Can You Use Muay Thai Gloves for Boxing?


sport, box and people concept - young man in gloves boxing with punching bag in gym

At first glance, the gloves for Muay Thai and the one for boxing are incredibly similar. They’re so alike that one could confuse them for each other. But if you switch from one to the other, can you use Muay Thai gloves for boxing?

Here’s what I found out:

One can use Muay Thai gloves for boxing. However, it is possible that the added padding that Muay Thai gloves have could affect the speed, accuracy, and impact of a standard boxing punch. So, it is better to purchase boxing gloves since they are specifically tailored to protect boxers. 

In other words, it is ideal not to use Muay Thai gloves for boxing.

A Muay Thai glove has padding all over since all sides of the hand can be used. Boxing gloves, by comparison, have most of the padding around the knuckles since the punches are more basic.

In this article, we’ll explore both types of gloves in greater detail and the advantages and disadvantages of both.

Let the fun begin…

Is there a difference between Muay Thai and boxing gloves?

As a general rule, Muay Thai gloves have much more padding around the sides, thumb, and wrist area since Muay Thai fighters use several different punches and hits compared to standard boxing punches. As such, regular boxing gloves have most of the padding around the knuckles. 

Let’s check out the differences.

The Palm

Boxers use the palm solely to parry shots, while it’s used for holding kicks and clinching in MT.

So, the design is slightly different. Boxing gloves are usually rounded at the fingers so that fists can be formed more naturally.

And, there’s often a breathable mesh in the palm for ventilation. MT gloves often have more open palms, and the use of breathable meshes is less common.

The Thumb

In a boxing glove, the thumb is kept as close as possible to the other fingers to prevent it from being injured, while in most MT gloves, it’s not as close.

This makes it easy to have a better grip when catching or clinching.

Padded Areas

The area covering the knuckles is padded in a boxing glove because that’s the part of the hand that’s impacted when you box.

It’s the focal point of boxing. Muay Thai, on the other hand, involves more than boxing. As such, the glove is used for a lot more. In MT, there are kicks, elbows, knees, and spinning backfists.

So, an MT glove has a more uniformly distributed padding.

Length and shape

On average, MT’s gloves are almost always going to be the shorter ones. This is to give MT fighters more flexibility with their wrists when they clinch.

Boxing gloves, on the other hand, are often longer, and the part that covers the wrist is also padded. This helps when a boxer is blocking punches.

The boxing glove is also somewhat rectangular, while MT’s is more rounded and puffier because of the way it’s padded.

Are expensive boxing gloves worth it?

Expensive boxing gloves are worth it for fighters who are competing regularly. They are often made of high-quality leather, whereas some inexpensive gloves are made of vinyl. Expensive gloves are designed to offer maximum protection to boxers while being comfortable to use. 

These gloves also last longer than inexpensive ones.

Boxing gloves are like other products we buy: we get what we pay for. We know that higher prices are almost always a signifier of high value because we know that a lot goes into making high-quality products.

Expensive gloves are worth it because they are made with some of the best materials by top brands who have the knowledge and experience to craft them.

They are durable and comfortable.

Semi-professionals and professionals use these gloves because they can be relied on.

Genuine leather, synthetic leather, and vinyl are the materials used for making boxing gloves. Expensive gloves are made with genuine leather. They are durable and comfy.

Mid-tier gloves are made with synthetic leather and low-quality ones with vinyl. Seeing as gloves can make a huge difference in the fighting experience, smart fighters usually opt for expensive boxing gloves.

It’s tempting to want to opt for inexpensive gloves. 

The truth is that in the long run, expensive ones are more than worth it. Pros know that the quality of the gloves can offer an edge, and that’s always something you don’t want to take lightly.

But if you’re just starting out, you don’t need the top of the line, and you can always upgrade later.

Interested in picking up Muay Thai? I wrote the ultimate guide for you, where I shared its key pros and cons.

You can learn MT relatively fast. It’s awesome for self-defense and fitness. Get the full lowdown in a recent article of mine.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Do Muay Thai gloves provide better wrist support than boxing gloves?

Boxing gloves provide better wrist support than Muay Thai gloves. Because boxing focuses heavily on straight punching, the gloves are designed to offer better wrist support. They have wider and longer padded cuffs, and they are tighter and thinner to have a firmer control of the wrists.

