Man throwing a purple boxing glove with right hand

Best Boxing Gloves for Beginners

Our Top 5 Recommended Gloves for Beginners:

What are the best boxing gloves to get started?

This is a very common question for people looking for the best boxing gloves for beginners.  If you are just getting started and looking for a pair of boxing gloves then you have come to the right place. 

After completing our own review of the many available gloves we are pleased to recommend our Top Five Boxing Gloves for Beginners. 

You probably have a few questions to help you you decide what is the best pair of beginner gloves for you.  This this is perfectly understandable.  And you are certainly not alone.  With all the many brands, models, and sizes, and range of prices it can be daunting to know which to choose. 

The good news is that you do not need to spend a lot to get started.  And more good news is that we have done the hard work for you.   In this article we review our top five recommended gloves for beginners.

A glove is a glove, right?  Well, not exactly.   If you would like to have a better understand of how to choose beginner boxing gloves that are just right for you then the following information will help. 

What is the intended use?

The use of boxing gloves falls into one or more of the following categories:

Sparring This is when you attempt to punch your partner and defend against their punches.  It includes punching drills or any contact with another person. Sparring is used for training in boxing, kickboxing/ Muay Thai, and mixed martial arts (MMA) stand-up work (no grappling on the floor).

General fitness (non-contact). This is aimed at personal conditioning and working on techniques with partners, but without contact (other than holding shields and pads for you to strike).  

Bag work. This is repeated punching of bags, usually large one. This can be particularly hard on hands and gloves, particularly with weekly repetitive sessions. So getting the correct gloves for this activity is important.  

Fighting (in competitions). This is for professionals and very experienced amatures. Anyone looking for a fight glove will already know what they want, or they will be provided gloves by competition organizers.

This guide is intended for individuals (men and women) that are looking for a good all-around training glove for sparring, general fitness and occasional bag work.

If you are intending to do heavy bag work then have a look at our ‘Best Gloves for Heavy Bags’ recommendations. 

What size gloves?

OK, this is important, so here we go.

Boxing gloves serve two purposes: to protect your hands and to protect your sparring partner.

Glove sizes indicate the weight of the glove padding that provides protection.  Typical glove sizes are 10, 12, 14, and 16 ounces. The first thing you need to do is decide the size (in ounces) that is right for you.

The appropriate size of gloves is not dependent on the size of your hand.  You can completely ignore any size charts with hand measurements.  In fact, you can ignore most size charts altogether as they are misleading.

If you will be sparring then you will need a larger glove to protect your sparring partner. Especially if your partner is smaller than you.  Larger gloves have more padding.

Sparring gloves are typically 12, 14 or 16 ounces depending on your body size.  But there is no hard rule here.  Manufacturers’ size charts vary on recommendations (just to make it more confusing).

As a general rule if you are 170-180 lbs (77-82 kg) or more you should be using 16 oz. gloves.  If you are 140-150 lbs (68-64 kg) or less than 12 oz gloves will be fine.

It is worth finding out if your club has rules on glove sizes.  For example, some clubs may require anyone over 170 lbs (77 kg) to spar with 16 oz gloves.

If you will be using your gloves for non-contact activities then you can use smaller gloves.  Size and padding become less of a concern. For pad and bag work smaller gloves will be more comfortable.  But larger gloves provide a better workout because they are heavier. If you use heavier gloves and make the transition to smaller gloves later on you will feel faster.

Some clubs allow light sparring, meaning you may ‘tap’ someone without any force.  This would fall under ‘general fitness’.  Assuming it will stay that way a smaller size glove (10-12 oz), regardless of your size, is usually acceptable.

How do I know if they will fit me?

A good fit is determined by how comfortable your hand feels in the compartment and how well your hand and wrist is protected.

Stick with the size (in ounces) that is appropriate for you and then find gloves that fit comfortably.  Compartment sizes vary from one glove model to another. Don’t be tempted to change sizes for a better fit. Manufacturers’ size charts will try to get you to do this because they want the sale.  You would be better off returning them and trying the same size with a different manufacturer.

A pair of gloves may be very comfortable for 9 people, but the 10th person finds them uncomfortable and then writes a bad review.  It isn’t necessarily the manufacturer’s fault.  Also, some people wear wraps and some do not.  A loose fitting glove without wraps could suddenly become ideally snug with wraps.  Or the gloves could become too tight and restrictive.  Bear this in mind when reading reviews about how well gloves fit.

