If you’re starting out in Boxing or Muay Thai, and you’re getting really excited to progress, you’d inevitably come to a point and realise you need to get a pair of gloves for yourself (if you haven’t already!). During training, you look left and right and you realised that most of your gym mates use a pair of Thailand-branded gloves, usually in the names of Fairtex, Twins or Yokkao. WHY Is it so ??? (Good thing you asked, Scroll down to read more.)
Perhaps it is due to the close proximity between Singapore and Thailand that makes these Thai-brands commonplace in Singapore. But proximity and south east asian heritage aside, these Thai brands have been producing gloves and equipment for a long time, and most importantly, they are made to be inexpensive (compared to some other brands), and offer a very wide variety of design.
So, if you’re starting out in either Boxing or Muay Thai, and are looking to get your own pair of gloves for the first time in your life, you can’t go wrong with these brands. But how do you decide on which brand to choose from?
1. Determine your size. and your fit.
Like buying clothes or shoes, you need to know your size. Most of us know our own clothing size or our own shoe size, but few of us who are starting out in Boxing or Muay Thai will actually know our hand size. Determine your size first, most guys with average hands will fit anything between 12oz to 16oz, more commonly so at 14oz. Most ladies with average hands will fit 8oz to 12oz.
If you really want to make sure, try on a pair. Your gym should have a mountain of these gloves lying around. Grab a pair and try it out for sizing. Wearing a glove that’s too small is like getting a pair of shoes that’s too small; you can try to squeeze yourself in it, but your feet will hurt. Getting a pair of gloves that’s too big is also like getting a pair of shoes that’s too big; it’d fit alright, but if you’re not careful, you might end up injuring yourself.
Best way that we recommend? Compare hand size palm-to-palm with a fellow gym mate, and if the hand size matches completely, his/her glove size is very likely your size as well.
2. Find the best fit for you.
Boxing gloves, while they look similar on the exterior in terms of shape, are a little different when it comes to the internal fit. This is especially so when the brands are different. Even for some brands, across different models of glove within the same brand, there can be different fit as well!
This is because different brands have different templates of cutting out their leather for the gloves. These minute differences result in a different fit in certain areas of your hands when it is all stitched together as a glove. As a rule of thumb by our years and years of experience in these Thai brands, and if we compare the brands with the same size….
Fairtex – wider fit, with an average thumb-palm fit. Twins – narrower fit, with a slightly tighter palm fit, and a normal thumb fit Yokkao- generic fit, with normal palm fit, and a slightly tighter thumb fit.
How do you sense-make all these weird info above? Simple. Generally speaking, if your fingers are average in length, but you have a wider palm/hand, you should try on a pair of Fairtex. If you have pretty average hands, and not too broad or narrow palm/fingers, then try a pair of Twins or Yokkao. If you have narrow fingers and palm, then Twins would fit you better.
3. The design.
The design is important. There will be some of us that just want something plain, low-key, so that nobody will pay attention to you in class. Or perhaps because you are new, you don’t want to be standing out with a shiny, strikingly designed pair of gloves. But the truth is, at a typical gym, hardly anyone cares about what other peoples’ gloves look like.
So pick what you like! The design is important because it might just motivate you to train a little harder, and go for classes a little more. Among the three Thai brands, there are ample designs to choose from. Choose between plain coloured ones, or flashily designed ones, there will be something that you’ll like. For most variations in design, there isn’t a difference in quality or material used. That said, for certain limited edition variants from Fairtex (F-Day, Legacy) the leather feels organically different. You’ll have to feel a pair for yourself to know.
4. The price.
It is vital to set a budget for your first pair of gloves. While buying a pair of gloves isn’t like buying a car, setting a budget will help you figure out the brands and range of gloves that’s available for you. Most Thai brand gloves reside in the S$1xx range, with very few limited edition ones going past S$200. Conversely, a pair of Mexican made Cleto Reyes starts squarely at the high S$200 range, and there are brands that go up to S$400-700.
The lower bracket range of Thai brand gloves doesn’t mean that they are subpar, they’ve just been priced this way since the beginning of time, but their prices are steadily increasing bit by bit over the years, but hey, inflation right. Despite the lower price point, Thai gloves are generally good quality, and are pretty durable.
If you are really tight on budget, and are considering getting a second-hand pair of gloves, we highly recommend not to. Two simple reasons why: one, hygiene, and two, every glove actually slightly moulds to the shape of the user’s fist over time. If you get a used pair of gloves, chances are the glove is already “seasoned” into the prior owner’s hands, and if it’s already “seasoned” it is unlikely that it will “unseason” itself.
That said, we recommend saving up a little longer, just so you can get an entry level Thai-brand glove to start off with. There are other options out there which are ridiculously cheap (not going to mention brands here), but it is highly unlikely that they fit well, nor will they actually last.
It’ll really help a lot if you’ve already tried on a few pairs of gloves and you’ve known what you want. But for the rest of us who don’t have that luxury of experience, drop us a call/ Whatsapp, or visit any of our collection or retail site to talk to one of the experienced sales staff. They will be able to recommend a best option for you easily!
PS: If you’re buying a pair of gloves as a gift or a surprise, you’d definitely want to talk to us first! Drop us a message and start chatting with us!