Whether you dream of becoming a professional fighter or simply trying out fitness boxing to stay in shape, you need a reliable pair of boxing gloves to start with.
However, you should know that boxing gloves come in different types and sizes.
In this guide, learn about the different boxing glove types and how to find out which size is best for you.
Most Common Boxing Glove Types and Their Uses
Also called “bag gloves” or “hybrid gloves”, these are all-around boxing gloves that are built for the heavy bag but are nevertheless suitable for any type of training. Even though they are firm enough for the bag, these gloves absorb enough shock to wear while sparring.
Whether you’re training to become a fighter or doing boxing for fitness, you’ll most likely buy a pair of these gloves for your training sessions. However, it is not recommended to use training gloves for both bag training and sparring. That’s because the roughness and hardness of the heavy bag can wear down the padding easily, which reduces the glove’s effectiveness for sparring.
If you’re training to become a fighter, you will also need a pair of sparring gloves aside from your regular training gloves.
Sparring gloves have more padding and are usually softer to make the impact less sharp when you throw punches.
As the name suggests, these are gloves you’d wear in a professional bout. It might be tempting to grab a pair of professional gloves over training bags. However, note that they shouldn’t be used for training because they have thinner and firmer padding. Unless you’re a pro boxer, hitting the boxing punching bag or your sparring partner can hurt your hands.
Professional boxing gloves are generally lighter than non-competition gloves, allowing competitors to move quicker. They are also made with firmer padding and almost always have a lace-up design because, in most competitions, gloves with hook and loop fasteners are not permitted.
Mexican-style Boxing Gloves
These gloves are sleeker and tighter padding than training gloves and are supposedly meant to mold to your hand after breaking them in. That’s if you buy a premium pair, of course. Since they don’t have much padding, Mexican-style gloves are more suitable for competitions than training.
There are other boxing gloves types, such as those used for Muay Thai, MMA, and Taekwondo.
How To Determine Boxing Glove Size
At this point, you already have an idea of what type of boxing gloves you need. The next thing you should learn about is how to pick boxing glove size.
Now, this is often the trickier part because there is no straightforward answer to the question “What is my boxing glove size?” To find the perfect fit, there are several factors that you should consider.
First of all, you should know that boxing glove sizes refer to their weight. There are only three boxing glove sizes to choose from 12, 14, and 16 ounces. They indicate how much padding remains between you and the bag, your sparring partner, or your opponent.
Generally, lighter gloves are suitable for training while heavier ones are for sparring.
The boxing glove size that’s ideal for you depends on two things: your size and the type of boxing you intend to do.
Here’s some basic sizing guide that should help you determine the best glove size for you.
Training or Heavy Bag Workouts
Sparring or Professional Competitions
You will need to go one size up to keep your hands protected while boxing for sparring sessions or competitions. So for example, if you’re using 14-oz boxing gloves for training, you will have to use 16-oz gloves for sparring or during an actual fight.
For amateur competitions, follow the following sizing guide:
Do note that glove sizes may sometimes vary depending on the tournament or competition rules set by the local boxing commission.
Now, you might ask – what difference does glove size make in boxing? Or, does size really matter?
As mentioned earlier, a bigger glove offers more protection for your hand as it has more padding. If you’re training on the bag, you need the best protection possible to avoid damaging your hands over time.
Additionally, training with a bigger glove will make you more familiar with the weight. That said, you’ll be able to move your hands faster or quicker when you put on a lighter glove during sparring or an actual fight.
Another thing to remember is that even though the weight of gloves is standard, brands vary in size around the fist. Therefore, make sure your gloves will fit with your hand wraps on. Your gloves should be snug around the straps but not too tight. More importantly, it should be easy to make a fist.
Furthermore, always make sure you’re buying a pair of good-quality gloves, same as with any professional boxing equipment. Look for gloves that don’t easily lose their cushioning and structure despite constant use. A good boxing glove is made using the best materials and should serve its purpose for a long time.
A good way to test which size suits you more is to go to the nearest boxing gym and try on the different boxing gloves they have. Again, wear them with your hand wraps on and check to see if the size, fit, padding and comfort suit you.
Lastly, listen to your coach. He has years of experience in boxing and he can greatly help you decide what type and size of gloves are best for you, and if you need more than one type of gloves to use for training.