How To Choose A Sparring Glove



Sparring Gloves are built to protect you and your partner while you spar in the ring. Sparring gloves are also heavier than competition gloves, which helps to improve endurance.





When you try on a pair of gloves the glove should slide on easily. The glove should fit snug, but not feel tight. There should be room enough for wraps and there should be no areas that feel pinched or constricted. You should feel minimal resistance when making a fist, and your fingertips should touch the tip of the glove.

The gloves should always have an attached thumb, and, if using a velcro-like closure a recessed cuff is preferable. Both reduce the potential for an eye injury and the recessed cuff reduces the chance of scrapes or cuts from velcro. The cuff should also cover all the velcro material


One type is Injection molded foam or IMF, which is a liquid poured into a mold, which takes the form of a fist. This gives you a natural pre-curved design immediately and aids in the durability of the internal foam structure.

Another option is layered foam, which is sheets of foam glued together. The advantage to this is the different layers can vary in density. You can have a soft inner layer for comfort, a firm middle layer for durability and then a soft outer layer to protect your sparring partner.

Lastly, here is a gel option. A thin layer of gel is layered over the knuckle portion of the glove combined with either a layer foam or IMF foam. When these two are combined, this produces another layer of protection.


If you are a hard-core athlete and are sparring regularly, you will want to consider a leather shell for the added durability.

Another option is a glove with a synthetic outer shell. Some synthetics today are almost as durable as leather and have a very similar feel to leather. Some coaches have a preference for leather, so check with your coach before buying a pair of synthetic gloves.


Sparring gloves vary by weight and are available in 14oz. to 20oz sizes. In Canada, for amateur boxing a minimum 16oz is required for sparring.


Sparring gloves are available in velcro, or lace up versions. Most boxers prefer the velcro version for simple reason that you don’t need anyone to tie up your gloves.