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Let’s talk about gloves !!

Boxing gloves were first introduced in the 1770s for training purposes and made mandatory in 1867 once the Queensbury rules were implemented. Muay Thai then adapted them in the 1920s, but with slight differences in the padding and design. 

The padding on Muay Thai gloves is more evenly distributed, and the palm design is more open to allow for better flexibility in clinching and catching kicks. In contrast, boxing gloves have more padding concentrated around the knuckles.

Here are five elements of these gloves where they have stark differences:

1. Padding

The main distinction between boxing and Muay Thai gloves lies in their padding. Both styles of gloves are measured in ounces, but the padding of a 12 oz boxing glove is much different than that of a 12 oz Muay Thai glove. 

In boxing, the padding is concentrated around the knuckles, as punches are the only allowed attack. Muay Thai gloves have greater padding on both sides and the back of the glove, as fighters must defend against kicks, knees, and elbows. This additional padding is designed to absorb the shock of these strikes.

2. Palm

In boxing, the gloves are designed to keep a tight fist, whereas, in Muay Thai, the gloves are designed to be more flexible and provide grip strength to open the palm and clinch, catch, and hold kicks. The palm of the Muay Thai glove is more flexible and gives the fighter more control while in the clinch and also delivers stronger counterattacks off kicks.

3. Thumb

Muay Thai gloves have a unique design that helps you maintain a good grip while punching. The gloves are designed to form a rounded fist, and the thumb is positioned away from the knuckles, leaving room for the other four fingers to wrap around the grip. This ensures that the punches are thrown with power and accuracy.

4. Wrist Support

Muay Thai gloves provide less protection to the wrist than boxing gloves. The Muay Thai glove is much shorter, allowing for more wrist movement and making it easier to clinch. Boxing gloves, however, have a much longer wrist/forearm fit, limiting the wrist’s range of motion and providing more protection from impact. Hand wraps are a must for boxing and Muay Thai to ensure maximum wrist protection.

5. Material

Muay Thai and boxing gloves are both produced from cowhide and synthetic leather. The top-tier gloves are usually handmade and imported, thus making them pricier than the mid and lower-tier gloves, which are usually made of vinyl. Popular Muay Thai glove brands include Yokkao, Fairtex and Twins, while Boxing gloves can range from inexpensive to very expensive and are mostly manufactured in the West.


Boxing and Muay Thai gloves are used for similar purposes but differ in several components and use. Boxing gloves are larger and provide more padding, while Muay Thai gloves are smaller and provide less padding. Understanding the differences between the two types of gloves is important to ensure that you use the appropriate glove for your chosen activity. 

Markham Martial Arts (MMA) is a professionally-run martial arts facility in Markham, Ontario, featuring programs in all major aspects of self-defence, fighting, and fitness. Our Muay Thai classes are created to facilitate both children and adults of all ages and skill levels. Book a class today!

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