The 7 Best Boxing Gloves of 2020 (Punch like the Pros)

Finding the best boxing gloves can be tough – where do you even start when there are so many brands fighting for your attention? We’ve come to your corner to guide you through what makes a great boxing glove, and which ones we think are the 7 best gloves to take your boxing to the next level.

How to Choose the Best Boxing Gloves

The right pair of boxing gloves help create the greatest part of the sweet science — that crisp pop as you hit your target just right — that’s the feeling you fall in love with, and keeps you coming back to training.

On the other hand, the quickest way to start hating your training, is to use gloves that aren’t right for you. There is always the temptation to just go to your local sporting goods store and buy the first pair of boxing gloves that look okay, but we promise you, bad boxing equipment will only serve to hold you back in your training, or even worse, cause injury.

With that in mind, let’s make sure we set you up with the best boxing gloves for your needs, and help you get ahead in your boxing training. There are a few things to consider when choosing your ideal boxing gloves, so let’s break it down.

Man punching the best boxing bag

Don’t confuse boxing gloves with heavy bag gloves – which are simply for training.

Types of Boxing Gloves

Here are the different types of gloves to choose from:

Bag Gloves

If you’re hitting the bag or pads, you’re going to want to learn how to punch hard. So by that logic, you might think that bag gloves would be padded to the max, but they are actually quite light in the padding department.

This is because bag gloves are designed to help you become accustomed to punching with correct technique. If bag gloves were overly padded, you would miss out on a lot of important ‘feedback’ on your hands, wrists, and knuckles, which might invite improper form.

With less padding than other gloves, bag gloves encourage proper technique in bag training, and help your body and mind to become accustomed to the impact of a perfect punch.

man and women punching

Sparring Gloves

When you’re sparring, you’re training fluidly and creatively —  your aim is to sharpen your skills with a training partner, without hurting each other. So for that reason sparring gloves have a decent amount of padding to reduce the risk of injury, and the padding itself is softer and more cushioned to reduce impact. 

Because of that extra padding, they are also just a tad heavier than other gloves, so you get a good workout even just by keeping your hands up. That means when it comes to competition time, your hands will feel light and fast. Muscle memory is a hell of a thing.

Training Gloves

Training gloves are generally your all-purpose, everyday gloves, as they can basically handle any kind of boxing activity. So while they aren’t specialized in any one discipline, you should be able to comfortably and safely use them for sparring and bag work. 

If you’re just starting out with your boxing training, start with a good model of training gloves. Once you become more experienced, you can pick a pair of specialist gloves from this list.

Competition/Pro Gloves

When you’re competing in the ring, you’re not exactly worried about whether you’re going to hurt the other person or not. For that reason competition boxing gloves are lighter for better speed, and less padded so your opponent really feels what you’re throwing their way.

You can thank 18th century British Boxer Jack Broughton for the invention of boxing gloves (1) — after he accidentally killed a man in the ring (2), he set out to clean up the sport of boxing by making it safer.

Be warned, these aren’t for mucking around with in training. If you don’t know what you’re doing with these gloves, you’ll run the risk of seriously hurting a sparring partner, or really messing your hands up with an injury.

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Glove Size and Weight

Beyond the style of glove, you also need to consider the size and the weight of the glove. This isn’t just a consideration for comfort or style, but also for the safety of yourself and your training partners. 

Size and weight can sometimes be two different things in a pair of boxing gloves, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll just refer to the weight of each glove, and their suitability depending on their use, and your body type.

Generally, the larger you are, the heavier your glove will be — they come in 8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz, 14 oz, and 16 oz. It should be noted that the actual weight of the glove may be an ounce or so off its listed weight, so it’s best to think of the weight as a category, rather than a strict measurement.

In terms of competing, as a rule of thumb, the breakdown of what glove you’d use looks like this:

Amateur

  • Under light welterweight (141 lb) — generally use 10 oz gloves
  • Welterweight to super heavyweight (152 lb- 201lb.)  — generally use 12 oz gloves
  • Masters Division fighters, (41 years and older) — generally use 16 oz gloves

Professional

  • Under welterweight (147 lb ) — generally use 8 oz gloves
  • Super welterweight (154 lb) and up — generally use 10 oz gloves

In terms of how glove weights translate into training in the gym, use this table as a general guide:

SPARRING BAG/PAD WORK
8 oz Not suitable Not suitable
10 oz Not suitable Suitable for speed work and cardio
12 oz Not suitable Suitable for speed work and cardio
14 oz Suitable for sparring for lighter weight boxers Suitable for all-round training
16 oz Suitable for sparring for most boxers Suitable for power work for most boxers
18 oz and above Suitable for sparring for heavier weight boxers Suitable for power work for heavier weight boxers

If you have any doubts about the size or weight of your gloves, and what is right for your needs, talk to your trainer, they’ll be more than happy to help. There are no stupid questions, your trainer and your gym want you to succeed as much as you do. 

Lace Up vs Velcro

Go back a few decades and the only choice you had in your boxing gloves were lace ups. Today though, you also have the choice of velcro (also known as hook and loop). As always there are benefits and drawbacks to each.

