September 22, 2020

10 Best Boxing Gloves for Sparring

Finding a good pair of boxing gloves can turn out to be difficult that you imagine. There are so many options out there – from overpriced pieces of trash to some extremely good boxing gloves.

Every boxer understands the importance of the right pair of gloves. You can’t just get a pair of gloves that look fancy or is cheap. A lot depends on the gloves. Not only do they protect your fingers and wrists, but they also allow you to land better blows and jabs.

Unlike MMA or Muay Thai, boxing totally relies on fist strikes. The bones in your hands aren’t made to handle the continuous strain from training. Plus, a good quality glove helps avoid any injuries to everyone involved in a fight. Hence, it is important to put serious thoughts (and research) before picking one. The best boxing gloves will always have thick padding on the knuckles, a great design aimed to provide extra support to the fighter’s wrists, a durable design, and a grip bar. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it has to cover all the required aspects.

But wait, there are other things to consider as well – weight, straps, fit, material, etc. Worry not, we have you covered! We did some extensive research, tried on our own, and even talked to some pros of the game.

boxing glove meets a punching bag

10 Picks for the Best Boxing Gloves

1. Venum Contender

If you are looking for a starter-level and budget-friendly pair of boxing gloves, Venum Contender is the best choice. Made from 100% high-quality synthetic leather, these gloves are durable and can be used for sparring, mitt or bag work, and training.

These gloves flaunt a curved anatomical shape, thus providing great versatility. This design also ensures better striking technique. It has a triple-density foam that guarantees unparalleled shock absorption. You can train for extended hours wearing these gloves.

The foam and anatomical shape together reduce the risk of injury and strain. It also has a large Velcro enclosure that provides a secured fit. Your wrists get the proper support during intense designs with Venum Contender. The fit is snug, and the overall design is perfect – there are no strange spaces inside the glove. Hence, your hand fits in very well. However, Venum can improve the inner lining of the gloves. The sizes range between 8 oz. to 16 oz. and there are a dozen colors to choose from.  The Venum logo accents on the outer side of the gloves also add a fancy touch. Most importantly, these gloves have full attached thumbs to minimize the risk of twisting. Overall, a great pair of starter gloves that offer great quality at cheap prices.

Pros

  • Triple-density foam.
  • Affordable Price.
  • Curved anatomical shape.

Cons

  • Inner lining can be better.
  • Fit for training only, not for fighting.

2. Venum Elite

The Venum Elite boxing gloves come some of the characteristics expected by pros and heavy hitters. Once you put them on, the gloves feel quite comfortable and there is quite a bit of support around the wrist area and front areas of the glove. Made from premium Skintex leather, these gloves are super-durable.

The gloves have a thumb pattern added to them that reduces the chance to hit the thumb on the edge of a pad or bag. The triple-density foam and reinforcing decrease the amount of total shock that travels through the glove through blows increases the longevity and provides protection when you throw punches.

A high-density mesh sheet is installed under the wrist to help regulate heat and keep the gloves inside dry. The mesh fabric and the holes allow adequate hand ventilation. There is extra airflow in the thumb area too. The extra-strong seams guarantee long-lasting consistency, allowing you to train harder and faster. These gloves are designed with a critical ergonomic balance that lets fighters get the most out of a punch. It’s shaped in such a way as to bend your palms towards the wrist joint. It forces the hands to punch straight on their knuckles which is ideal for boxing and kickboxing, since it actually helps the hands to relax on a punching stance.

Pros

  • Mesh Panel for heat absorption.
  • Ergonomic Design.
  • Made from premium Skintex leather.

Cons

  • Less durable (since they aren’t made of pure leather).
  • Extra spacing inside the thumb area.

3. Everlast Elite Pro

The Elite Pro gloves seem to be an upgraded version of Everlast’s standard’ Pro-Style ‘ gloves for training. It does have a slightly different look and form, in addition to a few new features. This glove is perfect for beginners, thus are priced to cater to those getting started with boxing.

These gloves are made of synthetic leather and fitted with an anti-microbial covering. The pair is made to support and conform to the natural shape of wrists, ensuring the correct shape and techniques of punching. The hook and loop design allow you to easily put it on and off. The only downside, however, is that these gloves don’t fit snugly. You might need to wear a hand wrap for a better fit.

