Sidekick Ultimate 3.0 Boxing Gloves (16oz) Review
We found Sidekick’s new Ultimate 3.0 gloves to be a true successor to the previous generation, with a few welcome refinements.
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 3.0 Boxing Gloves to test out and feed back our opinions on.
About the gloves
As the name might suggest, these are the latest iteration of Sidekick’s ‘Ultimate’ boxing glove range. We previously tested out the Ultimate 2.0, so it made sense for us to find out how the new generation compares.
The biggest change is obviously in the design, but there are some other interesting changes, which we’ll take a look at closely later.
You can pick up a pair of these in either 14oz or 16oz. This does mean there aren’t the lighter weights if you’re looking for a purely bag or pad work glove, but these will have you covered for either a sparring glove or an all-rounder. Our own gloves are in 16oz.
As with the previous generation of Ultimate gloves, these are only available in one design. The design is a fair departure from the bold black white and red design, instead opting for a mostly white and gold pair of gloves, with a hint of black. The change in design also allows for a much bigger version of the Sidekick logo, picked out with yellow and red, almost matching in colour with the gold on the palm.
There are some aspects of the design that have stayed in this version, including the addition of a graphic on the end of the fingers, which we stated we liked quite a bit on the previous generation.
As well as making a cleaner, lighter looking design, the gloves also look much more at home alongside the rest of Sidekick’s range. As much as we liked the design of the previous generation, I felt there was an odd mix of styling. That isn’t the case with these gloves, and I feel everything works together for a much more cohesive design, finding a nice balance between the youthful branding and quality style.
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The gloves are constructed with genuine cowhide leather. The leather they’ve used feels pretty thick and durable, so there shouldn’t be any worry about them wearing out any time soon.
These gloves have ditched the huge breathable mesh area on the palm, instead opting for a much more traditional leather palm with a few perforations. In a way this is a shame, because I really liked the breathability on the Ultimate 2.0, however this change does improve in two important areas – comfort and protection. With leather on the inside of the fingers, it does feel a little more natural clenching your fist. The padding on the wrist now also extends to the lower palm, which means there’s an extra layer of protection when blocking kicks, which always comes in handy for sports like Kickboxing and Muay Thai, where blocking kicks is part of the game.
This is actually something we mentioned could be improved with the last generation, so it’s great to see the brand genuinely working on the flaws in their products.
We can’t talk about the build of these gloves without touching on 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.
The good thing about this system is you can choose how tight or loose you want the first, elasticated strap to be. By pulling it tighter, you can get a really close fit (although this does mean the second strap has some exposed velcro, which isn’t ideal for sparring). What I prefer however is securing the velcro about halfway, meaning you get a good amount of stretch, while using the second strap more for support and protection.
When putting the gloves on for the first time, they have a pretty good fit, holding your hand in place much more than the previous generation. The fit is partially down to the fact that the padding is pretty dense, especially when new. They’ll soften up in time, but definitely have a nice bounce to them. The feedback these gloves give when striking is brilliant, and you can really feel a sharp contact with them, which I personally think works best for pad work and bag work. While they may be a little hard hitting in sparring (to start with, at least), the density of padding does however mean that any impact from punches is pretty well distributed.
The benefit these gloves undeniably have over the previous generation however is the overall protection, aided mostly by the protection on the palm, which has helped a load during sparring. The dual wrist strap also puts a nice thick amount of padding around the wrist, adding to both the protection and support.
These are a pretty fair choice when it comes to the pricetag. Retailing at £59.99 makes them a pretty fair cost for the money. They’re definitely a step up from your lower value gloves, but at the same time, coming in at better value than other mid-range gloves.
On top of that, at the time of writing they’re on offer for just £49.99, which makes them an absolutely great choice for a sub-£50 glove.
Looking to buy these?
+ Good palm padding
+ Good fit around the wrist
We don’t like
– Tightening inner strap too much causes exposed Velcro
– More colour options would be a great addition
This graphic is to illustrate the areas this product excels in, and is not intended for direct comparison to other reviews.