Best High-Performance Boxing Gloves
For Pros And Serious Fighters Reviewed

best boxing gloves - feature image

Last Updated on October 1, 2020

Aside from water polo and decathlon, I can’t think of many sports as tough as boxing.

Hitting the punching bag or sparring for 5 minutes alone can zap an awful amount of energy. Perhaps burn you out quicker than an hour of your usual cardio workout. It’s why so many folks are taking up boxing as a fitness program these days.

As good as this sounds, it’s easy to develop lifelong hand injuries when boxing with inferior gloves – there’s a sea of them these days.

If you aren’t a serious boxer or experienced lover of the sport, you would find it hard to tell which is which. In fact, some of these guys don’t know either and end up paying way too much for average gloves.

Not to worry… 

I’ll reveal some of the best boxing gloves on the market to you in a minute. You would find the best of the best and even affordable options that won’t break your knuckle or deplete after two weeks.

Of course, I’ll also give a good explanation of factors that’ll help you to find gloves that fit your fighting or training style.

Let’s go…

P.S.: You won’t need to order from Mexico, Thailand, or Italy to get you a good pair of gloves if you were wondering.

Top 10 Best Boxing Gloves Reviewed

#1 Winning MS-600 16z Training Gloves

Our Verdict: Best Overall

Honestly, I can’t count how long Winning has been ruling the gloves industry with the same design of gloves. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, I guess.

These Japanese gloves are popularly known as “pillows,” which is the result of their impressive padding.

You don’t have to scroll for too long online before you’d find a pro boxer training in a pair of Winning gloves.

And it’s all because of their astounding hand protection. The padding is soft – not exactly butter or pillow-soft – and evenly distributed across pressure points.

If you’ve had to put ice on your hand after training, you can rest assured that you won’t have to anymore, in these gloves.

But not just because of their famed padding. It’s also not too bulky and would feel just like smaller 12oz or 14oz regular gloves. So you can train on speed or power in them without having to buy a separate pair of gloves since they cost a fortune.

More importantly, the cuffs are long and well supportive. Again, the very best on the market at that. If you don’t have a training partner or hate tying laces, you can opt for the Velcro version, which is equally supportive. But not as much as the lacing system of course.

Another amazing feature on these gloves is that they remain ergonomic despite their plush padding. Not only is it lightweight, but you can form a fist easily unlike excessively padded cheap gloves.

It’s the most expensive gear in this review and is well worth it. Depending on your training intensity and frequency, these gloves won’t wear down for years to come, except for aesthetics, like the logo fading.

Pros

  • Industry-leading padding system
  • Durable and breathable leather material
  • Ergonomic fit
  • Suitable for training and sparring
  • Plethora of color alternatives for personalization
  • Lightweight despite ample padding

Cons

  • Relatively tight hand compartment
  • Strap (Velcro version) is somewhat flimsy

Takeaway

If you want the best boxing gloves for training or have any hand issues, don’t hesitate to get one of these bad boys if you can afford them.

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#2 Rival RS100 Professional Sparring Gloves

RIVAL Boxing RS100 Pro Sparring Gloves - 16 oz. - Red/Silver

Our Verdict: Value Buy

Rival is one of the few brands on the market that still produces top-quality gloves without being overpriced. Of course, you’ll need to pay higher than fitness “toy” gloves to experience their true quality, but nothing over the top.

The RS100 is a full embodiment of the brand’s latest innovations from its “ergo lace track system”, modern aesthetics, to its D30 intelligent shock absorption.

One thing you can point out easily from these features is the standout design of the RS100, just like the rest of Rival’s gloves.

One of the innovative features is its ergo lace track system. It has the lacing system angled at 15 degrees, which has a nice and easy anatomical fit with the wrists for optimum protection.

The same thing goes for its strap (Velcro) version, but with the option of a single or double strap for extra wrist support.