When new, the interior material is a bit stiff, it slowly softens after some continuous use. Further, it may be a little uncomfortable around the edges, but otherwise with hand wraps on isn’t a concern. It features a full mesh palm which guarantees greater ventilation. Even after hours of training, the gloves remain dry. The Velcro on the gloves is purposely designed to be a small section rather than the long wraparound band often seen on other garments, but the Velcro itself is fairly strong and stays very securely in place, and the elastic has a good stretch to it, so you can wear these without thinking about them coming loose. The sewing seems to be all well finished and tidy, but at the ends of stitches, there are a few missing threads that could have been cleaned up. However, based on the price range, it is the best deal.

Pros

  • Incredibly cheap.
  • EverFresh technology.
  • Authentic Synthetic leather.

Cons

  • Not suitable for extended use.
  • Minimal padding around the wrists.

4. Sanabul Essential

These gloves have been tested by pros like Mike Lee and Michael Bisping. Don’t let the price fool you on this one. Though it has an incredibly low price tag, Sanabul Essential gloves mean business. The gloves have been designed to fit the natural curvature of a closed fist.

It also features a mesh palm that regulates the temperature and ventilation, thus keeping your hands cool and free of sweat. Built using high-quality engineered leather, these gloves are durable and easy to wear while being extremely comfortable on the hands. You can use them repeatedly without worrying about scuffing or extensive damage from sparring. The only downside is that these gloves aren’t fit for heavy bag training. The Gel-infused foam provides softness as well as superb protection to help prevent injury to your hands while training.

These gloves have a very simple look to them but come in a wide range of different accented colors. It’s an inexpensive training glove that has some excellent features. The Velcro closure locks these gloves in place while you punch or spar, making it much more possible to land perfect blows every time. You may find the Sanabul Essential glove too tight around the knuckles if you use hand wraps. If you ‘re not the type to wear hand wraps, the glove fits as long as you follow the size guide. You can choose from sizes of 8 oz. to 16 oz. To say the least, they’re very well made and have a very competitive price. It is a pair of gloves that provide great hand protection and does it without being too bulky.

Pros

  • Natural curvature fit.
  • Advanced Velcro system.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • Extra snug if you use hand wraps.
  • The stitches could be better.

5. Twins Special Velcro

Made in Thailand, these gloves are comfortable and offer great hand protection. They are also easy to put on and off, thanks to the extra-large Velcro straps. You can use them for both mitts and bag workouts. Honestly, this pair of gloves is very distinctive.

It features an extremely short, lightweight cuff that is overshadowed by the rest of the glove. It doesn’t impact the glove’s structural integrity, but the glove head, as opposed to the cuff, draws a sharp contrast. With the Twins gloves, you would never have to worry about getting your knuckles swollen again. All through, the gloves are well-padded, especially along the knuckles. And we suppose, that’s the reason for the large glove heads. The padding is not made exclusively from a single piece of material. It is three-layered, with the knuckles having a flexible outer layer, a rigid middle layer, and a softer inner layer. This makes the gloves sturdy, and perfect for both sparring and bag work.

Unlike many other gloves in this range, these gloves aren’t flashy. There are thicker cuffs and extra padding on the back of the gloves to parry punches and kicks. The thumbs are straight and less material is on the palms so that people can practice their clinches quickly when they need to. As an added bonus, the palms of the gloves also have a silicone lining for extra comfort and safety when taking punches.

Pros

  • Authentic Leather.
  • Extra padding and great wrist support.
  • Extremely durable.

Cons

  • Takes time to break-in.
  • Might be a bit tight if you use hand wraps.

6. Fairtex Boxing Gloves

This one is a great all-rounder glove for MMA, Muay Thai, and Boxing. The gloves are distributed fairly equally, but somewhat more weighted towards the knuckle region. These gloves are constructed of premium leather and are handmade in Thailand.

Inside the glove is a strong grip bar that you can firmly clench while punching. It helps you to help make a fist quickly and easily, as well as prevents damage and injuries from happening. Given the tighter fit, you should still be comfortable wearing the matching weight and size with hand-wraps. You can choose between the size/weight of 10 oz. to 16 oz. The exterior of the glove is pure leather, and it has an equally fine inner lining.

The Velcro is undeniably sturdy, and the binding areas occupy about three-quarters of the length of the wrist, so next to no worries they will come undone or lose too much over time.  The arm still appears to be a bit wide and needs to be pulled close to fit properly, but with the robustness, they offer they do more than account for it. The fist’s thumb and back (even the inner lining on the wrist) are all one-piece leather which adds both the gloves’ sturdiness and visuals. The best part about these gloves is that, despite having all this stiff protection, they are comfortable to wear. You will feel no pain or clunky movement when you practice with these on.

Pros

  • Authentic leather and great craftsmanship.
  • Sturdy wrist support.
  • Extremely durable and comfortable.

