MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is an extremely physically demanding sport that requires extensive, consistent, and rigorous training.
If you’re training to be an MMA fighter, you’ll need gear that’s as tough as you are to withstand your training regimen and protect you in the process.
Gloves are right up there with mouth guards, headgear, and groin protectors in the most important protective gear for MMA training.
In this article, we’ll be reviewing the 5 best MMA training gloves on the market to help you take your fight game to the next level.
We’ve also put together a buyer’s guide and FAQ section for more information.
Looking to pack a real punch? Here’s our top pick:
- Maya Hide leather
- Tri-slab padding
- Shape-retaining construction
- Hook-and-loop closure
- Available in sizes Small to X-Large
- 4 color options
OUR TOP PICK
These MMA gloves from RDX are built for superior durability and comfort, meaning they’ll see you through a significant portion of your training journey and allow you to perform at your best with minimal discomfort.
The gloves are constructed from Maya hide leather, which is very high-quality and extremely durable. This means that you can give your all against the heaviest punching bag without cracking or tearing your gloves in the process.
Meanwhile, the tightly-packed construction ensures that the padding will retain its original shape and not flatten out after long-term use.
Tri-Slab PC3 padding has been incorporated into these gloves for impact-resistance. This padding distributes the shock impact from heavy bag work across the knuckles to minimize the risk of hand injuries.
The open-palm design of the RDX MMA gloves means you can easily practice grappling and clinching, and also helps to keep your palms as sweat-free as possible during training.
As far as the closure is concerned, these gloves excel in this area as well, with an ergonomically-designed hook-and-loop closure that is easy to fasten and undo will remain secure throughout your training session.
These gloves are available for purchase in sizes Small through X-Large and have been manufactured in 4 simple, yet appealing color designs, including black, blue, pink, and red.
- Durable Maya Hide leather construction
- Tri-Slab PC3 padding for shock-distribution
- Construction retains its shape over time
- Open-palm for grappling and clinching
- Ergonomic and secure hook-and-loop closure
- Size range includes sizes Small to X-Large
- Available in 4 colors
- Some reported sizing inconsistencies
Everlast makes a bold claim with its brand name, but the construction of these Advanced MMA Striking/Training Gloves supports it reasonably well in most areas.
Made from 100% polyurethane, these gloves provide enough durability for bag work without the high price tag of real leather gloves.
For MMA fighters who aren’t yet fighting or training at a professional level, therefore, these gloves are a solid and affordable option.
The closed-cell Durafoam padding across the majority of the glove is excellent for shock-distribution and absorption and also has a high strength-to-weight ratio, meaning that they have good impact-resistance without encumbering your hands.
Padding has also been added to the back of the thumb for added protection. The finger loops are reinforced for support without being restrictive, leaving you with plenty of motion in your fingers.
The hook-and-loop strap features a tri-sect closure system which contributes extra wrist support, reducing the risk of twisting and spraining when training against a heavy bag.
These gloves come in 2 sizes: Small/Medium and Large/X-Large. These size options cover the majority of the hand-size spectrum, but the fact that each option covers 2 sizes increases the likelihood of a less-than-perfect fit.
- 100% polyurethane
- Closed-cell Durafoam padding for shock absorption
- Protective thumb padding
- Reinforced finger loops
- Tri-sect, supportive hook-and-loop closure
- Only 2 size options
Cheerwing’s Fingerless MMA Gloves are definitely some of the best MMA training gloves on the market, providing both superior strength and excellent hand and finger dexterity.
Specifically designed for training and striking, Cheerwing’s MMA gloves are made from high-quality synthetic leather that delivers on both the durability and affordability fronts.
The design of these gloves is ergonomic, with a curvature that enables natural and comfortable hand positioning. Because of their fingerless construction, they don’t restrict movement, so you can develop your grappling and clinching as well as your bag work.
The thick, foam padding provides heavy-duty knuckle protection that will stand up to even the most intensive training sessions.
These gloves have perforated palms for ventilation and a soft lining for comfort. The velcro wrist strap allows for an adjustable fit and provides strong wrist support.
The gloves fit on a one-size-fits-all basis but will fit medium-sized hands best. This may not be ideal in terms of catering to a wide market and providing the best possible fit, but the upside is that they are suitable for both men and women.
