How to Choose the Best MMA Gloves

Article | Patrick Brown

Looking to become an MMA fighter? Check out SMAI’s ultimate guide to choosing the right MMA gloves for you!

Whether you're fighting in the cage or training in a HIIT program at your gym, how do you know what the best MMA glove is? Today SMAI answers the most common questions when it comes to MMA gloves. Questions like - whats the difference between MMA gloves and boxing gloves, how to measure your hand for MMA gloves, how to clean MMA gloves and should I wear boxing wraps with MMA gloves (Hint: Yes, you should)


So whats the difference then between MMA gloves and Boxing gloves?

  • Open finger design - The most obvious and unique feature of an MMA glove is the fingerless or open finger design. MMA sparring incorporates aspects of grappling. The fingerless design of an MMA glove allows a wearer to grasp and grapple with an opponent which requires the fingers to be free. A boxing glove has a fully enclosed finger pocket
  • Open palm design - The open palm of an MMA glove allows a natural and firm grip. Boxing gloves provide a fully enclosed, padded palm.
  • Finger movement freedom - Although an MMA glove keeps your fingers locked in the finger loop to prevent lateral movement injury, your knuckles are free to bend and you can clench your fist. This allows the wearer to grasp and grapple, or for the glove to be used in combined sparring and functional / circuit training. A boxing glove is designed to highly restrict finger and thumb movement and does not allow this freedom of movement.
The most obvious and unique feature of an MMA glove is the fingerless or open finger design.





Yes! Like a boxing glove, MMA gloves should be worn with a hand wrap. When worn with a wrap, your wrist and fingers are protected from injury. The wrap locks your wrist and knuckles in a tight formation, preventing un-natural movement or over extension. You can opt for traditional boxing hand wraps, or choose a quick wrap like the Boxing Quick Hand Wraps.

Boxing hand wraps are a long single strap piEce, which is wrapped around your wrist and crossed over and between your fingers to provide a tight, firm support structure
The SMAI Boxing Wrap is an easy and convenient alternative to hand wraps that allows you to protect your hands and add extra support to your wrists without having to learn the correct procedure in wrapping and strapping

what size mma glove do i need?

Unlike a boxing glove, different MMA glove sizes have the same weights, but are sold in different sizing to fit your hand size. To size up your hand for an MMA glove, measure the circumference of your hand, and match it against our sizing chart.

HOW to clean mma gloves

Under even a light training session wearing your MMA gloves, they are going to be exposed to moisture and sweat. Without proper care, harmful bacteria can find a home in your gloves, causing skin irritation, deterioration of the materials and worse - a horrible stink! Follow our simple cleaning steps to keep your gloves fresh and in great condition.

  1. Use wraps. Wraps will provide a layer between your skin and the glove, preventing more moisture or sweat absorbing into the glove.
  2. Hang your gloves out in a dry space with good air flow. Avoid direct sun, and undo the strap to allow air to circulate as best as possible. Bacteria love damp environments, drying out your gloves after each use will stop the your gloves from becoming a bacteria breeding ground.
  3. Once a week, use a gentle, PH neutral leather cleaning solution on a slightly damp cloth. Wipe all around the outside and inside of the glove. Allow to dry fully before use.

DON'T - Use bleach or harsh cleaning chemicals

DON'T - Use hand sanitiser as a cleaning solution

DON'T - Saturate your gloves - they will be difficult to fully dry if the interior foam absorbs large amounts of water

DON'T - Machine wash or tumble dry your gloves