Is There a Difference Between Boxing and Kickboxing Gloves? Let’s Figure It Out!

Both kickboxing and boxing are high-energy games that require physicality and willpower from a player to carve their name in the field. While others may take time to differentiate one sport from the other, people from combat sports can quickly point out their uniqueness, even though they are subtle. Regardless, you require gloves for both of them. Now, the question arises – are they the same design or different? The kickboxing gloves feature evenly distributed padding, while the other usually comes with a high concentration of padding in the knuckle area. The infusion of padding can be the actual determiner.

Western kickboxing is a mix of Muay Thai, karate, and boxing. Muay Thai fights incorporated western boxing gloves during the first phase of the 20th century with some modifications to make them perfect for Muay Thai fights. Since kickboxing enjoys a close bond with Thai boxing, kickboxers may use Thai-style gloves. Now, let’s compare gloves used in boxing and kickboxing.


The measurement of the weight of the boxing gloves stands as ounces. But it is the style of weight distribution that makes them unique from kickboxing gloves. In boxing, players use their knuckles to punch their opponents’ faces. Due to this, the gear comes with more protective layers in this part. There can be layers of pads around the hands’ top and sides, but these will still be fewer than the Thai-style gloves. In kickboxing and Muay Thai, practitioners also manage knee and kick strikes. Their gloves have padding all over them for optimum shock absorption. Kickboxing gloves may look heavy and square compared to boxers’ hand gear with a more elongated shape.

Palm, thumb, and wrist construction

Kickboxing gloves are wide-palmed with long finger compartments to ensure better grip and clinching. Conversely, boxers need gloves to keep their fists compact and tight throughout. Due to this, you cannot expect them to help with clinching, catching, or holding. The thumb position in the gloves is also strategic to enable smooth punching strikes without any hindrance. The thumb area can be round, with the tip lying at the back of the knuckle padding. Kickboxing gloves feature straight thumbs for gripping. Different brands can have unique designs for this feature, though.

Another area of critical difference is wrist support. Boxers need stability in the wrists for hand support. As a result, the gloves include padded long cuffs on the top and lower sides. Because the padding braces the wrist, the injury risks remain minimized. Kickboxing gloves can be similar in this respect; still, it’s not that prominent.

Types of boxing and kickboxing gloves

Boxing training is an extensive process; hence, you get a different glove type for various purposes. You get an option for training, competition, sparring, and bag gloves. While kickboxing can also have similar requirements, its competition gloves can differ slightly from others in shape.

Because the two combat sports share so many similarities, some kickboxers ask if they can use a boxing glove during training. The experts say that classic designs can be suitable for punching-based kickboxing. However, if your game involves kicking and clinching along with a lot of elbow work, it’s better to opt for an open and flexible glove design.