For my first review I decided to write on something related to one of if not the most influential activities in my life. Muay Thai. For anyone just starting out, the art of 8 limbs can be a daunting endeavor and plays a pivotal role in other combat sports like MMA. A brutal striking style developed centuries ago in Thailand which utilizes, kicks, punches, knees and elbows, rest assured whether you train recreationally or are a dedicated Nak Muay ( Muay Thai Practitioner ) you are bound to get some bumps, bruises and cuts.
Just because you have begun a rough undertaking doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for those bruises, sore muscles, aching joints and exhausted body. First rule of Muay Thai and any combat sport for that matter is:
DON’T SKIMP ON THE GEAR!
Believe me, I have ran through hundreds maybe even thousands of dollars in gear and when it comes to protecting your hands ( which you need for everything in life ) so spend the extra cash. You will be thankful in the long run. Don’t waste your money, get the best from the start so you can train hard and keep your body in the best condition possible while doing it.
There are some factors to take into account before buying gloves. One being know your hand size. Trying to jam your hand into a glove you just purchased online only to realize it’s uncomfortable and doesn’t fit will be very frustrating. Also remember you will be wearing wraps as well which will affect the sizing. Use your weight class for a reference. If you are a heavyweight at 6’5, 260lbs I would be shocked if you wore small gloves; get a large to extra large, maybe bigger if you’re a true monster. Do you have pre-existing hand injuries? My hands are a mess in general, however I find that my wrists seem to have issues more often, so I always opt for a glove with more support in that area. What style do you like the most? Hell, whoever tells you style isn’t important is full of shit. Of course functionality and protection come first, but your style is a direct projection of your inner self. Of who you want to be. If showing that, makes you happy, you will in turn train at your optimum. This directly relates to the freedom of expression that runs so closely with martial arts.
No matter what equipment you have purchased, the first and most basic gear you will need is gloves. You will be throwing a lot of punches. Here are my top picks for the best gloves for muay thai, all from tried and trusted brands that have been in the business for many years.
My personal favorite. Fairtex brand gloves are as tough and durable as they come. Started in 1958 in Bangkok this brand has endured the test of time and as a result of their quality has become one of the leading brands in all striking based combat sports. Not only has the company expanded to having numerous gyms around the world as well as a long list of notable fighters under their sponsorship, Fairtex won the award for best MMA gloves in 2008 at the World MMA awards, and are also the official glove of Glory Kickboxing, arguably the most prestigious kickboxing organization in the world today.
FAIRTEX BGV1 Universal Glove
In my opinion this is the best glove on the market today. The original glove of Fairtex and it is still going strong. Durable and reliable, this glove will endure whatever punishment you can dish out. Outfitted with premium leather and Fairtexs’ three layered foam system, the BGV1 glove will ensure the shock from your punches is well distributed while providing top notch knuckle protection.It also has a very streamlined look and size to it. While offering great protection it is not bulky whatsoever. This glove is perfect for those with heavy hands and those that like to throw big bombs. It should also be noted that this glove has a fairly rigid wrist strap which will help avoid accidental wrist injuries. While it typically comes in standard colours, Fairtex has now released some special edition gloves for those of you that prefer a little more flash in your gear. There is also a breathable option that comes with a specially ventilated palm and thumb to help reduce moisture.
FAIRTEX TG03 Open Thumb Bag Glove
Another essential in my opinion for any serious Nak Muay. When you really want to work on that greasy speed and hear a really nice crack on the thai pads, these gloves do the trick. With its pre-curved leather shell and uni-layered high density latex foam core in such a small glove, you can be sure that your hands will still be well protected if you want to pick up the pace and throw some smoke. The TG03 is also designed for clinch work and grappling as it allows for a greater level of control when trying to perfect your techniques. If you have ever clinched with 16oz gloves on you will know how unpractical it is. There is also an enclosed thumb version of these as well if you prefer. Either way you go, these gloves are essential to any Nak Muays’ arsenal.
While becoming incorporated in 1992 for the purpose of exporting their products, this company has been producing top quality gear within Thailand for competition for decades. Twins has very quickly became one of the leading manufacturers of Muay Thai and combat sports equipment in the world while sporting a huge product line. To further their reputation the company was honored with an award from AIBA Technical University in Berlin for their excellent quality while conducting an inspection of amateur combat sports protective equipment.
TWINS BGVL3 Boxing gloves
The BVGL3 is the standard boxing glove put out by twins and it’s quality is of very high standard. These gloves are put together with premium leather for durability and have a very classic look and feel to them. While I prefer the knuckle padding style of Fairtex, Twins has no lack of protection. Striking with hard power shots in these gloves will never be an issue. Aside from that, the wrist velcro closure on these gloves is unparalleled, guaranteed to support your wrist through those grueling sessions. This timeless glove also comes in a wide variety of colours to match whatever your style and is guaranteed to last you for years.
TWINS BGLL1 Lace closure
If you have the means, or your partner knows how to lace up gloves properly, these gloves are unreal. For starters, the laces on these are tough! You can pull these as tight as possible with no worry of them breaking. This will keep your gloves snug while training hard with no need to re-tie them. The remainder of the glove remains essentially the same is the BVGL3, so the standard of protection is still excellent. I will personally say that while training with the BGLL1 I have never heard such a crack on the thai pads and felt the impact more then while wearing these. All the while protecting my hands with no problems or soreness whatsoever.
Top King is another company that has proven to manufacture some of the best Muay Thai equipment around. Not only that, they have a lot of designs on their gear that look amazing. With Top King you will get a good mix of protection and flare. However, some believe that these gloves are a little too padded, giving somewhat of a spongy feel to them, which I am inclined to agree with. Not that the extra protection is a bad thing but some people prefer a more rigid feel to their gloves. It could be considered a plus if you favour heavy bag work or have prior hand injuries.
Top King Air Boxing Gloves
The Air gloves are the go to for anyone that favours Top King. Lightweight and durable, they offer good hand protection and comfort. They can however be a tight fit, so be wary of the sizes before buying. The Air series does come equipped with Top Kings’ “Clima Cool” system which is a breathable mesh on the palm of the glove. This feature can be very favorable, as it keeps your hands cool and allows moisture to escape. This could very well be essential if you are training in a hot environment or climate such as Thailand. All in all they are a sleek, breathable, well protected glove, that is often utilized by many Muay Thai practitioners.
The Bottom Line
In the long run, how you feel will determine the gloves that you purchase. A good pair of gloves will go a long way and will be your first purchase on your journey to becoming a Nak Muay. The above are my personal favorite choices for gloves, maybe you agree, and then again, maybe you don’t. That’s part of your experience to figure out and there a plenty of reputable companies out there. I do hope however that this gave you some insight on some tested brands and products to aid you on your path. Don’t forget, PROTECT YOUR HANDS! You need them for everything! If you have any questions on the products reviewed, drop me a line and I would be happy to help.
Keep on keepin on,
Related Products Links
Freedom Road Product Reviews is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.ca.
All reviews on this website are only opinions of freedomroadproductreviews.com and it’s owners. We have no direct association with any companies or products that are reviewed on this site. Any logos, brands or products are the sole property of their respective owners and any use or reference of said items on this site are for information purposes only.