Bag Gloves for Boxing : What to look for?
There are many ways to train a fighter. From Thai kick pads to focus mitts and sparring, there are many facets to creating a well rounded striker. A core training method in most combat sports, is working the heavy bag. Possibly the most punishing training method, on the hands and wrists. Some heavy bags can weigh up to 60kg! Therefore it goes without saying that hitting something that heavy as it swings wildly, can be a risky business.
Why does it matter?
Safety first! There are 27 bones in the hand. That’s a lot of vulnerable real-estate to be smashing into anything heavy or unwieldy. Especially, if that something is swinging in an unpredictable way.
Boxing is well known for head injuries but hand injuries are just as, if not more, common. Research from the British Amateur Boxing Association suggests that hand injuries outnumber head injuries. Which makes sense, because not every fighter is sparring and receiving blows to the head. But, Nak Muays at every level put in some time on the heavy bag. So, looking after your hands should be at the top of your list. That means choosing an appropriate bag glove should be a priority!
Things to look for:
This is an important thing to consider when browsing bag gloves for boxing. Most sparring gloves have softer more forgiving padding to reduce the risk of cuts and bruises on your opponent. Good boxing bag gloves have a higher padding density than the average sparring glove. You are looking to protect those 27 bones, so opt for a glove with more robust padding.
Padding Distribution and Wrist Support:
Most Muay Thai gloves have padding distribution which protect the back of the hand from blocking incoming kicks. This tends to mean shorter cuffs and less wrist support. On the whole, a good bag glove is going to offer dense, thick knuckle padding and robust wrist support. So bear that in mind when you are looking for a dedicated bag glove.
Boxing Glove Size:
Another good benchmark for a boxing bag glove is size. The higher the weight, the bigger the glove, the bigger the glove, the more padding. You are looking for maximum padding within reason. Here is a loose recommendation for glove size based on the fighter’s weight-class:
Under 45kg = 8oz gloves for bag work.
Between 45kg and 65kg = 8oz to 10oz gloves for bag work.
Between 65kg and 90kg = 12oz for bag work.
It’s important to remember that this is a loose recommendation and you should ask your coach for guidance.
Space for hand wraps:
When training, you should always wrap your hands. This is especially important when hitting a heavy bag. Therefore, you are looking for gloves with a hand compartment with a bit of extra space that will accommodate your wraps. This is especially the case if you have large hands. To find out about gloves for fighters with big hands, take a look at this blog entry here. And to find out how to wrap your hands Thai style, check our blog here.
These are probably our favourite glove for bag work. A leather Thai Boxing glove which offers great padding distribution and wrist support. Great for fighters with smaller hands although if you have large hands, you might want to try another brand. You can read more information about the different Top King glove designs here.
- Excellent knuckle padding
- Maximum wrist support
- Thick padding
- Small hand capsule
The highest quality leather, sturdy layered knuckle padding, strong and wide cuff for wrist support. A compact hand compartment but nevertheless larger than the Top King hand space. Find more details on these Boon boxing gloves here.
- Layered padding
- Good knuckle padding
- Wide cuff for wrist support
- Best quality leather
- Medium hand capsule
Slightly off the beaten track for a bag glove, due to the reduction in knuckle padding. The Fairtex BGV9 is a leather ‘puncher’s glove’. Which means it has less knuckle padding but more wrist padding, by design. This is because Mexican boxers like to feel the punches land. This is the glove for you if you have strong hands, know how to strike but require extra wrist support. Click here for a detailed review of the Fairtex BGV9’s.
- Great wrist support
- Softer, less dense padding
- Larger hand capsule
Traditional Bag Gloves:
Everything said above, about safety, support and thickness of padding is about to be turned on its head. Traditionally, when hitting the heavy bag, fighters used tiny little leather mitts with minimal padding, wrist support and zero thumb architecture. These bag mitts were designed so that elite fighters could align their fists properly and work on quality strikes that they could feel. Absolute safety was not the goal, precision striking with some padding lessen the blow was.
For most fighters today, safety takes precedent over honing the perfect hook and feeling it bite. Some professional Nak Muay use traditional bag gloves on the kick pads. This is when they are using their hands as range finders but their legs as the heavy artillery. If you think you are good enough to use these minimalistic gloves and your Coach agrees, why not try a pair yourself.
Recommendations for Traditional Style Boxing Bag Gloves:
At Nak Muay Wholesale we have sourced what we consider the two best traditional bag gloves on the market.
Top notch leather with an open thumb design, these are about as classic as you can get. Secure fit around the wrist with a stout grip bar. Good, honest, no frills bag mitts from Thailand’s most unique and boutique Muay Thai Equipment manufacturers. Find more details about the K bag gloves here.
Boon has created a more heavy-duty traditional bag glove. More knuckle padding than the average traditional bag mitt, with an open thumb design. As ever made with the finest leather. You can read more about these works of art here.
Final Thoughts on Bag Gloves for Boxing Training:
When considering hitting the heavy bag, safety should come first. Good boxing gloves for heavy-bag work should have sturdy padding, well distributed between the knuckles and wrist. You should buy the correct size for your weight class and ensure the hand capsule has enough space for hand wraps. Traditional bag mitts flip the logic of safety on its head. Elite fighters use these tiny, minimally protective gloves to hone precision striking. Always consult your coach before buying dedicated bag gloves.