Product Review: Combat Sports IMF Tech MMA Sparring Gloves

Combat Sports IMF Tech MMA Sparring Gloves

Reviewed By: AJ Hoffman
August 10, 2011

Disclosure: This product was a review comp from MMAHQ.com.

Anyone who trains MMA knows that there is a fine line between sparring and fighting. You obviously want to get the most out of your training sessions, but you also want to do as little damage as possible to your training partners in the gym. MMA sparring gloves can be a good alternative to traditional 4 oz. gloves, but aren’t without their drawbacks. Combat Sports has tried to walk the fine line between safety and realistic sparring.

Features (From combatsports.com) The gloves use IMF Technology. IMF is an Injected Molded Form that conforms anatomically to the fist. The gloves boast two full inches of padding across the knuckles for the ultimate protection of both sparring mates. There is a double wrap with velcro around the wrist for extra stability. The gloves feature an all leather construction that offers optimal durability. There are two size options; regular (7 oz.) and large (8 oz.)

[rating:4] 4 Stars


Quality Let’s start with the positives. For striking these work great. It gives you about the same amount of cushioning you would have with a standard boxing glove. My sparring partner pointed out that it feels about the same as getting hit with a boxing glove. This allowed me to throw a little harder than I would if we were 4 oz. sparring. They also work fairly well with takedowns. It is a little hard to grasp your hands together if you are looking for a wrestling takedown, but it is a lot easier than it would be if you were wearing boxing gloves to spar with.

The downside comes once you are on the mat. While admittedly it is hard for me to work submissions wearing gloves at all, these are way tougher to work in than 4 oz. gloves. They are bulky enough that they will get caught in places where you wouldn’t expect. In a 5 minute session mine got stuck in an armpit, behind a knee and under my opponent’s back. If you are doing more standup or even ground and pound these will be great. If you are trying for submissions a lot these could be pretty tough to use.

I didn’t have to deal with much adjusting other than retightening the wrist straps between rounds. The finger loops look way less comfortable than they actually are once you get started. It took me a while to get used to having my thumb in it’s own little loop, as my 4 oz. gloves have an open thumb. (This also contributed to my issues with submissions.)

Overall through a couple of uses the gloves have held up nicely and I haven’t had any issues with bad smells. All I have done is hang them up once I get home. The gloves feel like they are pretty good quality and show no signs of coming apart or anything.

[rating:4] 4 Stars


Value These gloves sell on combatsports.com for $59.95. If you can find them for under $50 and the above paragraph describes them as something that could fit your training I would say they are worth that. $60 plus shipping seems a little steep to me. That said, this is a specialized product and if you are using it mostly for standup sparring they may be worth the full price. If you are looking at these as a “hybrid” grappling glove” you may be disappointed at full price.

[rating:3] 3 Stars


Summary

Overall this is a quality glove. It didn’t exactly fill my needs, but it is definitely the kind of glove I will use if I am doing standup with takedowns. As I have said these are really a struggle to grapple in. That said, for what it is it is a quality product. I really like the Foam technology that they use, and I felt that my sparring partner and I were both pretty well protected at all times.


PROS CONS
  • Foam technology pads your hand nicely.
  • Very comfortable on your hands.
  • High quality construction makes you feel like they aren’t going to come apart after a few uses.
  • Hard to clear padding when training for submissions. The bulky pad is easily caught.
  • Not easy to grasp your hands together while wearing the gloves.
  • Price could be a little bit lower when compared to similar products on the market.

Overall [rating:3.5] 3.5 Stars