Types of Boxing Gloves | Which One To Choose

In the dynamic world of boxing, choosing the right pair of gloves is important to ensure the performance and safety of the boxers. With the wide range of boxing gloves available, deciding which one to choose can be difficult. Usually, trainers and players use similar gloves for training and competition without knowing that there are separate gloves for different purposes. Knowledge of these differences is necessary to achieve your best in boxing without injuring yourself. Let’s look at different types of boxing gloves and their particular uses to help you choose the gloves that suit your training needs.

Winning Boxing Glove Types

Various types of boxing gloves are designed for specific purposes. Beginners buy a single pair of gloves and use those for every type of training, including bag work and sparring sessions.  Doing so can damage the gloves, which can lead to serious hand and wrist injuries for the practitioners. It is better to understand the difference between the types of gloves available in the market and their specific use to level up your boxing journey.

1. Training Gloves

These are suitable gloves for individuals new to the combat sport and just interested in practicing the technique. Training boxing gloves are manufactured with dense padding in the knuckle area, making them suitable for bag work and sparring sessions. So, there are two types of training gloves, including bag gloves and sparring gloves intended for specific purposes, which are indicated by their names.

Fighter’s Weight (kg)Glove Weight (Oz)
Less than 508
51-6310
64-7412
75-9014
More than 9016

a) Bag Gloves

Bag gloves are designed to be used on heavy bags, speed bags, and focus mitts. These gloves have less padding around the knuckles as they mainly allow you to focus on perfecting your hits and strikes on bags rather than practicing with partners.  The thin padding helps practitioners feel the impact of their punches in the wrist area as their punches land on the bag. The feedback they get with every punch helps boxers improve their punching technique.

The thin padding in bag gloves is very dense, which makes them durable for long-lasting use. Do not wear these gloves when training with a partner; otherwise, you will put yourself and your partner at risk of hand injury.

b) Sparring Gloves

Training with a partner demands great respect and safety for their well-being. Choose sparring gloves for this purpose, as they have more padding around the knuckles and are heavier than any other.  The cushioning in the knuckles area helps reduce the impact of your punches to protect your training partner from severe brain damage and other injuries. Try not to use these gloves for bag work as their padding might get damaged or ripped, exposing your hand to the risk of injuries and fractures

2. Bag Mitts Gloves

Introduced in the 20th century, Bag mitts are lightweight gloves with a thin layer of padding and a free thumb. These gloves are not widely used today however, some fighters still wear these for bag work as they have less padding, and a practitioner can focus on perfecting his or her strikes. Practicing with mitts, boxers have to throw punches with full power so they can feel the impact of their punches.  Wearing such gloves is dangerous, too, as these gloves do not offer complete support and protection, so people with knuckle and wrist problems should stay away from bag mitt gloves.

3. Competition Gloves

These gloves are suitable for ring fights as they have lesser padding or cushioning so the opponent can feel your powerful and impactful strikes. Competition gloves usually have horse hair in the padding, which compresses easily, allowing the striker to deliver damaging punches to the opponent. Based on their sizes and weights, competition gloves are divided into categories: amateur and professional. The competition rules decide the glove size that fighters from each weight division should wear on amateur and professional levels.

a) Amature Boxing Level

Three types of boxing glove weights are used at the amateur level, as shown in the table below.

Glove Size (Oz)Fighter’s Weight (lbs)Category/ Division
10141Light Welterweight
12152- 201Welterweight – Super Heavyweight
16Heavier than 201 or older than 40 yearsMaster

b) Professional Level Boxing

The following table shows the weight of the boxers and recommended glove size in the two main categories or fighting divisions at the professional level.

Glove Size (Oz)Fighter’s Weight (lbs)Category/ Division
8Up till 152Welterweight
10Heavier than 153Super Welterweight

Which Boxing Glove Should You Wear?

There is no exact answer to this question. Boxers must consider some factors, including their training level and intensity, before purchasing a pair. There are different boxing gloves, each serving a specific function, so it is better to understand their functionality and select the gloves that align with your training goals or usage for better performance.

These are some general  guidelines for boxing gloves weights that you can wear:

●        6 oz boxing gloves suit young boxers weighing up to 100 lbs.

●        8 oz boxing gloves are designed for fights and competitions for fighters weighing up to 110 lbs.

●        10 oz boxing gloves are suitable for bag work and sparring, catering to fighters weighing 100 to 150 lbs.

●        12 oz boxing gloves are mostly preferred by the fighters weighing 100 lbs. – 150 lbs for sparring purposes.

●        14 oz boxing gloves are designed for sparring and serve as “all-rounder” gloves. This size suits fighters within the 151 – 175 lbs weight range for a comfortable training session.

●        16 oz boxing gloves are manufactured for heavy sparring sessions.  If you weigh over 175 lbs, these custom boxing gloves with extra padding around the knuckles are perfect for sparring or pad work.

These are some general recommendations. It is always better to get instructions from a trained professional or a certified instructor when selecting boxing gloves. They might suggest a few options depending on your body weight and fighting style. So, it’s good to try customized boxing gloves and see what works best for you.

Conclusion

The boxing glove range is diverse and designed according to every aspect of training and fighting needs. For training, gloves with dense padding help improve the punching techniques, and for competition, gloves with minimal padding around the knuckles are suitable for throwing impactful strikes. Remember that the best glove for you depends on your training level, intensity, and personal preferences. As you set out on your boxing adventure, take your time and find the gloves that match your goals and aspirations, as the best pair of gloves will improve your technique and prevent the possibility of an injury.

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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