Swiping the sweat on your brow, your boxing gloves shift around your wrist, and you feel your adrenaline pumping, getting ready for that next hit.
When it comes to boxing, the gloves you choose can make or break your performance. Whether you're a seasoned boxer or a beginner looking for a good workout, selecting the right pair of boxing gloves is crucial for both protection and proper skill development.
This comprehensive guide will explore the different types of boxing gloves for training, competitions, and fighting styles.
Boxing is a sport that demands not only physical prowess but also strategic thinking and proper gear. One of the most critical pieces of equipment is your boxing gloves. They protect your hands and your opponent, making the selection process crucial.
There are many things to consider when looking into buying a pair of gloves. What weight of gloves do you need? What type of glove is best for what you’re doing? How do I know if the gloves fit right? This guide aims to help you make an informed decision.
Let's punch out these questions.
Types of Boxing Gloves
1. Bag Gloves
Ideal for heavy bag work, these gloves are lighter and offer less padding. Bag gloves are typically around 10 oz., making them lighter than training gloves. They are unsuitable for sparring or competition but excellent for building speed and technique. Bag gloves are designed to work with heavy bags, speed bags, and double-end bags.
2. Training Gloves
These are the all-rounders in the world of boxing gloves. Training boxing gloves range from 12 to 20 oz. Designed for various training activities, they offer a balanced mix of padding and weight. Training boxing gloves are perfect for those who engage in multiple boxing activities.
3. Sparring Gloves
These gloves are designed with extra padding to protect you and your sparring partner. They are generally heavier and are not suitable for bag work or competition. Sparring gloves are typically between 14 to 20 oz to accommodate the added protection.
4. Amateur and Professional Competition Gloves
Amateur gloves have regulations for weight and padding. They often feature a white "knuckle mark" for better visibility for the judges.
Professional competition gloves are lighter and less padded, making punches more impactful. These are heavily regulated by boxing commissions.
Competition gloves tend to be lighter to allow for quicker punches, generally between 8 to 10 oz. However, women with smaller hands might opt for 12 oz gloves for the additional padding and support.
5. MMA Gloves
These are for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competitions and training. The most significant difference in MMA gloves is the individual finger holes and less padding that allows for both striking and grappling. These are some of the lightest gloves since they are modified to allow for grappling. They range in weight from 4 to 6 oz.6. Cardio Gloves
Designed specifically for cardio boxing classes where the focus is on fitness instead of actual combat. Since actual fighting isn’t the main focus, these gloves tend to be lighter, offering less protection. Cardio gloves are not intended for sparring or heavy bag work.
7. Hybrid Gloves
A more versatile glove, the hybrid gloves are designed to be used in both MMA and boxing. They offer a balance with the padding of the boxing gloves and the flexibility that MMA gloves have. These types of gloves will vary in weight.
There are multiple types of boxing gloves out there, and knowing what kind of activity you want to do will help you find the best gloves for your needs.
Measuring and Sizing
Before making a purchase, measure your hand size accurately. Use a fabric tape measure to find the circumference of your hand just below the knuckles. Pair the measurement of your hand circumference with your height and weight when consulting the manufacturer’s sizing chart. These three measurements will help you find the best-fitting glove for your needs.
- Fit Like a Glove: Boxing gloves are going to feel different than other sporting equipment. When you’re looking to purchase a pair, there are a few things to consider to make sure you’re getting the right fit.
- Snug Not Tight: The glove should be snug around your hand and fingers. You need to be able to comfortably make a fist inside the glove. When they are snug but not too tight, the padding will be in the correct position to absorb the impact, whereas if it’s too tight, there is the risk of the padding being in the wrong position. Your blood circulation might also be affected. If your gloves are too tight, you are at risk of limiting the effectiveness of your punches, reducing your mobility, and have an increased risk of injury.
- Finger Room: Having enough room for your fingers is crucial to a well-fitting glove. The tips of your fingers should be able to reach the top of your glove. However, your fingers shouldn’t be pressing into the material. You want a small space between the tips of your fingers and the top of the glove.
- Wrist Support: The enclosure around the wrist should be secure enough to offer good wrist support. You don’t want it so tight the circulation is being cut off. The glove needs to extend past your wrist to provide adequate support and protection.
