Boxing, practiced as a sport or even just for fitness, requires very little equipment. You can get away with a pair of trainers, gym shorts and a t-shirt. The one piece of equipment you cannot skimp on is your gloves. Your hands are taking a beating everytime you box, so the purpose of the best boxing gloves is to protect you and (your opponent) from any long term damage. When deciding on the best boxing gloves there are many aspects to consider.
- Fit – the best pair of boxing gloves will fit snugly around your wrist and fingers. It should not feel uncomforable, or awkward in any way
- Construction / Material – Good boxing gloves should not tear, and maintain its shape over time, even after thousands of punches. Cheaply made gloves will not. Generally you should expect to pay a good amount of money for proper gear. Cheaper gloves are usually meant for aerobic or cardio classes
- See below for some more factors to think about…
Other things to consider:
Types of Gloves
Training Gloves – All purpose. Can be used for bags and sparring, but not specifically made for either. If you are just starting out, or don’t want to spend money on different types, then you should consider just buying a solid pair of training gloves.
Bag Gloves – Full size, heavily padded gloves meant for use when training on the heavy bag. The extra heavy-weight padding will help you hit the bag for longer and still maintain your gloves shape, while also protecting your hand from long term damage. DO NOT use for sparring, as you will hurt your partner.
Sparring Gloves – Similar to training gloves, but extra-padded so you do not hurt your sparring partner. Generally use 16oz gloves or more for sparring to be safe.
Fight / Competition Gloves – Smaller, lighter gloves for increased hand speed, and punching power so you can hurt your opponent. Fight gloves should only really be used in actual competition (not sparring). Your boxing event / organization will tell you which glove size to use.
Velcro (hook and loop) vs. laces
The professionals always use lace-ups, however if you are an amateur or just doing some training you probably want the convenience of Velcro to avoid asking someone to make adjustments for you (laces are impossible to tie yourself). The benefits of Velcro allow you to put your own gloves on and off and secure and adjust them accordingly. On the other hand lace up gloves provide a tighter more secure fit, so these may be the way to go if you have a training partner or coach around to assist you.
Leather or synthetic
When deciding on the best boxing gloves to suit the fighter in you the choice needs to be made between leather or some synthetic material. Leather gloves are generally higher quality and have a longer life span. However they tend to be more expensive. Synthetic on the the other hand will probably be slightly lower quality, but also relatively cheaper.
When choosing a glove size you want the gloves to have a snug fit. If there is too much room inside for your hand to move around, there is potential for injury.
- The main sizes for training gloves are 12 ounce, 14 ounce, and 16 ounces. Your choice will depend on your weight-class and purpose. The heavier gloves provides more protection for your hands when you are throwing punches and for the opponent (when sparring). For training, you generally want a bigger glove for added hand protection. For more detail, check out this sizing chart by Rival.
- Gloves will stretch, so the best boxing gloves for you probably won’t fit perfectly when you first buy them and will probably feel a little tight.
- Make sure you don’t buy boxing gloves without wrapping your hands first and trying them on. Buying online will be cheaper, but make sure you head to a store or gym to try them on before making a purchase and then realising they are too small when they get delivered.
The Best Boxing Gloves – 5 Recommendations
Below are some of the best boxing gloves available on the market. They are a mixture of fight / training / sparring / bag gloves.
Cleto Reyes Safetec Professional Fight Gloves Review
Size: 8-ounce, 10-ounce
Cleyto Reyes is well known in the boxing world for making some of the highest quality gloves available. These gloves are molded with special Safetec foam which provides added protection and lasts up to 200 times longer than regular fight gloves. The extra durability makes these gloves perfect for training (bag/mit work) as well as fights. They are made completely of high quality cowhide, along with water repellant nylon lining to prevent unwanted moisture from damaging the padding. The combination of quality material and unique innovation make these the perfect fit for the serious boxer. These gloves are one of the most expensive models on our list, but are also easily one of the best boxing gloves out there.
TITLE Gel World Bag Gloves Review
Size: Medium, Large, X Large (all 16oz.)
With their perfectly engineered Gel Enforced Lining™ and multi-layered foam padding these Title boxing gloves tick all the boxes when it comes to performance, protection and control. These boxing gloves have an all-leather outer and wraparound adjustable wrist strap for a secure fit. They are one of the best bag gloves on the market. Try them and you will never go back!
Adidas Tactik Pro Boxing Gloves Review
Size: 10oz, 12oz, 14oz, 16 oz
Type: Training / Sparring
Adidas‘ trademark Climacool Technology will ensure your hands stay cool and sweat free (relatively) in the ring with these boxing gloves. The padding is medium-soft and will protect your hand as well as your sparring partner. The palm is made with soft “Polymax” for extra comfort. Easy fastening and adjustment is possible with the hook and loop closing strap.
If you are just starting out, or are looking for a cheaper pair of gloves, then the Tactik Pro are one of the best boxing gloves for you.
Ringside Apex Bag Gloves Review
Size: S/M (8 oz.), L/XL (12 oz.)
Want some gloves that look a bit … different? Then the Apex Bag Gloves from Ringside could be for you. They use IMF (Injected Molded Foam) for extra protection and superior durability (will last a long time). The synthetic material is easy to clean and it uses a full hook & loop closure system that provides extra wrist support.
The Apex Gloves has a affordable price tag, so if you like funky colorways, then you should definitely check these out!
For sparring, check out the Ringside Arrow Sparring Gloves, or check out below..
RIVAL RS2V-PRO Sparring Gloves Review
Size: 14oz, 16oz, 18oz
Rival is another one of the big names in the boxing glove industry. They are known for making super high-quality equipment — and these gloves are no exception. The Rival High Performance (RS2V-Pro) Sparring Gloves are available with laces or velcro straps. They are made of full grain leather, so you know they will last a long time. The velcro version has a unique strap system which is slightly angled to provide better anatomical fit, and optimal wrist support. There is over 1.75″ (40 mm) of foam padding to protect your hands, and sparring opponent.
The only downside of these gloves is that they are higher priced than most other options on the market. If you are not too concerned about the price tag though, then you should definitely pick up a pair of these gloves.
TITLE Boxing Pro Style Leather Training Gloves Review
Size: 12oz, 14oz, 16oz
As the cheapest option on our list, these TITLE training gloves offer the biggest bang for the buck. They are made with full grain leather that will maintain its look over a long period of time. They also have great padding over the fist and back of hand. The full wrap hook & loop strap works extremely well,and will keep your glove tight while also providing extra support.
If you are just starting out training, and don’t want to spend big bucks, then these are the best boxing gloves for you.
Whether you decide to go with leather or vinyl, lace up or velcro, the decision is ultimately up to you. The best way to decide is to try some gloves on at the local gym or store to get a feel for what the best boxing gloves are for you. Good luck!