Boxing is a great way to stay not only physically but mentally fit — just look at Muhammad Ali or the First Lady Cecilia Brækhus. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s a fantastic way to blow off some steam. Although it's highly likely that people have been swinging fists at one another since the beginning of time, fighting as a form of sport was first seen a few centuries ago. Boxing, also referred to as “pugilism”, has been considered a form of sport since the early days of 1500 BC and was a popular combat sport between Gladiators in ancient Rome.
During the 1800’s, the Queensbury rules were introduced that standardized ring sizes, length of rounds, and began requiring fighters to wear gloves. Now, you may think of boxing as just a bunch of really jacked people landing blow after blow until someone ends up on the floor, when in reality, it’s so much more. Pierce Egan, a sport writer and journalist of the 1800’s was the first to describe boxing as a “sweet science”. Skill, thought, preparation and heart are all vital components needed in boxing that equate to performance. From amateur to professional boxing, there's a number of different types of boxing, moves and equipment that vary depending on your personal preference and fighting style.
One of the most vital, if not the most important piece of equipment, is a boxer's gloves. Designed for different uses, the style of glove you buy all depends on what you’ll use them for. Basic gloves are usually inexpensive and can function for all different styles of fighting making them ideal for beginners. Serious fighters looking for sparring or competition gloves may opt for custom gloves made of more expensive material that typically provides more durability and wrist support.
When buying a set of boxing gloves, especially online, consider your weight, the circumference of your hand and what you’ll be using your glove for to help you find a set that coincide with your specific needs. Below we outline some of the best boxing gloves to help you find the right style.
If you’re new to the boxing world and in search of some quality training gloves, the Everlast Pro Style gloves will not disappoint. With over 10,000 reviews on Amazon, these are the perfect all around training gloves that are ideal for sparring, heavy bag and mitt work. Equipped with a full mesh palm to help your hand breathe, these gloves use an antibacterial treatment to help fight off odours and bacteria and come fully padded with two layers of foam for max absorbency.
These Everlast synthetic leather pro style gloves are the perfect set for sparring, mitt work and heavy bag workouts. Built with an hourglass shape these gloves will conform naturally to your fist and help promote proper form for every jab, cross and uppercut. Loaded with full front, back and wrist padding to absorb impact, these gloves are a great go to option.
Basic boxing gloves are the most common type of gloves on the market. Their simple designs, easy to clean material, foam padding and an adjustable velcro band makes them an inexpensive but worthy product. These ZTTY gloves are no different. With an extra thick and extra wide wrist strap these gloves are great for people with larger hands and come in different sizes ranging from 8 oz to 16 oz. Made with high quality PU leather and latex with a breathable design, these gloves are the perfect introductory boxing gloves.
The Hayabusa S4 boxing gloves are a professional style of glove ideal for both men and women that will provide you with all the support and durability you need. These versatile gloves can be used not only for boxing, but fitness boxing, kickboxing, muay thai and MMA styles as well. Built with single splint wrist support, a Velcro closure with elastic strap and a mesh palm, this glove is sure to provide a comfortable ergonomic fit.
While children's safety is always a high priority as a parent, boxing can actually be really beneficial when taught by a qualified coach. Most times in children's boxing there is very minimal contact, and when contact does occur, emphasis is placed on technique rather than hurting the other fighter. Boxing can help children channel their energy and aggression and decompress it by building confidence and learning self-restraint. The Xnature gloves are ideal for kids aged five to 12 and are built with an adjustable wrist strap to help provide wrist support and a comfortable fit - not to mention it comes in three fun colours!
Kickboxing: Kickboxing is a popular form of boxing that incorporates the use of legs and feet to strike opponents in addition to your hands.
Muay Thai: Also known as Thai boxing, this style uses an 8-point striking system where fighters use their fists, elbows, knees and shins in addition to kicks and punches.
Shadow Boxing: This is a style of boxing used for practice and warm up drills where boxers throw punches at a target in the air.
Fitness Boxing: Fitness boxing has no contact between participants, is used typically in classes and incorporates shadow boxing and bag workouts to build strength, speed, agility, coordination and endurance.
Gloves: Boxing gloves are an essential piece of equipment and can be used for different aspects of boxing like sparring and bag work. Gloves typically fall into two categories: basic and specialized/custom. Basic gloves are the best all-in-one gloves and are great for beginners. This style is easily accessible and often inexpensive, made out of fully synthetic material with foam padding. Custom gloves are more expensive due to their higher quality material and lace up styles. These gloves are ideal for more serious and professional fighters.
Hand Wraps: Hand wraps are made of cloth or elastic straps that are looped through your fingers and around your wrists that work to compress your hand and help prevent injury by providing wrist and knuckle support. When trying on gloves, you should wear hand wraps underneath to help get a sense of how loose or tight the fit is.
Boxing Shoes: If you’re a beginner, it's likely you won’t need to invest in boxing shoes, although some gyms might not allow regular footwear to be worn. Boxing shoes are lightweight, tight fitting high-tops with rubber soles that give boxers ankle support while providing traction, breathability and fast footwork.
Protective Gear: When sparring, a mouthguard is essential. If you're participating in more serious styles of boxing, investing in a cup and headgear will also be necessary to protect your groin, face and ears.
If you’re shopping online, measure the circumference of your hand at the widest part without the thumb, then follow sizing charts to find the right fit. For example, if your hand’s circumference is 5”- 6”, then a youth sized glove is ideal. If you have 6” to 7 ½” circumference, buy a small, and so on and so forth.
Boxing can be a really beneficial form of exercise that helps you in all aspects of your life. And at the end of the day, the kind of boxing glove you buy is all up to you. You know how often it will be used and what level of boxing you’re at. Whether you want to spar, compete or simply just workout, the very basic requirements you should ask of your gloves is to keep your hands as protected as possible so you can enjoy your workout.
We're always looking for more feedback! If you've purchased one of these boxing gloves on this list and would like to share your experience, please comment below and let us know what you think about our picks.