If lots of people say the gloves feel small and you have large hands, or vice versa, consider a different model.  Also, glove hand compartments will vary depending on where they are manufactured.  For example, gloves made in Thailand, such as Fairtex, tend to have smaller hand compartments than gloves made in the USA, like Everlast.

If the glove manufacturer provides a chart with hand size references you can use it to get an idea whether the size of gloves you want (in ounces) is likely to fit your hands.   Don’t consider changing sizes (in ounces) if the hand size suggests it may not fit comfortably. You would be better off with a different model.  Make sure you allow for hand wraps if you intend to use them.

There is an element of trial and error here, but for the majority of beginners it is less likely to be an issue.  Also, good online providers know this and they will be be helpful.  This includes making it hassle free to return gloves that do not fit well.  Just make sure you try them on and send them back before using them a few times.

Leather or Vinyl?

Vinyl gloves are the most common today for all-around training.   Vinyl wears out faster than leather, but it is cheaper and perfectly suitable for beginners and experienced people.

Vinyl is less breathable so your hands will quickly get sweaty and the gloves will regularly need the inside wiped down to control the odour.  (Something every glove owner contends with, even those with leather gloves.)

Leather gloves are more expensive but there are advantages.  They tend to be more comfortable as they mold to your hand with use.

Leather will last longer.  If you intend on multiple sessions every week working your gloves hard you may want to consider paying a bit more for leather.  Just note that is not unusual for the hand compartment to wear out before the outside leather.

Velcro Strap or Lace Up?

Velco is by far the most popular choice.  It makes getting in and out of your gloves much easier.  Most gloves using velcro have long straps that will circle around the wrist to secure them nearly as well as laces.  If you will be sparring then a glove with the velcro hidden will avoid abrasions on your sparring partner.

These days laces are mostly used by professionals.  Laces provide a firmer fit for the hand and extra protection for the wrists.  However, you will need to rely on someone to help you in and out of your gloves every time.

For beginners velcro is the way to go. The only exception might be if you require extra wrist support because of an injury or weakness.

What to do when your gloves arrive?

Try them on.  Don’t forget your wraps if you will be using them. When you first put your gloves on are they comfortable (including no points of obvious abrasion from seams or stitching) when you make a fist?  If yes, then great, take them to your next training session and have a go with them.

If the answer is no then contact your supplier. Explain what is wrong.  For example, the compartment may not be long enough for your fingers, or it may be too snug or too wide for your hand.  You can ask your supplier to recommend a different glove if they have more than one model.  But do not let them suggest a different size glove (in ounces) to resolve the problem.  It is reasonable to expect a hassle-free refund if you send the gloves back without using them.

When using your new gloves it is important that they feel comfortable.  There should be no pain or discomfort in your hand after throwing a punch.  After all, the gloves are supposed to protect your hands. This includes rubbing from seams and stitchings.  If you experience minor discomfort then you may find the gloves get more comfortable as you break them in over several training sessions.  Leather gloves can take a little while to settle in but will get more comfortable once you start using them.

Are good quality gloves also suitable for beginners?

Absolutely.  You do not have to spend a lot of money to get you started.  The vast majority of people are happy with an entry-level pair of gloves. But, if you want a quality glove with a better design to maximise performance, comfort and safety then have a look at our ‘Best Boxing Gloves for Training’ recommendations.  The genuine leather gloves will also be considerably more durable, breath better and not have the same smell as vinyl gloves, but they will cost more.

Need more help?

The above information should provide you with the knowledge you need to confidently make a purchase. But if you still have any doubts then speak to your coach or an experienced person at your club or training centre.  You may also send your query to us. 

Our Top 5 Recommended Gloves for Beginners:

Product Reviews

Sanabul Essential Boxing Gloves

If you want a pair of vinyl gloves that look good when you are training then you have found them.  Sanabul has designed a truly impressive looking pair of gloves. This company is not new to the sporting equipment business.  They offer a range of boxing and martial arts equipment that looks just as good as their gloves.

The Sanabul Essential boxing gloves are well suited for beginners and general use.  The material on these gloves is more durable than some of the better known brands of beginner gloves.   Nevertheless, if you plan on working your gloves really hard day after day you may want to upgrade to a more durable model.   

