Boxing Gloves For Beginners (4 Essentials Before You Buy)

So you’ve decided to start boxing – awesome. You won’t regret it.

The first thing you’ll need to think about is getting hold of some gloves. There are soooo many to choose from that it might seem a bit overwhelming.

A 12 or 14 ounce set of sparring gloves from a reputable brand like Everlast, Venum or Sanabul, in the range of $50-$70 / £40-£50 will be safe, durable and multipurpose. Perfect for a beginner.

Boxing Gloves for Beginners 🥊

You don’t want to splash out on an expensive pair just in case you don’t enjoy the sport (unlikely!). But neither do you want to buy something crap that will fall apart after a few uses or cause you an injury. And what about this weight thing?!

Don’t worry, it’s not complicated. We’ll take you through 4 things you should think about before buying your first pair:

  1. The weight
  2. The size
  3. Price vs quality 
  4. Try before you buy

…and then we’ll give you a few recommendations on our favorite boxing gloves for beginners.

Note that “sparring” gloves and “bag” gloves are different in several ways. This article discusses “sparring” gloves as they are the most common and useful. If you are buying one pair of gloves as a beginner then I’d strongly recommend sparring gloves. The key distinguishing features is that bag gloves are thinner, lighter and usually don’t have any thumb protection.

1. What weight is right for me?⚖️

The first thing you’ll notice when you start shopping for gloves is that they come in different weight categories. What’s all this about?

Well, different weighted gloves have different implications for hand speed, safety, and training effort.

8-10 ounce gloves

The smaller and lighter the gloves, the faster you can punch and the more the experience simulates a real fight. There is less padding, so the gloves will do more damage to an opponent and give less protection to your own hands. And, as they are light, it is less effort for the boxers to move his or her arms than with heavier gloves.

When you see pros fighting in the ring, they’ll be using the lightest types of gloves, 8 ounce or 10 ounce.

But, as we are discussing boxing gloves for beginners, we’re not so interested in what the pros are using.

12-16 ounce gloves

So, heavier gloves are usually more appropriate for beginners in training for two key reasons:

  1. They give you more of a workout by putting greater strain on your arms
  2. The extra padding gives you and your sparring partner better protection

It might sound counter intuitive but the heavier gloves do less damage to your opponent thanks to the extra padding.

As you are a beginner, and unlikely to be fighting a proper match in the ring anytime soon, we would recommend 12 or 14 ounce gloves for women and 14 or 16 ounce gloves for men. Lean towards the higher weight if you are tall and heavy.

You could go higher, up to 18 or 20 ounce if you really want to work your arms, but it might begin to feel like you’re training with pillows on your knuckles. Pro boxers usually train with heavier gloves so that their hands are faster when it comes to a competitive fight.

As you get more into boxing, you can think about buying more pairs of gloves at different weight to accomplish different training purposes. But, at the start, play it safe with middle of the range weighted gloves.

For context, the difference between an 8oz glove and a 16oz glove, 8 ounces, is the same weight as a 250ml can of coke. So not massive, but enough to make a difference over the course of an hour’s training.

A summary:

  • 8oz – 10oz: less padding, less protection, usually for pro boxers in the ring
  • 12oz: often used by women and those with small hands during training
  • 14oz – 16oz: sufficient padding, typical weight used by men for training.
  • 18oz – 20oz:  Used for people in larger weight classes for training

2. Are there different glove sizes too? 📏 

Usually when you choose a glove, you are just given the options for different weights as explained above. And often when people talk about the “size” of a boxing glove, they mean the weight.

But don’t people have different sized hands? Yes. As bigger people generally use heavier gloves, the inside compartment of the glove, sometimes called the hand cage, often increases a little with the weight of the glove.

Sometimes you can find Small, Medium and Large versions of the same weight glove. Although this is rare. If you do have hands like frying pans or a Disney princess then you may need to look harder for gloves to fit you, but otherwise “size” isn’t something you need to worry about too much. Focus on getting the right weight.

Women’s and kids’ gloves are designed to be smaller to cater for slimmer wrists and hands.

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3. Price vs quality 💰 

Like all sports, you can spend lots on your equipment or very little. You could pick up a pair of gloves for as cheap as $15/£10 although they will fall apart before long and provide you with limited protection. Or you could spend up to $2500/£2000 for a lambskin Black and Gold Versace pair.

I wouldn’t recommend either of those extremes! Somewhere in the range of $40-$70 will get you a very decent set of gloves that will be durable and provide you with protection. My first pair of gloves, Decathlon Outshock Ergo 500, cost me about $40 and they were solid so don’t worry if you’re on a tight budget.

While more expensive isn’t necessarily better when it comes to boxing gloves, you want to ensure you’re spending enough to buy decent quality gloves that won’t cause you an injury and will last you a long time.

The price of the gloves vary depending on the brand and the material they are made from (with genuine leather being the most expensive). As a beginner look for gloves made from synthetic leather or vinyl. These are affordable and durable.

4. Think about trying boxing before buying some gloves 🛒

Boxing isn’t for everyone. I hope you love it at as much as I do but, if you don’t, you could end up buying a pair of gloves that you hardly use.

Most boxing gyms will have plenty of spare gloves so I’d recommend borrowing a pair for your first few training sessions while you get a feel for the sport. Once you get hooked (no pun intended) then you can go and buy a pair for yourself.

I wish I’d done this. When I started boxing I bought a low cost pair and then upgraded only a month later when I knew I was going to stick with the sport for the long run.

Don’t forget to buy hand wraps though!

Recommended boxing gloves for beginners 🥊

You can’t go too far wrong with some of the well-known brands like Everlast, Venum and Sanabul. There are styles out there to suit everyone, so set your budget, decide the weight and you’re good to go.

Here are a few good options:

  1. Everlast Pro Style Training Boxing Gloves – $50 / £35. All purpose classic glove. Perfect for getting started.
  2. Sanabul Essential Gel Boxing Gloves – $30 / £22. Great value for money and high impact protection.
  3. Venum Impact Gloves – $70 / £50. Plenty of cool styles, high quality, very durable.

(FYI, I don’t receive any commission for sales through this page)

12th Round 🔔

I hope that has de-mystified the confusing world of boxing gloves for beginners for you. Now it’s time to get down to the gym and start your boxing journey. You’re gonna love it. Trust me.

Happy fighting! 🥊🥊

“They only made one mistake, they signed this fight.” – Ferdie “The Fight Doctor” Pacheco

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