What size boxing gloves should I get? This is a question we often receive. The answer depends on a few things, including your size, intended training and personal preference.
Boxing gloves come in a multiplicity of shapes, weights, sizes and types. You will hear about training gloves and bag gloves, 8oz competition or 16oz sparring gloves. The variety is wide, as are the opinions on which gloves are best for what. Despite the dizzying array of boxing glove categories, it’s rare that anyone has a separate pair of gloves for every task. There is lots of cross over. But that still leaves the question about which gloves you should buy? Let us tell you all about boxing gloves so you can make an informed decision.
What size boxing gloves should I use?
Boxing gloves come in a variety of sizes, which roughly correspond to the different boxing glove types. Which size is appropriate, depends on the person and the task. As a rule of thumb, the heavier the fighter, the heavier padded the glove. Gloves with extra padding are also ideal for riskier activities (like sparring).
A heavyweight may use 12oz gloves on the heavy bag, where as a featherweight may prefer an 8oz glove. Sparring has more risk factors than hitting the bag, therefore many gyms insist 16oz gloves be used for safety reasons.
It’s important to remember this is a rule of thumb. Opinions differ on which glove sizes are best for what. Here’s a simple breakdown of boxing glove size, which fighters and what type of training they are good for.
Fighters under 45kg = 8oz gloves for bag work, 12oz to 16oz for sparring
Weight class between 45kg and 65kg = 8oz to 10oz gloves for bag work, 16oz for sparring
Athletes between 65kg and 90kg = 12oz for bag work, 16oz for sparring
As you can see, as the weight of the person and the risk factors of the activity, taper off, the lighter the gloves become.
Rule of thumb and different opinions:
It is important to remember that the information above is a rough guide. Some gyms like to err on the side of caution, by insisting most fighters use heavier gloves for safety. Other gyms recommend fighters use the lighter gloves, especially if they are going to compete wearing 8oz competition gloves. It is important to consult with your trainers. Follow their recommendations and work out what works for you, through practice.
Different types of boxing gloves
Manufacturers create different styles of gloves, each with a different type of training in mind.
Training gloves are great all-rounders. Alternately referred to as plain ‘boxing gloves’, these are the most versatile gloves. They’re designed to transition from mitt work to the heavy bag without a glove change. These multi purpose boxing gloves are suitable for most activities, and may be used for sparring. Training gloves come in all sizes and weights. They are good for Muay Thai, boxing and kickboxing. These are the gloves most people use. Training gloves usually use a Velcro strap closure and come in 10oz, 12oz, 14oz and 16oz. We have some great training gloves here.
Made slightly differently than training gloves, the padding on this style of glove is ideal for sparring. Sparring gloves are available in velcro or lace up options. They are designed to protect you and your opponent by being slightly bigger and softer than training gloves. This protects your hands and your opponent’s face from superficial injury. The soft padding makes sparring gloves likely to be less durable than training gloves for activities like hitting the heavy bag. Nevertheless, they are resilient gloves and will perform well for heavy bag use if you so choose. Overall, their design extremely similar to training gloves.
Sparring is the one place in the gym where the weight of your glove may be strictly regulated. Many gyms prefer 16oz gloves to be used for sparring. Always check with your trainers regarding which gloves they will allow you to spar with. Sparring style gloves are available in smaller sizes like 10oz and 12oz. However, 14oz and 16oz are more popular. This style gloves are good for Muay Thai, boxing and kickboxing although Thai sparring gloves often come with a shorter cuff for clinching. Our most popular sparring glove, is the Fairtex BGV6 model. You can find it here.
Competition gloves/Fight gloves:
If you are not competing, you don’t need these gloves. These are made to be used in officially sanctioned fights. Usually only given to the fighter at the venue on fight night, to prevent glove tampering. They are smaller, lighter, tighter and slimmer than most other gloves. Almost always fastened by laces and sometimes padded with horsehair instead of foam! Weighing between 8oz to 10oz, competition gloves are war gloves for professional fighters.
Now, while not everyone NEEDS fight style gloves, some athletes simply enjoy the experience of hitting mitts the with a beautiful pair of competition gloves.
We have a lovely competition glove from Top King here.
Traditional bag gloves:
These gloves offer minimal protection but give the wearer the visceral thrill of feeling the punch connect. Bag gloves use an unpadded thumb, very little wrist support and knuckle padding. Use these with caution on heavy bags with hard packed filling. Some gyms advise against their use to protect the hands of their fighters. Although people still use them to enjoy punching with their hands relatively “free”. Here at Nak Muay Wholesale, we have selected the best, most structurally sound bag gloves possible on the Thai market.
Boxing Glove Weights & Sizes:
Thai manufactures do not weigh their general boxing gloves. They use these oz ‘weight’ designations as an indication of glove size and volume of padding.
Fight gloves are the only style of gloves that need to be weighed — strictly for the purpose of fair competition.
So, what gloves will you chose?
Boxing gloves come in different weights and sizes. The bigger the size, the bigger the glove and the more protective the glove will be. As a rule of thumb, the heavier the person is, the larger size of glove should be used. The more risks factors an activity holds, the larger the size of the glove. Sparring has more risk factors than mitt work so 16oz gloves are more commonly used for sparring than 12oz gloves.
Lower weight gloves are used for competition. Because of this, some fighters may train in lighter gloves to acclimatize to the 8oz competition glove. If you’ve read this far, you should know your glove size and what they are good for. We hop you will be able to buy what you need with confidence.
If you still have questions about a specific glove model, please leave a comment below. Or, you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re always happy to help 🙏