Glove Sizing for Beginners
Beginning a boxing class? The first piece of gear you should treat yourself to is a brand-new pair of gloves!
The phrase “fits like a glove” means that something is a perfect match – not only does it merely fulfill its intended purpose, but nothing could possibly be better than it at doing so. Something that fits like a glove is the ultimate; the zenith; the highest form.
So when you go to buy gloves for your boxing class, it’s only natural that you’d want gloves that fit… well.
Luckily, we have just the guide for you! We’ll break down exactly what features make a glove great so you can shop confidently.
There are two styles of gloves. Each style has multiple variants within it, but we’re starting at the macro level.
- Thick padding covers fingers and back of hand
- Separate thumb, but fingers contained together
- Thumb is connected
- May have a grip bar
- Palm area is covered (but may have mesh or holes for ventilation)
As the name suggests, this is the style you’ll most likely want for a boxing class! Don’t worry, we’ll get into more details in a moment. But first, let’s introduce the second main glove style:
- Individual finger channels
- Open finger design
- Padding covers part of fingers, back of hand
- May have an open palm
- May have a grip bar
- Thumb is not connected
This style of glove offers many benefits for MMA training, but aren’t ideal for boxing. In fact, gyms that teach contact boxing or kickboxing, with sparring, may not allow these gloves to be worn. If your boxing class is strictly cardio-focused, you may be permitted to wear these gloves – but unless you have a pronounced preference for this style, we don’t recommend it.
The rest of this article will focus on boxing gloves, since (hopefully) that’s what you’ve now realized you should be buying for your boxing class!
Sizing for boxing gloves works a little differently from your standard small-medium-large scale. Instead, you’ll find that gloves are sized by ounces. The most common sizes are:
- 10 oz.
- 12 oz.
- 14 oz.
- 16 oz.
- 18 oz.
- 20 oz.
Gloves exist on both smaller and larger ends of that spectrum, but these six sizes listed here will accommodate 99.9% of the population. The best way to pick from all these sizes is to view them on a sliding scale using these pointers:
- Lighter gloves will allow you to punch more quickly.
- Heavier gloves provide resistance if you want to focus on strength training.
- Heavier gloves provide more padding and protection for hands.
- The smaller a person you are, the smaller oz. of gloves you should use.
- The less experienced you are, the more likely you are to hurt your hands or wrists – increased padding will reduce the chances of this happening.
So petite woman who is relatively new to boxing should look at gloves in the 12 – 16 oz. range, whereas a large man with the same experience should look at the 16 – 20 oz. range, because he’s more likely to strike harder and potentially hurt his hand. An intermediate-level boxer, who knows correct form and her physical strengths and limitations might want 10 oz. gloves – but the same woman, wanting to focus on building arm strength, would be better off with 16 or even 18 oz. gloves.
One last thing to note: Larger gloves don’t make you punch harder – if anything, they’ll slow you down and make your punches more padded. Therefore, if you’re planning on sparring, prepare to buy a higher weight of glove. Some classes won’t even allow participants to spar unless their gloves meet a minimum weight requirement.
MEN’S VS WOMEN’S GLOVES
The ounce size is the most important determining factor for a glove’s fit. Standard boxing gloves are unisex (which we should all realize, in this case, absolutely means “made for men”). If you’re a woman and/or you have small hands and wrists, you can look for boxing gloves that are specifically sold as “women’s.”
Tip: if your gloves feel too loose, hand wraps can help! Not only will hand wraps help fill out any excess space, they will also provide extra support to your wrists and another layer of padding on your hands.
If you have any other questions about gloves, our site gives a detailed description of each pair! Go explore, check out different styles, and find a pair that you like the look and feel of!
Want to personalize your own boxing gloves? Click here to customize your own gloves!