These gloves also have a mesh panel on the palms for breathability. A good choice for folks who train for longer hours or have sweaty palms (in theory). However, the inner lining still takes longer to dry.

Finally, the D30 Intelli-Shock feature is the trademark padding system of top-quality Rival gloves. It has a good number of layered foam spread across the gloves all the way to its wrist.

But you should break in the gloves by using them on the bags for like a week or two.

You don’t want to burst your sparring partner in the face, so you? It’s part of the sport anyways.

That said, once broken in, it also molds to the shape of your hands for a better fit.

Pros

  • Good value on price
  • Lasting PU leather
  • Ergonomic wrist design with secure protection
  • Ample padding up to the wrists
  • Soft inner lining with mesh palm for breathability
  • Stylish handcrafted design

Cons

  • Needs to be broken in through more than a dozen rounds
  • Inner lining takes longer to dry

Takeaway

I can’t imagine a scenario where you’d regret buying the RS100 sparring gloves, except waiting for it to break in, which is normal with most gloves.

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#3 Ring to Cage C17 2.0 Japanese-Style Boxing Gloves

Our Verdict: Best Affordable Option

The Ring to Cage C17 is one of the most, if not the only, value-packed affordable gloves I’ve seen in a while.

It’s highly rated among boxing enthusiasts despite being a clone of Winning gloves.

Now, do they offer the same hand protection as Winning gloves? Of course not, but it’s not that big a deal. On the bright side, you’ll get better feedback on a punching bag (painless) with these heavy bag gloves unlike the numb “pillow” feel of Winning gloves.

Nevertheless, the padding on the C17 is soft and well-cushioned, way better than what you’ll get in some more and overpriced gloves. These gloves wouldn’t be an issue with a sparring partner.

Being the perfect clone that they are, you can expect a good amount of wrist support too. Not 100% like the real thing, but great. In fact, many folks actually prefer the Velcro version of C17 to that of Winning’s. The strap has better overall quality and performance.

The hand compartment of the C17 is astoundingly soft, roomy. Essentially, it’s super-comfortable.

The hand compartment cools pretty quickly, but the nylon lining can be better.

Speaking of which, the leather housing is of premium quality and would last long – another reason it has gained so much popularity in the boxing community. I think if you buy from their website, it’s cheaper and has warranty coverage.

Pros

  • Durable premium-quality leather
  • Good bang for the buck
  • Impressive knuckle protection and padding
  • Secure wrist protection
  • Fit easily on big hands

Cons

  • Clone design
  • Questionable nylon material on the inner lining

Takeaway

If you don’t mind wearing clone gloves and you’re on a tight budget, you should opt for C17. It used to be one of the best boxing gloves under $100, but its price is steadily increasing. But you may be lucky to find a good deal.

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#4 Ring to Cage Deluxe Boxing Gloves 34oz and 50oz

Ring to Cage 34oz Deluxe MiM-Foam Sparring Gloves - Safety Strap for Muay Thai, MMA, Kickboxing, Boxing (Marine Green/Black)

Our Verdict: Best for Punch Power and Hand Speed

Despite R2C’s infamous reputation for cloning other boxing gear, this might be their only genuine creation.

Yes, it’s a simple-looking classic glove. But one with a serious amount of padding, as much as 50oz. Now that’s something you don’t see everywhere.

It also has 2.5″ of MIM (machine-injected foam) that protects the knuckles optimally.

With R2C’s ample padding, you’d think the inside would be a stuffy oven, but it’s comfy and relatively cool.

Training in either the 34oz or 50oz R2C gloves would give you an intense session. If you haven’t used weighted gloves like these before, I’ll advise you to start off with the 36oz size.

These gloves are also ideal for training hand speed and power. The effect is instantly noticeable on hand speed when you switch to training in regular gloves after using them.

Unlike many other weighted gloves, the weight of the padding is well distributed to put even pressure on the hands.

They also use a witty double-layer Velcro strap that secures and takes the pressure off the wrist. This may not be as easy to wear as a single strap, but it’s a necessary evil, given the weight of the gloves.

