ONX Boxing Gloves: Is X-Factor The New Elite Glove?

ONX X-Factor Boxing Gloves

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ONX Sports are a relatively new brand in the MMA equipment market and are producing the new era of MMA fighting and protective equipment. One of their flagship products is the ONX Boxing Gloves named “X-Factor”.

If you’ve taken a look at these gloves and you just want to know more about them before you buy, then I’ve got you covered. In this article, I’ve done the research for you and compiled the details.

By the end of reading this super article, you’ll know everything you need to decide whether these gloves are as good as people say and if they’re the right choice for you.

Let’s get to it! If you wanted, you can just skip to a section like picking the right size for you, would I recommend them? or where to buy them.

A little background about my research

When I began training in mixed martial arts, I just used whatever boxing gloves were available to me. For the majority of my first year of training, I just rented gloves from my gym – rookie error.

Over time, it became more obvious what a mistake this was. I realized that it was pretty important to have gloves of your own because of the benefits of natural molding to your fist size and shape. It offers better comfort and better protection for your hands.

By using another man’s gloves I was frequently getting injuries in my right hand, particularly on the first knuckle, thumb, and even wrist.

So of course, naturally, I grabbed my first pair of gloves and saw a little bit of improvement.

But it also led me down a path of research of trying to improve my boxing technique to reduce unnecessary injuries to my money makers but also looking for the highest grade equipment on the market.

It was not very long at all before I came across the ONX Sports brand, and particularly the ONX X-Factor Boxing Gloves.

Related: ONX Sports: The New Era

There are a lot of claims made by ONX about these gloves. Such as thumb and wrist protection without even wearing hand wraps!? This seems like some weird claims at first, when the entire industry is wearing hand wraps and has been for decades. Hand wraps are a standard part of hands and wrist protection – but are they actually required?

As I like to think of myself as an innovator I am entirely open to the evolution of the sport and am intrigued by scientific advances that help people like me train better, for longer, and stay free of injury.

So guess what, I did a lot of research. I’ve scoured the internet, for many hours, reading articles and opinions, watching reviews, and even have had several discussions with the team at ONX Sports to understand these gloves better.

Disclaimer: This review is from my own research, but I haven’t yet got the gloves in my possession to give them thorough testing. Once I have them, I will update this article!

Everything you need to know about the ONX Boxing Gloves

If you’re considering buying these gloves for yourself then strap in because I’ve done all the research and even had several discussions with Tanner Weiks, the Director of Business Development at ONX Sports.

I’ve learned a lot of interesting things about these gloves to be able to lay out answers to a lot of common questions you might have, because I know I had many!

What’s the difference between the X-Factor and Apex boxing gloves?

The Apex series is a more traditional boxing glove with a lace up strapping and still requiring the use of hand wraps. The X-Factor series differs because it has an X-shaped internal support, has a velcro strapping option and does not require using hand wraps.

If you’ve looked around on the ONX Sports website, you’ll notice they have a more affordable glove option in the Apex training gloves.

They are definitely worth considering, as they are still designed to offer more support than a traditional boxing glove.

The Apex boxing gloves have an internal strapping system laying lower across the back of the hand and this is where the extra support is provided to the top of the wrist and into the bottom part of the hand.

Wrist problems are where a lot of training fighters get problems because of the potential for their wrist to bend during the impact of a strike.

The Apex (just like the X-Factor) glove does also come with heat forming technology, which means that once your custom Apex gloves arrive at your doorstep you can heat up the inside of the glove with a hair dryer before putting your hand inside to make a perfect fist and mould the glove around it.

With a glove that is moulded around your fist, you’re going to minimize the gaps between your hand and the material allowing for better contact punches and less prone to scuffs and damage to your hand.

From ONX Sport’s FAQ, they also recommend predominantly Muay Thai fighters to use the Apex glove because it has more flexibility in the wrist for catching kicks.

