Best MMA Sparring Gloves

Are you in the market for a new pair of MMA sparring gloves? Want to find the best possible pair to protect your hands as they pummel into your opponent?

Then you’re in good hands, as this article will review 5 of the best MMA sparring gloves that are currently available to purchase on Amazon.

The communal gloves you can borrow at the gym are often poor quality and don’t exactly smell great, so it’s worth investing in your own pair for when you’re sparring.

Along with your mouthguard and the head on your shoulders, your gloves are the only things that can protect you when you’re sparring, therefore it’s important to invest in a high-quality pair that won’t let you down or inhibit your performance. 

Best MMA Sparring Gloves

There are so many different options available and the majority will do a great job, but we have to hold our hands up and admit that some are just in a league of their own.

We’ve compared them for you to see what they have to offer, and we’ve put together a handy buyer’s guide to aid you in your decision. 

In a hurry? Check out our top pick - they’re a total knock-out!

OUR TOP PICK

New Item Sanabul Essential 7 oz MMA Hybrid Sparring Gloves (Black/Silver, Large/X-Large)

Our top pick goes to the Sanabul Essential MMA hybrid sparring gloves, which have been designed on the basis of feedback from professional athletes and their first-hand knowledge of what makes a good pair of sparring gloves.

They’re a 7-ounce pair of gloves yet have the feel and fluidity of 4-ounce gloves, with enough padding to keep you and your partner protected from any serious damage.

The open palm design allows for further dexterity and freedom of movement, which is perfect for grappling. 

These gloves naturally encourage your fingers to curl inwards which means you’ll avoid any accidental illegal eye pokes to your opponent.

The padding is evenly distributed across the knuckles and fingers and you can wrap up your wrist securely thanks to the wrap-around strap. 

Made using engineered leather to enhance the performance, the durable material is stronger so will last for longer and it’s easy to clean down after your workout.

The hook and loop closure system ensure a snug fit so they feel like an extension of your hands. 

Pros

  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Hook and loop closure system 
  • Great for grappling 
  • Lightweight for fluid movements

Cons

  • We couldn’t find any!

EDITORS CHOICE

RDX Maya Hide Leather Grappling MMA Gloves UFC Cage Fighting Sparring Glove Training F12,Black,Medium

Next up we have these MMA sparring gloves from RDX, manufactured with Maya hide leather for maximum durability.

The leather won’t crack easily even with frequent use and it offers better tractability as well as less wear and tear.

The quality can be seen right down to the stitching where the needlework helps the gloves to retain the integrity of their shape for longer. 

The Tri-Slab PC3 Padding is specially designed to reduce the amount of impact when you connect with your opponent.

It does this by dispersing the shock evenly across the back of the gloves’ surface, making sure your hands are protected. 

They’re easy to pull on and off due to the dual-quick EZ hook and loop closure, which supports the wrist well and allows for swift fastening.

An ergonomically designed strap also adds further support for your wrist, securing your hand inside your glove. 

Say goodbye to sweaty hands and smelly gloves as the breathable material promotes airflow so your hands will be ventilated and dry throughout your training.

The D. Cut curved open palm design also allows for a natural grip. 

Pros

  • High-quality construction 
  • Durable materials for a longer lifespan 
  • Tri-Slab PC3 Padding 
  • Easy to use EZ hook and loop closure 
  • Well-ventilated to prevent excessively sweaty hands

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive option

BEST VALUE

MMA UFC Gloves for Men, Women, and Kids, Elite Sports Best Mixed Martial Arts Sparring Training Grappling Fighting Gloves (Green/Black, Medium)

The next pair of gloves we looked at were these Elite Sports MMA sparring gloves, a high-quality option with a bold black and yellow design.

The PU leather is hard-wearing so it won’t become worn too quickly yet it’s lightweight for fast, precise punches. 

It’s also easier to clean than other materials by wiping over them with a slightly damp cloth, so you won’t have to worry about sweaty, smelly gym gear. 

Triple density gel padding absorbs the majority of the impact shock to prevent any damage to your hands when your hits land.

There’s also a pre-curved anatomic design for full and proper wrist closure so you can protect yourself and stay focused on sparring. 

The fastening is a velcro wrist strap that fully supports your hand and wrist with added elastic underneath for extra security and a tight fit.

