Boxing gloves can be used for any sport or activity in which there is punching and striking of a target. Whether you find yourself in a boxing or martial arts class, or just prefer to hit the heavy bag or speed bag, you can almost be certain that a set of gloves is needed. Not only does a properly sized glove make boxing more enjoyable due to the comfort and cushioning it provides, but they are essential for the proper protection of your own hands and wrists, as well as the health and safety of any sparring partners involved.
Many different kinds of gloves exist, not to mention the vast number of brands out there all competing to make a sale. This can be overwhelming to the average consumer who is just looking for a good pair of gloves. If you take a few moments to learn about the different kinds of gloves, and how to go about picking the best one for you, you’ll find it much easier to narrow down your search and make a good purchasing decision. This should also prevent you from overspending or paying too much for a product that doesn’t deserve the listed price tag.
So, you might find yourself asking what types of gloves are out there and how they should be used – these are good questions because in the boxing world, it is much more complex than simply eating punches and hitting your opponent as hard as you can in the head. Boxing gloves are needed when exchanging punches with your fellow spar partner or during a competitive boxing match. Boxing gloves are also needed when working with punching equipment, such as the speed bag, punch pads, or the heavy bag.
Most gloves can be used for pretty much anything, but if you take your boxing seriously you might want to have multiple sets of gloves, each for its own type of equipment or intended use. The boxing gloves that are typically used for practice on punching equipment are often termed boxing bag gloves or even bag mitts. Sparring boxing gloves you might have guessed are those that are designed with sparring practice in mind. Amateur boxing gloves, you might have guessed, are those gloves that have been deemed appropriate for use in an amateur boxing match. Professional boxing matches also regulate the use of their gloves, and only pro boxing gloves can be used.
While you might find this to be a lot of information to take in, we suggest you spend a few minutes and read through this complete buyer’s guide for the best boxing gloves. Not only will you be more knowledgeable on the topic, but you’ll most likely end up with a better pair of gloves.
Best Boxing Gloves Complete Guide
Winning Velcro Training Boxing Gloves
Hayabusa Fightwear Tokushu Regenesis
Everlast Powerlock Hook & Loop Training Gloves
Ringside Heritage Sparring Gloves
TITLE BLACK Fierce Training Gloves
Things to Consider
There is a numerous supply of different boxing gloves; designed and manufactured by a number of different brands, boxing gloves come in all shapes and sizes. Although there are some fundamental differences between the different kinds of gloves out there, there happen to be some general rules that one should follow when making a purchasing decision. To start is one rule that may not be as obvious as it seems to most people – make sure you buy the gloves that match your skill level and the weight class you consider yourself to be in. Just like you’d find in the case of amateur and professional competition gloves, your training gloves should also be chosen with weight in mind.
If you’re only 125 pounds but found yourself hitting the punching bag with a pair of 18oz gloves, it might feel as if you were punching through a room full of quicksand – not only is such a heavy glove unnecessary for someone of your size, but you’ll find you begin to tire more easily leading to bad form, the result of which could lead to injury or just an unenjoyable experience. Similarly, if you weigh in at 250 pounds but you find yourself bag training with 12oz gloves or some other kind of lightweight MMA glove, you may feel as if you’re a bad MF but you may find yourself struggling without an adequate amount of cushion to your fists, or you may just be in for a rude awakening if you ever decided to spar or compete in the boxing ring. While there is no golden rule that fighters and coaches from all gyms follow, we generally recommend choosing the gloves based on your weight class. The goal should be to find gloves that have enough padding to protect your hands and wrists without being so heavy that you tire way too easily or find your timing is just not what it should be.
In this sport, it is in your best interest to not only keep your own safety in mind but also the health and safety of your sparring partners. In a sparring scenario, you should take additional precautions to ensure your partner’s safety – go for a heavier glove for the extra padding and they’ll appreciate it. Typically, 16oz gloves are suitable for sparring – but for those who find themselves 125 pounds and below may do better with a set of 14oz gloves. The big guys in light heavyweight or above should probably stick with some 18oz gloves as the power that comes with a punch of someone at this size is nothing to mess with and its better to stay on the safe side. Sparring is no joke, and the added weight to your gloves may feel a bit unnecessary or detrimental to your goals, but it really should be required to prevent injury and reduce the damage that is done from an extensive number of rounds during sparring throughout your lifetime. Many empirical studies have found that in cases of fighters who suffer from severe physical damage and mental deficit, much of this can be attributed to poor training and lack of precaution being taken while participating in excessively intense sparring. While professionals may choose to fight with smaller gloves, most people aren’t at that level and in many cases your goals (whether it be fitness related or just love for the sport) don’t justify that unnecessary risk.
