The Neutral Corner: Choosing the Right Gloves

New to fight sports? Ready to take your first boxing or MMA class, and not sure what gloves to get? Don’t worry, I have you covered…

Choosing the right tool can be the difference between a five minute job or a five hour disaster. Picking gloves for fight sport training is no different. The right glove will last you a very long time, and the initial investment will be worth it. The wrong gloves can cost you more money over time, if they don’t hold up, or even worse set you up for an injury while training. Let me guide you through the process of choosing the right “tool” for the job.

First, we need to decide what fight sport you’ll be training for and how serious you plan on taking it. Either way quality, support, and comfort are the important factors. There’s a lot of gloves out there and making a decision can be confusing.

MMA Gloves

If you plan on getting into MMA, you’re probably considering an open hand glove that you can also grapple with. The principles still apply here- you want a gloves that offers the right mix of support and comfort mainly around the knuckles. If you’re going to be doing a lot of heavy bag work, it’s worth going with a lighter boxing glove at first, while you learn proper punching technique. If not, be sure to get instruction on how to make contact without the risk of injury.


Boxing Gloves

When it comes to boxing gloves, the options expand quite a bit from size, quality, and fit.

Let’s start with size. Boxing gloves are sized in ounces from 10oz to 16oz. There are some heavier gloves out there like 18oz and 20oz, but we’ll leave them out of the discussion for a novice athlete. 8oz and 10oz gloves are usually more of a competition size so we can rules those out as well. When it comes to 12-16oz, this is typically a matter of preference, although 16oz are the most versatile since they are the ideal weight for sparring and will provide added protection for the novice (not to mention the weight difference is almost unnoticeable).

Boxing Gloves also come in either Hook & Loop or Lace Up. Lace up gloves give a more custom fit, but you will not be able to get them on and off on your own so they aren’t really ideal in a class setting or for training alone. Hook & Loop style gloves are essentially velcro straps that are much easier to get on and off, but still give you all the protection of a lace up style gloves.

Deciding between what size and style glove you want is simply a matter of preference and intended use. Be sure to always wear hand-wraps underneath when training. Hand wraps can either be quick slip on wraps, which are like weight lifting or bike gloves, with gel padding over the knuckles and a secure wrist wrap, or the traditional wrap-around hand wraps. I prefer the traditional wraps, but if you plan on cross training during your boxing workouts the quick wraps are the way to go.

When choosing gloves remember protection is the key factor, don’t sacrifice your hands for a few extra bucks. Your body will feel the burn, the last thing you need is sore hands!


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Jeff Hunter
About the Author:

Jeff Hunter. Passion for fitness and results based training is what drives Jeff to share his knowledge with the world. With over 6 years of experience as a personal trainer and strength & conditioning coach, Jeff brings a wide range of practical know-how from his experience with the general population and also elite athletes. Jeff is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and is also a USAW and USA boxing coach. You can find him training out of the Everlast Lab in Hoboken, NJ.