YOKKAO MMA Training Gloves w/ thumb Review
Beginning in 2011, YOKKAO has become recognized as the World’s premier Muay Thai brand. Working behind the scenes of the brand is a professional team of former fighters and specialists developing high exposure international events while producing the highest quality gear and innovative aesthetic designs. YOKKAO is the most requested brand creating what has since the beginning been called by the Muay Thai Masters and Nak Muays: “The best fight equipment in the market”. Handcrafted from two factories in Thailand, a Fight Team composed of the best fighters from across the planet and a specialized team in R&D, YOKKAO is the leading manufacturer of Muay Thai and MMA Gear in the World.
YOKKAO sent us a pair of these gloves to test out and provide our feedback for them.
About the gloves
These MMA gloves are a newer variety of glove (as of late 2016 – early 2017 at least) released by YOKKAO which are designed to benefit training rather than competing. As such they’re designed with a fully covered palm, a grip bar and extended finger padding, which all have their benefits when practising striking with the gloves.
Weight and distribution
These gloves are designed with bag/pad work in mind, so the padding is fairly firm in density, more similar to a competition glove than a striking sparring glove. The padding is about an inch thick at the knuckles, while the angled section of padding on the back of the hand is thinner but harder, offering a bit more support.
At the time of writing, these MMA Gloves are only officially on sale at yokkao.com with blue army camo visuals. That said, YOKKAO sent us a pair of black gloves directly, which implies more colour options will be available soon, whether on the website or through contacting them directly.
That said, the camo colour option looks pretty nice, in an uncommon aqua blue shade, with silver trimming which gives the gloves a colourful yet premium look.
In terms of graphics, there’s only the YOKKAO MMA logo on the back of the knuckles, and the full YOKKAO logo on the wrist, which is printed on a 3D embossed patch with a slight shine to it. What I love most is the way it catches the light just slightly, adding an element of depth.
Below you can find our Fight Gear Focus video giving you a close-up, visual look at these Gloves. Make sure you check out the rest of the video series and Subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss any of our future videos.
Overall the materials used for these gloves are what you would expect of a major Thai brand. They’re handmade in Thailand with premium cowhide leather, which is high in quality and pulled tightly over the padding.
The inner material is fairly standard, but it’s stuck tightly to the gloves with zero movement. There’s a slight grip to the fabric as well, so there’s a very small chance of the gloves slipping.
It’s clear from using these gloves just how much effort YOKKAO have put into the build design and construction.
The strap wraps around 2 and a half times if you include the section of angled padding, which sticks in place with Velcro and then continues on to become the strap, again securing with Velcro as you would expect at the end. The fingers are another unique feature. While typically most MMA gloves cover the first part of the finger, these have an additional extended section which covers more of the finger for extra protection. The thumb is also covered with a padded section.
There is a large amount of exposed stitching and rough edges on these gloves because of the way they’re made, especially around the edges. The stitching isn’t always perfectly neat, and there is very minor fraying along the edges of the leather, however it’s mainly a visual thing, as the stitching seems pretty durable and some parts of the glove – around the thumb for example – are even double stitched
When wearing these gloves, it’s important to be aware that the closed palm leaves slightly less room than most open-palm MMA gloves, so you may want to get a bigger size if you’re looking to wear hand-wraps underneath. I also found the closed palm and grip bar remove a little grip when grappling, but some people may prefer it.
YOKKAO claim these MMA gloves are perfect for striking training such as bag/mitt work, and I would definitely agree. For a start the wrap-around wrist strap and angled padding on the back of the hand both work together to give these gloves really good support for an MMA glove, and help keep the wrist straight, while still allowing intentional bending of the wrist.
When punching, I found the extended fingers and the grip bar both worked well to form a nice, natural fist, almost closer to what you’d expect from a boxing glove than an MMA glove. While I personally thought the extended fingers didn’t add much to the protection of the glove, I definitely think they help the fit. The thumb protection also fits well. Many gloves with thumb protection aren’t really positioned correctly, or are only loosely attached, but with these they feel much better positioned, and the closed palm allows the thumb to be covered from all sides, meaning the padding is always held in the right place.
Overall I’ve really been enjoying using these bags for bag work and would almost say I prefer them to boxing gloves. If you’re training in MMA then these are far better than most other MMA gloves for these sort of activities thanks to the closer fit.
The blue army version of these gloves is on sale for $80.00, although YOKKAO tend to price their plain versions slightly cheaper. This price roughly matches up for what you’d pay for other premium MMA gloves.
There tends to be a lot more variation when it comes down to MMA gloves than boxing gloves, with the features varying greatly. Because of the features on these, they would make a good pair of gloves for slightly more advanced MMA fighters who are looking to train on bags and pads without having to get used to bulkier boxing gloves.
Looking to buy these?
+ Help to make a great fist
+ Good wrist support
+ Extra padding for the fingers and thumb
– Closed palm may not be for everyone
– Grip bar and closed palm make it a little harder to grapple