B&W photo of young man in boxing gloves striking a heavy bag

Best Gloves for Heavy Bags

Our Top 5 Recommended:

See our Product Reviews further below.

Boxing is a fantastic way to let out aggression and burn calories. With heavy bags you can enjoy all the benefits of boxing without being in personal danger.  Even though they are more static than a sparring partner they still move and mimic a real person’s weight.

Before you start using your heavy bags for practice, consider investing in the right gloves.  The best gloves for heavy bags should have sufficient cushioning for hand protection, convenient closure, and suitable material.

Can You Punch Heavy Bags Without Gloves?

Even though you can punch heavy bags with no gloves, or just with wraps, it is not a good idea unless you are properly trained and know what you are doing.  Even when using gloves there are a lot to choose and they are not all appropriate for continuous use with heavy bags.  Suitable gloves will offer comfort and hand protection. They protect your wrists and knuckles, and forearm muscles.

Heavy bags can weigh up to 200 pounds. This is a lot of weight, and you will want a level of protection.  Training with minimal or no protection is dangerous, and it could ruin your overall experience.

In boxing your hands are your biggest asset. Hands are delicate as they have lots of small bones and joints. Without the right protection, the impact of heavy bags can cause fractures. And there goes your training program out the window.

How to Find the Right Size Gloves for Heavy Bags

Size is one of the most important things to keep in mind when trying to find the best gloves for heavy bags. The standard sizes are 10oz, 14oz, and 16oz. The right size for you depends on your training needs.

Bigger gloves offer more protection and comfort because they have extra padding. With heavy bags, large gloves are a good option. They are more comfortable and secure than gloves with minimal padding. 16oz is the good size for heavy bags.

Most professionals and experienced amateurs prefer heavier options. Besides providing more padding for protection they are heavier which means they have to work harder.  This improves their speed when they wear lighter gloves on the date of the fight.

Generally, your gloves should always have a snug and comfortable fit. You should be able to make a fist without strain. You also do not want your hands sliding around inside the gloves. This is true whether you are wearing hand wraps or not.

Things to Consider When Buying Gloves for Heavy Bags

Material

Think about the quality of your gloves before making a purchase. The most common options include leather and vinyl. Leather gloves are the best options; they are durable, strong, and breathable. However, leather gloves are typically more expensive than other options.

Vinyl gloves are cheaper, but they are less durable.  Vinyl is perfectly suitable for beginners or as a cheaper pair of back-up gloves.  Once you are using your gloves to train with heavy bags several times a week you will find vinyl material wears out much faster, especially if you work them hard.

Polyurethane (PU) Leather is much more durable than vinyl and not as expensive as genuine leather.  It is a type of manufactured leather that looks and feels similar to real leather.  Some glove manufacturers choose to this material to produce quality gloves at a lower cost.

Padding & Size

Gloves intended for sparring have padding that is distributed around the hand and wrist.  The primary consideration is the safety of your sparring partner.  They are sized according to the weight of the glove. This means that 16oz gloves will have more padding than 10oz gloves.

With heavy bags, you need boxing gloves with adequate padding.   Heavy bag gloves push the padding to the front to protect your hands from repetitive hard striking of a firm object.  Therefore gloves designed for heavy bag gloves are sized according to the hand compartment. For example: small, medium, and large.

Some manufacturers use more padding (in ounces) on their larger sizes and less on smaller sizes – usually only a difference of a couple ounces.  Some manufactures use the same amount of padding (in ounces) for all their sizes. The important thing is to get a reasonably good fit.

Some heavy bag glove manufactures are limited to two or three sizes, while others offer a full range of sizes from extra small to XX large.  Most manufactures provide hand size charts.  So if you are ordering online you can select the best size to fit you.

If a hand size chart is not available you can easily check with the manufacturer or supplier before making your purchase.  If you intend to wear wraps be sure to measure your hands with wraps on.

The Closure Options

The main closing options for boxing gloves are Lace-up and Velcro. Lace-up provides better wrist support but requires assistance when putting them on and taking them off.  Velcro closing systems are suitable for heavy bag training and they are easy to put on and take off on your own.  Unsurprisingly Velcro straps are the most popular.  However, if you are using Velcro straps it is important to ensure that they have adequate wrist support.

