You’ll find a wide selection of boxing gloves with various weights and styles. There are also different brands and prices. Now, with almost hundreds of gloves what will you choose? Here is a detailed guideline on how to choose the best boxing gloves suited for you. Everyone has their own way of picking gloves, but we will provide you a general idea on how people who bought boxing gloves for others and for themselves pick.
In this guide you’ll learn:
1. How To Pick the Right Size
2. How To Choose the Right Glove-Type
3. Do Brands Matter?
4. Does Color Matter?
5. Lace-Up vs. Velcro
6. Leather vs. Vinyl
7. How Do You Define a Good Pair?
8. Rules of Thumb Before Buying Boxing Gloves
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HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT SIZE
Glove size is displayed as ounce or oz. The most common sizes available are 8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz, 14 oz and 16 oz. There are no odd sizes (9 oz, 11 oz, 13 oz, and so on). It is worth noting that glove size and glove weight are different. Sizing does correspond with the weight of the glove, but not all the time. This means buying gloves sized at 16 oz does not mean they weigh exactly 16 oz.
Sizes are classified to easily know what glove weight a boxer should train in. Glove weight is important because it has to fit your chosen method of use. For example, bigger gloves have more padding, in turn, offer better hand better protection. These are best if you hit the heavy bag, mitts and other boxing training aids. Another example is how professional boxers often train in heavier gloves. They want to get accustomed to the heavier gloves’ weight so their hands will be faster during fight night.
Below are general guidelines on what size of boxing gloves you should wear according to height and weight.
Commonly used for Sparring: 16 oz – regardless of weight
Commonly used for Competition: 8 oz and 10 oz – regardless of weight
*sometimes it depends on match regulations. In most fights, these are the normal sizes used by professional boxers.
Now you know what size you’re going to get. But before buying the boxing gloves, you should first wear them with hand wraps on. If you don’t have hand wraps with you while shopping (like most people), get a roll of quarters in your palm and wear the boxing gloves.
You could also measure the circumference of your hand before going to the store. Here is a 30-second video by RINGSIDE on how to measure hand circumference:
- 6” – 7.5” circumference, 12oz
- 7.5” – 8.5” circumference, 14oz
- 8.5” – 9.5” circumference, 16oz
- 9.5” and above circumference, 18oz or 20oz
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT BOXING GLOVES-TYPE
To avoid wasting money, you should know what glove-type you need. There are different glove types. Each glove type has their own purpose.
1. Bag Gloves
Bag gloves protect your hand and not what you’re hitting. These are used for heavy bags, double end bags and other training aids. Their main purpose is to protect your knuckles while hitting the bags hard. They also accustom your knuckles for harder impact.
There are two types of Bag Gloves: (1) The Classic Bag Gloves and (2) The Modern Bag Gloves.
The difference between the two is padding. The classic bag gloves are not recommended. Proper technique could not be reinforced while wearing these gloves. Most boxers know when they threw an improper punch because they feel it right away – may it be pain or an awkward landing upon impact. If you ever throw one with these on, you will not feel anything due to its dense padding.
Classic Bag gloves don’t offer much wrist support, cushion and doesn’t weigh as much as a typical fight glove, training glove, or sparring glove.
Meanwhile, modern bag gloves remedy what the classic bag gloves lack. They are more padded and more protective than their predecessors. Wrist support, decent cushion, knuckle protection and proper weight are very much present in these gloves. It’s the best boxing gloves if you’re into fitness boxing or you’re just starting out.
Modern bag gloves are basically training gloves that are more padded, hand-friendly and user-friendly.
2. Sparring Gloves
Sparring gloves are made to protect you and your sparring partner. It’s meant to develop skill and technique; not to knock your partner out. Most sparring gloves have balanced weight distribution — from the padded knuckles to the wrist support. They are similar to competition gloves, but they are bigger and more padded.
Gloves with good cushioning properties make great sparring gloves. 16 oz boxing gloves are the norm in spar sessions, regardless of the user’s weight, because hits won’t be as damaging than hitting with glove sizes 14 oz or below. It is also heavier and, thus, a good conditioning tool to increase endurance and stamina, especially in the shoulders.
3. Training Gloves
Almost every boxer has a pair of training gloves. These gloves are said to be made for all training purposes – heavy bags, mitts training, sparring, everything. However, you’ll soon realize it’s hard to obtain a perfect glove that can do both. Some training gloves are not soft enough for sparring or thick enough for heavy bag hitting.
