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Is there difference between gloves for Muay Thai and gloves for boxing?

Gear and Equipment
a man and a woman boxing in a gym

Yes, there are differences between Muay Thai gloves and boxing gloves.

While both types of gloves are designed to protect the hands and allow for effective striking, they have some key differences in terms of their construction and design.


Muay Thai gloves are typically more rectangular in shape than boxing gloves. This is because Muay Thai fighters use their hands, fists, shins, and elbows to strike, so the gloves need to be designed to protect the entire hand and allow for different types of strikes. Boxing gloves, on the other hand, are more rounded and designed to protect primarily the fists.

The shape of boxing gloves has evolved over time as the sport of boxing has changed and developed.

  • Bare-Knuckle Era: In the early days of boxing, there were no gloves. Boxers fought bare-knuckled, which often resulted in serious injuries and even death.
  • The First Gloves: The first gloves used in boxing were more like padded mitts than modern boxing gloves. They were designed to protect the hands of the boxer, but didn't provide much protection for the opponent. They were also more flat in shape.
  • The Modern Glove: In the early 1900s, the modern boxing glove was developed. This glove was more rounded and provided more protection for both the boxer and their opponent. Over time, the weight and size of gloves were standardized, and the padding was improved to make the gloves safer and more comfortable.
  • Specialized Gloves: In recent years, there has been an increase in the use of specialized gloves for different types of boxing and training. For example, gloves used for sparring are often more padded and have a wider surface area to reduce the risk of injury during training. Additionally, gloves used in MMA tend to be smaller and more flexible to allow for grappling techniques.

When Muay Thai fighters began using gloves in the early 20th century, the first gloves they used were more similar to those used in Western boxing. They had a more rounded shape and padding to protect both the fighter's hands and their opponent. However, as Muay Thai evolved as a sport, specialized gloves were developed to better suit the unique techniques and requirements of the sport


Muay Thai gloves typically have less padding around the knuckles than boxing gloves. This is because Muay Thai fighters use their hands to strike hard surfaces like pads, bags, and opponents' limbs, so the gloves need to be able to absorb shock and protect the hands without being too bulky. Boxing gloves have more padding around the knuckles to protect the hands during punches.


Muay Thai gloves often have a hook and loop closure that wraps around the wrist and secures the glove in place. Boxing gloves typically have a lace-up closure that provides a more secure and customizable fit.

Not only for the sake of classic look gloves for boxing typically have a lace-up closure but also because they require a secure and custom fit to protect the hands of the boxer during bouts. Lace-up gloves provide a tighter and more secure fit than Velcro gloves, and are better able to distribute pressure evenly across the glove. The lace-up closure also allows the boxer to adjust the fit of the glove as needed throughout the fight.

On the other hand, Muay Thai gloves typically have a Velcro closure because they require a faster and more convenient way to put on and take off the gloves during training and competition. Muay Thai fighters often use a combination of punches, kicks, elbows, and knees in their fights, and may need to switch between different types of gloves during training or competition. Velcro gloves allow for a faster and more efficient glove change than lace-up gloves, which can save time and keep the fighter focused on their training or competition.


Muay Thai gloves have a shorter cuff that enhances hand flexibility for executing the clinch technique, which is a crucial aspect of Muay Thai fighting. Unlike boxing, where fighters are separated when they clinch, Muay Thai fighters can continue fighting in the clinch, making it a key part of the sport. To execute the clinch properly, fighters need high hand and wrist flexibility, which is facilitated by the shorter cuff of Muay Thai gloves. The shorter cuff allows greater mobility in the wrist and hand, making it easier to grip and control the opponent's body during the clinch.

In contrast, boxing gloves typically have a longer cuff that provides greater wrist protection but restricts hand movement. This is because boxing primarily involves striking with fists, whereas Muay Thai involves a wider range of techniques that require greater hand flexibility. Overall, the shorter cuff of Muay Thai gloves is a key feature that enables greater hand flexibility and mobility, making it easier to execute the clinch technique that is essential to the sport. While boxing gloves provide greater wrist protection, their longer cuff can restrict hand movement, which is less important in the sport of boxing.

Whether you're in search of gloves for kickboxing, boxing, Muay Thai, bag work, or any other sport, it's crucial to select the right size. To ensure that you make the best choice, we recommend reading our comprehensive guide on how to choose the perfect fit based on your training goals and the type of sport you'll be participating in.

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Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.
Bruce Lee