We really couldn’t review these gloves without mentioning their incredible design options.
With skeletal, dragon, and claw prints available, these gloves will allow you to channel your inner beast in the training room, in preparation for the ring.
- High-quality synthetic leather construction
- Fingerless for dexterity
- Ergonomic curving structure
- Perforated palms for ventilation
- Soft, comfortable inner lining
- Thick foam knuckle padding
- Available in several print designs
- Budget-friendly pricing
- Only 1 size option available
- Reports of inconsistent sizing
If you’ve been looking for lightweight gloves that won’t disappoint when it comes to durability and protection, check out FitsT4’s MMA Training Half Mitts!
These are multipurpose gloves that will help you to get the most out of your training, and will also serve you well in the ring. Best of all, you can use these gloves for MMA, Muay Thai, Taekwondo, and various other martial arts.
The material used in the construction of these gloves is synthetic polyurethane leather which is durable enough in itself, but EVA knuckle pads have also been added for extra hand protection.
Terry cloth has been incorporated between the half-fingers for breathability, and a cylindrical hold bar has been inserted across the intersection between palm and fingers for better grip.
These gloves also reduce the issue of sweating during training sessions, which can be an annoying distraction. The towel pads sewn into the thumbs of the gloves mean that you can wipe away sweat without needing to pause your session.
The hook-and-loop wrist straps are adjustable, padded, and elasticated for the firmest, most tailored, and most supportive fit possible.
You can get these gloves in black or white, and they come in sizes X-Small to XX-Large.
- High-quality polyurethane synthetic leather
- Protective EVA padding
- Breathable terry cloth between fingers
- Towel pads incorporated in the thumbs
- Includes cylindrical grip bar
- Padded, elasticated wrist strap
- Black or white color options
- Inclusive range of sizes (X-Small to XX-Large)
- Some fighters feel that the knuckle padding is lacking
Venum is amongst the most well-loved and trusted MMA apparel brands, and with training gloves of this quality, it’s no mystery as to why.
Whether you’re training or fighting an opponent, these gloves won’t let you down. Designed in Thailand by experts and constructed from PU leather and high-density, multi-layered foam, you can trust the Venum Challengers to bring durability, protection, and dexterity to the table in a single design.
Although the finger openings are reinforced for superior protection, your movement won’t be restricted because of the separated, half-finger design.
Featuring a double-closure, hook-and-loop closure system, these gloves are guaranteed to provide a tailored and supportive fit that won’t slip or slide during training.
Available in a classic color choice of black or black and white, you’ll be able to fit these gloves with most fighting gear. The sizes available include Small, Medium, and Large/X-Large.
- Polyurethane leather construction
- High-density, multi-layer foam padding
- Reinforced finger openings
- Separated half-finger coverage for movement
- Supportive double hook-and-loop closure
- 2 color options
- Fits sizes Small to X-Large
- Some customers have found these gloves uncomfortable to wear
Best MMA Training Gloves Buying Guide
As promised, we’ve now showcased and reviewed the best MMA training gloves that you can buy in just one click.
But before you do, we’ve created this buyer’s guide of all the essential factors and features to consider.
The size of your MMA training gloves will determine the fit which, in turn, will determine how effectively you are able to train. Therefore, it’s vitally important to get the sizing right when purchasing gloves for MMA training.
Of course, you want your gloves to fit snugly so that they’re not sliding around on your hands and distracting you during training. However, you also don’t want to go too far in the other direction or you’ll end up feeling as though your hands are in plaster casts. In short, you want your MMA gloves to fit… Well, like a glove!
Fortunately, many manufacturers and brands will provide their own individual size guides, with recommendations regarding sizing up or down where necessary. These guidelines are especially important to pay attention to where sizing goes up in increments of more than one size at a time - for example, Small/Medium, or Large/X-Large.
All you’ll need in order to determine your hand size in most cases is a tape measure or ruler to measure across the relevant parts of your hand. Instructions on how to do this and where to measure will usually also be provided in the size guide.
One of the main things that set good-quality MMA training gloves apart from the competition is durability.
Serious MMA fighters train for roughly 20 to 24 hours a week. That’s 4 to 5 hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week. That’s why it’s so important to buy durable training gloves that won’t be easily worn out.
