14 Or 16 Oz Gloves For Heavy Bag?

September 11, 2023

Choosing heavy bag gloves is much less restrictive than gloves for sparring because on the bag, it’s only a matter of personal preference, so there are various options. But if you need a lot of hand protection or want a single pair, you can use it for sparring and bag work. The choice narrows down to 14- and 16-ounce boxing gloves. But which to choose?

14-ounce gloves offer slightly inferior protection because they have 2 ounces less padding than 16-ounce gloves. Less padding means less protection but more feedback, a smaller overall size, and a smaller hand compartment.

The difference between 14- and 16-ounce gloves is not significant, but it’s still enough to make it a relatively important decision, so here are the things you must consider when making your pick.

Should I Use 14 or 16 OZ Gloves On A Heavy Bag?

The answer to these questions depends on personal factors, including weight, experience, and budget. The ideal option is to have one pair of gloves for sparring and one for heavy bag work.

Some people even have additional ones for other types of equipment, like pads or double-end bags. But realistically, many people only buy one pair and use it for everything, leaving 14 and 16 ounces as the only real options.

Let’s see what choosing each of the two sizes will get you.

Why Take 16 Ounce Gloves?

Should I Use 14 or 16 OZ Gloves On A Heavy Bag

There are two reasons to go for 16-ounce gloves on the heavy bag:

  • You have hand injuries
  • You weigh over 170 lbs, and one to use the same gloves for sparring and bag work.
  • Want to build more endurance.

16-ounce gloves are the heaviest in the normal range of boxing gloves brands offer. They provide the most protection to the hands, and when brands provide a size chart, 16 ounces are recommended for sparring for everyone above 170 lbs and for heavy bag use for heavyweights.

And if you have to spar with 16 ounces, be it by choice or because the gym requires it, buying a great pair of all-around gloves like Hit N Move, Fairtex Glory, or Hayabusa T3 is a good option.

All-around gloves have padding designed to be durable enough for bag work and soft enough to spar with, so you can buy a single pair of gloves for all your needs.

And even if you are lighter, 16-ounce gloves provide the most hand protection, and this is the safest option for those with hand issues.

The third reason you might choose 16 oz is for the added muscle endurance they develop because of their weight. While this is not a significant factor, it still increases over time.

Why Take 14 Ounce Gloves

Here is why you should choose 14-ounce gloves for the heavy bag:

  • You weigh less than 170-180 lbs.
  • You want to feel your punches more
  • You have small hands

Usually, there is no point in having 14-ounce gloves as bag gloves and another pair of 16-ounce gloves for sparring because the two sizes are similar.

14 ounces is usually the choice for all-purpose gloves for the lighter weight classes, who can spar with this size. If you are in between sizes in the size chart, look at what other people in your gym use.

The good thing about 14 ounces is they are still protective but not as bulky as the 16 ounces, giving you more feedback on the punches. Then, there is hand circumference.

While not always the case, 14-ounce gloves tend to have a smaller hand compartment than 16-ounce gloves, and for people with delicate, childlike hands, 14 ounces are the better choice.

Other Options For Heavy Bag Gloves

If we are honest, you can even use a pair of oven mitts or plain leather working gloves on the heavy bag if that’s your choice. When you train without a partner, it’s just your body on the line, so it’s up to you what you use.

While you can, I doubt you will use oven mitts unless you want to become a meme, but regular leather working gloves are not such a crazy idea if you want to spend a couple of rounds conditioning your hands without scraping your skin on the heavy bag.

Bag Mitts

The better option is to use punching bag mitts. There are a lot of reasons why you should use bag mitts, at least from time to time. They force you to be precise with your punches, always strike with proper alignment, and be mindful of which part of the hand lands.

Most people don’t like them because the chance of injury is greater, but I am a proponent of using mitts occasionally for technical reasons and for conditioning the hands. Here is a great video from Ramsey Dewey with more details on the topic:

Heavy Bag Gloves

Then, there are a few options on the market for dedicated heavy bag gloves, which still have padding but are much harder than a standard glove and are solely designed for heavy bag work.

For example, Revgear (they also make great bag mitts) is one the few brands that produce such models, and they are distinguished by stiffer padding and some clever wrist locking systems, including plastic or metal parts, making them unusable for sparring.

You can use code “SWEETSCIENCE” to get 10% off the Revgear heavy bag gloves.

The problem with those is they are relatively expensive for a one-trick pony, and usually only pros afford the luxury to use this type of bag gloves.

Training Gloves

The more common practice is to have a pair of 10- or 12-ounce all-around gloves for all training purposes and a pair of 14- or 16 ounces (depending on your weight) for sparring, which I recommend to most people. I personally don’t like using 14- or 16-ounce gloves on the heavy bag, and I pick the big pairs only for sparring.

Using 10 or 12 ounces on the bag, mitts, and other training equipment feels better, provides more feedback on your punches, and at least some hand conditioning.

Especially if you compete, it’s good to get used to the feeling and weight of the size you will be using in competition (usually 10 oz for boxing, Muay Thai, and kickboxing), and heavy bag training is a great time to do it.

So, this is a serious argument to get lighter gloves for heavy bag training instead of opting for 14 or 16 ounces.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use 14 oz Gloves For Heavy Bag?

You can use any size gloves for heavy bag training, including 14 ounces. They offer excellent hand protection and can also be used for sparring if the model is right.

Can I use 16 oz Gloves For Heavy Bag?

You can also use 16-ounce gloves on the heavy bag. They offer the most hand protection and allow for less precise striking with little chance of injury.

Is There A Big Difference Between 14 And 16 oz Gloves?

The difference is just 2 ounces of weight. The padding largely determines the weight of a boxing glove, so a 16-ounce glove will have more padding than the same model in 14 ounces. Remember that different manufacturers and models can feel radically different at the same weight.


When choosing between 14 and 16-oz gloves for heavy bag use, the main factor is your body weight. For most people, 10 or 12 ounces is preferable for heavy bag use, but if you want a single pair of gloves for sparring and heavy bag work or more hand protection, then 14 and 16 are the solution. A general guideline is that 14 ounces are for people below 170-180 lbs. and 16 ounces for those above this limit.

About the author 

Plamen Kostov

Plamen has been training for the last 14 years in karate and kickboxing, before settling in for MMA for the last 5 years. He has a few amateur kickboxing fights and currently trains with and helps a stable of professional and amateur MMA fighters.


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