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What Types of Boxing Gloves Are There?

Whether you’re training to improve your overall health or plan to be competitive, it’s vital to have the proper gloves for boxing. By understanding the types of boxing gloves and comparing them carefully, you can find the ones most suited for your needs.

Types of Boxing & Martial Arts Gloves

Below is our list of the most common types of fighting gloves.

Training Bag Gloves

By far the most common boxing gloves type you will encounter. Training bag gloves are a versatile variety of gloves that can be used for training. You’ll notice that these gloves often receive the name of boxing gloves because they don’t have special features that make them suited for any kind of boxing.

*Please note that these gloves differ from traditional bag gloves that we have listed below.

Sparring Gloves 

Sparring gloves aren’t competition gloves since they’re designed to keep both you and your partner safe. While you could technically spar with any other of the boxing gloves types on the list, these have soft padding that’s usually distributed more evenly. 

Amateur Competition Gloves 

As you search for boxing gloves types, you’ll notice amateur competition gloves. These gloves are specifically crafted to follow the USA boxing governing agency’s recommendations. Typically, these gloves are either red or blue. The knuckle area usually has highlighting, which makes it easier for judges to declare hits. 

Traditional Bag Gloves 

Traditional bag gloves are generic ones that often come with a punching bag set. You can also purchase these in stores or online, though you don’t really want to. These gloves have minimal padding and wrist support. In some cases, they have no wrist support. Many gyms prohibit members from wearing these because of the risks to the wearer. 

Semi-Contact Gloves 

When mentioning types of boxing gloves, it’s important to note semi-contact gloves, though these aren’t for most boxers. They’re most suited for Taekwondo or Karate. They have some padding, but not as much as other boxing gloves types. If you’re training for a semi-contact sport, these could be most suited for you. 

MMA Gloves 

MMA gloves aren’t used for Muay Thai or boxing for a reason. They tend to be fingerless and may have an open palm, which lets the wearer grip easily, in particular, when they’re blocking hits and kicks. 

Muay Thai Gloves

Muay Thai gloves, also known as Thai boxing gloves, are specifically for people who are training in Thai boxing, which is an official sport in Thailand. While you may use your hands in this sport, fighters are also allowed to use their knees, legs, hands, and elbows. 

These gloves are more versatile than standard boxing gloves. However, the padding is more evenly distributed, particular in the back of the hand. You’ll notice that these gloves have more flexibility in the palm region to allow you to catch kicks. They might also have additional padding on the side of the palm for the same reason.  

Mexican-Style Boxing Gloves

Mexican-style gloves tend to have tighter padding and are more fitted to your hand. They tend to have a longer cuff. You’ll notice that they have a sleeker shape compared to a standard boxing glove or any other of the other types of boxing gloves mentioned on this list. Often, these are considered to be professional-style boxing gloves. 

Professional Boxing Gloves

Professional boxing gloves are for just who their name suggests — professionals. If you never planning on going pro, these really aren’t necessary. In general, these gloves are smaller than standard boxing gloves. They’re usually more compact as well because they have firmer padding and are specifically designed for offense. Typically, these gloves have laces as opposed to Velcro since competitions tend to require them as such. Due to the nature of these gloves, they tend to come with a hefty price tag, especially when you purchase genuine ones rather than the ones sold in sporting goods stores that are solely to entice buyers, not provide them with a solid product.   

Choosing the Right Gloves for You 

Finding a pair of gloves that works for you, sometimes which requires you to own multiple pairs, goes beyond the standard kinds of gloves. 

For instance, you need to consider the weight of the gloves. If you’re a bigger person, you’ll want heavier weighted gloves. And as a general rule, you’ll want to select a lower weighted glove for bag work than you would for sparring. 

The gender you’re working with also matters. For instance, someone training women will want smaller gloves with comfort in mind. 

If you’re unsure of which size and gloves are right for you, speak with a trainer. They’ll be able to help you decide between the types of boxing gloves and select a weight and size that’s ideal for you. 

Boxing gloves aren’t a one-size-fits-all product. Moreover, all boxing gloves types are designed for different uses. When you know the difference, you can find the ones that are advantageous for you and will keep you safe as well as your opponent or sparring partner. 


Jake Dennon

I am an avid sports enthusiast who has been fortunate enough to train with some of the best athletes and coaches in the world.

As a child, I had a keen interest in martial arts (karate). I've trained with one of the best trainers in my home country.

Moving into my teenage years I tried everything from calisthenics to weight lifting to Taekwondo and everything in between. While I do love all kinds of sports, my passion still lies in martial arts.

The combat sport coaches I have been trained by have also trained some of the top fighters in the industry. All of these brilliant trainers (and all the ones in between) have shown me just how rewarding keeping fit and healthy can be.

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