If you’ve ever trained with a strong boxer or Muay Thai striker, then you know just how dangerous and painful it can be to catch their punches with lousy focus mitts (or worse yet, bare hands).
To keep yourself safe while training, you’ve got to have the right protective gear. The gold standard for protecting your arms and hands during any sort of striking training is a good pair of focus mitts.
Just want the best? My number one pick is Title's Zero-Impact Rare Air Mitts.
Guru’s Choice: Best Focus Mitts
With their advanced protection, comfort, and durability, these mitts are the ideal choice for training boxing and striking with a partner.
How can Focus Mitts help me Train?
Even the toughest MMA fighters in the UFC use protective gear in their camps. If you don’t follow their lead, you’re likely to get sidelined by an injury and that will force you to take time off from training.
One of the easiest parts of your body to injure while training martial arts is your hands. They are made up of many small bones, and in a striking sport like boxing or Muay Thai, they take the bulk of the impact.
Focus mitts, or punch mitts, are a well-padded piece of gear that you can target and practice your strikes on. Your training partner or coach will wear these mitts on their hands and can counter your attacks so that you can also practice dodging and avoiding strikes.
By using focus mitts (and especially in combination with a body protector), you can discover and practice new combinations that can prove very useful in actual matches. There are plenty of videos on Youtube which show how you can use focus mitts to practice different drills.
Here is a great example video showing a variety of fast and long combos you can practice using focus mitts:
Being small and portable, focus mitts are a great and cheap alternative to heavy bags that allow you to train almost anywhere. They are also a ton of fun and allow you to more realistically simulate sparring in a fight.
Qualities to Look for in Focus Mitts
A lot of people think that any pair of focus mitts will do, but that just isn’t true! In addition to protecting the wearer’s hands, they should provide a good amount of snap and pop for the boxer. Here are the key things you should keep in mind when you’re looking for a new pair of focus mitts:
The most important role of any pair of focus mitts is to keep its wearer protected from impact. No matter which focus mitts you buy, you should be able to rest assured that they can absorb the shock from any strike.
Focus mitts should also keep your hands, wrists, arms, and shoulder in proper alignment and prevent any injury to your joints.
The best focus mitts use high-quality materials like leather that are both light in weight and highly durable. The material should also allow your hand to breathe by absorbing or preventing sweating from your hands and wrists.
You should be able to carry your focus mitts from the gym and back without any problems. Focus mitts that are very bulky or take up too much space in your gym bag aren’t worth buying unless you’re going to leave them at the gym.
Focus mitts are supposed to allow you to move quickly while still providing a good amount of resistance. The wearer should be able to practice with them for a long time without getting worn out. You’ll want a nice light pair of mitts so you can help your training partner change levels and work on new, fast combos.
This one should be obvious, but finding mitts that are a good fit for the wearer is very important. Having mitts that don’t properly fit can lead to restrictions while practicing – or more likely, injured hands.
Your mitts should feel super comfortable once they’re broke in. If you’re distracted by an awkward fit, your timing will be off and you’re not going to be a good training partner
The Best Focus Mitts for Boxing, Muay Thai, and MMA in 2023
There is a wide range of focus mitts on the market, so it can be difficult to make a choice across the many different brands.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that a good pair of focus mitts will both be very durable and offer you a high level of protection.
Title Zero-Impact Rare Air Mitts
– Guru’s Choice –
Offering exceptional shock absorption and a high level of comfort, the Title Zero-Impact Rare Air Mitts are a coach’s dream.
- Has a very solid construction and design
- Has an exceptionally secure and comfortable fit
- Offers superior impact absorption
- Slightly pricey
Title Boxing started out over 20 years ago making products exclusively for boxers. Now, they are known on a global level for their high-level of quality products for Karate, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, and other combat sports.
The Zero-Impact Rare Air Mitts pretty much have it all, from breathability to a compact size to comfort and protection. Overall, in my opinion these are the perfect pair of training mitts. They have a great snap to them that your training partners will appreciate, and they breathe really well so your hands won’t get swampy after a long boxing session.
Ringside Curved Mitts
With their curved design, the Ringside Curved Mitts act as an extension of your arms and are great for developing boxing skills.
- Features a very durable leather
- Highly protective of the wearer’s hands
- Padding is well-cushioned and absorbs blows very well
- Mitts typically fit tight – order a size larger if possible
Ringside is highly known as being a reputable brand in the boxing world, providing a variety of high-quality and durable products.
With their unique, angular design and highly protective padding, these mitts are great for catching single punches or punch combinations from any boxer. Ringside offers a bunch of different focus mitts in their line-up, but I prefer these standard Curved Mitts. They have a nice traditional build to them.
Meister Cowhide Leather Mitts
Providing very thick padding that can absorb almost all blows, the Meister Cowhide Leather Mitts are a great pick for hard hitters and one-punch KO experts.
- Highly durable
- Very affordable for such a high quality
- Great for Light-Heavyweight and Heavyweight fighters
- Bulkier and heavier design
The Meister Company has been building up its MMA & fitness equipment products for over ten years and has three main principles for its products: making affordable equipment, making products they can be proud of, and meeting their customers’ expectations.
With durable cowhide leather and large wrist padding, Meister’s Cowhide Leather Mitts offer great support, stability, and protection against even the heaviest of blows.
