5 Best Karate Sparring Gloves | Buying Guide

karate sparring gloves

Sparring is an essential component on your journey to mastery as a functional karetka. Although there are thousands of gloves on the market for combat sport athletes, there are few that fit the exact requirements someone would need for karate sparring. 

I’ve trained in combat sports for a number of years and have close friends that are involved with karate. Having competed in two separate continents and trained with hundreds of training partners I know the importance of having the right sparring gear to take your skills to the next level.

This article will save you a whole lot of time and effort. I’ve gone through all of the options available on the market to bring to you the top 5 karate sparring gloves around.

Quick Summary

Who Should Get This?

Getting the right karate sparring gloves is important for keeping both you and your partners safe. Although you could wear boxing gloves, it will limit you in your ability to perform the necessary actions that are required as a karateka. Sparring is a necessity to fine-tune your abilities for real world application therefore selecting the best gloves for you will allow you to develop and stay safe.

Of course you could just borrow the sparring gloves available to you at your gym, however they’re probably very unhygienic and more trouble than they are worth. Especially due to the fact that they’ve probably been used countless times therefore the protection they offer is nowhere near as good as they were when they were brand new.

Be kind to yourself and your training partners by getting a good pair of karate sparring gloves that serves both you and them well.

5 Best Karate Sparring Gloves

1. Hayabusa T3 Sparring Gloves

Best Karate Sparring Gloves | Hayabusa T3 Sparring Gloves

These truly are an exceptional choice when it comes to picking up karate sparring gloves. Weighing in at 7oz, made of real leather and jam packed with tech to support your hand and wrist stabilization, these truly are the creme de la creme. Did I mention they also have exceptional fist padding protection?

Key Features

  • Attractive design
  • Strap and lock wrist support
  • Great with or without wraps


  • Real leather
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Super durable


  • A bit pricey


If you’re simply looking for a superior pair of sparring gloves with money not being an issue, I would hands down go for this pair. Not only are they lightweight, they are also durable and comfortable. With a brand like Hayabusa pushing these out, you know it is going to last the test of time.

2. Fairtex FGV18 Sparring Gloves

Best Karate Sparring Gloves | Fairtex FGV18 Sparring Gloves

Looking for exceptional fist padding protection in a light pair of karate sparring gloves? Fairtex have you covered. Weighing in at just 4.5lbs, these gloves will be extremely light yet provide the necessary protection you and your partners need. Due to the outer material being made of leather, you can be sure that these will last, regardless of the pressure you put them under.

Key Features

  • Multiple colors to select from
  • Made with real leather
  • Hand made


  • Extra padding on knuckle area
  • Great durability
  • Excellent mobility


  • Can be a bit loose for narrow hands


The level of protection for the knuckles while maintaining an extremely light overall weight puts these Fairtex gloves in a league of their own. Although it doesn’t boast the next level type of wrist and hand support that Hayabusa’s offering does, you’ll still top tier support that is to be expected from Fairtex products.

3. Cheerwing MMA Gloves

Best Karate Sparring Gloves | Cheerwing MMA Gloves

The overall protection provided by the Cheerwing MMA gloves is exceptional for the price point that they come in at. Although you won’t find real leather being used for the outer material or any type of next-gen build design, you will get a highly durable pair of gloves that will meet most of your needs. Additionally, these are an excellent choice for those of you that struggle to get the right fitting gloves, thanks to the customizability of the wrist support.

Key Features

  • Eye-catching designs
  • Snug fit
  • Great durability


  • Unbelievable value for money
  • Decent padding
  • Lightweight


  • Can be uncomfortable without wraps


If budget is one of the deciding factors when it comes to picking your karate sparring gloves, you can be confident that you will get a sturdy pair of gloves for your needs with these Cheerwing MMA gloves. Although not the best option on the market overall, they are a solid choice nonetheless.

