Boxing is among the most popular sports globally because it is both challenging and fun. Many people take up boxing as a means of exercise while others compete in various categories, nationally and internationally. To take up boxing, you don’t need too much equipment, unlike many other sports and games; however, a good pair of gloves is essential. Buying one can, unfortunately, be confusing because there are many types. A brief guide to the different types of fighting gloves:

Categories of Gloves

The use of gloves is compulsory in regulation boxing to ensure the safety of both the boxers. While gloves are manufactured to suit the different needs of the boxers and their styles, the industry classifies them according to weight, padding, and intended use, with individual features being secondary. Boxers wear gloves over hand wraps that act as another level of protection by keeping the bones in the wrists and fingers secure. Since the gloves used in competitions are made of high-quality materials like cow or goat hide, they are too expensive to use for practicing. Some of the main types of gloves used by boxers include:

Training Gloves

Training gloves, as the name indicates, are ideal all-purpose gloves for working out with a partner or using on heavy bags. They are usually made of leather with thick foam padding in the knuckle area and stiff support for the wrists with Velcro or lace-up closures. Neoprene is also a material of choice for these gloves. The purpose of training boxing gloves is to protect the boxers’ knuckles, hands, and wrists during workouts.

Bag Gloves

These gloves have relatively lesser padding and offer less support and protection than training gloves. Typically made of neoprene, bag gloves have a minimalist design with thin padding to allow the boxers to get more feedback in their hands and arms. However, boxers need to remember that while these gloves are good for improving technique, they also offer less protection. It is better to use a pair of good-quality training gloves for more intense bag sessions.

Sparring Gloves

Sparring gloves are noticeably bigger than training or bag gloves since their construction features more and softer padding to reduce the impact on the hands and wrists. According to Fight Quality, boxers should wear gloves of 14 oz or more while sparring to distribute the force on impact.

Competition Gloves

These gloves are the best and most expensive pair a boxer can have. Rules and regulations govern the standards of the gloves you can wear, depending on factors like weight class and division and professional or amateur. While being similar to training gloves, competition gloves have stiffer padding for impact maximization. Typically, you will have a lace-up closure instead of Velcro to avoid the hazard of the gloves snagging during a fight.


Choosing the right pair of gloves is vital for boxers to avoid injuries to the hand. It is important to decide on a pair keeping in mind the intended use, the recommended weight, the padding, and the material. Boxers should also invariably wear hand wraps under their gloves to optimize their protection.