There’s no denying the most powerful tool a mixed martial artist has is their body, but without a good pair of gloves, you’ll be operating at less power
With the right gloves, you can transform your practice and get the agility, speed, and thrust you need, as well as keeping yourself protected.
There are many types of gloves used for this sport, whether you want the best MMA gloves for sparring or those designed for heavy bag use.
Whatever your chosen avenue, you’ll want a glove that was made for that specific purpose, but with so many on the market, how do you know the ones worth wearing? What are the best MMA gloves on the market?
The answer depends on what you’re looking for, with slightly different designs for gloves made for sparring, training, heavy bag use, and general use.
The best quality gloves will be made of durable materials, give the user flexibility and breathability, and protect your hands from the job.
Rather than send you on a wild goose chase to find a pair of MMA gloves worth wearing, we’ve done the work for you.
We’ve chosen the best MMA gloves for beginners through to pros, and with some in every category, so you can feel confident you’re buying something that would impress any martial artist.
MMA gloves come in all shapes and sizes, and if you’ve ever tried to shop for a new pair, we don’t have to tell you how overwhelming the process can be.
With gloves for every type of fighter and situation, from sparring to the main event, there are hundreds of options worth considering.
That’s why we’ve narrowed down the options to only the best MMA gloves on the market in 2020, and the top contenders in each popular category for you to enjoy.
Best MMA Gloves – Reviews & Buying guide for 2020
Best Overall: Venum Challenger MMA Gloves
- Type: Training/Fighting
- Size: Small, Medium, Large/X-Large
- Material: PU Leather, Foam
When it comes to the best all-rounder, our pick has to be Venum’s Challenger MMA Gloves. These gloves were made to do it all from training to sparring, and if you’re just starting out and want something versatile to take with you, these are it.
The Venum Challenger MMA Gloves come in three sizes from small through to large/extra-large, and with a detailed size chart from Venum so you can get the perfect fit.
According to the happy customers who’ve already worn their Venum Challengers to death, these were some of the most comfortable and shock absorbing MMA gloves on the market.
Although they’re not intended to be heavy bag hitters, they do protect you from whatever it is you’re striking, and they feature a multi-layered foam construction through the whole glove to protect every part.
Best of all, you can move freely with them and never feel as though they’re rigid or restrictive, which makes for better sparring.
However, some people commented that the Velcro strap on these gloves made the fit feel weird sometimes and that maybe it was too wide there.
Due to the placement of it and how it comes across, it can make your pinkie finger feel strange and at times might rub in that area. You’ll need to spend some time making adjustments to get it comfortable, but other than that the overall design was great for the price.
The Venum Challenger MMA Gloves are made with PU leather which might disappoint some who are spending in this price range.
However, at first glance and touch, you’ll find it’s some of the highest quality out there and capable of fooling most who think they know a thing or two about leather. You can choose between a few different colors and designs to suit your style, and with three sizes options as well as the ability to adjust the size with its strap, there’s something for everyone.
With a double closure system, you can get your hand in and out easily, and it prevents the risk of wrist injury at the same time.
Although the Velcro strap made the glove sit weird on some people, it also feels like it’s on tight and will never come off, which is not something you want to worry about while you’re training or fighting.
If you’re after your first or 50th pair of gloves and want the greatest all-rounders, the Venum Challengers are our choice for the best MMA boxing gloves.
They’re lightweight but durable, and give you all the support you need. You’ll get free shipping to your door, free returns, and some of the greatest MMA gloves on the market this year, so there’s nothing to lose.
Runner Up: Brace Master MMA Gloves
- Type: Fingerless
- Size: Small, Medium, Large
- Material: Leather, Foam
If you prefer a hint of leather in your MMA gloves but don’t want to spend a fortune, the Brace Master MMA Gloves are the ones for you.
These are the best training gloves and are an upgraded version from their last release, with new leather, new foam, new lining, and a new look. With three sizes of small, medium, and large to choose from, as well as a bold gold design, they’ll look a treat on any type of fighter.
By far the best thing about these gloves, besides their affordability, is how comfortably they fit. With an open palm design and holes for your fingers, you’ll notice the difference that breathability makes when you’re striking and sparring.
Although there’s a lot of supportive foam it’s barely felt because they’re so lightweight, and ideal for when you’re working up a sweat.
The leather construction is a nice touch that further adds to the comfort level and it’s surprisingly cool, even in hot conditions.
For something this price, it’s a welcome surprise to find a glove made of leather and not just one that features it on the striking surface. With the right care, these gloves will last you for years provided you learn the basics of caring for leather.
These Brace Master gloves are better suited for light training, so don’t buy them for anything too serious. You may need to wrap your hands still or wear another layer underneath, which can add more to the cost and be an annoyance when you’re trying to get going.
Considering their price, it’s understandable they’re not the thickest, but they do get the job done if you’re happy to put a bit of time and effort into them.
The MMA Gloves from Brace Master are made with leather, which is a welcome addition for the price, and although it’s not the most premium quality, it still feels better than the artificial stuff.
