When it comes to buying the best MMA gloves, there is no one-fit-all solution. There are many different gloves available, and you will have choices when picking the right gloves.
The one thing that is going to make it easier is we will review the MMA gloves for you.
We will start with this comprehensive buying guide that will equip you with the valuable information you need to select the best MMA gloves.
The guide will provide reviews of five top-notch products with their pros and cons. Finally, a rating will offer you the best of the best.
There are two main overlapping criteria to choose the best MMA glove: what do you need the gloves for and MMA glove construction.
What do you need the gloves for an actual MMA fight, training, or bag work?
The glove construction covers all the important features that you need such as durability and fit.
The Ultimate Purpose:
There are three usages of an MMA glove: Competition, Sparring, and Training.
The competitive gloves are lighter in weight and of very high quality, and therefore, a little more expensive than the rest of the MMA gloves. With these gloves, fighters can achieve maximum force in each punch.
However, there is also an equally high risk of hurting your hand since they have the least amount of padding.
The main purpose of sparring is to level up your technique and precision without going full throttle.
You can use a competitive glove but that is hard on the hands. You should go with a pair that has more padding to lessen the likelihood of injury to you and your sparring partner.
You can use boxing gloves to train just to save your hands. There are lighter boxing gloves which you can check out on our boxing gloves review page. I trained with boxing gloves most of the time to save my hands.
Sparring MMA gloves come in handy in this scenario. They are padded enough to not hurt your fist or cut your partner.
The gloves are flexible enough to practice a few grappling techniques as you train to be a fighter.
Training gloves are less secure than sparring gloves and less efficient than competitive ones when it comes to grappling. They can be called a hybrid, for they are a perfect compromise between safety and efficiency.
If you are just doing bag work or focus mitt work, it is best to just wear boxing gloves in 12 oz to 16 oz pairs.
The Glove Construction:
If there is one single factor that decides the price of an MMA glove, it is the quality of its material. Ideally, the gloves should have been made up of a hundred-percent pure leather.
Though you may have to fork out a few more dollars for them, the durability will be a definite long-term payback.
Alternatively, you will have the option of synthetic leather. These gloves will be the cheapest and a good option for those who are just getting into MMA or do not need expensive gloves.
Padding in the glove is based on the usage of the gloves. The competitive gloves will have the least amount of padding. The opposite is true for training and sparring gloves because they have more padding. The padding makes it easier on your hands so they will not get injured.
As far as the quality of padding material is concerned, almost all gloves use foam padding. This might lead someone to think that they provide the same level of protection, given the same kind of padding is used.
However, it is not the case. The foam or lining material of premium gloves is much better.
The last element in glove construction is the wrist strap. The sole purpose of the strap is to keep the glove snug to the hand and to provide support to the wrist.
You want good straps it helps with keeping your hand and wrist protected.
You must always go for gloves that perfectly match the size of your hand. It should be the very first factor that you look into the feature of the gloves. Check out the sizing chart from RDX MMA gloves that can help you with glove size.
As explained earlier, purpose defines the amount of padding and therefore the weight of the glove: heavier gloves are ideal to be used in sparring as they provide the most protection.
Heavier gloves also help with speed because you get used to a heavier glove and then when you switch to lighter gloves in an MMA match your hands are faster.
This is one reason many MMA fighter trains with heavy boxing gloves when doing focus mitt work or heavy bag work.
The design of the gloves we will review certainly gives you an edge just because these are reputable MMA product companies.
One thing you may not know is you should always look for perforated or exposed-palm gloves for practice, for the obvious reason that they will allow proper airflow.
Video Review MMA Gloves
Reviews MMA Gloves:
1. RDX T8 Revenge X Leather MMA Gloves
- The padded area is a combination of shock-absorbing gel and our own EVA-LUTION™ compressed foam
- Suitable for all types of training
- Made from sturdy and robust authentic leather
- Open-Palm design improves your grip and keeps your hands dry
- Boasts a unique secondary strap under the normal Quick-EZ™ hook-and-loop closure
- Affordable cost
- Rough Surface
There are several reasons that made me fall for this pair of gloves. First and foremost is the open palm design.
I am a fan of perforated gloves, but this one has gone to the next level. With an exposed palm, your hand will be thoroughly ventilated while practicing, thus keeping away the moisture and providing a better grip.
Next comes the material quality. Cowhide leather is not a premium material but is surely better than the synthetic alternatives. Apart from the rough surface, this leather is great when it comes to durability as the seams are double-stitched to provide reinforcement.
Finally, I would like to mention the superior shock absorption of the gloves. You don’t have to take just my word for it. The patented foam, EVA-LUTION, covered by the shell shock gel efficiently soaks up the force of heavy impacts and protects the knuckle and fingers from getting hurt.
These features, along with lower prices, make it an excellent pair of gloves for hardcore training.
