If you have decided to take up boxing as a serious sport, or even as a part-time hobby, you will need to familiarize yourself with a few things. No, we are not talking about offensive and defensive boxing techniques; there will be plenty of time for that. We are talking about something much simpler and more fundamental to your boxing journey – boxing gloves.
Now you may be under the impression (like most people are) that all boxing gloves are the same and there is essentially no difference between sparring gloves, training gloves and professional fighting gloves other than the price tag and a few styling modifications. We are here to tell you there is, in fact, a lot of difference between each one of them and knowing these differences is essential if you want to progress and develop as a boxer.
Fortunately, it is not rocket science so you will get the hang of it quickly and easily.
If you have ever even worn two different types of boxing gloves (much less thrown punches in them), you would know there is a difference. As such, it will come as no shock to find out that the best boxing gloves for training might not be best for sparring and professional fighting.
We will offer you a breakdown of all the main types of boxing gloves that are currently in use all over the world and what makes each one different from the other.
Types of Boxing Gloves
Before we dive into the different types of boxing gloves, you need to know a few things about padding. Padding in gloves is horsehair padding, foam padding or a mixture of both. This padding determines to a large degree the difference between boxing glove types.
Now let us look at some of them.
1. Training Gloves
These are the most commonly used gloves in gyms. They are ideal options for training on the punching bag or for pad work. The padding in training gloves is deliberately kept thin (but just enough to protect the hand). This is done in order to let the athletes get used to the impact of the punch on their hand and make adjustments when they feel they landed a punch awkwardly.
The thinner padding lets athletes detect flaws in their punching technique and make adjustments accordingly. Modern day training gloves offer much better padding protection and wrist support than the traditional bag gloves, which are still sold but are not recommended for everyday use.
2. Sparring Gloves
These gloves are specifically designed for sparring with your partner. These types of boxing gloves have thicker padding as compared to training gloves so that you do not accidentally hurt yourself or your partner during sparring. Due to the thicker padding, the impact of the punch dampens and therefore these gloves are ideal for sparring.
The best boxing gloves for sparring are those that use softer padding to distribute the weight of the punch on impact. Manufacturers such as Infinitude Fight offer some of the best sparring and training gloves in the United States.
3. Professional Fighting Gloves
These gloves are built to hurt your opponent and therefore use minimum padding in order to allow your punch to have the maximum damaging impact against the body of the opponent. Due to this specific design, professional fighting gloves do not offer as thorough hand protection and comfort as the training and sparring gloves. These gloves are usually lace-up and never Velcro in order to provide the best hand fit during the match.
4. Amateur Competition Gloves
These gloves are most commonly provided by the promoters of the championship due to their particular coloring scheme of red and blue. These gloves are quite similar to professional fighting gloves, except that the knuckle areas are highlighted to allow easier scoring for the judges.
5. Mexican Style Boxing Gloves
These boxing gloves were introduced in a time when professional fighting gloves had thick padding at the front. Mexican style boxing gloves are actually another type of professional boxing gloves but their cuff is longer than regular fighting gloves. Moreover, they provide a better hand fit the athlete due to their lace-up feature. They also have slightly more padding than the regular professional fighting glove. This makes them somewhat preferable to the regular ones by selected groups of fighters.
These were just some of the types of boxing gloves being used today. In order to know which boxing glove kit suits you best, you need to assess your needs and purchase accordingly. Usually, having one pair of sparring gloves, one pair of training gloves and one pair of fighting gloves will take you a long way.