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Training and Gear UnderGround >> Gorilla Fight Gear Hitman Sparring Gloves


8/19/12 5:19 PM
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Dim Sum Punch
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Edited: 08/19/12 5:21 PM
Member Since: 5/20/11
Posts: 102
 
Today I am reviewing Gorilla Fight Gear's Hitman Sparring Gloves, these gloves are the first thing I have used from GFG and I am glad to have had the chance to. I won these gloves along with some other of GFG items in a giveaway contest. If you are interested in these gloves you can buy them @ www.gorillagear.ca these gloves are labeled as sparring gloves but I have been putting them to the test in all facets of training. Gorilla Fight Gear is a company based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada and has been churning out gear since July of 2006. While not an enormous company GFG has a full line of products for all facets of combat sports and Mike the owner seems truly passionate in his gear line and fully backs all or his products. Well, on with the show.

Company Specs

•1.2mm Smooth finished Cowhide leather
•1.5" of multi layer foam protecting your hands and allowing for tight natural fist
•Long stiff angular wrist cuff for some of the best wrist support you will ever see
•Curved thumb with thumb lock to prevent injury from jamming your thumb or getting a thumb in the eye of your sparring partner
•Over 100 Vent holes in the palm
•Soft thick inner liner so the gloves feel super comfortable
•Available in black for a sharp and crisp look
•Gorilla logo printed on the back of hand in black
•Black Rubber logo on cuff

Initial Impressions

All the gear arrived via UPS and much quicker than I expected considering it was coming from Canada to the Southern U. S. When looking over the gloves the first thing that catches your attention is how shiny black the leather is. It reminds me of a polished piece of obsidian rock. The gloves are simplistic in their design with a monochromatic gorilla logo over the back of the hand that is only seen when tilting the glove just so in the correct light. A small rubberized logo on the back of the cuff that has GFG emblem and website. Although plain these gloves are anything but uninspired, they almost seem to challenge the conventional style with their quiet dark attitude. The leather is very smooth and has a rich smell that permeates the gloves. At first glance the gloves seem well made and good quality. The bungee lace system is something of an innovation to me and makes me wonder why no one thought of it before (perhaps they have but not to my knowledge). I take a look inside the gloves and aside from the company tag I also notice a quality assurance tag with the name of the machine that the gloves were created on and also the inspector’s initials. This is cool to see and shows that GFG is truly looking to put out a quality product.

Is the Devil in the Details? Okay so here is my complete dissection of the quality and craftsmanship of these gloves. As I mentioned earlier the gloves are constructed of a very shiny all black leather. These gloves did not skimp in that aspect either; it seems that they are 100% leather to include the palm and piping. Many including myself often use words like soft and supple to describe leather and it is hard not to use them here. The leather is very, very soft and seems conditioned nicely to be so. Does this affect the durability? I think it is way early to say so but so far so good. The leather does seem a bit looser over the foam than some of the other gloves that I own though but I have seen no performance issues stemming from it. The stitching on these gloves is well done, all straight lines and no skipped threads or loose ends that I have seen. The gloves liner is a very soft one, probably the softest and thickest I have felt. It reminds me of an extremely soft sock or something of that nature. There is a vented leather palm which is meant to cool and air ones hands but I think the idea is a but stunted because that thick and wonderfully soft liner is sewn right over the holes on the inside! Personally though it is really not a big deal to me, I sweat when I work out... a lot. So a hot pair of gloves is nothing new to me and is certainly nothing to lose sleep over. These gloves use a very unique closure system previously unseen by me. Instead of your traditional shoe laces these gloves feature an elastic cord threaded like regular laces but the ends are stitched into the cuff of the glove so they don't unravel. The Hitmans have a angular wrist to prevent radial and ulnar deviation. It also does a good job of preventing wrist extension and to a good degree, flexion, which is hard to do unless you’re in a cast. The attached thumb is well done by using a thick section of leather that is stitched into the glove where the pointer finger, webbing, and thumb meet on the hand. I feel this is a far superior attachment over the usual and cheaper nylon tab that is commonly used to connect the tip of the thumb to the glove. The padding in these gloves are really soft these being sparring gloves that makes sense. These are a Mexican style glove which is usually characterized by thinner layer of padding over the knuckles with the intent to be more damaging to your opponent I assume which is why they have earned the moniker "Puncher's Gloves". GFG's Hitmans have about 1.5 inches of padding over the knuckles for protection but not enough to feel like pillows.

