- Mixed Martial Arts (MMA): A New Horizon
- Best MMA Gloves: The Contenders
- MMA Gloves Quiz
- In Depth Boxing Glove Reviews
- 1.) Everlast Train Advanced Wrist Wrap Heavy Bag Gloves
- 2.) Venum Attack MMA Gloves
- 3.) RDX Cow Hide Leather Gel Tech MMA Gloves
- 4.) UFC Gel Training Gloves
- 5.) Hayabusa Ikusa MMA Gloves
- ListofFit Best Pick:
- Factors Considered in MMA Glove Ratings
- Why Selecting a Quality MMA Glove Matters
- Types of MMA Gloves
- MMA Glove Sizes
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA): A New Horizon
For many decades in America boxing was the premier contact sport. MMA was an afterthought and a fringe sport, with the UFC a no-holds-bar all-out brawl league with few rules. However, since the mid 2000’s a change has occurred. Now the UFC and MMA in general is the hottest combat sport around with many amateurs taking up the sport for self-defense and to enter competitions with the dream of making it to the Octagon. With the rise of MMA there has been a similar growth in the MMA gloves and gear market. New renegade brands are disrupting a market that was once dominated by the likes of Everlast and Cleto Reyes. As such, ListofFit has found it necessary to test out these brands and find out which MMA gloves rise above the rest.
Best MMA Gloves: The Contenders
- Pros: Solid padding for bag work that features a Durafoam material. Grip bar helps to stabilize the fist and double wrap wrist strap keeps the wrist protected to minimize sprains.
- Cons: The Everlast Train Advanced Wrist Wrap Heavy Bag Gloves require hand wrapping as without the wrapping these gloves will have a tendency to tear top layer of the skin after an extensive heavy bag training session.
- Bottom Line: These gloves are a good choice for those who want a heavy bag glove for striking and do not need their gloves for grappling. The value is good and the quality of the materials will satisfy the majority of buyers.
- Pros: Highly versatile, the Venum Attack MMA Gloves are a perfect mix of grappling and fighting gloves. These gloves have a great deal of padding and are an easy selection as one of the best MMA gloves available.
- Cons: The synthetic Skintex leather material is not favorable compared to genuine full grain leather found on similarly priced MMA gloves.
- Bottom Line: If you value versatility and want a pair of gloves that can grapple, strike, and even fight in a competition, then the Venum Attack MMA Gloves will meet your needs.
- Pros: The best MMA gloves for working the heavy bag or other striking exercises, the RDX Cow Hide Leather Gel Tech MMA Gloves are supportive, protective, and feel like a natural extension of your hand.
- Cons: These gloves have a grip bar making them less versatile than other gloves and a bad choice for those wanting gloves to use for grappling.
- Bottom Line: RDX Cow Hide MMA Gloves have the best feeling padding and provide comprehensive coverage so that you can punch as hard as you can with confidence.
- Pros: Very affordable training gloves that can work for light bag workouts or grappling. Hands can move freely due to minimalist design.
- Cons: Not enough padding to be able to hit the heavy bag with full force. Closer in nature to fighting gloves.
- Bottom Line: The UFC Gel Training Gloves are a good selection for grappling, but we would not recommend these for all out striking practice.
- Pros: A great versatile glove that can be used for training or for competition fights. Open palm design allows for ultimate breathability and premium padding protects hands well.
- Cons: Longer wrist cuff design may feel restrictive for some fighters and will be a matter of personal preference.
- Bottom Line: All around a great choice. Highest priced MMA gloves on our list and will be most appreciated by trained fighters.
Use our quiz to get personalized MMA Glove Recommendations.
In Depth Boxing Glove Reviews
Everlast Train Advanced Wrist Wrap Heavy Bag Gloves are made from closed cell Durafoam, which has the goal of maximizing padding. We would have to say that the padding is the biggest strength of these MMA gloves. The palm does include a grip bar that helps to stabilize the fist and wrist when striking. The reinforced finger loops help to keep your hands in place and do this job well.
At a price point ranging from the high teens to high twenties, the Everlast Train Advanced Wrist Wrap Heavy Bag Gloves are a good value. There are certainly cheaper gloves out there but few that will be able to have the quality materials and features that match these for the price.
When using these Everlast MMA gloves you will find that they do a really nice job supporting your wrist through impact on the heavy bag, which is a general concern for MMA gloves given that they are much less robust than traditional boxing gloves. The Everlast Train Advanced Wrist Wrap Heavy Bag Gloves have a double loop wrist wrap which we feel has a lot to do with this supportive feel. The grip bar on these gloves is extra firm and makes the Everlast Train Advanced a poor choice for grappling as we found it hard to grab things securely with the bar obstructing our hands. Also, we highly recommend using wrap before using these since they are liable to be abrasive on the hands with extended heavy bag sessions.
