If you’re in a hurry, and just want to find out what the best boxing gloves are, then for beginners my favourite are the Everlast Pro Style Training Gloves. For advanced fighters I recommend the Winning MS600 Training Boxing Gloves as the best boxing gloves. If you’re on a budget, I recommend the Ringside IMF Tech Hook and Loop Boxing Gloves.

The boxing glove is one of the most iconic pieces of gear in popular culture. Not only in boxing, but in all manner of sports – from professional boxing and MMA, to people doing their cardio workout after a long day at the office, to anything in between. 

But with so many possible uses, many people don’t even know where to start looking when it comes to boxing gloves. What IS a good boxing glove, anyway?

The short answer is – it depends. As for the long answer – read on, and find out how to find the best boxing gloves for you!

Best Gloves for Beginners

Review: Everlast Pro Style Training Gloves

Everlast was founded in 1910, and they’ve been making boxing equipment since 1917. Since then, they’ve gone on to become one of the most recognizable boxing brands in the world. Their Pro Style Training Gloves are one of the most popular boxing gloves for beginners, and when you look at them, you can clearly see why.

They’re quite inexpensive, and are perfect if you’re just starting out, and aren’t sure if you want to train boxing in the long term. They’re not made of leather (they use 80% polyurethane and 20% plastic), but they’re surprisingly durable.

They’re not completely closed off, meaning they offer a decent breathability.

Some users complain that they smell bad after use, but as long as you don’t leave them in a closed area (e.g. your gym bag), and let them ventilate, then you should be fine.

If you hit very hard, then you might feel the padding getting thin, and you could start feeling your hands getting sore.  If this feeling continues even with hand wraps, then you should consider upgrading to a more heavy-duty pair of gloves. As it stands, though, these are a great option for beginners.

Pros:

  • Low price point
  • Very durable for non-leather gloves
  • Easy to put on and off by yourself

Cons:

  • Synthetic materials. Low breathability
  • Not recommended if you hit very hard

Review: Trideer Pro Grade Boxing Gloves

Trideer are another good option if you’re on a tigher budget. They have multi-layered foam padding, which makes them good for both sparring and bag workout.

However, they’re intended for Muay Thai and kickboxing, which means they have less padding than traditional boxing gloves. They’re also more flexible in the wrist section, meaning less wrist support.

Also, the fact they’re made of synthetic leather means they won’t last for very long.

Pros:

  • Very low price
  • Good durability for the price
  • Good customer service

Cons:

  • Low breathability
  • Weaker wrist support
  • Can break down during very intense workouts

Review: Sanabul Essential Gel Boxing Gloves

Sanabul are a relative newcomer to the world of combat sports. But that doesn’t mean they don’t make some very good equipment.

Their Essential Gel Boxing gloves use gel for their padding, making them a great option for heavy bag training. To that, I’d recommend getting Sanabul’s 16 oz gloves. Not only do they provide more support, but they’re also heavier, which will give you a better workout.

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Decent breathability
  • Wide range of designs

Cons:

  • Some users found the gloves very tight
  • Not the best wrist support

Review: Venum Challenger 2.0 Boxing Gloves

Venum are one of the most recognizable brands in combat sports. Their Challenger 2.0 Boxing Gloves are among their most popular products.

Their padding is made of multi-layered, natural foam, making them a good option for both bag work, and sparring. They’re also quite compact and very well balanced. A lot of users say that sparring with them feels very good.

The palm area is padded very well. Not only can can this help you with blocking, but it’s also good for mitt drills. The padding is so thick that you and your partner can use the gloves instead of focus mitts. And if you both have Challenger 2.0 gloves, you don’t have to waste time changing from mitts to gloves.

The main drawback of these gloves is that they’re made of synthetic leather. While the material they’re made of is better than most other synthetic gloves, chances are they won’t last as long as gloves made of real leather. And at this price point, there are quite a lot of leather gloves you could go for.

Another thing to note is that these are definitely a striker’s gloves. Their padding is stiff, and when you hit something, you’ll feel it. So if your form isn’t good enough, this could lead to injury. But if you favour a more aggressive boxing style, then this is exactly the type of padding you want.