They practically feel like they’ve been custom made for you as they’re fully adjustable, and they feel comfortable to wear even for prolonged periods of time while you’re training. 

Pros

  • Adjustable velcro wrist closure offers a custom fit
  • Lightweight PU leather
  • Easy to clean 
  • Shock-absorbing triple density padding 
  • Comfortable double-wrist closure

Cons

  • Slightly harder to put on and remove due to the velcro fastening

RUNNER UP

Fairtex FGV18 Super Sparring Grappling MMA Gloves

If you have a larger budget and you’re happy to spend more to get the best quality, then the Fairtex FGV18 super sparring gloves are a perfect choice.

This is a leading brand in the combat sports industry, and its name brings with it a guarantee of quality. 

The hybrid design provides maximum protection thanks to the thick padding, especially around the knuckle area where it’s needed most for safety.

There’s also additional padding on the wrist for extra support, and around the thumb to prevent injury.

They’re slightly heavier than standard gloves at 10.41 ounces, but the extra padding means you’ll be extra protected against injuries.

 Besides, they’re not so bulky that you’d struggle with grappling, and the durability of these gloves means they’re great for regular training or even everyday use. 

When the gloves are on it’s easy to create a fist with your hand, so they’re not too restrictive for when you’re sparring.

They’re comfortable to wear and won’t irritate your hands during longer sparring sessions.

Pros

  • Designed for UFC fighter Alistair Overeem 
  • Hybrid design with extra thick padding 
  • Still allows for a full range of movement 
  • Great for grappling 
  • Durable and suitable for everyday use

Cons

  • Expensive option
  • Slightly heavier than other gloves we’ve looked at

RUNNER UP

Combat Sports MMA Training Sparring Gloves

Lastly, we looked at the Combat Sports MMA sparring gloves which allow for both grappling and striking without the need to change your gloves in the middle of training. 

They feature four layers of shock dispersing foam which is perfect for anyone who likes to throw harder punches, as they’ll provide more protection for you and your sparring partner.

There’s also a cutout section over the palm of the hand for flexible movement. 

Manufactured using synthetic leather, these gloves are easy to clean and they’re constructed to last for longer so you won’t need to replace them too frequently.

Even with continual use, they’ll be able to see you through your sparring sessions for a long time. 

Some customers have reported issues with the fit and sizing, but others have stated that sizing up by one size is a good way to get a more accurate, comfortable fit. 

Pros

  • Affordable 
  • Suitable for grappling and striking 
  • Four layers of shock-absorbing and dispersing foam 
  • Flexible movement thanks to the palm cutout area 
  • Made with synthetic leather

Cons

  • Some customers report that sizing isn’t true to size

Best MMA Sparring Gloves Buying Guide

What Are Sparring Gloves?

Sparring gloves are used during training for MMA fights in order to practice striking and punching techniques.

They’re designed to absorb some of the impact and they typically feature extra padding near the top end of your hand at the front for added protection.

Similar to boxing gloves, there’s also a grip bar so you can form a tight fist when you throw a punch. However, don’t confuse the two, as boxing gloves aren’t suitable for MMA sparring!

The other two main types of MMA gloves are competition gloves and training gloves, although the latter is sometimes also referred to as grappling or hybrid gloves as well.

Competition gloves have less padding and separation between the fingers for a full range of movement. 

They also weigh less depending on the rules of the competition. Training gloves feature segmented fingers that aren’t padded beyond the second knuckle, but they offer slightly more protection than competition gloves. 

Now you know which gloves are which, how do you tell what makes a pair of sparring gloves good quality? Well, keep reading as you’re about to find out! 

Material

There’s actually a lot more that goes into the construction of MMA sparring gloves than you might think, so we’ve broken it down into the following sections to clearly explain which materials are the best for these types of gloves. 

Outer Material 

It’s important to consider the materials used for any pair of sparring gloves, as not only will this indicate the level of quality and durability, but also how well they’ll do the job of protecting your hands.

Here’s a list of some of the most important elements of the glove to think about and which materials you should look out for. 

