Muay Thai Gloves vs. Boxing Gloves – 4 Vital Differences

Boxing and Muay Thai are different sports and obviously, both have different requirements. So even though both pair types can be used for same training types there are some vital differences and below you can find all about them and my experiences as well.

Let’s start Muay Thai Gloves vs. Boxing Gloves with the most important difference…


1. Flexibility

In Muay Thai, you need to clinch and grip so as you can guess Muay Thai gloves have way more flexibility than boxing gloves. These provide you to clinch and grab. Also when you clench your fist, these provide less resistance because these are flexible.

boxing gloves vs. Muay thai gloves

However, boxing gloves can have a tougher construction and this is why boxing gloves tend to last longer than Muay Thai gloves. These are just sturdier.

If you will do pure Muay Thai training, you need your glove to be able to clinch etc. so obviously you need Muay Thai gloves. There are actually really popular and good Muay Thai gloves which give you more than your money’s worth. If you are interested you should definitely have a look at the review of Twins Boxing Gloves and another good option is obviously Fairtex BGV1. As you might have already known them, these are arguably the most popular Muay Thai gloves.


2. Weight Distribution and Design

Due to the flexibility requirements, you need to be able to “control” the front part of the Muay Thai gloves. So Muay Thai gloves don’t have lots of padding in there and these have a rectangular shape. This provides you to grip and do clinch work easier.

Whereas boxing gloves have lots of padding in that area. So these can provide more “safety” for your knuckles and wrists. This is also the reason why you can punch faster and do punch combos faster with boxing gloves. An excellent example for that would be Rival gloves. If you go to the review of this pair, you will see that its wrist part is really small. It actually has one more reason. Tighter wrist closure stabilizes your wrist better and it protects your wrist better while punching. And if you have a weak wrist like I do, when you do heavy bag training, I strongly recommend you to go with boxing gloves or preferably bag gloves!

Muay Thai gloves have way more padding on the upper side. These even have more padding than boxing sparring gloves! Because in Muay Thai, you also need to block your opponent’s / sparring partner’s kicks so it is actually a safety requirement. The more padding quantity provides better shock absorbing and you won’t have so sore hands after sparring sessions in Muay Thai. And as you can guess, this is another reason why you punch slower and do combinations slower with Muay Thai gloves.

The padding of Muay Thai gloves is thinner and doesn’t move a lot. While you are doing sparring, you need to clinch and also you may need to clench immediately. If the padding moves a lot, this can make your life a lot harder! Whereas boxing glove’s padding tends to move more. In this way, it maximizes the shock absorption.

If you think of doing bag, pad work and have a good performance then you should definitely go with boxing gloves and punch faster!

Important Note: Please note that gloves do not provide only safety and the glove type changes everything. As you know these have different weight distributions, padding style… These basically change everything about the training performance!


Thumb Part (Will be updated!)

Note: Obviously, attached thumb prevents you hurting your sparring partner, however, I am talking about training type here.

The thumb part actually depends on the brand. Actually many boxing gloves and Muay Thai gloves have the same attached thumb design whereas some of them are quite different. Some are a bit detached and some of them are completely detached and some of them are attached. Honestly, I made a very extensive research (looked at forums, read sources, checked out other sites…) about it, however, I could not figure out the reason. With that, I recently sent some e-mails to companies and if I get any answer trust me on this you will find it on here! 

Also, you can have a look at the overviews of boxing glove brands for having more information about the brands.

differences between boxing and muay thai gloves

3. Comfort

Again the design and construction play a huge role in this. With that, Muay Thai gloves have more “flexibility” so the mesh panels also have more flexibility. This is actually why many people feel that they are more comfortable with Muay Thai gloves. Thanks to that, you feel “fresher” and these also get rid of sweat faster. Some great examples are Fairtex and Boon for it.


4. Price

Alright as you can see both boxing gloves and Muay Thai gloves have some similarities and many of them satisfy many people’s needs. So when it is the case people consider the price most and I hear you. If you want to have gloves which have the highest quality price ratio, you can have a look at Twins for Muay Thai gloves and you can have a look at RDX or Ring to Cage C-17 for boxing gloves. With that, boxing gloves tend to have higher price tags. Also, you can find many top-notch Muay Thai gloves with incredible price tags. These are made of genuine leather and many of them are handcrafted and fit well. These also tend to give you way more than your money’s worth!

Aesthetics: There are really cool Muay Thai gloves and boxing gloves on the market and it actually depends on the brand. Personally, I just love the looks of Cleto Reyes. In my opinion, Mexican style looks just amazing. If you are interested in having an aesthetic pair which provides good training performance, I gathered quite a good list and here you can find these cool boxing gloves.


Final Thoughts and Recommendations

Everyone has different needs (training type) so this should be your first criteria. If you do boxing training then obviously go with boxing gloves and if you will do Muay Thai training then go with Muay Thai gloves. However, if you will do Muay Thai training and also want to focus on improving your punching technique and power then you can also get a pair of boxing gloves for your training. I also know that many people, who do Muay Thai training, own both boxing gloves and Muay Thai gloves.

Check out these Good Boxing Gloves

However, if you are competing, choose a pair type for your own sport! And definitely, don’t buy the other type since as you know these have different designs, weight and padding distributions and if you get used to the different weight, padding distribution this may affect your training performance badly! I really hope that you enjoyed reading differences between Muay Thai Gloves and Boxing Gloves and if you have any question, just have a comment below.


Image Courtesy of Commonist  and Mario javier castaneda and via Creative Commons License, Some Rights Reserved
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2 thoughts on “Muay Thai Gloves vs. Boxing Gloves – 4 Vital Differences”

  1. This was a very well written article, and thanks to it I learned something new about the boxing world. I actually have seen muay-thai gloves before, but just assumed they were boxing gloves! Thanks to this post, I know that there is indeed a difference between the two, and that they are used for very different functions. I guess you learn something new every day. Overall, it was a very interesting, informative read.
    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. 🙂

    1. I don’t blame you. These look quite similar. As a beginner, it can be difficult to determine whether a glove is a boxing glove or Muay Thai glove.

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