Initial Impression: Onx X-Factor GloveWhat is the one thing that every tradesman has in common, it's their tools. The artist has the pencil or the paintbrush, the gymnast has their body, the plumber has their tool belt, and the lawyer has his brain and mouth. How about the combat athlete? The combat athlete has their equipment. Most people know that the tool does not make the person, but it damn sure helps in the long run. The better the quality of the tool, the easier it is to do your work. But what does this have to do with this blog and with you, you might be asking yourself that very question. Well, it's about to be answered so just hold on to your chairs.
I have been practicing martial arts and combat sports for about 17 years and the tools that I have used during that time has changed depending on the needs of the sport. I need a gi for karate and judo. Wrestling shoes for grappling, and for the striking arts, you normally only need gloves, shin guards and a mouthpiece (I'm not saying that you don't need a cup but that depends on a few factors if you catch my drift). I can say that I have only used what would be considered good gear a few times in my life, during the time I was doing kickboxing in University, I had the opportunity to try out a number of different brands, title, rival, top king, windy, twins specials, even Hayabusa. Out of those brands, my favorite glove was the top king brand. It has everything to do with personal preference, but those gloves felt amazing on the hand when sparring or hitting the heavy bag. Even after that time, I have still been using boxing gloves in my sparring and bag sessions but none have come even close to those for me. That's until yesterday and I am gonna tell you why...
The Initial ImpressionI received a box from Onx sports around 11 days after I made the order on the website, which is around the amount of time that was guaranteed on the website. Once you open the box, you get your order slip from the website, an instruction card for heat molding your glove, quality of inspection card and a black glove bag with ONX printed in gold lettering on the bag. If you opted to have your name or the name of your gym printed on the gloves, then that name would also be printed on the bag. I could feel the anticipation building up as I reached into the box to pull out the gloves and the other included materials. The bag felt really good!
The Glove: AestheticsI ordered the X-factor gold series glove with a custom name printed on each glove and the bag that
comes with it. The simple black color with the gold ONX logo makes for a beautifully simple glove that is premium to the touch. I mean this glove feels really good to hold, the texture of the glove, the weight, everything. The stitching of the glove matches the simple color scheme of the glove; black and gold. The stitching is very purposeful in its placement with no excessive loose ends or misplacement of stitching. The simplicity of the glove allows for attention to be brought to the back of the glove, which has the signature X on it, which houses the X factor strapping system.
X-Factor Strap System
The strapping system both secures your hand and wrist and also brings the glove into your hand, Trevor Wittman came up with this system, but he may very well be the Muramasa of gloves, but without the whole spilling the blood of your enemies thing. Going more in-depth about the straps, these straps are definitely very sturdy, as to what material has been used in the construction of the straps, I have no idea. The straps start at the very top ends of the X on the back of the glove, on the back of the hand near the base of the thumb and from the base of the pinky. Typically where you would cross your wraps on the back of the hand. It extends from those two points along the back of the hand and out at the base of the wrist and further down the wrist towards the end of the glove opening. I have never felt this level of stability in my wrist without a hand wrap before this. The wrist of the glove go to about the midpoint of your forearm and really allows everything to be secured in place. The back of the wrist has the right amount of padding on the back of the wrist down to the forearm, for those who will be catching shots on the outsides of their gloves.
giving you a custom fit. I am not sure how
Palm Material and Glove PaddingThe palm of the glove is made from a composite material and is said to be waterproof, I have yet to really test this out. But I will not purposely subject the glove to water tests as I am trying to keep my gloves as long as possible. But Trevor did mention that the material that he uses was a material manufactured by a snowboarding equipment company, I'll have to do another review a few months down the road to get a better feel for this feature of the glove. Along with the overall premium feel of the glove, there is a nicely sized grip bar on the glove which allows for proper gripping in these gloves. The padding on the striking surface of the gloves is soft, not as soft as a pillow but you can tell that sparring with these gloves will not cause your training partner any undue damage. Upon further inspection of the inside of the glove, I noticed that there is what seems to be a spongy foam, it almost feels similar to a memory foam pillow. This must be the heat malleable foam.
