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Michael Kelly





Joined: 22 Sep 2015

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Mon 16 Jan, 2017 2:07 pm    Post subject: Sparring Gloves...         Reply with quote

Looking to get some sparring gloves for longsword and am primarily looking at either the Sparring Gloves hoof or 5 finger models... Can anyone with experience speak to how these hold up over time and which they prefer?
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T. Kew




Location: Cambridge, UK
Joined: 21 Apr 2012

Posts: 172

PostPosted: Mon 16 Jan, 2017 4:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sparring Gloves are pretty much the de-facto standard in much of the HEMA community. They're restrictive to get started with, but once fully broken in let you do a pretty full range of technique.

The five-finger model is really quite dextrous. They've gone through a couple of iterations, but I've fenced a tournament in one of the early sets and they did the job quite well. If I was buying a pair of Sparring Gloves now, I'd buy these (probably in the non-integrated glove model, but either should be good). The main unknown factor is how well the resin fingertips will hold up over time - and nobody has had these long enough to have a clear idea about that.

The hoof model is popular with some people I know. In general, though, it doesn't seem to be a significant upgrade in mobility over the mitten model, and occasionally points sneak in between the two parts of the fingers. If I were choosing gloves focused on having a long and proven reputation, I'd probably pick the mitten over the hoof, but that's a minor preference.

Instructor and scholar, Cambridge HEMA
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Lukas MG
Industry Professional



Location: Germany
Joined: 23 Feb 2010

Posts: 314

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jan, 2017 7:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm happy with my hoof model. Been using them for over 3 years and though they show sign of wear and I've had to replace the lashes for the fingers, they are still doing their job. Never had an injury in them, despite fighting in many local and international tournaments including Swordfish. They take some weeks to months to get fully broken in but then you can do pretty much all you want. Except wrestling/grabbing people.

The 5-finger version I can't stand because the hard resin completely ruins all feeling you have for the sword grip because it encloses the interior side of the finger tips as well. They are nicely dexterous but I can't look past the mentioned issue.

In my experience, the mittens work well enough, the hoof model is maybe slightly more mobile. If you cans wing the extra money I recommend the hoof model, otherwise the mittens will do.

If you are feeling chancy, you could try the new 5-fingered Neyman gloves.

Custom sword maker:

http://www.lukasmaestlegoer.com
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T. Kew




Location: Cambridge, UK
Joined: 21 Apr 2012

Posts: 172

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jan, 2017 10:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's worth noting that they've revised the resin design at least once since the fairly early set I used. My clubmate, who bought a pair much more recently, has had the resin coverage reduced a little bit - you get much better sword feel through it.
Instructor and scholar, Cambridge HEMA
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