These are perfect for people that are starting out and don’t know what gloves to get. Branded training gloves are also fairly cheap. If you want cheap all-purpose gloves that are mid-quality, then get ones from either Title, Everlast or Rival.
4. Fighting/Pro gloves
Fighting gloves, the gloves used for fight night, have smaller padding and more compact to hurt your opponent. This is its only purpose and nothing else. It is dangerous to use these for anything else because it will hurt your hands. Despite only having one purpose, boxers spend a great deal money for their fighting gloves.
5. Cardio Gloves
Cardio gloves are used on hitting heavy bags and mitts. That’s why they have thick padding to abosrb impact. However, don’t get these if you’re going to transition to boxing because these won’t last. They have the least amount of padding in this list and will fall apart faster, too.
6. Muay Thai/Kick Boxing Gloves
As Muay Thai and Kick Boxing are going global, their boxing glove brands are also getting more popular and have improved in quality. Their gloves have comparable characteristics with traditional training gloves and sparring gloves; only theirs are more flexible to grab opponents and use their hands during fights.
General Guidelines on Choosing Boxing Glove Type
– Buy more flexible gloves if you need it for martial arts.
– Buy thick padded gloves if you are hitting heavy bags and mitts only
– Buy heavier gloves (14 oz and up) if you are training to get in the ring.
– Buy lighter gloves (10 oz and below) if you are competing in the ring
– Buy all-purpose training gloves if you are not yet sure what to get. They are highly recommended as starter gloves
YES! BRANDS MATTER! There are brands which specialize a certain area, some offer more protection than others, while some brands are just plain awful.
It is advisable to buy high quality gloves from trusted brands than buying cheap ones from toy brands (Pro, TKO, Century). Buying from the latter is a waste of time and money. They are also dangerous because it could damage your hands. Quality gloves will last you for years, protect your hands, and save you money over time.
There are only a few brands considered to be of elite status in the boxing world. To give you a glimpse of what we mean, here is a list of the Top 25 Best Pound for Pound Boxers (as of November 2014) and the gloves they use on fight night.
25. Naoya Inoue – Winning
24. Leo Santa Cruz – Grant\Everlast
23. Takashi Uchiyama – Winning
22. Marco Huck – Adidas\Top Ten
21. Adonis Stevenson – Cleto Reyes
20. Erislandy Lara – Grant Gloves
19. Lucas Matthysse – Everlast
18. Bernard Hopkins – Grant
17. Nonito Donaire – Everlast
16. Mikey Garcia – Everlast
15. Nicholas Walters – Cleto Reyes
14. Canelo Alvares – Grant, Everlast
13. Danny Garcia – Cleto Reyes
12. Juan Francisco Estrada – Cleto Reyes
11. Carl Froch – Everlast
10. Miguel Cotto – Everlast
9. Sergey Kovalev – Grant
8. Gennady Golovkin – Grant
7. Guillermo Rigondeaux – Grant
6. Juan Manuel Marquez – Cleto Reyes
5. Timothy Bradley – Cleto Reyes
4. Wladimir Klitschko – Grant
3. Roman Gonzales – Winning
2. Manny Pacquiao – Cleto Reyes
1. Flyod Mayweather – Grant Boxing Gloves
You can see some brands repeated often. Below are the slight differences of these brands.
HIGH END BOXING GLOVES:
EVERLAST is synonymous to boxing because of its 100 year history with the sport. You basically get what you paid for with this brand. Their cheaper gloves have lesser quality in comparison with other brands in the same price range. However, their more expensive gloves are one of the best.
CLETO REYES is a Mexican glove specifically made for boxers with above average power. These have less padding and are more compact than other gloves, making it perfect for fight night. Cleto Reyes gloves’ undeniable quality is attributed to how they’re made. These gloves are handcrafted, stitched, and put together by experienced Mexican craftsmen.
GRANT are puncher’s gloves that were made for boxers with brittle hands. This is an American brand, but the gloves are made in Mexico. They can be compared Cleto Reyes gloves, but with extra padding and more support.
WINNING is the most used boxing glove brand in pro boxing. They don’t use it during fight night, though. Pro boxers use them during training because of their incomparable protective qualities. Made in Japan by craftsmen without machine assistance, these gloves have made a name for themselves by producing consistent quality gloves since their creation in 1937. Winning gloves are often referred to as pillows because of how soft they are. Having a pair of these means you’ll have injury-free boxing training for the next 5-8 years.
