Everlast 108″ Handwraps

Posted: December 31, 2011 in Accessories

[Sorry for the generic picture offered by Everlast.  My handwraps came apart and am now either in the garbage or in the deep dark corners of my closet so I couldn’t take pictures of mine.]

What it advertises:

This Everlast® popular Mexican-style handwrap comes in a breathable cotton fabric for comfort and support. (from Amazon)

These EVERLAST® hand wraps are ideal for use by juniors, women, small hands, and those desiring a shorter length handwrap.  (from Sports Authority)

I bought this while in a rush because I had to check out a gym (which I eventually joined) and they required wraps which I did not have.  Can I just say…”Wow! These wraps SUCK!”  I guess that’s what I get for buying wraps at a Sport Chalet for $5?  I know I may be pretty down on Everlast as my review for their headgear was also negative but I stand by my opinion that their “affordable” line of sports equipment is less than to be desired.

  • First off, my bad on buying a wrap that is only 108″.  Please invest in some 180″ if you need wraps.  108″ is simply not long enough and I have small hands.
  • The velcro was WEAK.  it was a small little thing that didn’t do a great job.  It’s ONE job is to secure the wrap and he does a poor job of it.
  • The “breathable cotton fabric” does a horrible job at protection.  You can just feel the flimsiness holding the fabric between your fingers.  Rest assured, it didn’t hold up so well after a wash.
  • The material just comes apart.  I had to constantly adjust and re-velcro my wraps because it kept on coming loose.

All in all, this is a major PASS.  I didn’t bother making a Pros and Cons section for this because it’s all Cons.  I can’t even say it was at least affordable because you can certainly find good hand wraps for the same price so why waste your energy on these?

Rating: 0/5

Link to Buy [Amazon; $4.57 plus free shipping with Prime or over $25]
Link to Buy [Sports Authority; $7.49]

I’m pretty sure these could be find at most generic sporting goods stores.  But seriously, invest in something better.

What it advertises (on the Title website):

Authentic genuine top grain leather professional hook-and-loop training gloves. Crafted of select supple, yet durable leather with approximately 2″ of integrated layered foams for superb shock absorbency and maximum coverage for intense athletes. Extra wide elastic and hook-and-loop wraparound wrist closure assures snug, firm fit. Moisture wicking hand liner keeps hands drier and cooler during training. Handmade in Thailand and tested in professional Bangkok gyms for performance.

I decided to buy a pair of these Boons after the threading was coming apart from my Tuf -Wear Pro Tactic Sparring Gloves (only 3 sparring sessions in I might add).  I wanted a pair of gloves that did not have a stitched thumb attachment but rather one whole glove piece. After some research online in regards to muay thai style gloves, I decided on a pair of Boon over Twins and Windy.

I was able to check out the Twins and Windy gloves of some of my sparring partners at my gym.  While they had compliments for them, I did not personally feel those were the greatest fit for me.  For one thing, the Twins glove felt too round and bulky, essentially making my feel clumsy while sparring.  On to that, the interior compartment was too spacious.  I have smaller hands so I didn’t feel very confident with the Twins.  And I skipped over the Windy purely because I read better personal feedback reviews of the Boons over Windy and because I heard the Boons over a more snug interior compartment.

Well they arrived and first thing first, the brown chocolate color was a beauty.  There were many compliments from folks at the gym.  I prefer black gloves, but actually I only had a choice of the brown at the time because I had to buy them through Title who only offered them in brown (no biggie).

Pros:

  • Rest assured, the interior is snug (not to the point where it hurt my hand or was difficult to insert my hand) but it was a good fit while sparring.
  • The gloves offers great wrist support.  The velcro/wrist is longer than the Twins and Tuf-Wear gloves.  Because of it being longer, I felt much more stabilized around my wrist and more comfortable with blocking head kicks.  For many, this may pose an issue for the clinch, but it has not hindered me personally.
  • The leather is of top quality.  Some other reviews have said the Boon cow skin leather is of better quality than Twins and Windy.  I can’t verify but I like what I’m seeing.
  • The velcro closure holds in place and does not snag.
  • I suppose you can say the ventilation and moisture wicking liner may be of assistance.  I have not ever suffered from feeling the gloves make my hands hot or sweaty.  At the same time, I don’t have sweaty hands so I can not really give much input on this.
  • Even though my pair is a 16 oz. it does not feel overtly heavy while in use.  I don’t even really pay attention to it which is a plus because I constantly felt clumsy with my Tuf-Wear.  Because of this, I feel as though I am able to “thread the needle” better when it comes to connecting on punches.

