You’re looking to buy boxing gloves but have no idea where to begin? Don’t worry; it’s easy to get confused when deciding what pair of boxing gloves you should own. I’m going to break it down for you so you can make an educated decision when buying gloves. I hope this guide will help you understand what types of boxing gloves are out there and what you need to think about when making that buying decision.
Let’s start off with the basics: Gloves are generally categorized in two types: there are training gloves and there are sparring gloves. These are not the only 2 ways how boxing gloves are categorized. There are cardio gloves, Pro gloves and even others.
Hey coach – are there other types of gloves?
Good question - there are a number of other types of gloves out there such as cardio gloves, pro gloves, Mexican boxing gloves and others Mexican gloves are a bit lighter and have less padding. Mexican gloves will deliver damage easier if not wearing any head gear. Grant is arguably the best known brand of Mexican gloves. Cardio gloves don’t have padding for bag work or sparring. Gloves for cardio often come with extra weight built in them and are meant for running, aerobics, shadow boxing etc. Pro glove has its weight distributed more evenly around the glove itself. They allow delivering higher damage, similar to Mexican glove. However, pro gloves are not really meant for use all type of work in the gym, especially sparring.
Let’s return to the two types that you should certainly understand the difference between. Let’s kick off with the first type:
Training gloves are meant for exactly that – training. This means you can use them for different purposes - bag work, pad work and sparring. These should be your first types of gloves. It’s quite rare for someone who is not very seasoned and has many fights under his belt to get two separate gloves – ones for training and ones for sparring. Unlike with sparring gloves, training gloves is what you will be spending your actual time training in. This includes sparring in the gym. So don’t think just because you have training gloves that means you can’t spar in then. You absolutely can and everyone does it.
Should I get boxing gloves with lace or gloves with Velcro?
Training gloves generally come with a Velcro strap and but there are ones with laces. Lacing gloves will feel better and more secure but obviously it takes time to lace them up. If you are training by yourself and mostly doing bag work alone – definitely go for Velcro. It is also quite impractical doing it by yourself so most people will get gloves with Velcro strap when training.
When looking for training gloves, you want to keep an eye out for the size because these vary. Glove size is measured as ounce or oz. You will find usually find gloves usually ranging from 20oz all the way down to 8oz. There are no odd size gloves (17oz, 15oz, etc).
Coach, what size gloves is best for me?
It mostly depends on your body weight. For a 180 pound guy, you’re looking at 16oz gloves. For someone around 160-150lbs, you are looking 14oz. If you’re 130lbs, 12oz gloves are a good start. Remember - the bigger the glove, the more padding it has. If you’re doing a lot of bag work, you’re better off going for bigger gloves. Bigger gloves will allow you to protect your hands from injuries and as a result – have better training sessions. To become a great boxer, you need to train smart. This means also getting the right gloves.
What’s so special about sparring gloves? For starters, they have extra protection. They have a little bit extra padding so that when you’re punching your opponent, you take less damage. These also come in sizes but you’d want to pick bigger gloves than you would do for training. If you’re training for a competition, make sure to check what size gloves are allowed because you will not find yourself in a ring with 14oz gloves when your opponent has 20oz gloves. Also - don’t buy gloves for a competition when you’re not sure of what gloves are allowed. Although you may find this happening in training – someone sparring with 12oz gloves while you have 16oz or 18oz. Regardless of the gloves that you go for, remember the golden rule, protect yourself at all times.
If you’re just starting out, you are best to use bigger gloves. Someone who’s just entering the ring and getting comfortable with boxing, you want to protect yourself and make sure you can train again the next day.
Coach, do brands matter?
Fighters, including myself, certainly believe so. It’s one of those things that I’ve seen with experience. Many people, including myself, have bought a cheaper brand glove at one point or another. When it arrived, it looked and felt really good. The problems usually appear down the line when they’ve worked the bag for a couple of weeks. That’s when the real quality issues appear.
There is a wealth of boxing brands out there. Some carry a well-known brand name so they have a reputation to uphold. When buying a boxing glove, you can go for a cheaper and not well-known brand but remember, you are paying for quality. Going for a glove that’s under 30 bucks can get the job done but would not last you very long.
What’s the difference between Vinyl and Leather glove?