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a grip bar.
  • Velcro seems to be stuck at times.

7. Hayabusa S4

Hayabusa S4 offers everything you need to get your boxing journey started. It has a normal pre-curved design, good knuckle safety, stable wrist support, and a lot more features at an extremely competitive price. In addition to a foam splint that supports your wrists to avoid uncomfortable twists, it also has excellent padding covering your knuckles.

Ideal for bag and mitts training, the S4 is built with foam that contours your hand’s natural curvature for proper fist closure and shock absorption. The single splint construction supports and aligns your wrists, thus allowing you to throw strong and proper punches.

It also features a pre-curved anatomical pocket with a grip bar, and the proper thumb position guarantees proper fist closing and balance while providing the most comfortable fit on the market. Choose between the size/weight of 10 oz. to 16 oz. The PU Leather material, nylon lining, and mesh palm ensure durability and better ventilation. It also has a fully adjustable single Velcro strap which provides a secure fit when paired with the additional splint wrist support. The best thing about the Hayabusa S4 is that these gloves offer extreme breathability. Although they feel snug, from the moment you put them on they feel breathable and relaxed as well. There is no real break-period with these gloves so they’re good to go the moment you get them!

Pros

  • Pre-curved design.
  • Stable wrist support.
  • Highly-breathable mesh palm.

Cons

  • Sizes aren’t the perfect fit.
  • Thumb fitting can be very tight for some users.

8. Ringside Apex

Apex Flash sparring gloves look very nice and are of good quality. These are long-lasting and can be used both for bag practice and sparring. The Apex Ringside Flash Sparring Gloves are available in sizes of 14 and 16 oz. with eight color variations.

These sparring-quality gloves are made using a special Injected-Mold Foam process to create a single 2-layer of durable foam, giving your hand greater protection. This also gives the gloves higher longevity than lined-foam gloves. They are comfortable to wear and feature a fitting Velcro strap which allows good protection and good support when striking. The interior of the glove is made from a non-leather material that is soft and comfortable to use.

They have a trademark Quick Tie Tech feature that streamlines and simplifies the process of wearing and taking off these gloves. It replaces internal eyelets with external lace channels, thus eliminating the inconvenience of having to tighten each lace section one at a time. Another feature is the Flex Panel Technology which integrates flex hinges made of elastic at specific positions. Through extending and contracting with the person wearing it, these panels mitigate the rigid existence of traditional materials, offering the most custom-fit possible. The breathable palm mesh and perforations are helping to keep the gloves airy. The gloves also have grip bars to help you make your fist straight. The price is competitive when compared with the features. We highly recommend this product for beginners.

Pros

  • Mesh palm and antibacterial liner.
  • Excellent technologies like IMF, Quick Tie, Flex Panel, etc.
  • Competitive pricing.

Cons

  • Not as durable as competitors.
  • Limited size/weight options.

9. RDX Ego Boxing Gloves

Made from 100% original Maya hide leather, the RDX boxing gloves are strong and durable. It has four layers of intensive gel padding that ensures good resistance to impact. The substantial padding means a strong fit over the boxer’s hand and it feels totally relaxed.

Furthermore, there is a fantastic wrist strap that uses a hook and loop mechanism for the best fit. This allows fighters to quickly remove and put on the gloves. Because of the S.P.P ventilation system, the RDX Ego glove has very high breathability. The glove conforms to your palm and provides excellent brace protection. Quick-EZ hook and loop makes the glove fit securely and easy to put on and off. The triple padding Shell Shock Gel Equilibrium Sheet provides spectacular hand support and protection to block or grab punches.

Like all RDX gear, the craftsmanship of these gloves is very strong – you won’t have any problems with stitches falling apart, etc. Most people who have bought the gloves say the RDX Ego is perfect for its size. Some claim it’s one of the best gloves they’ve used for exercising heavy bags and the like. The gloves also have plenty of padding which even during hard and extended training sessions protects the hands. Some people say the gloves are ideal for all types of boxing training. It has plenty of inner space, hence, it stays convenient even after it has been used for long periods of time. However, the only noticeable drawback is that the straps are small and a bit flimsy which makes the Velcro stick out at times.

Pros

  • Great price.
  • Great protection (Shell Shock Gel technology).
  • Strong Maya Hide material, hence, extremely durable.

Cons

  • Cuffs are small.
  • Velcro sticks out at times.

10. Anthem Athletics Stormbringer II

Made from the highest-grade full-grain buffalo leather, the Stormbringer II is a perfect blend of science and art. These gloves bring an unrivalled combination of style, quality, fit and performance – all at a reasonable price. You can use these gloves for training, sparring, pad and bag practice, and even for professional fighting.