Cons:

  • The “Boon” logo on the glove is shoddy work.  It doesn’t show in the pictures because it was taken before tonight’s sparring session but the label is already cracking and peeling off.  Not really a big issue for me but may bother others.  The Boon label stitched on the wrist should hold up, however.
  • I suspect if this glove really passes for “sparring”.  The distribution of weight seems to be more even instead of mostly in the front.  Keep in mind, most Thai gloves are like this.  It may be because they concentrate on also having padding to block kicks while boxing sparring gloves just have to worry about the padding in the front for punches.
  • These gloves do feel hard.  I wonder how much shock my sparring opponents may feel if I connect on a good hit.  I highly doubt they are forgiving compared to some other gloves.
  • As stated earlier, the longer wrist which offers more support and protection against kicks may hinder some when it comes to the clinch.

All in all, I’m very satisfied with this pair of gloves.  I feel as though my sparring and boxing have improved.  My wrist feels more secured and head kicks are better protected (I’m short so I’m constantly at risk of taller opponents trying to head kick me).  I think the leather quality is great and some others who use these gloves at my gym love them.  In fact, a sparring partner who used to live by Twins is now going to switch to Boon as she has to purchase a 16 oz soon.

Rating: 4/5

Link to Buy (Title Boxing; $79.99 plus tax and shipping)
Link to Buy (muaythai-fighting; $41.95 plus shipping from Thailand)

Fairtex Sparring Headgear

Posted: December 31, 2011 in Protective Gear

Here is what Fairtex advertises:

This is our most popular Headgear. It offers a great balance between coverage, visibility, and weight. This has been the go to choice for professionals for many years, and shows no signs of losing any popularity. Truly one of the best Headgear available anywhere.

Features

  • Handmade in Thailand
  • Durable Leather Construction
  • Cheek and Chin Protection
  • Good Visibility

My headgear (size Small) arrived yesterday and I tried it today for full contact sparring (minus elbows).

Pros:

  • It provides a good fit while not squeezing my head (a problem that caused headaches with my Everlast headgear).
  • It’s light.  I never felt it holding my head down.  I once had to use a pro Title sparring headgear, that thing is HEA-VY.  I believe this headgear runs lighter than many of the others in the market.
  • It does provide good visibility…depending.  (See Cons below).  It has a wider opening around the eyes that does not constrict lateral views as opposed to my Everlast ones.  Though this did lead to me getting a good punch in my eyebrow but I believe it took some of the impact.
  • This headgear does have chin protection for those that desire it.
  • I think it does a decent job at protecting the ears.  There’s still a slight opening so narrow punches may get through, but there’s some protection against head kicks.
  • Lastly, for someone that’s slightly vain like myself — I think this headgear looks great.  I’ve tried many headgears and they’ve all come out looking like boxes on a head…too squared.  This is more narrow that it doesn’t make me feel clumsy.

Cons:

  • It doesn’t provide the best ventilation.  There’s no lining inside so if you sweat it may get to your eyes.
  • Because the eyes have a wider opening, you may be more at risk to getting direct hits to your face/skin.
  • It does move while sparring.  No matter how tight you have these one, it can move a bit…but not to the point where it’s spinning around.  It’s just not snug like a glove but it does well compared to most other headgears.
  • I don’t believe this headgear does the best job at absorbing shock at all or if it even tries.  When you get hit, you feel it.
  • Here’s where it took a huge back seat for me…there’s a THICK padding on the forehead area above the eyes.  It really hindered my visibility looking vertically.  I’m a short female, so with my chin down I have to really look up at most opponents.  Because of this, I found my visibility was obstructed by this headgear constantly because I could barely glance up.  Another female sparrer  2-3 inches taller than me shared the same complaint.  Half way through the sparring session I got fed up and switched back to my Top Ten avant guard headgear.

So in conclusion, I wanted to love this headgear but I couldn’t.  It looks less embarrassing than my Top Tens and I hoped the thicker cheek padding could protect my nose more (as my nose is exposed in my Top Tens) but gloves still got contact with my nose and eyes when punches got through.  At all in, I wouldn’t mind it being my backup headgear because of its light weight and decent fit but I think I’ll be sticking with my Top Tens for awhile.  The visibility issue may not affect taller fighters but those that are shorter whom usually face taller opponents may find the same issues as I did with this pair.

Rating: 3.5/5

Where to Buy: Fairtex website ($99.95 plus shipping)

Top Ten Superfight Gloves, 10oz.

Posted: December 22, 2011 in Gloves

[Note: the marks on the bottom of the gloves is just me distorting my name.]

What it advertises–

Exactly the same glove as the Olympic model, but without the AIBA logo and white striking area.
Material: First class genuine leather (1,2mm)

Bayfill®  Material

The semi-rigit polyurethane molding foam / Bayfill ® made by Bayer MaterialScience Company.  Special formulations are used for constructive components concerning safety, special crash-elements.