 
8/19/12 5:20 PM
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Dim Sum Punch
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 Fit and Performance

GFG Hitmans come in 3 different weights, 12oz, 16oz, and 18oz, I have the standard 16oz gloves which is the size I pretty much uses for everything. I mentioned earlier that these gloves had very soft leather, while I have never used Cletos I have put them on from guys at my gym that use them and have noticed that they too have very soft leather which I believe is goat hide. GFG Hitmans use cow hide leather which I believe to be softer. The point I am eventually getting at is the ability it gives these gloves to open up your hand. These are the first pair of gloves that allow me to open my hand that far, almost completely flat. I believe this to be a combination of the leather and padding. I noticed on my Lonsdales and my Kanpekis which have much thick, stiff leather and denser padding that I was not allowed to do so. This flexibility in the glove also allows me to make a tight and compact fist which feels very comfortable and natural. The liner feels great and while it gets pretty wet with sweat it dries fairly quickly too. There is some extra material at the fingertips to ensure you don’t poke though the leather as the gloves gain wear and tear. I was worried initially about the thumb being too straight from the pictures I looked at oh GFG website but they feel great. There is a good amount of curve and with the gloves ability to flex I have had no jamming issues at all. Getting them on while wrapped is not a problem although the first glove is easier than the second. The bungee laces do a fantastic job along with the stiff cuff to keep your wrist nice and straight. This coupled with being wrapped makes for a very safe and secure fit with little to no wrist movement so if you have wrist issues like me, have no worries. When I sparred with these gloves I was careful to watch my power due to them being a Mexican style glove but in between rounds the feedback from my partners was good and that these gloves did not feel too hard at all. Clinching in these gloves was much better than I expected, with the ability to open my palm I had no trouble or hindrance from these gloves. I had no discomfort in my hands at all from sparring even when I would catch my partners hip bone when going for a body shot. Of course I was not at full power but I would venture to say that they are quite protective for sparring provided you are not stupid and wrap your hands well. Usually I like to wear knuckle gel pad in my wraps but for the purpose of the review I have not used them for this past month. When working the Thai pads or the mitts my hands felt great, they were a little sore after several rounds but that is nothing new to me. I usually get sore knuckles after lots of rounds, not painful, just sore. The Hitmans performed great no jamming of my thumb or any wrist pain what so ever. They make a nice loud pop with each well place hit and even though they are 16oz they feel very light at the same time. I really like the bungee lace because they allow me to take my gloves off to get a drink instead of fumbling around like I usually do. Bag work was more of the same I felt like I could punch directly over my knuckles and land clean shots that didn't hurt my hands or wrists. They too pop real nice on the bag which is always music to my ears. Sparring, mitts, pads, bag, I feel like the gloves performed great in all aspects. I suppose if I have any constructive criticism it would be to make the vent hole just that and not cover them up but I really don’t have anything bad to say about these gloves.

Final Thoughts

These gloves definitely exceeded my expectations and performed well in all areas. The Hitmans feel broken in from the moment you put them on and seem like they are made to last. Since they are labeled as sparring gloves I am not sure how long the padding will hold up with continuous bag and mitt work, only time will tell with that. If you are in to big skulls and bat wings with flames and other gaudy gothic garbage then these gloves might be a bit too subtle for you but I think they look awesome. The bungee laces and wrist design are pretty innovative and very functional in their performance. If you like your gloves low key functional and protective then you might want to take a look at these.





 
8/19/12 5:20 PM
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Dim Sum Punch
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Palm full opened


Tight fist






8/19/12 5:21 PM
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Dim Sum Punch
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Glove comparison







8/20/12 8:11 AM
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PTSandman
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Member Since: 3/30/06
Posts: 9392
I've tried ordering various items from them 3 times. Never have all the sizes in stock.
8/21/12 9:27 PM
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Dim Sum Punch
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PTSandman - I've tried ordering various items from them 3 times. Never have all the sizes in stock.

 Yeah they are a smaller company and I think they sell out pretty quick when it comes to popular items. You should see if he can shoot you an email whenever he gets the stuff you are looking for in stock.
8/22/12 8:48 AM
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PTSandman
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Member Since: 3/30/06
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I've tried talking to the owner. I was putting together a group buy at the school I teach at. Nothing was ever in stock in correct sizes at the same time. So we moved on.
9/4/12 12:35 PM
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GFG
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Edited: 09/04/12 12:46 PM
Member Since: 5/9/09
Posts: 30
yeah we pretty much got our ass kick this year with orders and it's going to take a while to get back on track. We normally restocked based on our sales from the previous year, but this spring out stock just flew out the doors. some items like our silverback and kongs lines are heavily customized from batch to batch so they take alot longer to restock (8-10months) compared to our apeman, greenhorn, and hitman gear. (4-5months)

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