There is plenty of padding to protect your hands (and your partner).  The padding over the knuckles is rounded. This makes them more forgiving when you mis-hit your target. 

It is worth noting that the hand compartment is a little on the larger size, so if you have smaller than average hands you may want to try a different model. But for the majority of people these are comfortable gloves that allow you to enjoy your training session after session. 

Some people have found the stitching inside the glove has made their hands sore.  This is a minority of people but worth being made aware. If this is the case you can send them straight back.

You can choose from 8 accent colors on black gloves (including all black) and a full range of sizes: 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 ounces. 

Customer service can be hit or miss sometimes.  But they do appear to pay attention to customer feedback.  Some buyers have had great experiences reporting replacement gloves dispatched immediately with no questions asked.  A small minority have reported needing to chase more than once to get a resolution.  

Pros Cons
  • Great look
  • Comfort & fit
  • Color options (8)
  • Durability (if not a beginner) 
  • Hand compartment not suitable for small hands

<< Check Price on Amazon >>

 

Elite Sports Standard Boxing Gloves

We expected these vinyl gloves to be ordinary.  It was their high sales volume that piqued our curiosity. I have to say how pleasantly surprised we are with them.  The Elite Sports boxing gloves cost less than most other beginner gloves and yet they perform as well as much more expensive gloves.

The two things that stand out with these gloves are comfort and quality.  They feel great on the hands and sturdy enough to offer the protection needed. We like the stylish look of these gloves.  

The Elite Sports Standard Boxing Gloves are well suited for beginners and general use.  Experienced boxers use them as back-up gloves (possibly because of their relative low cost).  If you plan on working your gloves really hard day after day then you may want to upgrade to a more durable model.  But for beginners these are a good choice and promise value for the price. 

The padding over the knuckles is rounded.  This makes them more forgiving when you mis-hit your target. 

The mesh design of the hand compartment improves ventilation to keep your hands cool and dry.  They seem to have given this more attention than many other glove makers.

The smaller sizes, particularly 8 oz, have a smaller compartment size.  Don’t be tempted to buy a glove size (in ounces) that is too small because it is likely to be too snug, particularly if you are using hand wraps. 

You can choose from 10 accent colors on black gloves and a broad range of sizes: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 ounces. (The 4 – 8 ounce sizes for kids.)

We really like these gloves and are pleased to include them in our top five recommendations.  In terms of value for money we think these rank the best. 

Pros Cons
  • Price
  • Comfort & fit
  • Knuckle & wrist protection
  • Not just for beginners
  • Color options (10)
  • Durability (if not a beginner) 
  • Possible new material odor

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Trideer Pro Grade Boxing Gloves

These are good all around vinyl gloves.  Trideer is a small company that is growing.  They are exclusively focussed on fitness products with a limited product range. 

Trideer offers only one glove model.  However, this glove is more than holding its own against the competition.  We are seeing more and more experienced boxers buying these gloves.

The first thing that is noticed about these gloves is that the padding over the knuckles is slimmer than other gloves of the same size.  The glove weight is the same and the difference is the multi-density foam used.  

The padding over the knuckles is the traditional flat style.  This means that mis-hits are less forgiving but some boxers like the ‘feedback’. It may take a few sessions to get used to them.

The Trideer Pro Grade Boxing Gloves rate well for comfort and protection of the hand.  In fact, comfort and fit is its highest scoring.  Most people like the fit of the gloves, but for some it is a little too snug.

The gloves have a noticeable shine.  Some people like this but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.  The gloss can sometimes cause them to slip on the bags if you miss-throw.  

Some customers have complained about the smell of the material.  Trideer appears to have addressed this issue.

You can choose from 9 colours and a full range of sizes: 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 ounces. Following customer feedback you can now purchase an all black glove.

If you purchase their gloves and you are not happy with the fit you will be pleased to know that Trideer has some great customer service feedback getting problems resolved and refunds.

If you are looking for a good all-around pair of gloves that you can continue to use as you gain experience then Trideer Pro Grade Boxing Gloves are worth considering.

