When embarking on a new activity, making sure you have the right equipment is first on most people’s minds. Muay Thai or Western boxing is no exception. First on most people’s list is boxing gloves. You could use the communal gloves at the gym but these gloves will usually be worn out or smell like death. At some point you will want to have a pair of your own boxing gloves. This is unavoidable.
When you’re ready buy your first pair, it’s worth thinking about which gloves are best for you.
In this handy guide we will look at the properties that make a good entry level boxing gloves and why.
Different Types of Boxing Gloves:
First things first, there are different types of gloves and this may confuse you when buying your first pair. There are basic boxing gloves, training gloves, sparring gloves and bag gloves. Your first pair should be multi-purpose gloves. Which generally means, any glove categorized as either a ‘training glove’ or ‘boxing glove’. To find out more about glove types, please refer to our blog here.
What size Boxing Glove should I chose?
Boxing gloves come in different weights. The higher the weight, the larger (and heavier) the glove. Typically, boxing gloves range between 8oz and 16oz. For a few reasons, when you start boxing, you should really look for a larger glove. The number one reason for this is the extra padding. That extra padding is going to protect your hands from injury. Additionally, larger gloves grant the beginner the increased ability to cover up, when under fire. As skill level increases, the size of glove used, can be reduced. Always consult your trainer to see what size glove they recommend before buying. To find out more about boxing glove sizes and which are appropriate for you, refer to our blog here.
Find the right level of wrist support:
As a beginner, it is worth considering buying a glove which offers ample wrist support. As you have probably noticed, a recurring theme with regards to this subject, is safety. Your wrists are no exception. Many Thai gloves have short cuffs, but not all! Those Thai gloves that do have short cuffs, may reinforce their cuffs with ample padding. It’s worth finding out about the length of the cuff and whether they’re padded or not.
Look for attached thumbs:
One of the most common injuries for beginners, is the thumb injury. Therefore you want to purchase gloves with an attached thumb. Most boxing gloves have semi-attached thumbs, others have fully attached thumbs. There is no right or wrong type of glove for beginners but if you have difficulty forming a correct fist, you should probably err on the side of a fully attached thumb.
Velcro, not lace-up, is ideal for beginners:
Professional boxers often use lace-up gloves. As a beginner you don’t need lace-up closures. Lace-up gloves require the Coach to fasten them for you. You want a pair of gloves, you can easily put on and off yourself. This means you should almost always acquire Velcro fastened boxing gloves for your first pair.
Find the ideal padding distribution:
The distribution of padding on boxing gloves can fluctuate wildly. Traditionally Thai gloves have more all round padding distribution. With extra foam on the back of the hand to protect from incoming kicks and shorter cuffs for clinching. Mexican gloves typically come with less knuckle padding so the fighter feels the raw reality of the punch landing. Western boxing gloves on the whole are longer, offering increased wrist support. As a beginner, you will preferably want a kind of halfway house between a Thai and Western glove. A glove which offers maximum protection. Keep reading to find out our recommendations.
Our recommendations for your first pair of boxing gloves:
These leather, pillow like gloves are great for the fighter with smaller hands and offer fantastic, all-round support. Long cuffs, excellent knuckle padding and semi attached thumbs. Top King are hitting the sweet spot when it comes to safety and comfort. Both of which are paramount for the beginner. You can read more about this style of glove here.
- Velcro fasteners
- Semi attached thumbs
- Big and pillow like
- Excellent wrist support
- Well ventilated
- Great looking designs
Twins Special are a leather glove made for the Thai market. As such they are a Muay Thai favourite yet have earned a following with Western boxers as well. They have a typical Muay Thai padding distribution which have nevertheless garnered cross sport appeal. These beauties come with a fully attached thumb for maximum confidence. They have a larger hand capsule than the Top King Super Air and a shorter cuff. Great entry level gloves.
- Velcro fasteners
- Fully attached thumbs
- Great padding distribution
- Larger hand capsule
- Short cuffs for Muay Thai
- Great looking designs
What to remember when shopping for your first pair of boxing gloves?
When buying your first gloves, safety should be at the top of your list. You need to know the difference between glove types and buy a multi-purpose glove. You want larger gloves to begin with. Velcro fasteners are a must as lace-up gloves require someone else to fasten them for you. For beginners wrist support, thumb attachments and all-round padding distribution are all factors in choosing the right glove. We recommend Top King Super Air or Twins Special BGVL3 as excellent entry level boxing gloves for beginners. Happy shopping!