Bag Gloves vs Sparring Gloves – What is the Difference?

Every training type has different needs. For example, you should keep your partner safe during the sparring, however, we try swinging the bag as much as we can. All pairs are constructed for different needs and of course, there are lots of differences between training types. Let’s start with safety comparison of heavy bag and sparring gloves. Then continue with their padding quality and quantity differences.


Safety of Bag Gloves Vs. Sparring Gloves

We don’t try hurting partner during sparring and because of that sparring gloves have attached thumb to prevent any eye injury whereas you don’t need that feature during the heavy bag session.

Secondly, punching bags are very tough and our knuckles, wrists face high impacts in very short amount of time. Bag Gloves Vs Sparring GlovesThanks to wrist support feature our wrists stay stable and safe. In my opinion, it should be the most important feature when you get a new pair. I actually had a problematic right wrist and it still hurts time to time. I honestly hate it when that happens. Wrist injuries can be really serious and it does not matter that you do sparring, heavy bag or focus mitt training you should not consider training without this feature. And it is truly vital for heavy bag sessions because it will be the toughest item which you will ever face.

Also, pairs, which have longer cuffs, generally protect wrists better. These wrap wrists better and make it extra stable. However always look at reviews of gloves. I have seen lots of horrible boxing gloves with long cuffs.


All about the Padding Quality

We need lots of padding quantity for protecting our sparring partner and you probably have seen very big gloves for punching bag training. So can we use heavy bag pairs for sparring? If you don’t want to cause serious injury in sparring, you should not 😉 The padding material of the heavy bag pair is totally different and its mission is to deliver the shock well so you can improve footwork as the punching bag swings. In sparring it is exactly the opposite.

Also after you punch a tough item, glove’s padding will move a lot and it should come to zero-state before the next punch. So we can have quality punching experience. If it does not, this shortens the durability. And if glove’s padding can’t achieve it during punching bag session, that pair will be useless in no time. However sparring glove’s padding quantity is a lot and incredibly soft to protect your partner. You won’t strike a tough item in sparring, so the quality of padding memory is not really important.


Padding Distribution

Heavy bag pair’s padding is mostly concentrated on knuckle part of the glove and it has minimal padding of the upper side. So you can punch faster and use the momentum. Whereas both front and the upper side of sparring gloves have lots of padding. This is why you won’t throw your fastest punch with this pair however when you defend yourself, the padding of the upper side will protect upper side of your hands better.

differences between bag gloves and sparring gloves


Leather is the most important factor for sparring sessions. Because it will face different deformation types. Does not the padding face impacts too? Wel, it does. However, you punch your sparring partners or their gloves. These are not tough like punching bag. So, padding will be just fine and the leather will be useless first. Sparring gloves should have premium quality leather in that way the leather won’t have rough spots in future and your sparring partner won’t have cuts etc… However this situation is exactly the opposite for bag gloves, the padding will face impact more and it will be useless before the leather. So you won’t see any top notch quality leather exclusively for punching bag

Whether you choose sparring or heavy bag gloves these should have premium safety features. Here are some best boxing gloves for safety and training performance. You can also find their other incredible features as well.


About Size

You can choose heavy bag pair according to your weight. Normally you can choose sparring gloves according to your weight too. However, most boxing gyms won’t allow you to spar less than 14 oz.



Nowadays lots of pairs have nylon mesh to keep your hands cool and inner lining to get rid of sweat. This will be your preference and if you want to be more relaxed, there are some gloves which can make your hands very comfortable during the training. You probably guess that there is generally the correlation between price and these features. Well, you are right 😉


Can You Use Sparring Gloves for Heavy Bag Workout?

It is obvious that we can’t use heavy bag gloves in sparring because these deliver the shock well and can knock out can you use sparring gloves for heavy bagyour sparring partner. However, can you do the opposite? Well actually you can but you won’t have a good sweaty workout. The reason is that sparring pair’s padding is soft and don’t deliver the punching impact well so the bag will barely swing. In that way, you won’t get much benefits. If you are interested in knowing other benefits of heavy bag training, then check out here.

Also sparring glove’s padding normally does not forget its memory fast so with time the sparring pair will lose padding quality in heavy bag training and the pair will be useless in no time. So sparring gloves are really not ideal to use in punching bag session. However, your hands will be safe.



About Price

Normally premium heavy bag glove’s price is lower than premium sparring pair. Because leather is the most effective factor for determining the price. So good quality sparring pair’s price should be more than quality heavy bag pair.

These are all I know about the subject and even though these gloves look similar there are lots of differences between them. Each pair needs different safety and training performance features. Also, let’s not forget that these have different padding distribution. I hope you enjoyed bag gloves vs sparring gloves content and if you have any questions or anything to share, please have a comment below.


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4 thoughts on “Bag Gloves vs Sparring Gloves – What is the Difference?”

  1. great post. It is good to know and was always curious about that. You would not want to use the wrong gloves on the wrong subject, would we?

    Great post thank you

    1. When we use bag gloves for sparring or vice versa it shortens durability. With that there are some gloves we can use for both training types. And good to see you here again Brent

  2. Thanks Furkan for this post. I had not really thought about this before but it does make sense. As you said I wouldn’t want to knock out my sparring partner by wearing the wrong type of gloves.

    So what sparring gloves would you suggest?

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