Stepping into the ring takes courage and skill, but it also takes the right boxing gloves. Whether you are doing heavy bag work or looking for the perfect pair of boxing gloves for sparring, understanding the nuances of the types and sizes of boxing gloves is crucial.
This comprehensive guide is designed to arm you with all the knowledge you need to select the boxing gloves that will serve as your faithful companions in your boxing journey. From the padding to the wrist support, we'll unpack the details that will help you punch with precision and protect your most valuable assets — your hands.
Understanding the Purpose of Your Gloves
We do almost everything with our hands, so it’s essential to protect them. Using the correct boxing gloves size and type is integral to preventing injuries while boxing. Boxing is a high-impact sport, and the small bones in our hands and wrists can break if not adequately protected. Using high-quality gloves will protect you and your sparring partners.
What Boxing Gloves Are Made Of
The outer shell of many premium gloves is crafted from leather, a material revered for its resilience and ability to conform to the boxer's hand. The highest quality of leather — full-grain leather — offers a supple texture with an enduring nature.
For those seeking a more vegan-friendly or cost-effective option, synthetic leathers such as polyurethane (PU) or vinyl present a viable alternative. It’s also worth noting that not every glove’s outer shell is made of the same material all the way around. Some gloves offer a microfiber covering of the thumb that boxers can use to wipe away sweat mid-workout.
Beneath the outer shell of the glove, foam padding acts as the shock absorber, dispersing the force of each blow. Boxing gloves should have layers of foam with varying densities to balance impact absorption with hand feedback. Hand feedback allows a boxer to get tactile feedback from their strikes, which is important for improving your training and abilities.
The lining of gloves is to offer additional protection and comfort. Boxing gloves lining is often made of moisture-wicking materials, such as nylon or polyester, so that the glove won’t slip on your hand. It’s also important that the lining feels comfortable to you, with no scratchy seams or rough tags.
The traditional closure for a boxing glove is a lace-up closure. The benefit of this closure is that it offers a customizable fit. However, this closure may not be as convenient for a fighter who doesn’t have an attendant cornerman. Many modern boxing gloves use a simple velcro closure, granting you independence when removing or putting on your gloves.
Finding the Right Fit
In the intricate and dynamic world of boxing, the glove transcends the role of a mere accessory. It becomes a critical element of a boxer's arsenal, akin to a piece of armor that must meld seamlessly with the hand, akin to a second skin. The glove size and style choice are about preference and ensuring the perfect fit for your unique hand shape.
The ideal glove should offer a snug fit without constricting circulation. It must be tight enough to avoid slipping or shifting during training yet not so tight as to impede blood flow or cause discomfort. Your fingers should comfortably reach the end of the glove's finger compartment, allowing a full range of motion.
It's also important to consider the hand wraps worn underneath the gloves. Hand wraps provide additional protection and support and can significantly alter the fit of a glove. Always try on gloves with hand wraps to ensure you choose a size that accommodates both, guaranteeing optimal comfort and protection as you train.
Types and Sizes of Boxing Gloves
There are different ways to train and fight as a boxer, so gloves are made for each situation. Different types of gloves will offer benefits based on what they are designed to do. Gloves also come in different weights, so you can find the perfect boxing gloves size for you.
Glove sizes are measured by weight in ounces (sometimes written as “oz”), ranging from eight ounces to 20 ounces. Eight-ounce gloves are often used in professional fights because they allow a boxer to move at top speed. On the other end of the spectrum, 20-ounce gloves are typically reserved for heavy training sessions because of their extra protection.
You’ll find your ideal boxing gloves size based on your own size, fighting style, and activity. Serious boxers have gloves of a few different sizes they can swap out for different events, opponents, or types of training. When starting, try to find a versatile glove that balances speed and protection.
There are no hard-and-fast rules about what size glove you should get, but generally, the bigger the boxer, the heavier the glove. An experienced trainer can help you determine what size and weight feel best on your hands.
In addition to the weight of your gloves, pay attention to the fit. You’ll want a glove that is snug but not too tight. Be sure to test out the fits of gloves while wearing hand wraps, an essential piece of equipment to protect your hands.
Gloves for Sparring:
Boxing gloves for sparring are the ones that go with you into the ring. They are the ones you wear when the fight isn’t just against your personal best but also against another athlete. Your boxing gloves for sparring should be your “Goldilocks” gloves — not too heavy or light, but just right.
Sparring gloves should be safe for both you and your sparring partner. Choose gloves that have enough padding to offer that protection. However, ensure that your gloves are light enough not to slow you down. Most boxers find 14 or 16 ounces a good weight for sparring, and gloves balance protection and speed.
Gloves for Bag Work:
When hitting a heavy bag, you’ll want to wear gloves that offer extra protection — heavy bags don’t have much give. Extra padding can protect your hands and wrists while you land heavy hits.
With lighter bags, such as speed bags, you may opt for more lightweight gloves to work on your speed. Since these bags are filled with air, your hand needs less protection. However, as you progress, you may move to bigger gloves to build speed and strength simultaneously.
Some bags, like maize or reflex bags, are tailored to test your reflexes rather than your striking power. When working with these bags, lighter gloves are a good fit.
Whatever bag work you’re doing, look to your trainer to guide you with these decisions. Your trainer is there to guide you in your journey and help you reach your ultimate goals. Ask them for help and follow their advice.
Different Gloves for Different Training Exercises
Different types of gloves will offer different benefits when you’re training with them. Training with lighter gloves can help you practice your speed, while training with heavier gloves helps build your strength.
For example, you’ll want different gloves for sparring and heavy bag work. Bag work will roughen out the exterior of your gloves. If you use those gloves on a sparring opponent, the rough exterior will scratch your opponent’s skin. Remember that in boxing, you win with hits, not scratches.
Learning From the Masters:
When learning how to box, we recommend finding a good trainer and boxing gym to ensure success. Coaches, seasoned boxers, and even the purveyors of your gear can offer insights into how a glove should fit and feel. Their experience is a beacon that can guide you to the glove that will serve you best in the ring.
Your Style of Boxing:
Each boxer has strengths and weaknesses, and each boxer builds their boxing style based on their skills, body type, and personality.
Some boxers are better at landing a few powerful punches, while others have a talent for quick, frequent hits. Some have a knack for dodging blows, while others find they are great at taking heavy hits and not getting knocked out. A boxer’s fighting style is as unique as they are.
As you work with your trainer, your boxing style will begin to shine through. You’ll see your strengths and weaknesses and what feels natural to you. Gradually, you will discover the boxer only you can be.
Start Your Journey With Legends Boxing Gear
In the end, the right fit for a boxing glove is a harmony of comfort, support, and function. The balance allows the boxer to engage fully with the sport, confident that their hands are well-guarded. When you find that perfect fit, you will know it — the glove will not just fit your hand; it will fit your boxing soul.
If you’re looking for high-quality boxing equipment to start your journey, we’ve got what you’re looking for. Contact us to start your boxing journey today!