Lined with triple-density polyurethane foam, these gloves have the considerable ability to absorb shock. In comparison, this foam also adds to Stormbringer II’s overall strength. Not only are the mitts well-padded, but the designers have also made sure to apply quite a lot of padding to the thumb sections. This padding offers additional insulation while providing better protection.

The closure system is simple. It has a Velcro closure, which makes it easier for fighters to pull on and off the gloves without support. The Stormbringer may seem a little too close first, but give it some time, and it’ll break-in. However, the gloves are only available in sizes/weight of 14 oz. and 16 oz. For constant use, the internal foam is positioned in a position that conforms to your hand. It has also reinforced extra-durable stitches, so you can rest assured of their durability. The mesh coating on the palm allows drainage so as not to absorb moisture. Such pairs of gloves overall are durable, strong and secure. Stormbringer II is a lucrative option if you are looking for a superior design alongside outstanding performance on a budget.

Pros

  • Full grain buffalo leather.
  • Breathable mesh palm design.
  • Excellent padding.

Cons

  • Limited size/weight options.
  • You will need to wear a hand wrap for a snug fit.

How to Choose Boxing Gloves?

With so many aspects to consider, it is understandable that finding the best boxing gloves is a tough task.  However, here are 5 primary points that you should make sure to check –

Quality

Of course, nothing beats the quality of original leather. But, with the advancement of tech, many sustainable alternatives to leather such as Maya Hide and PU Leather are great choices. The prices of the boxing gloves vary by material. To ensure that your gloves last longer, get authentic leather gloves that are handmade. Also, double-check the inner linings, threading, and seam quality before buying.

Price/Value

While pricing is an important factor, do not decide solely based on it.  With most low-priced gloves, you’ll end up with poor quality (seams, padding, inner linings, etc.). Consider a moderate price and you’ll be able to find a good pair that will prove their value as you use them. Itis better to spend a bit more and get the most value than ending up with a good for nothing product.

Brand

It is important to stick to reputed brands when buying boxing gloves. Brands such as Fairtex, Everlast, Venum, etc. have been around for quite some time and are known to produce quality products. When you order boxing gloves online, make sure to check where they are made (Thailand is the best manufacturer of boxing gloves).

Size

When buying boxing gloves, make sure to check the listed size. In boxing, the size of a glove is defined by the weight (see chart below). A good idea is to buy a size larger if you are someone who prefers to wear hand wraps beneath the gloves.

Here’s an easy to refer chart –

Size Hand Circumference (without wrap) Glove Weight
Small 14 – 16.5 cm. 8 oz.
Medium 16.5 -19 cm. 10 oz.
Large 19 – 21.5 cm. 12 oz.
Extra Large 21.5 – 24 cm. 14 oz./16 oz.

Weight

The weight of the gloves determines the size, refer to this chart for better understanding. A heavier glove would mean more protection but it can take you back on the punching speed.

Boxer’s Weight (lbs.) Boxer’s Weight (kg.) Glove Weight
90 -120 41 -55 8 oz.
120 -150 55 -68 10 oz.
150 -185 68 -84 12 oz.
185+ 84+ 14 oz./16 oz.

Types of Boxing Gloves

There are 3 main types of boxing gloves that you can choose from depending on your training needs. They are

  • Bag/Training Gloves – Used before moving on to a fighting or sparring glove. Has enough padding to avoid hand and wrist injuries.
  • Sparring Gloves – Very similar to training gloves, but typically the padding is slightly softer or more cushioned for better distribution.
  • Fighting Gloves – Used in professional boxing. These gloves weigh between 8 oz. and 12 oz. It offers better padding and fit.

FAQs

  1. What brand gloves does Mayweather use?

Floyd wears some of the best custom boxing gloves when it comes to quality. Mayweather uses 10 oz. Grant boxing gloves, and is also known to wear Everlast boxing gloves from time to time.

  • What are boxing gloves made of?

Ideally, boxing gloves are made of pure leather. However, you will also find gloves made of Skintex leather, Maya Hide, and PU Leather as well.

  • How to keep boxing gloves from smelling?

If it doesn’t have an antimicrobial lining, make sure to hang it dry after use. You can also use a wet wipe and antibacterial spray to ward off the pungent smell of sweat.

Eugene Hardy

Eugene is a professional Muay Thai fighter, with several years of experience. Also, a black belt holder. He actively participates in tournaments and provides training to his students. Eugene started this blog to share his experiences with Martial Arts.

View all posts by Eugene Hardy →

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