2. RDX F3 Leather MMA Gloves
- Shell-Shock™ gel and Supremo-Shock Foam for protection.
- Quick-EZ™ closure system and wrist support.
- Made with genuine full-grain leather.
- QD-2 moisture-wicking technology.
- Y-Volar palm design for superior grip and breathability.
- Approved by the Swedish MMA Federation
- A little higher cost
F3 MMA gloves are one of the few high-end products by RDX sports. The most striking feature of the glove, the one couldn’t help but notice, is the fine texture of its material.
The full-grain leather from which these gloves are made is the best you can get on the market. It lasts for years and can take maximum abuse.
These gloves would have been a little cheaper if the company had used cheaper material instead of full-grain leather.
Moreover, the company has added all essential features to ensure the safety and comfort of the user.
You won’t have to worry about the grip as its Y-volar palm design fits comfortably thanks to two straps mechanism to secure the hand and wrist comfortably in place. Also, the design allows for airflow and moisture-wicking, so your hand remains dry for a tight grip.
As far as safety is concerned, the two-fold foam padding of the gloves can easily take a high degree of abuse without failing. You can totally depend on RDX F3 while training and sparring.
Finally, these gloves are approved by the Swedish MMA federation. This means you can trust it for quality and safety.
3. Elite Sports Pro Style Black/Silver MMA Half Mitts Grappling Gloves
- Dirt Cheap
- Double Velcro closure
- PU PVC Leather
- Lightweight for speed
- Less durable than other gloves
Though touted as sparring gloves, they would make an excellent choice for training. I came to this conclusion by finding it was a bit lacking in padding material. Also, the choice of low-quality synthetic leather, compared to leather, kicks it out of the league of premium gloves.
I would certainly credit the affordability of the gloves. At such a low price, it will truly be an injustice to expect super high quality. However, in some areas, Elite pro has tried to up its game.
For instance, the breathable design of the gloves makes them odor-free, and the double Velcro closure will help them fit securely on your hand and will provide support to your wrist.
I would only recommend buying these MMA gloves if you have a very tight budget and just making an entry into MMA. I did that when I started just buying some less expensive gear until seeing if MMA was really something I wanted to do. This would also be great as a pair of backup gloves.
4. Deluxe Pro Leather MMA Gloves
- 100% Softech™ Leather glove offers the most protection while training, without being restrictive to MMA movements
- Double padding on top of the hand is split by stitching to decrease hand fatigue
- Double lightweight RAM-Force™ technology padding covers the first and second knuckles, hand, and thumb
- Extra wrist wrapping protection against scratching you or your opponent while grappling
- Best if you wear wraps with the gloves
Your sparring partner will surely love these gloves.
Why? Because of the extra-long strap. If you have been in MMA training for a long-time, you might be familiar with how the velcro straps scratch the skin of your partner. A long strap is a perfect remedy for it. Furthermore, it secures the wrist tighter than other straps. This will help prevent wrist injuries.
As far as the design is concerned, the open-palm construction is remarkable as it helps to thoroughly ventilate the hand while practicing. Also, the inner surface of the glove is lined with soft material to maximize their comfort.
Apart from the price, the inaccurate sizing chart is a major discouraging factor that the company should address as soon as possible. Just make sure when ordering you know your size and look at the reviews to figure out which size to order.
You can always return them and get the right size if you estimate wrong.
Lastly, I would like to mention the strategic padding of the gloves. The index and middle knuckle along with the thumb are extra protected as they take the maximum force in a punch.
5. Challenger Pro Leather MMA Gloves
- Very cost-effective
- Long wrist strap
- Designed for fighting not fashion
- 100% soft cowhide leather
- No slippage solid grip
- Less secure
You might be surprised by the fact that these gloves offer pretty good quality at a low rate thanks to the high-quality leather from which they are made. However, there is a catch. The gloves have been compromised a bit on safety.
As I have told you, the open palm design is advantageous, for being breathable and gripping, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your thumb should be exposed too. It might offer more speed and be efficient for grappling, but you have a chance of injury.
These gloves feature an open-palm design with the exposed thumb, and therefore, you should be careful going full-throttle with these fastened on your hands.
An important feature that cannot be missed is the long wrist strap which protects your sparring partner from getting scratched while practicing. I would recommend these gloves to newbies and those who don’t want to invest too heavily in MMA gloves.
RDX F3 Leather MMA Gloves are my personal favorite for being a top-notch product. Except for the high cost, which is not the highest, they do not a single feature that fails the selection criteria.
They feature highly durable leather with reinforced stitching, so you won’t have to buy another at the end of the year.
There is extra protection on the outside and a soft lining on the inside so you can have both safety and comfort. And finally, the open palm design makes them breathable and odor-free and provides a competitive advantage by providing a better grip.