After many years of Boxing based training and now coaching Mixed Martial Arts from a striking point of view I often get asked which are the best boxing gloves to buy.
The first point is all about size. Boxing gloves don’t come in sizes they come in weights between 8 and 18oz. 8 or 10oz gloves are competition gloves designed for actual fighting not really for sparring or training in however a lighter pair of boxing gloves can be handy for pad work and very light sparring although generally speaking purpose built bag gloves are better for pads or bag work.
I recommend no smaller than 12oz gloves for any training that is likely to involve sparring, 14 or 16oz however are the norm for sparring with moderate contact. 18oz I tend to see as cumbersome but can be useful for heavy sparring or for very large guys needing to lower their impact level. For heavy sparring headgear often available from the same manufacturers as the gloves is probably going to be more appropriate than really big boxing gloves.
Buying Muay Thai brands such as Top King, Fairtex or Twins gloves is generally a better bet than western boxing brands although most good boxing brands will do a job.. In Muay Thai the clinch is an integral part of the sport therefore the gloves are a slimmer design which fits in well for MMA training too.
Quality is a massively important consideration when purchasing boxing gloves. There are many cheap gloves made in Pakistan or China and imported here under a whole host of brand names, some are ok, some even good but for the most they are untested, unreliable and poor quality. I recommend going for a proven brand name such as Top King or Fairtex. A good pair of boxing gloves if looked after will last years of training whereas a cheap pair you’ll be lucky to get a year out of, the old saying buy cheap buy twice really applies here.
The quality of the gloves also has an effect on the safety aspect of using them. I ban cheap gloves from my gym for this reason. Boxing gloves are designed to protect the person you are hitting (an obvious but often misunderstood concept in beginners) Poor quality padding which wears down fast will soon offer only a little more protection than bare knuckles, the Velcro on cheaper imports is often not properly covered either so can cause grazes and often infections when making contact with peoples skin.
So it really is a massive factor to consider if you are starting out or have been doing this for years, otherwise you could cause some serious damage to not only yourself but to the person you are fighting with. Is it really worth saving a little bit of money when in the long run you could be doing some serious damage to yourself? If you are passionate about what you do then just take this small factor into consideration and you will have the last laugh.