What To Look For In A Good Pair Of MMA Gloves

With MMA exploding in popularity, many are running to academies to take up MMA training. Either for the health benefits or wanting to take a shot at a dream of being an MMA fighter.

Since more people are training more than ever, there is a high demand for combat sports gear. Particularly a demand for MMA gloves.

There’s numerous brands and types of MMA gloves out there and it may feel overwhelming to find a good pair. This post is to help you know what to look for in a good pair of MMA gloves.

We’re going to list what separates good gloves from bad gloves and how to take care of then. Then we’ll go over different types of MMA gloves and give you some recommendations.

 

different types of MMA gloves

 

Those new to training may not know that not all MMA gloves are the same. There are different styles of gloves that are made for different purposes. Here are the descriptions for each different type of MMA gloves.

Fight Gloves

These are the type of gloves you see professional fighters wear in the UFC, Bellator, or One FC. Fight style MMA gloves are 4 ounce leather gloves that offer just enough padding to protect a fighter's knuckles. Also so that an opponent doesn’t get cut anytime a punch lands like in bare knuckle boxing.

A pair of fight gloves are specifically made to be worn in competition and not for training purposes. If you are a hobbyist, you should be wearing a training style of glove and not competition gloves.

Bag Gloves

Bag Gloves are a type of MMA glove that you use for doing rounds on bags. For decades boxers used a primitive type of bag glove to do their rounds of bag work.

But with MMA being more popular, bag gloves now look more like padded MMA gloves. They are double the padding of competition gloves to prevent potential damage when you practice strikes.

This type of glove is recommended for those that do MMA for the workout and do circuits and HIIT training.

Grappling Gloves

Grappling gloves are the gear used when you do live sparring and partner drills in training. The design is vastly different from fight gloves and bag gloves.

A pair of grappling gloves are designed with a more circular and smooth padding around the knuckles. Also with more padding than fight gloves, so you can mimic competition strikes without hurting your training partners. If you are the type of practitioner that likes to do live fight style training, you need these MMA gloves.

Cardio Kickboxing MMA Gloves

There’s another type of MMA glove sold particularly in cardio kickboxing gyms. They are a thinner version of bag gloves and really not the best option for MMA training. Avoid these cheap commercial gym gloves and get one of the other types depending on how you want to train.

 

 

 

 

You have to be very particular when you are shopping for new MMA gloves. Here is what to look for when you’re shopping for a pair of MMA gloves. Remember to look for these qualities when doing your research.

Leather And Synthetic Leather

The two best and most common materials used to make MMA gloves are leather and synthetic leather. Leather gloves are by far the best option and will last the longest, but being the best makes them more expensive.

Synthetic leather gloves are the cheaper option, but still make for a durable piece of gear. When you are glove shopping always look for options that include these types of material.

Wrist Support

Just like with boxing gloves, you really need to feel if your potential MMA gloves provide good wrist support. A pair of gloves with good wrist support will allow you to train better and not worry about possibly hurting your wrists.


Wrist injuries in training are common and either come from bad form or gloves that lack proper wrist support. Along with learning to punch properly, you should buy gloves that provide optimal wrist support to stay on the mat.

Comfort

To train at your best, the gear you’re wearing needs to be comfortable. If you have MMA gloves that don’t fit right or hurt when you wear them, they are hindering your training. When possible always try on your potential MMA gloves to see if they are comfortable.

Where They Were Made

Looking at which country produced the gloves are a dead give away if they are good quality or not. Generally countries like Thailand, the US, Australia, and the Netherlands are known for producing good products. If you’re shopping for gloves and see they were made in these countries, they are probably a decent product.

Brand Recognition

When buying combat sports gear, you always need to look for a recognized brand. Generally the reason why many of these companies are recognized is because they took the time to make quality products. Never settle for a generic brand of MMA gloves and always look for a brand known for putting out quality.

 

Since the MMA glove market is so vast now, that means that there are a lot of bad products out there. Here are some warning signs to watch out to stay away from a bad pair of MMA gloves.

