MMA Clothing & Gear

10 Things You Need to Know Before Buying Your First Pair of Boxing Gloves



Boxing Gloves

Special to Chicago’s MMA

If you are in the market for buying your first pair of boxing gloves, and are feeling a bit overwhelmed as to the limitless options that are available. There are many things to consider when it comes to purchasing the best pair of boxing gloves. In this brief guide, we will be providing you with some of the top things that you will want to consider before making your first purchase of boxing gloves.

1. Style

The style of glove you choose is very important for not only avoiding injury, but to also get the maximum benefit for whatever it is specifically that you are looking to get out of them. Boxing gloves additionally come in various different sizes, weights, and even compact options. They are also specially designed for different contact sports besides boxing alone, such as, Muay Thai, MMA, Kickboxing and more.

2. Bag Gloves

These are often the most popular and versatile pair you will find. Typically weighing 10-16 oz, bag gloves are mostly used for training and heavy bag work. Bag gloves can also be used not only for boxing, but also for cardio, speed bag and pad work. One thing that you should definitely keep in mind when it comes to heavier gloves, is that you will tire out faster and start to lose your form quicker. You also have a higher risk of hurting your wrist from incorrect form upon impact. The good thing, however, is, there is plenty of padding in this style glove that helps protect your wrists and hands.

3. Amateur Gloves

Amateur gloves are rarely found for sale on store shelves. They are usually given out by the promotion that the fighter is fighting for. One pair is colored red and the other pair is colored blue representing each corner. They are light, with more padding than a professional glove. You will only ever need these if you are going to fight at an amateur level. They are good for training bag work, pad work or sparring. Most of these gloves are fitted with a strap instead of lace up, so there is also more of a chance of these gloves coming loose. They are also shiny and bright so that the judges may see the punches easier.

4. Professional Gloves

Professional gloves are really never needed unless you plan on fighting professionally. They cost quite more than training or bag gloves. They are laced up and tied like most professional gloves and the padding is more firm, which makes them slightly smaller than that of an amateur glove. These are built directly for competition focused on offense, which sacrifices both hand protection and comfort. They are also made out of cow and/or sheep hide as opposed to the cheaper vinyl outer layer of the amateur glove. Professional gloves weigh between 8 oz and 12 oz for competition and they are designed to deliver the sharpest blow with each punch.

5. Sparring Gloves

Sparring gloves are made with the purpose of being able to fight each other, with a decreased chance of a knockout or injury. You can use really any glove you would like to spar, but these gloves are designed specifically with sparring in mind. They are usually more heavily padded with an optimized weight distribution for a lighter impact. More often than not, your instructor will choose the right gloves for you for sparring. Trust what they suggest to you. There are so many gloves designed for sparring that you could easily end up choosing the wrong pair for yourself. Sparring gloves also come in different weights also, but it is preferred you spar with a 14-16 oz glove or higher depending on your body weight.

6. Muay Thai Gloves

The Muay Thai glove style is completely different from standard boxing gloves. Muay Thai is done with both kicking and punching, and some of the punching requires spinning attacks using the back of your hand. With that thought in mind, Muay Thai gloves are specially designed for this and have padding on the back of the hand and along the side as well. They also have more flexibility in the grip, allowing the fighter to grab kicks and implement the clinch. Although these gloves can be pretty versatile, they are designed with focus on Muay Thai and Kickboxing.

7. MMA Gloves

MMA gloves are technically not boxing gloves and are designed specifically for MMA. They are lighter and smaller at only 4-8oz. You will not need these for any type of Boxing, Muay Thai, or Kickboxing. They are fingerless, with an open style grip allowing for takedowns, grappling, clinch work and utilizing submissions. You can train with these, but if you are an amateur, you will probably want to stick with the standard boxing glove or training/pad gloves.

8. Cardio Kickboxing/Fitness Gloves

These gloves are intended for light use, with little or no contact at all. These gloves are often used in Cardio Kickboxing or workouts that emphasize aerobics. They are very inexpensive and easy to use, but provide very little protection. They are perfect for someone who does a lot of shadow boxing. Shadow boxing is where you stand and use your boxing moves against an imaginary fighter, focusing on your speed and form. Most often these gloves are 16oz gloves. They are a little heavier so that when shadow boxing the added weight feels like the resistance you would feel as if you were making contact. Great gloves for the first time buyer.

9. Semi-Contact Gloves

Semi-contact gloves are a specially designed glove for use in Karate and Taekwondo style martial arts. These gloves would be considered a midway point between boxing gloves and MMA style gloves. The padding is minimal, made of foam and are only used in semi contact sports, like Karate tournaments and sparring. They provide half as much protection as a standard boxing glove, so they are not suitable for boxing, Muay Thai or Kickboxing. These gloves are what you want if you or your child is fairly new to either Karate or Taekwondo and are planning to spar in class or fight in competitions.

10. Traditional Bag Gloves

These gloves are smaller than a standard boxing glove, which provides less protection. These gloves are cheap and are usually found paired with a heavy bag upon purchase. They are usually crafted with cheap materials, less padding and wrist support. The shape and style is generic and it is recommended to just stay clear of this cheap style of glove in order to avoid injury to yourself. The only time I could see using these for anything would be a no contact, heavy bag workout or a Cardio Kickboxing class with no contact.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to selecting the perfect pair of boxing gloves. Be sure to take the time to think about what you will specifically be using the gloves for, and then you can better determine which ones will be the best fit for your needs.


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