As a rule, high-quality MMA training gloves will be made of either real or synthetic leather. Of course, real leather will be the most durable option of the two, but it does have the disadvantage of being much more costly. Additionally, not everyone is able to wear real leather for a variety of reasons.
The alternative is synthetic, polyurethane leather, also known as PU leather. In terms of impact-resistance, PU leather probably won’t fare quite as well as the real thing, but it does have other advantages that are worth mentioning.
For one thing, PU leather is significantly more water-resistant than real leather, so if your gloves regularly get exposed to water for whatever reason, you might want to consider this material. Additionally, PU leather isn’t so prone to drying out as real leather.
You’ll also want to think about the durability of the padding inside your gloves. If the padding is of low quality, it may be damaged and become ineffective after prolonged use.
To prevent this from happening, we recommend investing in some gloves that use thick, high-density, multi-layer padding. EVA and Durafoam are both great options. Padding of this kind will also protect your hands and prevent you from injuring yourself during heavy bag training.
MMA glove construction, for high-quality training gloves at least, should be centered around ergonomics.
Ideally, the lining of the gloves should be soft and non-abrasive; your hands will be sore enough after a training session without having to contend with fabric-burn.
Gloves that encourage a natural hand curvature should also be prioritized because they won’t restrict the natural motion of your hands or fingers.
While we’re on the subject of fingers, you should also consider what kind of finger openings you prefer. Fingerless gloves will enable the most dexterity, but they’ll offer little protection for your second knuckles. Half-finger gloves will provide more protection without imposing much more restriction.
Closure systems often fly under the radar compared with all the other features of MMA gloves, but they are actually extremely important.
Not only is the closure system partly responsible for ensuring a good fit - it can also help to prevent injuries to the wrist, such as sprains, by providing additional wrist support.
Not to mention, a good closure system will make your gloves much easier to put on and take off, especially if you’re wearing hand wraps or bandaging underneath.
Hook-and-loop fastening systems are the most common closure systems in MMA gloves because they allow better adjustability than other systems, are easy to operate, and create a wrap-around effect that enables superior wrist support.
The thicker the strap, the more support it will provide. Supportiveness will also be enhanced by a double-closure system, so this is definitely something to consider if you’ve sustained previous wrist injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between MMA and boxing gloves?
MMA, as we mentioned previously, and as you probably already know, stands for ‘Mixed Martial Arts’. What this means is that MMA encompasses elements from a variety of different martial arts, including Muay Thai, Judo, Karate, wrestling, and boxing, amongst others.
However, although MMA fighting does incorporate moves and techniques from boxing, the two remain distinctly different martial arts with different requirements.
The main difference between these two sports is that boxing exclusively involves striking at your opponent using punches. There are very specific rules in boxing regarding where and how you can punch - for instance, punches
Now, because boxing is a sport centered around landing punches, and punches only, boxing gloves reflect this in their construction. Boxing gloves are closed-fingered and often have more curve to them than MMA gloves because, in boxing, your hands only ever really need to be in a fist.
In MMA, on the other hand, grappling and clinching are also involved, so it’s necessary to have more room for movement and dexterity in the fingers. That’s why MMA gloves allow the fingers to be exposed and, in most cases, separated from one another.
Another key difference between MMA and boxing gloves is that, on average, boxing gloves are more heavily padded. Again, this is because, in boxing, your hands are your only weapon, so there tends to be more punching involved than in MMA, where you can also use other parts of your body. The extra padding in boxing gloves is for the protection of both parties.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t gloves on the market that will be suitable for both boxing and MMA training. However, the bottom line is that if you want the best, most discipline-oriented performance, you should invest in some MMA-specific training gloves.
Is there a difference between MMA training and sparring gloves?
If you browse MMA gloves online, you’ll find many gloves marketed specifically as sparring or training gloves, and some advertised as suitable for both. This might get you wondering what the difference is between MMA training and sparring gloves.
First of all, the differences aren’t always clear-cut, hence why so many MMA gloves can be used both during training and in the ring.
However, generally speaking, training gloves for MMA are built to be firmer than sparring gloves so that they can hold up during consistent, repetitive, heavy bag work.
Sparring gloves, on the other hand, tend to be designed with shock-resistance or shock-absorption in mind. The reason for this is to minimize the risk of inflicting serious injury on your opponent.