Every person engaged in sports like boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai and mixed martial arts know that a good boxing glove is very important for safety and success.
There are different kinds of gloves available and every person should have basic understanding on how to properly use and wear these. You also need to be familiar with some of the best boxing glove manufacturers and try on a few pairs until you find the right one that suits you best. Gloves have changed dramatically since its early days. Here is a general overview.
About the Boxing Glove
The boxing glove is described as cushioned punching gear that fighters or boxers put on their hands during training, sparring sessions and actual boxing matches. There are different kinds of gloves depending on the current skill level of the fighter, the training phase and personal preference. Generally, these are used to protect the fists of boxers as well as minimize impact on the opponent.
Before wearing the gloves, fighters also put on hand wraps to secure the position of their fists and avoid scratches, bruises and abrasions whenever they punch. The weight of the gloves will range from 8 ounces to 16 ounces. There are also lighter and smaller ones for kids. The inner part of the boxing glove is filled with foam, gel or cloth to cushion the hands, while the exterior is wrapped in synthetic leather or vinyl with reinforced stitching to keep these from tearing or ripping during strikes.
The Beginning of the Boxing Glove
The boxing glove was first introduced over two thousand years ago in ancient Greece. The earliest form of the gloves was hand wraps made of cloth or leather. After some time, the Romans also customized their gloves by putting wood or metal to the knuckle area to make strikes more powerful.
The earliest form of boxing during these ancient times was so brutal and violent that the sport was even banned for a period. When boxing did come back during the 1600s, many fighters would use their bare hands or thin strips of cloth. Jack Broughton was credited for introducing the modern style of the boxing glove, complete with padding and cushioning. These gloves were called mufflers and were very common during the 1800s.
Today, boxing gloves have evolved much and the style has improved to offer protection and prevent injury to fighters. There are different kinds available in a number of colors and styles. Even though these offered full protection, fighters are still able to render brutal attacks and blows that lead to knockdowns and knockouts.
The Boxing Glove: Different Kinds
The boxing glove is categorized in many ways. Some people classify these according to size, material, manner of wearing and training phase. When classifying gloves according to size, coaches and fighters usually measure these in ounces. There are gloves for children weighing between 4 and 8 ounces.
Adult gloves weigh 8 to 20 ounces. Heavy gloves generally also mean that these are bigger and better suited for large fighters. The heavy gloves are also more padded and offer more cushioning. During matches, fighters are often told to have the same glove weight, provided that they also belong in the same weight division.
The boxing glove is also classified according to material. There are leather gloves, synthetic leather gloves and vinyl gloves. These can also differ in the manner of being worn. There are gloves that can easily be worn via a Velcro strap at the wrist area. There are also gloves that need to be tied because of the strings at the wrist part.
Finally, gloves are categorized according to the part of training when these are worn. There are training gloves that are generally used for sparring matches and practicing with mitts and bags. There are also professional or competition gloves that are ideal for actual fights and matches.
How to Choose the Right Boxing Glove
Beginners and advanced boxers alike should have their own boxing gloves from the moment they start training. Having your own gloves will have various advantages such as maintaining good hygiene, getting familiar with the material and being able to train with the same consistency and intensity every time. Some fighters will use the heavier boxing glove during training sessions and then adjust to a pair 2 to 6 ounces lighter during actual fights to gain more speed.
Beginners should go for the Velcro-style gloves during their first few months of training. These are easier to put on and take off. The lace-up type will take more time to secure but will offer added stability during fights. As for the design, the fighter can choose from different styles, colors and patterns depending on his particular preference. Others like to stick with the standard black or red pair. Choose a style or color that you feel most comfortable with.
Final Boxing Glove Tips
Check the construction, material and feel of the boxing glove when searching. These should be comfortable on the hands, knuckles and wrists. The gloves should be snug and not loose, although it is recommended that you have some flexibility and movement as well. Try throwing a few punches in the air and feel the weight. Find the right brand and type that will last long. The typical boxing glove will last several months up to 2 years depending on the frequency of training and matches.
You should also compare the prices of the boxing glove from different sources and manufacturers. Some of the well-known brands will usually equate to more expensive pairs although you can be sure that these are durable and offer added protection.
Coaches discourage people from buying very cheap gloves that easily rip or might even cause injury to the wrists, arms and hands due to instability and poor construction. You can get a decent pair for $40 to $80. There are also more expensive ones although it will be better to invest in these once you upgrade to intermediate or advanced status. Some people get two pairs and use these alternately. The gloves also need to be broken in to improve the fit and comfort.