Boxing Gloves: FAQ, Uses, Care

Written by
Teri Harman
On
Monday, January 4, 2021

Whether you're a seasoned boxer or a beginner, using a pair of dependable, high-quality boxing gloves is essential to your success and safety. But what exactly are boxing gloves, and why are they so important? How much do they cost, and why in the world are they weighted? 

You've got questions, and we've got answers. Keep reading for everything you need to know about boxing gloves. 


Boxing Gloves 101: Everything You Need To Know

First things first, where did boxing gloves come from? 

Boxing dates back to Ancient Greece, but back then, fighters used only their bare knuckles. Boxing gloves didn't actually gain popularity until the 19th century when a bare-knuckled boxer named Jack Broughton invented a padded glove for his students to wear, which he called “mufflers.” His gloves never appeared in a championship fight, but the concept of using hand protection caught on and eventually became mandatory over the next few decades. 

Throughout the 20th century, boxing gloves changed into the recognizable form and shape they have today. And as equipment and training evolved, different types of boxing gloves have been created for specific uses, such as sparring gloves and bag gloves. 


How Do Boxing Gloves Protect The Fighters?

The primary reason boxing gloves are used in the sport of boxing is to protect the boxer's hand from injuries. Hand injuries are extremely common in combat sports, despite glove use. A really easy way to emphasize just how much boxing gloves protect the hands is by watching an old-school bare-knuckle boxing match.

Bare-knuckle boxing only allows fighters to wrap their thumb and wrist, but not their knuckles, which is why most of them end up breaking their hands in almost every fight. The reason why the hands get so injured during a match is due to the density of the skull compared to that of the hands. The bones of the hand are tiny and delicate, allowing us to use our fingers and hands for precise movements, such as catching, drawing, or writing. 

In contrast, the skull's only purpose is to protect and contain one of the most important and fragile organs in the human body—the brain. Because of this, the skull is the hardest bone in the body. 

Striking another person's head with our delicate hands results in injured hand bones. Therefore, it's of the utmost importance for someone training in a combat sport like boxing to wear boxing gloves. 

Preventing Finger Joint Displacement

One of the main functions of boxing gloves is to provide a cushion for your finger joints. Your finger joints are the most vulnerable to the shock of a punch, and the effect can actually cause some serious damage to your knuckles. Boxing gloves are important and act as a shield of protection. 

Protecting Your Opponents

The impact of the force in a moving object is known as momentum—boxing is all about momentum. Without boxing gloves, the effect of the momentum is much higher and effective than with gloves. Without gloves, the momentum a punch can carry may result in heavy damage and a severe injury to your opponent. The larger area due to the boxing gloves reduces the impact of the shock, thus helping to protect an opponent from any serious injuries. 

Reducing Blood Bath

Okay, so it's a pretty common phenomenon that competitors bleed from the forehead to the nose during a boxing match, but some serious thunderbolt-boxing-punch can follow through into the type of bleeding that results in a blood bath. Blood loss due to a fight happens much more frequently if the boxer doesn't use gloves. Bare-knuckle boxing reduces the area and drastically increases the force. This results in increased damage that consequently ends in a blood bath between the two fighters. 

Wrist Support

From a medical perspective, the shock that results from the momentum of a punch may do some serious damage—but protection from that momentum can be given by boxing gloves. 

Wrist injuries have a lasting effect that takes quite a bit of time to heal. This puts a pretty great threat against the career of a boxer. Boxing gloves are crucial as they provide wrist stability during the shock of a punch, helping fighters to avoid injury to their wrists. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you understand why boxers wear gloves, let's dive into some frequently asked questions:

What is the best boxing glove?

This is by far the most frequently asked question on the web, but it's tricky to answer. You see, the "best" is very subjective because there are a lot of factors that make gloves good, but it really depends on your specific needs.

Rather than asking what the best boxing glove is, a better question would be, "what is the main purpose of the gloves?" Once you figure out the purpose, you can look at different glove options to fit your specific needs, for example, sparring, boxing, heavy bag work, or Muay Thai. If you need help figuring out what type of gloves you need, as your trainer!

Do gloves come in different sizes?

To be clear, boxing gloves do not come in different sizes as shoes do, but they do come in different weights—in ounces, to be specific. The weight is determined by the amount of padding that is found inside the glove. More padding = heavier glove = more protection for your hands. 

The weight of a boxing glove ranges from 4-ounces to 20-ounces. Every brand uses its own custom glove mold, so they all tend to fit a little differently, but you'll find that boxing gloves do get a slightly larger hand compartment with a heavier ounce glove. For example, if a 12-ounce glove usually fits you with one brand, but it's too tight with another, then you should move up to a 14-ounce glove to give you more room for your hands. 

So, which weight does one need, you ask? Here are the rules of thumb:

  • If you're going to be sparring, 14-ounce to 18-ounce gloves are recommended depending on your size and weight. 
  • If you're going to be training on a punching bag, 12-ounce to 14-ounce gloves will work just fine.
  • Amateur Fighters use 10-ounces or 12-ounces depending on their weight class. 
  • Professional fighters use 8-ounces or 10-ounces depending on their weight class.

But of course, there are always expectations, so don't be afraid to ask your trainer for help. All of the trainers at LegendsBoxing are experts that practice real USA boxing techniques. If you have a question about how much weight you need in your glove—your trainer at LegendsBoxing can help!

How much do boxing gloves cost?

The cost of a good pair of boxing gloves really depends on a few things like size, materials used, brand, and overall quality. You can find gloves ranging from $19.95 to over $300. But, keep in mind that just because a pair of gloves are really expensive, it doesn't necessarily mean they are any better than a pair of cheaper gloves. You would be surprised to learn just how much money people will spend on gloves from a specific brand.  

How do I take care of my gloves?

Taking care of your boxing gloves is really quite simple. Here are the best tips to keep them clean and smelling fresh. 

First of all, keep in mind that smell is something that is totally unavoidable and is entirely dependent on the type of bacteria that lives on your skin, which happens to be determined by your genetics—not the type of glove you buy! These steps will help to reduce the strength of the smell:

  • Make sure to clean your gloves with an anti-bacterial wipe after every use. 
  • Dry your gloves on the inside and outside as much as possible with paper towels. 
  • Whatever you do, don't leave them wet and sweaty in a gym bag for a prolonged period of time. 
  • Use hand wraps with your gloves to help absorb as much sweat as possible.
  • Lastly, under absolutely no circumstances, do not wash your gloves in a washing machine or submerge them in water unless they are designed for that purpose. 

What is better: velcro or lace?

Velcro is usually recommended for new boxers because they are a little more practical. They are easy to put on and take off and don't require anyone's assistance. The only real drawback is that they can provide weak wrist support that needs to be supplemented with good hand-wrapping


A Final Word

Boxing gloves are important for many reasons. If you need help finding the best pair for you, don't be afraid to ask your trainer! The trainers at Legends Boxing practice real USA boxing techniques and know a thing or two about boxing gloves. Whether you need help wrapping your hands or advice on which glove is best, Legends Boxing has your back!


Sources:

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Jack-Broughton

https://www.britannica.com/sports/bare-knuckle-boxing

Written by
Teri Harman
On
Monday, January 4, 2021