Hand wraps may not be an essential piece of equipment as much as your boxing gloves. But despite some people choosing not to wear them when they box, they should be a necessity for almost everyone who trains in boxing or any other striking sport. From both a safety and performance point of view.
As opposed to most people’s claim, the best hand wraps don’t actually cushion you from the impact of the heavy bag. Instead, they hold your wrist and knuckles closely and keep them aligned to help you form and maintain a solid fist inside the gloves. They also protect your delicate bones and tendons from damage by dispersing the force all around.
Purchasing hand wraps isn’t as complicated as choosing your boxing shoes. But there are still a few considerations worth keeping in mind including the type, material used, length, and the brand. The price might also be an important factor especially if you are planning to purchase a few pairs.
We’ll take you through all these considerations in the section on how to choose the best boxing hand wraps for boxing. But first, here are some of the models that we consider to be the best picks for this year.
Best hand wraps for boxing 2021
It’s with no doubts that the Meister Semi-elastic wraps are the kings in this space: a position that they are bound to retain for some time to come. In our hunt for the best hand wraps for boxing, we found these to offer almost everything that a martial art practitioner may need inside the gloves.
In our opinion, you can never go wrong with these boxing hand wraps. What we like is the cotton-spandex composition that gives them a little bit of stretch while maintaining a high level of durability. They are also sweat-wicking to keep your wrists dry and comfortable and have a strong Velcro closure system to close the deal.
Have you ever used a product from Prom Impact? If you have, then you know that this American company takes quality with next-level seriousness. Their Pro Impact wraps are yet another great pair that you are not likely to miss in any unbiased reviews of the best boxing hand wraps for 2021, and for a reason.
We can confidently green-light these hand wraps if you are looking for the best boxing hand wraps that you won’t need to replace after just a few uses. Among other great features, we like that they have more fabric than the Meister above and they also have a good amount of stretch. We are also great fans of this manufacturer’s attention to details for instance, in the markings, non-fray seams, and special thumb loop.
If affordability is your major concern but you still want quality, Ringside has a pair that might interest you. Let’s be up front. We wouldn’t recommend these wraps if you work the heavy bag 5 times a week. Instead, these will be the best hand wraps for beginners and for irregular workouts, say, 2-3 days per week.
Can we recommend these hand wraps? Sure! If you are into boxing just for exercises and don’t punch the heavy bag on a daily basis, these hand wraps will work just fine for you. They are far much affordable and yet have a good thickness to give your knuckles and wrist bones the protection you’d be looking for. They might not last a year, but then again, they are inexpensive to replace.
We know RDX not only for their boxing gloves but also for their Maya leather speed bag that tops our other list of the best double end bag reviews.
This manufacturer’s elasticized hand wraps are also among the most highly rated models available on the market. And we’d really recommend you to check them out especially if you train regularly and, therefore, want the best durable hand wraps for the money.
Intermediate and Pro fighters will find the RDX hand wraps a worthy investment considering its resistance to abrasions and tearing. Although the material used for it isn’t pure cotton, the blend is still incredibly breathable and should, therefore, be comfortable even when used for extended periods. However, note that these wraps might not suit you if you are allergic to polyester. In that case, we would recommend you to consider the 100% cotton Fairtex hand wraps that we’ve reviewed next.
Popularly known as traditional hand wraps, bands made of 100% cotton remain the go-to product for many experienced fighters who don’t value stretchiness so much. If you are looking for the best cotton hand wraps for boxing and Muay Thai, Fairtex might be a good place to start your search.
Fairtex has a really good pick here for martial art fighters who are not so much into elastic wraps but want a pair that they’ll get used to and use for longer. It is soft and flexible and has a strong Velcro to help you maintain a tight fist. As a reminder, do note that these are not elastic.
Hayabusa is a big name in the martial arts industry and currently has a huge reputation for quality and durable fighting accessories. When we heard that they had rolled out their much anticipated Perfect Stretch V4 Mexican Style wraps, we didn’t expect anything less than we found.
We have no doubts recommending the Hayabusa Perfect Stretch V4 to any fighter who is in dire need of the best hand wraps for boxing and Muay Thai this year. Besides their cool look, these wraps have a superb construction design including that perfect ‘Mexican-style’ stretch that professional boxers want and a longer Velcro for adjustability. It’s also not so thin or too thick and should, therefore, do just fine with most boxing gloves.
Have you gone through our best hand wraps buying guide yet? If you’ve done so, then you must have learned about inner gloves. This is an excellent alternative to hand wraps that we always recommend to martial art athletes who often find themselves late for training, and would want something that won’t take so much time to put on. And the Hawk is one of the best recommendations here.
Inner gloves are always a nice addition to your regular hand wraps and can be used interchangeably. While they don’t boast the best support, they push the needle in terms of cushioning your knuckles from shock. The main reason why we recommend the Hawk is the incredible construction design used for it. The over-lock stitches around the fingers and wrist hem are a clear indication of their intended durability. They are also super comfortable thanks to the cotton used and their elasticity.
