Not all boxing gloves are created equal. In fact, there are certain qualities to each glove that make them specific for certain uses. Depending on what level boxer you are and what your intended use is for them. There are different types of boxing gloves that would help fit your needs.
Whether you’re training at home or in the gym, there are different types of boxing gloves for each occasion. With the different types of boxing gloves available, they typically fall under the categories of sparring, training, bag gloves and competition gloves.
So why wouldn’t you use one pair of gloves for all areas of your boxing training?
Each boxing glove is made with different materials and padding that make them better suited for various types of exercise.
For example, sparring gloves will have more padding and are usually lace ups, which helps protects the boxer and sparring partner from unwanted injuries.
Bag gloves on the other hand, no pun intended, has a bit less padding but much more dense than other types of gloves. You would still get a good amount of protection but because there is less padding you are still able to get a good sense or feedback of how you are throwing your punching.
What Are Sparring Boxing Gloves
Sparring gloves are typically a heavier glove ranging around 14 to 16 ounces. Because these gloves are designed for sparring where there are two people involved they will typically be bulkier with extra cushiony padding around the knuckle area.
The extra padding is meant to help protect the opponent as well as the boxers hands. Since the exercise is more for training purposes. These types of boxing gloves also come with laces or well covered velcro in order to have less ability to injury the other person.
Because of all the padding, it makes for less responsiveness in your punches. Meaning, if you’re working on technique and refining your punch. The extra material in your boxing gloves and around the knuckles makes it difficult to feel if you’re landing your punches properly.
Keep in mind, although having all the padded material is great for safety, you’re likely also looking at a heavier and bulkier type of glove. It wouldn’t be ideal for anything either than sparring, since it would weigh too much for bag work and you’re not getting good response from how your punches are landing through all the foam.
Features of Sparring Gloves:
- Padding: Sparring gloves are heavily padded compared to other gloves. They are designed to provide ample cushioning and impact absorption to minimize the risk of injury to both the wearer and their sparring partner. The extra padding helps to reduce the force of punches during training, making sparring sessions safer.
- Hand and Wrist Protection: Sparring gloves prioritize hand and wrist protection. They often feature additional padding around the knuckles, back of the hand, and wrist area. The extra padding helps to distribute the impact of punches and offers enhanced support to the hands and wrists, reducing the risk of hand injuries, such as fractures or sprains.
- Shape and Construction: Sparring gloves typically have a more rounded shape compared to other gloves. The rounded shape helps to prevent sharp edges and reduce the likelihood of accidental cuts or injuries during sparring. The construction of sparring gloves often incorporates ergonomic designs and pre-curved foam padding to promote proper hand alignment and comfortable fit.
- Thumb Attachment: Sparring gloves usually have the thumb securely attached to the rest of the glove. This design minimizes the risk of thumb injuries caused by accidental eye pokes or thumbing an opponent during sparring.
- Weight and Size Options: Sparring gloves come in a range of weights, typically ranging from 14 oz to 18 oz or more. The choice of weight depends on factors such as the weight class, skill level, and personal preference of the sparring participants. The larger size and weight of sparring gloves provide added protection and help regulate the intensity of sparring sessions.
What Are Bag Boxing Gloves
When training on a punching bag of any type. You would ideally want a good mix of protection but also to feel how your punches are landing. What make bag gloves so effective for this, is that the padding is not as thick as sparring gloves but the layer is much denser.
By having the foam not as thick as other gloves, it allows for better response when punching and making contact. You will have a more ability to gauge how your punches are landing and if any adjustments are needed to be made. With proper shock absorbent foam.
There is also extra emphasis on wrist support for bag gloves. Typically with added protecting within the closing system itself. You can often find metal rings that the boxing glove strap would wrap through to get the glove extra tight. Allowing the boxer to hit at maximum force without having to worry about pulling their punches.
Features of Bag Gloves:
- Padding Distribution: Bag gloves are designed with dense padding to absorb the impact of strikes against the heavy bag. The padding is typically distributed evenly throughout the glove, with a focus on protecting the knuckles, back of the hand, and wrist. The emphasis on padding helps to minimize the risk of hand injuries and discomfort during intense bag workouts.
- Lightweight Design: Bag gloves are generally lighter than sparring gloves. The lighter weight allows for faster hand speed, enabling you to throw rapid punches and combinations without feeling weighed down. This speed-oriented design helps to maximize the effectiveness of your training and enhance your cardiovascular endurance.
