There are a number of pretty good Muay Thai glove reviews online, but they all cater to men...
As a 5’3 female, I have small hands… and even smaller wrists. This means that the best glove for your average man is not likely the best glove for me.
So, though I’ve wasted hours of my life scouring muay thai glove reviews online… it ultimately took a long process of trial & error to find the best fitting Muay Thai glove for women. Here’s what I’ve learned…
First, let's cover a few basics...
Boxing gloves typically come in 8oz, 10oz, 12oz, 14oz and 16oz weights.
For most women (as well as most men), 12oz is a good weight for training.
If you plan to spar, you’ll need a heavier glove—at least 14oz, but your gym may require 16oz.
Smaller weights (8oz and 10oz) are made for pros during competition. They offer less protection for both you and your competitor. If you're reading this, it's a safe bet that you should avoid these smaller weights.
I’ll keep this simple: Boxing gloves are available in vinyl or leather... Buy leather.
Gloves specifically designed for Muay Thai are more flexible (to allow for grabbing and clinching). So if you’re training Muay Thai (and practicing your clinch with any regularity), get Muay Thai gloves.
The trade-off: Muay Thai gloves typically have a slightly different shape and weight distribution than standard boxing gloves. And some Thai brands provide significantly less knuckle protection, which is noticeable when you're hitting mitts. So if you are only going to hit heavy bags and mitts, you may want to consider boxing gloves, as well. BUT - clinching is awesome… so you should do it.
Beyond the basics of weight & function, you’ll want to consider fit, degree of protection/padding, durability, and (if you’re anything like me) style.
I prefer a tighter fit; I like my gloves to feel snug around my hands. This presents a challenge, because leading glove brands only make "unisex" gloves (meaning, of course: man-sized, since Muay Thai is a male-dominated sport), and hand size between men and women can vary significantly. The top Thai brands actually vary significantly in terms of fit…
Not only does the degree of protection or padding vary by brand, it often also varies substantially across different glove models within a brand.
In terms of style, I prefer fun colors (anything beyond the usual black, red, and yellow… and definitely NO pink boxing gloves for me). I also like designs… as long as they aren’t cheesy (hold the USA and tribal prints, please). Some Thai brands (especially Raja) give you more color & print options to choose from…
I also like brands that signal that I’m serious about Muay Thai. This means that I lean toward Thai brands…
An added bonus is that Thai brands offer great value for the cost… For $70-$90 you can buy a genuine leather glove, handcrafted in Thailand.
I’ve personally trained with Fairtex, Twins, Top King, and Raja brand Muay Thai gloves. All of these are typically considered premium or top-tier Thai brands.
Now, these are not the only premium Muay Thai brands (a full list would also include Windy and Boon, at least), but they are the only top-tier brands that provide a decent selection of colors, designs, or styles. (I like my gloves to look nice. And Windy and Boon gloves are boring.)
Despite the fact that these are all considered good Muay Thai brands, I found that they all varied quite a bit in terms of both fit and quality.
Here are my reviews of each brand...
Twins is one of the most popular and well-known Muay Thai brands in the world. Though officially incorporated in 1992, Twins has been producing Muay Thai gear for over 60 years.Twins gloves offer quality/durability and great protection. And many reviews rave about Twins' fit (but Muay Thai is a male-dominated sport…)
So my first Muay Thai gloves were a pair of white, dragon-print Twins. Specifically, they are called the "Twins Special Signature Fancy" gloves. (Cute... right?!)
They are no longer available (and I've since donated mine), but the black version is still available. Here they are →
I was really excited about them… But I hated them from the second I tried them on. They were huge, puffy, and completely dwarfed my hands. (My trainer actually joked that I looked like the Marshmallow Man.) Aside from the bulk, they simply didn't fit my hands well. I now realize I prefer a snug fit, and these left a lot of... space.
I struggled through a few classes with them, and then began my hunt for new Muay Thai gloves.
While searching for my next gloves, I fell in love with Raja…
Raja is a Thai brand that was founded in 2002 as an offshoot of the Twins company. Raja is lesser-known and much more difficult to find outside of Thailand. But their niche is in style...
Raja gloves offer some of the most unique color combinations and visually stunning designs available. Here are a few examples (with images borrowed from the only site I'm currently able to find any Raja gloves for sale: MuayThaiFactory.com):
So Raja was my next choice, primarily because of their style.
Unable to find any available in the US, I ordered a gorgeous bright green butterfly-print pair of Raja muay thai gloves directly from Thailand… They are made-to-order, so I waited about 6 weeks for them to arrive.
At first, I loved them. They fit great, were just as beautiful as they looked online… and no one had anything like them.
But after around 6 months, the velcro started to give. And by 8 months, the velcro would come loose completely after a couple minutes of bag-work.
