Mid way through a work out or when you were cleaning your gloves and putting them away. Did you ever wonder “What are boxing gloves made out of?”
Well, probably not but for some reason thats what happened to me and I was compelled to find out the answer. Here’s what I found.
Boxing gloves are commonly wrapped in leather or synthetic material. Whats interesting is the inside of boxing gloves are made up of multi layers of foam. Each foam layer has a level of density which helps protects a boxers hands. In certain types of boxing gloves horse hair is also used in replacement of a foam layer. Both the foam and horse hair boxing glove play very different roles in performance, and choosing which is better for you depends on your preferences.
How Are Boxing Gloves Made?
Majority of boxing gloves are cut from a pre made stencil from the manufacturer. Because of the vast choices of size, design and style, each manufacturer has a different pattern.
After the shape of the boxing glove is cut from the appropriate material, they would then be stitched together to form the glove, stuffed with the appropriate filling and finished, all by hand.
A process like this could take severals days from start to finish, especially if you need to mould the foam filling.
Traditional boxing gloves were almost always made of leather, such as cow or buffalo hide. Companies found better technology and ways to cut down on cost while at the same time keeping or improving their boxing glove quality.
Because of this, many manufacturers have found different alternatives to leather.
Boxing gloves now are more commonly made in a synthetic material that make it relatively durable and easier to clean compared to leather gloves.
Being leather or synthetic would not determine the life span of the gloves, although with leather – when cared for properly could last a very a long time.
With a combination of glue and sewing each boxing glove is carefully crafted and put together to form the final product.
Leather Boxing Gloves
A top tier choice for many boxers, usually with a bulkier price tag. Also known as a “punchers glove” these boxing gloves made out of leather are considered to be of higher quality, with great flexibility and no sacrifice to comfort.
Leather boxing gloves are known to last longer when cared for consistently, which means a regular routine of cleaning and moisturizing your gloves to keep them from cracking.
If you’re considering a pair of gloves that would last long, then leather boxing gloves would be a great choice. Unlike synthetic boxing gloves, with brand new leather, you would need to break in the glove to help loosen up the material and conform to your hand. We cover everything for breaking in leather boxing gloves with this article.
Synthetic Boxing Gloves
The more modern approach. Most gloves you see in stores are all made of some type of synthetic material.
Cheaper to make with some being still great quality. If you’re using this to train occasionally then this is a great option.
They are generally cheaper to buy but will likely not last as long as leather gloves. Aside from being budget friendly, synthetic made gloves are easier to maintain and does not demand a consistent care routine.
And because they can be relatively inexpensive, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to purchase another pair and throw away the old unusable one.
Whats inside a boxing glove?
Common materials inside a boxing glove are now made with layers of foam or IMF (Injected Molded Foam). The layers of foam and IMF are designed to help minimize impact to the boxers hands and their opponent making these types of gloves common for heavy bag workouts and sparring.
Horse hair filled gloves are/were more commonly used for an actual fighting match, due to the fact that it purely would inflict more damage.
Horse Hair Filled Boxing Gloves
Horse hair filled gloves was a more traditional way boxing gloves were made in the past. It consisted of a multilayer of thin foam lining with a bulk layer of horse hair in between.
Still a choice for some professional boxers on fight night. These gloves are designed to have better “knock out power” due to less padding that cushions the blow.
For that same reason, these gloves are not great in hand protection and should be avoided when training or sparring.
A highlight of horse hair boxing gloves is their ability to be very “responsive” with punches. Because of the thinner layers, boxers are able to feel their punches more and adjust accordingly.
Foam Filled Boxing Gloves
Most gloves made today are done with multiple layers of foam or injection moulded foam. Each layer provides different densities to help distribute shock absorption when being used.
Injection Moulded Foam or IMF, is injected into a pre made mold and dried. Then wrapped into the outer cover of the glove.
You can spot an IMF made glove by pushing on the top, where your hand and knuckles would be.
By look, they usually have a rounded figure and a denser feel. Having this construct helps control the distribution of shock and is best for protection on the boxers hand as well as the opponent.
This is ideal when training on heavy bags and targets.
Foam Filled gloves offer plenty of protection and is most suitable for beginners. Using these gloves would feel soft on the knuckles if you’re just using them for a workout.
The journey of finding out what goes into producing a boxing glove proved to be more interesting then originally anticipated.
A big surprise for me was that horse hair was used in production of some current boxing glove models. Knowing what I found out for this article is going to help in my next purchase of boxing gloves.
Primarily these are used in my home gym, so protection of my hands is a priority and not if i’m able to knock out the standing punching bag in my basement.
Hopefully this research of what goes into making a boxing glove, gave you a new appreciation for them. And a better understanding of what to look for on your next purchase!