Kickboxing gloves are similar to boxing gloves, but very different at the same time. They both are designed to do the same thing – protect your hand while punching, but they have different priorities in mind. Before you rush to invest in the latest glove style, take a moment to educate yourself about what you should be looking for in kickboxing equipment. Boxing equipment can work for a while, but if you really want to get the most out of your sport you have to get dedicated kickboxing gear.
A side by side comparison
If you were to take a 12 oz glove from both a boxing and kickboxing gym they would look almost the same, until you start to look closely. Both of the gloves weigh the same, and they will provide full hand coverage. If the gloves you are looking at leave the fingertips and thumb free then they are designed for mixed martial arts. Kickboxing is not a mixed martial art.
The boxing and kickboxing glove will weigh the same, but the structure of the padding will be different. A boxing glove will be thicker at the top and have a stiff thumb, all things you need to protect yourself when you are punching over and over. The kickboxing glove will have a thinner top, and a more flexible thumb. These gloves are designed to be more flexible for several different reasons.
Why is a kickboxing glove more flexible?
A kickboxing glove will be more flexible than a boxing glove because you aren’t always throwing punches. The key element to kickboxing training is the development of the kick. When you are kicking, the position of your arms and hands is essential to maintaining your power and balance.
Also, as you aren’t always punching, having a more flexible glove helps to reduce cramping and arm fatigue too. The padding is just as effective as what is found in a boxing glove, but it is not designed for constant pounding. This is also why you will find more gel padded gloves in kickboxing too. They allow for maximum shock absorption, but for limited strikes.
What about the MMA glove?
The open design of the MMA glove is very appealing to both kick-boxers and boxing. Anyone who has sparred in a full covered glove knows how hot and tight they can be. An open glove sounds like a perfect solution, but even though MMA gloves have padding for strikes, they are really meant for grappling use. That means there isn’t going to be the type of support you need for a strike heavy sport. One of the best ways to make sure that you pick the right glove is to ask your trainer. They will have experience with the brands and know which one will suit your skill level best. If you don’t have a trainer, look at more articles online and decide for yourself