Sidekick Ultimate 2.0 Boxing Gloves (16oz) Review
Sidekick is a UK boxing, kickboxing and MMA equipment brand established in 2010. The brand are know for producing fairly affordable equipment. The brand’s founder is not only passionate about the brand, but a 1st degree black belt kickboxer, so brings a wealth of experience to the brand.
Sidekick sent us a pair of their Ultimate 2.0 Boxing Gloves to test out and feed back our opinions on.
About the gloves
The Ultimate 2.0 range is the successor to Sidekick’s original Ultimate range. While the two ranges may not look very similar, it’s clear to see some of the same features in both gloves, such as the dual strap system and plenty of breathable mesh on the palm. It looks like the Ultimate gloves are an attempt to create something a little more unique and stand-out, and the bold 3 colour design makes that happen. You can pick up a pair in 10oz or 16oz. While you might not have a full range of sizes to choose from, the choice is enough to help you pick something tailored to your training. Personally we’ve been testing out the 16oz variant.
As it stands, the gloves are only available in one colour choice, but it’s a fairly universal one, featuring contrasting black and white sections, with a flash of red to bring it to life a little. It’s a great combo, although I could see plenty of other potential colour options working well too. In my opinion the gloves look a lot better in person because you notice the small details, like the way the white fingers sits on the knuckles, giving almost a different coloured punching zone, as well as the way the white on the fingers seemingly blends into the breathable mesh on the palm. The Sidekick logo can be seen on the cuff, inside of the wrist, and just near the end of the fingers. I have to admit I’m quite keen on the placement of graphics near the fingers, there are a few brands doing that now and it looks pretty cool. The word ULtimaTe is also printed alone just underneath the red strip behind the knuckles.
While the logo is displayed in a few places, the gloves aren’t trying to be overly flashy or packed with visuals, but instead aiming for a much more mature feel, which I feel they’ve mostly achieved. My only problem would be that the logo and text styling doesn’t really sit well with the feel of the gloves. The Sidekick logo to me feels much more fun and youthful. It gives the gloves a bit of a mixed image, however that might just be enough to appeal to appeal to both sides of the market. It all depends on personal preference.
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.
The gloves are constructed with genuine cowhide leather. The leather feels more on the tough side than the soft side, however this is great from a durability point of view, and the material is tightly pulled across the body of the glove, tucked neatly around the edges. It’s hard to see in the images, but the back of the hand and the fingers are actually covered by two separate pieces of leather, with a seam running just between the red and black sections. The seam is well away from the knuckles, so never makes contact when punching, and is pretty sturdily stitched.
A surprisingly large portion of the palm is breathable mesh. Usually on cheaper gloves this tends to mean gloves feel flat and poorly fitting, however the Ultimate gloves seem to be shaped well enough to eliminate this, instead gaining all of the benefits while still maintaining a good fit. While many gloves add in breathable mesh, these are probably one of the few gloves I actually feel like it makes a difference on. The mesh goes from the middle of the palm all the way around to the inside of the fingers, with the grip bar stitched into the mesh itself. When wearing these I found they got a lot less hot than most gloves I’ve reviewed in the past, helping prevent sweat build up during training and also help them naturally air out a lot easier afterwards – always a plus when trying to keep your gloves fresh for longer.
We’ve mentioned a few bits about the construction of the gloves, but one that hasn’t been touched on just yet is the dual strap. If you’ve used a pair of Hayabusa gloves you may know how this sort of system works already. Essentially, in addition to the main velcro strap, there’s a secondary elastic strap, which pokes through and secures the wrist from the other side. The elasticated strap secures on first, and the main leather strap then wraps around and covers that. We’ve mentioned in the past how much we like the extra benefits to the fit and support from having the two straps in different directions, and the elastication means you can get it as tight as you want.
You can more or less choose how tight you want the inner, elasticated strap to be. If you pull it round all the way then you can get an insanely close fit, although this can lead to a bit of exposed velcro so isn’t exactly ideal for sparring or anything were the velcro could scratch someone. Regardless, what I personally found myself doing was to not stretch the elastic strap as far around, finding a balance between a good fit and the ability to just about slide your hand in without doing both straps (lazy I know). If you’re just doing pad or bag work though, you can pretty much make them as tight or loose as you feel is comfortable.
When first putting the gloves on, I instantly noticed how roomy they felt. The mesh palm feels much less restricting and confined than leather would, which means these would no doubt be a great choice for anyone with larger hands. It’s a weird one to explain though, because as roomy as they are, it still feels like you get a really stable fit with the gloves, no doubt thanks to the close fit at the wrist.
At first, the padding is actually quite stiff on these, and the padding felt quite solid, however after breaking them in over a few sessions you can start to feel them become a little less hard, and have more of a ‘pop’ to them. I personally found them a little too hard for sparring, where I naturally favour slightly softer gloves, however the feedback in the padding is brilliant if you’re smashing pads or hitting a heavy bag. If you’re looking for a pair of gloves which give you a nice crisp sound on contact, protecting your knuckles without them sinking into the strike too much, then these would be a good shout.
Although I preferred using them for bag or pad work, one benefit I did notice which helps in sparring is that the gloves feel fairly slim. The breathable mesh on the palm makes the gloves feel a lot less bulky around the hand, which really makes your gloves feel lightweight. While the small difference in thickness might not make a huge actual difference when sparring, it almost feels like you can slip your hands into slightly smaller gaps, almost in a ‘placebo effect’ sort of way.
Probably my favourite part about these gloves is the price. At £59.99 they won’t break the bank too much, making a great all-round pair for someone getting more serious about their training, or perhaps even as a dedicated pair for pad work for someone more advanced. I personally think this is a great price point for the gloves to be in, undercutting many other premium gloves on the market, but offering a significant upgrade in fit, quality and durability compared to lower value gloves.
Looking to buy these?
+ Gloves have great breathability
+ Gloves feel lightweight even at 16oz
+ Wide fit, good for larger hands
– Doesn’t provide much palm protection
– Tightening inner strap too much causes exposed Velcro
– More colour options would be a great addition