Moving on, make sure the gloves you decide to buy actually fit your hand. Hands differ not only in size, but shape, their movement, and even how a fist is made. Boxing gloves vary in a number of characteristics, including hand compartment size, the actual curve of the glove when holding a fist, grip, and the length of wrist support. Comfort should be a top priority when deciding which boxing glove is the best fit for you. With comfort comes a better fitting glove and a much more enjoyable experience.
Boxing style is another important thing to keep in mind. If you see yourself more as a natural boxer, you probably don’t want to buy those boxy-type bag gloves, or gloves that carry all of their padding where the knuckles are located – your technique relies on speed and these design characteristics may slow you down. Power punches are usually very infrequent as well, and so that extra foam and padding weighing you down might not be as necessary. If you find yourself a heavy hitter who strives for that perfect knockout punch, gloves that are thickly padded at the back of the hand and on the knuckles may be exactly what you need. Lace-up or Velcro is another consideration that needs to be made – keep in mind that lace-up pretty much needs a 2nd person to help you put them on correctly. If you’re a solo practitioner, Velcro is probably the way to go, but we’ll cover this more in the sections below.
The inner foam construction that is found in each and every glove plays a large role in the overall feel and experience one will have with that glove. Not all foam and cushion is the same. Closed cell foam tends to be much more dense leading to a firm feel, while open cell foam has a bit more give and may feel as if there is a bounce or spongy impact. If you have had hand injuries in the past, the spongier open cell foam may provide you with a more forgiving impact. Some prefer the firmness of closed cell, as you can really feel a punch connect with the target. On the other hand, open cell foam may be better if you find yourself shying away from throwing those powerful punches out of fear that you may feel it a bit more than you’d like. Many of the best quality boxing gloves incorporate the use of both types of foam to maximize the advantages of each while minimizing any negatives.
Despite the fact that gloves come in all shapes, sizes, and are designed with different stitching, wrist support, and foam cushioning, all boxing gloves require the owner to properly care for them. If you want your boxing gloves to maintain their usability and perform as they should, make sure you follow proper care. Most high-end gloves are made of leather and foam, so be sure to clean off any oils, sweat, or other contaminants that may find themselves on your glove, as this can damage the leather over time. Don’t keep them in a dirty old gym bag either – keep them somewhere cool and dry. Humidity is one sure way to reduce the lifespan of your gloves. Occasionally using a mild leather cleaner or other similar lubricant may keep the leather supple and prevent it from cracking or drying out.
Picking the proper boxing gloves is one of the most important decisions for any boxer, whether you’re just there to hit the bag and get a good workout, or you plan to spar and possibly compete in the ring. Don’t cut corners on your purchasing decision, the type of glove and the quality absolutely matter. Continue reading for a thorough explanation on all the different kinds of boxing gloves.
Different Types of Boxing Gloves
Most bag gloves usually fall somewhere between 10 ounces and 12 ounces, and can be found in a variety of colors to suit the preference of any athlete. Over the years, bag gloves have evolved from the traditional style bag glove with very little compact padding and no wrist support, to those that some refer to as the hybrid boxing glove, that take certain features from the typical competition boxing glove and combine them with those elements found in a traditional boxing bag mitt.
What you’ll generally find across the spectrum if boxing bag gloves is the padding in the knuckles is dense and in much less quantity when compared with other types of gloves. This reduction in padding brings the mind-body-bag connection to life and allows the athlete to feel each punch as it hits the target. Bag mitts are pretty much a no-go for any other use other than to hit a piece of equipment. Improper use of bag gloves while sparring greatly increases the chance for injury to the person getting hit.
Everlast, RDC, Cleto Reyes, Lonsdale, and Title are a few of the top boxing gloves brands; not only do these brands consistently put out high-quality gloves onto the market, but they have been in this game for years and have pretty much removed most if not all design flaws from their product. Subjectivity is a big player when it comes to preference of a glove, and if trial and error is not an option be sure to check the reviews from a trustworthy source before making your purchase. Some people don’t like the gloves with the thumb removed for example – be sure to check the minor details such as this. In our opinion, if given the choice, always go for the glove made of leather as opposed to any other material. Leather seems to be king when it comes to a boxing glove – in our opinion, other materials crack and tear along the seams much faster than with the typical leather boxing glove.
Many bag gloves require a bit of a break-in period before you begin to completely feel all they have to offer. Give yourself a bit of time on the bag before you decide they aren’t for you. We recommend 30-50 rounds of full-intensity bag work before you re-evaluate, not only will you find that many of the best boxing gloves get better with age, but this will prevent you from spending an unnecessary amount of time and money trying to find that “perfect” glove – if you did the proper research, chances are you already found it!
