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Boxing Gloves Expert Advice
Wondering what you need in a boxing glove? This page helps to answer some of the most commonly asked questions.
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27 Questions
23 Answers
What type of boxing gloves should I get?
Boxing gloves are constructed to enhance different aspects of your game. Some gloves are designed to be small and compact and place more of the glove weight toward the wrist, increasing speed and impact. Protection is minimized, but punching power is increased. If your primary focus is on punching power, this is a good choice (consider the Cleto Reyes brand). Other gloves do the exact opposite, favoring more padding over the knuckles. Boxers that have had hand injuries or who wish to be mindful of safety prefer gloves that have extra padding over the knuckles. Gloves that are fluffier also make for better defensive tools as they can cover more surface area with less movement (consider the Grant brand of gloves). Other brands range in between these two extremes and you can gauge just how much padding you need, and where you want it.

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What weight gloves should I get?
The weight of gloves are measured in ounces. The higher the number the greater the shock absorbency and the heavier the weight. The standard for sparring is 14 - 20 ounces. Go on the heavier side if you want to increase your cardio or have a joint injury. For bag work 12 ounce is standard. For competition 8 or 10 ounce is the standard for pros and 10 or 12 ounce is standard for amateurs.

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Boxing Gloves vs. Bag Gloves
Boxing gloves are designed to use a softer less-dense foam combination, mold or gel that increases shock absorbency for both you and your partner. Bag gloves utilize a dense foam that can withstand the day-in-day-out pounding they will receive in the gym. The closure of boxing gloves protects your partner from abrasions.The closure of bag gloves are easy-on, easy-off. Bag gloves also can contain a grip bar in the palm, which provides you an enhanced (and safer) fist.

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Can I hit bags with my boxing gloves?
You can do bag work with your boxing gloves, but they will break down faster. The foam and outer in boxing gloves are designed to protect your opponent, which is great when sparring but when you use boxing gloves for bag work they will break down faster than comparable bag gloves would.

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Can I spar with bag gloves?
You should not spar with bag gloves. Bag gloves have several features that improve your bag work but make the gloves dangerous for sparring and training.

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What are the safest boxing gloves?
Safety is the name of the game for boxing gloves. No one particular brand or model is the safest, but understanding how ounce weight works will help you choose the best pair for your needs. The higher the ounce weight (14 oz, 16 oz, etc), the more padding you will get with the glove. The more padding, the more protection against wrist sprains and scuffed skin. Also, be sure to wear handwraps (properly secured) and you should be good to go!

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What kind of gloves are good for cardio kickboxing?
Many cardio kickboxing routines are done with strikes in the air rather than on bags. However, for those individuals who are using a bag, it is important to protect your hands properly. Beginners are encouraged to use well padded gloves around the 12 ounce weight that can provide good support for the wrists and knuckles.
Many advanced cardio kickboxers prefer to use MMA style gloves as they allow increased finger movement and grabbing ability (which is sometimes relevant during kickboxing routines).

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Lace-up vs hook-and-loop wrist enclosures
While some boxing gloves have a simple slip-on style wrist,many others feature lace-up or hook-and-loop wrist enclosures. Lace-ups are the best for creating a tight, secure fit that conforms to your wrist and forearm. However, they do take an extra effort to tie and can chaff if you do not wrap your hands properly. Hook-and-loop closures are much easier to use and secure, but do not generally allow the kind of personalized fit lace can.

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Must I wear handwraps with my boxing gloves?
During official bouts, it is actually uncommon for boxers to wear handwraps. Instead they wear tape and gauze that is usually prepared by their trainer. For heavy bag training and other routines it is highly recommended boxers wear handwraps.

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How do I keep my gloves clean and smelling fresh?
Keeping your gloves clean and fresh is a great way to extend their life. Many boxers complain about a serious funk that develops from the sweat and grime of training, which can be both off-putting and unhealthy.
The first step to avoiding glove funk is to always dry out your gloves as best as possible after practice. Do not simply take them off and put them in your gym bag. Instead you can use newspaper or paper towels inserted into the glove to absorb most of the moisture (remember: moisture is the breeding ground for bacteria). In addition, be sure to set them out in a well ventilated area that will help promote the drying process.
Many boxers have come to rely on a product known as Glove Dogs, which contain cedar chips. These are inserts that actively absorb moisture and promote a fresh scent. Other options include Febreze and other antibacterial sprays, but always use them sparingly and test on a small area inside your glove to make sure there are no adverse effects.
One final piece of advice is to always wear handwraps, which act as a first line of absorption for your hands. Be sure to have multiple wraps around so that you can rotate them, and clean/dry the other pairs when not in use.

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You might also need...
If you are buying boxing gloves, there are a few other things you might need. The first is handwraps or lace covers. You need to be very careful that your hands and wrists are protected, and proper handing wrapping can provide an extra layer of safety. Lace covers also serve to protect your partner/opponent from scraps against your laces.
A good tight hand wrap will prevent skin tearing and wrist sprains. You might also want to purchase headgear, as sparring will likely be a regular part of your training regiment. If you intend to spend time in the ring, you should look into boxing shoes which feature a special non marking sole and enhanced ankle support. Finally, don't forget a mouthguard - they are inexpensive and invaluable.

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