How Heavy Are Boxing Gloves (Weight & Size)

June 20, 2022

Every job is easier with the right tool in hand. In the fighting sports world, boxing gloves are perhaps the most important piece of equipment you will use. They are used for training on the heavy bag, pads, partner drills, and sparring, so pretty much all the sport-specific training. For that reason, boxing gloves come in different sizes, shapes, and features.

Boxing gloves are measured in ounces and range from 8 to 18 ounces, each with their specific use, advantages, and disadvantages.

In this article, I will help you understand which size boxing gloves serve which purpose and which you should get.

How Heavy Are Boxing Gloves?

The most significant deciding factor for the size of boxing gloves is your bodyweight. Naturally, heavier people hit harder and need more hand protection.

Then, general training gloves used for mitt work or the heavy bag are lighter than sparring gloves. Ideally, you need two pairs of gloves—one for training and one for sparring.

If you're unsure which gloves fit these categories, my best boxing gloves article will help you.

Bodyweight

Training

Sparring

110-140 lbs

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10 oz

14 oz

140-160 lbs

10-12 oz

14-16 oz

160-180 lbs

10-14 oz

16 oz

180-210 lbs

10-14 oz

16 oz

210-260 lbs

12-16 oz

16-18 oz

260+ lbs

14-16 oz

18 oz

Let's see how the different sizes are commonly used. Of course, different people have different preferences. The sanctioning body always regulates competition, and in many gyms, sparring with a specific size of gloves is mandatory. But for training purposes, you can go according to his wishes.

8 Ounces

The smallest boxing gloves are used only by children and for certain types of competitions. Some boxing matches can be contested with 8-ounce gloves, and many Muay Thai fights in the lowest divisions also use them.

10 Ounces

Most boxing, kickboxing, and Muay Thai competitions are done in 10 oz gloves. In the gym, many fighters prefer them as bag gloves and an all-around training glove, especially in the lower weight divisions.

12 Ounces

The 12 oz glove is perhaps the best all-rounder as a training glove. It strikes the perfect balance of not being too heavy and oversized that you can use it for everything aside from sparring. However, a lot of people spar in 12 oz gloves as well. These gloves are also used for amateur boxing competitions for fighters over 165 lbs.

14 Ounces

Getting into the heavier sizes, 14-ounce gloves are preferred by bigger fighters for all-round training or for sparring by the smaller guys.

16 Ounces

Among many gyms worldwide, the consensus is that you should do sparring in 16-oz gloves. They are puffier and heavier with a lot of padding everywhere, so, typically, they are used to spare the sparring partners unnecessary damage. They can also be used for other purposes, but unless you are a heavyweight or have injured hands, there is little benefit.

What Does Oz Mean With Boxing Gloves?

What Does Oz Mean With Boxing Gloves

Oz is an abbreviation of the unit of weight, ounces. An ounce of weight equals 1/16th of a pound or 28.34 grams. Each boxing glove is measured in ounces, with boxing gloves ranging from 8 up to 18 ounces.

MMA gloves are smaller and weigh between 4 and 7 ounces, albeit with a very different concentration of padding than boxing gloves.

Different manufacturers and gloves with varying purposes may distribute the padding very diversely. For example, a 14 oz boxing glove and a 14 oz Muay Thai glove weigh the same but have very different padding distribution.

Boxing gloves have most of their padding on the knuckles. In contrast, Thai-style gloves distribute the padding more evenly around the glove to protect the hand while blocking kicks and elbows.

What Size Boxing Gloves For Women?

The preferred size of boxing gloves is generally decided by the user's bodyweight, not being male or female. But women are generally smaller, don't hold that much power, and have smaller hands, so they usually use lighter gloves. The table at the beginning of the article is a reference for both men and women.

What Size Boxing Gloves For Men?

Again, depending on your weight, you may need different gloves. If you are over 160 lbs., you should spar with 16 oz gloves. For training purposes, however, it's all down to personal preference.

If you use a single glove for all training, including heavy bag, partner drills, and pad work, you should aim for a balance between speed and protection. The bulkier gloves protect the hands very nicely and build more strength and endurance in the muscles.

But on the other hand, if you are competing, the feeling of punching with 10 oz competition gloves and 16 oz pillows is dramatically different. So you may want to train with lighter gloves outside the sparring sessions.

The 10 oz gloves feel great and let you punch fast, but they offer much less protection. Continuous hard work on the heavy bag may injure your hands, especially early in the training process. 

What Size Should A Beginner Boxer Get For Their First Pair Of Gloves?

For an average-sized man, 12 or 14 oz gloves should be perfect.

My opinion is that 12 oz are better because they are closer to competition gloves and have enough padding to protect the hand sufficiently but still require you to punch somewhat correctly. 

The heavier gloves allow for a much sloppier striking due to the significant padding.

Summary

Boxing gloves sizes are measured in ounces and can go between 8 and 16 ounces. When choosing how heavy boxing gloves you should buy, a big deciding factor is your bodyweight and the purpose you will use the gloves for.

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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