The print had started to wear a bit as well →
As much as I loved the look and fit of my Raja gloves, I decided to try a different, more durable brand, next…
The next purchase in my epic hunt for the best Muay Thai gloves for women was a pair of Fairtex gloves…
Fairtex has been around since 1971, and is well-known for superior quality. I had considered buying Fairtex gloves many times, but held off because, at the time, they didn’t offer many colors or designs that I liked. (And perhaps I care a little too much about look…!)
But I soon found a nice "marina blue" pair, in the BVG1 model… →
I was able to order them through Amazon, and they arrived within a week.
They have been my go-to muay thai gloves for the past 3 years.
Fairtex offers many different glove models, which can be confusing — especially since many online sellers lump them all together, without providing model numbers. The only reliable way I've found to verify the model number of a particular glove is to cross-check against the Fairtex website, referencing the photos.
In short, I recommend the classic BVG1 model. It's a classic for a reason. Plus: this model comes in a variety of different styles, and is easy to find and buy. It's priced at around $110 US dollars on the Fairtex website, though you can likely find them on Amazon for around $80.
The BVG11 model is built exactly the same as the BVG1. It simply has "limited edition" styling (and a higher price-point to match).
I also recommend the BVG12 model, which features a slightly modified style with more padding but still minimal bulk. This is the model I currently use (more on this below). However, it's harder to find and priced higher (at around $130 US dollars on the Fairtex website, and around $90 on Amazon).
Other models may feature different shapes, are only available in limited weights, and/or are tailored to either boxing or clinching...
Fairtex gloves are really compact, and they have a nice, snug fit.
The downside is they offer less padding than other brands. If you hit a hard object, for example, your hand will feel it (though this is hard to notice unless you directly compare the feel with a more-padded Muay Thai glove). I’ve actually skinned my knuckles on a couple occasions while wearing my Fairtex gloves during hard pad-work (especially with a more aggressive pad holder, who gave a good amount of push-back).
Fairtex gloves are high-quality and very durable. I trained with my pair for about two years before any holes began to show. (That’s a pretty fantastic lifespan…) And I know many trainers and fighters that swear by Fairtex quality... They are just consistently good.
After about three years of frequent use, though, I’d worn quite a few holes into my Fairtex gloves, especially near the stitching. →
So it was time to buy a new pair…
Top King is among the most popular brands in Thailand, even though the brand only launched in 2009.
Like Raja, Top King has invested in style—and they offer a many interesting and unique designs (though more stereotypically masculine than Raja's designs). I’ve heard Top King described as a more modern, edgier version of Twins... perhaps because the two brands are owned by brothers.
I currently use Top King shin guards, and love the level of protection they provide… So my next Muay Thai glove purchase was Top King brand.
Specifically, I bought a black and gold metallic snakeskin pair →
Again I was able to order them from Amazon, and they arrived just 2 days later (even though they were shipped directly from Thailand).
First, Top King Muay Thai gloves fit tight… even tighter than Fairtex. (As a women with smallish hands this is fine for me.)
They are also less compact than Fairtex. Below you can see their size, compared to my Raja and Fairtex gloves (note that all three are 12oz):
But they do offer a good amount of padding — much more than Fairtex — without as much bulk as Twins. (This is most noticeable with a side-to-side comparison: punch a wall wearing Fairtex and you’ll feel it… but punch a wall wearing Top King and you’ll feel nothing at all.)
Unfortunately, though, I was disappointed with the quality of my Top King gloves. The leather is not as nice as the leather used by Fairtex, and the velcro is super-flimsy. Based on my experience, I don't expect the velcro to last even 6 months...
Of course, it's possible that I simply got a "bad batch". But, regardless, I've switched back to Fairtex...
Currently, I use Fairtex BVG12 "Aura" gloves... and I love them more than words can say.
This model is very similar to the classic BVG1, but offers slightly more padding — while maintaining the fantastic compact design of Fairtex gloves, which is especially great for sparring and clinching.
Plus, they come in an absolutely gorgeous iridescent deep purple color with a fun (if completely unnecessary) glow-in-the-dark logo. →
If you are comfortable with less padding, Fairtex gloves are a great option for female Muay Thai enthusiasts. Fairtex gloves are compact, fit great, and consistently deliver quality. Even despite the smaller color & print selection, Fairtex is my favorite Muay Thai glove brand, hands down.
If you’re searching specifically for womens muay thai gloves, I’d avoid Twins. Though they are super-protective and popular, I believe their loose fit is simply better-suited to larger (male) hands.
If you feel you need substantial padding (with less bulk, but a nice tight fit), as well as nice design options... you can give Top King a try. But expect inconsistent quality and durability...
If you want to have the most unique (and beautiful) gloves in your gym... search around for Raja. They are also compact and fit well. Just expect to wait a long time (i.e., over 1 month) for them to arrive... And expect inconsistent quality and durability...