The gloves have been sewn solidly so you don’t feel as though they’ll fall to pieces and the threads are thick to keep everything in place. The cushioning is made with a new type of foam for Brace Master as well as a new design, so everything is new and improved.
Brace Master has included in this version a fixed elastic band at the wrist that helps them to stay in place, even when you’re going all out.
The gloves won’t need to be adjusted as you’re sparring so you can focus on the task at hand, and they’ll give you some much-needed padding and protection over your wrist and fist.
They’re easy to get on and off with minimal effort, and thanks to the recent updates, feel more comfortable than anything Brace Master has released before.
These might not be the best MMA gloves for heavy bag training, but they’re a great light contender. You’ll be hard-pressed finding a better bargain for something quality and leather made such as this.
The Brace Master MMA Gloves are the perfect beginner pair for anyone looking to get serious about the sport.
Best MMA Training Gloves: Combat Sports Max Strike Gloves
- Type: Training
- Size: Regular, Large, Extra Large
- Material: Leather, Foam
Those on the lookout for the best training gloves for MMA are in luck, as we’ve found the Combat Sports Max Strike Gloves.
These were made specifically for MMA training and they feature a comfortable ergonomic fit that will allow you to always get a full range of motion while feeling supported and relaxed.
Your hands and wrists will always be protected thanks to two inches of molded foam in the padding, so none of your strikes will ever do you any damage, only to your opponent.
These gloves are great for long and arduous training sessions and have been made ergonomically correct to ensure you can withstand long hours without any discomfort.
Customers found these to be their favorite for training as it let them practice and fine-tune their moves, as well as giving them protection from the harder hits.
The molded foam face of the Combat Sports gloves is exceptionally rounded and large on the striking surface which further helps its fortification and will bring even more power to your hits.
No matter what area you’re training in, you’ll find a lot of comfort knowing that your wrist and hand are always protected with this padding.
On the downside though, the Combat Sports Max Strike Gloves are expensive, and some parts are lacking that you might expect from a glove in this price range.
Most importantly, the gloves are marketed as being leather but it turns out only parts of them are, so it’s not exactly accurate. The leather is only really found on the striking surface, which is an important part to have durability, but it’d be nice to see it elsewhere.
There are three sizes of the glove in regular, large, and extra-large which means everyone will be happy, and to find the best for you, follow the size chart offered by Combat Sports that matches them up with your hand’s width. The gloves feature a full open palm so that you can get a good grip and skin on skin contact, making sure you’re working at your maximum capacity.
These gloves feature a hinged knuckle which was implemented to give you a full range of motion, so no matter the types of hits you’re giving you’ll give your best.
The smooth leather striking surface adds a more durable touch where you need it and it won’t wear out like other gloves made of synthetic materials in this spot.
The leather gives some extra cushioning on top of the foam as well, and it means you won’t feel the strains and sprains, and it doesn’t take anything away from the flexibility.
If you’re after training gloves specifically and you need the most protection for your wrists and knuckles, the Combat Sports Max Strike Gloves are a great choice. For a solidly built glove that won’t let you feel the impact of your strikes, we love the Max Strike Gloves from Combat Sports.
Best MMA Sparring Gloves: Sanabul Essential MMA Gloves
- Type: Hybrid
- Size: Small/Medium, Medium/Large
- Material: Engineered Leather
If you want the best MMA gloves for sparring, it has to be the Essential MMA Gloves from Sanabul. This brand is known for making affordable and accessible MMA gear for everyone, and their gloves are no different.
Made with premium engineered leather, you get all of the benefits of the material without any of expense, and they come in six different colors so you can choose one that perfectly suits your sparring style.
As a hybrid glove, these offer something totally unique, and that’s what makes them such a popular choice with customers who want the ideal sparring companion.
According to reviews, people loved these sparring gloves because it gave them the protection of a boxing glove with the flexibility and freedom of a fingerless glove.
If you want the best of both worlds to enable you to do all kinds of moves as you spar, these are some of our favorites, and most affordable.
On the negative side of things, the sizes are lacking and it seemed that a few customers were unable to find their perfect fit, even after trying both options.
With either small/medium and medium/large being the only types that Sanabul makes, it does rule out of a lot of users, and that’s a shame due to the glove’s popularity and its affordable price.
You’ll need to make some further adjustments to get them to fit comfortably, so be prepared for the extra effort, and the possibility you might not get it right.
The Sanabul Essential MMA Gloves come with a hook and loop system that make getting your gloves on and off easier and quicker than ever.
The hybrid gloves weigh just 7lbs and have the right amount of durability to last a long sparring session without giving you any pain or after effects, and you’ll have no qualms carrying them around in your backpack all day.
They’re not intended for heavy bag hitting so if you’re looking for something that can withstand this type of treatment, you won’t find it here.
However, they’re flexible and free moving thanks to the engineered leather which looks and feels just like the real thing, so nobody will tell the difference. This glove is good for sparring and other training that doesn’t require much force or impact provided you can find the right fit.
If you want some of the best priced but highest quality sparring gloves for your MMA practice, you’ve got them in the Sanabul Essential MMA Gloves.