- Snug Fit: Bag gloves are typically designed to provide a snug and secure fit around the hand. A secure fit ensures that the glove stays in place during intense bag work, preventing unnecessary shifting or slippage. This helps to maintain proper hand alignment and technique while reducing the risk of injury caused by improper hand positioning.
- Breathability: Bag gloves often incorporate materials or features that enhance breathability and ventilation. The increased airflow helps to prevent excessive sweating and keeps your hands cooler during prolonged training sessions. This feature contributes to overall comfort and prevents excessive moisture buildup within the gloves.
- Durability: Bag gloves are constructed with durable materials and reinforced stitching to withstand the rigors of heavy bag training. The reinforced design helps to prolong the lifespan of the gloves, ensuring they can withstand repeated impact against the bag without compromising their structural integrity.
- Open-Thumb Design: Some bag gloves feature an open-thumb design, which allows for increased flexibility and grip when holding onto the heavy bag or other equipment. The open-thumb design also enables you to transition between punching and grappling movements more seamlessly if you incorporate mixed martial arts (MMA) training into your routine.
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What Are Training Boxing Gloves
In terms of foam density, if you’re looking for something in between a bag glove and sparring. Training gloves is something that can be used for all types of workouts. It’s mostly revered as a multi purpose type of glove since it is suitable for almost all training situations.
The padding at the top of the glove around the knuckles has enough give to make it a viable option for sparring, but also is dense enough to protect and provide feed back when using the heavy bag.
They’re typically in the 12-18 ounces depending on your preference. It’s a good option for beginners as it is versatile for many different uses with proper protection. For those looking to not have a type of glove for all the different areas of training. Training gloves would be a great option due to its versatility.
Features of Training Gloves:
- Padding and Protection: Training gloves are constructed with sufficient padding to offer adequate protection during different training activities, including bag work, mitt work, and light sparring. They have enough cushioning to absorb impact and reduce the risk of hand injuries. While not as heavily padded as sparring gloves, they still prioritize hand and wrist protection.
- Versatile Design: Training gloves are intended to be versatile and adaptable to different training scenarios. They are suitable for a wide range of activities, allowing you to seamlessly transition between punching the heavy bag, working with focus mitts, and engaging in controlled sparring sessions. The design and construction of training gloves enable them to perform well in various training modalities.
- Balanced Weight: Training gloves come in a range of weights to accommodate different training preferences and skill levels. They typically range from 12 oz to 16 oz, with the weight choice depending on factors such as the individual’s weight, hand size, and training goals. The balanced weight distribution allows for effective power generation while maintaining speed and maneuverability.
- Secure Fit: Training gloves are designed to provide a snug and secure fit on the hand. A proper fit ensures that the gloves stay in place during training, promoting optimal hand positioning and reducing the risk of injury. Many training gloves feature adjustable wrist straps or closure systems to allow for a customized and secure fit.
- Durability: Training gloves are built to withstand regular and rigorous training sessions. They are constructed with durable materials and reinforced stitching to ensure longevity and durability. The gloves can withstand the repetitive impact of striking and training over an extended period without compromising their structural integrity.
- Comfort and Breathability: Training gloves often incorporate features to enhance comfort and breathability. They may include mesh panels or perforations to facilitate airflow and ventilation, reducing moisture buildup and keeping your hands cooler during training. The comfort factor allows for longer training sessions without discomfort or excessive sweating.
What Are Pro Fight Gloves / Competition Boxing Gloves
With fight gloves, one thing you would notice is that they are more compact than the other styles. They are typically 8 to 10 ounces and would be very close to or dead on in that weight. For professional fights the gloves need to be at the exact weight or could be deemed unqualified for the fight.
Aside from fight night, fight gloves are also reasonable choices for some training. It wouldn’t be an ideal choice, since it is designed specifically for generate speed and landing more force with your punches. And as a give, there is typically less general protection to the hand and wrists.
Ideally you would want to use fight gloves for mitt work, when working on your technique, speed and power. You can also do minimal heavy bag work with fight gloves, it would be a good way in working perfecting your punches since the feel and feed back would be optimal. However, since there is less padding and protection overall, you wouldn’t want to use fight gloves as the main pair for hitting the punching bag. Overtime, the foam in the gloves will warp and be less effective in hand protection.
