If you’re looking to get in to MMA or other combat sports training, one of the perceived impediments can be the equipment needed. What separates a good pair of gloves from a bad one? Are these shin pads really worth the price? Can I just get a cheaper pair of shorts? All good questions, and ones I will try to address in this gear review.
Right off the bat, the first thing you notice about these gloves is there in the title – these are real leather gloves, made, according to their website, with “100% full grain cowhide leather.” The impact of that is felt immediately. These are an incredibly sturdy pair of gloves that have shown absolutely no signs of wear and tear for me after a few weeks of use. As with anything leather, they take a try or two to get fully comfortable, but once they are broken in, they feel great.
The gloves include a nice open palm area, which lets the hand breath well, cutting down on sweatiness and discomfort. They are also not one continuous piece of foam, but are instead broken into sections, which increases overall mobility of the hand. They feel good when landing a punch, and are not cumbersome when grappling.
From a design standpoint, the other key notable point is the thumb – or rather, the lack of thumb. The thumb here is totally exposed. That’s consistent with what you are going to see in any pro MMA fight, but a bit different from many gloves on the market, which include some padding over the thumb. (Worth noting here that Anthem also has a pair of “Amateur Competition MMA Gloves” which I did not try out, but also do not have a thumb.) So, the big question – should your glove provide thumb coverage or not? For my money, I prefer this style. It’s significantly easier to grapple without the thumb guard in place, and the flexibility allows for much more movement in the hand. On the flip side, it does leave the thumb more exposed (obviously), so if you have no experience at all and don’t know how to punch or hold your hands, I could see a slightly higher risk of injury. Something to be mindful of if you are brand new to the game.
Always an important consideration is price. These gloves come in at $39.99. That’s just a bit more than the very low quality glove you are going to get from someone like Everlast, and significantly lower than what you are going to pay for a RevGear or similar glove. To be perfectly honest, at that price point, my expectations were low, and this glove more than exceeded them.
One important note: I tend to sit somewhere between a L and XL in terms of size and tried both out here. The large glove did not fit me at all, while the XL was perfect. I asked a friend to try the sizes as well – he’s normally a medium, but the large was perfect. So I would suggest ordering up a size.
Anthem is an interesting company – relatively new to the game, but bringing a lot of positive goals to their brand. They approach things from a very scientific side, doing a lot of research into their gloves. They are looking to expand their offerings, and are definitely a brand I will keep an eye on.
Overall, I give these gloves a strong recommendation. For the combination of low price and high performance, you’re not going to find a better MMA glove on the market right now. I’m looking forward to seeing what else Anthem has in the pipeline.
Legal note: this product was provided for free for review purposes. This does not impact the review.
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