risk of hand injury or hurting your sparring partners. With this material in your gloves, your hands have greater padding protection, there is shock absorption that spreads the impact from a punch, and there is a lesser chance that your partner will be hurt by one of your punches.
The Pro Style IMF gloves are laced and provide 2-1/2 inches of knuckle padding and a wrist strap to help secure the gloves on your hands. The IMF Pro Style are made from genuine leather.
Ringside is a solid glove manufacturer. Their gloves are long lasting, have a great fit, and are priced well. They fall in the middle of the pack pricewise. They are not the least expensive, but they are not the highest priced gloves, either. Their most expensive gloves retail on Amazon for a little over $100.
Ringside gloves are not the most popular in boxing or Muay Thai circles, but along with Venum and Hayabusa, they have achieved popularity in MMA gyms.
#9. Title Gel Intense Boxing Gloves
If your glove search is driven by the best value to quality ratio, the Title Pro gloves answers that search. They are my no #5 pick. They gave you the most for the least amount of money.
However, if you are looking for a better glove that will provide gel insulation protection without breaking the bank, I recommend the Title Gel Intense Boxing Glove as an advancement up the glove ranks and a good mid-level choice.
These Title gloves are their highest rated gloves, and it easy to see why when you try them out. The Gel Intense gloves are priced at around $100 on Amazon, and for that c-note, you get a great glove.
The Title Gel gloves use a process they call Gel Foaming, which helps by shock absorbing your punches. This gel technology provides additional shock prevention, which comes in handy if your hands are easily damaged or you prefer extra protection.
The Title Gel are a great choice of gloves if you are looking for a combination of a traditional Western Boxing glove and contemporary innovation. The Title Gel Intense gloves serve as a transitional glove from the old glove tradition to the modern, more technologically savvy models.
A problem I’ve experience while using lightly padded gloves is that I have gotten sore hands from aggressively hitting the bag and pads. The two things I did to relieve my sore hands were to get a pair of gel knuckle pads to go in my hand wraps and to start using the Title Gel Intense gloves.
The problem with the Title Gel gloves is that they are somewhat heavier at the front of the glove and the gel protection is different in these gloves than most gloves without gel protection. Because of this, some fighters will not like these gloves. They are heavy on the hands (even though they are 16 oz. gloves, they are still heavy) during sparring sessions. Therefore, I am suggesting that these gloves be used for training and bag gloves, and that these gloves not be used for sparring at all.
- Gel padding for shock reduction
- Good wrist reinforcement
- Easy fitting
- Includes sparring wrist supports
- Looks great
Advantages: Good balance of value versus quality; nice fitting; superior padding and shock absorbing (excellent choice for fighters with hand issues or prone to sore knuckles)
Disadvantages: Weighs down the hands (Inadvisable for sparring)
These are mid-level gloves that come with gel padding and cost only $100. They are more than worth buying at that price. They are ideal for hard punchers who throw with authority and fighters who often have tender knuckles after training. The biggest knock on these gloves is that they weigh heavy toward the glove front, making these less than suitable for sparring.
- Quality: 5/5
- Comfort & Support: 5/5
- Durability: 3/5
- Value Versus Quality: 5/5
- Aesthetics: 3/5
- Cost: $$
#10. Everlast Protex3 Gloves
Everlast gloves is synonymous with boxing. They are one of the oldest, if not oldest glove manufacturers in existence. There are lots of professional boxers who use them in actual matches.
But in recent years, the brand has fallen from the top of the boxing glove pecking order. Their name is no longer associated with quality and top workmanship. Actually, numerous fighters have nicknamed the brand “Neverlast” because their once long-lasting gloves wear out quickly.
Everlast has become associated with the expression “Toy Gloves.” They are one of the main brands that suffer from this designation. Everlast’s toy gloves can be bought for less than $30. You can certainly buy these gloves. However, you need to keep in mind that they will not give you what you need in a glove, and will not last long. You should only buy these gloves if you can’t afford a better pair of gloves, and you are fighting sparingly and don’t plan on fighting more often. If you are neither of these things, you should grit your teeth and spin the extra money for a much better of gloves.
If you can spend a decent amount of money on a boxing glove, you could buy Everlast’s best glove, the Protex3. This glove is comparable to the middle of the pack or some of the higher end gloves of the other major glove manufacturers. Just don’t buy their cheaper gloves (priced below $80) because they suck and you’ll be kicking yourself later.
The Protext3 are solid gloves that offer a level of durability and fit that in the space between the overall top of the line and middle range gloves. However, their Protex2 is not as good and I place it squarely in the middle range of boxing gloves.
Notable Fighters Who Use Everlast: Miguel Cotto, Andre Ward, and Nonito Donaire.
#11. Hayabusa Tokushu Gloves
Hayabusa is the result of a combination of MMA and sports gear research and technology. They conducted extensive research to learn all they could about boxing gloves and how people were using them. Next, they produced gloves that were supposed to improve on contemporary glove flaws. This is how Hayabusa was started.