Pros

  • High-quality leather
  • Excess padding for ultimate hand protection
  • Improves hand speed and power

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not the best overall build quality
  • Double Velcro isn’t the easiest to put on

Takeaway

These gloves are ideal for speed/power training with weighted gloves rather than as multipurpose or regular training gloves. So while it’s extra protective, you should also remember it’s heavy.

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#5 Twins Special BGLL1 Boxing Gloves

Twins Special Gloves Lace Closure BGLL-1 Color Red Size 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 oz for Muay Thai, Boxing, Kickboxing, MMA (Red,12 oz)

Our Verdict: Solid Option for Training

Twins is one of the few Thai brands on the market that are worthy of use in the ring and easily accessible to non-Thai users. But many of their gloves’ designs are clones.

The BGLL1 is a midrange boxing glove that’s perfect for those trying to upgrade from cheap “toy” gloves to real gloves.

It has a compact construction that molds to the hands for a comfortable fit. The padding isn’t the softest, but it’s protective enough to use on the heavy bag.

Not so sure about your sparring partner’s face, so you can go for 16oz if you’re sympathetic.

In case you have freakishly long fingers or large hands, this is a heads up:

Quite a number of people have had their fingers poking through the gloves because of its tight hand compartment.

Overall, it’s made with quality leather that would easily last for years depending on use. A huge plus for its price.

Pros

  • Good price
  • Durable and lasting leather
  • Molds to the size of your hands
  • Great for Muay Thai as well
  • Impressive wrist support

Cons

  • Padding may be hard for power punchers and large guys
  • Fits too tight for large hands or long fingers

Takeaway

The BGLL1 is a solid option for training if you like to feel contact with the bag. It has a great fit and should last for years.

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#6 Title Classic 2.0 Leather Gloves

Title Classic Leather Lace Training Gloves 2.0, Black, 16 oz

Our Verdict: Best for Beginners

Title has taken over the boxing scene by dishing out many extremely cheap and flashy gloves beginners put on a pedestal. And they make some high-quality (expensive) ones too.

But the Classic 2.0 is one of their best, if not the best gloves you’d find under $50.

As you’d expect, the leather doesn’t look authentic and you can judge just from seeing the gloves. The lace-up version also has cheap-looking lace you won’t even want in your shoes.

But unlike other cheap gloves, you won’t have stink issues with gloves. And they are relatively breathable.

Also, there’s a decent 2″ foam padding on each glove that’s protective (for beginners) and should last way more than its money’s worth.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Good first pair for aspiring kids or beginners
  • Decent padding
  • Many discounted offers open

Cons

  • Flimsy construction

Takeaway

This is easily the cheapest functional glove you can find. Still, you don’t want to settle for these gloves unless you’re a newbie, beginner, or really strapped on cash.

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#7 Cleto Reyes Official Pro Gloves

CLETO REYES Official Professional Fight Boxing Gloves Special Edition, Tiger Orange, 8-Ounce

Our Verdict: Best for Competition

Cleto Reyes training gloves are easily among my top ten boxing gloves of all time. They have a classic and original design that’s been doing well for decades because of their functionality and quality.

But I prefer their fight gloves more, just like many other boxers – It’s sort of norm in the boxing community now. But there are definitely tons of people using their training gloves – they are built like a tank and very protective.

Cleto Reyes Professional Gloves are built with visibly durable leather. The horsehair and foam blend would give the needed power transfer to deal maximum damage to opponents in competitions.

And boy, do they deliver. But the same can’t be said of their hand protection

Pros

  • Durable leather
  • Competition-approved professional gloves
  • Hand made in Mexico
  • Maximum power transfer

Cons

  • Little hand protection
  • Runs small

Takeaway

If you’ve got a punch that weighs a ton and want to let it all out on your opponent, these should be your competition gloves.