Hand Wraps

Hand wraps offer extra protection and shock absorbance.  The hand compartments of gloves will fit differently depending on whether or not you are wearing wraps.  Some gloves that feel a little loose will be just right with wraps on.  Others may be too snug with hand wraps.  It does vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and often the best way to find out is simply to order a pair and try them on.

For more information see our article on How to Select a Pair of Boxing Gloves.

How to Care for Your Boxing Gloves

Your boxing gloves are an essential part of your training kit. Since you sweat in them, they are susceptible to sweat building up which will result in bacteria and foul smell. Caring for your gloves promotes durability and helps get rid of bacteria and nasty odors. The following tips and tricks will help you maintain your gloves

Use Hand Wraps

Hand wraps do not only offer extra protection but also protect your gloves from sweat and moisture. They help absorb your sweat and they are easier to wash.

Avoid Putting Them Directly Into Your Kit Bag

After using your boxing gloves, avoid putting them straight into your kit bag. If you do, the bacteria will have the optimal environment to thrive.  Instead use a moistened piece of cloth to wipe the inside of the gloves after every use.  Allow them to dry before putting them in your kit bag.  Storing them in a plastic bag inside your kit bag can help.

Sun Dry Them

Ensure that your gloves are completely dry before storage. Sun drying is an effective way to stop the spread of bacteria and prevent bad smells.  However, only leave them in the sun for a short time.  Too much direct sunlight can damage the outer material.

Use Anti-Bacterial Spray

Unlace or unwrap your gloves and use anti-bacterial spray to kill germs before airing them to dry.  This is a quick way to get rid of bacteria and prevent bad smells.

Our Top 5 Recommended:

Reviews

Everlast MMA Heavy Bag Gloves

These are a traditional style of heavy bag gloves.  The fit is customizable, and wrist support is impressive. Their Velcro closing system is convenient to use but increases wrist support.

They have EverFresh™ anti-microbial treatment to help stay fresh and prevent the growth of bacteria. At least not as fast – sooner or later all gloves build up sweat and odor, especially gloves made with synthetic materials.   The mesh palm helps with breathability and this helps keep your hands dry and comfortable longer.

They have over an inch of foam padding for maximum shock absorption and comfort, which is excellent for heavy bag training. The foam holds up well enough for these gloves to last long plenty long enough to get your money’s worth.

These gloves are designed for heavy bags.  Title claims that the exposed thumb means you can use them for MMA sparring.  This might help with cupping but the gloves are not really suited for grappling.  Also beware that the thumb is not protected the way we would prefer for MMA sparring.  We recommend these for heavy bag work and different gloves for MMA sparring. See our article on Best Sparring Gloves for MMA to get an idea of what we mean.

These may not be the best quality gloves that Everlast has to offer, and they are certainly not the best quality heavy bag glove out there.  But they do the job well for the price.  We think they are good value for money as heavy bag gloves.

These gloves feel snug for their sizes so be sure to check the size chart.  Don’t forget to allow for wraps if you intend to wear them.

Pros Cons
  • Well padded
  • Comfortable feel
  • Good wrist support
  • EverFresh™ anti-microbial treatment
  • Price
  • The fit can be snug – check sizes
  • Synthetic material
  • Exposed thumb

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Title Boxing Old School Heavy Bag Gloves 2.0

These gloves are beautiful, comfortable, and great for players of all levels. They have old school craftsmanship, and the general look is simple and laid back.

The gloves have pre-curved layered foam that is a natural closed feeling and it helps with shock absorbency.  Title makes a big deal of their Gel Enforced Lining ™.  This does appear to supplement the foam padding for extra comfort with hard hits on the bag.  However, it does make these gloves a little heavier than the others.

The convenient on and off Velcro system is perfect for solo training. The material is made from genuine cowhide leather that is breathable and comfortable.  This material is also strong and durable for repetitive heavy bag work.

There is a metal grip for improved fist security. As soon as you put them on you get a realistic sense of how hard you can punch. The palm wrist band is firm and comfortable.

These gloves are good quality and heavy duty.  This makes them suitable for experienced heavy bag hitters.  They are equally suitable for beginners that want to get straight into heavy bag work with a good set of gloves.

These gloves do not have an adjustable wrist strap.  You will not get the firm wrist support of some other gloves so you will need a firm wrist when striking the bag.

