Whether you train Muay Thai, boxing, MMA or any other combat sport that involves striking, you need a few pairs of good hand wraps.
This guide will show you some of the best hand wraps available, and also teach you how to wrap them, and what to look for in order to get the best hand wraps for your training.
Hand wrap brands and recommendations
With such a large choice of brands making boxing and Muay Thai hand wraps, I’ve provided my recommended brands and hand wraps below to help you pick a decent pair from a reputable brand.
RDX hand wraps **my recommendation**
RDX are a very well known British martial arts gear brand and their products are reasonably priced for the high level of quality they offer.
These wraps are a strong cotton-elastic blend and come in the standard 4.5m (180 inches) length.
They have Velcro straps and a thumb hook for wrapping.
I have a few pair of these, they do the job well, and they have lasted me a long time.
Venum hand wraps
Venum are another reputable MMA brand and they’ve been providing gear for Muay Thai, boxing and other martial arts for years.
These hand wraps are 100% cotton which gives them some flexibility – but makes them a bit tougher than the elastic blend wraps in my opinion.
The adult length wraps are 4m long, which is a bit shorter than the standard 4.5m length – this shouldn’t be a problem for most people, but if you have very large hands, you might be better off going with another brand.
They also come with Velcro straps and thumb hooks.
Adidas hand wraps
Adidas are obviously a very well known global brand, but I recommend them specifically because they make a lot of good boxing gear that gets used in professional fights.
These are nice tough-but-flexible 100% cotton wraps with Velcro straps and thumb hooks.
If you’re an adult, opt for the 4.5m (180 inches) length wraps – children should get the smaller ones.
You will probably see a pair of Adidas hand wraps in every MMA, Muay Thai, or boxing gym in the world – so they are a proven choice.
Beast Gear hand wraps
Beast gear are not a particularly well-known brand (in MMA or sports in general) but these hand wraps are a decent quality.
The wraps are 4.5m long with thumb hooks and Velcro straps.
They are very elasticated which I personally don’t like because they don’t feel anywhere near as firm as the cotton wraps.
They are also a little on the pricey side for a relatively newer brand.
Blitz hand wraps
Blitz mostly make gear for softer-contact sports like karate, so their gear is a little less resilient.
However, their products are a bit cheaper, so they are OK if you have limited budget.
Gel wraps or inner-gloves
If you have been researching hand wraps online, you may have come across gel wraps, sometimes called inner gloves.
These are basically a small thin pair of gloves with padded knuckles, that are designed to provide similar protection to hand wraps.
However, they don’t offer anywhere near the level of protection that proper hand wraps do.
The reason that hand wraps offer such solid protection, is because of the process of wrapping multiple layers of fabric around your hands creates such a rigid and closely hugging protective layer.
Gel wraps are loose fitting and offer hardly any protection of the wrists at all – avoid at all costs if you are serious about your training.
- What to look for in hand wraps
- How many wraps do you need
- How to wrap hand wraps
- Looking after your hand wraps
What to look for in hand wraps
Although hand wraps are a relatively simple piece of gear, there are still certain features you need to look out for if you want to make sure you get a good pair.
Essentially, you need a high quality pair of wraps which fit snugly inside your gloves, and provide a good level of protection.
Muay Thai hand wraps are essentially long pieces of material, with a thumb hook at one end – and Velcro strapping at the other.
They need to be long enough to allow you to wrap them around your hands multiple times, in order to create a solid layer of protection.
But they shouldn’t be so long that they make your fists too bulky to fit inside your gloves.
The standard length for adult hand wraps is 4.5m (or 180 inches) – Children sizes are available for younger trainers.
The majority of hand wraps available are made from 100% cotton because it has a soft surface which won’t rub on the skin – but it provides firm protection after being wrapped around the hands several times.
Some hand wraps are made from elasticated cotton which gives the material more stretch than pure cotton.
I prefer the cotton wraps as they feel firmer on the hands to me – but the elasticated cotton still provides adequate protection.
Opt for either cotton or elasticated cotton when buying your wraps.
All hand wraps must have Velcro strapping at the end, to allow you to secure the wraps in place once you’ve wrapped them around your hands.
Without this, the wraps will unravel as you train.
Hand wraps must have a small fabric thumb hook to allow you to keep the wraps in place and tighten them as you wrap your hands.
How to wrap your hand wraps
Hand wraps protect you from a range of nasty wrist and hand injuries, but only if they are wrapped properly.
Badly wrapped hand wraps will unravel, annoy you during training, and may even cause you an injury.
A well wrapped pair of hand wraps should hug the knuckles, hands and wrists tight enough to provide a solid layer of protection – but no so tightly that they cut of your circulation – whether you are wearing boxing gloves, or MMA gloves.
They should also be able to stay put for the duration of your training session.
There are a few variations of hand wrapping, but they are all pretty similar.
Personally I find these two YouTube videos to be the best resources for learning how to wrap your hands properly – watching an expert do it is certainly the best way to learn.
Courtesy of Pentagon MMA
Courtesy of American Boxing Muay Thai Academy
- Unroll your hand wraps and place the hook over your thumb.
- Wrap from the thumb and take the wrap over the back of your hand down to the wrist, and then around the wrist 3 times
- Take the wrap over the back of the hand diagonally and then wrap around the knuckle 3 times.
- Bring the wrap down back to the wrist
- Take the wrap between each of your fingers once, and back down to the wrist
- Wrap around the knuckle again three times
- Finish by wrapping around the wrist as many times as possible until you can secure the wraps in place with the Velcro patches.
How many pairs of hand wraps do you need?
Most people who train Muay Thai regularly will need more than one pair of hand wraps, but it all depends on how often you train, and how often you are likely to wash them.
As a rule of thumb, you just need to ensure that you always start every training session with a clean pair of hand wraps.
Training with a pair of used sweaty hand wraps is pretty grim and the smell can be unbearable.
Even if you can stomach it, it’s a bit disrespectful to your gym buddies – especially if you are doing clinch work or sharing gloves.
I train 2-3 times a week and don’t get around to washing my gear as often as I should – so I have 3 pairs of hand wraps to rotate.
Hand wraps are pretty cheap, so I would advise picking up at least 2 pairs.
Looking after your hand wraps
You need to ensure that you are training with a clean pair of hand wraps every time you train.
If you train with dirty sweaty wraps left over in your gym bag from a previous session, they will smell seriously bad and make you quite unpopular in your gym.
You can stick your hand wraps in the wash with your gym gear and other clothing.
Tip: If you have brightly coloured wraps you might want to wash them on their own for the first few washes in case the colours run.
Hand wrap wash bags
Throwing your hand wraps in the wash with all of your other clothes can be a bit of a nightmare if they are loose in the washing drum. They can get tangled amongst themselves and other clothes items, they can be difficult to untangle, and sometimes they can even knot.
To avoid this hassle, I put my hand wraps into mesh wash bag like the ones below.
Picking the best hand wraps for your Muay Thai, boxing or MMA training
Although hand wraps are a fairly simple piece of equipment, there are still a few features you need to consider before making a purchase.
I would recommend going for a cotton or cotton-elastic blend pair of 4.5m in length, and choosing a reputable martial arts brand.
And buy a few pairs to ensure you never turn up to training with only a dirty pair to wear.