Finding the best pair of boxing gloves is a struggle whether you’re a novice, amateur, or pro. Not to worry anymore, though. This comprehensive RDX sports boxing gloves guide ensures you know exactly what to look for in your next pair of boxing gloves.
What Are Boxing Gloves?
Boxing gloves are the regulated padded gloves that fighters use to soften the impact of blows during boxing matches. They are usually used in addition to other types of protection for keeping your body safe while engaging in combat sports, such as shin guards, head guards, groin guards, etc.
Why Wear Boxing Gloves?
Unlike other martial arts like kung-fu or karate, in boxing, it’s common for hands to get injured (be careful!). That’s why it’s so imperative to keep them protected. Some gloves go even further by providing additional cushioning to prevent opponents from injuring themselves too much.
A good pair of gloves should fit the hand around the wrist and fingers and withstand blows now and then without losing its cushioning power.
In 2021 alone, boxing equipment’s wholesale sales in the U.S. exceeds $126 million.
Does Color Matter in a Boxing Glove?
Interestingly, yes. Therefore, red is the ideal (classic color), less visible to the human eye than other colors in the spectrum. A color you cannot easily see is preferable if you are sparring with someone. On the other hand, if you are training, light-colored gloves will help your trainer to see the punches better.
How Long Does a Boxing Glove Last?
Even if you take good care of your gloves, any material that is used regularly tends to wear out and deteriorate. Regardless of whether the gloves look good, if, on impact, you notice that your wrists suffer, it could be that the glove is losing its properties. An excellent time to start thinking about a replacement!
What Kind of Boxing Gloves are There, and What Are Their Uses?
Whether you’ve been trying to throw punches for a while or just thinking about starting soon, remember that not all boxing gloves are created equal. There is more variety than you might expect, and each glove style has its uses, thus the need for a handy boxing gloves guide. Here is a quick overview of most boxing glove styles you commonly find on the market.
1. Training Gloves
- Usually crafted using leather upholstery
- Knuckle protection ensured with thick foam padding
- Equipped with hook-and-loop (Velcro) or lace-up wrist support closures
- Appropriate for partner training or bag work
- Offer protection for wrists, hands, and knuckles
Thicker foam padding ensures shock absorption, and a strong lace-up or Velcro (hook-and-loop) closure around the wrist ensures good stability. Leather is the preferred material for the durability of premium training gloves, although neoprene is also available. Training gloves are probably the most critical in a boxer’s arsenal, protecting the knuckles, hands, and wrists during intense training sessions.
2. Bag Gloves
- Most brands resort to neoprene for bag gloves
- Thin padding as compared to other types of boxing gloves
- Minimal protection and support
- Best for light bag work aimed more at form and precision than brute force
- Offer relatively low protection than training gloves
The padding is thin with little wrist support so that boxers can feel more feedback in their hands and arms with each punch. They are more often made of neoprene than leather. While minimal padding helps focus on improving technique, it also means less protection from injury. A stronger and more versatile training glove is recommended for beginners or all boxers who want to use a heavy bag.
3. Sparring Gloves
- Feature much softer padding to lower the impact of the strike
- Designed to spar with a partner
- Available in heavier weights mostly, 16 ounces or more
Safety remains the top priority in designing sparring gloves. It often makes them bigger than bag gloves and training gloves, as ample and softer padding helps better disperse impact force.
It is vital to make sure that you and your training partner wear boxing gloves that weigh 16 ounces or more. If you plan to start training and your traditional training gloves are lighter than 16oz, you will need a second pair for sparring sessions.
4. Competition Gloves
- Bear many similarities with training gloves but have stiffer padding
- Primarily designed with a lace-up closure wrist support
- Subject to close regulations of the competitive boxing
Everything about competitive boxing matches undergoes intense regulations, including boxing gloves. Depending on their division and weight class, they further bifurcate them into either amateur or professional. So, the fighters willing to participate in competitive boxing matches need to get a pair of competition gloves meeting all the regulations in place.
Remember that competition and premium training gloves are similar in many ways, but the former boast stiffer padding to lend a more significant impact of the strikes to the opponent. Most contemporary boxing standards require competition gloves to have a lace-up wrist closure instead of a hook-and-loop closure to ensure they do not snag as the fight progresses.
Making a wrong decision in buying a pair of gloves can make you increasingly vulnerable to breaking all those fragile little bones in your hands and wrists. That’s why you need a viable boxing gloves guide.
Boxing Gloves Guide – What Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Boxing Gloves?
When trying to find the best pair of boxing gloves, the following are the most critical elements to watch out for:
1. Glove Fit
So many companies include a detailed sizing chart, including athlete height and weight, because the glove’s fit and fit is critical and should be the highest criterion on a boxer’s list.
The glove should snug around comfortably, but the person should be able to open and close the hand conveniently. Moreover, look for thumb protection, not only for your safety but also for your opponent’s safety.
The perfect fit of the gloves helps your hand feel secure and comfortable when landing your punches.
