AWMA Buying Guide: Boxing Gloves
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned boxer, using a pair of dependable, high-quality boxing gloves is essential to your safety and success. Boxing gloves are cushioned gloves that boxers wear during matches and training sessions. They’re designed to protect the wearer and his or her opponent from injuries while fighting. The padding in boxing gloves helps soften blows from punches while also making it easier to land a punch without hurting your hand.
There are several types of boxing gloves, each used for a specific purpose or scenario. These include training gloves, sparring gloves, bag gloves, and competition gloves. Different kinds of gloves may vary in terms of weight, level of padding, design, and other characteristics.
AWMA offers boxing gloves in a range of sizes, colors, and styles from brands like ProForce®, Hayabusa, and Everlast. You can browse our full selection of boxing gloves here. This comprehensive guide will provide details about each type of glove, so you can make a well-informed decision in purchasing the right gloves for your needs. You’ll also find information about how to properly clean and care for your gloves, along with answers to other common questions.
Types of Boxing Gloves
Training gloves are used for boxing fitness classes, sparring, and punching bag training. They’re made from leather or synthetic materials like polyurethane. These gloves feature wrist supports, foam padding, and thumb locks to prevent injury and allow for prolonged training sessions.
If you’re looking for an all-purpose boxing glove, training gloves are likely your best option due to their balance between speed and protection. They’ve been designed to withstand the impact and demands of a training routine that includes a lot of work on heavy bags, but are also effective boxing gloves for pad work, drills, and even aerobic work like boxercise. Some training gloves may also be suitable for sparring depending on their padding, but you should consult your coach or instructor before using them in that kind of environment.
Bag gloves are used for training with a heavy bag to increase stamina and endurance. They feature a thin, light design that allows for fast punching. Bag gloves offer some protection against injury, but not as much as padded training gloves. For this reason, we recommend using a pair of training gloves if you plan to do a lot of heavy bag work.
Products from ProForce® such as gauze wrap, hand wraps, or slide-on hand wraps can also be used in combination with bag gloves to keep hands protected while training.
Sparring gloves are used in a bout with a sparring partner. They’re similar to training gloves but feature a comfortable, contoured design with wrist support and padding. Sparring gloves are built to protect you and your partner from accidental knockouts, as well as head and face injuries. Their light weight allows for lengthy workouts, but sparring gloves are not as light as competition gloves. For your safety, you and your training partner should agree on the type of gloves you’ll use before a sparring match. Any gloves approved for sparring may technically be considered sparring gloves. Some boxers may prefer wearing training gloves for sparring purposes, for instance.
Competition Boxing Gloves
Competition boxing gloves, also known as professional boxing gloves, are used in professional boxing fights. Professional boxing rules require that competition gloves weigh either 8 oz. or 10 oz. depending on the organization sponsoring the match. Professional gloves are generally lighter than non-competition gloves, made with firmer padding, and almost always have a lace-up design. These features serve the following purposes:
- A lighter weight allows competitors to move quicker.
- Meeting professional regulations and standards. Laces are used, for example, because most high-end competitions don’t permit the use of hook and loop fasteners. Trainers often tape the laces before the match to prevent them from coming loose.
- Maximizing your ability to knock out your opponent. The firmer padding helps you inflict as much damage as possible with your punches. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll also be sacrificing the protection that softer gloves provide your own hands.
Given the design and the purpose of professional boxing gloves, it’s best not to use them outside of competition often, both for the safety of your training partners and the health of your own hands.
Weighing in at 10 oz., ProForce® "Pro" Boxing Gloves offer a number of valuable features, including a lace-up and hook-and-loop design for secure closure, high-quality leather for maximum durability, and molded foam and thumb locks to promote proper form for safety.
For more information about the different types of boxing gloves, read the in-depth boxing gloves overview on our blog.
Construction & Materials
What are boxing gloves made of?
While originally made solely from leather, many boxing gloves now feature synthetic construction. The advantages of leather construction include higher quality, better durability, and less moisture inside the glove because of leather's breathable nature. Synthetic gloves also come with several benefits. They’re less expensive than leather gloves, easier to clean, and their smooth material has less chance of catching on a training bag or human target.
