How to Choose the Best MMA Gloves

When it comes to mixed martial arts or MMA, gloves can easily be considered an extremely important piece of equipment. It’s no wonder mixed martial artists don’t take gloves for granted. In fact, even the biggest names in MMA need to choose the right pair of gloves. However, it’s not as simple as picking out a random piece of ring equipment, they actually need to consider several factors to make certain that they pick out the absolute best. With that said, it’s quite obvious that the need to pick out the right equipment becomes even more crucial when you’re just starting out!

Gloves are generally for protection. Hence, you don’t want to choose a low-quality pair. Although they may seem cost-effective at first, a cheap, low-quality pair of gloves will almost certainly cause problems in the future. At best, you’ll only end up with a tattered pair of gloves. At worst, you may injure your fist, knuckles or wrists. Considering that, I don’t think I’d ever recommend cheap MMA gloves for those who are serious about fighting. It’s not an easy sport to begin with, and as with most contact sports, having unreliable equipment can be dangerous.

It can be a bit overwhelming if you’re serious about buying gloves but luckily, there are plenty of resources out there to help you in the buying process. For example, online retailers can provide you with an incredibly wide selection of gloves to choose from. More often than not, they will also offer you product reviews and testimonials to help you decide on your purchase. So, if it’s a preference thing, then you’ll be happy to know that a lack of options won’t be an issue. Unfortunately, this seemingly happy circumstance also comes with a downside: there might be too many products to choose from.

To help you choose which gloves work best for you, I’ve compiled a short list of recommendations that you might want to look into. I’ve tried to include something for everyone, so hopefully you’ll find this list (and the reviews that follow) extremely helpful. Also, feel free to check out our reviews of MMA mouthguards and Vale Tudo shorts.

UFC Gel MMA Gloves UFC Gel MMA Gloves 4.8/5

Venum Undisputed MMA Gloves
Venum Undisputed MMA Gloves

Venum Elite MMA Gloves
Venum "Elite" MMA Gloves

RDX Maya Hide Leather Grappling MMA Gloves UFC Cage Fighting Sparring Glove Training F12 
RDX Maya Hide Leather Grappling MMA Gloves UFC Cage Fighting Sparring Glove Training F12 
Hayabusa Ikusa MMA Gloves

Venum “Challenger” MMA Gloves
Venum “Challenger” MMA Gloves

Cheerwing Half Finger Boxing Gloves MMA UFC Sparring Grappling Fight Punch Ultimate Mitts Leather Gloves 
Cheerwing Half Finger Boxing Gloves MMA UFC Sparring Grappling Fight Punch Ultimate Mitts Leather Gloves 

MMA Gloves Reviews

UFC Gel MMA Gloves

UFC Gel MMA Gloves Considering that they bear the name of one of the most recognized brands in the world of MMA, these gel gloves have a lot to live up to! The energy-absorbing gel is specially designed to effectively dissipate the impact of a strike, allowing fighters to focus on the match without having to worry about the safety of their fists. Moreover, the gel-padded thumb provides both protection and flexibility while you’re striking or grappling the opponent. If you don’t intend to spar or participate in matches, these gloves can be useful for you as well. Beginners may even be pleasantly surprised at how great these gloves feel during practice.

Their selling price ranges from $27.53 to $44.98, depending on the size you choose. They are available in all sizes ranging from small to XL.

Venum Undisputed MMA GlovesVenum Undisputed MMA Gloves

Venum, as a brand, has always made great fighting equipment. This particular pair of gloves is no different. The “Undisputed” is pricier, sure, but the quality is excellent. In fact, the build of these gloves surpass most that you see on the market.

Users have noted that they’re easy to use and that they require no breaking in at all: you just need to put them on, and you’re ready to go. The multi-layered foam absorbs a significant amount of impact, while still allowing you to deal a good amount of damage. Moreover, they’re crafted from premium Nappa leather to ensure superior performance and unparalleled durability. Sold at a price ranging from $64.99 to $128.16, these high-end gloves are a definite must-have for MMA enthusiasts.

Venum “Elite” MMA GlovesVenum Elite MMA Gloves

If you were impressed by the Undisputed, then the Elite will surely knock your socks off! With a selling price that ranges from $74.99 to $127.06, the quality, durability and functionality definitely makes up for the bigger price tag.

