Anyone who has seen or practised boxing will know that boxing gloves are an essential piece of kit. But what purpose do they serve, why do you need them, what are the different types and what do the weights mean? Read on to find out more and understand which pair will best suit your boxing needs.
Protection’s the name of the game
Boxing gloves are designed to protect the fighter’s hands. Without protective gloves on you’re much more likely to break knuckles, fracture finger bones and suffer other hand and wrist injuries as you make contact with the opponent’s head and body. As a result, your practice sessions and you’re your career as a boxer would be cut rather short. Boxing gloves also lessen facial injuries such as cuts and bruises around the eyes.
The protection comes from padding inside the gloves. The different types and weights of gloves provide varying amounts of cushioning for hands.
Types of boxing gloves
Different gloves serve different purposes, with the most common kinds being bag gloves or bag mitts, sparring gloves, training gloves, and competition or contest gloves.
Bag mitts – as the name suggests, these are for practising on punch bags and are usually lighter but with some protection for hands and wrists.
Sparring gloves – designed for sparring sessions, they boast thicker cushioning to help protect hands and faces during the time in the practice ring. They tend, therefore, to be heavier.
Training gloves – these are multi-purpose and suit sparring, punch bag practice and other boxing training. They are a good choice if you’re looking for a general pair of gloves for varied training activities.
Competition or contest gloves – less thick and with thinner padding compared to sparring gloves, which you’ll use only in the ring.
Size and Weight
The weight of gloves is directly linked to how much cushioning is in the glove. For example, a glove that weighs 14oz will have less padding than one of the same model that is 18oz.
- Kids will wear 8oz or less.
- 8oz is generally the weight for competition gloves
- 10-12oz gloves will suit adults with small hands or those looking for a lighter option to practise technique and speed.
- 14oz is a popular weight that will protect hands throughout most training activities.
- 16oz is the standard and most common weight for sparring sessions, although you could wear lighter or heavier gloves.
- 18oz and above are heavy gloves most suited to the strongest and heaviest-hitting boxers when sparring each other.
Material and features
Boxing gloves will be made from leather or synthetic leather. Another important aspect is choosing a Velcro fastening or lace-up style. With both of these, neither is better than the other. Gloves in leather will usually cost more than a similar synthetic leather version but may be more durable. It depends on your needs.
You should get a good, comfortable but tight fit from both Velcro and lace-up boxing gloves. If you choose lace-up gloves you’ll have to ask your coach or sparring partner to help tying them! Again, it’s down to your preference.
You will probably also want hand wraps to go under your gloves, which you can find in our Boxing Accessories section.
Here at Sweatband.com, we sell a wide range of gloves in each category, stocking high-quality products at attractive prices with fast and free delivery on orders over £15. You’ll find top brands such as Lonsdale, BBE, Reebok, York Fitness and more. So head up this page to start shopping for your new boxing gloves!