What are boxing gloves filled with?
Boxing gloves were once filled with horsehair padding, but most modern gloves are filled with latex foam. While gloves with horsehair padding pack more of a punch, their protective qualities leave something to be desired. Foam padding, on the other hand, offers better shock absorption.
Lace-Up vs. Hook and Loop Boxing Gloves
You can buy boxing gloves with lace-up or hook and loop closures. Lace-up gloves feature lace crossings on both sides that are tied up to secure the gloves on the wearer’s hands. They fit more firmly but usually take longer to put on since they require another person to lace them up for you. Gloves with hook and loop fasteners are quick and easy to put on and take off. However, they probably won’t be as snug and the hook and loop fasteners will naturally lose their grip over time.
Size & Weight
How much do boxing gloves weigh?
Boxing gloves differ in weight depending on how much padding they contain. Most adult boxing gloves range from 8 oz. to 20 oz. each. However, you may also find 4 oz. or 6 oz. gloves for children and 22 oz. and 24 oz. gloves for those who prefer an extra-large glove.
In general, heavier gloves offer more protection to the wearer’s hands due to their additional padding. A boxer concerned with safety and avoiding injury may elect to use bigger gloves for this reason. Though lighter gloves provide less padding, they allow the wearer to punch and move their hands more quickly, making them favored by boxers who prize speed over protection.
How much do professional boxing gloves weigh?
Professionals typically wear thinner, lighter boxing gloves for matches than those they use for sparring or training. The combatants will agree on the weight of their gloves prior to the match. While 10 oz. gloves are the most popular option in professional bouts, you’ll often see 8 oz. gloves in the lighter weight classes.
What size boxing gloves should I get?
The optimal size of your boxing gloves mainly depends on your weight. In general, the larger the user, the heavier the glove.
Care & Maintenance
How do you clean boxing gloves?
Sweaty boxing gloves can be breeding grounds for bacteria if they aren’t cleaned regularly. Cleaning your gloves will also keep them odor-free and help them last longer, too. To clean your gloves properly, follow these steps:
- Wipe the inside and outside of your gloves with a clean towel or cloth to absorb excess moisture.
- Disinfect the inside of your gloves with a half vinegar, half water solution. Use a spray bottle for easy application.
- Spray the outside of the gloves with the same vinegar and water solution. Wipe them down when finished.
- Let the gloves air dry. Open the gloves as wide as possible to allow them to dry out completely. If drying your gloves outdoors, don’t leave them in direct sunlight.
Additional Cleaning Tips:
- As an alternative drying method, you may also stuff your gloves with newspaper.
- Avoid storing your gloves in a gym bag for long periods of time, as the lack of airflow will prevent them from drying out, allowing bacteria to grow and foul odors to persist.
Can you put boxing gloves in a washing machine or dryer?
No, putting your boxing gloves in a washing machine or dryer will rip and damage them. Instead, air dry your gloves using the above methods.
How long do boxing gloves last?
Generally, your first pair of boxing gloves should last between one and three years. However, the longevity of your gloves depends on a variety of factors including how often and how intensely you train. Boxing gloves made from higher-quality materials will also last longer than inferior ones. If you’re looking to get as much use out of your gloves as possible, it may be a good idea to invest in a high-end (i.e. more expensive) pair.
Boxers on a budget can also extend the life of their gloves by taking good care of them. Cleaning your gloves regularly by following the above process will save them from wear and tear, excessive odor, worn-out straps, and other signs of deterioration.
How much do boxing gloves cost?
The cost of a pair of boxing gloves depends on the size, materials used, brand, overall quality, and other factors. At AWMA, we offer a wide selection of boxing gloves to suit any budget. You can find gloves ranging from $19.95 to over $200.
What gloves are used for MMA?
Mixed martial arts fighters use sparring gloves for training and practice to prevent hand injuries before competition. Gloves used in professional MMA bouts must conform to a specific style, size, weight, and padding as per the particular competition. Due to their lighter weight and reduced padding, competition gloves should not be used for sparring, but hybrid gloves feature a unique construction that makes them suitable for sparring and competition. Shoppers looking for MMA gloves will find a variety of quality options from ProForce® and Hayabusa at AWMA.