2.) Venum Attack MMA Gloves
Venum is one of those MMA glove brands that is attempting to create a space in the combat sport market. The Venum Attack MMA Gloves are one of their signature MMA gloves. These gloves are made from Skintex premium synthetic leather. We are not in love with this material, especially compared to gloves using genuine leather. However, the Venum Attack MMA Gloves to offer a ridiculous amount of padding for gloves that are set up to strike and grapple.
Priced in the mid $50’s range, the Venum Attack gloves are not budget gloves, but also certainly not the most expensive on the market. At this price we do wish that Venum would make the transition to genuine leather given its superior performance. The fact they are handmade from the MMA hotbed of Thailand does give off the feeling that the folks at Venum know what they are doing when it comes to designing MMA gloves that work for real fighters.
These gloves are the most versatile on our list. The Venum Attack MMA Gloves make striking and grappling equally comfortable. When using the Venum Attack MMA Gloves for striking a heavy bag you notice that the lack of a grip bar does not make as big of a difference with stability as you might think. The superior padding of these gloves likely has something to do with this. Due to the Skintex synthetic leather the outside cover of these gloves do feel sticky, which can be distracting to some strikers. These gloves are a minor pain to put on as the finger slots are a bit awkward. It is something we were able to get used to over time and should not stop you from purchasing them if you feel that the Venum Attack MMA Gloves are the best MMA gloves for you.
3.) RDX Cow Hide Leather Gel Tech MMA Gloves
Welcome to the big time when it comes to MMA gloves. The RDX Cow Hide Leather Gel Tech MMA Gloves leave no stone unturned. As any boxer or MMA fighter will tell you there is just no substitute for genuine full grain leather gloves. The feel and responsiveness is simply second to none. The RDX Cow Hide Gloves have the highest quality padding out of all the gloves on our list, and even include comprehensive padding for each individual finger. The inside has a mesh lining for enhanced breathability, and a grip bar works great for striking sessions on the heavy bag. The wrist strap on these gloves is pretty standard and does not offer anything that the other gloves on our list don’t.
These RDX Cow Hide Leather Gel Tech MMA Gloves are a tremendous value considering their price in the mid $40’s range. When looking at value it is important to consider the balance between price, quality, and features. For those into MMA fitness, we believe RDX has come very close to mastering this balance.
RDX Cow Hide Leather Gel Tech MMA Gloves are the best performing striking gloves on our list. They cover more of the hand area than other MMA gloves and make your hands feel protected so that you can punch with confidence. The only downside that we see for these gloves and the reason they come in at under a 5 rating for performance is the fact they will not make for the best grappling gloves. This is primarily due to the comprehensive padding making it difficult to grab and the grip bar that lines the palm. For this reason these gloves are best used for striking, and those who are looking for gloves who spend the majority of their time on the ground they may want to look at other gloves with less extensive hand coverage.
4.) UFC Gel Training Gloves
The UFC has come a long way since the early days of no weight classes and no rules. Now it is seen as the leading MMA fighting organization. These UFC Gel Training Gloves are a basic MMA glove that do have a nice feeling gel padding, but there just isn’t much padding there overall. The inside palm is made of a stretchy nylon material that feels similar to what you would find with weightlifting gloves. There is a double loop wrist strap that can keep the wrist as snug as you desire.
If you enjoy doing the same training exercises or going to kickboxing classes then these will make for a good value, and you will get a lot of use out of them. The price is around $20 and a bit higher than we would expect for what you are getting with these UFC Gel Training Gloves.
These UFC Gel Training Gloves actually do a decent job on the heavy bag when you consider the limited padding they offer. They will make good grappling gloves due to their flexibility. Again, we generally would recommend these for light workouts on the bag or for those looking for gloves to compliment their kickboxing workout classes. If you want gloves that are going to work for sparring and true fighting situations, then you will want to look elsewhere.
5.) Hayabusa Ikusa MMA Gloves
Hayabusa Ikusa MMA Gloves are a premium priced MMA glove and have premium materials as a result. These knockout mittens feature a longer cuff and more supportive wrist strap than any of the other gloves on our list. Not only this, the inside of these gloves have a moisture wicking material that works to keep your hands dry while training or sparring. These also have very comprehensive padding that is similar to the RDX Cow Hide gloves so that your hands are completely protected.
These Hayabusa gloves leave no stone unturned and as such they are priced higher than most other MMA gloves. Overall, we would recommend these gloves for someone who is a trained fighter or for amateurs who have the budget to afford MMA gloves priced in the mid $60’s.