Whether you’re just a beginner or have been training for years, these will do you very well in a sparring match, and keep your wrists and has as comfortable as possible.
Best MMA Heavy Bag Gloves: Everlast Wrist Wrap Gloves
- Type: Heavy bag
- Size: Small/Medium, Medium/Large
- Material: Synthetic
The king of the heavy bag gloves has to be the Everlast Wrist Wrap Gloves, made especially for mitt work and heavy bag workouts.
If you need something strong that’s going to protect your hand from your toughest punches, this is the way to go, and it’s a design that’s affordable enough for everyone and from one of the most trusted names in sporting equipment.
The best thing about the Everlast Wrist Wrap Gloves is in the name itself. This specially designed wrist wrap gives you optimum support in your wrist which is the area that takes the most damage during heavy bag workouts and other mitt work you might practice.
You’ll be able to punch for hours without discomfort, and there’ll be no troubling strains and sprains that show up later.
However, people didn’t think these gloves were made to last, as one of the cheaper options that might not surprise you.
Although the strap was good, the foam and other protective layers didn’t seem like they would last with regular practice, so it’s worth considering if you’re someone who gets into the gym a lot and does a lot of mitt work.
For the price though, they’re a great starter pair of heavy bag gloves, and something to try out if you’re figuring out what you want in a more permanent pair.
There are loads of extra features on these gloves that make their value for money even more amazing.
The gloves have been treated with a special anti-microbial substance that prevents bacteria from growing on them and keeps them smelling fresh, even after hours in the gym working up a sweat.
They’ve been designed for indoor and outdoor use, and won’t grow mold or get any mildew stains, so you can be pretty loose with them and not have to stress about damaging them.
The gloves feature an open finger system but with protection around the knuckle so you’ll get a lot more cushioning than gloves with the same type of features.
Thanks to this airy feeling, they’re a lot more breathable as well, and even in warm conditions, it makes a noticeable difference. Made of synthetic materials, they’re not as premium quality as a leather glove but will make any beginner fighter proud nonetheless.
There’s no free shipping on offer but you will get free returns, so even if you try them out and they’re not for you, you haven’t wasted any of your cash. As the ideal heavy bag gloves for MMA practice, you’ll be hard topping the value for money this offer.
FAQs About MMA Gloves
Shopping for MMA gloves can be daunting, especially if you’re a first-timer or looking for a glove for a specific purpose.
There’s no need to fear though, because we’ve got all of the answers to the questions you were too afraid to ask, to help make your shopping experience a whole lot easier, and much more successful.
What Makes MMA Gloves Different From Boxing Gloves?
Although boxing and MMA are both combat sports, they require a completely different glove to properly engage in them.
MMA gloves are usually fingerless and allow for greater flexibility of the wrist and fingers, whereas a boxing glove is all about protection and may be thicker to protect from heavier hits.
Both are designed to protect the hand of the wearer and offer the most effective blow, regardless of the sport.
How Much Do MMA Gloves Weigh?
The weight of an MMA glove can differ dramatically depending on its purpose, the materials used, and the person wearing them.
When entering a professional competition, there will be rules in place that indicate fighters must wear a glove between four and six ounces, sometimes with a specific amount or varied number depending on the size of the glove.
Training and beginner gloves are usually heavier at around seven to eight ounces.
Do I Need Specific Gloves For Grappling?
The best MMA grappling gloves are those with open fingers that are small in size and sleek. They might have additional padding compared to a regular glove, sometimes up to six ounces, and they’re designed to protect the wrists and hand of the wearer.
The fingers are left free so they can perform grappling maneuvers commonly used in MMA, like submissions and clinch fighting.
How Good Are Hybrid Gloves Compared To Specialized Gloves?
A hybrid glove was designed to allow the wearer to go from hitting the punching bag to sparring in the ring.
Depending on your level of experience and what you spend your time doing, this might be more suitable and economical than having one pair of gloves for every purpose.
More experienced fighters will prefer a specialized glove for each portion or their martial arts practice.
The Key to a Worthy MMA Practice
Mixed martial arts is such a vast combat sport that comprises on many different techniques, styles, and movements.
Although we might use our bodies as our weapon and require the strength and agility to beat our competitors, our efforts would be in vain if it weren’t for the right choice in gear.
Nothing is more important to a fighter than their gloves, and this goes whether you’re sparring during practice or in the ring for a real event, so it pays to do your research.
With a glove for seemingly everything out there to do with MMA, the mere thought of shopping for a new pair might overwhelm you, but with our help you don’t have to give a second thought.
Whether you want a hybrid glove or one made specifically for sparring or punching, depends entirely on your practice.
Only you’ll know what areas you like to focus on and where you want to build your skills, so having the right pair of gloves to get you there will make all of the difference in how far you go.
These recommendations we’ve made come from hours of weighing up the top contenders and fan favorites to come up with a comprehensive list of the best of the best.
No matter your purpose or where you want to focus on in your MMA practice, you’ll never feel more like a true martial artist than when you’re equipped with the right gloves.