Boxers and martial artists are all about training. In order to be their best, they need to test their reflexes against another human. That’s where punch mitts come in handy. Worn by a trainer or sparring partner, punch mitts are used to absorb the hits from a boxer or martial artist, and sometimes to offer counter punches for the fighter to block. There are a few different styles of punch mitts, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for.
Our useful buying guide can help you choose the right punch mitt. We’ve included expert advice and a few reviews of our favorites at the end. Our best of the best pick, Elite Sports Punch Mitts, give a realistic training experience through their natural curved design.
A boxer or martial artist’s skill level should have an impact on which punch mitts they purchase. Beginners don’t necessarily need extra-heavy padded mitts. Mid-level to expert fighters, on the other hand, may require larger mitts with additional padding to absorb their more powerful blows.
The right weight for punching mitts is important. Heavier mitts make the trainer’s arms tired quicker than lighter mitts. Unfortunately, if mitts are too light, they aren’t good at absorbing powerful hits from the fighter. The key is to find the right balance between weight and blow absorption.
Punch mitts come in a number of different sizes. Smaller models are best for focusing on accuracy of hits. Larger mitts are better at taking big blows and are great at absorbing different types of hits from multiple angles.
Punch mitt durability is one of the most important aspects of picking out the right pair. Because the sole purpose of the mitt is to take regular punishment, it must be well made. The materials of the covers and the seams are the determining factors in whether or not a mitt is durable. Make sure your cover material is thick and the seams appear durable.
Punch mitts don’t just get hit with punches, they also get hit with a lot of sweat. Mitts should have smooth covers so they can be easily wiped down after every training session.
Some punch mitts incorporate an inward curve in order to keep a fighter’s wrist straight when they make contact with the mitt. Curved mitts are usually slightly more comfortable for the trainer holding them. Curved faces are also effective for different types of strikes.
Flat faced punch mitts are easier for novice fighters to hit. They’re less expensive than curved mitts as well. Unfortunately, they’re less comfortable for trainers to hold, and they don’t work as well for jabs, kicks, or slip drills.
While latex foam is the most common padding in punch mitts, some also include a thin layer of gel padding on top of the latex. Punch mitt padding ranges in thickness from one-and-a-half to three inches thick. The thicker the padding, the more comfortable the mitts tend to be for the trainer.
Punch mitts are made from a number of different cover materials. Leather, nylon, and vinyl are the most common. The most durable option is leather, which is why it’s favored by many MMA and boxing pros. Because of its soft feel and durability, leather is the most expensive material for mitts.
Seams are the area that shows the most wear and tear on punch mitts. The seams go around the outside edges of the mitt and keep the cover in place. It’s important to know that you have well made seams on your punch mitt if you want it to last for a long time.
The glove is the portion at the back of the mitt where the trainer slips their hands in. Most mitts include fingerless gloves in order to provide good ventilation to prevent too much sweat from collecting on the trainer’s hands.
Some punch mitts include something called a hood. This is an additional piece of textile (usually leather or nylon) that covers the trainer’s fingertips while working on slip drills. If you don’t plan on doing slip drills, this feature is probably not for you, as it tends to make the trainer’s hands hotter.
A wrist strap on a punch mitt helps keep the trainer’s hands in place when absorbing a blow. It’s usually positioned below the wrist on the glove and uses a hook-and-loop fastener for easy attachment.
Most punch mitts cost between $10 and $120. Punch mitts for $10 are basic flat models, which are best for beginners. For $40, you can buy mitts with a curved face. If you spend $120, expect to get premium punch mitts made from leather with lots of extra padding.
A. Beginners should hit punch mitts lightly in order to get used to the feeling and create muscle memory. However, once you feel comfortable enough, you can hit the mitts with as much force as is comfortable for you, and more importantly, your trainer.
A. Punch mitts are meant to be held at different levels for different types of strikes. Chest height is perfect for straight jabs, waist height for uppercuts, and head height for hooks.
Our take: One of the best sets of curved face mitts for beginner to intermediate fighters.
What we like: Sturdy design. Velcro straps. Durable shock-absorbent foam.
What we dislike: Won’t work well for small hands.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Our take: Lightweight gloves that come at a reasonable price.
What we like: Thick padding. Curved face. Comfortable fit for trainer.
What we dislike: Not as durable as more expensive mitts.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Our take: A simple design that gives a great no-frills training experience.
What we like: High-quality backing material. Mitts are easy to maneuver for multidirectional striking. Antimicrobial coating.
What we dislike: Some users complained that the mitts became misshapen after multiple training sessions.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Adam Reeder writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.