They’re crafted from Skintex leather and secured with highly dense thread, making them very durable over the years of heavy use. The ergonomic design, multi-layer padding, and secure wrist straps ensure superior stability and shock absorption, letting you forget about the condition of your fists and focus solely on winning the match.

RDX Maya Hide Leather Grappling MMA Gloves UFC Cage Fighting Sparring Glove Training F12RDX Maya Hide Leather Grappling MMA Gloves UFC Cage Fighting Sparring Glove Training F12 

As the name implies, these gloves are primarily for sparring and training. If you’re looking for gloves to be used for practice, then these gloves are for you. The Maya Hide Leather used in their construction makes them durable enough for the most intense training sessions, while the moisture-wicking microfabric and innovative palm design ensures long-lasting comfort and breathability. In terms of protection, these gloves also feature contoured padding for your knuckles, as well as a secure Velcro grip to support your wrists.

Take note that these won’t really do well as fighting gloves. For the most part, they’ve been designed specifically for sparring, so use them accordingly. However, because of their specialized design, they’re also able to perform extremely well during training and sparring sessions. For a measly price of $31, these may well be the best MMA gloves for sparring.

Hayabusa Ikusa MMA Gloves

Hayabusa is a famous brand of fighting equipment in Japan. However, a product won’t end up on this list solely because of the name of the brand that it carries. With that said, you can rest assured that I’ve included the Ikusa, because I objectively think that it’s a great product in itself.
Built according to the regulations set by most major MMA organizations, these gloves are ideal for the octagon. It’s palm-area is designed to provide excellent responsiveness and stability, whether it’s during training or the actual fight. The Ikusa even come with the Dual-X, Hayabusa’s patented wrist enclosure system that provides superior wrist support even when striking at maximum power. Priced at around $40, they may seem cheap, but don’t let that fool you: Hayabusa has always made good gloves.

Venum “Challenger” MMA GlovesVenum “Challenger” MMA Gloves

Not just another pair of Venum gloves, the Challenger is crafted from 4 oz of high-density leather for impressive durability and design. Each glove also features layered foam protection, as well as a Velcro wrist wrap to ensure your safety, security, and support. These features make these gloves great for both training and fighting, especially once you consider their relatively affordable price of $44. Don’t mistake cheap prices for low quality though! The fact alone that the Challengers carry the prestigious Venum brand is good enough to merit at least a closer look.

Cheerwing Half Finger Boxing Gloves MMA UFC Sparring Grappling Fight Punch Ultimate Mitts Leather GlovesCheerwing Half Finger Boxing Gloves MMA UFC Sparring Grappling Fight Punch Ultimate Mitts Leather Gloves 

Founded in 2007, you can pretty much consider Cheerwing as a newcomer to the sporting goods industry. It hasn’t had the chance to gain popularity among fighters, but don’t let that mislead you—they still offer some pretty good gloves.

This pair in particular is made of durable PU leather and is protected by a layer of sponge to help absorb some of the impact of each strike. It also comes in several interesting colors and designs, which it appeal to wide variety of people. With a price tag of $11.80, these gloves work surprisingly well. Objectively speaking, they might not be the best MMA gloves for training, but they do the job.

Factors to consider when choosing MMA gloves…

Weight and Size

Do you honestly want to lug around a heavy pair of MMA gloves—let alone be encumbered by their weight during an actual fight? Of course not! Picking the lightest gloves can save your wrists and knuckles from unnecessary injury. And while weight is important, you also need to take size into account.

Note that the size of your gloves depends on what you’re using them for. If you plan on using them for training, pick a pair that’s on the denser side. This is best when you’re sparring. For fights, however, they may require you to choose a thinner pair. The best MMA gloves for heavy bags are also thinner than usual.

Striking and Grappling Efficiency

It’s a given for fighting gloves to provide some form of protection when striking. But in MMA, you do need to grapple. This is why MMA gloves are designed the way they are, so you’ll be able to grapple and hold down opponents. If you feel that your fingers and fists are too restrained or too stiff in grappling with your current gloves, then you should consider getting another pair.

