The perfect boxing gloves can help optimize the performance of a boxer, which is why picking the right one is crucial – especially for those who are into competitive amateur and professional boxing.
The right boxing glove type and size will be able to provide the boxer with outstanding comfort, wrist support, and protection – thus, allowing them to throw anything from lightning-fast jabs to powerful haymakers with ease.
As with other protective gear, the boxing glove’s benefits and advantages can only be obtained by wearing the proper size. For beginners, being introduced to a wide range of boxing gloves can be quite overwhelming as there are a handful of factors you need to consider.
In this article, we will help you understand how to pick the correct boxing glove size by giving you pointers and tips that you can apply when looking for one at your local sports shop.
You will learn about the wide variety of boxing gloves available (yes, several types are designed for different aspects of this contact sports) as well as how to fully optimize their use to deliver the best results during training. Now, then – let us ring that bell and start the sweet science of boxing gloves.
The Different Types of Boxing Gloves
Boxing glove sizes do not just affect the fit. A common beginner’s mistake is using the right size boxing glove for the wrong task. As with hardware tools, the right type and size of the boxing glove are designed for a particular use. Understanding where a particular type of boxing glove is best utilized is crucial to help push your performance to its full potential. Below are the types of boxing gloves and which boxing activity they should be used in:
- Bag Gloves
Pretty self-explanatory from its name, bag gloves are designed for use during training – specifically during heavy bags, speed bags, and pad training. This type of boxing glove tends to utilize a little less padding than the competition and sparring gloves.
The reason for the reduced amount of foam padding is to allow you to get a good feel of how your punches are landing. Bag gloves are best suited for beginners who are still in the process of tweaking and sharpening their punches.
- Training Gloves
If you are looking for all-around boxing gloves, then you should check out the training glove category as it fits that bill to the letter. Training gloves found a balance that allows it to have adequate padding for sparring while also being light enough for speed training. However, its “Jack of all Trades” also meant that it is a “Master of None”. Still, this is the most versatile boxing glove for training and is a safe and practical choice for beginners.
- Sparring Gloves
Sparring gloves utilize extra padding to reduce the chances of injuries, specifically to your sparring partner. This type of boxing glove is the next logical step once you are ready to take the next step in your training and get inside the ring for an actual sparring match.
- Competition Gloves
This type of boxing glove is designed for the competition which means it is lighter and has less padding. Basically, this boxing glove is more focused on offering protection for your hands rather than your opponent. Amateur boxing gloves go through much stricter rules and regulation processes in comparison to professional boxing gloves.
Boxing Glove Sizes and Measurement Tips
To gain the full benefits of a boxing glove, first, it needs to fit comfortably snug on your hands. If you check the boxing glove section of your favorite sports shop, you will notice that each glove displays its sizes using ‘ounces’.
The lightest boxing glove is 6 oz. and the heaviest can reach up to 20 oz. To determine the right boxing glove size, you will need to apply three specific measurements into the equation:
- Dominant hand’s circumference
Determining your height and weight is pretty straightforward as all you need is a measuring tape and weighing scale. It is in the hand circumference measurement which may give you pause. Fortunately, taking your hand circumference is just as simple once you know which part of your hands to measure.
You can use a standard measuring tape, but we recommend you use fabric tape on this occasion. To measure, open your dominant hand and place the measuring tape below your knuckles and wrap it around up and over your palm back to the center.
If you don’t have a fabric tape measure, you can simply use a string and wrap it around your hand. Mark the measurement and measure it using either a ruler or a stiff measuring tape. While hand circumference will be the core factor to consider, your height and weight must still be considered if you wish to optimize your options.
One of the most common mistakes you can make when it comes to choosing the correct boxing glove is treating it as if choosing clothes.
Many people still don’t understand clearly about sizing in Boxing Gloves. There are still many who think sizing in boxing gloves is like sizing clothes (example: S-M-L-XL) which makes the difference in each size is the length & width or its fit.
The fact is that boxing gloves have different weights to each size, therefore boxing gloves use oz (ounces) as their metric format. Each size (oz.) also dictates as to which task the boxing glove is suited for – keep this in mind.
Boxing Glove Sizing Guideline
To be specific an amateur boxing glove has three sizes. As we have stated earlier, amateur boxing employs stricter rules and regulations when it comes to boxing gloves. As such, amateur boxing glove sizes have strict implementation as to which weight class they can be used. Boxers in and under the light welterweight class typically use 10 oz. gloves.
The standard weight in this class is 141 lbs. Those who fight in the welterweight division up super heavyweight wear 12 oz. gloves with their weight ranging above 201 lbs. In the Master Division (boxers who are age 41 and above), 17 oz.
the boxing glove is the norm. As for professional boxers, their boxing gloves are divided into two categories. Boxers in the welterweight division typically wear 8 oz. glove while those in the super welterweight and above use 10 oz. boxing gloves.