So the Apex glove is kind of like X-Factor’s little brother. The Apex helps to offer a lot more wrist support than a typical boxing glove, but the X-Factor is the ultimate improved version.

What’s the difference between the X-Factor and New Era MMA gloves?

The ONX boxing gloves are specifically designed for protecting the wrists and hands during a mix of mitts, heavy bags, and sparring training for fighters. The “New Era” MMA gloves are a patented MMA glove designed for professional fights to provide better hand protection and reduce eye-poking in a fight event.

Related: Trevor Wittman MMA Gloves: All You Need To Know

If you want to know more about this, I highly recommend you check out my other article above.

How does the strapping work for the ONX boxing gloves?

The X-Factor goes one further than any traditional boxing glove by having a unique X-shaped internal strapping system that goes across the back of the hand, allowing for a broader reach into the thumb and pinkie finger.

With that, there is additional strapping that pulling the X shape to tighten around your palm pulling in the thumb for a more compacted fist.

ONX Boxing Gloves "X-Factor"
Inside the X-Factor ONX boxing gloves are the internal strapping which when pulled tighter creates a more natural hand position and snug fit.

With the strapping pulling around the back of the hand it actually aids more support to the wrist as well, because the wrist strapping also expands into the hand – bringing everything together for better fit and safety.

Tanner Weiks, the Director of Business Development for ONX Sports, explained it best to me:

“The X-Factor series is unrivalled in the level of support it offers the wearer, due to the strapping system.  It has been designed to dramatically reduce the level of compression the weak joints, bones, and ligaments experience while landing a punch.  This series also pulls the hand into better positioning, aligning all of the strong bones in 90 degree angles.”

Tanner Weiks, Director of Business Development at ONX Sports

Sounds fancy, right? Basically it means that the strapping system pulls your fist together into a more natural position, unlike conventional boxing gloves.

How the strapping supports the hand inside the ONX boxing gloves
Most gloves offer just one kind of support: around the wrist. The X-Factor ONX boxing gloves supports up the full length of the hand.

Having a more natural fist position when landing a punch equals less problematic impact on your joints and ligaments in the hand and wrist. Especially when the fist and wrist are in a stable position.

If you think about your typical boxing glove, a velcro strapping system will have just one big strap across a fairly higher part of the forearm. So it’s unlikely that this strap will even protect your wrist joint and keep it in a safer straight line with your fist.

What the strapping looks like on a regular pair of velcro boxing gloves (Fairtex BGV14)
My Fairtex BGV14 gloves; the velcro strap just goes around the wrist/forearm

With a lace up strapping system for a typical glove, the wrist support can be better because the laces usually go further up the wrist and into the base of the palm. You have a bit more flexibility to tighten the laces around your wrist and inner palm to get a more confident fit.

In boxing history, many fighters would have their lace up gloves tightened not just around the palm side of the hand and wrist, but also passed around to the back of the hand to be tightened for what is known as pinching.

This pinching method did offer some more support with connecting the wrist strapping to the back of the hand, resulting in more wrist stability. The problem with that, though, is that the laces can come loose really quickly especially in professional fights.

Fighting commissions would then have to ban the method of pinching with laced gloves, because loose gloves means unnecessary stops to a bout which isn’t good for TV.

The founder of ONX Sports explains it best in this video where he highlights the similarities and differences between a standard lace up glove and the X-Factor strapping system:

So this is where the X-Factor glove goes several steps ahead of either of these basic options. The glove is designed to offer everything that a traditional glove simply can’t.

The innovation in the boxing glove ended with attaching the thumb to the rest of the glove. And where hand wraps were used to literally fill a gap, Trevor steps in and introduces a glove where you don’t even need to wear hand wraps.

Why you don’t need to wear hand wraps with the X-Factor ONX boxing gloves

Hand wraps are used with most traditional boxing gloves to offer the hand and wrist support that the glove doesn’t have. When wrapped properly, your fist shape becomes more secure to your wrist for a better straight angle for a punch. The wraps fill up a lot of the open gaps that are inside the glove.

