Boxing vs Muay Thai vs MMA – Gloves Differences

Depending on the contact sport you are in, there are different types of boxing gloves for boxing, Muay Thai and mixed martial arts (MMA). In this post we will look at some of them up close and find out why such differences exist.

Boxing Gloves

Boxing gloves are probably the best option simply because they are made for boxing. The way their weight is distributed across all areas of the glove, padding, and much improved quality, makes them better than any other type of glove.

Muay Thai Gloves

Muay Thai gloves are also very high quality but not the same as boxing gloves. The way they are built, makes it easier for hands to open and allows your thumbs to clinch and grab opponents. They are also better for blocking kicks, which is a key aspect of Thai sport. The fact these gloves keep your hands open, making it harder to form a fist, as a result it slows down your combinations and punching rate.

MMA Gloves

MMA gloves are not as high in quality as compared to the boxing and Thai gloves. Their main focus is on designing the glove and making it look cool and fancy, but when it comes to protection and durability they don’t offer much.

Other Key Differences

If you place all these three types of gloves together, first thing that you will notice is the difference in their lengths. You’ll find that MMA gloves are the shortest, while boxing gloves are the longest of the three.

Thai gloves for the most part are always going to be shorter but a touch heavier as most of the padding is concentrated up top. On the other hand, boxing gloves are much longer, to offer extra wrist support to the boxer. Wrist support locks you in and support your hands and gives you that extra protection that you need.

As compared to the other two contact sports, in boxing, you are only allowed to use your hands so that’s why they are heavily protected. The padding is evenly distributed including top to bottom, front and back, and sides. As boxer has to block opponent’s punches as well as throw them, you need all that extra padding for your own safety.

The advantage of having shorter gloves in Muay Thai is that they become easy to manipulate as fighter can use his hands to grab opponent from behind the neck and use kicks. While Muay Thai fighters like to stay up and close to the opponents, boxers like to stay little bit further away to their opponent to be able to throw punches. For that they have even padding which allows them to throw punches more smoothly and easily. With balanced padding, the weight is also distributed so they actually feel lighter. Extra padding also allow the boxer to block opponents powerful punches and take most of the brunt.

Another difference is that in boxing gloves thumb is placed right behind the padding to keep your fist firm and perfectly locked in. MMA gloves have little padding because the fighter has to use his hands to maneuver and grab opponent and apply different locks and techniques.


The type of boxing gloves you end up buying depends on the sport you are in and your personal preference. The type of brand you choose is also extremely important because every brand offers different design and quality. So choose wisely. RDX is famous for producing highest quality boxing, MMA and Muay Thai gloves with maximum protection and durability.