How to choose the right Boxing gloves for beginners
Selecting the right pair of boxing gloves can be a daunting task. In the blog below we’ll cover the basics and clear up the confusion to explain how to choose the right boxing gloves for beginners.
If you’re in a hurry to get started you can skip ahead here to the verdict and find out exactly what pair the team here at Day One recommend.
Why do we wear boxing gloves?
Boxing gloves are essential to protect and pad your hand, knuckles and wrist during the impact of punching. The hand & wrist is a very complex structure (27 bones in total) which means that it’s going to need some support on impact.
A quality pair of boxing gloves paired with the correct punching technique dramatically reduces your risk of injury while training.
Can I train without gloves?
Without gloves, you’ll find yourself limited to non-contact training. Gloves aren’t necessary for exercises such as shadow boxing or footwork drills.
Both these exercises play an important role in developing fundamental skills and technique in boxing. There is also an endless list of the variations you can do BUT without gloves, you won’t be able to transfer these skills to the heavy bag, pad work, or a partner.
Do I need my own set of gloves?
“But Luke the gym I go to provides gloves, why would I buy my own?”
Some gyms will provide both wraps and gloves for your first few sessions which might have you thinking why buy your own?
If you’re going to take your training seriously then purchasing your own gloves is essential for a few reasons.
Hygiene - Remember that gloves get sweaty! When you’re loaning gloves you’re also sharing them with every other person in the gym that doesn’t own a pair. Gyms SHOULD have a stringent cleaning policy in place but this does differ between venues.
Owning your own gloves means that you have complete control over the cleanliness. If they are a little damp when you put them on you can take comfort in knowing it's from you and not a stranger.
Commitment - Buying your first set of gloves is a big step and shows commitment to your training. With that brand new set of gloves in your possession you'll be more motivated to get up and into the gym to train.
What size gloves should I buy?
Gloves are separated by size and measured in oz’s. This refers to the weight of the padding within the glove and different sizes have different applications in boxing. The most common sizes are listed below with their application in boxing.
8oz - These are the lightest gloves you can buy and are not recommended for beginners. They provide the least amount of padding and protection for the hand. Some professional fights for lighter weight categories use 8oz gloves so competitors will train in them beforehand.
10oz/12oz - These are the typical sizes of both bag work and pad work. They provide enough padding and protection to the hand but are also light enough to not burn out your shoulders completely after the first couple rounds. I view these as a bit of a sweet spot for most of your boxing training.
14oz - These are the halfway point between a sparring and bag work glove. If you're over 90kg and quite strong you may prefer to hit pads or the bag with these for a little extra padding. 14oz gloves can also be used for very light sparring at a maximum 50% intensity.
16oz - These are the standard size glove for sparring. They’re a little heavier but offer the most padding and protection which makes them ideal for full contact training.
Material - Leather Vs Vinyl gloves
The next question you may ask yourself is what material gloves should I buy?
Leather gloves come with a higher price point and for good reason. The quality of the material is superior to vinyl and they are far more durable.
In my opinion, if you’re serious about your boxing training and want some longevity out of your gloves, splurge for a pair made from genuine leather.
Vinyl gloves on the other hand have the advantage of affordability and availability. You’ll usually find a wider variety of vinyl gloves in most retailers.
They offer a more attractive, lower price point for those on a budget or just getting started. The most important thing when starting boxing is getting involved so if the price of leather gloves is a little out of reach grab a set of these to start your journey sooner.
Velcro Vs Lace-up gloves
There are two styles for securing and tightening your gloves:
Velcro gloves are secured with a velcro strap around the wrist of the glove. They offer good support and are easier to put on and take off by yourself which means you won’t have to ask someone to pass you the water bottle between rounds.
Lace-up gloves are secured much like tying up your shoes starting at the base of the hand before tying a knot around the wrist of the glove to lock-in. They offer a little more wrist support but will require another person to help you put them on. For this reason they are far less convenient than velcro gloves.
Brand - With so many different companies making gloves these days it can be hard to tell them apart. Try to select gloves from a reputable brand that has a long history in combat sports. Brands like Fairtex, Rival, Twins, Title, Ringside and Top King have a long history in fight sports and are known for their quality.
Comfort - This will be the most important factor when selecting gloves. They NEED to be comfortable and fit your hand. Don’t be afraid to annoy the store clerk by trying on a few different pairs to see which one you like the most! Note that if you’re buying online the comfort will be hard to gauge so make sure you read plenty of reviews before you hit “add to cart” if the gloves have an average rating your best bet is to move on.
Selecting the right gloves can be a big decision when you’re starting but don’t let it be a roadblock.
For beginners we suggest buying a pair of 12oz vinyl velcro gloves from a reputable brand that are comfortable to wear.
When you’re starting out 12 oz will cover the majority of your training requirements with the exception of sparring which you won’t be doing for a while.
Velcro because they are easier to put on and vinyl because they are more affordable and easier to find which means you can get boxing quicker!