Our last recommendation here is yours if 180-inch long hand wraps aren’t big enough for your wrapping methods. Amber maxes out at an amazing 200 inches thereby clinching our only slot for the best hand wraps for big hands.
Anyone looking for the best long hand wraps will find it hard to get another pair that beats the Amber not only in length but in quality too. There are a lot of things to like about it including its strong seam, good stretch, strong Velcro, and comfort. It’s also unbelievably affordable with respect to all the great features that we’ve discussed here.
Why should you wrap your hands yet you have a great pair of boxing gloves?
We like to view hand wraps and boxing gloves as one system. The padding on your gloves protects your opponent or trainer from injuries that your knuckles may cause. However, this padding isn’t good enough to protect the tender tendons and 27 small bones in your hand.
And that’s where hand wraps come in. These pieces of cloths hold all these bones together in a tight alignment to protect them from fracturing- a condition that WebMD calls the Boxer’s Fractures and one that could keep you off the ring and gym for quite some time.
In addition, the best hand wraps with thumb loops keep your thumb in place to prevent injuries. This is important especially if your gloves don’t feature an intelligently positioned thumb for this purpose.
Inner gloves are also crafted to serve the same purpose. The key advantage that inner gloves offer is that they take almost no time to put on compared to wrapping 2 lengthy hand wraps. That being said, they might save you time especially when you are in a rush for your training.
But do know that inner gloves will never be as protective as a good pair of hand wraps. Your hands are your weapons if you are into professional boxing, and a few minutes spent in wrapping them up might be all they need from you.
Besides protection, boxing hand wraps also wink most of the sweat from your wrists before it can be transferred to your gloves. If you are struggling with a stinking pair of boxing gloves, then this is yet another good reason why you might want to invest in wraps.
HOW WE CHOSE THE BEST HAND WRAPS FOR BOXING
Although a seemingly simple affair, purchasing a pair of hand wraps might be a little bit perplexing since they come in different types made from different materials. The quality may also differ from one brand to the other, and so do the prices.
Here is a breakdown of all these considerations;
Types of boxing hand wraps
There are 4 major types of wraps that most boxers and Muay Thai fighters use today;
Cotton wraps (a.k.a Traditional wraps)
Cotton wraps are the most common and you’ll find them almost anywhere. They are commonly referred to as traditional wraps because they have been around for the longest time.
Thanks to the material used in their construction, these wraps are inexpensive and last long. That’s to say that they make the best boxing hand wraps for beginners as well as experienced fighters who want a substitute for their high-end models.
Worth noting is that cotton wraps are not elastic. Although this is what makes them the most durable, a lot of people say that this inelasticity makes them a tad hard to wrap around especially when alone.
Mexican hand wraps (a.k.a Elastic wraps)
These wraps are currently la crème de la crème in this niche. These are a hybrid between the traditional cotton wraps and gauze style wraps that are common with professionals.
What has made these wraps so popular in the recent years is their elasticity and reusability. Most users who have used cotton wraps also say that they are much more comfortable and don’t tend to cut off the blood supply.
On the other hand, keep in mind that these wraps come at a slightly higher price than the traditional ones. They tend to become overly loose and virtually unusable once they lose their elasticity.
Gel hand wraps
This is yet another style that you’ll come across. Gel hand wraps are relatively new and are not as popular as traditional and Mexican-style versions.
Wearing these wraps is fast and easy since all you do is slip your hand through and fasten using a hook and loop closure system at the back.
Thanks to the gel used in their construction, these wraps offer an additional layer of padding that excels in impact absorption. But that’s all these versions do. If you are looking for better wrist support, you are better off with a traditional or elastic wrap.
Tape and gauze wraps
We didn’t include any of these in our best hand wraps for boxing reviews but the market has them. These wraps are mostly used in competitions by expert boxers partly because they don’t add a lot of weight that would otherwise restrict your hand movements.
Using these wraps typically involves winding gauze around the wrist and hand before securing it with athletic tape such as the gaffa tape. This process takes some minutes and you might need another fighter to assist you.
The main drawback with tape and gauze wraps is that they are not reusable. That’s why you won’t find most people using them in training.
The materials used for the hand wraps determine their comfort, durability, ease of use, as well as price.
Pure cotton: Traditional wraps are made of 100% cotton; no wonder their excellent breathability and durability. A breathable fabric material keeps your wrists and palms dry thereby eliminating the issues of chaffing. The only challenge that pure cotton wraps present is their minimal stretch that makes it hard to pull for a tight fit.
To curb the issue of inelasticity with traditional wraps, manufacturers now blend cotton and other materials such as gauze to create a version that is as strong as a traditional style wrap but with a good amount of elasticity.
Linen: Linen wraps are highly regarded for their ability to keep the fighters’ wrists even cooler. They are not common though but you can find them in several specialty stores at a relatively higher price tag.
Length- is longer better?
