Starting a new sport is always a big investment both financially and emotionally. When walking into a local kickboxing or jiu jitsu gym it is easy to be overwhelmed by all of the new requirements, rules, and techniques you’ll be exposed to in a short time.
We’re going to guide you through this process one step at a time. The first thing we want you to think about when you’re thinking about starting Muay Thai or Dutch Kickboxing is the quality of the gear you’re about to purchase.
We want you to think about the Bootstrap Theory of Economics: If you spend $250 on an excellent pair of boots, you won’t be surprised when they last for ten years. But if you spend $50 on a new pair of boots every year, you’ll end up spending $500 on boots over that same period of time.
Please keep this in mind when thinking about your martial arts gear. If you’re serious about training then you’ll be using this gear for a few hours at a time, multiple times throughout the week and month. Those $40 gloves from Walmart or the local sports store just aren’t going to cut it in a real-deal training environment.
Below are 3 quick tips to consider when you buy your first set of boxing gloves:
Quality is King when choosing the right boxing gloves
Boxing gloves have become a hot item to sell. When you’re looking at your purchase you need to look for reputable companies that have a long tradition of excellence. There’s a reason hardcore enthusiasts are die-hard loyalists to brands like Windy, Top King, Fairtex, and Twins.
These brands were the first brands I experienced when I came onto the scene and have been reliable for over a decade. I’ve been using the same pair of yellow Fairtex 16 oz gloves for pads and sparring for the last 4 years and they still have some life in them. I can’t say the same about some other brands that I have tried in that same time period. While there are a lot of newer companies that are making customizable gloves or gloves that simply look cool – my loyalty, and my wallet, will still tend to favor the traditional kings of the industry.
There are a few brands outside of those mentioned above that I trust and recommend to beginner students. Combat Corner is a fantastic entry-level, safe bet operated out of the United States. They have excellent customer service and a wide variety of products.
The other is Hayabusa, although a bit more expensive than some of the other brands mentioned, they have some truly innovative products that are both vegan-friendly and cleverly designed.
We’ll make a few recommendations at the end of this post, but feel free to shop around. This is a great time to find really awesome products — just keep an eye out for fad brands who may not invest as much time into designing for longevity.
Care is Important to maintaining the longevity of your gloves.
Now that you’ve got an idea of what to look for you need to think about how to take care of your new toys. The first thing I’d recommend looking into is a set of Glove Deodorizers. These brilliant tools pull the moisture from the inside of your gloves whenever you aren’t using them. This helps prevent bacteria from growing and it keeps the gloves smelling nice. You can choose from different scents, Cedar or Lavender being the popular options.
Meister makes a fantastic Deodorizer. The straps holding the individual Deodorizers are high quality and the Deodorizers themselves maintain their scent and moisture-absorbing power for many months after their purchase. You can find them at Amazon.
Moisture is the enemy of your gloves. Don’t think that using a set of Deodorizers will be enough to fight bacteria off. You also need to consider where you store your gloves. I find it appalling how many people leave their gloves and shin pads in their trunks at all times throughout the year. A better idea is to pull your gear out of your car and bring it into your laundry room. You should store your gear somewhere clean and cool, not in the back of your car where temperatures can vary tremendously. You don’t want to smell a Honda Civic in the Philadelphia summer after a hard MMA practice. Bring your stuff inside the house.
You can never have too much stuff.
One of the old-school Philly MMA tips – something all the serious fighters that I know employ – everyone has multiple pairs of gloves. Each set has its own unique purpose. You’ll have pad gloves, bag gloves, sparring gloves, and grappling gloves. Each set of gloves can have a unique purpose. You might love a set of Hayabusa gloves to hit pads with because of the support in the wrist yet you might choose a pair of Fairtex gloves for sparring because the weight is distributed more in the knuckles. Once you have enough experience hitting things with enough different brands you’ll be able to build out your inventory the way you like.
The first thing you’ll need is a quality set of gloves to hit the pads with. Fighters tend to use 12-ounce gloves for this purpose. The light weight allows for speed but the extra cushioning allows a fighter to fit with power without the fear of doing damage to their hands.
It’s an almost universal rule that you will need 16-ounce gloves for sparring. That additional 4 ounces of padding can help your partner throughout longer rounds of sparring that require more impact. Bag gloves are more individual. Some fighters like to go with very light gloves, almost sometimes 8 to 10 ounces, and some will stick with their 12-ounce pad gloves to hit the bag with. Personally, I think this will depend on a focus on speed or power, with the heavier gloves allowing the fighter to dig a bit deeper into the pad.
Fighters who seek Mixed Martial Arts training will also need to purchase grappling gloves. We will write an entire article on MMA gloves in the future but for now, just consider the main difference between professional and training-style MMA gloves. You should look for gloves that are about 6 ounces and have lots of padding on the knuckles and gloves. A beginner should not begin training in professional-style grappling gloves until they understand the nuances of striking while on the ground and with smaller gloves.
Here are a few links to gloves that we think you would like based on our own experience with the products.
HMIT MMA Training Glove – For MMA Training
Something like the HMIT MMA Training Glove from Combat Corner would be a nice pair of grappling gloves for a beginner. Short for Hand Made In Thailand, this line of gear is a little bit more expensive than some competitors, but the focus on quality does set the gloves apart from others in the price range. You can read more about them at Combat Corner.
The HMIT gloves are stylish and have a great blend of support in both the wrists and the knuckles which makes them a good choice for beginners. The equal weight distribution throughout the glove really helps fighters throw their punches fluidly and accurately. They are a bit more expensive than some other gloves on the market but I think that the quality makes the price worthwhile. These gloves would make a great purchase for pad work or sparring.
Hayabusa T3 Boxing Glove – For Kickboxing, Muay Thai, & Boxing.
I’ve called Hayabusa the Cadillac of boxing gloves for a few years. These gloves are a great investment for both beginner and professional fighters. They will last for years. I have two sets of hand-me-down Hayabusa gloves circulating throughout Philadelphia and both are more than 5 years old.
The T3 is an upgrade on previous models for a few reasons. The wrist support in this glove is top-notch. It has a unique wrap-up support system built into the glove that really protects the wrist of the athlete who is punching. This is absolutely awesome for beginner students who tend to bend their wrists while learning proper technique. They also have a “sweat cloth” built into the glove, designed to help wick away sweat from your head when working out. It is a neat feature I didn’t expect to use as much as I did. Lastly – they use no animal products in their manufacture which is a great selling point for Vegan athletes or those who are simply animal conscious.
Believe it or not, because of how nice these gloves are, I wouldn’t suggest that you spar in them. I would hate to clean blood out of that microfiber sweat cloth that is built into the glove. However, there is a plus side to this. By keeping these pad work and bag work only, your Cadillac gloves will last a lot longer. Purchase at Hayabusa’s website.
Fairtex Muay Thai Style Training Sparring Gloves – For Kickboxing & Muay Thai.
Last but not least I need to introduce you to the workhorse of Muay Thai throughout the world. In my opinion, Fairtex offers the most bang for the buck. I swear by my Yellow Fairtex 16-ounce gloves for sparring. They have held up tremendously for years throughout dozens and dozens of intense sparring rounds. They clean up well, the foam inside of the knuckles holds its form and the velcro is still snug.
Unbelievably, they are one of the cheapest on this list as Fairtex and many online retailers have their prices below $90 for this product. If you are on a budget and multiple pairs of gloves are outside of the question I would not hesitate to tell you to buy this glove. It will serve you well for hundreds of rounds.
We hope this helps you out. If you have any questions, just email us at Blog@broadstreetkickboxing.com – We will be glad to answer any questions you might have.