Whether you’ve decided to try out a new hobby, or planning to start boxing competitively, choosing the right pair of gloves is one of the first steps you should take. Boxing gloves are designed with two main goals: to protect both your and your opponent’s hands and body, while also reducing the risk of injuries.
Finding the ideal pair can be quite challenging, but it is crucial for several reasons including safety, comfort, and overall performance quality. Properly fitted and suitable gloves will give you the necessary protection, enhance your skills, and ensure a more enjoyable and effective training experience. After you secure the best pair for your needs, you can focus on other necessary equipment for martial arts.
Here are some key factors to keep in mind when buying boxing gloves.
Size and Weight
The size and weight of boxing gloves vary and are typically measured in ounces (oz). The most common sizes you can purchase from a martial arts store usually range from 10 oz to 16 oz. You can also get 18oz and above or 8 oz but in most cases, they have to be custom-made. The weight (size) you choose does not depend on your hand’s size but instead on your body weight, purpose, and personal preference. Gloves become heavier when they have additional foam padding, as this provides greater impact absorption. Also, the weight of a glove refers to how heavy one glove is, not the combined weight of both gloves.
For example, larger boxing gloves are recommended for beginners as they offer better protection against injuries. As boxers gain more skills and experience, they typically prefer using lighter ones for increased comfort, speed, and safety. Additionally, heavier gloves are often used for strength training, whereas lighter gloves are usually used for speed training. For competitive boxing, opt for a 10oz or even 8oz glove. If you prefer multi-purpose gloves, choose 12 oz if you weigh under 70 kg or 14 oz if you weigh over 70 kg.
When choosing boxing gloves for children, make sure the padding is thick enough to protect the knuckles, covers the entire fist, and allows freedom of movement. Children’s kickboxing gloves are usually larger but lighter, starting at around 6 oz. They are not gender specific although almost every martial arts store offers different styles you can choose from based on personal preferences.
The Purpose of the Gloves
There are different styles of boxing gloves designed for various purposes and training needs. Here are some common styles of boxing gloves:
- Training Gloves: These gloves are designed for general training, including bag work, mitt work, and sparring. They typically offer a balance between protection, comfort, and versatility.
- Bag Gloves: Bag gloves are specifically designed for heavy bag workouts. They often have denser padding and are built to withstand repetitive strikes against the heavy bag. Bag gloves prioritize durability and wrist support to endure the impact of constant punching.
- Sparring Gloves: Sparring gloves are intended for practice sessions with a training partner. They have extra padding compared to other types of gloves to ensure both you and your partner are protected. Sparring gloves are typically larger and offer increased hand and wrist protection.
- Competition Gloves: These gloves are designed specifically for certified boxing matches. They adhere to the regulations set by boxing authorities regarding size, weight, and padding. Competition gloves are often lighter and have less padding compared to training gloves, allowing for increased speed and precision.
- Amateur Gloves: Amateur boxing gloves are specifically designed for amateur boxing competitions and follow the regulations set by amateur boxing organizations. These gloves usually have a distinctive colour scheme to differentiate them from professional competition gloves.
- Muay Thai/Kickboxing Gloves: These gloves are specifically designed for Muay Thai, kickboxing, and other striking-oriented martial arts. They often have a more open-palm design, with additional padding on the back of the hand and knuckles.
Level of Skills
If you’re a beginner in boxing and train once a week, consider gloves that offer ventilation, and feature breathable materials. For advanced boxers training two or three times a week prioritize gloves with a sturdy outer layer, such as leather or synthetic leather. Since impact zones tend to wear down over time, it’s important to choose durable gloves capable of withstanding regular use and potential wear and tear.
Boxing gloves are commonly made from leather or synthetic materials like vinyl or PU leather. Leather gloves are generally more durable and provide better comfort and ventilation, but they can be more expensive. Synthetic gloves are more affordable and easier to clean, but they may not last as long. Consider your budget and prioritize quality within your price range.
Boxing gloves usually come with either lace-up closures or Velcro straps. Lace-up gloves offer a more secure fit and provide additional wrist support, but they require assistance to put on and take off. Velcro strap gloves are more convenient and can be adjusted easily, making them suitable for training sessions where you frequently put on and remove your gloves.
Fit and Comfort
It’s necessary to find gloves that fit properly and feel comfortable on your hands. They should provide a snug fit without being overly tight or restricting your movement. Try different brands and models to find the ones that suit your hand shape and size.
Brand and Budget
Opt for well-known and reputable brands that have a history of producing high-quality boxing gloves. Research customer reviews and recommendations to determine the overall reputation and reliability of different MMA stores. Reliable brands tend to prioritize craftsmanship, durability, and safety.
Set a budget that aligns with your needs and expectations. Boxing gloves range in price, and while it’s important to consider quality, there are options available for different budgets. However, keep in mind that investing in a quality pair of gloves is crucial for your safety and overall boxing experience.
All things considered, choosing suitable boxing gloves depends on your level, weight, personal preferences, and training purposes. It is extremely important to make an informed decision since your safety, comfort, and performance depend on it. If you’re still not sure which ones are the ideal fit for you, seek advice from experienced boxers or trainers before making a purchase.