An x-ray showing the dead space inside a regular boxing glove between the hand and the glove
A traditional boxing glove has a lot of unnecessary gaps to fill. This is a big reason why people have to wear hand wraps.

With the X-Factor ONX boxing gloves, the improved strapping system goes around the wrist but also into the palm, back of the hand and even thumb. Pulling the strapping into place equals a much tighter fit around the actual shape of your hand.

In a regular boxing glove, entering your hand into the glove very often leaves open a lot of gaps of space to fill. Hand wraps help to fill that gap, but pieces of cloth can only offer some level of stability in the wrist.

Hand wraps help to alleviate some of the problems with regular boxing gloves, but more often than not they just create new problems.

The extra material across the palm of the hand is often pushed together to act like a bar to hold on to. But this method can actually create more unnatural gaps when making a fist and cause your hand to be in a more dangerous position when punching.

An x-ray of how the ONX boxing gloves position the fist correctly for natural support
Most gloves don’t allow for a natural straight fist position, in fact, they tweak the wrist positioning upwards. This can result in recurring stress on various parts of the hand and wrist.

When the X-Factor boxing glove is worn and tightened up with the unique strapping system, the sides of the glove where most space is likely to be in a regular boxing glove is instead pulled inward to tighten around the hand for an improved fit.

An x-ray showing how the ONX boxing gloves leave very little dead space
The X-Factor glove leaves very few gaps of space. Better fit = better (and safer) punch.

The improved fit results in a consistent and safe position for the wrist and hand. There’s little space for the hand to move inside the glove and every punch lands much more directly with the correct parts of the fist.

A fighter named Duane Ludwig struggles to tear apart the material of the ONX boxing gloves
Duane struggles to rip apart an already torn piece of the X-Factor glove material. Source

Picking the right ONX boxing gloves size

Luckily, ONX try to make the glove size selection as easy for you as possible. Their sizing chart on their website is pretty simple to follow.

I’ve pulled it across here and made some changes to make it even more understandable, moving sparring needs to the end because I think most people spend most of their time on bags and pads:

Glove SizeBag or Mitts/Pads WorkTechnical (Light) SparringFull-Contact (Heavy) Sparring
12 oz165 lbs / 75 kg or less165 lbs / 75 kg or less135 lbs / 61 kg or less
16 oz215 lbs / 97.5 kg or less215 lbs / 97.5 kg or less195 lbs / 88.5 kg or less
18 oz300 lbs / 136 kg or less300 lbs / 136 kg or less285 lbs / 130 kg or less
Source; edited for clarity

So as you can see from the table I’ve put together, the more you get towards heavier hitting on a partner, the more consideration you have to make for their safety.

To give your sparring partners more safety, you usually need to go UP a glove size for the extra padding.

When I asked ONX about which glove size I should go for if I wanted an all-rounder glove, they recommended 16 oz for me:

If you are going to do any sparring I would definitely recommend the 16oz gloves.  With that size you will most likely get the best use out of them as they would work great for just about everything (sparring, heavy bag, mitt work, etc).  If you don’t plan on doing much full contact sparring, or are primarily looking for something to use for mitt work, timing and heavy bag, the 12oz size would probably be more suitable.

Tanner Weiks, Director of Business Development at ONX Sports

It seems that the recommendation for glove size can change largely depending on the needs for heavy contact sparring or not. Tanner also said:

The main reason for the 16oz recommendation, in regards to sparring, is primarily for your partners safety.  Industry standards have shifted over the last few years and most gyms (at least in our network) require 16’s for any sparring work so we have stuck to that rule of thumb, but that is just dependent on your gym and their rules.  

