Can boxing gloves be used for Muay Thai?

Are you looking to take up combat sports? From MMA to Muay Thai, you can expect rigorous application that could help benefit your mind and body. Combat sports, when carried out safely, can be a great tool for training. From self-defense skills to improved musculoskeletal and cardiovascular development, these intensive sports will push you to greater heights. But the risks involved necessitate the right gear. Whether you are taking up MMA, Muay Thai or boxing, you will need to use gloves to protect your hands against impact. But these sports are not exactly alike, which means that your gear could be limited for some types of training more than others. So, can boxing gloves be used for Muay Thai? How do MMA, Muay Thai and boxing gloves differ? We explore these combat sports and their gear in greater detail below.

What is the difference between boxing, Muay Thai and MMA style gloves?


Have you considered taking up different combat sports but want to find versatile gear that will suit all your needs? MMA, Muay Thai and boxing will feature different needs, thanks to their predominantly different styles. You may consider boxing and MMA as being on different ends of the spectrum, with Muay Thai falling in between. Muay Thai and MMA will focus on your knees, legs and elbows, as well as the standard punching of boxing. While some gear will be versatile enough to suit different needs, it is not always the case.

The distinct hybrid open palm gloves for MMA are hard to miss. However, there are a versatile range of MMA style boxing gloves that could even offer value for Muay Thai. Standard boxing gloves will feature heavier padding around the knuckles, with gloves generally being too rigid for a clinch. Versatile boxing gloves will work for MMA and Muay Thai as well. Muay Thai style boxing gloves are lighter and more flexible than boxing gloves, with a lot more padding featured at the back of your hand for blocking. If you use boxing gloves for Muay Thai, you may have to make adjustments to your technique to accommodate this.

The more rigid feel of boxing gloves may be limited for Muay Thai. Similarly to wearing wrestling shoes for boxing instead of dedicated boxing shoes, the gloves will not be optimally suited but could still work well. If you are looking for boxing gloves for Muay Thai, you should look for options that facilitate the sport such as a lighter build and more flexibility.

Top reasons why you need to take up Muay Thai today

Should you take up Muay Thai? Here are some of the key benefits of engaging in the sport.

  • Very effective for all types of stand-up fighting
  • Entertaining and easy to learn
  • Can help you learn effective self-defense techniques
  • Offers the benefits of both aerobic and anaerobic workouts
  • Burns a lot of calories for a better body shape
  • Can be great for building physical and mental resilience
  • Will help you improve your MMA and boxing skills

Common Muay Thai mistakes to avoid when starting out

If you are interested in Muay Thai but are not yet practicing, the sheer volume of information to process could be overwhelming. You need to learn and sharpen different techniques, etiquette, strategy and the use of a variety of equipment. You also need to build up your fitness, with the fight specific fitness of the sport imposing different demands to MMA and boxing. If you are a beginner, you will often find yourself committing these key mistakes.

Concentrating on power instead of your technique

Muay Thai does not revolve around overwhelming your opponent with power, as many knockout videos on YouTube might imply. You will still need to build up your strength, endurance and power, but this should not come at the cost of your technique. You need to know how to strike before you can strike decisively, which means that taking up technique training will be just as crucial.

Dropping your guard

Without an effective approach to defense, you will concede a lot of hits. For your safety and protection, you need to keep your guard up at all times. As you build up your skills, you will find Muay Thai strategy to be dynamic, with both offense and defense tied heavily. By keeping up your guard, you may be able to block shots while catching opponents at their most vulnerable points.

Overexerting yourself during sparring

When engaging in Muay Thai, you need to respect your opponent at all times, and this applies to sparring too. Sparring is always just a simulation for an in-ring experience, and should be used to sharpen different aspects of your game. The aim of sparring should never be to win, but instead to better your movement, timing, offense, defense and shot accuracy. You will be better able to develop in this way than you might by knocking out your teammate.

Not incorporating stamina building exercises

Jogging and skipping rope are not just valuable for your boxing needs, they will be central to Muay Thai too. When training for the sport, you need to build up your aerobic fitness levels as well as tone your lower body muscles. Your feet are a big part of Muay Thai, and this type of training could offer value for endurance and fitness.

Final word

Can boxing gloves be used for Muay Thai? Will Muay Thai gloves work for boxing training? Some models under either type of glove will be interchangeable, which means that you can use them for both types of combat sports. Boxing gloves are generally more rigid than the freer Muay Thai gloves, with more options featuring a grip bar while Muay Thai gloves tend to be more open to facilitate clinching and grappling. If you are interested in a pair of gloves for both ends, you may consider looking for a model that fits the criteria we’ve covered. Remember to maintain your gloves regularly to avoid any buildup of odor and dirt, as well as boost their longevity. If you are looking for options that will offer an edge, you could consider going for red boxing gloves!