Boxing Gloves: Choosing the right kind
Recently, there have been alot of questions about boxing gloves and what to buy. In this segment, im going to describe the different kinds of boxing gloves and the advantages/disadvantages of each. Hopefully this will help you to decide which type of glove best suits your needs.
There are many different brands, styles, and materials of boxing gloves on the market today, across a wide rande of prices.
The first type I'll start with will be Fitness Gloves. Fitness style boxing gloves come in a variety of weights ranging from 12-16 ounces. They generally do not provide the construction quality and materials of the other gloves and that is because they are designed for "light" use. These are the types of gloves that youll see people using in a kick-boxing aerobic class for example. They are meant to provide some resistance for shadow boxing, and light bag work. Most fitness gloves are only available in velco closure style, which means they dont lace up. This makes for ease of putting them on by the user alone.
Advantages: Inexpensive, Easy to put on
Disadvantages: Poor protection, Lower quality construction and materials
The next type of glove I'll cover is the Bag Glove. Bag gloves come in a wide variety of styles and constructions. Most of the lower priced bag gloves do not have much wrist support, or wrist padding. They generally have velcro closures, although some of the higher quality versions are lace up. Lower end models usually have a soft, detatched thumb and lower lifespan from vinyl or low end coverings, while some of the higher end gloves have a protected attatched thumb and synthetic leather or real leather for long life. Bag gloves come in weights ranging from 10-18 ounces. They are not suitable for any sparring or competition work, merely bag work, hence the name.
Advantages: Value, longevity and protection with higher end models
Disadvantages: No sparring, some lower end models have no padded thumb/wrist/poor wrist support.
Next I'll talk about the Training/Sparring Glove. These gloves are used for bag training, and sparring. They are usually in the 14-18 ounce range and generally have better hand protection than the previous types. Many of the quality training gloves of today have molded or injected foam layers of protection over the knuckles and hand, have padded wrist section, and provide great stability and protection overall. These gloves come in lace up versions mainly, but some are also offered in velcro closure. These provide great durability and dont break down as quickly as a competition style glove.
Advantages: Great protection, durability, and versatility.
Disadvantages: More expensive than previous 2. Cant be used in sanctioned events.
Finally, I'll go over the last style of glove which is the Competition Glove. There are amateur competition gloves and professional competition gloves. You can tell which gloves are the amateur ones because they have a white section covering the front of the gloves and knuckles. These are used to help with scoring an amateur bout, and they are sometimes a heavier weight than a pro glove to provide more protection for the boxers. The amateur gloves come in weights from 10-12 ounce. The pro gloves provide outstanding hand protection and quality construction and come in weights of 8-12 ounces. The only real downside to a competition style glove, is that they are designed to hold shape for a number of bouts. They may break down a little quicker than a training or bag glove, because they are designed for a specific purpose, and that purpose is not grinding it out on your bag work. They are also usually more expensive than the others.
Advantages: Superior craftmanship, great protection, allowed for competition amateur and pro(You must check with the sanctioning body of the event as for which gloves are allowed)
Disadvantages: Expensive, lower lifespan than a training glove
There are also different styles of gloves that you will see such as mexican style. In general, the different styles distribute the padding and weight of the gloves in different area's giving the glove a different feel. Although 2 gloves may weigh the same oz's, they may have a very different feel to them. That is why some gloves are referred to as "punchers" gloves. Mexican style gloves like Reyes gloves are an example of these.