Brand Name

There are a lot of MMA gloves out there to choose from. As cliché as it may sound, picking a well-known brand can save you some trouble. Companies that specialize in boxing or martial arts will give you the best value for your money, and would most likely be able to provide quality products that are specially designed for intense fighting. Whether you’re choosing MMA gloves, shin guards, or hand wraps, considering a product’s brand is always important.


As I mentioned, you should err on the safe side when choosing gloves. Don’t think too much of the price, because using cheap equipment in contact sports can be risky. Rather, you should look for those of good quality, regardless of the price. If you can’t afford good MMA gloves yet, then it would be best if you simply saved up. Getting great gloves is a good investment, so if you value your safety and comfort, you should never compromise when it comes to price.


The better the material that’s used, the safer your fists will be. For instance, to absorb the impact striking, your gloves should have decent amount of padding. This extremely important, especially when in regards to protecting your knuckles. How secure the gloves are around your wrists is also another important consideration. Trust me, it can hurt a lot if you don’t have sufficient protection around your wrists. Pick a pair of gloves that wrap around your wrists properly to keep your joints in place. The best manufacturers add in a generous amount of Velcro keep the gloves in place.


I’ve mentioned that it’s important for gloves to absorb impact. I’ve also mentioned that padding plays a crucial role in absorbing the force of strikes. Gloves that have a good amount of foam are better at resisting strikes that could otherwise break your arm. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to describe the exact amount of resistance that you’ll need to comfortably fight in the ring. All you can do is consider the amount of foam in the gloves and test them yourself to see if they feel comfortable.


While I talked about foam gloves, there are also gelatin gloves available on the market. Whether you use gelatin or foam is really a matter of personal preference. There are some fighters who swear by foam gloves, while others feel better protected by gelatin. It may be difficult for beginners to decide on the issue, but the only real way to know which type you’re more comfortable with is to try each of them out.


What Size of MMA Gloves Do I Need?

That would depend! When it comes to picking glove sizes, the same rules apply for both MMA and boxing. If you’re planning to learn MMA as a workout, then you’ll probably want gloves that are on the thinner side. On the other hand, if you’re planning to spar a lot, then you should definitely get some thicker gloves. However, if you eventually intend to compete professionally, then it’s highly recommended that you do your homework first. Take note that most MMA organizations have specific regulations on which gloves to use, so it’s important to take that into consideration beforehand if you don’t want to waste money on gloves that you won’t be able to use in the ring.

Are MMA Gloves Good for Heavy Bags?

Generally, no. Boxing gloves are great for heavy bag work, because of how thick they are. In contrast, the thinner MMA gloves tend to get worn out after constant, intense heavy bag work. However, if you’re just going for a lighter workout, then it probably won’t be too much of an issue.

Nevertheless, it’s highly recommended that you stick to boxing gloves. Heavy bag work with the right type of gloves won’t just protect your fists, they’re also a great way to get a feel for the right striking technique. Hitting a heavy bag with MMA gloves is typically not the done thing.

How Do I Clean MMA Gloves?

Compared to boxing gloves, MMA gloves are much easier to clean. They tend to be on the smaller side and don’t absorb much sweat due to the density of the foam. You may wash MMA gloves using traditional methods, except it’s not ideal to scrub them. Instead, you should just dip in a mixture of water and detergent, rinse thoroughly, and use a towel to dry. Remember not to soak them too much, as it may damage the padding inside.

Should I Use Amateur or Pro MMA Gloves?

That would depend on your budget. Prices of pro MMA gloves tend to be pretty steep, so if you don’t intend on fighting in professional fights, then you may as well go with amateur gloves. They are generally cheaper, and I would say they do a good enough job, if you’re just in it for some training or amateur fights. But if you can afford it, you can always choose professional MMA gloves if you want.


Choosing the right MMA gloves isn’t something you should take for granted, since they’re the prime source of protection for your hands and wrists. You don’t want to end up getting bruises around your knuckles, so it’s always a great idea to pick ones that are high-quality, durable, comfortable, and safe.

Although I do recommend the products above, there are more products out there that you may explore, but always remember: you should be the one to decide what’s best for you.