Sparring offers so many benefits, which the other boxing training types simply can’t offer, including defending real punches, counter-attacking and more.
Whether you are aspired to become a successful boxer or not if you immerse yourself in boxing, then you will have many different sparring partners in your journey and you need to have protective gears including gloves, mouth guard, and headgear. So I picked the seven best boxing gloves for sparring and these have qualities that are ideal for sparring sessions including good cushioning, the position of the attached thumb, and more.
After reading about the recommended boxing gloves for sparring, you can find answers for frequently asked questions including which oz. gloves are ideal for sparring, whether you are allowed to spar with 14 oz. gloves or not and more.
Winning is one of the most popular sparring gloves for boxing, if not the most. The padding is softer than the counterparts. Even if you accidentally punch your opponent harder than usual and he or she does not take that particular punch well, the padding still does a pretty good job to soften the blow.
This glove is made of very high-quality premium leather and it is built to withstand constant abuse. Basically, if your goal is to get used to a boxing glove and use it for a long time, Winning becomes an excellent choice. The lace-up model fits quite well, wraps your wrists tightly as it is made for the anatomical structure. So your wrists and hand are aligned in a natural way.
This glove is another excellent option for sparring. It is made of really good quality cowhide leather which is more durable and allows more air than most synthetic leather gloves. The older model was tapered however this one’s shape looks even more tapered which adds extra support. If you concern about your wrist’s safety then this glove is made for you.
There is not a lot of padding and it is medium-density which is perfect for sparring as it protects your partner and can give you feedback about how you punch. As a side note, unlike Ring to Cage many brands don’t produce 18-ounce gloves which are suitable for big hands and it is also available for purchase.
Cleto Reyes Extra Padding
As you can understand from the name this pair has additional padding on the knuckle compartment and it is around 2”. It is actually more than many standard sparring gloves including the most gloves on this list.
It is narrow however it is also designed for the anatomical structure which doesn’t seem to get bad feedback from people about fitting. In fact, it actually feels quite natural to wear and make a fist.
This glove’s lining is quite comfortable and smooth which doesn’t bother your fingers, wicks the sweat quite fast so you will not feel like you are punching with another glove at the end of sparring sessions.
Multiple layers of foam work well for sparring gloves. The impact of punches is absorbed quickly in these layers and padding will not soften for a long time. Also, when you start throwing the first punches, it will not be too stiff for sparring as well.
This one offers both PU leather and genuine leather selections. Obviously, genuine leather is harder to get defects, spots and it is built to last. Even though PU leather does not hold up as well as genuine leather and does not look smooth, it can be chosen especially if you have a tight budget and own other boxing gloves for bag work, pads so it will not take too much abuse on a regular basis. Consequently, it can be used for a longer period of time.
Also, the velcro part is quite small so your sparring partners don’t suffer any cuts.
Combat Sports IMF Tech
This soft foam is injected into the knuckle area and it looks bulky. Sparring gloves need to have it more than a certain amount and it has it. However, it is also soft and the density is low. This is perfect for sparring as the padding stiffness will not change anytime soon and it does not cause any shock dispersion problems or safety problems for you or your partner.
The leather is quite solid and smooth. The sturdiness helps the glove’s padding stay in place. The structure and extreme sturdiness prevent tears. Also, the mesh is soft and people are not complaining about the lining’s ability to repel water. So this is a good sign for both inner design and materials.
I have been a boxing instructor for quite some time and also have selected brands to be suppliers for martial arts gyms. Generally, there always have been certain specifications and quality control for any boxing gear. So I am guessing the association even has more strict rules for boxing equipment. After all, the boxers are getting ready for world boxing championships.
The wrist closure is longer than the standard gloves and this improves the protection, stabilizes the wrist more, and just feels more secure.
The technology and weight distribution are ideal for reducing the impact delivery period and in this way, you can preserve more energy. Actually, this is the first time I experience a pair of gloves that can effectively accomplish it. This factor alone can convince boxers to give this pair a shot.
IMF padding can be the reason why you may prefer this pair. It is injected and is molded that provides a natural fit for fists. This also distributes the shock evenly and minimizes the shock in a very short amount of time. The attached thumb’s position is at the right place and does not bother you while punching, closing your hands, and considering the price; the leather quality is not bad at all.
Also, this one’s price is not as high as the other gloves on the list.
What oz. Gloves are Ideal for Sparring?
Most 16. oz gloves have enough padding quantity to absorb and minimize the shock so it minimizes the risk of injuring your partner. It is also perfect for most people’s weight. So most boxing gyms around the world recommend boxers to wear it when they step in the ring.
Can 14 oz. Boxing Gloves be Used for Sparring?
It obviously offers less protection for your opponents than 16 oz. standard gloves. However, if you weigh less than 160 lbs. and have a small hand circumference it can be okay to use 14 oz. gloves for sparring sessions. But some boxing gyms require you to use at least 16 oz. so definitely ask your coaches whether you can get in the ring with 14 oz. gloves or not. So you can avoid wasting your money or returning your gloves which can be bothersome.
As a side note, 12 ounce boxing gloves don’t have enough padding quantity to minimize the delivered shock for people who are above 130 lbs. So we don’t see people throwing punches with 12 oz. gloves during sparring sessions.
Should you Consider 18 oz. Boxing Gloves?
The purpose of boxing gloves for sparring is to protect your partner from various injuries. If you have a huge hand or you weigh more than 185 pounds then you can consider purchasing 18 ounce gloves. Because, when you have huge hands and use anything smaller than that, the padding will be squeezed more and have less ability to minimize the impact so you might put your sparring partner in dangerous situations.
What about Your Safety?
We don’t go full force during sparring sessions. So even lesser padding quantities can be good enough for preventing your hand to get bruises and also standard wrist support can keep your wrist aligned, keep it in place. So even average quality boxing gloves can keep your hands safe.
If you don’t spar with the right gears, this can be detrimental to both your and your sparring partner’s health. Choosing a good pair of gloves for sparring does not only decrease the likelihood of getting bruises and minor injuries, but it also keeps your hand fresh and lasts way longer than the gloves which are made of low-quality materials.
However, you should note that even though choosing the best boxing gloves for sparring can help you and your partner stay safe during a session it does not mean that you can go full force or can prefer not to wear a mouthguard. So always be well prepared, read how you should spar, and listen to what your boxing coach has to say before you step in the ring.