Tanner Weiks, Director of Business Development at ONX Sports

Best sizing for the heavy bag

Using myself as an example (70 kg / 155 lbs), if I want these gloves primarily for working on the heavy bag – let’s say you do a lot of solo work – then I could quite happily go for the 12 oz gloves or the 16 oz as well.

It’s definitely worth considering what you have already used before and if you have used 16 oz for bag work and how you liked it.

There’s a big jump between the padding for a 12 oz glove to the 16 oz. The weight and size differences is something to consider and you would need to get used to.

A lighter glove can feel a bit more snappy like you can do speed work much better, but the extra padding on a 16 oz pair could help you out a lot with extra hand protection as well making really heavy bag work sessions easier.

Best sizing for mitt or pad work

If I was considering the X-Factor ONX boxing gloves mostly for mitts/pad work then I would probably be going for the 12 oz.

I fall within the weight range for the 12 oz (as I am 70 kg / 155 lbs) that they would be suitable for bag and mitts and even light technical sparring if I wanted to use them for it.

The lighter weight and size difference from a 16 oz down to 12 oz will be really noticeable and important to have if you’re going full dedication on the precision improvements working with a coach on the pads.

Best sizing for sparring

If I was looking to get a pair of X-Factor ONX boxing gloves and use them especially for sparring, then no doubt I would be going for 16 oz gloves myself.

I weigh somewhere around 70 kg / 155 lbs and so that puts my options between either the 12 oz or the 16 oz gloves. If I was primarily buying these gloves for full contact sparring, then I’d need the 16 oz.

If you are a big fellow, or have very heavy hands, then you might need to think about an 18 oz pair.

The important thing here is to protect your partner in sparring. It’s one thing to win the round, but you don’t need to send your opponent to the hospital to do it.

The bigger cushioning in a bigger glove will make it suitable for hitting skin, spreading the impact and making it less likely for your partner to end up with cuts or acute injuries.

What people say about the ONX boxing gloves

If you want to understand whether these are the right gloves for you, one of the best ways is by recommendation.

I’ve looked around a lot of online reviews from people who have bought and tried the gloves out for themselves and there’s plenty of unique opinions.

Generally, the perspective comes out positively. I checked through the reviews from the ONX Sports website and plucked out a word cloud of some of the positive words that the reviewers use more than once:

What’s the point in that, you say? Well, sometimes I like to collect together the common words people are using to describe a product before I choose to buy it. If the same words keep coming up and those match up with what I’m expecting, then I feel a bit more confident in making a choice.

For example, the words that seem to come up the most are best, quality, perfect, great and protection.

From all of my reading online through their own reviews, Reddit groups, YouTube reviews and online forums the same sentiments come up time and time again.

People who buy these gloves for themselves and try them on often say that they are on another level and have such perfected comfort and fit to their hands that they couldn’t imagine ever changing to a standard brand again.

It really seems like ONX has taken the boxing glove into a new paradigm when it comes to protective equipment that is tailored for each person.

Would I recommend the X-Factor ONX boxing gloves?

Whilst I am yet to get my hands on a physical pair of the gloves, I have done extensive research as you can see, and have come to pretty solid conclusions that these gloves are a significant scientific advancement for protective equipment in the sport of MMA.

It’s only a matter of time before I get the gloves and the entire protective equipment set as ONX seem to be the only brand in the market that are actually trying to push the boundaries and advance with products that help to protect the fighter and keep them training better, for longer.

Where to buy the X-Factor ONX boxing gloves?

Right now you can only buy the X-Factor ONX boxing gloves and the rest of the collection directly on their brand website.

You can even customize your gloves by adding your name (or anything else up to 10 characters) on your gloves. Then your opponent can get your name imprinted on their cheek once you get to work!

Final thoughts

The more time I spend researching and learning about these gloves and having talked to guys at the brand – the more convinced I am about their authority.

I’m confident that these gloves are the best thing out there currently available, just read the reviews for yourself!

By Joe

Joe is an MMA fanatic and author of MMAHive.com.