Any boxer who takes the sport seriously participates in sparring frequently – as they say, the more you do something the better you’ll be – this is particularly true in all fighting sports, not just boxing. Hitting the bag alone just doesn’t cut it if you want to be the best you can be in the ring. Amateur boxers may take up sparring 10 to 20 rounds each week of training, Professional boxers may prepare for their fights by sparring in the low hundreds of rounds. No matter the skill level, sparring most surely mandates throwing and receiving punches – this is where the top sparring gloves come in.
Sparring gloves are designed with comfort and safety in mind, and therefore offer more padding and protection than any other kinds of gloves. You’ll often find sparring gloves to be heavier than the typical bag gloves that are used, this is simply the result of more foam padding. You can typically find sparring gloves in 14, 16, or 18 ounces. If you see a sparring glove that weighs less than this, either the athlete weighs very little, or they are not actually intended for sparring.
Similarly to how every boxer prefers a certain brand or type of glove, most boxing coaches and gyms are equally selective when it comes to the right kind of sparring gloves. Sparring can be dangerous, and those with experience in the field know how easily one can be injured if the proper gloves aren’t used with your sparring partner. Before making the purchase, be sure to check with your coach, or any authority at the gym as to what they expect in a sparring glove. Just because they have been deemed sparring gloves on the box does not mean they are appropriate in a real-life scenario.
The coach is not only looking to train you to become a better fighter, but also to prevent any unnecessary injury. Some top boxing gyms supply their athletes with their own sparring gloves just to avoid any confusion.
Sparring gloves may be the go-to choice for many when punching the heavy bag or other boxing equipment, as they provide additional wrist support and are equipped with more padding than the typical bag glove. Use of a sparring glove on the bag may be needed if you are in need of a rest from all that blunt force trauma to your knuckles or are trying to recover from Boxer’s Knuckle, are you just want to switch up the workout with a heavier glove. Sparring gloves can be found in both laced-up and Velcro strap versions. Unless you consistently have a coach or partner to tie up your glove laces, you will find it impossible to do yourself. Because of this, go for Velcro if given the choice between the two.
Amateur competition gloves (amateur boxing gloves), as you might have guessed are those that are used in the ring during an amateur boxing contest. In most cases, quality and an appropriate design in protective equipment is regulated by the amateur boxing association. Boxing gloves and head guards are safety tested before being allowed into competition. Most amateur boxing associations require competitors to use only those gloves that were deemed acceptable by the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA). This can also be found in international level tournaments, including the World Championships, boxing Olympics and the qualifying fights. Be sure to check the AIBA for technical rules and a list of approved suppliers before you go out and spend a heap of money (Adidas, Top Ten, Sting and Wessing are four brands that are approved as I am writing this).
Any AIBA approved amateur glove will be equipped with a small holographic sticker (usually in silver) on the wristband. In many club show or tournament scenarios, the organizer often supplies their own AIBA-approved gloves to ensure everyone uses equipment that follows the guidelines.
Amateur boxing gloves can usually be found in 10 or 12 ounces, with red and blue as the only choices in color. These colors determine which corner the boxer begins the fight from. This is just one more reason to consider holding off on purchasing your own amateur boxing gloves, what happens if you bought a pair of blue gloves but you’re assigned to the red corner, or vice versa?
The white bands (or recently red/blue bands) across the knuckle areas of a boxing glove are used by the judges to determine whether a punch should be scored as a hit or a foul punch. In the case of a foul punch, the referee usually issues a warning.
One of the main characteristics of an amateur glove is their increased level of padding around the knuckle areas, which contributes to the added safety that is sought in competitive gloves. This type of padding is designed to absorb the shock and reduce power in a punch. Additionally, the thumb portion of an amateur boxing glove is part of the main body, which reduces the likelihood of injury to an opponent’s eye. Velcro fastener wristbands can also be found on this type of glove, which results in a speedy gloving up during a tournament where quick turnaround is expected, as in many cases only a handful of sets of gloves are available.
While amateur boxing gloves are often top-quality and can be useful in the repertoire of any serious athlete, you’ll probably only find yourself using them on equipment as most reasonable gyms would not allow you to use them for sparring, as they do not provide you with the amount of padding that is needed to protect someone who spars 10-20 rounds each week before a match.
Professional gloves can be found in 8 or 10 ounces, though 10oz gloves happen to be the more common of the two. What differentiates professional boxing gloves from other types is that the wrist section is usually longer, and the weight and padding of the glove has more of an even distribution around the glove. What you end up with is a glove with less padding around the knuckles, leading to a thinner knuckle section and a greater likelihood of knockout during a professional boxing match. This is just icing on the cake as most professionals hit with much greater force than an amateur.
