A common problem that comes up for anyone new to boxing is choosing their first pair of gloves. How do you know you’re picking the right boxing gloves from the huge range on the market?
As you might not be able to visit our Essex store, here’s our guide for women looking to buy boxing gloves, which we hope will make the process easier:
- How to know your size
- How to know your weight
- How to choose your materials
- What type of glove
- What to wear under gloves
- Pricing and recommended products
How to know your size
Your gloves need to fit well and be flexible for your movements, whilst not being able to slip off as you box. Most boxing gloves come in the main sizes of
for men, women and children. The sizes do not come as standard, so definitely try before you buy and sample from a few manufacturers. You may also want to secure your gloves with hand wraps as you test them out, particularly if you find you fall more between the size categories.
How to know your weight
Once you know your size you need to focus on picking a weight. Glove weight relates to the amount of padding and protection it offers, with heavier gloves having more padded. This is why beginners generally have heavier gloves for extra protection and professionals compete with lightweight gloves.
Weights are classed in ounces per glove, ranging from 6 to 18 ounces:
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6 to 8 ounces
Otherwise known as lightweight gloves, these are for competitions and professionals who have strong jarring techniques.
Ideal for bag and pad work and boxers of an intermediate to advanced level. Beginners can benefit by using these gloves to master technique and speed and they’re an all round training glove. At the gym, you probably won’t be permitted to spar with 12oz gloves.
Ideal for sparring, putting some extra weight behind you. The additional padding protects your knuckles and entire hand so you can concentrate on your skills and not getting injured.
The most common glove weight and a solid all rounder. Slightly lighter than the 16oz, they let you spar without tiring your arms are still beneficial for lighter boxers.
Essentially the gym sparring standard for heavier boxers, they can tire you out more as you spar and are also used for hitting heavier bags. Recommended for boxers over 65 kilos.
Heavyweight boxing gloves can go up to 20oz and build muscular endurance, strengthen your shoulders, arms, stamina and speed. Used to improve overall performance when you have a solid foundation to work from.
Whilst it’s tempting to base your glove weight on your own size and weight, it really comes down to how you’ll use them. Whatever you do, test them out and use hand wraps if they’re loose. If you know someone who boxes, ask for advice.
How to choose your materials
This largely depends on the type of boxing you’re starting. Generally leather is best as it lasts longer due to its strength and durability. It also quickly ‘breaks-in’ your usage so you can get more confident, faster. If you have the budget, always aim for genuine leather.
For fitness boxing, a good quality PU glove – polyurethane coated with nylon – would be suitable and costs less. In either material, velcro straps are great for added convenience in taking them on and off; you won’t have to rely on anyone else for help with laces, which can be fiddly.
Internally, your gloves should have a fabric lining to create a barrier between the pads in the glove and your sweat as you train. This keeps them more hygienic and more comfortable. Look out for open finger design, which just means the thumb isn’t attached to the lining, and gloves with a thumb lock; open finger design is best for MMA.
What type of glove?
Colours, brands and aesthetics are important for you to like your gloves but we’re more concerned about the type or style of gloves for how you will use them.
At Boxfit we separate our gloves into bag gloves, MMA gloves and gloves for sparring and training.
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Bag mitts and gloves are specifically designed for bag work and have relatively light padding as you’re hitting a soft target and more than likely, working to increase speed. As speed would be your focus, you shouldn’t be hitting heavy bags anyway, but these gloves wouldn’t be ideal. Similarly our range of MMA gloves offer enough protection for grappling, wrestling and speed work, but not heavy bags.
For training and sparring, you can look at gloves as being more standard and good all-rounders. They’re built with the extra padding needed for heavy bag work but can also be used for light bags and workouts with your trainer, if they’re happy to do so.
It’s always recommended to have one pair of gloves for sparring and another for training as they get worn in different ways. A boxing partner may not be prepared to fight against worn and heavier gloves that have been used for training.
What to wear under gloves
Whilst gloves offer protection, you need to invest in wraps and support for your hands, knuckles and wrists. There are over 200 bones in your hands alone that can be fragile and get damaged from hitting repeated punches. This is because your hands exert a force and also absorb the contact impact.
The benefits of properly wrapping your hands include:
- Extra protection/support for your hands
- Absorb blood from scraped knuckles
- Soak up sweat prolonging glove life
The most popular types of wraps are elastic style hand wraps with breathable, cooling properties and even anti-microbial technology to fight odours.
Pricing and recommended products
For your first pair of gloves, go for a less expensive type if you’re unsure about taking up the sport long term.
If you’re really keen to get going, it’s worth investing in a pair over £50 and ideally in the range of £100-150. In this price bracket, you see more use and benefits as you progress.
Brands you want are generally down to taste as they offer different styles and padding technology. The top reputable brands you you can’t go wrong with are
- Pro Box
For training, these Ringside Pro gloves offer all the comfort and protection you need. When you start on heavy bags, we recommend leather gloves from Pro Box. Click here for more about the support they offer.
Check out our range and call us with any questions on 01708 320 320. We’d be more than happy to help!
If you’re a woman or a supporter of women in boxing, take a look at our #togetherwebox campaign, involving GB stars Stacey Copeland and Jade Ashmore.