What To Look For When Choosing MMA Gloves

Are you looking to start training MMA, or take your training to the next level? If so, gearing up is usually where to begin.

Choosing the right gear (specifically gloves) might seem straightforward … until you notice the heavy amount of options available! However, don’t get too frustrated: this process should be fun, and with these tips in mind, you’ll be sure to get your hands into the right pair of gloves.

How To Choose The Right MMA Gloves

If you’ve been training for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed there are not only different shapes of gloves, but also gloves with different levels of thickness and flexibility. This is for a very specific reason and depends on what the gloves are being used for (sparring vs. bag training, etc …). Because of this, it helps to know what your training is going to look like, as you may even want more than one pair depending on your schedule.

Bag Gloves

Bag gloves are designed exactly for what their name suggests: hitting a heavy bag. These gloves tend to be tough, durable, and lightweight, and will also have knuckle padding; however, you’ll still want to use hand wraps for additional stability and protection. You’ll also want to look for quality material here for extra shock absorption, such as quality engineered leather.

Training/Sparring Gloves

These gloves are generally designed for sparring and hitting focus mitts, but can also be used for heavy bags with wraps. They will generally have more padding than fighting and grappling gloves (explained below).

Fighting/Grappling Gloves

Fight and grappling gloves are lightweight and generally have minimal knuckle padding. This provides the flexibility needed for MMA fighters while grappling and striking. Remember that fight gloves shouldn’t be used when sparring, as that lack of padding can do some damage to your training partner!

Sizes and Features

Knowing your hand and wrist measurements is also critical in choosing the right glove, as you don’t want them either cutting off circulation (too small) or sliding around once you get sweaty (too big). Be sure to try on multiple pairs, as well as bring a pair of wraps with you to make sure you also have room for those underneath.

Typically, you’ll see sizes advertised in ounces, as well as in small, medium, and large. I always recommend if you’re buying a pair online to try on a couple pairs at a local shop first, just to get an idea of your hand size so that you can order correctly.

As far as material, I mentioned earlier that you want to have quality shock protection, such as from engineered leather and good foam (in my MMA gloves, for example , we use quality engineered leather and Durasoft Impact Protection Foam for ultimate protection during training). You also want to look for an efficient and sturdy closure system (velcro/hook) that easily goes over your wraps.

Moisture-wicking is also an optional feature, but I include it in my glove line because it can truly make a difference in secure striking and comfort.

Does Price Matter?

Obviously, there are good deals everywhere: however, extremely cheap gloves are usually never a good idea, simply because the price point can’t typically support the cost of premium shock-impact materials. I definitely encourage you to look around (and even check my bundles below!), but be sure not to sacrifice quality and endurance (you want them to last as well) for a cheaper price.

The Bottom Line

MMA gear is everywhere, but bringing an arsenal of knowledge to the shopping scene can save you time and failed pairs. Look for these features in a glove, decide what you need for your regime, and you’ll be golden to grapple!

Get the gear you need with my Fit and Fight Ready Course Bundles, featuring specific gear for boxing, kick boxing, striking, and more:

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