YOKKAO Vintage Muay Thai Boxing Gloves (16oz) Review
We found the softer padding on YOKKAO’s gloves makes these excel as Muay Thai Sparring gloves. The price is probably be above what a beginner would be looking to pay, but for an intermediate or advanced fighter, paying that little extra may well be worth it.
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.
About the gloves
We finally got our hands on a pair of YOKKAO Vintage Gloves. The Vintage gloves are similar to the YOKKAO Official Fight Team Gloves we’ve previously reviewed but with an instantly recognisable style. The Vintage range also includes a full set of matching equipment, including the YOKKAO Curved Vintage Kicking Pads which we’ve also reviewed.
Weight and distribution
The gloves can be produced anywhere between 8oz and 18oz, so there are a few more options available than there are from other brands. We previously tested out a pair of YOKKAO’s 10oz gloves which felt firm compact, but these 16oz versions have a much softer padding than most gloves, which makes the gloves feel much more comfortable when punching. The cuff also has a fair amount of padding, making it a little stiffer and more protective than many other gloves.
These are part of YOKKAO’s Vintage range, which comes in either red or blue, with a vintage stamp style wordmark on the front. The red and especially blue on this range look vibrant, but with a slightly faded feel which is hard to describe. The blue is almost closer to ‘aqua’ or ‘teal’, and the palm and trimming of both these gloves are a light brown/tan colour, which is quite refreshing compared to the rest of the market. The visuals are a big part of the the reason I was so interested in these gloves.
Apart from the vintage stamp design, the only other graphics are on the cuff. The glove weight can be found here, as well as a manufacturer’s sticker verifying the year of manufacture. Next to those is the YOKKAO logo, 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.
The best thing about this range is that you can get your hands on a whole set of matching equipment. Want a matching pair of shin guards, shorts, or even a heavy bag? You can get all of them in the same colour, which is absolutely awesome for anyone who loves for their gear to match.
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 pretty good. They’re handmade in Thailand with premium cowhide leather. The leather itself feels good and is pulled tightly over the padding. They’re definitely competitive with the other major Thai brands in this area. The inner material is fairly standard, but still comfortable, and there isn’t too much loose material on the inside to get caught around your fingers.
The part of the cuff covering the back of the wrist is lined in leather, rather than the same inner lining. While it doesn’t make a huge difference, it gives the gloves a slightly more premium feel, and does add a little bit more grip around the wrist to stop any unwanted movement.
Before getting our hands on these gloves, we’d heard that some people have had issues in the past with the YOKKAO logo peeling off their gloves (Although many people swear by the quality). I can quite thankfully say that hasn’t turned out to be the case. The graphics on this particular model are printed on just as well as any other gloves we’ve tested (probably better than some), and show no sign of coming off any time soon.
There are aspects about the build of these gloves which I really liked. One of these is the shape of the gloves. Obviously as you would expect from a Muay Thai glove, they’ve been designed with clinching in mind, and it’s really easy to open the hand, partly thanks to the shape and partly thanks to the slightly softer padding. What I like most however is the thumb position. The way the gloves have been designed leaves the thumb in a really nice position, slightly curved in. The position is held in place well by a fully attached thumb, and there’s plenty of thumb padding, which both work to eliminate the effects of a bad punch. At the moment these win the award for my favourite thumb position on a Muay Thai style glove.
Other aspects of the glove are beautifully put together as well. The stitching is near-perfect, everything is secured well and I can’t find any faults at all. I’ve said it before, but the Thais are possibly up there amongst some of the best boxing glove manufacturers in the world.
When I first put these gloves on, it was obvious that they have a cose fit, but aren’t rediculously tight like some gloves when new. Unfortunately these gloves aren’t breathable. The 7 air holes help a little bit, but it’s still important to take good care of them. This isn’t a big issue though, and many people prefer a full leather palm for comfort, and because they’re often much better when clinching.
I’ve used these gloves for a number of different things, but the 16oz versions excel as sparring gloves. The softer padding is great for both yourself and your sparring partner, and mean you can put in a little more power without worrying about hurting a sparring partner too much. Because the hand is fairly easy to open on these gloves, they work really well for clinching, parrying and catching hold of kicks. The gloves can feel a little bulky at times, but it’s a minor trade off for the more comfortable padding.
One dislike about these gloves is the cuff. They have a firm, fairly stiff cuff, which is fairly common in Muay Thai style gloves, and comes with a few benefits, such as better support. My issue however is that the cuff is fairly stiff and it can be a little hard to get a nice tight fit with these. There’s enough support that you’ll still be safe, but it’s a little annoying when you end up with one glove secured tighter than the other.
The padding on the side of the palm is another feature which I do like. When many gloves have a padded bar inserted along the side of the glove, it’s usually either slightly too soft or positioned badly, however the YOKKAO gloves use a slightly firmer padding which sits close to the hand, which is much better at providing impact protection from blocked kicks.
YOKKAO use a flexible pricing system with their boxing gloves, so the price will depend on the weight of the glove. On these gloves, the standard price ranges from $82 for a 6oz, all the way up to $106 for an 18oz version. This price is a little high, and would probably be above what a beginner would be looking to pay, but for an intermediate or advanced fighter, paying that little extra may well be worth it.
As an added bonus, you can have any YOKKAO gloves customised, with whatever text you choose embroidered on to the cuff, costing you an extra $8 for each glove you customise. These gloves were actually given as a gift, and were customised with text on the cuff of one glove (not pictured in photos). The option to customise the gloves directly through YOKKAO is a brilliant idea for gifts, although we’ve also used the Customisation service when we bought some of their Carbon Muay Thai Shorts and have to admit that even creating your own unique gear is a great feeling.