With the different kinds of boxing gloves being advertised today, it is pretty easy to get lost on which one suits you best. It is easier to fall into sales pitches than go figure out what you really need. However, it is important for everyone to understand that good gloves are the key to successful hitting, sparring, and boxing.
In fact, any type of exercise where you need to hit, punch, or strike anything requires you to have your own pair of gloves that could provide utmost comfort while ensuring safety for you and your hands during training and/or sparring. On top of all these, you will be able to enjoy boxing even more with the right kind of boxing gloves.
Let us discuss all the basic information about boxing that will help you find that perfect pair of gloves depending on your use and needs.
The Different Types of Boxing Gloves
Different types of boxing gloves have different strengths and applications. Each one corresponds to distinct needs and features.
- All-Purpose Training or Fitness Gloves
These are the ones designed for training with either punching bags or sparring partners. It features thick padding and offers ultimate wrist support which makes lengthy sparring and training sessions possible without any of that sore feeling afterwards.
One can find these at most local sporting goods store. They come at a very inexpensive price and usually come in three sizes – small, medium, and large. Weight ranges anywhere from 12 to 16 ounces. Experts say that it is okay to choose whatever weight for as long as the boxing gloves feel snug and comfortable.
Some find these a bit heavier than the other types of boxing gloves but experts say that it is yet another great reason to be used for training as the added weight actually provides a better workout for the body. If you plan to do high-intensity training, these gloves are ideal as it offers a more difficult workout.
In addition, these are universally applicable and are known to be the friendliest type of gloves making them simply perfect for those who do boxing to be fit. If you plan to do boxing as a part of your workout routine, remember that it is always preferable to purchase high-quality fitness boxing gloves because durability has always been an issue with the most affordable ones.
- Bag Gloves
Rival Fitness Bag Gloves
These are similar to the all-purpose training gloves but without the thick layer of padding. They are small and compact and perfect for those who need more conditioning in curbing one’s punching power. However, these are not suggested for beginners who are still unsure of their punches and/or their sparring partners.
They provide minimal wrist support but if used properly with the right boxing moves and wrist techniques, bag gloves can provide an excellent workout without risking injury to the wrists. In fact, these can last a whole day’s worth of workout as it does not have that heavy feeling from thick foam, thus, making them more suitable for those who regularly do boxing.
Experts say that if one plans on doing quick powerful punches on a heavy bag, the bag gloves would be the perfect tool. With bag gloves ranging anywhere from 6 to 16 oz, these tend to be inexpensive as well with price ranging from $20 to $100.
- Training/Sparring Gloves
This is known to be the transition gloves that sit in between training gloves and real competition gloves. These have just the right amount of padding to provide adequate support especially for extensive workouts without weighing oneself down. They are somewhat comparable to competition gloves though the latter takes it all up to a whole new professional level.
Sparring gloves are great for training as the name indicates but experts do believe that one can get more benefits from using actual competition gloves especially during sparring practice. However, it must be noted that beginners should never do this as they have yet to learn the art of holding back when sparring and therefore risks injuring the sparring partner.
Considered to be extremely durable, training/sparring gloves can provide the much-needed support for both heavy bag work and/or training/sparring sessions. Ask any professional boxer today and they do own a pair of training/sparring gloves.
You can find affordable training/sparring gloves. These ones usually come with a Velcro strap as compared to the more expensive ones that come with lace straps which properly secure the boxing gloves. However, the ones with Velcro straps prove to be the most convenient as they can easily be worn and removed.
Normally ranging anywhere from 14 to 20 oz in weight, most standard weight boxers prefer the 16-oz training/sparring gloves. But if you are a beginner, you might want to try the 14-oz glove first. On the other hand, experienced boxers prefer the 18-oz and the 20-oz. Remember that the heavier the boxing glove is, the more that one can build arm strength as these needs major effort to keep the arms in proper position for boxing.
Training/sparring gloves have quite a broad price range. It can range anywhere from as cheap as $30 to as expensive as $200. If you want quality training/sparring gloves with adequate support, stick in the price range that does not go below $70 and you will probably do fine with it for quite a long time.
- Competition / Fighting Gloves
These are ones used by professionals in competitions. They are minimally padded and considered the best ones to be used in short matches of real competitions. With that being said, it is worth remembering that these ones can cause significant damage to the opponent which explains knockouts in boxing.
Competition gloves are further divided into two categories – amateur and professional competition gloves. For amateur competitions, you may notice that the organizers of the event are usually the ones who provide the gloves as they usually would have to be blue and red for easy scoring.
Depending on the boxing organization, there are different protocols for glove weights. For example, as per the International Boxing Association, boxers of all weight classes must wear 10-oz gloves while USA Boxing requires 10-oz gloves for those who weigh 106 to 152 pounds and 12-oz gloves for those who weigh much more than the indicated weight.
The second category, which is the professional competition gloves, is famous for tremendous flexibility. In this area, boxers can choose their own brand for the boxing gloves and even the color. Traditionally, gloves for professional competition weigh either 8 or 10 oz and must be with laces made of leather because this ensures a secure fit.
Finding the Right Boxing Glove Size
Technically, the larger the boxer is, the heavier the glove should be. However, there still are various factors to be considered like the glove type, fighting organization, and the competition type. In addition to size and weight, boxing glove size also depends on glove sub-types.
Since sparring gloves tend to be heavier by about 2 pounds than training gloves, a person would use different parameters for his/her training gloves and sparring gloves should he/she wish to have one of each. Generally, the heavier boxing gloves are responsible for keeping you and your sparring partner safe during sparring and training.
Here is a quick table for size and weight reference:
|Weight (pounds)||Size of Training Gloves (oz)||Size of Sparring Gloves (oz)|
|Children or Adults weighing less than 120 pounds||10||12|
|120 to 150||12-14||14-16|
|150 to 180||14-16||16-18|
|More than 180 pounds||16-18||18-20|
Finding the Right Boxing Glove Fit
Now that we have explained in detail the different types and sizes of boxing gloves, you can easily determine which to purchase to finally fulfill your dreams of boxing either for workout or for your dreams of one day becoming a professional boxer. Whichever it is, keep in mind that you also would have to consider intensity and length of your would-be training.
This is pretty simple. If you are going to use the boxing gloves for once or twice a week workout, then it would not make any sense to get a $300 boxing glove. But if you are planning to enter the amateur scene soon, then it would be a big mistake to buy cheap low-quality boxing gloves.
Remember that if you are to do boxing, you need full protection for your wrists and low-quality boxing gloves just cannot do that. Go for the moderately-priced ones which not only offer more protection for your wrists but will last definitely longer as well.
Different brands have different techniques in designing their boxing gloves especially with regards to padding structure and weight distribution. The material used is another factor of great importance. There is now a battle between leather and synthetic boxing gloves.
Leather, of course, has always been the traditional choice. Old and wise boxing experts say that the correct grain on leather can actually result in smoother strikes. On the other hand, synthetic ones are now designed to absorb blow impact. This part would be of personal preference though leather will always be the choice especially in professional boxing. But if you plan to do boxing for fitness only, then the synthetic ones remain a good enough choice.