Features of Fight Gloves / Competition Boxing Gloves:
- Minimalistic Padding: Competition gloves feature minimal padding compared to training gloves. This design aims to maximize the impact and force of punches during a bout, allowing for more impactful and decisive blows. The reduced padding promotes a higher level of risk and excitement in the ring, as fighters rely on technique, accuracy, and conditioning to avoid injury.
- Lightweight Construction: Competition gloves are typically lighter in weight compared to training gloves. The weight of competition gloves varies based on the weight class and regulations of the specific boxing organization. Lighter gloves allow for faster hand speed and increased agility, enabling boxers to deliver swift combinations and counterattacks with precision.
- Sleek and Streamlined Design: Competition gloves are often characterized by a sleek and streamlined appearance. They have a compact shape that minimizes the target area and makes it more challenging for opponents to land punches. The design also aims to reduce the risk of accidental eye pokes and other potential injuries during the match.
- Hand Conformity: Competition gloves are designed to conform to the natural shape of the hand, allowing for a snug and secure fit. This ensures optimal hand alignment and control, enabling boxers to execute their techniques accurately. The gloves should provide a comfortable fit without restricting movement or compromising hand dexterity.
- Thumb Attachment: Competition gloves typically have the thumb firmly attached to the rest of the glove. This design feature helps to prevent thumb injuries caused by accidental eye pokes or thumbing an opponent during the match. It ensures the thumb remains in a fixed position, minimizing the risk of thumb-related injuries.
- Approved and Regulated: Competition gloves must comply with the regulations set by boxing governing bodies, such as weight class requirements and safety standards. They undergo testing and certification processes to ensure they meet the specified criteria for professional bouts. These regulations help maintain a level playing field and ensure the safety of the competitors.
Finding The Right Size Boxing Gloves
In order to determine the ideal boxing glove that fits well, it is crucial to ensure that your hand fits snugly inside the glove, with your fingertips reaching almost to the end without touching it. To achieve the right measurement, you need to measure your hand size, weight, and height. Here’s what worked best for me when it came to finding the perfectly fitting boxing glove.
To measure your hands for boxing gloves accurately, follow these simple steps:
- Get a measuring tape: You will need a flexible measuring tape to measure the size of your hands accurately.
- Measure your hand circumference: Place the measuring tape around the widest part of your hand, just below the knuckles. Ensure that the tape is snug but not overly tight, and note down the measurement in inches.
- Measure your hand length: Measure the length of your hand from the base of your palm to the tip of your middle finger. Again, make sure the tape is snug but not too tight, and take note of the measurement in inches.
- Determine your glove size: Use the measurements you obtained to find your glove size on a size chart provided by the glove manufacturer or any reliable source. Keep in mind that glove sizes can vary between brands, so it’s essential to check the specific size chart for the gloves you are interested in.
- Try on the gloves: Once you have determined your glove size, try on several different pairs of gloves to find the perfect fit. Ensure that the gloves feel comfortable and snug, without being excessively tight or loose.
Selecting the right size boxing gloves is not only crucial to prevent injuries but you want the right tool designed specific to your workout. Gloves that are too small can cause discomfort and restrict movement, while oversized gloves may slip off during training or sparring sessions.
When it comes to finding your boxing glove size, most manufacturers provide recommended sizes based on your weight and height. Following these recommendations is generally a good way to find a decent fitting pair of gloves.
After trying them on, do not be afraid to go up or down in glove weight if you feel it would help you perform better.
For example, if your hand measures 8.5″ and you weigh between 110 and 120 pounds, following the manufacturer’s guidelines might be a bit confusing. In theory, you would have a choice between 8oz and 14oz gloves.
This could be a rare occasion, but overall your gloves should fit a touch snug with hand wraps on, and at a weight that allows you to workout smoothly.
As you can see, choosing the right glove is directly dependant on what you’re looking to do with them. As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, not all boxing gloves are made equal. The design of each gloves has certain goals in mind. And because of this, some are extra padded for added support, or have denser foam for the protection, but also to not weigh down your punches and sacrafice technique.
For most casual boxers or those boxing for fitness only, a pair of bag gloves or training gloves would likely be all you need. There will be enough padding in the boxing glove for protection, and they wouldn’t be overly bulky.