If you’re interested in getting yourself a pair of Muay Thai gloves to go with your budding journey into Muay Thai, you may want to get to know the different types first.
Below are the five different types of Muay Thai gloves, and how they’re different from one another.
- Training gloves. This is the standard set of gloves used for training. They’re used for clinching, pad work, bag work and sparring. They’re usually light, somewhere between 10oz to 12oz. Although, some go for 16oz gloves as they’re generally believed to be best for general training and are considered the minimum weight in most gyms for beginners.
- Sparring gloves. These are designed to be bigger to give you more protection whenever you throw a punch. As the name suggests, these gloves are best for sparring as the gloves act as a cushion that helps absorb some of the impact in sparring to help protect you and your training partners. If, for some reason, your training has you focusing hard sparring, you and your training partner will benefit most from getting a pair of sparring gloves. As usual, 16oz gloves are considered the standard weight.
- Competition gloves. These are the pairs used in sanctioned fights. They’re much smaller and are typically lace up. You don’t really have to worry about owning a pair as most venues often provide gloves for the fighters. If wearing for the first time, you’ll find the fit of the gloves very different as they’re very tight and are much stiffer compared to other types of gloves. These gloves typically are in the 8oz to 12oz weight range, so they understandably pack quite a wallop. Again, you don’t necessarily have to own one, but it wouldn’t hurt to actually have a pair in your training bag.
- Bag gloves. These gloves lack the padding to protect your knuckles, so it’s best to not use them to throw heavy punches on a hard bag. These gloves, which are extremely light, are best for hitting the bag or pads. In no way should they be used for sparring as the lack of padding could prove dangerous for both fighters.
- Clinching gloves. These are a lot like bag gloves, and in fact, bag gloves could easily double as clinching gloves. The main difference, though, is that these gloves are simply designed to help you get almost as good of a grip as you would with your bare hands. Most are also designed so the Velcro closures don’t end up scratching you or your opponent. These aren’t exactly necessary as bag gloves and even MMA gloves can work wonders as a substitute. But, if you find yourself working on your clinching more recently, it may be time to buy yourself a pair of clinching Muay Thai gloves.
There you have it, the five different types of Muay Thai gloves and their purpose.
As a general rule of thumb, two pairs of gloves are more than enough. Preferably, you’ll want to own a single pair of training gloves and another pair of sparring gloves. From there, you can choose to buy bag gloves or clinching gloves, depending on how your training is going.