[Updated January 5th 2017]
Focus mitts are extremely valuable pieces of equipment for boxers. They are basically a cross between boxing gloves and punching bags, or as I once heard, “punchable boxing gloves”. Once you begin to feel comfortable with the basics of how to properly throw a punch, move around in a fighting stance, and properly hit a heavy bag, then often times the next step is some one-on-one pad work with a trainer.
Pad work often uses some variety of focus mitts. This allows the trainer to work with you, seeing your progression from the perspective of an opponent. Focus pads are necessary for developing proper punching technique, but more so for learning how to properly throw combinations. The trainer can interact with you throughout the round, analyze your technique, and also get a sense of power and fatigue as you progress through the exercise.
As you can probably imagine, pads can wear down over time as they get beat up from endless punches. With many different companies putting their own spin on mitts, it’s important to feel comfortable with what you’re getting, and comfort and durability are key. It can be difficult to keep track of all the subtle differences, and therefore, in this post we aim to review some of the best focus mitts for boxing that are currently available.
Everlast uses fancy terms when describing these gloves; however, the description is rather vague in general, so let us clear thew air. In terms of quality, these focus mitts are the equivalent to the Everlast Pro Style boxing gloves we reviewed in our Best Boxing Gloves section. If I were to describe them in one word, it would be “sufficient”. They work well and get the job done, but the durability just isn’t there.
When talking about value, bang-for-your-buck, however you want to put it, we have to give a thumbs up. They are definitely on the lower end of the price range for focus mitts, so if you are a beginner or would like to experiment with a couple different brands, then we recommend these.
On the other hand, if you are planning on buying a pair of focus pads for long term use at a gym, or if you are an intermediate to advanced boxer, we would recommend spending a little more on a better pair known to last longer. Additionally, one of the main complaints about these mitts is the hand size. If you have small hands they likely won’t fit very well, which can make things difficult when working with a partner.
Overall, we recommend these gloves for beginners, those on strict budgets, or for short-term use. Otherwise, we recommend shopping around for a better pair.
These focus mitts are definitely better quality than the Everlast ones above. They incorporate a curved fit, which is a little more comfortable for both the boxer and the trainer, as well as a hook-and-loop closure (D-ring style) to limit movement and provide a snug fit. They have tons of padding all around and a moisture-wicking lining.
These are extremely well reviewed punching mitts that are way more likely to stand up to the test of time. One of the things people find to be an underrated aspect is the spherical shaped ball in the middle that allows for a very comfortable grip over long sessions. Moreover, these are very well-reviewed by trainers in terms of protection.
The cons? They more expensive than a lot of focus mitts, but for the quality you get, it’s not bad value. Another con, depending on how you look at it, is that you should always wear boxing gloves when hitting these focus mitts, as they are built so strongly they can hurt the hand and knuckles if used enough or hit improperly.
Overall, we highly recommend these mitts, but only if they are in the budget. They will feel great when working with both beginners and pros, and will last longer than the majority of pads currently available.
In this case, the company uses all the same terms and phrases as the rest when describing their product (e.g. shock-absorbing foam, adjustable wrist-strap, great for boxing). These are all things you should expect from any pair of focus pads over $20.
What these punching pads do offer is decent value. Simply put, they offer mid-range quality for a mid-range price, but nothing special. They offer a bit more protection than the Everlast New Punch Mitts, they are a little more durable, and slightly more comfortable. Although the glove portion of the mitt looks a little weird or cheap, it’s actually not bad and fits a little more snug than the Everlast one, although those with small hands may still experience some movement.
Overall, if you’re looking for a decent pair of focus mitts but would rather not choose the cheapest option, these are recommended.
I don’t know exactly what is going on with this Everlast “Everhide” stuff, but it seems like whenever they advertise Everhide it usually results in a bad product, and these focus mitts are no different. It was the same with the Everlast Everhide speed bag that we reviewed in our Best Speed Bags section.
The main complaint with these is the durability, even though Everlast advertises a “tough and durable Everhide for a long life”. Perhaps the Everhide isn’t that bad, but everything else around it is. For example, the inner lining is known to pretty much disintegrate after some heavy use, but the outer material can last a bit longer.
Not everything is bad about these focus mitts. In terms of performance, they are actually pretty good. Like the other Everlast focus mitts, it’s highly recommended that the person hitting them is wearing boxing gloves, but other than that they can feel quite comfortable and are fairly light weight.
Our recommendation: Only buy these if they are for short-term use or you simply are curious enough to try them out. They aren’t too expensive, so we don’t want to say avoid them at all costs. However, if you want a pair of mitts that will last a long time in the face of harsh punishment, then we would suggest that you keep looking.
These things are BEEFY, and pretty cool. They are a pair of very unique focus mitts that utilize a gel to reinforce the padding. Similar to the other TITLE focus mitts we reviewed, they also have the spherical ball in the palm for comfortable grip. With a durable leather outer cover and multi-layer foam padding, the TITLE MMA Gel Focus Pads are built for protection and durability.
TITLE also kept comfort in mind with these mitts. They included a leather wrap-around wrist strap, a moisture-wicking lining, and a dura-weave nylon mesh for added ventilation.
The main drawback of these mitts is the size. Women usually find these mitts a little too big, and everyone finds them to be heavier than conventional focus pads, but that’s mainly because they are built to withstand many types of impacts, not just punches. Also, make sure you are wearing boxing gloves when hitting these. I know we said that about a few of the other mitts so far, but these gel focus pads are very firm, as they are required to withstand tremendous impact forces.
Overall, if you need something a little more robust that is meant to last a long time, we highly recommend these. Just be warned that they are on the more expensive side of the price range for punching pads.