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#8 Title Pro Fight Gloves

Title Classic Pro Fight Gloves, Black/Red, 12 oz

Our Verdict: Best Affordable Pro Option

The Title Pro Fight Gloves from Title isn’t exactly your typical fight gloves. Amateur fighters and kids also use it blindly for training on the bag since it’s also available in 12oz size.

But that doesn’t mean it’s built like toy gloves. Surprisingly, its made with quality, or at least, way better leather than gloves in its category.

Filled with foam rather than horsehair, they are more of “hand protection” style fight gloves, thus its popularity as training gloves. But they are compact, so it’s easy to form a fist to land powerful punches.

Pros

  • Affordable option
  • Long-lasting cowhide leather
  • Offers hand protection
  • Great compact fit

Cons

  • Not competition approved
  • Cheap leather

Takeaway

Although not competition approved, they’d be nice for simulating fight gloves in training. And an incredibly cheaper alternative to Reyes, Everlast, Adidas, and other expensive fight gloves. You can also get this for a kid as an upgrade from mediocre “kid’s” gloves.

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#9 Fairtex BGV9 Mexican Style Boxing Gloves

Fairtex Muay Thai Boxing Gloves BGV9 - Heavy Hitter Mexican Style - Minor Change Black with Yellow Piping 12 14 16 oz. Training & Sparring Gloves for Kick Boxing MMA K1 (Black, 16oz)

Our Verdict: Best for Women

Fairtex is a prominent Thai brand that’s known for making a snug and comfy gloves.

Their BGV9 is a traditional Mexican style glove with a tighter fit than regular men’s gloves, making them a good option for women.

Speaking of which, I didn’t recommend it for guys because of their stiff padding. But females don’t punch as hard, so it won’t be a problem while sparring.

On another hand, BGV9 has such impressive wrist support for Velcro gloves. So you’ll enjoy secure hand protection while hitting the bag or sparring.

Finally, they are available in many colors ladies would love, and of course, including pink.

Pros

  • Impressive craftsmanship
  • Snug fit for ladies
  • Compact size
  • Nice wrist support
  • Perfect for bag work, nice for sparring

Cons

  • Somewhat stiff padding

Takeaway

The BGV9 is a highly underrated boxing glove for women. It’s compact, protective, and affordable, but for some reason, many people steer clear of the Thai brand for overpriced options.

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#10 Ringside IMF Tech Velcro Gloves

Ringside Imf Tech Sparring Elastic Boxing Gloves (Black, 16-Ounce)

Our Verdict: Most Inexpensive Alternative

Although Ringside isn’t what they used to be about a decade ago, they still offer some valuable gloves.

The IMF (Injection Molded Foam) isn’t exactly a revolutionary technology as much as it’s a cost-saving strategy. But it offers incredible cushioning on impact, maybe too much.

In fact, I’ll only recommend it for a fighter with a history of injuries (wrist support is average, so tread carefully). The Ringside IMF Tech Velcro Gloves‘ padding is incredibly soft. Soft to an extent where you won’t feel your knuckles hitting the bag, which can lead to bad form or technique.

However, it would be a great option for sparring, both for men and women.

Despite being affordable, Ringside does a lot of sales, so you can wait to get them at an irresistible offer.

Pros

  • Affordable option with special offers
  • Durable shell material
  • Super-soft foam padding
  • Great for sparring

Cons

  • Tough to break-in
  • Runs hot despite mesh palm

Takeaway

Ringside is no longer one of the boxing glove brands like old times, but it’s hard to pass up the value these gloves offer, especially during sales.

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boxer in his corner


All You Need To Know To Find The Best Boxing Gloves

Today, there are literally hundreds of brands hustling to sell you cloned or inferior gloves with meaningless shiny and whack designs at attractive prices. 

In this review, we are focused particularly on the best boxing gloves, but there are other types of gloves designed for other combat sports, too, of course. There are different types of kickboxing gloves, Muay Thai gloves, even MMA gloves and a few others more, including women’s boxing gloves, but the main thing is that – you should know how to choose the best one for you based on important factors which is beyond the scope of this review.

