SEA MMA Gear Guide

Top King Combat Grappling Gloves Review

Introduction

Top King is a fairly popular Thai brand that has expanded their equipment line to capture the growing MMA market. I managed to get my hands on a pair of their shooto styled gloves and it's definitely a good quality product.

Official Specs:

  • Full leather construction and leather wrap around wrist closure
  • 1” of field tested shock absorbent padding providing the ultimate knuckle and backhand protection
  • Triple reinforced finger loop for added protection
  • Perfect glove for practicing striking and ground techniques

Aesthetics

Top King equipment comes in a wide range of colours and looks, as far as I've seen. While mine is a bumblebee yellow and black, a quick search online shows a variety of colour combinations from one tone up to three tone, including pink and a funky lime green! For these pair of gloves, they also have various Camo designs, giving you a whole load of options.

From the photos, you can see that my gloves come in a strong, deep yellow and black piping, with the Top King logo printed on the back of the glove, and another Top King patch sewn on the strap. The design itself is simple, and the position of the printed logo means it's less likely to rub off unless you do a lot of backhand strikes.

Form & Fit

The sizes for the gloves go from S, M, L to XL. While I usually size an S on most US brands, I have an M for this pair and it fits just right, so don't go for the S sizes unless your hands are puny. You might want to size up from your normal glove size instead.

The first thing I noticed putting on the gloves was how tight it was on my index finger, especially on the left side. I'm guessing this is just a variation for the glove I received, and not present in all the gloves, but you might want to keep a lookout for it. It did loosen somewhat after several sessions of use, but the initial discomfort was a little distracting.

Aside from that though, everything else was a great fit! I'm normally not a fan of thumb loops, especially those that look like sleeves, but the thumb loop on this glove was pretty comfortable without biting onto my thumb. In fact, the whole glove feels pretty comfortable. The leather is soft, there's a slightly textured inner lining that provides some grip to reduce shifting, and a bit of padding cushioned behind the lining.

The wraparound wrist closure does a decent job of holding the glove in place, but there's still some wiggle room around the wrist as it's difficult to tighten completely. Wearing a pair of handwraps should do the trick and fill up the gap. One thing I like is how the strap ends within the velcro patch, so there's no excess strap sticking out that can scratch a partner or get caught in something and come loose.

Functionality

These gloves are excellent for light sparring and bag work, as the padding is quite decent. The first time I strapped this on for bagwork, I was impressed at how hard I could go on the bag, felt almost like I was wearing a pair of 10oz boxing gloves in terms of padding and protection. There's quite a lot of 'bounce' in the padding, which also makes it suitable for some sparring work.

However, they're not boxing gloves, so the wrist support is somewhat limited. I had to be a lot more conscious of throwing my punches at the right angles so I don't hurt my wrist. Again, handwraps should add the necessary wrist protection.

With the exception of the index finger loop mentioned earlier, everything else felt pretty broken in, and it was easy to make a fist for punching and navigate the fingers for grips in grappling. I was quite impressed with how easy the gloves are to work with.

Affordability

I couldn't find an official Top King website, so it's a little hard to gauge on the price here, but the websites that offer it seem to hover around the US $50 (SGD $64) range, without shipping. That's pretty decent and on the lower end of the spectrum for shooto/hybrid style MMA gloves. Most other name brands start from US$60 and up.

Locally, they're available for SGD $70 from Thatmmashop with an additional SGD $5 for local shipping. You could probably also get these on the cheap if you happen to be travelling to Thailand.

Conclusion

The Top King Combat Grappling Gloves are great value for money, and you're definitely not paying for sub-quality production. If you like the designs and are in the market for a pair of shooto styled gloves, this might be the one for you.

Disclaimer
All comments in the review are my own personal opinion. Prices provided in brackets are merely for reference and are based on exchange rates at the time of writing.

If you like this review and found it helpful, please post a comment or let the company or retailer know too. Should you decide to purchase them online, you might want to consult the online buying guide for advice.