Fairtex Contoured Mitts
Having a combination of quality, protection, and longevity, the Fairtex Contoured Mitts are a good match for practitioners of Muay Thai.
- Very lightweight and easy to carry
- Highly useful for elbow-training
- Specialized for Muay Thai
- Tighter for persons with bigger hands
- Fairly expensive
Fairtex specializes in fighting gear and clothes for the Muay Thai and MMA fighters and aims to only produce premium, high-quality martial arts equipment. They are renowned in the Muay Thai world for exceptional attention to detail. You’ll see plenty of pro boxers and Muay Thai fighters training with Fairtex gear.
These mitts expertly unite comfort, protection, and a lighter weight. In my experience, Fairtex mitts do run a little small though. If you’ve got large hands you might want to go with a different brand.
Pro Impact Curved Mitts
Pro Impact Curved Mitts are very well-rounded, providing solid protection for your hands at a reasonable price.
- Very sweat-resistant with a specialized lining
- Highly comfortable to train with
- Provides a great rebound on punches – ideal for high-energy workouts
- Takes a few months to properly break-in
Pro Impact is a smaller brand in the boxing world, but they have a very respectable goal: offering high-level sporting goods in Boxing and MMA at an affordable price.
Making use of a curved design and solid padding, your training partners can cleanly strike the pads and bounce back without roughing up your hands. These mitts do take a while to break in, so keep that in mind if you go with them – your first few training sessions might be a little stiff in them.
Hayabusa PTS 3 Focus Mitts
Boasting a high level of performance and quality, the Hayabusa PTS 3 Focus Mitts have everything that a boxer of any skill-level could be looking for.
- Has three layers of foam for shock absorption
- Pre-curved design
- Has a very breathable mesh lining
- Only available in one color
Hayabusa is a leading expert in the fighting-sports gear market, having manufactured gear for boosting the defense and improving the efficiency of all fighters, boxers, and martial artists for over 10 years. They are one of my favorite all around fighting brands.
Making use of multiple layers of foam, these mitts will give you both a high level of protection and comfort. Add this to a lightweight and adjustable strap that gives its wearer the best possible fit, and the Hayabusa PTS 3 Focus Mitts are a great choice for both amateurs and professionals.
Elite Sports Boxing Mitts
Finding a way to make ultra-light synthetic leather extremely comfortable, the Elite Sports Boxing Mitts are a cheaper option with rave reviews.
- Provides great hand and wrist protection
- Highly comfortable and adjustable
- Comes in a variety of 10 different colors
- Not the most durable focus mitts against very hard hitters
Manufacturing equipment for BJJ, Boxing, Muay Thai, and MMA, Elite Sports aims to offer high-quality and stylish yet affordable martial arts gear.
While synthetic leather is usually very annoying to wear, the Elite Sports Boxing Mitts find a way to make it very comfortable. Having 10 different colors, these mitts are a very stylish option.
However, keep in mind that these mitts are a budget option and their long term durability reflects that. You’re not going to be using these mitts for a lifetime.
RDX Maya Hide Leather Focus Mitts
Offering best in class Maya Hide protection, RDX Maya Hide Leather Focus Mitts serve well for training with almost any boxer.
- Utilizes a specialized foam cushioning
- Features inner-finger compartments
- Very breathable with its CoolX mesh technology
- Has a heavier weight
- Does not feature an adjustable strap
RDX Sports is a well-known brand in the boxing world that knows the unique needs of fighters and boxers. Having a vast line-up of high-end sports gear, using their equipment has improved the skills and confidence of many martial artists.
In terms of protection, RDX’s Maya Hide Leather Focus Mitts are hard to beat. With their breathable cover and firm grip, these mitts will leave your hands feeling great even after trading blows with a seriously strong puncher. However, with additional protection does come additional weight. They are not the lightest pair on the market, that’s for sure.
Everlast EverGel Mantis Mitts
Coming from the oldest manufacturing company in boxing gear, Everlast's Evergel Mantis Mitts are the premium option in their mitt lineup.
- Features a very high level of shock absorption
- Keeps the wearer’s hands dry and cool from swear
- Highly durable and long-lasting
- Only comes in one size
- Quality is hit or miss
Founded in 1910, Everlast is the oldest boxing company and one of the world’s top manufacturers of boxing, MMA, and exercise gear. Their gear has been used by many world champions, Everlast has a legacy like no other.
That said, in today’s martial arts community Everlast has a love-hate reputation. Their entry level gear… is, well entry level. To be honest, if you’re a serious martial artist it sucks. But hey, it’s designed for more of a cardio kickboxing class and not for Alistair Overeem.
If you’re going to shop for Everlast gear, the key is to not buy their cheapest options. You wouldn’t catch me dead using Everlast’s bottom shelf focus mitts, but these Evergel Mantis mitts are actually a pretty reasonable option. They have a very breathable design, and a well thought out functional shape. Everlast haters should give the company another chance (and not buy the cheapest gear they offer).
Whether you are new to the world of martial arts or a heavy hitting striker, having a good pair of focus mitts should be a top priority.
They provide a variety of benefits to your training beyond just protection. Focus mitts can be used to improve your reflexes and combat skills, leading to more accurate striking for you and your training partners. They are a fun way to mix up your punch training.
My Guru’s Choice for the best focus mitts are the Title Zero-Impact Rare Air Mitts. Featuring a high level of protection, comfort, and performance, these mitts really have it all.