Hayabusa are the gloves to choose if you are interested in owning high-tech gloves with the most ridiculous-sounding names you’ve ever heard. Their gloves come with features like “Dual-X Closure, Fusion-Zone Wrist Protection, Ecta Carbonized Bamboo Lining, and Leather Vylar.” I don’t know what these phrases mean, and I’m not sure that many other people know, either. What is known is that these gloves provide great performance, have an easy fit, provide significant protection, are long-lasting, and they are very attractive. More importantly, they have a reasonable price.
Hayabusa gloves have not found favor with traditional boxers (they still prefer the old standard boxing gloves) or Muay Thai fighters, but you won’t have to look far before you find a pair in an MMA gym. They are extremely popular with MMA fighters, and are one of the most popular gloves on the market.
- Lined with Carbonized Bamboo to balance internal heat, keep hands cool, and prevent sweaty smells
- Delta EG padding is designed to absorb shock and facilitate hand speed (at least that’s what they say about the gloves)
- A lot of technical jargon that requires a PhD or an extraterrestrial to explain
#12. Twins Special (BGVL3)
This list would be incomplete unless the Twins BGVL3 boxing gloves were included on the list.
This list is comprised of the best Western Boxing gloves, but not the best Muay Thai gloves.
The BGVL3 gloves aren’t suitable for Western Boxing. They would not make any knowledgeable person’s list for top boxing gloves.
However, these gloves belong on any list of preferred Muay Thai sparring and training gloves.
Having lived and trained in Thailand for several years, I’ve had an opportunity to train in all the big league Muay Thai gloves, including Twins, Top King, Fairtex, Raja, Windy, Yokkao, Fighter, Sandee, Thaismai, and Boon.
The Twins BGVL-3 are one of the classic pairs of Muay Thai gloves, and they are still my favorite Thai gloves. They are such favorite gloves of mine that I still use them for Thai training 70% of the time.
The Twins Special gloves are classic Muay Thai-style gloves. They are primarily used for Muay Thai, but you can use them in MMA and Kickboxing, and in an absolute emergency, Western boxing.
In my opinion, Twins are not suitable for use in Western Boxing on a regular basis. The aesthetic and workmanship are not up to par with most standard boxing glove brands. For fighters who are hard punchers with maximum punching power, Twins gloves do not have some of the essentials that are necessary for Western Boxing gloves. They also have features that are not needed for Western Boxing.
For instance, the Twins Special gloves are too light to throw definitive punches, they have heavy wrist padding to absorb Thai kicks, and movable fingers to allow clinching. Those last two features aren’t necessary or even wanted in Western Boxing gloves. Also, I think that the knuckle padding is too heavy. That’s a problem because it makes it nearly impossible to throw sharp punches into the pads and bags as you would with Western Boxing gloves like Grants or Cletos.
The bottom line is that if you are training in Western Boxing, you are better off using a traditional Western Boxing glove from manufacturers like Grant, Winning, Cleyto, or Title. I know that some people will still try to use Muay Thai gloves like the Twins Special for Western Boxing, but I strongly discourage it. It’s like trying to use a screwdriver in place of a hammer. You might manage to drive the nail through the surface, but it will be a lot harder to accomplish than if you had used an actual hammer. Some tools are made for specific purposes, and don’t work well when they are used for other purposes. Gloves are tools – nothing more and nothing less.
Twins offer excellent value and durability for a reasonable price. They will cost you about $60. The price is amazing given the fact that the gloves are made from genuine leather, have a great aesthetic, a great feel, and adequate padding. Newer Twins models contain foam mesh that cools the gloves and prevents overheating due to hand sweating and climate.
Fairtex is my recommendation for dedicated Muay Thai gloves. Fairtex gloves are more expensive and better built. They are more durable and have a better fit than Twins gloves. In the end, it depends on your preference. Some fighters swear by Twins, other prefer the Top King brand, while still others prefer Fairtex or one of the other Thai-made brands.
#13. Venum Elite Boxing Gloves
Venum gloves are a newer entry to the glove manufacturer scene. These gloves are a pick for the price-minded fighter. At a price of around $70, they are on the fence between low-cost and middle of the pack category. Their Elite gloves are some of the better-quality beginner-level glove.
Venum gloves are partially made in Thailand (the chintzy Venum gloves like the Contender and Challenger models are manufactured in other Asian countries), but these have a contemporary design and aesthetic that differs from the classic Muay Thai gloves. (Be careful to only buy the Venum gloves that say “Made in Thailand”, and not the “Designed in Thailand.” The “Designed in Thailand” merchandise is the cheap stuff that you avoid).
Traditional Thai and Western boxers will sometimes avoid the newer brands because they feel that the older manufacturers’ gloves better suit their needs. I think that the Venum Elites gloves are okay. They have adequate value and satisfactory quality enough to make them a great candidate for backup gloves. If you are a novice fighter, they are a good choice.
Venum is a popular glove for MMA fighters who use them in their boxing training. In fact, Venum gloves are easy to find at MMA training facilities, but not as much at boxing or Muay Thai training facilities. The Elites enjoy a great reputation and my personal experience bears that it is well deserved.
