In one of our most popular articles, we outlined the best boxing gloves for training, with a focus on a standard boxing gym environment. However, if you’re into kickboxing, and depending on your gym, you may require something a little different and more manageable for your workout. Therefore, we decided to review our picks for the top kickboxing gloves currently on the market, with an additional focus on budget and value.
Difference Between Kickboxing Gloves and Normal Gloves
This will depend on what you refer to as kickboxing gloves. According to the World Kickboxing Association’s Rules and Regulations, promoters take care of providing the correct kickboxing gloves for bouts, ensuring that the two contestants are wearing identical gloves (except for color). Therefore, for training purposes, we would suggest asking the trainers at your gym if there are any specific requirements for the gloves you wear. Usually they will suggest an attached thumb. Otherwise, if they let you pick, consider the flow of your workout and what’s involved.
For example, if your workout consists of lots of bag work, especially on the heavy bag, then you may want to choose something more like a conventional boxing glove where you will have ample padding up front, as well as solid support around the wrist. The main drawback to conventional boxing gloves is that they can be a bit of a pain to take on and off if you’re doing other exercises in the middle of your workout, so if you go this route, try and choose gloves with a Velcro strap for ease of use.
On the other hand, if you’re often engaging in sparring sessions, or you’re working with a trainer and various forms of grappling are being taught, then you will likely want something with separated fingers, or at least a flexible palm/hand portion of the glove in order to provide the hand mobility necessary for this.
In terms of choosing a size, this will depend on your workout routine, but as a point of reference, typical boxing gloves are most widely available in 16oz. This provides a great balance between protection, performance, and training (16oz can feel heavy after a while!). Many boxercise classes will allow for lighter gloves, maybe even down to 8-10oz, but this will usually coincide with much less bag work as well.
Our Picks for the Best Kickboxing Gloves
Here are our top picks for the best boxing gloves. These are not listed in any particular order, as we are trying to highlight a range of different styles, but all are known to be well-performing kickboxing gloves.
The Sanabul Essential Gel kickboxing gloves provide excellent value. They combine above average performance with a low cost, making them suitable for almost everyone. With performance engineered leather construction, as well as gel impact protection foam, these gloves provide ample protection to help avoid any hand injuries while training.
The longitudinal arch design is meant to fit to the natural curve of your hand, which makes it easier to achieve proper fist closure while striking. The Velcro strap on the wrist is pretty standard, but the Velcro makes it easy to take put them on and off between rounds if necessary. The mesh palms are also nice because they provide that extra little bit of ventilation to keep your hands cool.
The main drawback to these gloves is that they aren’t ideal for sparring. They’re probably fine for very light sparring in a controlled and supervised setting, but if you’re really working on technical aspects of your game n the ring with an opponent, then we would suggest either using these kickboxing gloves for training only and getting another pair for sparring. It could be worth checking with your trainers first, as many gyms, but not all, will provide sparring gear.
Overall, these are great value kickboxing gloves that are suitable to anyone, but mainly for those who are training only and don’t do much sparring, or also for anyone who is just getting started and don’t want to spend a lot right off the bat.
If you’re looking for a little bit of protection at a very low cost, then we would definitely recommend that you consider the ILM Kickboxing gloves. These kickboxing gloves are quite different than the Sanabul Essential Gel kickboxing gloves that we reviewed above, primarily in terms of the design. The ILM gloves feature an open-finger design whereby your fingers are able to move freely (by boxing glove standards), which makes them great for grappling as well.
The ILM kickboxing gloves have also been approved by the World Taekwondo Federation as a suitable hand protector, so these can be used across multiple disciplines. The design includes a half finger cut, qualified EVA padding, grip baton, palm ventilation, and sweat-wrapping thumb fabric. That being said, we don’t list these features to show how good the gloves are, as they aren’t anything special when it comes to kickboxing gloves, but rather, for how low the cost is, it’s good to know that nothing is missing!