TITLE is a popular brand in local boxing gyms because they create quality gloves without being over priced. Their cheap classic training gloves could take years of abuse. They are also very easy to find and you can choose from various styles. Title easily is the best value for money.
RINGSIDE are very nice gloves with high quality materials, but priced at a higher cost. It feels great once worn and won’t break down easily. The cushion, leather, and stitches hold up pretty well after years of use.
RIVAL is a Canadian brand that creates long-lasting gloves and boxing gear. They are almost at the same level as Title and Ringisde in terms of quality. They are more expensive, though, because of their great design and exclusive materials.
There are more boxing glove brands out there. You can go to ExpertBoxing.com and see the other brands I wasn’t able to outline here.
Different people have different needs. Some boxers need more protection than others so they choose Winning. Some are buying their first gloves so they choose Title or Ringside. In the end, it all comes down to personal need and preference.
– WINNING offer the best protection of all the brands
– CLETO REYES are great fight night gloves. It is often used by boxers with above average punching power; has lesser padding and needs break-in period.
– GRANT are between Cleto Reyes and Winning. These are great fight night gloves for boxers with brittle hands. These gloves are also the most expensive among all brands (cheapest is $400)
– EVERLAST has many popular boxing gloves under $50, but most of them are very low quality. Their gloves priced at $70 and above are considered their high-end gloves. If you want something that lasts longer, you have to pay more.
– TITLE, RINGSIDE, RIVAL are excellent starter gloves. Beginner friendly, budget friendly and offers great protection
Boxing glove color matters. There are colors less visible to the human eye. This pays off during a fight, when you’re opponent is dazed and can’t see where your punches are coming from. Below are some colors and how they affect boxing.
Red – less visible to the human eye than other colors in the spectrum. That’s why they are used often in fights.
LACE-UP VS. VELCRO
A long time ago, all gloves were lace-up. As time went on, more and more people wanted to train alone, thus, the velcro gloves were born. Velcro, also called hook and loop, made it easier to put on and take off boxing gloves. People got more and more to the trend when they buy boxing gloves. This made it velcro the same level of choice as lace-up gloves.
What’s the difference? Which is better?
Simply put, you can get a tighter and more secure fit using lace up gloves. However, if you’re training by yourself it could be difficult to lace-up gloves. It is also difficult to pull lace gloves as tight as you would like it to be.
That’s why for training purposes, it is better to opt for a velcro fastener — especially if you train alone. In professional boxing, lace up gloves are the norm because they usually have a coach or trainer to fasten the gloves for them. You don’t see velcro gloves during fight night.
LEATHER VS. VINYL
Leather has higher quality and more durable than vinyl gloves. Most of the time, vinyl gloves are associated with cheap boxing gloves. The latter is often used for cardio boxing gloves and leather gloves are used for everything else.
As much as possible, avoid the cheaper vinyl gloves. It is easy to find good looking vinyl gloves nowadays. It might seem as though the price is right, but we assure you the quality isn’t. The material will wear out quickly and you’ll end up buying again. Spend on leather gloves. They are highly durable and resistant to tears, scrapes and thousands of high speed impacts. Top grain is used for it to become durable – like cowhide and goatskin due to their highly durable nature. Also look for nylon based thread to ensure padding stays where it is supposed to be.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE A GOOD PAIR?
The best boxing gloves have the following characteristics:
– It is comfortable to wear with hand wraps on
– Perfectly fits your hand, wrist and fingers
– It shouldn’t force your hand to shape in a certain way.
– It will stand the test of time
– Has excellent cushioning qualities
RULES OF THUMB BEFORE BUYING BOXING GLOVES
1. Ask your instructor first.
2. Don’t buy toy brands from big sporting chains.
3. Avoid aerobic gloves. They wear out easily and made of cheap materials. Better buy gloves that cost twice as much but will last four times as long.
4. If possible, pick leather over vinyl every time.
5. It should be a good fit with hand wraps on.
6. It should not hurt your hands in any way when you punch. Gloves should protect your hands.
7. If you buy hand-made boxing gloves, expect a break-in period.
8. The best padding will lose it’s memory very quickly. Whenever you punch, the padding will go back to its original construction.
9. If you’re not going pro or just doing fitness boxing, then buy training gloves. They are the best value for money
10. Always look for cheaper prices online. More often that not, Amazon has MUCH MUCH cheaper prices than your local store.