Whether you are new or old to Boxing, Muay Thai or MMA, finding the right boxing glove brand can seem like a daunting task. Asking a simple question like, what are the best boxing gloves? Might not be as easy to answer as it seems.
With that being said, choosing the correct pair of gloves is one of the most important things an athlete can do when they are getting started in combat sports. As the quality of your gloves can impact your chance of injury and your pocked in the long run, as a boxing gloves price may seem attractive in the short term, but not make sense in the long run.
Choosing the Correct Size
As a beginner, one should first determine what needs you will be using the gloves for so that you can choose the correct size. Gloves are displayed in ounces (oz.) and the most common sizes are 12 oz, 14 oz and 16 oz. For a general rule, 12 oz gloves are most popular for bag/pad training while 14 and 16 oz boxing gloves are used for sparring. Females usually using 14 oz and males using 16 oz.
Size is determined by the amount of padding which is used inside the glove. The heavier the glove is, the more protection you will have, but it will also possibly slow down your punching speed as they are a bit heavier.
Many beginners use bigger gloves in order to be on the safe side and then work their way down towards competition sizing as their skills improve. Your purpose, gender, and body weight play a large role in the size and type of boxing gloves you will be using.
Gloves should be snug to your hands, offer good wrist support and have a comfortable fit with your fingertips grazing the top of the glove. The gloves should also be snug around the straps but not tight, and it should be easy to make a fist.
It is much easier to find a good quality glove online, as many gyms offer their branded glove which may not be of high quality. When buying online, an easy why to find your glove size is to measure the circumference of your hand. When doing this you should wrap a tape measure around the fullest part of your hand, not including the thumb. The chart below offers a glove sizing guide based off of hand circumference and body weight to recommend what may be the correct size for you.
|Weight||Hand Circumference||Glove Size|
|88-120 lbs||5.5” - 6.5”||12 oz.|
|120-160 lbs||6.5” - 7.5”||14 oz.|
|160-185 lbs||7.5” - 8.5”||14 or 16 oz|
|185+ lbs||8.5” - 9.5”||16 oz.
There are many different types and brands of boxing gloves on the market. Professional and advanced boxers tend to have multiple pairs of gloves in different sizes for each training activity. Whereas beginners typically will only need one pair of gloves that will adequately protect their hands and typically will opt for training or bag gloves, as they will not be jumping into sparring immediately if ever.
Lace Ups or Velco?
Lace up gloves offer a much tighter fit and higher quality wrist support, but they are sadly not as reliable during practice or training. This is because you can not tie the laces up by yourself, so you will have to count on your training partner or coach to lace you up before each training. This also proves impractical for training when you need to take on and off your gloves. For this reason, lace-up gloves are almost exclusively used by amateur or professional boxers for sparring purposes at 14 and 16 oz sizes.
Meanwhile the correct velcro glove can be secured almost as tightly as lace ups, and can easily be done by yourself. This is why velcro gloves are much better for class, training, and typically any other use except by high level boxers in sparring.
Leather or vinyl boxing gloves?
Boxing gloves most common materials are vinyl and leather. These materials will have an impact on the comfort, the durability of the glove, and the cost.
Typically, vinyl gloves are more of a beginners glove. They can be looser around the wrist, be a bit less breathable and be cheaper in price; ranging from about $40-$90. These gloves can have different quality levels but for the most part they are the lower quality glove and therefore may wear out quickly with regular use.
Leather can be a more expensive glove; ranging from about $100-$300, depending on the brand. These gloves have a much higher durability, are good for regular use, mold to your hand and become better fitting over time. If you plan to train regularly, would suggest a leather glove.
For more in depth analysis check out The Ultimate Guide to Striking for MMA, Muay Thai and Kickboxing.