Replacing gloves isn’t a cut-and-dry science. There are levels of “broken down” that we are able to accept in a glove. Here, though, are five signs that it’s time to say goodbye to favorite pair of Muay Thai gloves. . .
KNOW WHEN TO LET A GOOD GLOVE GO
Whether it’s due to the color, the feel or the lovely ‘snap!’ you hear when you hit, everybody has a favorite pair of gloves.
It’s like having a favorite shirt – everything about it just feels right and it makes you feel good about yourself. But, like all things that are worn too much, it’s hard to admit when it’s simply time to let them go and get a new pair.
Here are some tell-tale signs that it’s time to go shopping for a pair of shiny, new gloves:
“AM I SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO SEE THROUGH THEM?”
#1 – HOLES & TEARS:
One of the most annoying things about having gloves is that they can tear in odd places and get holes in them. For the most part, if the tear happens within a month or two of you getting the gloves, the gloves themselves are still fine to use, and the tear or hole is nothing but a cosmetic defect.
But if the padding is coming through the holes and you end up scratching other people/yourself during training because of the tears, no amount of patching will save them. Into the bin with them!
“WHY DO YOU THINK THEY CALLED IT THAT?”
#2 – VELCRO:
Buying gloves with a good adhesive is so important. There’s almost nothing more frustrating than gloves that lose their Velcro stickiness – you constantly have to stop to adjust them in order to make sure the gloves don’t start flying off your hands!
When the Velcro is not secure, it usually means the wrist area is too loose, which can spell unnecessary injury. Your hands are made up of a lot of small bones, so it’s very easy to break your hand or sprain your wrist. Avoid this disastrous situation altogether and invest in a better pair.
“HANG ON, HANG ON – LET ME REFILL MY GLOVES.”
#3 – PADDING:
If you had to pick just one definitive factor to determine when to replace your gloves, it’s the padding. When the padding starts to go, nothing about the gloves is going to be right.
The padding around the knuckles and hand should always spring back into shape. If it starts getting worn down or loses its shape, it’s either: 1) not a good quality pair of gloves, or 2) they’re old… really old.
“I CALL THIS ONE ‘THE SKUNK STRIKE.’ KNOCKS ‘EM OUT COLD.”
#4 – SMELL:
There are plenty of ways to prevent your gloves from smelling like dirty, wet socks or raw sewage. With time, though, the sweat will seep into the deeper layers of your gloves and take up residence there. From that point on, no matter what you do, you just won’t get that smell out. Those suckers have been straight-up marinated in bodily secretions!
If this is the case, save yourself and your training partners from gagging and get a new pair. If you take good care of them and make sure you dry them out after each training session (as opposed to leaving them in your bag), they’ll have a much longer lifespan.
“THEY WERE GOOD GLOVES IN ’96, THEY’RE GOOD GLOVES NOW!”
#5 – TIME:
Speaking of lifespans, ask yourself a couple questions regarding your gloves:
- How often do you train with them?
- How long have you had them?
If you train casually, maybe only a few times a week, your gloves (if all other factors mentioned above check out to be OK) should last you about a year (or more if you take good care of them). If you’re more serious about Muay Thai and train every day, or even twice a day, they should last you from three-to-eight months. Similar to how you need to replace running shoes every certain amount of miles, you need to do the same with your boxing gloves.
It’s hard to say goodbye to what you love, but sometimes it has to be done so room can be made for new and better things! If and when you need to replace your gloves, always invest in higher quality brands that will last you much longer, especially if you’re serious about the sport.
- Plant-based fighter, foodie, and aspiring physical therapist. Angela is currently living in Bangkok and training full time.