The Difference Between Boxing Gloves and Muay Thai Gloves
There are several similarities between Muay Thai and western traditional boxing, but there are also several differences. These differences can be seen in the techniques, scoring systems, and even the equipment, including the gloves.
Boxing gloves were introduced to boxing and became mandatory in 1818, over a century before it was introduced to Muay Thai in 1920. Initially, Muay Thai fighters wore hemp ropes to protect their wrists. Since then, the gloves have evolved to better suit Muay Thai.
That said, it’s not recommended that you just pick up any pair of gloves in hopes that it will work for Muay Thai. Here are a few differences between boxing gloves and Muay Thai gloves that make it necessary for you to have the gloves best suited for the sport.
Differences between Muay Thai Gloves and Boxing Gloves
- Padding distribution - Boxing gloves are designed with the padding concentrated around the knuckles, while Muay Thai gloves have the padding more evenly distributed throughout the gloves. Since boxing only allows fighters to punch, the padding is really only needed in the knuckles. On the other hand, Muay Thai requires fighters to punch, but also defend themselves from kicks, elbows, knees, and feet. Hence, more padding is needed throughout Muay Thai gloves to help protect against impact coming from all directions.
- Palm structure - Muay Thai requires fighters to be able to clinch and catch kicks during fights. This requires flexibility of the hands and a more open palm. Unlike boxing, that is designed to help you keep a more tightly closed fist throughout the match. Boxing gloves are by nature more robust than Muay Thai gloves because of these contrasts between the two disciplines.
- Shape - The shape of both gloves can be linked back to the padding distribution. Boxing gloves tend to hold a more boxy-rectangular shape, while Muay Thai gloves tend to be rounder. The nature of boxing gloves is that the padding is more compact, which helps to keep the fists closed. Muay Thai is more relaxed.
- Wrist support - When it comes to protecting the hands during a fight, many persons only consider the knuckles. However, protecting the wrists is just as important. A simple misplaced punch can seriously injure the wrist and hence, wrist support is very high on the priority list for boxers.
- You may find some boxers will use hand wraps to help protect their wrists, but the boxing gloves also do a very good job of offering wrist stability by minimizing motion. Muay Thai, on the other hand, requires flexibility in the wrist, which is needed for securing a good clinch. Hence, you will find that boxing gloves are much longer in their fit than Muay Thai gloves.
Can you use boxing gloves for Muay Thai?
Due to the fact that there are all these differences between both gloves that are specifically designed for each sport, it is recommended that you purchase the gloves for the sport you play.
Muay Thai gloves need to be flexible in the wrists and padded all the way around to protect your hands. The last thing you want is to be wearing the incorrect gloves and injure yourself due to a lack of protection.
We have many great options for top-quality traditional Muay Thai gloves, with both closure types available.