  • Leather: Leather is well-known for being a high-quality material which makes it a popular choice when it comes to MMA sparring gloves. Opting for a pair made of real leather means they’ll last longer because of how durable it is, but it does mean that you’ll have to spend more on the upfront cost as it’s typically a more expensive option. 
  • Synthetic leather: Although it’s not at the same level as real leather, gloves made from synthetic leather can still be good quality and they’re a cheaper alternative. 
  • Foam padding: A lot of the quality will come down to the padding your gloves provide, which varies depending on the brand. Foam padding is commonly used for MMA sparring gloves, and some higher-end brands will layer it for added protection.

Inner Material 

The high-intensity nature of MMA fighting means you’ll naturally end up breaking a sweat during training.

Due to the thick, padded nature of sparring gloves, your hands are going to end up sweating as much of the rest of you as they’re stuffed inside your gloves, which is not only quite uncomfortable after a while but can also result in smelly gloves. 

To combat the growth of bacteria and fungi that lead to foul-smelling gym kits, some MMA sparring gloves will be lined with materials that have antimicrobial properties.

Gloves with this type of lining also tend to last longer, as it prevents the glove from absorbing excess moisture, so it’s a good idea to look out for this.

Protection and Wrist Support

A poorly timed strike can do serious damage to your wrist. In fact, you might be surprised at just how dangerous combat sports can be. There’s a lot more to worry about in MMA sparring than boxing, as you also have to block intended blows from elbows, knees, and even feet. 

The padding in your gloves will protect your knuckles when you land a hit, and some offer extra padding around the thumb as well. To reduce the chances of injury it’s also important to think about how much support your gloves will provide, particularly around the wrist area. 

When searching for a new pair of MMA gloves, you should carefully consider the wrist closure or strap. This is the part of your gloves that holds them in place, so it’s important to find a pair that can be securely and tightly fastened to support your wrists.

Velcro is the most common type of wrist fastening and helps to reduce the risk of injury.

Size

In the same way that shoe size is of paramount importance to athletes, choosing the right size glove is a key consideration when it comes to MMA sparring. It’s important to wear gloves that are comfortable for a start, but the fit of your gloves also plays a part in how suitable they are.

Your gloves should be tight enough to provide some support and protection for your hands as you’re sparring, especially when striking. You should still be afforded a moderate amount of dexterity during grappling, however, and if they’re too tight they’ll restrict some of your movement.

To ensure you have the right size, measure the palm circumference of your hand with a tape measure and check the sizing guide provided before you click add to cart. 

Weight

Standard MMA gloves are also sized by their weight, and they tend to be either 6 or 7 ounces. They’re designed to protect your hands while you strike at your opponent without being too cumbersome or bulky, as the extra weight could use up more of your energy. 

The more weight there is to a pair of MMA sparring gloves, the better they’ll be able to protect your hands against injury. However, they’ll also be bulkier which will affect the way you swing.

6 or 7-ounce gloves are the better option for amateur fighters, whereas 4-ounce gloves are more commonly used in professional competitions.

Some gloves are designed to help with the weight distribution to reduce the ‘bulbous’ pad that you sometimes find, which helps with the transition to 4-ounce gloves once you advance to a more experienced level. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between MMA and boxing gloves?

Boxing gloves are also typically less expensive than MMA gloves are, but don’t be tempted to cut corners and buy a pair of these instead just because they’re the cheaper option, as you’ll find they aren’t the same after all once you’ve stepped into the ring. 

While non-fans of these sports might not be able to tell them apart, there are some key differences when it comes to gloves that mean they shouldn’t be confused, mainly MMA sparring gloves will allow you to grapple with your opponent which is an essential part of the sport, whereas boxing gloves would be unsuitable for this purpose. 

How long do MMA gloves last?

This depends on the quality of the gloves, but you shouldn’t have to replace your MMA sparring gloves too frequently.

The better the material your gloves are manufactured with, the longer they will last. 

Can I use MMA sparring gloves on a heavy bag?

MMA sparring gloves aren’t very suitable for use on a heavy bag due to the intensity of this type of workout.

You could end up injuring your knuckles or wrist as typically you’d wear gloves that offer more padding for this purpose. 

Should I use hand wraps for MMA sparring?

To avoid any hand or wrist injuries when MMA sparring, it’s definitely worth wearing hand wraps in addition to your gloves.

They’ll provide extra support for your wrists and will help to reduce the impact shock as you connect with your opponent. 

Rayford Baxter
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