Pros:

  • Durable for synthetic leather gloves
  • Available in a lot of designs
  • Good balance

Cons:

  • Not a good option if you have sensitive hands
  • Not as durable as a pair of leather gloves
  • Hold more smells than leather gloves

Best Gloves for Advanced Fighters

Review: Cleto Reyes Hook & Loop Training Gloves

Latex is a very responsive material, and it has extremely high recoil

Top-heavy. Not only does the weight give you a good workout, but combined with the latex padding, it helps with recoil, so you’re perfectly set up for the next strike

If you have sensitive hands, or some weakness in your wrists, then these are not the gloves for you. When hitting, especially if your hands aren’t wrapped, you can actually feel your knuckles through the material. 

The low amount of support also means that if your technique isn’t perfect, you are definitely going to feel it.

However, if you’re the type of boxer who likes throwing multiple punches per round, then these are probably the best for you.

Pros:

  • Full grain leather
  • Extremely thick and durable
  • Very good breathability
  • Good range of movement for your hands
  • Good wrist mobility
  • Very good power transfer

Cons:

  • Some people have problems with the thumb area
  • Little padding around the wrist. Worng punch may cause injuries

Review: Winning MS600 Training Boxing Gloves

As a company, Winning has been around since 1937. Based in Japan, they specialize in making some of the best combat sports gear. Their MS600 Boxing Gloves are probably their most recognizable products, and it’s used by professionals and enthusiasts alike.

When talking about Winning, people call them “pillow gloves” due to their excellent padding. Their padding is some of the best you can find. It’s so good, that you can barely feel what you’re hitting. Almost all users find them very comfortable, and a great fit for both sparring and bag work. They’re made of high quality leather, and will definitely last for a very long time.

A lot of professionals train with Winning, due to the superior protection and padding they provide. However, you almost never see them used in tournaments, and there’s a good reason for that. While their padding ensures your partner and your hands are protected, Winning gloves like the MS600 offer a lower power transfer. This makes them not the best fit for use in a tournament.

But as good as these gloves are, they have a big downside. Namely – price. Winning’s boxing gloves are definitely on the high end, and the MS600 are no exception. Still, if you can afford them, then these are definitely the best boxing gloves for very intense and regular workouts. They’re also a good option for people with sensitive hands, or ones with a history in hand injuries.

Pros:

  • Very good wrist support
  • Very comfortable
  • Excellent padding
  • Extremely durable, on account of high quality leather
  • One of the best gloves you can buy
  • Excellent padding. Protects your knuckles very well

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Not for use in a tournament setting

Review: Twins Special Velcro Boxing Gloves

As a brand, Twins mainly specialize in Muay Thai. But their Twins Special Boxing Gloves are a very good fit for boxing, as well.

Made of genuine leather, you can expect these to last you quite a while of intense bagwork or sparring. They have very good padding, even though they may need a couple of training sessions to break in. 

The leather and aeration holes provide a lot of breathability. While your hands may not stay dry, they won’t feel unbearably hot – even during intense workouts.

However, if you have bigger hands, consider other brands, or ordering a larger size than you’re used to. Maybe it’s because they’re based in Thailand, or just because Muay Thai gloves usually run a little smaller, but a lot of people complained about these gloves being smaller than expected.

Pros:

  • Great wrist support
  • Good breathability
  • Good padding
  • Made of leather. Makes them durable, and helps with smell

Cons:

  • Thumb is small. Some users found it uncomfortable
  • May be too small for some users

Review: RIVAL RS100 Pro Sparring Boxing Gloves

Rival is a relatively new company, based in Canada. One of their main selling points is their innovations, and their high quality. Instead of using leather, their RS100 Pro Sparring Gloves are made out of microfiber polyurethane (PU). By most accounts, this makes them almost as strong as leather gloves, and it means that they’ll last you quite a long time. They offer good breathability, but since they’re made from synthetic materials, they may be prone to holding smells.

They use multi-layered foam padding which makes sure your hands stay protected. They’re a good option for both bag work and sparring.

Pros:

  • Good, thick padding. Offer good knuckle protection
  • Very good durability for non-leather gloves
  • Good breathability
  • Don’t hold smells
  • Good for both sparring and bag work

Cons:

  • High price for non-leather gloves
  • Thick padding means you get less feedback in your punches

Review: Ringside IMF Tech Hook and Loop Boxing Training Sparring Gloves

Ringside’s IMF Tech Boxing Gloves are a good option for advanced fighters on a budget. They’re made of leather, have high durability, and use a very secure velcro strap.

