With over 17 years of martial arts experience, you can say I know a thing or two about combat sports gear!

And with this guide, I’ve made a list of the best MMA gloves

Which glove works best for you can come down to several different aspects, whether it’s your fighting style, the feel of the glove, its thickness, or your budget, every factor can determine the perfect glove for you and your goals.

First, I’ll give you a list of the best MMA gloves, and then I’ll tell you the criteria I used to reach my conclusion.

Table of Contents
1. The Best MMA Gloves
Best Overall: Hayabusa T3 LX Leather 4oz MMA Fight Gloves
Best For Beginners: Liberlupus MMA Gloves
Best Budget Option: ZooBoo MMA Gloves
Best Versatile MMA Gloves: Pro Impact MMA Gloves
Best Wrist Support: RDX MMA Gloves
Best Overall Look: Sanabul New Item Battle Forged MMA Grappling Gloves
Best for Heavy Bag Training: Brace Master MMA Gloves
Best User Reviews: Venum Challenger MMA Gloves
Everlast Pro Style MMA Grappling Gloves
Best for Competitions: Combat Sports Pro Style MMA Gloves
2. The Difference Between MMA and Boxing Gloves
2.1. Weight and Size
3. What to Look for in the Best MMA Gloves
3.1. Glove Type
Training/Grappling/Hybrid Gloves
Sparring Gloves
Competition Gloves
Heavy Bag Gloves
3.2. Material
3.3. Padding
3.4. Closure Type
3.5. Quality
4. Can You Spar With MMA Gloves?
5. Conclusion

The Best MMA Gloves

Best Overall: Hayabusa T3 LX Leather 4oz MMA Fight Gloves

The Hayabusa T3 LX Leather 4oz MMA Fight Gloves are the best overall for several reasons, the main one being that they are genuine Italian and layered leather. Leather can make them stiff until they’re broken enough to wear, but powerful for solid striking and grappling once adhered to your hand.

The layers of extra padding also offer protection to your knuckles, keep the gloves from shifting during a fight, and the Dual-X closure over your wrist keeps them sturdy and stable. This means you can spend some extra time on the heavy bag without fear of damaging your hands.

The velcro straps are also very secure and give excellent wrist support.

The impressive build and shape of these gloves are done through patented technology, making Hayabusa gloves powerful, protective, and controlled.

In terms of negatives, the main one is definitely the high price. This comes with the territory, as Hayabusa has always been a more premium brand.

Overall, Hayabusa’s T3 LX Leather Gloves are definitely among their best-quality products. And if you have the budget for them, they’re definitely a great choice!

Pros:

  • Hand-crafted with genuine Italian leather
  • Forms to your hand after a few uses
  • Long-lasting with little wear
  • Secure velcro straps
  • Great for both strikers and grapplers

Cons:

  • More expensive than other options
  • Uncomfortable first use
  • Can appear grey instead of brown


Best For Beginners: Liberlupus MMA Gloves

The Liberlupus MMA Gloves are the best on my list for beginners because they are faux leather, reinforced with padding, and much more comfortable for your first wear as opposed to genuine leather.

This pair of gloves still offers stability, protection, and control but in a different way. Your hands withstand a lot of pressure and fatigue that can only get better with repetition and practice. Liberlupus are multi-purpose, comfortable, and absorb the shock so your hands don’t have to.

In terms of downsides, experienced fighters may have some issues when it comes to durability. And if your style relies more on grappling, then you might find these gloves a bit cumbersome.

But if you’re just starting out, you’ll love the protection and comfort the Liberlupus give you. And it’s hard to argue with a low price like that.

Pros:

  • Perfect for beginners
  • Comfortable and absorbent
  • Affordable and easy to clean

Cons:

  • Not ideal for experienced MMA Fighters
  • Faux leather can irritate the skin on your knuckles
  • May need additional wrist support


Best Budget Option: ZooBoo MMA Gloves

The ZooBoo MMA Gloves are a cheap MMA glove option made of faux leather. That being said, they offer a surprising amount of quality for that price.

Thanks to their open palm, they’re very breathable – much more than most of the other options on this list. Your hands won’t feel as sweaty or heated with these gloves. Also, you’ll have a great range of motion with your palm and fingers, which is essential for fighters whose style involves a lot of grappling.