Good question! Luckily the answer is short and simple – quality. Leather provides better quality material and the gloves will last longer. Rest assured, Vinyl gloves are still good and buying a good pair will still last you a long time.
How to take care of boxing gloves?
This is a commonly overlooked aspect when owning gloves. When training with gloves, your hands will get moist and so will your gloves. If after every training session you will have your gloves wet and they will sit in the bag – they will develop a bad smell and will just not feel right. Ideally you will want to wipe them after every workout. You can use a simple washcloth to wash inside and outside. It’s good to kill bacteria so you can easily buy disinfecting wipes for a few bucks that will last you months. When not in training – keep the gloves out of your bag. You want them to have some fresh air so you can leave them by an open window (just make sure no one doesn’t snatch your new gloves through that open window). 😉
So what are best boxing gloves based on your budget?
These are your basic and very cheap gloves. They advertise leatherette material that must be some leather construction which appears to be made out of synthetic leather. These have Velcro straps like all the training gloves I review in this article. They have a good padding and are good for various training. Customers do report that it develops tears quite quickly so the cheap glove lacks in quality. Don’t be disappointed if they don’t last very long as these might be one of the cheaper gloves out in the market. For your boxing cardio sessions, these are okay gloves. For bag work and sparring, I would advise reviewing one of the other options I go over below.
I would say it’s the most well-known brand of boxing gloves out there. Everlast Pro have thick padding on the front and the glove is made out of vinyl. You can get them with laces but usually they come with Velcro strap. Everlast stand by their products and offer 120 days of warranty and advise that they will replace your or repair your product within this time period. They come in 12, 14 and 16oz in black, red, blue or blue/green. These boxing gloves are on the very cheap end and have mixed reviews from customers. They sure do carry a strong brand in boxing world but some have reported an issue with their quality. Some customers swear by them but they are not the highest rated gloves out there. For the price, these are great for your home boxing bag or a boxing cardio class.
These gloves are also on the very cheap end. Not to say they are cheap quality-wise. They come with a Gel Impact protection Foam which is a slightly differently engineered padding. It’s great for bag work and will definitely help to prevent injuries to your hands. They come with a Velcro strap and actually look quite nice. Gloves are great for both men and women, but looks like Sanabul have actually made effort to target these gloves to women as well (which is good). Company does advise that its material is a performance engineer leather construction so it doesn’t look like it’s a an expensive leather material. Having said that, it does contain leather so will be better quality than vinyl. Overall, for the price, this is quite a good glove. Customers also seem to be reporting good things about this and I’d rank this as a good glove for its price.
Now we’re onto Venum’s. Just like Sanabul Essential gloves, these also have a leather construction – synthetic leather. Like classic training gloves, come with a Velcro strap and has good padding. Price for these is a little bit higher than Sanabul gloves but still on the cheap side. These are good for some bag work, mitt work or even fitness boxing. Your hands will feel comfortable in these and will be good for basic training. If you expect them to last very long with heavy bag work, then I might not be that confident about them but for basic workouts these are good.
Challenger 2.0 have a very dense padding that will help with any heavy work to protect your hands. It is a little bit more expensive glove than the previous two but absolutely affordable as far as boxing gloves go. They also have a Velcro strap for an easy put-on; take-off action. With a nice Venum logo, you are looking at a really good glove for the price and these should last you a while with some heavy work. Customers report that these are great for shock absorption so the padding seems to be definitely one of the strong points of this glove.
Another one from Venum and these are quite similar to the Challenger 2.0. The main difference between Venum Challenger 2.0 and Venum Elite is the material it’s made out of. These gloves are made out of Premium Skintex Leather which is a more durable leather construction than synthetic leather. All other aspects are the same – it comes with a Velcro strap and also has a very dense padding so would allow heavy bag work. Customers have reported that these gloves are great for protecting your gloves just like Challenger and seem to have less quality issues with the improved leather construction. Another difference is that these come with lots more colour options than the Challenger 2.0.
I’ve reviewed boxing gloves from different brands and they all come with their advantages. If you are getting gloves for training, then it comes down to what type of training you’re doing. If this training consists of lots of bag work throughout the week, considering gloves that are of higher quality leather is quite important for your future wallet. You don’t want to buy gloves that wouldn’t meet your training needs. If you just train boxing casually, then some of the cheaper end gloves will meet your needs. Make sure to read reviews from customers as they are quite insightful.