In the case of sparring, pro boxing gloves would be included in the same category as amateur gloves – they don’t provide adequate protection from serious injury and should therefore not be allowed for sparring practice. Any professional should know that the promoter supplies all boxing gloves used in competition, and so if you choose to purchase boxing gloves that have been marketed as “professional”, your likely to only be using them on the heavy bag on other equipment without a heart beat. Pro gloves are a great choice for those looking to feel the punch as it makes contact with a heavy bag, while also being provided with high levels of wrist and hand support. Pro gloves are also usually only found with lace-up features, and so they may just not be practical in many instances if Velcro straps are needed.
Vinyl or Leather?
To be frank, avoid the cheaper and lower-quality vinyl gloves if you can. Eye-catching vinyl gloves may spark interest in some of you who are budget conscious (as they are often cheaper), but you’ll soon begin to find that these gloves just are not as durable as their leather counterparts. In the best case, they’ll wear out much faster than expected, in the worst case you’ll find yourself spending more money but this time, on a decent set of leather boxing gloves.
Vinyl can be good in some instances, such as for cardio boxing, but leather is better for pretty much everything else. Leather is better quality and more durable (it happens to be much more resistant to tears, scrapes, and cracking if taken care of properly). Think about it, over the course of just one year of use how many punches will you land with these gloves? – probably thousands. Top grains like cowhide, sheepskin, deerskin or goatskin ensure durability and can withstand the impact of a punch to a greater extent. Other prized leathers include Kangaroo, Peccary, Bison, Moose hide and Elk skin, though these are less frequently seen. Additionally, nylon based threading should be used to keep the padding in place.
Velcro Fastener or Lace-Up?
For many years, all boxing gloves were of the lace-up variety. The problem with this was that athletes couldn’t train alone – say hello to the Velcro boxing gloves. Hook and loop, which is another name for Velcro, allows for practicing solo and makes it much easier to put on and remove boxing gloves. We aren’t going to lie, with lace-up gloves you can get a more custom and securely tight fit. But you need someone with you to lace-up and remove after training. For most people, the best choice is to go with a Velcro fastener as this can be easily tightened and removed yourself.
Best Boxing Gloves Reviews
1. WINNING Velcro Training Boxing Gloves Review
Like many other high quality products in this price range, Winning utilizes a layered padding design for their gloves. Aside from Winning’s popularity and great reputation as one of the best brands, their boxing equipment happens to be actually some of the best quality and meets expectations. Winning padding is some of our favorite type of padding-its soft, secure, and feels as if it is already broken in as it seems to shape specifically to your own hand. Some claim Winning makes gloves similarly to how others make pillows – put simply, the comfort these gloves is delightful and is not only agreeable with your hands but provides just enough support when whaling on the heavy bag.
One notable feature is that Winning makes these gloves in such a way to seem as if they are already broken in. Fully opening your hand is easy, straight out of the box. Extremely dense padding is not an issue, you should have no problems sparring the same day you take these out of the box. There really is little if any break in period for these gloves, which is not the norm. The protection these gloves offer is some of the best we have seen for pretty much any glove. When testing out other products, there were times it would feel as if a hard punch could go right through the padding and knuckles make contact with the object – not with these Winning boxing gloves.
The wrist support of the Winnings is also on par, if not better, with the best gloves out there. Personally afflicted with bad wrists for pretty much my entire life, good wrist support is an essential feature for me. One of the easiest ways to test out wrist support is by throwing a hook at a heavy bag with moderate intensity. With the MS-500s, I can pretty much put all my power into these punches with very little if any discomfort, regardless of the angle of which the fist lands or the density of the bag. Some say Velcro is a no-go if you are serious about wrist protection, but we find the Velcro version works just as well as lace-up in this case.
The hand compartment is a bit snug, so if you like a tight fitting glove then this requirement is surely met. One of the signature characteristics of the Winning glove is the fact that it uses a straight thumb – this allows you to make an ideal fist while still protecting you from injury. This is the favorite type of thumb for many, but takes some getting used to if you haven’t experienced it already. Because of the thumb type and the overall design of the glove, our hands never cramped up or became tired and in need of a break. The soft nylon liner that Winning uses is some of the best. It really is pretty soft, and just another benefit you get when investing in these gloves. The exceptional padding paired with the high-quality liner make this boxing glove pleasant to use. Winning is also known for its quality stitching, and we would have to agree. The Winning boxing gloves have some of the cleanest stitching of any brand that we’ve encountered. Not only is this aspect plus the palm-side stitching nice to look at, but this also results in a better-lasting, and high quality glove.