While they do need some time to break in, once they do, they offer great knuckle protection thanks to their thick padding. This makes them great for both bag work and sparring. The only drawback to these gloves is their low breathability. They don’t have any breathing holes or mesh. This means you’ll be relying solely on the fact they’re made out of leather, and that can only get you so far.

Still, if you’re on a tighter budget, the Ringside IMF Tech Boxing Gloves offer some great value for money.

Pros:

  • All-leather. Offers great durability
  • Good for both sparring and bag work
  • Good value for money

Cons:

  • Difficult to put on by yourself
  • Low breathability
  • Need some time to break in

Why do I Need Boxing Gloves For, Anyway?

There are many factors that make for a good boxing glove. But before you even start thinking about them, you first need to think why you even need gloves in the first place.

Boxing gloves’ main purpose is to protect your hands from injury. There are 27 bones in your hand. Whenever you punch a hard surface (like a heavy bag, or someone’s face), you put pressure on all of them. If your striking technique isn’t correct, you can do some serious – even permanent – damage to your wrist. This is why it’s vital to use both gloves and hand wraps for combat sports such as boxing, Muay Tha, and MMA.

The other main purpose of boxing gloves is to protect your partner during sparring, as well as to (at least somewhat) mitigate the damage you do to your opponent during a tournament. Those are the two main purposes of boxing gloves. However, you also shouldn’t underestimate their ability to enhance your workout. The added weight can help you develop strength, endurance, and punching speed.

So, taking all of that into account, you should really think about for what purpose you’ll be using your gloves.

Do you plan to do a lot of work on the heavy bag? Maybe you want to do a lot of sparring? Perhaps, you just want to build up your speed and endurance? 

Or maybe you want all of the above?

Once you know the answer to these questions, you’ll know what kind of gloves you’re looking for, and you’ll be able to judge for yourself which of the factors below you need to pay the most attention to.

Man with Boxing Gloves Throwing a Right Cross

Types of Boxing Gloves

Bag Gloves

These are the most common type of gloves. Usually heavier, they have extra padding to cushion the hands when hitting a heavy bag. Not recommended for sparring, as they can really harm your partner.

The extra padding usually makes them heavier, which is a perfect addition to your workout, even if you aren’t doing any bag work. The added weight not only incentivizes keeping proper form, but it can also greatly enhance your endurance.

Sparring Gloves

Sparring gloves emphasize thicker padding so as to minimize the damage you do to your partner.

It’s usually a bad idea to use these gloves on a heavy bag, since that could wear down the padding.

Training Gloves

Training gloves are a middle ground between bag gloves and sparring gloves. However, most of them are better at one of these tasks, and not as good at the other. Many of them are dense, and can really hurt your sparring partner. There are many arguments for and against using training gloves instead of having one pair for bag work, and another pair for sparring. 

A couple of points in favour of having separate pairs is that they won’t wear out as quickly, and that specialized gloves are better at their intended purpose when compared with a jack-of-all-trades. However, having only one set of training gloves has its advantages, too. Not only is it less expensive to have only one pair, but a well constructed training glove can be used for both sparring, and bag work. It’s also a good option if you’re a beginner, and aren’t sure what you want to use your gloves for.

However, bear in mind that the texture and hardness of the heavy bag roughens up a glove’s punching surface, and they gradually wear down the padding. This makes the gloves harder, and could lead to hurting your sparring partner.

So, if you’re not a beginner, and are looking for some good training gloves, be sure you know what type of training you want to be doing. If you plan on doing a lot of bag work and sparring, make sure you pick out something of higher quality. That way the padding will hold up for longer.

Other Types of Gloves

Some other types of gloves include professional and amateur competition gloves. I won’t go into detail about them, since they’re usually provided by the event organizer to ensure a fair fight.

One interesting fact about professional boxing gloves is that they have less padding, and often use horsehair padding in addition to foam or gel. They use horse hair to increase power transferred from the punches. Most commercial gloves don’t use horsehair, because it breaks down quickly, and offers less protection for your hands.

Another interesting glove type are the so-called coach gloves which are a combination of boxing gloves and focus mitts.

