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How to Choose the Best Boxing Gloves: A Detailed Guide

How to Choose the Best Boxing Gloves: A Detailed Guide

You’ll find a wide selection of boxing gloves with various weights and styles. There are also different brands and prices. Now, with almost hundreds of gloves what will you choose? Here is a detailed guideline on how to choose the best boxing gloves suited for you. Everyone has their own way of picking gloves, but we will provide you a general idea on how people who bought boxing gloves for others and for themselves pick.

In this guide you’ll learn:
1. How To Pick the Right Size
2. How To Choose the Right Glove-Type
3. Do Brands Matter?
4. Does Color Matter?
5. Lace-Up vs. Velcro
6. Leather vs. Vinyl
7. How Do You Define a Good Pair?
8. Rules of Thumb Before Buying Boxing Gloves

Disclosure:  Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.  Please understand I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.  Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.


Glove size is displayed as ounce or oz. The most common sizes available are 8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz, 14 oz and 16 oz. There are no odd sizes (9 oz, 11 oz, 13 oz, and so on). It is worth noting that glove size and glove weight are different. Sizing does correspond with the weight of the glove, but not all the time. This means buying gloves sized at 16 oz does not mean they weigh exactly 16 oz.

Sizes are classified to easily know what glove weight a boxer should train in. Glove weight is important because it has to fit your chosen method of use. For example, bigger gloves have more padding, in turn, offer better hand better protection. These are best if you hit the heavy bag, mitts and other boxing training aids. Another example is how professional boxers often train in heavier gloves. They want to get accustomed to the heavier gloves’ weight so their hands will be faster during fight night.

Below are general guidelines on what size of boxing gloves you should wear according to height and weight.

glove size

Commonly used for Sparring: 16 oz – regardless of weight

Commonly used for Competition:  8 oz and 10 oz – regardless of weight
*sometimes it depends on match regulations. In most fights, these are the normal sizes used by professional boxers.

Now you know what size you’re going to get. But before buying the boxing gloves, you should first wear them with hand wraps on. If you don’t have hand wraps with you while shopping (like most people), get a roll of quarters in your palm and wear the boxing gloves.

You could also measure the circumference of your hand before going to the store. Here is a 30-second video by RINGSIDE on how to measure hand circumference:

  • 6” – 7.5” circumference, 12oz
  • 7.5” – 8.5” circumference, 14oz
  • 8.5” – 9.5” circumference, 16oz
  • 9.5” and above circumference, 18oz or 20oz

You know it’s the best boxing gloves size for you when it has snug fit, is comfortable to wear, with fingertips reaching the top of the glove, and it won’t take a lot of force to make a fist.


To avoid wasting money, you should know what glove-type you need. There are different glove types. Each glove type has their own purpose.

1. Bag Gloves

Bag glovesBag gloves protect your hand and not what you’re hitting. These are used for heavy bags, double end bags and other training aids. Their main purpose is to protect your knuckles while hitting the bags hard. They also accustom your knuckles for harder impact.

There are two types of Bag Gloves:

1. The Classic Bag Gloves

2. The Modern Bag Gloves

The difference between the two is padding. The classic bag gloves are not recommended. Proper technique could not be reinforced while wearing these gloves. Most boxers know when they threw an improper punch because they feel it right away – may it be pain or an awkward landing upon impact. If you ever throw one with these on, you will not feel anything due to its dense padding.

Classic Bag gloves don’t offer much wrist support, cushion and doesn’t weigh as much as a typical fight glove, training glove, or sparring glove.

Meanwhile, modern bag gloves remedy what the classic bag gloves lack. They are more padded and more protective than their predecessors. Wrist support, decent cushion, knuckle protection and proper weight are very much present in these gloves. It’s the best boxing gloves if you’re into fitness boxing or you’re just starting out.

Modern bag gloves are basically training gloves that are more padded, hand-friendly and user-friendly.

2. Sparring Gloves
Winning Boxing Gloves

Sparring gloves are made to protect you and your sparring partner. It’s meant to develop skill and technique; not to knock your partner out. Most sparring gloves have balanced weight distribution — from the padded knuckles to the wrist support. They are similar to competition gloves, but they are bigger and more padded.

Gloves with good cushioning properties make great sparring gloves. 16 oz boxing gloves are the norm in spar sessions, regardless of the user’s weight, because hits won’t be as damaging than hitting with glove sizes 14 oz or below. It is also heavier and, thus, a good conditioning tool to increase endurance and stamina, especially in the shoulders.

3. Training Gloves

Winning Boxing Gloves

Almost every boxer has a pair of training gloves. These gloves are said to be made for all training purposes – heavy bags, mitts training, sparring, everything. However, you’ll soon realize it’s hard to obtain a perfect glove that can do both. Some training gloves are not soft enough for sparring or thick enough for heavy bag hitting.

These are perfect for people that are starting out and don’t know what gloves to get. Branded training gloves are also fairly cheap. If you want cheap all-purpose gloves that are mid-quality, then get ones from either Title, Everlast or Rival.

4. Fighting/Pro gloves

Winning Boxing Gloves

Fighting gloves, the gloves used for fight night, have smaller padding and more compact to hurt your opponent. This is its only purpose and nothing else. It is dangerous to use these for anything else because it will hurt your hands. Despite only having one purpose, boxers spend a great deal money for their fighting gloves.

5. Cardio Gloves
Winning Boxing Gloves

Cardio gloves are used on hitting heavy bags and mitts. That’s why they have thick padding to abosrb impact. However, don’t get these if you’re going to transition to boxing because these won’t last. They have the least amount of padding in this list and will fall apart faster, too.


6. Muay Thai/Kick Boxing Gloves
Winning Boxing Gloves

As Muay Thai and Kick Boxing are going global, their boxing glove brands are also getting more popular and have improved in quality. Their gloves have comparable characteristics with traditional training gloves and sparring gloves; only theirs are more flexible to grab opponents and use their hands during fights.




General Guidelines on Choosing Boxing Glove Type

– Buy more flexible gloves if you need it for martial arts.
– Buy thick padded gloves if you are hitting heavy bags and mitts only
– Buy heavier gloves (14 oz and up) if you are training to get in the ring.
– Buy lighter gloves (10 oz and below) if you are competing in the ring
– Buy all-purpose training gloves if you are not yet sure what to get. They are highly recommended as starter gloves

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