Hand wraps come in different sizes but the 108’’, 120’’, and 180’’ lengths are the most common. The length of the wraps is purely personal preference and may be determined by the size of your hands, your gloves’ sizes, as well as your favorite wrapping method.
The 180’’ wraps are the most recommended but a 120-inch long pair will work just fine if you have small hands and small gloves.
Mind you, a 180-inch (4.5 meters) long wrap may seem like a lot of hand wrap in theory. But once you criss-cross it over your wrists, thumb, and between each finger, you won’t believe how fast it runs out.
Hook and Loop
Hook and Loop is just another term used in place of Velcro due to legal issues. We considered this type of fastener when compiling this list thanks to its ease of use and ease of replacement in case of losing its grip.
The brand does not matter so much as long as you are getting quality wraps with a good value for your money.
In fact, while it’s always a good idea to give reputable brands the first priority especially if you are not exactly sure on how to buy the best hand wraps, we’ve also come across quality and highly reliable products from manufacturers that we’ve not dealt with before: Fairtex, for instance.
All in all, Ringside, Everlast, Adidas, Meister, Venum, Title, and Elite Boxing are some of the most reliable brands for martial art accessories that you can never go wrong with here.
Most of the best hand wraps for beginners and professionals do come with a designated thumb loop. We really recommend models with this design especially if you are still learning how to wrap your hands for boxing since it they are lots easier to deal with. Most experienced practitioners don’t find them necessary though.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hand Wraps
Q: When should you wear hand wraps?
A: This is an age-old question that almost every beginner who is encountering hand wraps for the first time asks. And the answer is always whenever you are throwing a punch. Whether you are working the heavy bag, sparring with a friend, or in a competition, hand wraps are crucial in protecting your wrists’ delicate bones from injuries, along with your knuckles.
Q: How do you put on hand wraps?
A: Everyone has their preference, and each fighter applies theirs differently. Some like more emphasis around the knuckles whilst others want to use extra wrap length on their wrists to provide better protection. But to find out what your preference is first off you need to know the fundamentals of wrapping your hands safely, and for that we found this awesome video on Youtube that explains how to apply hand wraps.
Q: Are boxing hand wraps and Muay Thai hand wraps the same?
A: Yes. Hand wraps can be used in almost any form of martial arts that involves punching. There isn’t any specific model that is designed or crafted in a way to suggest that it’s ideal for a certain branch and not another. The terms ‘best for boxing’ and ‘best for Muay Thai’ are a marketing technique to sell the wraps to a potential market.
Q: Do hand wraps restrict hand movement?
A: This is one of the greatest fears that most people have before confidently embracing a hand wrap. And we would say that this boils down to how you wrap your hands. YouTube is full of instructional videos on how to do this, and close to 90% of them use almost a similar procedure with slight variations on whether or not to wrap the thumb and how to go between the fingers.
In our experience with these accessories, flexibility shouldn’t be an issue provided the hand wraps feel just right on your hands and if they don’t feel excessively stiff. That being said, you can still do press ups and knuckle push-ups with the wraps on.
Most importantly, it’s important that you consider the size of your gloves first to determine the length of your hand wraps. If you are currently struggling with a small pair of boxing gloves, 180-inch hand wraps might make things even worse.
Q: How tight should hand wraps be?
A: Again, this is a preference that you must find out for yourself, how tight you like to wear your hand wrtaps. But generally the best way to find out is to wrap your hands a few times at different tensions and then hit put your gloves on and hit the bag lightly. After 5-10 minutes you’ll know if that tension is right for you. If it’s too tight then you’ll notice you start to get tingling or lose sensation in an area of your hands. As soon as that happens take them off. But also, if you feel the wraps are too loose then you’ll know this if you feel like when you hit the bag, your knuckles are moving more than is comfortable.
Q: Do hand wraps come in pairs?
A: This may sound obvious but unless you’ve bought some before you may not be aware that YES boxing hand wraps do come sold in pairs 100% of the time.
Q: How do you clean hand wraps?
A: Hand wraps are easy to clean and should, in fact, be cleaned after every use. The good news is that most of them are machine washable. And the bad news? Most of them bleed a lot and should, therefore be washed separately from other brightly colored clothes. Enquire from other buyers in the reviews section if the dye washes off beforehand.
Before throwing them into the washing machine, seal the Velcro to protect the seal. We’d also recommend you to invest in a good mesh bag and always put the wraps in it before throwing them into the machine. These bags do a great job of preventing the wraps from tangling with other clothes or even getting trapped inside the machine. Our recommendation: Meister Hand Wrap Bag
After cleaning, resist the urge to throw them in the dryer even if the manufacturer states that they can be dried. Drying them causes them to shrink and may also cause creases on the fabric rendering them useless. Hanging them is always the best idea as it extends their usable life. If anything, most of them take 3-4 hours to dry completely. Do NOT iron or heat press your hand wraps, this can ruin the elasticity and make them useless in future.