Muay Thai gloves: 6 tips on how to buy 16 oz boxing gloves
I am going to help you to choose the best Muay Thai gloves, a single most important piece of Thai boxer's gear. A good pair of mitts will serve you for years protecting your wrists and knuckles from injuries, while a cheap one may loose its shape pretty quickly and will offer a poor protection and may cause a painful wrist or a thumb injury. A proper pair of light and firm gloves with quality padding will also increase fighter's performance while offering the same level of protection like some other cheaper and bulkier mitts. This is why you have to make an educated choice. If you are serious about your training then a proper pair of gloves is a must and makes a world of a difference once you start sparring and doing heavy bag workout.
What to look for when buying Thai Boxing gloves?
Price: a decent pair of entry level Thai Boxing gloves from an established brand like Fairtex or Twins will cost anywhere from $70 to $120 (£50-£90). For a less than $50 (£40) don't expect to buy a quality product. It is better to spend a few extra pounds on a better product that to regret it later when the new gloves quickly get damaged. The best Muay Thai gloves will offer a great protection and will weight less than regular gloves.
Quality, multiple layer padding to protect your knuckles. Cheaper gloves may have only 2 layers of padding while quality gloves will have 3 and more layers of a protective foam. Thin padded gloves increase a wrist of an injury for you and your sparring partner also. In general sparring gloves needs to be softer than bag gloves.
Thumbs must be also very well protected to diminish the risk of Bennett's fracture, which is quite common when training with poor quality gloves. And don't go for an open thumb gloves - leave them for mixed martial artists and grapplers.
Gloves should be stiff around the wrist to protect it from an injury. Speaking from the experience: it is much better to invest in good quality gloves than to suffer from an injury later on. Wrist sprain may put you off training for months.
It should have a dense padding around the edge of the hand to protect the hand when blocking and checking kicks. This is very important since kicks in Muay Thai are powerful and do a lot of damage.
Tight fit and easy to use fastening strap that offers a good wrist support with and without wraps around your hand. If you only wrap your hands for a full power sparring - and not for a regular training - stiff wrist support is necessary.
What else you should know before buying a pair of Thai Boxing Gloves:
First of all, you should know that you need to buy at least two pairs instead of just one: one for a bag and pad workout and another one just for sparring. The reason for that is simple: training with bags damages your gloves - makes them harder and less thick - so at some point, it doesn't offer enough protection for you and your opponent during a sparring session.
That's why you should buy another pair and get a 16 oz boxing gloves with softer padding just for sparring. The pair for bag work should be smaller, around 12-14 oz and harder than the one for sparring.
And remember, there is a difference between Boxing gloves and Muay Thai gloves. Don't buy Boxing gloves for Muay Thai training. Thai boxing gloves are crafted for a more specific purpose like checking kicks, neck wrestling etc. Get a pair that was specifically designed for Thai boxing.