If you choose an appropriately sized and weighted glove, the Winning can be great for sparring. The padding is high-quality and soft enough to prevent unnecessary injury to a sparring partner. Not only do these gloves excel in protecting your own hands and wrists, but they also prevent injury for your partner. This type of padding is sufficient for just about anything, including bag work, to mitts, and as mentioned already, sparring scenarios. There’s a reason so many of the professional athletes choose Winning boxing gloves for training, because they are quite simply some of the best.
2. Hyabusa Fightwear Tokushu Regenesis Review
The Tokushu Regenesis boxing gloves also utilize the impressive functionality of a layered padding design. While comparable to Winning’s, we find it to be less soft and cushiony (possible even a bit of spring action when hitting the bag). This may be ideal for some. Out of the box, the gloves can be put on with ease and you should be able to open your hand completely. The gloves are pretty much broken in after first use, and you’ll find that the Tokushu Regenesis boxing gloves have a lot in common with the Winning’s we reviewed above. Hayabusa Fightwear definitely did something right with these gloves.
No matter how hard I throw my punches or how awkward my hooks might sometimes be, my bad wrists were never negatively affected and I feel confident knowing that I can put my weight into a punch without fear or regret. The Dual X Closure (just another cool name for dual straps), fusion splinting, and the split foam padding found on the back of the hand excel at supporting the wrists. Very little give going back or forward can be felt, and this is ideal if you have weak wrists or have some power behind those punches. This is just another example of a highly-effective Velcro glove.
Knuckle soreness was never an issue, even after continuous use on a heavy bag. The layered padding does what its supposed to. Contact can be felt a bit more with these gloves when compared to the Winning’s above, but not necessarily in an uncomfortable way. Taking this into consideration, these gloves can probably be used for sparring without issues as they are heavily padded, but the Winning’s seem to win as far as cushion goes and so your partner would probably appreciate that extra softness if given the choice. These Hayabusa boxing gloves are great for all-around use.
Hyabusa utilizes Vylar-2 for these boxing gloves. Not quite leather (it is actually a synthetically engineered leather), it does look and feel like leather. User reviews across the internet claim it lasts just as long, if not longer than real leather. One of the advantages to this is that it allows you to wash your gloves with ease and it may be easier to maintain in the long run.
The Hayabusa AG inner fabric is built with X-Static XT2, which is claimed to improve ventilation and breathability, while also preventing odor build-up from bacterial growth. We all know how bad a pair of broken in gloves can smell, and so this anti-microbial technology is a welcome addition.
Overall, Hyabusa went ahead and created an excellent boxing glove that includes some modern and impressively designed features. While we find that the price for most products designed by MMA brands to be unjustified for what you get, the Tokushu Regenesis happens to be top-notch and packs an impressive punch for the price you can find them.
3. Everlast Powerlock Hook & Loop Review
While these gloves felt a bit stiff at first, the layered padding that is used in these gloves is top-notch. While they don’t seem to come broken in straight out of the box, they do begin to loosen up a bit after a few sessions with a heavy bag. Out of the box, I could only open up my hand maybe 40%, though this took a lot of effort as the resistance was definitely there. Once they begin to soften up, you’ll see that the hand compartment and the surround inner layer is very soft and engulfs your hand like you’d expect in a a more expensive boxing glove set.
These gloves excel when it comes to shock absorption, and this is where they really begin to show their true colors. The wrist support is very good, though the padding on the palm side is lacking a little bit. Generally speaking, even the hardest of punches lead to little discomfort, even for someone like me who has relatively sensitive wrists. If you aren’t properly making a fist, you’ll find that there is a slight shock that goes down the hand and into the wrist – though this might be seen as negligible as I can be susceptible to wrist injury and this never seemed to approach that threshold of impact.
If you choose to takes these to sparring practice, make sure you break them in a bit on the bag beforehand. Overall, these gloves perform very nicely in most situations. These are ideal for bag training purposes because they do excellent when it comes to shock absorption and are also relatively decent performers when it comes to keeping your wrist stable and injury free. The liner is soft, smooth, and straight up just feels nice on your hands. While it probably can’t compete with some of the better products out there, it does a good job with ventilation and controlling sweat. Even though you will not find any vent holes, the gloves don’t trap heat and remain relatively cool through a workout or spar.
Overall, Everlast is a great brand and their Powerlock Hook & Loop training gloves are a great addition to the arsenal of any boxer’s training regimen. If you find yourself needing some extra protection and cushioning at a reasonable price, these gloves may be the perfect fit for you.