Pros Cons
  • Comfort & fit
  • Knuckle & wrist protection
  • Not just for beginners
  • Color options
  • Customer service
  • Not suitable for continuous bag work
  • Padding a bit stiff until broken in
  • Hand compartment a little on small side

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Everlast Pro Style Elite Training Gloves

Everlast is one of the most popular and best known brands of boxing gloves.  These gloves will cost a little more but you get the name and quality with the gloves. Everlast has been making boxing gloves for a long time and they know what they are doing.  Even for their beginner glove range. 

These gloves fit comfortably and have a nice sturdy feel about them.  They are actually one of the better fitting gloves. They also appear to be good quality as expected of Everlast.

The padding over the knuckles is flat, but not quite as flat as the Trideer Pro.  This means that mis-hits are a little less forgiving but some boxers find the ‘feedback’ to be helpful. 

For beginner gloves these are priced about right.  Even though they are Everlast they are not advanced gloves for continuous hard workouts.  But saying that, the Pro Style Elite will withstand bag work and other hard sessions better than the slightly less expensive competitors. 

If you are intending to work your gloves hard day after day and you want something that is sure to last you may want to consider upgrading to an Venum Impact for a little more, or the Venum Impact.

One thing that stands out with the Everlast Pro is the mesh ventilation panel.  This provides much more air circulation to reduce sweat and odor better than other gloves with ventilation holes only.  If you use your gloves regularly then sooner or later they will smell.  Everlast claims to provide an antimicrobial treatment to prevent odor.   The mesh, the treatment and routine care should make a difference. 

One thing to be aware of is that the wrist strap does not wrap all the way around the wrist.  This makes the gloves feel like they are not as secure as they could be. For many beginners this is not a concern.  However, if you want your gloves to be really secure on your wrists these may not be ideal for you. 

You can choose from 3 colors: red, black, and pink.   Available sizes are 8, one size, 12, 14, 16 ounces.  

We think these gloves are more durable than many other beginner gloves.  And of course, no one will ever question you for buying Everlast. 

Pros Cons
  • Comfort & fit
  • Quality
  • Mesh vent panels
  • Well known brand
  • Wrist straps could be better

<< Check Price on Amazon >>

 

Venum Contender Boxing Gloves

These gloves tick a lot of boxes.  They are probably one of the best beginner gloves you can buy.  This is good because they are a little pricier than the other beginner gloves. 

The overwhelming assessment of these gloves is that they are comfortable.  They fit well and offer good wrist support.  They are also stylish to look at. 

This brand is particularly popular with boxers and kickboxers as good all around training gloves.  Some people swear by them and will buy nothing else.

They are perfect for beginners that want a glove that is stylish and reliable.  They are also a set of gloves that you can grow with well past being a beginner. 

Like all of our recommended beginner gloves these are not suitable for punishing sessions day after day.  If this is your intention we recommend upgrading to the Venum Challenger 3.0 Boxing Gloves or Venum Impact.

The padding over the knuckles is flat, perhaps not as flat as the Trideer Pro.  This means that mis-hits are a little less forgiving but some boxers find the ‘feedback’ to be helpful.  The padding is triple density foam which offers plenty of protection for your hands and for your partner.

One stand out characteristic is the large velcro enclosure.  The wrist strap wraps completely around the wrist and large enough to offer greater security and good wrist support.  

These gloves have vent holes across more of the palm and thumb for better air circulation.

You can choose from a wide range of 12 colours to make it more likely your gloves will stand out from everyone else’s  Or you can go with the popular all black version. Venum offers a full range of sizes: 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 ounces. 

If you don’t mind spending a little bit more you will find these gloves are well worth it.  You will get the value to make it worth it. We love them.

Pros Cons
  • Comfort & fit
  • Quality
  • Stylish
  • Color options (12)
  • Wrist support
  • Price 
  • Durability (if not a beginner) 

<< Check Price on Amazon >>

Conclusion

There are a lot of gloves our there and most will be perfectly suitable for beginners, as long as  you avoid the really inexpensive ‘toy’ gloves.  However, until you get a feel for your style and preferred type of training it is a good idea to ease in with a glove that is designed for beginners, although some of our recommended gloves are preferred by more experienced people as well.

Our favorite overall is the Trideer Pro Grade Boxing Gloves.  If you are looking to avoid paying too much right away and want good value for money we recommend the Elite Sports Standard Boxing Gloves.   And finally, if you prefer a better quality glove that you can rely on to support your training then we recommend the Venum Contender Boxing Gloves.

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