Boxing Gloves vs MMA Gloves: What Are The Differences?

It is incredibly important that you wear the right gloves when throwing hard punches. But which ones are the best? The right answer is the ones that provide maximum protection. Boxing and MMA gloves are designed with the styles of the two sports in mind.

Because boxing is wholly focused on punching, the gloves are designed with thicker padding than MMA gloves. On the other hand, MMA focuses on both punches and grappling. This raises the question of how the combat styles translate to hand protection.

There are many arguments for both styles and truth be told, they all make sense on paper. As for which is better between boxing gloves and MMA gloves, the best I can do is give you information to make an informed decision.

In this post, I compare boxing gloves and MMA gloves based on several factors like fingers, padding, wrist straps and closures.


The treatment of the fighter’s fingers is one of the most notable differences between boxing gloves and MMA gloves.

Mixed martial gloves separate the fingers, leaving the fingertips and knuckles exposed. On the other hand, boxing gloves wrap all of the fingers in one compartment the same mittens do. This difference stems from the fact that MMA fighters require unencumbered hands during grappling.


Mixed martial gloves are held closed by Velcro tabs and wrapping straps.

They hardly cover anything more than the knuckles. Boxing gloves offer a lot of coverage, wrapping around half of the forearms. They are held in place by laces. Some training gloves have a strap and Velcro closure.


Boxing gloves are considerably bulkier than MMA gloves because the knuckles take up a lot of repeated abuse.

There is no grappling in boxing and as such, the extra padding will allow you to punch harder without getting hurt.

Boxing gloves have nearly three times the amount of padding in mixed martial arts gloves. The downside to this is that you need more energy to get your boxing glove going.

The best thing about the reduced padding in MMA gloves is that it is of good quality and stays in place for a long time. It is also quite stiff and as such, technically offers ample protection.

Wrist wraps

Mixed martial arts fighters don’t need to wear wrist wraps as their gloves are very compact and don’t leave a lot of room between them and the knuckles.

Boxing gloves are designed to accommodate the extra weight of wrist wraps. Boxers wear the wraps for added protection of the knuckles, forearms and wrist.


Truth be told, there is no conclusive evidence as far as which gloves provide more hand protection. MMA gloves make up for what they lack in amount of padding with stiffness and stability while the extra padding in boxing gloves offers added protection from repeated punches.

There are considerable differences between the two and the best thing is that at the end of the day, MMA and boxing gloves do their job quite well.

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