A great versatile glove, the Hayabusa Ikusa MMA Gloves have no grip bar making them a better option for those who want to use these for a mix of striking and grappling. Again, the padding on these is extensive and the wrist strap secure so that your hand feels protected while hitting the bag with jabs, rights, and left hooks. Getting these gloves on is also easy due to the finger hole design.
ListofFit Best Pick:
RDX Cow Hide Leather Gel Tech MMA Gloves
RDX prides themselves on using genuine full grain leather on their gloves and this helps their products stand out from the rest. While these are not the most versatile glove (if you want grappling gloves look to the Hayabusa Ikusas) the RDX Cow Hide Leather Gel Tech MMA Gloves are simply the best gloves using the best materials at an unbelievably affordable price. If you want to practice on the heavy bag or spar with MMA gloves then these are truly second to none. Putting these on your hands is as simple as slipping them on, strapping the wrist, and going to town. Padding on the RDX Cow Hide Leather Gel Tech MMA Gloves is the right balance between cushion and firmness. The mesh palm runs the entire length on the gloves providing breathability so that your hands do not become overheated when training for an extended period of time. Bravo to RDX for making a glove that can take the punishment and dish it out!
Factors Considered in MMA Glove Ratings
MMA gloves continue to have rapid advances in technology and features. A unique factor to consider with MMA gloves compared to boxing gloves is the many different shapes and options that come with MMA gloves. Some may have a grip bar while other do not, which makes the latter generally better for grappling. Leather still dominates when it comes to the best MMA gloves. Gel padding is generally found on most MMA gloves these days and offers solid padding and hand protection. Also look for gloves that are either open on the palm or have a mesh material to keep your hands cool.
The price of the best MMA gloves can vary substantially. At the lower end MMA gloves can be priced as low as under $10 and as high as around $100. Understanding that value takes more into consideration than solely price, it is important for buyers to consider their MMA glove needs and prices of different gloves that will meet their needs.
Our goal with the best MMA gloves we tested was to test each pair on the heavy bag and see how these may feel in a grappling session. MMA gloves with a grip bar are going to be best used for striking and while offer limited flexibility in the hands for grappling. We also took time to see how easy each MMA glove is to get on your hands. Due to the fact that MMA gloves are naturally less supportive it was also crucial to test the wrist strap mechanism of each glove to see if they are able to keep the wrist in position during hard punches.
Why Selecting a Quality MMA Glove Matters
MMA is a sport that combines many different unique fighting and self-defense techniques to create the ultimate combat sport competition. Due to this trained fighters and amateurs have to have the best MMA gloves that will protect their hands to avoid cuts and abrasions so that they can strike and grab with confidence. Cheap, crappy MMA gloves will not support your hand and will make training difficult. Not only does quality matter in MMA gloves, but so does purpose. Make sure to get MMA gloves that meet your fighting style needs which can vary greatly from fighter to fighter.
Types of MMA Gloves
Similar to boxing gloves, there are three main types of MMA gloves: sparring gloves, bag gloves, and fight gloves. Each of these MMA glove types has a specific purpose and are used in certain situations. Make sure that you only use your MMA gloves for their intended purpose so that you do not injure yourself or your sparring partners.
Sparring gloves are purposely meant to be used during practice fights with a sparring partner. These will have a large volume of padding that will be softer than both bag and fight gloves. Some sparring gloves come with individual finger slots while others have a single pad that looks like a hybrid between an MMA glove and boxing glove. Make sure to test each type out to see which you prefer.
A large proportion of training for MMA fighters and amateurs come in the form of hitting the heavy bag. Working on your striking is an incredibly important facet of MMA and will help to keep your opponent from being too aggressive with their takedown attempts. Bag gloves generally have dense compact padding that is combined with enhanced wrist support. Some of these gloves will have a grip bar built into them (see the RDX Cow Hide Gloves).
Fight gloves are for sanctioned competitions where your goal is to knock your opponent out or to get a submission. These gloves are generally 4 oz. in weight and will have significantly less padding than that found on both sparring and bag gloves. Do not use fight gloves in sparring or during bag training as you are likely to hurt yourself or your sparring partner. The goal of fight gloves to protect your hands while at the same time inflicting the maximum amount of damage to your opponent.
MMA Glove Sizes
MMA gloves are different than boxing gloves in terms of sizing. Generally, boxing gloves take into consider the fighters weight when determining the size of the boxing gloves. In the world of MMA, it’s the size of your hand that matters due to the lightweight nature of MMA gloves.
MMA Glove Size Chart
Hand Size 6″-7.5″- Small
7.5″-8.5″ = Medium
8.5″-9.5″ = Large
9.5″ and above = Extra Large