2. Padding Design
The sole purpose of padding is to protect the back of the hand and knuckles from injury. You should be able to punch a punching bag or face without injuring your wrist or hands if your gear is properly padded.
Various filling options are available, including horsehair, gel, foam, and a mixture of foam and gel. Do more extensive research on the materials used to determine your preference, but what’s important is the cushion behind the knuckles.
The kind of impact you want to feel on the punch depends on the density of the filling in the different models of gloves.
Different types of materials are used for upholstery in modern-day boxing gloves. Some common options include:
Synthetic Leather: Highly recommended for beginners or people who don’t want to spend a lot of money. Most of these synthetic materials are of a high standard. Some are even more comfortable than leather gloves, offering better adaptability in fitting to the hand. On top, the durability is very similar to leather gloves.
Genuine Leather: The market’s most used boxing gloves’ upholstery fabrics come from buffalo, goat, and cowhides. Therefore, they are the most expensive gloves. They are known to adapt to the hand shape and withstand impacts better.
Vinyl: They are the most economical, have little durability, and can hurt the wrist sometimes.
PVC: They are also economical but of better quality than vinyl, although the price is slightly higher. They are recommended for beginners. However, in some gyms, instructors do not allow training with this type of glove.
4. Closure Type
The boxing world has evolved over time, and this progression is visible clearly in boxing gloves’ closure types. The three main ones are Lace-up, Velcro, and a hybrid.
Initially, there was only the Lace-up method which is still in practice and attracts more old-school boxers. It is still considered the most appropriate, supportive, and common in the best brands.
Also called Hook and Loop Closure, Velcro straps were introduced in the industry about 100 years later and are much more convenient than laces. Ties are a little more supportive, however.
As the name suggests, Hybrid combines laces and Velcro closure types. It is used quite often in the contemporary boxing world.
Traditionally, lace-up gloves are best for heavy bag work and sparring with a partner. Velcro is better for just about everything else, primarily because of the convenience factor.
5. Wrist Mobility and Support
Consequently, the type of closure has a significant impact on wrist mobility and support. Many boxers prefer a straight wrist, a secure position that can only be achieved using laces. Others like the freedom Velcro offers. Professional boxers recommend using hand straps for sound support.
Breathability also plays a critical role in determining how great a pair of boxing gloves can work for you. Some brands even offer antibacterial agents and deodorants, which is a huge bonus.
Remember, boxing is a sweaty sport, so you better look for gloves with vents to help with efficient drying and air circulation.
7. Seams and Stitching
Look for double stitching compared to single seam when available, as it helps maintain the shape of the gloves, resisting everyday wear and tear.
8. Inner Lining
In addition to upholstery, your overall experience with a pair of boxing gloves depends massively on its inner lining. Wondering why? Well, because your skin is in direct contact with the inner lining.
Understanding Boxing Glove Sizes
When you see a pair of gloves, there is usually some weight on them, say “16 oz”. The weight of the gloves refers to the physical weight of each glove, not the total weight. For example, in a pair of 16 oz gloves, each glove will weigh as close to 16oz as possible.
A “heavier” glove typically means more padding, making your shots slower and more protected.
In reality, there is no fixed way to measure your perfect glove size, as it depends on the type of training for which you use it. Many fighters have several pairs of boxing gloves for different activities.
Most manufacturers only make gloves between 10oz and 16oz, but it is also possible to get boxing gloves from 8oz and 18oz and up. However, these larger sizes are usually professionally fitted. We’ve put together a handy table to help determine which gloves you need.
|Boxing Gloves by Weight||Sparring||Bags/Pads||Competition|
|8oz||Not recommended||Not recommended||Used for lighter Pro weight classes|
|10oz||Not recommended||Fine for speed/cardio||Used for most Pro weight classes|
|12oz||Not recommended||Fine for speed/cardio||Used in some amateur competitions|
|14oz||Fine for light-weight fighters’ sparring||Fine all-around glove||Used in some amateur competitions|
|16oz||Suggested for sparring||Good for power/strength||Used in some amateur competitions|
|18oz +||Fine for heavy-weight fighters’ sparring||Improves heavier fighters’ power/strength||Not Suitable|
Don’t forget to have a look at This Guide to Boxing Size, a detailed blog on the topic to help you further understand boxing gloves’ size.
Whether you box in the ring or exercise at home, gloves are a must-have accessory. Here’s a summary to ensure you get a great pair of boxing gloves.
- Before finalizing your gloves, determine the purpose you’ll use them for, i.e., sparring, bag work, or general training.
- Don’t get deceived by the look. While the design and color of a pair play a vital role in how appealing a pair looks, do your homework first.
- Consult experienced fighters and coaches for their opinion on different brands.
- Cheap is not always good, certainly not when looking for a great pair of boxing gloves. So, avoid gloves from dubious brands, sticking to the credible ones like RDX sports.
- Velcro works great if you want convenience more than anything else in your boxing gloves.
- Pick a pair that’s right for your weight.