Essentially every martial art incorporates punches, and despite its name, kickboxing is no exception. Unprotected punches, however, can cause serious, lasting damage to both you and your opponent. Even disciplines like kickboxing that heavily utilize lower body strikes require good protection for your hands.
Any gym or academy worth attending requires mandatory gloves before you’re even allowed to hit a punching a bag for a reason. Buying the right gloves improve your performance and prevent serious injuries to your hands and wrists.
Sprains and fractures, two of the most common boxing hand injuries, come from blunt force trauma and poor form. Good gloves will protect you from both. Obviously, if you hit anything hard enough, glove or not, you may damage your hand, and even the best gloves can only correct your form to a certain extent. Train carefully with adequate supervision to prevent injury and develop real improvement in your discipline.
Unless you’re in the professional ring, the best gloves are training gloves. They weigh between twelve and eighteen ounces and provide more protection than bag gloves. Invest in your gloves, because quality counts. Buying substandard gloves is an invitation for injury. Make sure gloves have room for wraps and/or gel support inside. While gloves provide a first line of defense, wrapping your hands prevents far more accidents. Gloves also need good wrist support. This supports the fragile bones and connective tissue in the joint while simultaneously supporting good striking form.
The Best Gloves for Kickboxing Students
Sanabul Essential GEL Kickboxing Training Gloves
As the name suggests, gel plays a key role in this product’s design. Rather than having a separate gel layer over or under traditional foam, these gloves have foam injected with gel. This helps absorb shock and softens impact. Longitudinal Arch Design allows the gloves to fit the curve of your hand, providing maximum support and guidance to improve performance. A thick Velcro strap keeps the gloves secure and offers wrist support. The gloves’ artificial leather exterior is designed for easy cleaning and keeps the overall price of the product low.
Previous buyers who’ve tried multiple brands believe these are the best gloves in their price range. Although a few critics advise potential buyers to buy a size smaller than usual, most praised the gloves’ incredible comfort. One user even said the gloves felt better than comparable Everlast gloves. Others pointed out these gloves are great options for beginners looking for serious protection while on a budget.
- Superior protection
- Wide strap for wrist support
- Directly compared to other leading brands
- Can’t compare to more expensive gloves
- Artificial leather
Venum Elite Boxing Gloves
These gloves use premium Skintex leather constructions to create a high quality, long lasting product. Triple density foam protects against every impact, and a reinforced palm absorbs extra shock. Each glove includes a mesh ventilation area immediately below the fist for optimal temperature control. A wide Velcro wrist closure offers great support for wrists. These gloves are handmade in Thailand.
Although these gloves don’t have many fancy features, they do their job very, very well, and previous buyers have plenty to say. Even though Skintex isn’t genuine leather, users comparing it with other gloves found Skintex to be more pliable than genuine leather without suffering the cracks and tears of other artificial leather products. Users who upgraded from cheap gloves also attested to the value of their investment in Venum’s Elite gloves. They protected hands better than the competition, which is the ultimate point of any kickboxing gloves.
- Superb protection
- Triple layer foam protection
- Reinforced palm
- Artificial leather that works as well or better than genuine cow hide
Anthem Athletics Stormbringer Sparring Gloves
Made from premium buffalo leather, the manufacturer claims these gloves are not only superior to artificial leather, but also to other kinds of genuine leather. Triple density PU foam provides great protection for everything from bag work to sparring. Moisture-wicking lining keeps your hands dry to prevent slips. The thick wrist straps feature extra padding to provide the best protection.
While most previous buyers had nothing but good things to say about their purchase, a few users had problems with the gloves after one or two uses. The most common problem was substandard stitching that came unraveled after only a few hours of training. Even those with faulty products, however, attested to the gloves’ quality components. Other users praise the padding, saying it strikes a good balance between protection and overstuffing. While gloves may be tight at first, they loosen enough to wear knuckle wraps after a few uses.
- Buffalo leather
- Triple density foam padding
- Users attest to quality
- Some faulty products with substandard seams
- Too tight for wraps during first few training sessions
If you can only invest in one great piece of training equipment, go for gloves. Kickboxing requires a lot of bag work and sparring, both of which take a heavy toll on your hands. Without adequate protection, you will learn the pain of bruised knuckles and probably develop at least one fracture or sprain. Any of these conditions impede your training, so it’s worth investing up front to protect yourself.
Of all the gloves listed, the Venum Elites are likely the best. Venum has won consistent praise as a brand since its inception, and the company keeps close ties to traditional Muay Thai kickboxing. Although they use artificial elements in most of their products, they emphasize performance and safety over gimmicks and luxury. The Anthem Stormbringer gloves are the second best option, and also the second most affordable. Despite a few flawed products, their return policy is sound and the vast majority of users praised the gloves’ craftsmanship. The Sanabul Essential gloves come last on our list. They’re good gloves for beginners, but they are very inexpensive, and price really does tie to quality when it comes to kickboxing gloves. Sometimes to stay safe, you need to pay a little more.