However, for this same reason, ZooBoo’s gloves are not as protective as some of the other MMA gloves I’ve reviewed here. They also aren’t as durable as the more high-end options on this list.

Still, these ZooBoo MMA Gloves an affordable option and perfect for standard training. And they’re a great option for fighters interested in developing their grappling skills.

Pros:

  • Breathable and Strong-Grip
  • Adjustable
  • Several color options available
  • Affordable
  • Good for grapplers

Cons:

  • Not as protective
  • One-size and does not fit all
  • Faux leather


Best Versatile MMA Gloves: Pro Impact MMA Gloves

The Pro Impact MMA Gloves are another type of breathable glove with slightly more structure in the open-palm area with a hook and loop closure over the wrists. This design also gives you a lot of flexibility and sensitivity in your fingers which is essential for grappling.

These gloves also have some additional padding on the knuckles, making them a great choice for fighters who prefer working in the striking range.

These MMA gloves come with the option between polyurethane leather and genuine leather, leaving it up to you to choose which material is most beneficial. So, even in that regard Pro Impact offers some great value for money.

But like all things in life, the Pro Impact MMA Gloves also come with some downsides. The major one is the weak wrist support. This may not be a huge issue for more advanced fighters, but if you’re a beginner, I suggest you go for something like the Liberlupus MMA Gloves.

Some users complained about skin irritation caused by tthe rough interior of the gloves. So, if you decide to buy these, definitely wear hand wraps.

Overall, the Pro Impact MMA Gloves offer great value for money. And while I wouldn’t recommend them to beginners, they’re a great option for both strikers and grapplers.

Pros:

  • Option of artificial or genuine leather
  • Extra knuckle padding makes them great for heavy bag work
  • Good for both strikers and grapplers

Cons:

  • Not the best wrist support
  • Sizing issues
  • Material can rub against the skin


Best Wrist Support: RDX MMA Gloves

The RDX MMA Gloves offer terrific support and are compact for your wrists and knuckles with structured padding and tightly packed needlework. Made with faux leather, these gloves are designed to keep your hands safe from injury or further injury.

It’s offered in different sizes and colors and is perfect for training with a punching bag, all for a decent price. RDX makes these gloves protective but not very breathable with very little wiggle room. The gloves are made of faux leather, and that’s reflected in their lack of durability.

Like a lot of RDX’s gloves, these MMA gloves offer some great wrist support, making them ideal for heavy bag work. This is also helped by the great padding they have.

Overall, these RDX MMA Gloves are a great choice for bag work and for fighters who have a more striking-heavy style.

Pros:

  • Great wrist support
  • Perfect for bag work
  • Lots of color options
  • Very good for strikers

Cons:

  • Comfortability varies
  • Not built for overly intense training
  • Not very breathable


Best Overall Look: Sanabul New Item Battle Forged MMA Grappling Gloves

The Sanabul New Item Battle Forged MMA Grappling Gloves look like a piece of art. Even though they’re made of faux leather, the material looks like the real thing, and all the designs just look amazing. They’re available in simple black, and white.

Thanks to the open palm design, they have excellent breathability. The design also allows for easy manoeuvrability during grappling and holds. So, if your style employs a lot of ground work, then these are definitely a good option to consider.

In terms of negatives, the biggest one is the padding. Many users have reported that the main padding is about half an inch too far back on the knuckles. This means that striking with them is going to feel very awkward. And even if your hands are wrapped well, it may lead to some injuries.

This is why, even though they look great, I wouldn’t recommend them. If you prefer grappling, then I suggest getting the Combat Sports Pro Style MMA Gloves. And if you want a more rounded pair of gloves, then you can go for the Pro Impact MMA Gloves. Both of those options are cheaper and have better padding.

Yes, neither of them look as nice as the Sanabul New Item Battle Forged MMA Grappling Gloves. But you can’t put a price on safety.

