What Types Of Boxing Gloves Are There

If you have been training for a while or are starting with a fresh start, you will surely notice that the boxing gloves are different from each other. There are so many variations and that each type has its application title and its specificities. We have summarized the majority of the Boxing Glove styles that exist.

Training/bag gloves

These are versatile boxing gloves everybody has used. They are made for work in bags and pads, however their versatility and utility are usually adapted to any type of training. For the majority of the tasks you will perform, you will still need these pairs of gloves. The labeling of training gloves is not related to all general purpose gloves, they are commonly known as boxing gloves.

Sparring gloves

The purpose of boxing gloves is to protect you and your partner in combat, not to knock them out. A pair of boxing gloves is usable for the fight (assuming that their weight is correct). The combat gloves and training gloves are slightly similar, but are distinguished by the softness of its padding to reduce shocks. When selling Sparring gloves, the weights vary considerably. It is recommended to use only 14 oz or more, depending on your weight.

During the fight, the decision to wear or not wear a pair of gloves always returns to the coach. Your coach is much more experienced and probably knows many more things than you. Therefore, if he thinks that the weight of the gloves is bad, that they are not insured or that they are not acceptable, listen to him. It is advisable to know the glove weight that your gym offers you to use as a spar and be certain to buy a famous brand glove. All this is logical. We strongly advise against using gloves from a brand that is not specialized in the field.

Amateur Competition Gloves

You’ll probably never need to buy yourself a pair of these, but it’s worth knowing what they are. Amateur boxing competitions tend to use a specific style of gloves, which are usually provided to the fighters by the promotion. The gloves are typically colored red or blue, depending on the fighters corner. It’s also not unusual for the knuckle area of the glove to be highlighted. These features make it much clearer for the judges to score the fight.

Professional gloves

You should only really be worried about professional gloves if you’re planning on competing. As the name suggests, these are boxing gloves which are specifically built for use in professional competition, and often sacrifice hand protection and sometimes comfort to maximize offence. Usually the padding is much firmer, also making the gloves smaller and more compact. In a way these gloves are designed to deliver as sharp a blow as possible with each punch. Professional boxing gloves aren’t really suited to everyday training and shouldn’t really be used much outside competition. For most competitions you’ll be using 8oz or 10oz gloves depending on the weight. Pro gloves are almost always lace-up, as it’s rare for high level competitions to allow Velcro boxing gloves at all.

Don’t be fooled by the ‘pro-style’ boxing gloves sold for dirt cheap in your local sports store, those are just brands using the term as an advertising gimmick and are often just basic training gloves. True professional boxing gloves aren’t cheap in the slightest, and many boxers pay hundreds for a good pair.

Mexican style boxing gloves

In the early days of boxing when boxing gloves were big bubbles of padding, Mexican style gloves were vastly unique. Their sleeker shape and tighter padding made them stand out. These days, the features are more standard, and the term has been thrown around a lot more, however there are still a number of ‘Mexican style gloves’ available. In essence, they’re really a sub-category of professional boxing gloves.

Muay Thai gloves

Muay Thai is a completely different sport to boxing, and the boxing gloves have developed accordingly. The gloves are aimed more at kickboxers who need a move versatile boxing glove. Thailand has a large number of glove manufacturers which each excel in different aspects, however all of them focus a lot more on a more distributed padding for better protection on the back of the hand, and a lot more flexibility in the grip, allowing the palm to open more to catch kicks. It’s not uncommon for brands to have extra padding down the side of the palm as well. Some people simply prefer the shape of Muay Thai gloves, while some people don’t at all, however it’s important to bear in mind the subtle features which make them slightly more suitable for kickboxing and Muay Thai.

Other types of gloves

There are a few other types of glove you should be aware of. We’ll quickly break these down so you know what else is out there when you look for boxing gloves. These gloves tend to have much more specific uses, and often aren’t usable in boxing, kickboxing or Muay Thai.

Traditional bag gloves are a smaller alternative to boxing gloves with minimum protection. These lack many of the protective properties of full boxing gloves. Often gyms won’t let you train with these, although they’re still sold by many retailers, and often come bundled in free with punching bags. We personally recommend to just steer clear altogether if you can help it. The shape is often just generic and the padding minimal, with little or no wrist support.

MMA gloves have developed specifically for Mixed Martial Arts. While not technically boxing gloves, they are used for a similar purpose. Unlike boxing gloves, these are fingerless, often with an open palm, to allow easier grappling. If you’re training in boxing or Muay Thai, you shouldn’t need to use these.

If you’re wondering what boxing gloves you need, here are a few main things to consider:

  • Are the gloves for competition or training?

  • If competition, what weight of gloves is required for your weight class?

  • If training, what will the gloves be used for? Bag/pad work, sparring, or a bit of both?

  • Are you going to be using it for a sport where you’ll need to block/catch kicks?

  • Are you buying specific gloves for each activity, or one pair which you can use for everything?

With these in mind, and the information above, you should be able to identify the type of glove you’re going to need. If you still aren’t sure, ask us in the comments section and we’ll try and help you out, or ask for your coach’s recommendation.