Boxing is fun and exciting to watch on pay-per-view, but it can be even more fun to put on a pair of boxing gloves yourself and punch a bag or work out with a trainer. Whether for an exercise class, bag work at the gym, or sparring as an amateur, getting the right pair of boxing gloves is paramount.
There are important considerations when finding the right pair to prevent hand injuries. There are also different fighting gloves on the market, and you want to choose ones specifically for boxing. Avoid MMA gloves or Muay Thai gloves. Boxing gloves have greater padding distribution as well as support throughout the hand and wrist area than these types of fighting gloves. Our guide has all you need to know about shopping for boxing gloves, including our top product picks. Our favorite is from Cleto Reyes, a professional favorite, that will keep your hands comfortable and protected.
Considerations when choosing boxing gloves
There are several different types of boxing gloves on the market. Pick the appropriate type of glove for your workout or competing needs.
Competition boxing gloves
These gloves are designed for ring fighting. They are lighter so that each blow delivers greater force against an opponent. They also lace up (requiring a second party to do so since it's virtually impossible to lace yourself up) and are costly.
Training boxing gloves
These boxing gloves are more versatile and ideal for general use. We recommend training gloves for heavy bag or handheld pad workouts. They may fasten with Velcro or laces, though Velcro means you won't need help putting them on. Training boxing gloves are generally less expensive than competition gloves.
Heavy bag boxing gloves
For bag work, these are the gloves for you. They offer extra padding to reduce hand injuries from repetitive blows to a heavy bag.
Fitness boxing gloves
These gloves should only be used for simple exercise routines and limited bag or handheld pad work. Because they don't have high-quality padding, you could injure your hands sparring or doing heavy bag work with fitness gloves. They are inexpensive, however, and a nice starter glove for a fitness boxing class at the gym.
Material matters when it comes to boxing gloves. Gloves constructed from high-quality materials will last longer and offer better protection for your hands.
There are a variety of materials used in padding: cotton, polyurethane, and horsehair, to name a few. Padding should compress to help absorb the force of a punch and also rebound quickly to prepare for the next punch. We do not recommend gloves that use cheaper memory foam padding as it does not rebound fast enough.
The best material for the exterior of a boxing glove is either leather (commonly cowhide or goatskin) or imitation leather. These are more durable and resistant to tears than vinyl.
Stitching is also important when it comes to boxing gloves. Look for strong nylon thread. Poor stitching could result in the glove falling apart, or it could also cause the padding to move out of position, increasing the risk of hand injury.
Q. How do I find the right size boxing gloves?
A. It's important that you find the right fit for your boxing gloves. If the gloves are too large, your hands will move around too much for the padding to protect them properly. If the gloves are too tight, you can risk cutting off circulation to the fingers.
You can measure your hands at home with a flexible tape measure. Wrap it around your hand just below the knuckles. This circumference measurement will determine your boxing glove size. There are different gloves for men and women.
Q. What about weight?
A. Generally, when you're picking a glove for training or exercise purposes, you want a heavier weight, which absorbs more force. For competition purposes, you want a lighter glove to deliver greater impact.
Your height and weight should also determine the gloves' weight. Some manufacturers offer different weights within a boxing glove size. For example, a small glove might be available at eight or 12 ounces.
Boxing gloves we recommend
Best of the best: Cleto Reyes Hook & Loop Training Gloves
Our take: For the very best pair of training boxing gloves, look no further than these pro-recommended gloves.
What we like: These leather gloves are durable and have great padding around the knuckle area to prevent the scraping that can occur with cheaper gloves.
What we dislike: These are high-end gloves, so they are expensive but justifiably so for their quality and reputation.
Best bang for your buck: Everlast Pro Style Training Gloves
Our take: A solid training glove made from affordable, synthetic leather from a trusted brand synonymous with boxing itself.
What we like: These boxing gloves have versatile use for bag work, hitting mitts, and sparring. They have an antibacterial design as well.
What we dislike: They wear out more quickly than more expensive designs with heavy use.
Choice 3: Venum Challenger 2.0 Boxing Gloves
Our take: Popular training gloves with additional protection for hands and wrists.
What we like: These mid-priced boxing gloves come in plenty of colors and sizes to choose from.
What we dislike: These gloves are a tight fit, which could be advantageous if only they breathed a little better.
Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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