Pros:

  • Aesthetic and color options
  • Structured and breathable
  • Good option for grapplers

Cons:

  • Padding is too far back.
  • Not Ideal for advanced fighters
  • Some users found them uncomfortable
  • Lacks good wrist support
  • Very bad option for strikers


Best for Heavy Bag Training: Brace Master MMA Gloves

The Brace Master MMA Gloves are the best for bag training with their faux leather, Polyurethane foam padding, and shock protection for knuckles. They are built to let boxers or MMA fighters practice on a punching bag.

The wraps are layered with three materials to ensure protection through a vigorous training session, although they come larger than normal and their material is shiny and stiff. They focus on durability and don’t wear quickly.

Overall, the Brace Master MMA gloves are a great choice for heavy bag practice.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Great for heavy bag training
  • Good value for money
  • Good option for strikers

Cons:

  • Take some time to break in
  • Over-sized
  • Some users found them uncomfortable


Best User Reviews: Venum Challenger MMA Gloves

The Venum Challenger MMA Gloves are another faux leather, but high-quality material glove with a sleek and professional exterior. They’re padded with layered foam and are built with stability to withstand intense pressure. The padding may be thick but it protects your knuckles.

The fit can feel a little tight, but it’s designed to withstand boxing and MMA training and fighting. The wrist bands of Venum Challenger do two loops to ensure durability but can lead to discomfort with friction.

Pros:

  • Thick padding
  • Light-feeling
  • Wrist band does two loops, making it more secure
  • Great option for strikers

Cons:

  • Some users found the inside padding uncomfortable
  • Cheap-feeling material
  • Feel restrictive
  • Velcro rips easily


Everlast Pro Style MMA Grappling Gloves

The Everlast Pro Style MMA Grappling Gloves also have an average price but with synthetic material that withstands a lot of pressure and wears. What sets this glove apart from the others is its technology. EverDri has an absorbent lining that collects moisture from the material.

The material is breathable thanks to the EverDri technology, but it lacks wrist support. The velcro can start shedding after a few washes, but the price is relatively low. Still, if you’re on a budget, I recommend getting the ZooBoo MMA Gloves.

Pros:

  • Keep your hands relatively dry
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • Synthetic material makes them less durable
  • Not ideal for heavy bag work


Best for Competitions: Combat Sports Pro Style MMA Gloves

The Combat Sports Pro Style MMA Gloves are very breathable with open thumb and palm pockets. One of the lower prices, Combat Sports provide gloves that pass all state requirements for competition. Sport Combat gloves are the most popular gloves for professional play.

The padding isn’t only built to protect your hands but your opponent as well from intrusions. They’re lightweight and offer movement for combat classes or competitions, but can grow an odor without proper care.

Pros:

  • Meet all state competition regulations
  • Comfortable fit
  • Light-weight
  • Great for grappling

Cons:

  • Some users had issues with durability
  • Many users had sizing issues


2. The Difference Between MMA and Boxing Gloves

One of the main differences between MMA and boxing gloves is related to the fact that MMA allows grappling. Therefore, an MMA glove doesn’t cover the fingers and the thumb is completely loose. A boxing glove, on the other hand, completely encloses the hand, only allowing the boxer to squeeze the fist and nothing else.

A boxing glove will also allow for more wrapping underneath than an MMA glove. This happens because there’s more room for wrapping in a boxing glove. However, it’s still possible to wrap your hands while wearing MMA gloves.

2.1. Weight and Size

Boxing gloves and MMA gloves differ from each other when the weight comes into play. This is because boxing gloves have much more padding and encompass the entire hand, whereas MMA gloves leave room for fingers and openings for the palm.

An MMA fighter will throw several punches during the game, but that is not the only movement permitted. The MMA gloves are designed to also allow for grappling, submission techniques, and kicking.

3. What to Look for in the Best MMA Gloves

When looking for the best MMA gloves, it comes down to what you need as an MMA fighter.

MMA gloves must be reliable, durable, and secure.

The best gloves provide structure to protect your wrist but mobility to adjust, have enough padding to keep your knuckles safe but make sure your hit is impactful, and offer security so you can trust them in their abilities.

The best glove for you comes down to preference, so let’s look at the most impactful features of MMA Gloves and what sets them apart.