I’ve done the heavy lifting by recommending 10 of the best gloves on the market. However, I’ll go further to teach you how to fish for the best gloves, so you can make an informed decision.

Brand

It might not be always wise to judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to boxing gloves, you definitely should.

The majority of brands on the market today manufacture their gloves in Pakistan, Thailand, or other 3rd world countries to cut production costs.

As if that’s enough, they would most likely be clones of Winning, Hayabusa, Grant, Cleto, or Title. It’s up to you to confirm or ask from friends in the gym of its build and material quality if you found one there.

As for me, there are only a handful of brands that I’ll recommend for “boxing gloves” aside from the ones above.

  • Di Nardo
  • Ringside
  • Fairtex
  • Boon
  • Top Boxer
  • Top King
  • Sabas
  • Everlast
  • Necalli
  • Cassanova
  • Adidas
  • RIval
  • Fighting Sports
  • Twins
  • Ring to Cage, to mention a few

Obviously, there’ll be lots of other quality brands I may not have included because I haven’t tried or heard about them. Some (if not all) of the brands mentioned above carry other boxing accessories too, such as top quality boxing hand wraps and even different types of punching bags and don’t be surprised if you’ll also find the best boxing shoes with your choice of brand. There’s a wide array of products that would surely go best for you. 

Color

Although not the most important factor to look for in gloves, color does matter.

Bright colors are preferred in boxing, so that sparring partners can see incoming punches.

Also, it’s a plus if you train in the dark at times for whatever reason (yes, some people do).

Red gloves are the most common, but it’s hard to spot blood stains on them. Besides, they were actually introduced to cover bloodstains from the TV audience on fight nights.

Lace-Up or Velcro

Wrist support is one of the most crucial things to look out for in boxing gloves.

There are two ways to go about it: either you go for convenience (Velcro) or protection (lace). Some brands add elastic to the strap or double straps, but they usually defeat their purpose.

Velcro

The Velcro or hook and loop is a fast and easy-to-use closure but not the most protective. Despite this, it actually costs more than its more secure lace version.

Of course, you’ll enjoy the freedom to take them on and off if you train alone or use your hands in between sessions. But be careful not to buy gloves with thin Velcro straps – they’d wear out in no time.

Laces

Ask any old-school boxer their preferred strap and they’ll most likely tell you “lace.” They are mostly hard punchers that don’t mind the pain on the face but prefer their hands safe fro more fights instead.

Laces fit almost anatomically to your wrists, to give the needed extra support.

If you workout at home and won’t always have someone around, you can tie the laces loose enough to squeeze your hands in and out. But don’t be tempted to train hard with loose laces.

Whichever closure you want to choose is down to personal preference. But I value protection more because hand injuries are almost inevitable when you hit the bag a few days a week. Besides, in the few minutes it’d take for someone to tie your laces up, you can share a chit-chat or get advice from an experienced boxer.

red boxing gloves

Padding

It’s safe to say that padding is the whole point of getting gloves in the first place. So you should pay attention to its design, size, and type while shopping for your gloves.

First and foremost, you should pick a size that works with your training routine. Since you’re most likely going to be training with them, I’ll recommend 16oz gloves, regardless of your weight.

Then, research on the concentration or shape of padding in the gloves. This way, you can choose a pair that fits your fighting style.

For instance, large gloves have more padding all-around for extra protection but make punches easy to anticipate. It also limits a boxer’s vision while blocking.

Meanwhile, compact gloves are less bulky and can penetrate blocks. However, they aren’t good for defense and not the best wrist support. This is because they have less padding on the palm and more at the back (for blocking kicks in Muay Thai and MMA).

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to pick one that fits your fighting style.

Padding Material

Lastly, be careful of the type of material used in the padding as well.