When using MMA boxing gloves, my favorite brands are Hayabusa, Rival, or Ringside. My preferred Western Boxing gloves are Winning, Grants, or Title. I like to use Fairtex or Twins gloves for Muay Thai training.
The Elites are good enough to use for Muay Thai or MMA. However, I wouldn’t use them in place of dedicated Muay Thai or Western Boxing brands except if you must buy or want to buy one of the more inexpensive Thai-manufactured boxing gloves that are less traditional and more contemporary than the popular Thai glove makers like Twins or Top King.
These gloves are an amalgamation of the old-school Thai gloves (As I mentioned earlier, they have Thai-made gloves that use elements of Muay Thai gloves in the look and aesthetic) and a contemporary glove. If you enjoy how a Muay Thai glove feels, but desire a newer look with a somewhat altered design, Venum gloves will work for you. The Venum Elite is their best value versus quality glove (Buying one of their genuine leather gloves, the Sharp or Giant 3 models, will cost you an extra $30).
The Venum Elite gloves provide aesthetically appealing boxing gloves that feature a stylish design. These gloves run from $70-$78. The build and durability are lacking in comparison to the more inexpensive Muay Thai gloves that feature leather construction. The Venum Elite gloves feature Skintex construction. This material is synthetic leather which is not as well-made, flexible, or as easy fitting as genuine leather.
- Triple-thick foam padding
- Internal meshing to alleviate heat and sweating
- Eye-catching design
The Worst Boxing Gloves – Avoid These Brands
The following brands are not worth your time or your money. When you have reputable boxing gloves available to buy from brands like Title or Venum for around $30-$40, you don’t need to stoop so low to buy these toy gloves. These manufacturers offer gloves as cheap as $15-$30, and they prove the old saying that you get what you pay for…in either case, not much.
- Everlast(Their gloves priced below $60-$70 are terrible)
- Lonsdale (Owned by the same company as Everlast, and they are just as bad)
- TKO(This brand deserves to be knocked out)
- Century(A very risky purchase. They are known for their lack of quality)
- RDK(These gloves are excellent if you want a hand injury. They are low-quality gloves that lousy in the ring)
- Side-Kick (If you can’t say anything good…)
The truth is that there the perfect boxing glove does not exist. The reason is that each person has their individual needs that they are looking to meet, including
- Hand size
- Combat type (MMA, Boxing, Muay Thai, Kickboxing)
- Amount of experience
- Training needs and purposes
A person who is training in kickboxing for exercise doesn’t need the quality of glove as another person who is training in MMA and will need to hit bags, pads, and spar. These people have different needs than another person who is living and training in Thailand and needs a Muay Thai glove. And even another person – a veteran Western Boxer, searching for a training and sparring glove, will have still more needs and desires than the first three people.
Because of the varying needs of fighters, one type of glove style will not work for everyone. The best way to determine the correct boxing glove for your needs is to evaluate your experience level and determine the glove’s use. When you have answered these questions, you can select a glove that fits your budget.
I’ve done my best to give you a detailed boxing glove guide that details potential needs and training scenarios to help you with your glove shopping. I covered the boxing gloves that are best suited for Western Boxing, Muay Thai, and MMA. I distinguished between the gloves that work well for overall fighting, budget conscious fighters, punchers, beginning fighters, sparring, bag striking, and fighters who want nice looking gloves.
I’ve tried to consider as many possibilities as one can in an article. Obviously, you could a book on the subject, but I tried to concentrate the information so fighters wouldn’t have to buy a glove encyclopedia.
The final purchasing choice is your decision. Below is a list of the main recommendations:
Top Recommendations Summary
- Best Overall Glove: Winning Boxing Gloves
- Best Value Versus Quality Glove: Ring to Cage C17 Boxing Gloves
- Best Budget Glove: Title Pro Leather Gloves
Final Glove Buying Advice
That’s all I have about buying the best boxing gloves. I do have one last piece of advice to give you as an important buying tip. This article did not mention lots of other boxing glove manufacturers. There are many boxing glove brands in the marketplace. To get an idea of how many glove makers there are, go on Amazon.com’s website. If you do, you will find that there are tons of other glove manufacturers out there. Many of these glove sellers make their gloves in countries like Pakistan and China.
My strongest advice is for you to only buy gloves from one of the well-known boxing glove makers. There are clear advantages to buy from manufacturers that are long standing glove vendors. The first is that it pays to deal with a product that has a lengthy history and reputation. The reason this is true is that a company must struggle long and hard to develop itself into a recognizable brand. It takes time, money, and lots of effort to stand out among all the other sellers. What this means is that you are more likely to receive a quality product for your money; if something goes wrong with the product after you buy it, and they are more likely to satisfy your purchase fairly and quickly.
The second reason is to stay with established brands is that there will always be fly-by-night companies that will try to take advantage of our natural desire to spend less, but get a quality product. They use the “new and shiny” gimmick, they will use bogus positive Amazon review to convince you that it’s well made. Remember that cool looking and ridiculously low-cost gloves may not be long-lasting, fight appropriate gloves. If you fall into this trap, you will likely buy a pair of gloves that don’t protect your hands and will disintegrate after a few months.