They have an unpadded thumb sleeve that will feel awkward if it is too long for your thumb.  It is actually unnecessary and easily resolved by cutting off the top ½ of the material.

Pros Cons
  • Genuine leather
  • Durable
  • Breathability
  • Well padded
  • Simple, old school design
  • Price
  • Short wrist protection
  • Can be too snug for large hands with wraps

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Title Gel World Bag Gloves

These gloves are great for comfort and protection and they look great.  They look like traditional sparring gloves, but they are definitely heavy bag gloves

Title claims to use a Gel Enforced Lining ™ to take the impact.  They have a multi-layered foam padding feels comfortable. The padding is thick and soft enough to protect you from knuckle injuries. They are a really good choice for use on heavy bags.

The outer part of the gloves is all leather for durability. They have a hand compartment lining for breathability.  We really like the adjustable wrist strap with its D-ring and hook-and-loop closure for a firm fit.  They seem to have thought of everything.

These gloves are great for experienced heavy bag hitters that want a quality glove that offers protection and looks stylish at the same time.  Anyone just starting out with bag work will benefit from the protection and forgiveness of these gloves.

Pros Cons
  • Genuine leather
  • Durable
  • Breathability
  • Good foam padding
  • Gel Enforced Lining
  • Easy to use, secure, wrist support
  • Price

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Ringside Gel Shock Boxing Super Bag Gloves

The design of these gloves is all about hitting heavy bags. They offer good support and the thick padding provides comfort and protection.

They are breathable and easy to put on and take off. The fit is snug, and you can break them in with ease.  The gloves have leather of the striking area and synthetic material over the palm.  This provides more durability where it is needed while keeping the overall price down.

The gloves use a combination of gel padding and Injected Molded Foam (IMF) padding.  This provides decent hand protection.  They are initially stiff gloves and need to be broken in.

The hook & loop is secure and convenient, although not as firmly secure as some other models. The thumb is completely covered and attached for extra protection. .

They are dependable in terms of safety, durability, and comfort.  This makes them ideally suited for experienced heavy bag hitters.  Likewise they are appropriate for anyone just starting out.

Pros Cons
  • Leather striking area
  • Durable
  • Good foam & gel padding
  • Easy to use wrist support
  • Not entirely leather
  • Stiff until broken in

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Cleto Reyes Leather Boxing Bag Glove

Cleto Reyes is a well-known and reputable in the world of boxing.  There heavy bag gloves live up to expectations.

They feel comfortable and safe.  They are made with durable head leather which you would expect from Cleto Reyes.  They have a classic, stylish, black leather look.   The leather material is smooth and flexible.  You can expect these gloves to look good for a long time.

The gloves have thick latex foam padding that protects your hands when striking. The foam padding absorbs shock really well. They are surprisingly light given the amount of protection they provide.

The thumb is fully exposed which means you need to make sure you are striking the bag correctly to avoid injury.

These gloves have a water-resistant nylon lining for maximum comfort and breathability. The elastic cuffs are not adjustable.  This means it is not possible to get the firm wrist support of some other gloves.  The advantage is that they are really easy to put on and take off.

Pros Cons
  • Genuine head leather
  • Quality construction
  • Thick padding
  • Water-resistant nylon lining
  • Easy on/off
  • Exposed thumb
  • Wrist support

Cleto Reyes Leather Boxing Bag Glove

Conclusion

Choosing the best gloves for heavy bags does not need to be difficult. All of the gloves we have recommended are designed for repetitive striking of heavy bags.   When making a purchase we recommend looking at the material (for durability), the padding (for protection) and the closure system (convenience versus wrist support).  Next it is important to get a reasonably snug fit that is comfortable.

Repetitive heavy bag sessions can take a toll on your wrists, knuckles, and forearms if you are not adequately protected.  Likewise uncomfortable gloves will wear on you.  You will also want a pair of gloves that can withstand repetitive heavy bag sessions without wearing out prematurely.  With this in mind we have selected our top five recommended gloves for heavy bags.

Our overall favorite is the Cleto Reyes Leather Boxing Bag Glove.   We just know it and love it too well.  However, when it comes to getting the best value for money we don’t think you can go wrong with the Everlast MMA Heavy Bag Gloves.  But if you don’t mind spending a little more money for quality then we easily recommend the Title Gel World Bag Gloves.

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