- Thumb Position: Similarly to the fingers, your thumb should not be pressed up against the material or bent in an awkward position. You want the thumb compartment to allow your thumb to comfortably sit in a natural position.
- Hand Wraps: Hand wraps are recommended for an additional layer of protection for your hands when boxing. If you plan to wear them, you will need to make sure your gloves have room to accommodate the additional space they take up. The gloves still need to be snug with the hand wraps.
- Material and Padding; When trying on a pair of gloves, the material should feel comfortable against your skin. The padding needs to be evenly distributed across the glove to offer enough protection for your knuckles and wrist. Other things to consider are what the gloves are made of. Leather gloves offer durability, high-quality material, and moldability to the shape of your hand. Synthetic options are more budget-friendly, easy to clean, and offer a wider range of variety in colors and styles. The last part of the materials to compare is the padding. Foam padding is what has traditionally been used. Gel padding is newer on the scene and offers better shock absorption.
- Flexibility: Make sure you have enough mobility in your gloves that you can open and close your hand easily. Gloves need a balance of flexibility along with the secure fit you need.
- Closure System: Most gloves have either lace-up or hook-and-loop — velcro — closures. People have their own preferences to which they like more. It’s not uncommon for people to use hook-and-loop gloves for training for the ease of getting them on and off and lace-ups for competitions for a more secure fit. Whichever one you choose, be sure you can easily fasten and unfasten them and that when they are secured, they provide enough support and stay rooted in place so they won’t come off during intense activity.
- Breathability: Ventilation is an important factor to consider. Having proper ventilation in your gloves will allow for improved airflow to help reduce sweat and odor. Ventilation systems can include mesh panels or perforations in the gloves.
- Test the Fit: The final thing to test out before making a purchase is to try some basic boxing movements like jabs, hooks, and uppercuts to ensure the gloves fit well, are comfortable, and stay in place during the motions.
Paying attention to all these factors will ensure you get the right pair of boxing gloves to enhance your performance and safety.
Once you have a pair of gloves, the next step is taking care of them so you get full use of them. Start by breaking them in. This includes light bag work and shadow boxing to help them conform to the shape of your hand. Wearing them regularly will help them acclimate to your hand shape quicker and make them more comfortable faster.
Don’t forget to clean your gloves. Wipe them down after each use on the inside and out with a clean towel to remove sweat. There are multiple antibacterial sprays designed for sporting equipment to remove odor and bacteria without damaging the equipment. Using a spray and letting it air dry will help the longevity of the cleanliness of your gloves.
For a deeper clean, a damp cloth with a mild soap can be used to wipe down your gloves. Be sure to thoroughly rinse off the soap and allow them to air dry.
If your gloves are made of leather, use a leather cleaner to protect the material. Avoid alcohol-based cleaners as they can dry out the leather.
Store your gloves in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. Mesh bags are great to allow for circulation while keeping your gloves together. Don’t leave your gloves in areas that might be damp, like your gym bag. This will lead to mold and mildew growth and shorten the life of your gloves.
Regularly inspect your gloves for signs of wear and tear. Once they start showing signs of wear, it’s time to replace them for you and any sparring partner's safety.
Legends Boxing Gear: Your Boxing Gear in One Place
Legends Boxing has made a name for itself as a boxing fitness class leader. With classes that are welcoming to all skill levels and aimed at helping members achieve their fitness goals, they’ve created a welcoming, productive environment.
They are taking it beyond the classes to provide quality equipment, including gloves, to help people continue their boxing journey.
Legend Boxing Gear is premium gear made for everybody — just like the classes.
Legend Boxing Gear’s gloves range from entry-level Contender gloves made from synthetic material with hook and loop closures to the Tuff Glove IV Heritage Series that offers full-grain leather and an air mesh design to provide breathability.
Choosing the right boxing gloves is a critical decision that requires careful consideration, including the type of training you'll be doing, the material, size, and fit. With options available for every level and gender, including high-quality offerings from Legends Boxing Gear, you're sure to find the pair to meet your needs. Find your perfect pair of gloves.
Remember, the right gloves not only protect your hands but also improve your performance, making the selection process worth the time and effort. So, gear up and step into the ring with confidence!