Muay Thai gloves are categorised into weights rather than sizes. This can be somewhat confusing for first-time buyers so we’ve put together this guide to offer some guidance on what weight you should opt for when purchasing a pair of Muay Thai gloves.
What weights are available?
The weights of Muay Thai gloves start at 4oz and go up to 18oz in increments of 2oz.
4oz-6oz gloves are typically only produced in junior sizes.
8oz-12oz are typically produced in both junior and adults sizes.
12oz-18oz gloves are usually reserved for adults.
What weight gloves do I need?
The best person to answer this question is your trainer. The reason for this is that each gym has it’s own policy on the minimum weight of gloves required for sparring and sometimes drilling. Typically this is 16oz, but occasionally 14oz is permitted in a controlled sparring environment. If you turn up to a sparring class with 10oz gloves it’s likely you’ll be sitting out.
If you don’t plan on hitting anyone (yet) then you have the lighter options available to you. The reason why you might opt for a lighter pair of gloves (E.G. 10oz or 12oz) is that, as good as the heavier gloves are for hitting people thanks to their additional padding, they are more tiring to punch with and are noticeably bulkier. This can be a distraction when you want to focus on perfecting your technique and form, or improving your speed and accuracy.
8oz and 18oz gloves are uncommon and typically used in exceptional circumstances, so I wouldn’t recommend them unless you’re sure they’re what you need. The most common and fit-for-purpose gloves are divided in 10oz, 12oz, 14oz and 16oz weights.
Our size guide below is what we would recommend based on the activity:
There is no reason that 14oz or 16oz gloves can’t be used for bag/pad work. And, in fact, if you’re a beginner and buying your first pair of gloves, then a pair of 16oz would make the most sense because you can use them for everything. Down the line you can opt for a second pair of 10oz or 12oz gloves if you decide the 16oz are too heavy for bag/pad work and drills. Not all gyms allow sparring with 14oz gloves, so only go for these if your trainer has given you the OK.
As previously noted, the best person to advise on which gloves to buy is your trainer. If you’re training at a gym or a club they will likely have a policy on the minimum weight required for certain activities.
If you’re a beginner and plan on training at a gym where you’ll be practising with others, 16oz gloves are a safe bet. They can be used for everything from bag work to technical sparring.
If you’re training at home and just want some gloves to hit a bag with, we’d recommend 10oz or 12oz gloves.