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Boxing is a sport that dates back to ancient Greece, a form known as Pugilism. , And in that age, it was the most watched and enjoyed. Upon realizing how easy it was to injure a hand on someone’s cranium, they began to apply their first form of hand-protection, a very rudimentary and primitive form which involved covering their hands using clothes and shielding material that coated their hands while punching. Not only did it protect the hands when throwing offense, it also helped them defend and absorb hand or body injuring shots. Over time, fighters and trainers devised ways of enhancing the fighting experience, by not only factoring in protection, but comfort and material in mind.
Today, with technology, and years and years of breaking our hands, our idea of protective gear has changed. We factor in everything from material, shock-absorption, size, cushioning and affordability. After all the human hand consists of 27 bones, that are tiny, and easy to break. Every boxer needs to protect his or her hands, knowing that the energy created in a fist needs to properly channelize itself through the glove and enhance its effectiveness by making use of the boxing glove’s attributes. So if you are extremely skillful or just an amateur boxer, you’ll need to find the best pair of boxing gloves or else you won’t have hands to fight. Without the best boxing gloves, you won’t be able to train or have sparring sessions of any kind without damaging your hands and bones.
There are many amazing boxing gloves to choose from and we’ll be explaining how each factor holds equal importance while you decide to buy a pair of boxing gloves.
The types of boxing gloves depend on what your purpose is. Personal preference matters a lot. If you want to have intense sparring sessions, you’ll buy sparring gloves, if you want to take part in amateur boxing matches, you’ll opt for amateur or training gloves. And if you are a professional, you’ll go for the pro-boxing gloves.
- Bag Gloves
Power punch intended, bag gloves are padded and the purpose is to train with minimum shock to the hands. Their weight varies from 10oz to 12 oz. and they are always available in multiple designs and sizes. They mostly have no wristbands or have compact fitting so it fixes itself on the hand. Good bag gloves have high density padding which helps in absorbing impact or intensity which helps them devise planning for their next training session. Some of the best bag mitts or bag gloves I’ve ever come across are Everlast, RDX Sports, Title, Cleto Reyes, Lonsdale etc.
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- Sparring Gloves
Sparring sessions are very important when it comes to a boxer’s training. Practice makes perfect but 15 to 18 three-minute rounds per week can really wear on the hand, hence Sparring gloves are the way to go. So if you are getting sparring gloves, you need to make sure that they are durable and well cushioned – nothing hurts more than the top of a human being’s noggin. The ideal weight for a sparring glove is 16oz. But they are also available in 14 oz., 16 oz. and 18 oz.
- Training boxing Gloves
These gloves are made to protect you in your training and sparring sessions. Their purpose is to enhance your techniques and skill. They have a balanced out weight distribution from knuckles to wrist to ensure comfort and shock absorption. They usually come in 16 oz. weight but 12 oz. and 14 oz. are also available.
- Professional Boxing Gloves
These are the gloves used in professional boxing and competitions. These gloves are smaller than sparring gloves but much stronger and durable. They come in 8oz., 10oz., and 12oz. weights depending on their weight class. They must enhance your skill and leather would be the best choice. Since they are supposed to absorb shock and blows, they should have good padding and durable so they can survive the shocks. The design of these professional boxing gloves should allow you to dominate the ring while keeping your hands safe.
First off, there is a difference between boxing gloves types and boxing gloves sizes. We have described the types above and what you need to understand about size is that big gloves have more padding. If you are training, using a bigger glove, it will help you. Size matters a lot when it comes to boxing and you need to know which weight falls in which size category. But that also depends on the manufacturer. For example, 12oz. means small, 14 oz. means medium and 16 oz. means large size in 80% of the cases. If you are going rounds and rounds on a heavy punching bag, you’ll need gloves that help your sessions, improving your skill and protecting the hands at the same time. It will also help you get comfortable with the weight of the gloves. For example, sparring gloves are the thickest, training gloves are smaller but offer protection, bag gloves are big in size and they are rarely used, amateur gloves have excellent padding and professional gloves have less padding (so you can rely on your hands to hurt your opponent more).
Same goes for weight. Weight and size aren’t the same, but it is related to the TYPE of boxing you want to indulge in and you’ll size according to the fit of the glove. The most common weight types are these:
- 8 oz.: Competitive boxing
- 10 oz.: Competitive boxing
- 12 oz.: People with small hands or women
- 14 oz.: Average sized hands
- 16 oz. : Most commonly used weight
- 18 oz. : used for larger weight classes and training
- 20 oz. : less commonly used than 18 oz. but used for training as well
Here’s another weight chart:
- 120lbs & down (12oz or 14oz)
- 120lbs – 150lbs (14oz – 16oz)
- 150lbs – 180lbs (16oz – 20oz)
- 180lbs & up (18oz & up)
The most commonly used colors for boxing are red and blue. The purpose behind that is to know how they affect the human eye. Somehow, red is the most commonly used as it is visible to the human eye when sparring or fighting an opponent. Secondly, light colored gloves are more visible but they are used mostly in training so your trainer can see your punches and can fix any mistakes in your techniques. All other colors are just design and style and they don’t matter much in the ring for a professional fight.
Two most used materials are leather and vinyl (synthetic). While many brands pride themselves on using authentic cowhide leather, but nowadays, synthetic leather can be refined and technologically enhanced to create more sturdy and durable boxing gloves. Leather has more quality compared to its synthetic counterparts, and are usually more expensive. Unless it’s Maya Hide, which is hard to find since it is a patent.
