How to pick the right boxing gloves
Owning your own gloves is absolutely essential if you plan to seriousely train in boxing. It’s the one thing that you can’t do without.
When I started boxing, my first pair of gloves were a gift from a friend. They were slightly worn out but still good enough for training, at least for a while. They lasted for a couple of months before the outside stiches started tearing and the padding started to come out.
The gloves weren’t that high quality to begin with and they were free so I decided to just get myself some new ones instead of trying to salvage them. It was my first time buying gloves though so before I picked my gloves, I made sure that I read up on them and asked the trainers what to look for.
Here are a couple of things that I learned about picking boxing gloves that will hopefully be useful when you buy yours.
Make sure they fit but are comofrtable
It is very important that you buy gloves that you’re comfortable wearing. This involves proper fit and the type of material that the glove is made off.
Make sure that you give the glove a try before you buy it. Most stores will allow you to do this. Also keep in mind that you will be wearing boxing wraps when you train, so make sure that the gloves aren’t so tight that they won’t be comfortable anymore once you have your wraps on.
Check the stiffness of the gloves as well. Most gloves, are like shoes, they’ll seem stiff at first but will loosen up as you use them. So it’s usually ok for them to be a little hard (but not too much) when you first get them.
Just like shoes as well, check how well the gloves fit your hand. Are the fingers too tightly packed? Do they reach the end of the glove? Can you open and close the glove without too much difficulty? Make sure that you’re satisfied with the answers to these questions.
Remember that the glove you’ll be buying could be the one you’ll be using for months or even years to come so it’s best that you buy one that you like and that you’re comfortable with. Also you’ll be wearing the same glove for one to two hours (or more) when you train and any small inconvenience that you feel when you try them on at the store might seem insignificant at first, but those will be magnified once you start training with them. So be really picky with your gloves.
Boxing Glove Size vs. Boxing Glove Weight
One confusing thing about boxing gloves is that the glove size is different from glove weight. I know this is something that would seem to be fairly obviouse, but because most stores use the glove weight as the measurement for size when you buy one, everyone gets confused. The reason they do this is understandable though. It’s because most of the heavier gloves are big and most of the lighter ones are small.
In reality though, Boxing Glove Weight refers to how heavy the gloves are (Duhhh) not their size. One thing to keep in mind is that the heavier the gloves, the more the padding. That’s where most of the weight comes from. More padding also means more protection for your hands so people who punch hard or train a lot will usually be better off with heavier gloves. Heavier gloves are also good to train with because you expend more energy when using them, your muscles are stressed a lot more (so they’ll develop better), and you get used to punching with heavy gloves making it easier for you to use fighting gloves when you spar or actually fight (official gloves usually weight in at around 8 oz to 10 oz).
If you’re curious how much my gloves weight, they’re 16 oz once. I used to wear a 12 oz pair but then they tore already (like I said above). I trained a lot when I started as well and I noticed that 12 oz gloves (at least the ones I used) were still a bit lacking in padding for my taste. My skin started to flake still and would sometimes wound because they lacked protection. It could’ve been because I was still new to training so my knuckles weren’t used to the intensity yet. But I decided to get heavier gloves anyway just to be sure.
Now moving on to Boxing Glove Sizes. Glove sizes are like shirt sizes, you’ll find small, medium, large and even XL ones. The smaller gloves are for people with small hands and the bigger ones for the people who have bigger hands (I’m mister obviouse I know). Usually the glove sizes correspont to body size but this isn’t always the case. There are some really large people with small hands and the opposite is true as well. And this is when glove weight becomes important actually. Because some of the big guys puch hard but have really small hands. So they’ll get medium or small gloves but will pick ones that are heavily padded. These are not very easy to find though because manufacturers don’t make many of these.
Rough Guide for Picking Gloves
A rough guide I use (and this is just mine, it’s not the end-all guide for glove selection) and one that I tell my friends is to determine first how heavy they want their gloves to be, based on personal preference and training intensity.
I normally don’t like gloves that weigh less than 14 oz for training so my staples start at that weight and go up to 20. I like the additional weight on the hands because it adds a little more difficulty to the training. And of course it’s also added protecion.
So I go with the glove weight first before I look into the size and fit of the glove. If you’ve got regular sized hands you shouldnt find it too difficult to finds glove sizes that are perfect for you fit wise. If you’re part of the marginal group though then you might have to order gloves online or look for specialty stores that cary ones in your prefered size and weight.
For guys with average weight I normally tell them to just get 16 oz gloves because they’re great for building muscle and for protection. Some of my friends don’t like it though because they’re a bit heavy and go for 14s. You can too if that’s what you want. I come from a weight lifting background so I like the added weight. I probably wouldve gone for 20 ones too if I found one lol. I can’t remember exactly where I got my glove but I know it was in Robinsons Manila, probably Tobys but I’m not 100% sure.
For girls 14 oz or 12 oz ones are usually ok. A friend of mine who used to train with me got 14 oz gloves and she didn’t seem to have any problem with them.
Now if you’re thinking of fighting professionally or even just in inter gym tournaments, glove weight for professional fights are usually eighter 8 oz or 10 oz.
Always pick good quality gloves
I already said it before but always pick quality over price if you can. My gloves have been with me for 2 or 3 years now and I believe they cost somewhere in the 2,500 – 3K (pesos) range. They’re really well made though and I’ve seen no tears whatsoever so far.
If you get a cheap one, 1k range, then chances are you’ll be buying a new one in a couple of months or a year. But that’s not really the biggest problem with these. The one you really want to avoid is being injured because your gloves don’t provide enough protection to your knuckles or to your wrist.
So it’s better to just pick a quality glove the first time you buy one.
Other things to keep in mind when picking gloves
- Real leather gloves are usually better than their synthetic counterparts although there are really nice synthetic ones as well in the higher price range.
- Never buy laced gloves for training. They might look cool but it’s too difficult to put on and remove. Get strapped ones instead.
- Don’t forget to leave room for wraps when picking gloves.
That’s it for this post. Leave a comment below if you have any questions or if you have other glove buying/selection tips.
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