Heat Molding ProcessBefore molding the gloves to my hand, I can say that they already felt well broken in. Almost as if I
have had them for a few months, but without the stank of sweat and bacteria. So upon reading the instructions for heat molding, I was rather intrigued. I can make them fit my hand more and increase the level of comfort, insanity. So, I shove a hairdryer into the glove and follow the instructions of heating the glove on medium heat for 4 minutes. Glad my girlfriend lives with me because I don't have enough hair on my head to warrant the need for a hairdryer.
After the four minutes are over, I put my hand into the first glove, tighten the big strap followed by the little strap. You know when you put clothes on right out of the dryer, like your favorite hoodie,
and it's really warm! Yeah, that's what it feels like. For me, I don't have a dryer here in Japan, so it is definitely a nostalgic feeling. Trying to get it to my desired fit. I would suggest you get a feel of the glove before you heat mold it, put it on, punch your hand. tighten it and loosen the straps. poke around the glove. Really try it on and get a feel, it'll help with the molding process. That's not to say that if you mess up then you are stuck, if it's not the right fit, just reheat the glove and redo the process. Anyway, once you put the glove on after heating it up, you have ten minutes to mold it to your hand. So push it into your knuckles, massage the gloves around your hands, really get that mold around your hands. Don't forget to wiggle those fingers. Now, I have to say that it is not a very stiff glove, but if you like the feel of the glove out of the box. Then during the ten minute molding period, just press it into your hand and don't wiggle your fingers so much. After the first glove, do the second glove the exact same way.
The Hand PositionWith most of the gloves that I have worn in the past, my hand has more often than not, been in a position that was not anatomically sound for striking. I was either hitting with the second knuckle of my hand, or I was punching with a fist that didn't have the support of my fingers resting in the palm of my hand. Now there are a number of gloves that I have worn that allowed me to completely close my fist, those gloves being top king and Hayabusa. But with the X-factor glove, Onx has designed this glove in a way that I am able to completely close my fist to where I can feel my fingertips on my palm, not just this but the grip bar is also placed very well on the glove. Like I mentioned above, the X-Factor strap system and the double strap around the wrist secures the wrist to prevent lateral movement and to prevent backward movement of the hand, this is all again without the use of hand-wraps. Another thing that I like about the glove is the position of the thumb, it is now naturally curved and resting on the second knuckle of your index finger. When you want to make a tight fist, your thumb has the freedom to move into a more secure position.
Price and Payment Options
To the point that many of you may have been waiting for, how much does it cost? It depends on whether you want to buy it flat out or pay it off via the monthly payments options. The standard price for both the X-Factor Velcro training glove and the lace up version is $309, or $30 per month for one year. There is also a slightly cheaper glove, the Apex training glove which is priced at $220, which is comparable to the price of a lace up winning glove (The Apex training glove has an entirely new wrist support system, but that is for a different product review). Monthly payments for that glove is $22. Whether you choose to pay out right or monthly, your level of service is still the same. Any issue with the gloves during the first year will be taken care of, just message the company and follow the instructions give to you.
Final ImpressionI don't really have any last things to say about my initial impression of this product, Its awesome, great feel, unbelievable amount of comfort out of the box. You may have an issue with the price point, but like I mentioned previously, you do have an option on how you pay for them. Even though I have stated a lot in this product review, it is still incomplete. The next thing for me to do is to put these X-Factor training gloves to the test. Bagwork, sparring, mitt work. I am going to test it for the next few weeks and collect the necessary information so I can deliver a more detailed review of the X-Factor Training Glove from Onx.
Thanks to my audience for taking the time to read this review and if you have any questions about the gloves, please leave a comment, whether here, on my facebook page, or even dm me on my IG. Keep your eyes open for the next podcast and blog from yours truly. Signing Out!