Man Throwing Right Overhand

What to Look For

Construction Quality

Construction quality is the most important factor for glove longevity. The best boxing gloves are made of leather. High-quality leather is strong, breathable, looks good, and can last a long time. It’s also a plus if the glove is made of fewer separate pieces of leather. This means there are less seams – and by extension – less places where the glove can fall apart. 

Of course, if you’re a beginner, you can find decent boxing gloves made of synthetic leather or other materials, but bear in mind that they won’t last as long as leather gloves. In addition to being less durable, gloves made of synthetic leather offer less breathability, and are less comfortable.

But even if you do go for real leather, not all leather gloves are made equal. Ideally, you want gloves made entirely of full grain leather – the absolute best quality of leather. 

It’s made from the outer layer of the hide, which is the toughest part, and only the very best hides get made into full grain leather. This type of leather accounts for only the top 3-5% of the world’s hide supply. The next best thing is top grain leather, which is basically a slightly sanded-down version of full grain leather. It’s just one step below full grain when it comes to durability and breathability. One step below that is genuine leather, which is the type you see used most often in leather boxing gloves. It’s made from the layer of hide that’s facing the animal’s muscles, and it’s not as strong as genuine and top grain. While not as strong, it’s much more affordable, and while not as breathable as full and top grain, it’s still a better option than synthetic materials, which offer less durability and no breathability.

Padding Design

As I already said, a boxing glove’s main purpose is to protect your hand. This is achieved by using good, high quality padding. Padding on the knuckles protects them from injury when striking at a heavy bag or your opponent’s body, while padding on the backside of your hand helps you defend against attacks when blocking and parrying. Nowadays, almost all gloves use latex or foam for padding. Different manufacturers use many different techniques when cutting and layering the foam they use for padding, and that greatly affects the quality of the glove. Done properly, it feels great when you hit, and the gloves can last a long time. Done poorly, and the padding can not only quickly fall apart, but also hurt your hands.

Unfortunately, the outer appearance can’t always inform you how good punching with a glove feels like. Some gloves look thin on the outside, but feel extremely soft when you punch, and vice versa. Some gloves look massive on the outside, but feel like you’re hitting bricks. It all depends on the glove’s construction and foam design.

One of the best ways to tell if a glove has good padding or not is to look for a manufacturer who has a proven track record of making high-quality products that last a long time.

Glove Fit

It may seem obvious, but the way a glove fits your hand is extremely important. Some gloves are better suited for people with bigger hands and wrists, while others will feel better if your hands are smaller. If your gloves are too big or too small, you can have difficulty forming a tight fist. Hitting like that will not only ruin your workout, but can also lead to serious hand injury. 

The length of your fingers is also important. Your fingers need to fit comfortably, and the glove should curl easily when you make a fist. Another important aspect is being able to easily open and close your hand. That way you can quickly transition from having a relaxed hand for blocking and parrying to making your hand tighter for punching.

You should also consider how stiff you want your gloves to be. When you hit with a softer glove, it feels like it molds to your hand. Hitting with harder gloves feels more impactful, and if you use proper form, you feel very structurally sound. You need to find out for yourself what type of gloves you prefer. Personally, I like using harder gloves, because I like feeling the impact when striking. 

Bear in mind, that extremely long training sessions can really help you feel the benefits of softer gloves. Also, if you have more sensitive hands, or have a history with hand injuries, then I definitely recommend getting softer gloves.

Closure Type

A glove’s closure refers to the way it’s fastened to your hand. There are two main types of closure:

  • Laces – the classic closure type, it’s also the most supportive. Unfortunately, it’s also the slowest, and you’ll need help when you taking them on and off. If you’re training alone, you can either tape them, or use Lace Converters
  • Velcro – not as secure as laces, but much faster and more convenient. They’re ideal if you’re training alone

Breathability

During training, your hands will get very hot and sweaty, so it’s important to have more open gloves that allow the skin on your hands to breathe. Not only is this more comfortable, it’s also good for the padding. Sweat is acidic, and with enough time, it can actually break down the padding. Ideally, you want gloves made out of leather, as it’s a much more breathable material than its synthetic counterparts.

Conclusion

Boxing gloves are perhaps the most intimate piece of gear a fighter can have. You train with them every day, and they accompany you during every part of your path as a martial artist. 

So, choosing the right pair of gloves is a very personal decision. 

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