MMA Gloves, Product Reviews — May 27, 2019 at 10:35 am

Sanabul Essential 7 oz MMA Hybrid Sparring Gloves Review

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Sanabul Essential 7 oz MMA Hybrid Sparring Gloves Review

8.7

Comfort

8.0/10

Durability

8.0/10

Protection

9.5/10

Strap System

9.0/10

Price To Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • Incredibly well-priced
  • Excellent for sparring
  • Great for beginners
  • High amount of protection
  • Comfortable wrist strap
  • Easy to maintain

Cons

  • Not recommended for bag work
  • Finger loops aren't comfortable
  • Larger sizes aren't very big

It is hard to review a brand like Sanabul, especially since half their brand ambassadors are some of my favorite fighters. Still, I decided to include some of their products on my site, as I had a few things to say about them. Not necessarily bad things, but not so great ones either. As a whole, this is the constant theme of this brand – it brings good enough quality at a very bargain price. This means that people that are looking for a gateway product to the premium section and are not yet ready for the premium price tag can enjoy most of the models coming from Sanabul.

Here we will dive into this Sanabul Essential 7 oz MMA Hybrid Sparring Gloves Review and see what their ups and downs are, and most importantly are they worth your money. Spoiler alert, they kind of are.

Key Takeaway:

If you are looking for a glove to mix things up in your training, then the Essential gloves by Sanabul are a great place to start your search from. Not only they are super affordable but they are also one of the best-rated gloves for sparring and are surprisingly durable and long-lasting. A lot of trainers have equipped their younger students with these gloves (and other Sanabul Essential gear) mainly due to the fact that they can grow into these products and not change them unless they need a bigger size. The finger loop rings might feel awkward if you’re planning on training on a heavy bag and grappling can be a tad too difficult since these are 7oz gloves, meaning a little more bulk will be present over your wrist and knuckles.

If you want to see other top MMA glove models, make sure you check out my full guide on the topic where I’ve discussed and compared almost all of my favorite models for this year.

Overview & Features

The whole selling point of the “Essential” line of products from Sanabul is that they really are essentially what you need to train and spar effectively while being affordable and durable enough to last you a while. They are designed with longevity in mind and really prove that to be the case. I’ve seen these used for over a year and barely showing any signs of deformation or tearing up, and that seems to remain true even across most of the reviews and opinions I’ve seen about them. And honestly, all the small issues that I might have with them are countered by their price tag. Truly, if you are looking for something excellently padded and fairly durable for a bargain price, these should be on your list.

Design and Comfort

The design of these gloves is a bit different than typical MMA gloves mainly due to the fact that these are 7 OZs and are significantly bigger than the normal MMA gloves you’re used to seeing in the gym. The majority of the bulk is located in the frontal portion of the padding. The finger loops are sewn into the padding and aren’t separated but rather one continuous zig-zagging loop which isn’t my favorite, and I much rather use individual finger loops as that gives your hand more freedom.

Another aspect I really like about these gloves is their wide and long wrist strap but we will talk about it in greater detail further down.

Padding

Being 7 OZ gloves, these offer quite a lot more padding than a normal 4 OZ glove. The top padding is separated into two parts with most of it going over the knuckles and, after a hinge, you get some padding above your hand as well. All that padding makes these gloves extremely good for sparring and training on a light or heavy bag. Unfortunately, due to their significant bulkiness, they aren’t ideal for grappling as they will get in the way of most arm and neck locks. Also, Sanabul doesn’t officially recommend these for bag work, as that may affect their synthetic material depending on the intensity of your workout and the material of the bag.

The padding on the thumb is quite unique here and perhaps the largest I’ve ever seen on an MMA glove. Apart from its size, it is hinged at two locations and consists of three individual padding pieces.

One thing to keep in mind about the padding and the foam of these gloves is that it may take some time before it fully wraps well around your hand. Other than that, it will retain its slightly bent shape. That same inward bend is actually great for sparring as it prevents accidental eye pokes most of the time.

Materials and Durability


For these gloves, Sanabul uses a special performance leather which, without them saying it, I think is a semi-synthetic blend. It performs well under heavy stress and is surprisingly breathable. It also doesn’t hold onto any unwanted odors and it gets soft enough after a few workouts. After the foam molds to your hands, it stays like that for quite a lot of time. As a whole, apart from the stitching, everything here can last for years if you treat it properly. Unfortunately, with cheaper models, the stitching is a known issue and that’s the weak spot you should keep an eye on. The most common location for rips is between the strap and the glove’s body.

To learn more about the different MMA glove materials and their individual pros and cons, click here!

The Strap System

The strap here is one of the best ones I’ve seen on a budget MMA glove. It is wide and long enough for it to firmly set the gloves on your hands. Once in place, it feels really comfortable and adds a lot of support to your wrist joint. Even in the premium class, not many gloves nail down their straps as these Sanabul MMA gloves have.

What Are They Good For?

For a 7 OZ MMA glove, these are surprisingly good for a lot of things in the gym. Primarily, I enjoy using them in kickboxing sparring and occasional grappling, even though they are a bit too bulky on the ground for my taste. Still, the protection they provide during striking drills is unmatched, especially with the additional thumb protection. The hinge system on both the wrist and the thumb allows for good hand dexterity and the strap doubles as protection for your wrist against accidental kick blocks.

Sizing

The sizing of this glove is one of its biggest issues for a lot of people. For starters, there are only two size options to choose from – S/M and L/XL. Now, on the one hand, the S/M is too big for most S-sized men, women, and kids. On the other, the L/XL isn’t as big as some XL-sized people need it to be. This leaves the gloves to be comfortably fitting only for people around the M and L sizes which is the cause of a lot of product returns. I recommend using the brand’s size chart before you truly set on buying these gloves.

Price

Price-wise the Sanabul Essentials are pretty competitively priced and are competing directly with other budget brands such as RDX, Combat Sports, Brace Master, and others. Out of all those brands, their only real competitors are RDX gloves which are often cheaper and are arguably better built for the price.

Sanabul Essential MMA Gloves Vs. Essential Grappling Gloves

two models

When choosing between these two Sanabul gloves you need to take a few things into consideration – what will you be using the glove primarily for and are you going to get a second pair of gloves. The materials and build quality of both the Essential Hybrid and Essential Grappling gloves are very similar but the Grappling version has less padding and is far more comfortable for ground work and even competition. The finger loops there are much better and the glove is actually cheaper. With them, however, you will have to get a second pair of bigger 10-14 OZ gloves to spar with since the 4 OZ glove won’t be ideal for sparring unless it is for technique only.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

Pros
  • Incredibly well-priced
  • Excellent for sparring
  • Great for beginners, intermediates, and pros
  • High amount of protection
  • Comfortable wrist strap
  • Long-lasting durability
  • Easy to clean

Cons

Cons
  • Not recommended for bag work
  • The finger loops aren’t very comfortable
  • The larger sizes (L, XL, etc) aren’t very big

Final Words

The MMA Central Rating: (4.5/5)

As a whole, the Sanabul Essential 7 oz MMA Hybrid Gloves are one of your best options for a solid sparring and training glove at this price point. While there are some other options from brands like RDX and Brace Master, these are typically smaller and offer less protection when you’re sparring and doing bag work. And even despite Sanabul’s claims that these aren’t to be used on the boxing bag, I can tell you that they are much better-rounded than people give them credit for. At this price, this is a steal.

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