Apaks Warriors The Ringside Boxing Gloves Review
Apaks Warriors are a Martial Arts & related sports apparel brand. The brand was started in 2013, operating primarily out of Colorado, USA, but with a growing presence in the United States, South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. The brand are easily recognised by their distinctive triangular pyramid logo and pattern found across their gear. Apaks sent us a couple of items from their range to review and provide our feedback on.
About the gloves
The Ringside Boxing Gloves are one of two current lines of Boxing gloves that Apaks produce (the other being The Fighting Gloves). The two ranges look similar visually, but are built slightly differently. The Ringside Gloves are the artificial leather variants, and also feature a breathable palm. The version we’ve tested out were 14oz, so it’s important to remember that any observations about the padding and fit may be different for different weights.
Weight and distribution
As with most boxing gloves, these are available in 10oz, 12oz, 14oz, and 16oz. The majority of the foam padding is situated around the knuckles, with slightly less padding over the fingers and back of the hand. Usually this would mean less protection for the rest of the hand, however these gloves make up for this in a clever way. On the inside of the glove across the back of the hand, there’s a strip of slightly stiffer padding. This works brilliantly at protecting the hand from blocked strikes by absorbing and dispersing the shock better than foam padding alone would. The wrist is also supported with this firmer padding, which does a great job at providing wrist support and keeping the wrist stable. The high density foam padding also has a slight bounce to it, which makes it great to use when hitting pads.
Apaks have a great, consistent visual style throughout all their products, and these gloves are no exception. The gloves are available only in black, with grey outlining around the outside of the Velcro strap and around the bottom of the glove. The first thing you see when you see these boxing gloves is the triangular pyramid (taken from the Apaks logo), centred in the middle of the glove. On the Velcro strap, the logo can be found printed and embossed onto a rectangular panel with a very slight blue tint to it, which is a nice touch. There are a few other smaller designs added to the gloves, as can be seen in the images which all add to the look and feel.
The other interesting part of the design, and possibly my favourite, is the material on the thumb. Instead of the plain black artificial leather used on the rest of the glove, the thumb is covered in a material with a carbon pattern.
As mentioned previously, Apaks have chosen to use an artificial leather for The Ringside Gloves. Artificial leather can be a bit hit and miss, sometimes it just ends up feeling low grade with a plastic feel and sometimes you could almost be forgiven for thinking it was real leather. Thankfully, the material Apaks have used seems pretty good. There are no defects in the material that I can see, and it even feels nice to the touch. Admittedly they aren’t as nice as real leather would be, but if you’re the sort of person who prefers a real leather glove, then The Fighting Glove may be better for you.
Inside, the gloves are lined with a thin fabric. It’s comfortable and from my use doesn’t bunch up around the fingers like some gloves do, but at the same time the fabric is nothing special. The material around the palm of the hand is also padded slightly with a thin layer of spongey material stitched in. This isn’t found in most gloves and it’s a nice added touch which makes the palm and inner wrist feel really comfortable. The Velcro which secures the glove is fairly sturdy. It finds a nice balance between being easy to undo and having a bit of strength.
As mentioned earlier, these gloves are breathable. The strip of breathable mesh across the palm helps to air the gloves out. On the inside of the glove, this part is covered by the same fabric that covers the rest of the glove, which means that you don’t end up with it scratching against your hand.
These gloves have been designed in a way which tries to maximise wrist protection, utilising the sturdier padding. The wrist and Velcro section have also been angled slightly, which reduce unwanted bending of the wrist. I’m not personally sure on the thumb position. I tend to like a straighter thumb, and these start a little high up for my hand, however this is just a matter of preference, as the thumb sits really nicely next to the fingers. The ‘loop’ in the material on the palm where the glove splits from the Velcro seems to be fairly wide. There is nothing inherently wrong with it, however it is noticeable, and I’m not completely sure what it adds to the glove.
The stitching seems good in all places, with only one minor issue with the stitching on my pair (which has no effect on the durability of the gloves). The artificial leather is pulled tight all over and there are no crumples across the material. The grey trim is probably the only thing on the glove that could be improved. Whenever the trim has to bend around a corner, it looks incredibly messy. This is only a small issue though, and overall the craftsmanship of these gloves is fairly good.
The first time I put these gloves on, I noticed that the firmer padding around the back of the hand and the wrist was a bit too stiff. I was a little worried that it was going to make the gloves uncomfortable, however when putting them on properly with hand wraps it wasn’t noticeable at all. After the first few training sessions, these will start to break in and fit your hand better, so will start to be a little more comfortable. One of the few problems when putting the glove on is to do with getting the wrist tight enough. Because of the way the wrist is made, sometimes when you pull the strap round, it’s hard to get it to sit on your wrist properly. This is more of a problem with the second glove, as you might expect! I’ve found that with a little bit of twisting the wrist you can get past this though and have both gloves on nice and tightly.
Overall the fit of the gloves is pretty good. They don’t feel too big or roomy, yet they aren’t too tight either, finding a nice midpoint in between. The wrist is a fairly average length for most boxing gloves, covering a fair amount of the wrist, adding to the protection and support. In terms of size though, I would probably say these feel a little smaller than other 14oz gloves. There’s not a huge amount in it, but they certainly don’t feel huge.
One slight problem I had with these was that the material around the grip bar pinched my hand once or twice, which seems to be down to the way it’s stitched into the material. The other issue I found with these gloves, is that despite the ‘breathable’ mesh, they seem to absorb a lot of moisture. After training it’s important to let these gloves air, and if possible find a glove deodorizer to use with them.
These gloves work equally well for both pad/bag work and sparring. For pad and bag work, the gloves have a slight bounce to them which makes punching feel crisp and prevents too much pressure on the knuckles. For sparring, the wrist support is great for blocking and taking strikes to the hand without feeling it too much. I could happily use these gloves for either form of training. As well as boxing, the gloves could also be used for Muay Thai, Kickboxing, MMA or similar, as they have great wrist protection for blocking kicks. Unfortunately though, the hand is a little hard to open up properly (partially to do with where the thumb is attached, so using the fingers for clinching or catching kicks would be a little limited.
Apaks Warriors sell The Ringside Boxing Gloves for $49.99, which is a really great price for the glove that you get. This means that they’re in a range which is within reach of beginners looking for their first glove, but also great value for people who have been training longer and need a new pair of gloves. It’s clear that some time and thought has gone not only into the visual style, but also into the design of the glove, so that they make a good all round glove.
+ Great visual style
+ Good wrist support and protection
+ Good distribution of padding
– Sometimes hard to get on tightly
– Absorb a lot of sweat