4. Wesing Karate Sparring Gloves

Best Karate Sparring Gloves | Wesing Karate Sparring Gloves

If you’re after the more traditional karate sparring gloves that can also be used in competition, then then Wesing Karate Sparring Gloves are what you have been searching for. Offering excellent protection at a reasonable price, these are a solid option especially if you’re looking to compete. You’ll find that these gloves use a synthetic leather for the outer layer and an elastic strap for the wrist to allow for easy customization.

Key Features

  • Approved for competition gloves
  • Two color options
  • Decent hand and wrist protection


  • Used by karatekas around the world
  • Great padding
  • Excellent durability


  • This particular version lacks thumb protection


This really is the ideal option for those of you looking to compete. Emotions will already be running high when you are competing, there is no need to add further anxiety by putting on gloves that don’t quite feel right to you. If you train in these, competing in these will be easier for sure. 

5. Sanabul Essentials 7oz Gloves

Best Karate Sparring Gloves | Sanabul Essentials 7oz Gloves

The Sanabul Essentials 7oz Gloves are a really decent pair of karate sparring gloves that will provide the protection you need in a sparring session. It is a really impressive feat to be able to offer such protection and overall durability at the price point that they are coming in at. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on who you are) these do not use real leather, therefore one may think that the durability may not be as good. However, the faux leather used by Sanabul is often a very close replication.

Key Features

  • Multiple color options
  • Decent protection
  • Impressive durability


  • Multiple sizes available for ideal fit
  • Strong synthetic material
  • Well built


  • Can be slightly uncomfortable with prolonged use


Although rather bulky at 10oz, these gloves are likely to protect you come rain or shine in sparring sessions. Built to protect MMA fighters, you will find that they are mobile and offer all-around protection. Lastly, thanks to the hook and loop locking system, you can be sure they won’t need adjusting.


Are gloves worn in karate? Is it ok for me to spar without gloves?

Gloves are a protective measure to ensure that your hands are safe when they make contact with a target. Although gloves aren’t worn all the time during karate, when contact is likely to take place they should be in place to protect both you and your training partner.

What’s the difference between karate sparring and boxing gloves?

The needs of a boxer and a karateka are quite different, therefore the gloves are also significantly different. For example, a boxer will spend a significant amount of time making contact with targets compared to a karateka for example hitting a heavy bag. Karate sparring gloves are also different in that they are more streamlined to allow for greater mobility and protection from kicks which are not a concern for boxers.

Can sparring gloves be used for bag work?

This really depends on the gloves you select and the type of bag work you will be doing. I suggest going for thicker gloves if you’re going to be going hard on the bag. This will ensure that you can go all in and not be concerned about causing any damage to your hands as the additional protection will absorb the power.

What is the right size for my karate sparring gloves?

Ideally you want a snug fit that gives you the confidence that both your hand and wrist are well supported. It is dangerous for everyone involved if you’re wearing gloves that are too loose and very uncomfortable for you if they are too small. Pick wisely as they’ll likely last for quite some time!

How do I maintain my karate sparring gloves properly?

Your gloves are going to be soaking up your sweat like a sponge. Make sure to clean them on a regular basis and air them out after training to ensure they stay in as best a shape as possible. Aside from that keep them away from children, dogs and anything else that might cause them damage!

Final Thoughts

Karate is a wonderful martial art and sparring is a part of the discipline that allows you to bring what is taught in the dojo into the real world if necessary. Thankfully to ensure we are as safe as possible while practicing, gear has been made to protect us.

Having a quality pair of karate sparring gloves is essential to get the most out of your sparring sessions, so be sure to invest in the right ones for you. For ultra protection the Fairtex FGV18 is a wonderful choice, want the latest cutting-edge tech? Go for the Hayabusa T3 or need a quality pair at an affordable price? Try out the Cheerwing MMA gloves.

I hope this review has been helpful for you, if it has be sure to share it with people you feel may benefit from it!

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Span Chen
Span Chen
I have been practicing karate for more than 6 years, and now at the sixth level (green belt) of the Okinawa Goju-Ryu Karatedo Kugekai. Though I haven’t earned my Black Belt yet, I am deeply passionate about my training.