A very common question is how do to choose boxing gloves or what size is right for me? Boxing gloves come in different sizes, styles, and colors. Fitness gloves, training/sparring gloves, bag gloves, and competition gloves all have their own distinct characteristics. The following sections will break down the uses and details of each type of glove.
Fitness Boxing Gloves
The term “fitness boxing gloves” refers to the majority of gloves sold at your local sporting goods store. They are usually cheap and provide the novice boxer with a good point from which to start. If you are looking for gloves to use at your weekly boxing fitness class, then fitness gloves serve as a sufficient option. Fitness boxing gloves sometimes come in small, medium and large sizes. Other times, they range from 8 to 16 ounces. As long as the gloves feel snug, then you can choose whatever weight you want. Realize that heavier gloves will make for a more difficult workout, as the added weight will help burn more calories.
Fitness gloves are not made for extensive boxing routines consisting of much more than some light pad or bag work. Durability is an issue with these gloves. If you know for sure that you will continue to use your gloves for a while, and possibly intensify your routines, then it would be smart to spend a bit extra and purchase gloves of higher-quality. The better the quality, the longer the gloves will last and the design will be better.
If you train frequently then consider buying a pair of training gloves. Training gloves are much more durable than fitness gloves. They provide enough support for heavy-bag work, and offer adequate padding for sparring sessions. Professional boxers usually have a pair of gloves for general training and a pair for sparring. The majority of boxers, however, use one pair for both.
Training gloves usually are secured by a Velcro strap; although, more expensive pairs are secured with laces but these are uncommon in most stores. Gloves with Velcro straps are convenient, as they can easily slip on and off during training sessions. If you are looking for the standard weight used by most boxers, then buy yourself a pair of 16oz gloves. Women may consider a lighter glove due to the size. As stated earlier, the heavier the glove, the harder the workout. Heavier gloves build up conditioning and discipline by requiring more effort in order to keep your hands up.
More experienced people don't prefer these but we'll throw it into the mix as these often get sold off as safe boxing gloves. Bag gloves are small and compact. They do not hold the same amount of foam required for gloves that are deemed “safe” for sparring. Some versions of bag gloves leave the fingers unattended, and most provide minimal wrist support.
Bag gloves range in size S, M, L, XL. They are cheaper than most other types of gloves and can often be mislead to be a boxing glove with wrist support.
The Right Fit
Choose gloves that are appropriate for the intensity and length of your training. If you only box once every couple of weeks, then you probably don’t need a training pair of gloves costing $150 or more. If you are looking to compete at the amateur level and will be in the gym every day, then don't be tempted to buy cheap boxing gloves. Moderately priced training gloves will last longer and prevent most hand and wrist injuries.
Manufacturers of boxing equipment are located throughout the world. Each brand tends to make gloves slightly different than the next in regard to padding structure and weight distribution. Focus on purchasing gloves that fit your training routine and help protect your hands and wrists while you engage in your particular workout.
You may have seen the each ounce broken down further to each size, e.g 16oz S,M,L,XL. However the best way is to identify which ounce you need for the type of training you do and most times you should come away with a good fit. Leather will be the most comfortable opposed to synthetic boxing gloves.
Other common sizes are 12oz which is a good middle ground glove for bag work and hitting pads. Again, if you have smaller hands this would be another reason why you may opt for these. Then there are 10z and 8oz gloves that commonly fit smaller hands and many women fit well here. 10oz gloves are used when speed is a focus area. For children's boxing gloves we have a separate blog dedicated to this.
Each brand and style will greatly differ so it is always best to get professional advice or purchase from a place where you know after-sales support is offered as you may find yourself needing to exchange them.
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