Muay Thai gloves are not as thin or tight, and they have shorter cuffs which help with flexibility but not so much wrist support.

MT is known as the art of 8 limbs because several parts of the body are being used when fighting.

In boxing, on the other hand, the hands are the only weapon, and when the heat is on, and you’re throwing punches after punches, it’s good not to have to worry about having a wrist injury.

This is why boxing gloves are deliberately designed for better wrist support.

What boxing gloves hurt the most?

Light boxing gloves, as opposed to heavy boxing gloves, hurt the most. This is because light boxing gloves do not have as much padding. With less padding, the knuckles are more apt to injure both the puncher and the fighter receiving the punch.

Heavily padded (and consequently heavy) boxing gloves look more intimidating. But, they hurt less. Why? The padding creates a buffer between your knuckles and the opponent’s jaw.

In effect, it hurts you and the opponent or sparring partner less. 

Light gloves, on the other hand, have no such protection, so they hurt the most. They have a smaller surface area, which also makes them more difficult to block. As a result, they can easily slip through.

How does one know the amount of padding a boxing glove has? 

It’s measured in ounces. So, a 16-ounce glove has more padding (protection) than a 10-ounce glove. In other words, the latter is lighter. But it hurts more. Pros may train with heavy gloves, but they use light gloves when it’s time to fight.

You’re interested in picking up boxing or taekwondo for self-defense and aren’t sure which way to go?

In a recent article, I explained that boxing helps you build your core strength and is more effective for self-defense. But there’s one key way Taekwondo might actually help you more in a real fight.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

What are the best gloves for boxing?

Some of the best gloves for boxing are made by Winning, Venum, TopBoxer, Rival, and Casanova. Their top-of-the-line gloves have superior padding and leather.

As I hinted earlier, all things being equal, a more expensive glove is better than an inexpensive one. This is because one factor that determines price is the type of material employed, and the best gloves are made with the best materials.

Let’s check a list of some of the best gloves and then look at what makes 2 or 3 of such gloves good.

  • Winning Training boxing glove
  • Venum Contender boxing gloves
  • Twins Special boxing gloves
  • Fairtex boxing gloves
  • Cleto Reyes boxing gloves.
  • TITLE Gel World boxing gloves.
  • Ringside Apex boxing gloves
  • Everlast Pro Style boxing glove

Winning – Best Overall Boxing Glove

Winning is one of the best boxing gloves.

It’s the brand that others want to be like when they grow up. It’s highly protective and beautifully stitched. It’s powerful in terms of its impact and, at the same time, it is very comfortable because it’s got the best padding. It’s a bit expensive, but it’s more than worth its weight in gold.

It’s a product of Japanese engineering. It is the gold standard.

CLICK HERE to see the current price of these awesome gloves on Amazon!

Venum Elite Boxing Gloves – Best Budget Boxing Glove

Venum Elite Boxing Gloves is the Holy Grail of boxing gloves in a more budget-friendly price range. Reinforced seams, high-quality leather, tons of color choices, and hand-stitched in Thailand.

CLICK HERE to see the current price of these awesome gloves on Amazon!

Now that you’re set on gloves, the big question is what’s your goal?

Are you wanting fitness, self-defense, camaraderie, competition, or to boost your own self-esteem? There are lots of good reasons to train, but your goals will impact which martial art is best.

Boxing or Krav Maga? Which one is great for self-defense? 

In a recent article, I said to go for Krav Maga because it’s designed for self-defense, while boxing is a sport constrained by rules. It’s not as effective in a streetfight.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Conclusion

In the article, we checked out if it’s cool to use Muay Thai gloves for boxing.

No, it’s not.

We considered whether expensive boxing gloves are worth it or they’re simply overrated. We looked at the differences between MT and boxing gloves and whether the former offer better wrist support.

We also looked at what kind of boxing gloves hurt the most, and we wrapped things up by checking out a few of the best boxing gloves out there.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell was Academy Director for a large martial arts school for over 7 years, and has trained extensively in a variety of martial arts including Brazilian Jiujitsu, different styles of Karate, the Russian Martial Art of Systema, Aikido, and much more.

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