Finding a good, solid pair of gloves for sparring can be tricky, especially in MMA where each different brand has their own take design.
One brand that seems to stand out from the crowd is Radius, who've added their own twist and made what seem to be the most protective and comfortable MMA gloves for sparring yet.
In our Radius R1 MMA gloves review, we're going to take a closer look at the brand, what makes these gloves better than the rest and assess whether or not they're worth buying.
Let's get to it.
The R1 Sparring Gloves from Radius take comfort and protection to the next level with their incorporated Radius Roll Design.
Unlike other gloves on the market, Radius have implemented a cushioning roll inside the padded area of the gloves. This roll is made from antibacterial, high grade foam that is clinically proven to prevent the vast majority of the shock from reaching the wearers knuckles.
This in turn causes far less damage to the hand, something that can easily occur from regular training with normal gloves. Also, because of this new extremely protective design, these gloves are suitable to multiple areas of training, not just sparring.
Who are Radius?
Ok, before we start to take a closer look at the gloves themselves, let's first discuss a bit about the brand behind them.
Radius have developed a new and improved way of creating protective gear for striking based martial arts.
This gear is designed to revolutionise athlete safety when it comes to training striking combat sports. Not only do they sell the protective gloves we're reviewing today, they also have their own take on extra-protective hand wraps as well.
But, how did Radius come with up with the idea?
Well, that's a super interesting story. I'll quickly go over it here, but head over to their about page to get the full run down.
The founder of Radius, Ryan, was training with UFC fighter Patrick Cummins, who ended up sustaining what is known as boxer's knuckle. This conditions makes it super hard to train MMA, as the knuckle area becomes extremely sensitive.
As such, Ryan sort out a solution to prevent athletes from sustaining such an injury. Ryan then discussed this issue with a cut man who showed him an old school way of wrapping the hand, where the gauze is put below the knuckle.
This set the wheels in motion and eventually led to the company and gear that we're discussing today.
Pretty cool huh?
What are the Gloves Designed For?
Below are a few different aspects of training that the gloves can be used:
Benefits & Features
Ok, so what are some of the main benefits that you'll receive from wearing the R1 gloves in training?
First, and definitely foremost is protection. It's no exaggeration to say that these gloves have revolutionised padding and protection in MMA gloves. The roll located inside the glove is clinically proven to massively reduce the impact delivered to the wearers hand.
Unlike other MMA gloves that don't necessarily have a ton of padding, this extra protection makes the gloves extremely versatile and capable of being used for multiple aspects of training.
You'll also notice that there's also a thumb sleeve which is another nice touch, as some brands opt to leave the thumb exposed. This sleeve will add even more protection to both the wearer and their sparring partner.
Unlike a lot of the other glove brands out there, Radius' gloves are made from genuine leather, which is by far the most durable type of leather used in glove construction. A lot fo MMA brands these days use synthetic leather in their gloves, which doesn't last as long and tends to fall apart a lot quicker.
As with most gloves, whether that be MMA, boxing or Muay Thai, there's a bit of a break in period, which is especially true of gloves made from genuine leather. Fortunately, once you're through this period, you'll have a comfortable, well fitting pair fo gloves that are bound to last a good amount of time.
What's more, I'm a massive fan of the overall shape and feel of these gloves. The curve covering the fingers and knuckles isn't too rigid and allows the fingers to move with relative ease. This is particularly ideal if you're incorporating grappling into your sparring and need to be able to maintain a solid grip on your opponent/ sparring partner.
These are also pretty lightweight, especially for sparring gloves. While this is most likely down to the innovative design, it does take some getting used to sparring in what feels like 4oz competition gloves.
In terms of price, these are fairly expensive, however that's to be expected. Genuine leather gloves nearly always cost more, just down to the fact that real leather costs more than genuine leather. What's more, when you take into account the protection, comfort and durability of these gloves, they're still very, very good value for money.
Great Looking Design
Last, but by no means least, these things look great. They're classy, not overly loud and look at home on any MMA practitioners hand. While style isn't everything, it's always good to be wearing a great looking pair of gloves down the gym.
The only real downside is the lack of color variations, however that's an easy fix going forward for Radius.
Pros & Cons
Radius R1 MMA Gloves Review: The Verdict
So, do we recommend the Radius MMA Sparring Gloves?
Of course we do! Although slightly expensive, you'll struggle to find a pair of MMA gloves as long lasting and protective as these.