Features:

  • Components are pleasant to the touch
  • Freedom for design
  • Sweat resistant
  • Virtually indestructible
  • Highly shock absorbent
  • No-slip gripping
Personal Review: Many people in the US aren’t that familiar with the Top Ten brand which is surprising as it is so popular in the Olympics, AIBA and Europe.  I have a friend that is also addicted with buying/trying new fighting gear.  He went ahead and purchase a bunch of Top Ten gear before deciding that he wanted to be a strictly Winning guy. So low and behold I got myself a pair of Top Ten 10oz. gloves.  At the time, I was using these cheap ol’ 12oz gloves I was given at a “cardio” kickboxing gym OVER 7 years ago. Suffice to say, my wrists were staring to hurt and those gloves offered no protection.  Let me just say, I love these gloves.  For a 10oz, it feels so much more protective than the 12oz I used previously.  These offered great wrist support and In Bayfill material I trust.  I truly do feel a difference in striking.  As advertised, it does feel as though these gloves absorbed a lot of the shocks.  Also, Top Tens tend to run more compact than other gloves (compared to muay thai gloves like Twins or Boon, which tend to run wider for their own reasons).  I, personally, prefer the compact design of these gloves.  I feel less clumsy and more confident in striking targets.  As a female with smaller hands, however, these gloves do feel a tad spacious inside.  Not to the point of slipping but it won’t give you as snug of a fit as Boons.
Just a note, I use this as my bag gloves.  Though I was initially worried because I think these are conceived to be boxing/sparring gloves these have held up well against the heavy bags and mitts.  But I would like to reiterate for those into muay thai that these are torpedo shaped.  There is a reason why thai brands tend to be wider.  They are constructed that way to block kicks more effectively.  So as of now, I’m not sure how this brand may hold up in a muay thai sparring session.  I plan on getting a pair of 16oz for sparring so a review may be up in the future in that regard.

Link to Buy (Top Ten, $135 plus shipping; the main company is based in Canada)
Link to Buy (Fighters-Inc., $99 plus shipping)
Link to Buy (Totiro-USA, $98 plus shipping)

Rating: 4.5/5

Everlast MMA/Boxing Headgear

Posted: December 22, 2011 in Protective Gear

This headgear advertises the following:
  • Premium synthetic leather headgear
  • Anti-microbial treatment kills bacteria and odors
  • Anatomical design and fit allow natural movement and feel
  • One size fits all (Most are. Mine were sized S/M, however.)
  • Manufacturer’s warranty included (see product guarantee)

So I started sparring classes and one of the required equipment was a headgear.  I know many people may not spar with them but I believe in its benefits (IF you invest in a good pair).  See I didn’t follow that particular advice when I went out to buy one.  I confess, I used to use those cheap Macho style Taekwondo headgears when I was studying Choi-Li-Fut.  Perhaps it was because my particular gym didn’t allow hard sparring that those were sufficient.  They wouldn’t work well at my current gym where students do tend to go rougher in boxing and kickboxing/muay thai.

I was originally searching for the Fairtex Sparring Headgear (reviews up shortly) but my stingy self didn’t find the need in investing $100 in a pair when I discovered the price.  So off I went to my local Sports Chalet and bought myself this Everlast headgear for $35.  If anything, it’s taught me the importance of shelling out money for things that are worth it…your head is worth the investment.

These headgears vary.  Most are one size fits all but my particular headgear was a size S/M (which is my usual size).  When I tried it on at Sport Chalet I thought: “Eh, it fits okay.”  I learned how wrong was I when I finally used this thing in sparring.

  1. The visibility is HORRENDOUS.  I could barely see out of it making me very susceptible to punches and high kicks.
  2. The fit was not great.  It scrunched up my cheeks and actually gave me headaches.  I couldn’t believe it.  This large male in class wore the same headgear.  Why was it giving ME headaches?  I believe it had to do with the hard padding right in the back of the neck.
  3. It slips around, alot.  For a headgear that squeezed my face and gave me headaches, it did a shoddy job at staying in place.  A punch and this thing would immediately move.  Many times requiring me to stop a session to adjust.
  4. Does not ventilate well.  Sweating is only natural in such an intense activity, but this product does not do a good job (if it tries at all) at ventilation.  Sweat would easily get in the eyes.  This probably adds to the likelihood of this headgear moving.
  5. Most importantly, I don’t trust this headgear’s ability to effectively protect its user.  I not only felt contact, it jarred me.  On to that, the ear has a pitiful excuse of protection.  There is no padding.  One high kick to the side of the face and your ears might ring.

I’m sure Everlast has good products but I don’t quite trust their affordable line.  Your head is an important if not the MOST important part of your body.  It’s worth investing in a good headgear to protect yourself.  If anything, the $35 plus tax I wasted on this could have gone into the next gear I was forced to buy.  What you think is saving money may end up costing you more.

 

Link to Buy (from Amazon, $38.50; which actually gave this decent reviews.  To each their own.)

Rating: 0.5/5 (because it MAY be better than nothing…though I’m not quite confident in that statement).