MMA Arm Bar

3.1. Glove Type

The best MMA glove type varies to the fighter’s preferences but there are three specific types. Sparring, Grappling, and Competition gloves are the three known types of MMA gloves.

Sparring gloves are meant for bag workouts and fight training. Grappling gloves focus on training but are meant to incorporate your fingers in the fight. Competition gloves are self-explanatory. They are best used in professional or competition and are well-rounded.

Training/Grappling/Hybrid Gloves

Training and Grappling gloves are designed to prepare you for a real fight or professional match. They usually use an open-palm design and emphasize flexibilty of the fingers and wrist.

Sparring Gloves

Sparring gloves emphasize thicker padding so as to minimize the damage you do to your partner.

It’s usually a bad idea to use these gloves on a heavy bag, since that could wear down the padding. Working on the heavy bag will also make the padding harder, which increases the damage you do to your sparring partners.

Another important quality for sparring gloves is flexibility. Even if your style doesn’t rely on grappling, you’ll still need flexibility when it comes to parrying and countering your opponent’s attacks. Still, if you’re a striker, you’ll still want your gloves to have good wrist support.

Competition Gloves

These are regulation gloves that are designed to compete in fights. They offer little padding and rely on MMA skills. The goal of competition gloves is to provide insurance in your battles.

Heavy Bag Gloves

Most gloves work on the heavy bag, but what makes a good heavy bag glove is one that protects your hands and offers high-quality support to protect your wrists and knuckles in training. They should be lightweight to allow you opportunities to work on your footwork as well.

3.2. Material

Most MMA gloves are typically made with faux, synthetic, or real leather. Faux leather is more common and can still provide genuine protection, while synthetic leather offers structure.

Real, genuine leather is the best option for real-life combat because it supplies these qualities with more durability and better protection. However, faux leather is becoming increasingly better and is also a good option.

You might also find some cheaper models made out of vinyl.

3.3. Padding

Padding on the knuckles protects them from injury when striking at a heavy bag or your opponent’s body, while padding on the backside of your hand helps you defend against attacks when blocking and parrying. Nowadays, almost all gloves use latex or foam for padding. Different manufacturers use many different techniques when cutting and layering the foam they use for padding, and that greatly affects the quality of the glove. Done properly, it feels great when you hit, and the gloves can last a long time. Done poorly, and the padding can not only quickly fall apart, but also hurt your hands.

By design, MMA gloves have less padding than boxing gloves, because MMA usually features a lot of grappling. This is why if you plan to do a lot of heavy bag work, I strongly recommend you use traditional boxing gloves instead of MMA gloves. While you may not feel it today, In the long run, your wrists will definitely thank you!

3.4. Closure Type

Closure type refers to the shape of the glove and whether it takes the shape of an open palm or closed palm. This means a fully exposed thumb or fully-covered thumb.

The main difference between the two is breathability and structure. Open palm closure can add more air to your glove and keep your hands from overheating, but a closed palm closure type can provide more structure despite the lack of airflow.

3.5. Quality

Most gloves in the United States are of high quality, but the best ones tend to be more expensive. There are still suitable quality gloves that are affordable, but the pieces that are lacking still make a great MMA glove.

When you’re looking for suitable and cheap options, the United States, Thailand and China offer a select few. Several gloves in China are poorly made but cheap, offering a decent option for beginners.

4. Can You Spar With MMA Gloves?

MMA gloves are designed to be thin. This means that your partner will be feeling your strikes much more when compared to traditional boxing gloves.

This is why, if you’re a beginner, you should be very careful when sparring with MMA gloves. In a lot of MMA gyms, you’ll start off sparring with boxing gloves during striking-focused sessions, and they use MMA gloves for grappling-focused sparring. And once you’ve had more experience under your belt, the let you spar using MMA gloves. That way you can work on your skills without injuring your sparring partner.

5. Conclusion

Purchasing MMA gloves may seem fairly straightforward, but there aren’t only a lot of options and locations to choose from, but different gloves, closures, and materials that have a huge impact on your decision.

Finding the best MMA glove for you depends on the glove you are looking for and why you want one. Training, working out, and competing are different goals and can determine the type of glove you desire and prefer.

Hopefully, with this detailed guide, you’ll be able to choose the right glove for your case.

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