To further clarify and help you determine the right boxing glove size, we created a little chart here that shows the boxing glove size as well as the height, weight, and hand circumference that they are best suited for – check it out down below:
Heavy Bag and Boxing Pad Glove Size Guide:
- 8 oz. = 88–119 lbs.
- 10 oz. = 119–150 lbs.
- 12 oz. = 150-185 lbs.
- 14 oz. = 185 lbs. and above
Sparring Boxing Glove Size Guide:
- 12 oz. = 88-119 lbs.
- 14 oz. = 119-150 lbs.
- 16 oz. 150-185 lbs.
- 16 oz.+ = 185 lbs. and above
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.s) Regarding Boxing Gloves
Are hand wraps essentially when wearing boxing gloves?
Yes. Hand wraps are mandatory to make sure that you don’t injure your hands as well as provide extra stability for your wrist. Sparring and even training with heavy bags, speed bags, and pads should not be done without wearing both boxing gloves with hand wraps within.
Can I clean my boxing gloves and how do I go about cleaning it?
Yes, and you should. Cleaning must be done with a clean, damp, soft cloth. When cleaning leather gloves, it is vital to use leather wipes and clean the outer shell with extra care. As for vinyl boxing gloves, you can use a clean cloth dipped in warm water.
As to no circumstances should you clean your boxing gloves in a washing machine as this will most likely cause damage to your gloves?
If you find that your boxing gloves have developed an undesirable odor, don’t fret as there are ways to treat this issue. Personally, I prefer applying lavender oil to both disinfect and deodorize my gloves when it starts developing that old familiar smell.
But as they say, “prevention is better than cure”, and that applies to boxing glove maintenance as well. A final piece of advice I can give you when it comes to proper boxing glove maintenance is to air it after every training session.
Are boxing gloves designed to be unisex?
Not exactly. Men and women’s boxing gloves may come with similar size categories, but they will differ significantly in a way that affects overall fit on the hands. For example, women’s boxing gloves have a narrower internal compartment compared to men’s gloves.
You can still apply the chart above when it comes to figuring out your boxing glove size, but take note of the difference when it comes to the internal hand compartments spacing.
How do I know if I’m wearing boxing gloves properly?
Boxing gloves need to fit snugly on your hands. It should slip, shift, or wobble. However, avoid having it being too tight. If you feel that the boxing glove is squeezing your hands, then try to readjust it to avoid cutting off the blood circulation to your hands. You will want to avoid that.
What material is best used for boxing glove construction?
The best boxing gloves in the market are made of genuine leather. However, these gloves tend to be more expensive. An alternative would be PU leather gloves which are cheaper but may not be as durable as its leather counterpart.
You should also look for boxing gloves that utilize high-density polyurethane padding as this provides excellent shock absorption capabilities. Thumb positioning is also crucial for hand protection, so pick one that allows you to ball up your fist comfortably.
Are there boxing gloves for kids?
Yes, there are boxing gloves designed for kids, but it is important that you apply the same level of scrutiny in choosing as you would with an adult boxing glove. Put more emphasis on protection and support when it comes to kid’s boxing gloves.
Kids boxing gloves don’t need to be made from high-quality leather though. A simple vinyl boxing glove will do just fine as we are talking as this is an entry-level category.
As for the sizes, children’s boxing gloves come in 2 oz, 4 oz, and 6 oz. and are designed for children ages three to ten years of age.
Should I go with lace-up or Velcro enclosures?
Lace-up boxing gloves provide the best fit and wrist support; however, you need to consider that it can’t be properly worn without assistance. This makes lace-up boxing gloves not very practical for non-professionals. Generally, I would always go with Velcro strap boxing gloves as it is more convenient and provides a nigh-identical level of wrist support when worn properly. Lace-up boxing gloves are best suited for the pros.
When it comes to choosing the best boxing glove, size is just one factor to consider. You should also take into account which boxing activity you will be using the gloves. Once you have that established, you are on your way to narrowing down suitable candidates in the market.
As we have stated earlier, heavier and larger gloves offer optimum protection at the expense of speed and proper form. For training purposes, this is not much of an issue. However, heavier boxing gloves should not be worn during the competition as it is more of a handicap than anything else.
Boxing is an excellent sport to engage in as it not only helps improve one’s physical health, it can also offer positive effects to their confidence and even provide reliable self-defense techniques. Hopefully, this article has shed light on how you should go about choosing the right boxing glove size as well as other noteworthy knowledge regarding boxing glove care and maintenance.
I highly recommend you go with the best possible option, even if it is slightly expensive. Speaking from experience, you cannot replace the advantages of having a boxing glove that feels like it is made specifically for you.