Retail MMA Gloves

Like most everything combat sports related sold in retail sport goods stores, they aren’t the best quality. Brands sold in these stores are mass produced and made with the most basic materials they could use. 

These gloves are designed to last around a year or so before you have to buy another pair. The retail stores want to keep you in a cycle wear you’re dropping money on gear in their store annually. Avoid retails stores altogether and either bother your gloves online or from a legit fight shop.

Cheap Foam Padding

When you feel the padding of an MMA glove, you can feel the difference between good and bad foam padding. Bad foam padding is really thin and feels like the foam used to protect a package from Amazon. Always feel your gloves to see ifthe foam padding is cheap or good.

 

 

It is also your responsibility to take care of your gloves if you want to use them for years of training. Even the best gloves will break down quickly if you don’t take care of them. Here are some tips for taking care of your MMA gloves.

Antiseptic Wipes

After every training session it would be a good idea to have some antiseptic wipes handy. That way you can immediately clean your gloves before bad smells and bacteria set in. Also only use wipes that are alcohol free, because alcohol dries out and ruins leather and synthetic leather.

Antiseptic Spray

The next best thing to antiseptic wipes is having some antiseptic spray ready to spray you gloves down post training. They don’t clean as good as wipes, but they will kill a good amount of the germs. It will also keep your gloves smelling fresh and keep away that horrible training smell.

Dry Out Your Gloves

Once you get home and have cleaned your gloves, be sure to take them out of your bag to dry. You need to always leave the gear you used out to dry and never leave it in your bag overnight. Leaving your sweaty gear in your bag for just one night can cause mildew to form and a permanent bad smell.

Cleaning Methods To Avoid

The two biggest mistakes people make when cleaning gear is using a washer and dryer on them. This is the quickest way to ruin your MMA gloves or other gear.

A washing machine will waterlog your gloves, because the foam absorbs the water like a sponge.  It will also ruin the velcro straps and they probably won’t stay attached anymore.

Using a dryer afterward will only make matters worse. You may dry after your gloves, but the hot air will cause the leather to crack and peel. Never use machines to clean and dry your MMA gloves.

 

 

Now if you are in the market for a great pair of grappling training, we at Enage got you covered. Here is a quick rundown of our Engage E-Series MMA Grappling Gloves.

Engage E-Series MMA Grappling Gloves 

Our Engage E-Series MMA Grappling Gloves are the only gloves we design and sell. The reason why is we have just about made the perfect grappling glove and didn’t need to make another.

These grappling MMA gloves have you covered for any type of MMA training you want to do. Whether you are doing cardio based training or fight training, these gloves can do it all. Perfect for everyone from beginners, intermediate practitioners, and the pros.

Let’s talk about the high grade material we used to make the E-series gloves. The material we use is a high grade synthetic leather called S Tech. It is designed to be just as functional and durable as leather, while being a fraction of the price.

We also included a high grade in the gloves that provide shock dispersion when you throw punches. Making sure force is equally distributed throughout the glove, so not to damage your hands.

For the exterior design, we made these gloves with a round edge and a smooth print. This is to ensure you don’t injure your training partners during sparring or drilling.

Then the last thing we added for safety was a secure thumb enclosure. It offers a unique contour fit that is comfortable, while also keeping your thumbs safe.

There isn’t much more you can ask for in an MMA grappling glove. Our Engage E-Series glove is reasonably priced with multiple size options and comes in black in white - check it out here.

Recap

After reading through this post, you should be almost an expert at finding a good pair of MMA gloves. You now know what to look for, what to avoid, and how to take care of them.

Follow us on instagram: ENGAGE


Now if you are in the market for a new pair of grappling gloves, then check out our Engage E-Series gloves. They are among the best MMA training gloves on the market and our highly rated.

Which mma gloves are best for you - infographic

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1 Response

Andy
Andy

September 02, 2021

how do the mma gloves go with muay thai style hand wrapping (i.e. making a padded knuckle area). there are no pics of the glove open so you can see the palm & finger loops. from what i can see the finger loops are close to the knuckle area. thanks

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