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How Heavy Can Boxing Gloves Be?

Last Updated: 16.05.22


Everlast boxing gloves are known as some of the best gloves in the world, but that alone is not the sole characteristic you should rely on when choosing your new pair. Since gloves are vital equipment for your success in the world of boxing, it really pays off to be informed and know exactly what to look for.

In ancient Greece, their earliest form consisted of leather straps tied to the fighters’ hands, which may or may not have had things like studs embedded in them for, you know, added comfort. Lucky for those of us practicing nowadays, boxing has become a more civilized sport, with gloves being made out of better materials based on scientific studies.

If you’re looking to get started into the pugilistic art, you may find a wide selection of available gloves in all sorts of weights and styles. With that in mind, we prepared a guide about how heavy boxing gloves can be and what makes each of them special.


Two types of gloves

First things first, you need to know that boxing gloves come in two forms: bag gloves, also known as training gloves, and boxing gloves, usually referred to as sparring gloves.

While you will need both of them as you progress further and further, it’s really important to know the differences between them so you can make your choice accordingly. Boxing is a sport with a lot of rules and regulations and you can only succeed if you strictly follow all of them.

You will see that these are nothing like the small gloves used for MMA which weigh as much as children boxing gloves and have finger holes so the fighters can grab one another. As an up-and-coming boxer, you will be forced to deal with the differences between these two, so let’s get a little into detail about when and where each type is useful.



Bag gloves

Bag gloves are specifically designed for hitting heavy bags and pretty much everything non-human in a boxing gym. Always keep in mind that this type of gloves protects you, not your target of choice.

You can use training gloves with both wrapped or unwrapped hands, even though we strongly recommend you to wrap always. They offer protection against things like scrapes and contusions since they lessen the transfer of impact forces from the bag into your body. They serve as a way of preventing worse injuries like broken hands from happening.

When it comes to weight, first remember that boxing gloves are usually weighted in ounces, commonly referred to as “oz”. Bag gloves will typically range from those with a little padding to some gloves that can even weigh 16oz or more. Many boxers will use heavier gloves as a way of increasing their endurance, while 12oz training ones are usually the best for beginners.


Boxing gloves

When you step in an actual boxing ring and have a real match, you will be wearing boxing gloves. When you are training, you will often use 16oz gloves that will protect both you and your opponent. In actual competitions, the weight is also a factor, with both boxers agreeing on a glove category before the match.

Those weighing 10oz are among the most common ones in a boxing ring. When it comes to sizes, they are similar to training gloves since you can have anything from 8oz to 16 oz and more than one style. An improvement brought by modern gloves is that most of them are pre-molded in a fist shape nowadays, allowing you to simply slide your fingers in.

Compared to early times, modern-day boxers suffer fewer hand injuries due to the developments in glove-creating and safety regulations that for instance require both fighters to agree on a specified glove weight before the fight.


How do boxing gloves work?

Compared to winter gloves, which are designed to keep your hands warm, boxing ones are made with simply one thing in mind: the force of impact upon the boxer’s target. Thus, a heavier 16oz glove will absorb more of an impact than a 12oz one during deceleration, because it compresses against your target. By doing this, less force gets transferred from one to the other.

When you are working the heavy bag, the punch is slightly slowed on impact and it serves as protection for your hands against scrapes and bruises. This is the reason why in a real match you will wear lighter gloves. Heavier gloves reduce the damage you inflict to your opponent because that is not the objective of sparring.

If you don’t believe us, try it for yourself! Sparring gloves are bigger and more padded and as such getting hit with a 16oz glove will rattle you quite a lot less than being on the receiving end of a 10oz one.


Let’s talk about each one

Now that you know the main weights a boxing glove can have, you’re probably wondering exactly how that weight is determined. The padding in the glove is the main factor, as it’s common sense that more padding equals more weight. This is why the 16oz gloves are the most recommended for sparring because they provide the best protection.

The 4oz is typically going to be the smallest glove weight and is ideal for young boxers aged 8 or anything below that since it is designed specifically for a tiny hand.

The 6oz takes things up a notch, as it was made for kids around 8 to 12 years. However, it can also be worn by ladies with very small hands, having no age restriction as long as it fits.

Gloves which weigh 8oz are the next step, being ideal for teenagers or women. While they can be used in competitions too, you will usually see them in amateur boxing fight nights.



Things get serious once we get to 10oz gloves. These are ideal for young adults and the most commonly used glove type for bouts. Another benefit is that they are great for improving your technique on a punching bag or focus pads. They are not recommended for sparring since the padding is smaller around the glove.

The 12oz is one of the most popular weights for starting male boxers. They can be used for training, bag work, fighting, all sorts of fun stuff. These gloves are ideal for beginner sparring and all-around boxing.

Starting from 14oz we are moving into heavier weights and this is another example of an all-rounder glove. If you have the strength for it, feel free to use it for any boxing activity as it will hardly ever let you down.

As we said, 16oz gloves are generally considered the best sparring gloves. They also provide decent muscle development and arm workout, being recommended for anybody above 143 pounds.

The titans of boxing gloves are the 18oz ones. These are really heavy gloves which are recommended for very tall boxers and strong ones who can use them in sparring. With this much weight, they will provide greatly help with muscle development.




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