While these gloves perform well and are known to be very comfortable, the main drawback is their durability. This isn’t exactly shocking considering the low price, but definitely something to keep in mind. The main issue that customers have are with the material eventually tearing, so if you do lots of regular bag work, don’t expect them to hold up for a really long time.
Overall, the ILM kickboxing gloves are an excellent option for those on a really strict budget, or those who just need a little bit of added protection, but not to the extent of standard boxing gloves. Please note that these gloves do not provide the protection that full hand kickboxing gloves do, so if protection is what you are prioritizing, we would suggest a full hand style of glove.
Everlast is arguably the most popular boxing brand out there, so it’s no surprise that they offer a variety of kixkboxing gloves as well. These Everlast MMA kickboxing gloves provide good performance and decent protection, all at pretty low cost.
There is ample padding all along the top side of the glove extending over the knuckles and on to the fingers. The full wrist strap provides excellent support and is highly adjustable, and the newly added full mesh palm facilitates breathability, keeping your hands cool and dry.
However, there is one main drawback to these gloves. They definitely require some breaking in. While the padding is great and they feel comfortable, when you hit the bag the padding can slide up your fingers the tiniest amount. This may seem like nothing, but after repeated punching of a heavy bag, these Everlast MMA kickboxing gloves will likely stat to chafe and cut your knuckles. Over time this becomes less of an issue, but nevertheless, it’s still a hassle to overcome.
Overall, these are great kickboxing gloves with the exception of the one major design flaw that allows the padding to move slightly when striking a heavy bag. Therefore, we definitely wouldn’t say these are the best kickboxing gloves out there, but they still have enough potential that we would recommend them to anyone who has the patience to break them.
The Anthem Athletics StormBringer kickboxing gloves offer excellent performance, protection, and durability. Constructed from premium buffalo leather, these kickboxing gloves offer superior performance when compared to synthetic or engineered leather.
These gloves have a muay-thai style design that resembles a conventional boxing glove more than an MMA-style grappling glove. The triple-density high-performance PU foam disperses impact forces around the glove, which provides incredible protection to your hands and knuckles. There is also some additional padding in the wrist area, and the strap provides ample wrist support.
The main drawback to these gloves are the cost, as they are noticeably more expensive than the other kickboxing gloves that we reviewed. However, given their top-end performance, protection, and durability, these kickboxing gloves still offer some solid value.
Overall, in an absolute sense, these are probably the best kickboxing gloves that we reviewed, but at the same time they may not be suitable for everyone’s budget. One thing to keep in mind when questioning whether or not they’re worth it is that these kickboxing gloves are also suitable for sparring, so they’re really a great all-around pair of kickboxing gloves.
If you were interested int he Anthem Athletics StormBringer kickboxing gloves that we reviewed above, but aren’t too keen on a full glove design, then we would definitely encourage you to consider the Anthem Athletics Predator MMA kickboxing gloves. These kickboxing gloves have a different design that allows for grappling, increased finger movement, and superior ventilation.
These kickboxing gloves are also made from high quality materials, in this case, 100% full-grain cow hide leather, which is better than synthetic or engineered leather that you see on most kickboxing gloves. Similar to the StormBringer gloves above, the Predator kickboxing gloves have triple-density PU foam padding for maximum protection. They have also optimized the palm construction to prevent the gloves from bowing out, which in turn helps to prevent cuts and other injuries.
The Anthem Athletics Predator kickboxing gloves come in a variety of sizes, but they recommend the 4 oz version for competitive/professional fighters, while recreational/amateur fighters or anyone who has a history of hand injuries will benefit more from the 7 oz that provides additional padding.
Overall, these are an excellent value pair of MMA-style kickboxing gloves. They offer solid performance, great protection, and great durability, all at a surprisingly decent cost. The cost might be a little steep for some, but overall, it’s not too bad, making them a great all-around choice for anyone who is training on a regular basis.