The easiest thing that you can break in a fight are hands. And if you are a woman, that means you need to protect your hands because they have smaller muscles, brittle bones but, greater flexibility. So research well when you are buying boxing gloves. Choose the gloves according to your weight and size. Make sure that your hands snugly fit in the gloves, without too much space in between to wiggle your hands. The entirety of the hand is meant to feel compact and compressed, yet comfortable in the gloves.
Men, on the other hand, need to follow the weight chart mentioned above. Usually, the best women gloves weight 12 oz. to 14 oz. and men’s boxing gloves range from 14 oz. or 16 oz.
Brands matter. Pricing DEFINITELY matters. While some brands like Everlast, Venum and Hayabusa make amazing gloves, they can sometimes be damaging to the wallet – especially since you’re not going to be using the gloves for anything other than training. Meanwhile brands like RDX Sports make the same level of high-quality gear, but priced MUCH lower. If you’re a beginner, you should definitely go for something cost-effective.
Now, while you look for a proper size for a boxing glove, you need to find the gloves that fit you after you have hand wraps on. Your hand and wrist should be comfortable, but not too comfortable because that decreases the grip. Hand constitution should feel solid, like a rock. Make sure that your hands fit in the gloves with hand wraps because brands tend to vary on sizes depending on the style of glove.
If you are spending, then spending wisely is a good option. Many brands are overpriced and their products don’t have diamonds on them, but if you research, you CAN find quality products whose prices are not climbing your budget ceiling. But it is imperative that you chose quality above all as well.
Get a pair of gloves you could use during every facet of training i.e. sparring, hard-bag or pad-work.
This is very important. The wrist must be supported, since it’s the easiest and probably the first thing to damage when throwing punches. The cuff of your glove must support and align your wrists behind the fist, and in between the elbow. Try out the glove of your choice wearing wraps to make sure you’re getting the right pair size that isn’t too tight, and doesn’t block blood flow to the wrists.
Style or design
Boxing gloves today are available in many designs and colors and their style varies according to their type. But a good boxing gloves manufacturer will make gloves that will make you stand out while keeping the quality excellent.
Way back, laced gloves were the most commonly used gloves, but that requires you to have someone to tie the laces for you. Velcro straps are most widely used in all boxing types as they are durable and don’t require help from someone else. Fitting is better in a laced one, but at some point it gets uncomfortable. But straps are better if you are training alone. Fight night, on the other hand, has laced gloves because there you have your trainers to tie them for you.
Sales can decrease the price of many boxing gloves and that would obviously save you money and you can get the product you want. Usually, protective gear companies offer sales on St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving etc. So be sure to check their websites for that.
If the wrists are safe, you’ll have lesser chances of breaking or damaging your wrist against heavy punches and shock. Buy the gloves with a Velcro strap as that covers your wrists and makes it easier for your hand to move around while it is tied inside a boxing glove.
Research on what material is used in the making of boxing gloves and good companies always explain the contents with size etc. So if you are allergic to some material, never buy it even if it is available for free. Your safety should be your first priority.
Excellent boxing gloves are durable because of their material. As mentioned above, leather is a much more durable and sturdy choice when you are buying boxing gloves. Cowhide, Maya-Hide, and basically good quality leather is your best option.
Since we don’t live in the Stone Age anymore, manufacturers use anti-bacterial or anti-infection material while they are making boxing gloves. The inner side of the gloves should have this advantage so, when you’re boxing for hours and hours, you don’t feel irritated at all.
Wrist to knuckle alignment
Wrist to knuckle alignment in boxing is very important, otherwise, you won’t be landing any effective punches. Good boxing gloves are designed in a way that your knuckles get enough space to adjust themselves so when you extend your arm for a punch, your wrist doesn’t bend, and instead, it aligns itself with the hand and the knuckles.
An ideal boxing glove would have the thumb stitched in its place. The purpose behind that is to not let the thumb move freely while punching and keeping it safe. Look for the glove that has a thumb lock or inbuilt material that keeps your thumb protected from all injuries.
While padded palms are usually found in Muay-Thai gloves, some companies include padding in boxing gloves too. This adds an extra layer of comfort to the hard-hitting sessions on your hand.
Comfort should be your priority too. How will you box knowing that your hands aren’t comfortable? You won’t be giving your best. The best boxing gloves offer breathability which allows your hand to be comfortably wrapped up in the glove while getting enough air to remain comfortable.
Sweat-wicking inner properties
If the glove you’re choosing has the breathable technology, it will also have sweat wicking properties which will make your grip strong and sturdy.
Comfort with hand-wraps
Your boxing gloves MUST be comfortable if you wear them with hand wraps. Padding over your knuckles is very important and hand wraps offer that under the gloves. It is like covering your hands from inside out. They keep your bones tight together which prevents injuries and bone damage when you are intense boxing.
Padding matters a lot when it comes to shock absorption. Every good boxing glove has shock absorption feature that makes sure that no matter how strong the sparring sessions are, your gloves will be your primary protection against blows and punches.
Since the world is facing way too many replica issues, some companies have started issuing special bar codes, authentication codes, QR Codes etc. to make sure that their customers are getting authentic products with all their features rather than fake copies. So be sure to buy authentic products from good websites that can authenticate the product you ordered.
At the end of the day, you need to realize that your boxing gloves should have quality and they should serve the purpose you bought them for. Research well and look at the pros and cons of each. After that, buy the best pair you can find and start your boxing journey.