There are three main types:

  • Foam padding
  • Gel padding
  • Horsehair padding

In my opinion, foam is the standard in boxing gloves for boxing gloves. Depending on its quality and construction that goes into, foam is protective and long-lasting.

On the other hand, gel gloves are touted as a longer-lasting option. But they don’t give great feedback on the bag or feel as comfortable as foam or even horsehair.

But I won’t recommend using horsehair or a blend unless you’re a competing fighter.

Aside from wearing down fast (really fast), they just don’t offer enough protection or cushion to train in them regularly. You need to stay as healthy as possible if you want to continue boxing, even for fun. But if your pride and career depend on landing killer blows in the ring, you can take to horsehair.

Material Build

Without a doubt, nobody wants to spend hard-earned cash on gloves that won’t last a month.

But the quality of gloves material not only affects durability but also comfort while wearing them.

The material used on the exterior should be quality leather. While most brands won’t state the type of leather, stay away from plastic, synthetic, or toy-looking leather gloves. Not only are they flimsy, but also would stink like hell after a while because of the chemicals used to make them.

Inner Lining

This is more like the bedspread of the gloves. It prevents sweat from getting into the foam, which would cause it to stink and break down faster.

Also, the texture of the material (I prefer smooth and soft) helps to feel comfortable in the gloves and form a fist.

Stitching

The easiest way gloves fall apart is from the stitches or seams along the exterior.

The best boxing gloves would use double-stitching on the palms with a closed-gap in between the stitches. Welted seams are also very durable, but I rarely see them anymore in gloves.

Just inspect that there aren’t loose seams in the thumb, wrists, and back of the hand and you should be fine.

Not to forget…

Handmade gloves may have rough or inconsistent seams but are usually stronger than machine-made ones.

Types

Boxing gloves are mainly classified into three types: bag gloves, sparring gloves, and fight gloves.

Boxing Gloves For Bagwork

Bag gloves are built to effectively cushion strikes on the heavy bag or mitt. But because of their dense padding, they can’t double as sparring gloves. Punches would be way too hard and frustrating for you, or your sparring partner.

Don’t use any of those “special” gloves or the old school bag gloves with that imitates bare-knuckle. They don’t offer enough wrist support or protection – and are better off for MMA or riding a bike.

Boxing Gloves For Sparring

Generally, sparring gloves have thick and soft padding. This is is to ensure your punches don’t knock off opponent’s head off while sparring.

While they are also great for use on the heavy bag, the padding might deplete faster than expected. For this, you’ll have to buy training gloves, which are more suited for multi-purpose use.

Still, you don’t want to confuse dense bag gloves for training gloves.

Boxing Gloves For Competition

Fight gloves are typically on the lighter side. This is to get as much power transfer from the knuckles during fights.

Amateur Fight Gloves

Amateur gloves usually have a “competition-approved” seal and white knuckle area. The white knuckle area is used to score legal points. Anything outside the white area isn’t counted.

They are mostly softer than pro gloves but you’ll most like get one from competition officials if you ever need one. They are given to all competitors to ensure fair play.

Pro Fight Gloves

Pro fight gloves are easy to spot among sparring and training gloves with their small size.

Like amateur gloves, they are light for power transfer, but even with less padding. If you go for the horsehair padding, you’ll be sacrificing protection and longevity. Horsehair fight gloves usually last only around 20 rounds.


Now, let’s see how to properly glove-up in this video, below:


Wrapping Up

So, that’s a wrap on the best boxing gloves review. It’s left to you to find one that brings out the Sonny Liston or Anthony Joshua in you.

The ultimate top-rated boxing gloves remain the Winning MS600 training gloves. If you can afford it, don’t hesitate to. Pros don’t just use them for nothing despite not being their sponsors.

So which gloves did you go for? If you are just starting up, then the best choice for you would be the Title Classic 2.0, which we believe is the best boxing gloves for beginners

Is there anything that isn’t listed here that you think people should really know about?

 

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