Lace Up Gloves

The Good

  • Secure fit
  • More comfortable
  • They usually don’t feel as bulky as velcro gloves
  • The laces usually won’t scratch your opponent

The Not so Good

  • They take longer to put on
  • You’ll need someone else to help you put them on
  • They are usually more expensive than velcro gloves

Velcro Gloves

The Good

  • Quick to put on and take off
  • You can put them on and take them off without help
  • The velcro wrist strap itself can add support
  • There are different types of velcro straps for a better fit and comfort
  • Usually less expensive than lace up gloves

The Not so Good

  • Velcro can scratch your training partner
  • If the velcro is cheap, it may lose its ‘stickiness’
  • Velcro gloves may have less padding on the wrist

In general, velcro gloves are inexpensive, and convenient for training. Lace up gloves on the other hand, while more expensive and trickier to put on and take off, are the superior glove for both technique in training, and competition. For what works best for you, figure out your balance of need for convenience vs. strict form.

Boxing was not something I truly enjoyed. Like a lot of things in life, when you put the gloves on, it’s better to give than to receive.

Sugar Ray Leonard

Material — Leather Construction vs Vinyl Construction

It wasn’t too long ago that we’d tell you that leather construction was the only way to go. After all, leather was, and is, comfortable and durable, and vinyl (or imitation leather) was cheap rubbish that would break into pieces in no time at all. These days it’s not so black and white.

Yes, generally speaking leather, while more expensive, will be much more durable and comfortable. But vinyl has come a long way in its construction. In 2020 vinyl can in some cases pretty much be a space age material, so it can actually be more comfortable and just as durable.

With both leather and vinyl, you do get what you pay for, but especially with vinyl. If it’s cheap, stay clear. If you’re in doubt, stick with genuine leather.

One other thing to look for, is antimicrobial material. This helps keep odors down to a minimum, and will reduce the risk of getting any sort of skin irritation from your gloves.

Related: how long should you boxing gloves last?

Palm Construction

Your boxing gloves may or may not come with the following features built in to their palms. They all have their benefits, but probably shouldn’t make or break your decision on which pair to buy — think of the following in terms of preference rather than must-haves.

Holes/Perforations in the Palm

Some boxing gloves will have holes punched into the gloves, which are really just a way for your palms to breath. They let the warm air out from the inside of the glove so they don’t get too hot and sweaty. There’s nothing worse than a hot itchy palm that you can’t scratch!

Breathable Mesh in the Palm

Taking it a step further from simple holes, many modern boxing gloves have panels of breathable mesh that take up part, or even all of the palm portion. This gives maximum ventilation within the glove, but some might find it makes the shape of the glove feel a bit flimsy.

Grip Bar in the Palm

Usually made of a dense but comfortable foam, a grip bar sits in between the fingers and the palm of the glove and help you form a fist. Some find it a lot more comfortable to have this bar to hold onto, rather than having the leather/vinyl of the glove bunch up in your hand.

Hand Wraps

While we won’t get into the details of hand wraps in this review roundup, always wear your hand wraps when you try on new gloves. It will help you figure out the right size, and how they’ll actually feel when you are punching.

The Reviews of The Best Boxing Gloves of 2020 

Here are some of the top rated boxing gloves this year:

1. Hayabusa T3 Boxing Gloves  — Best Boxing Gloves for All-Around Training

Hayabusa T3 Boxing Gloves

The Specs

  • Glove type: Training
  • Glove size/weight: 10 oz, 12 oz, 14 oz, 16 oz
  • Lace up/velcro: Velcro
  • Material: Genuine Leather

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The Good

  • Excellent padding
  • Splints provide wrist support
  • Dual-X closure creates a good fit for a velcro glove
  • They don’t require breaking in
  • Durable
  • Versatile

The Not so Good

  • Expensive compared to some other options
  • Can take longer to put on and take off
  • Splints can limit clinching

They look good, they feel good, and they work well — there’s a lot to like about the Hayabusa T3 Boxing Gloves. While mostly known for their MMA and Muay Thai gear, Hayabusa have put all of their knowledge and experience into the T3s, providing a terrifically durable, versatile glove for all aspects of your boxing training.

They are absolutely full of innovation, including wrist support splints and the Dual-X closure for wrist support, 5 layer foam padding for comfort, and they are even antimicrobial. Little wonder they are extremely popular in boxing circles, with even our favourite elk-eating podcaster Joe Rogan raving about them.

While you wouldn’t compete wearing these gloves, we would not hesitate at all to recommend the Hayabusa T3 Boxing Gloves to take care of almost every other aspect of your boxing training.

2. Venum Elite Boxing Gloves  — Best Boxing Gloves for Beginners

Venum Elite Boxing Gloves

The Specs

  • Glove type: Training
  • Glove size/weight: 8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz, 14 oz, 16 oz
  • Lace up/velcro: Velcro
  • Material: Synthetic ‘Skintex’ Leather

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The Good

  • Handmade in Thailand
  • Good value
  • Excellent padding
  • Reinforced palm
  • Durable
  • Versatile

The Not so Good

  • The break in period can be longer than other options
  • Some find they are not as supportive as other options
  • Some might find the gloves are too large for their weight

The Venum Elite Boxing Gloves pretty much offer everything you could need in a beginner’s glove. They offer great bang for your buck with excellent quality construction, and relatively good comfort and support.

That comfort and support is important when you first start training, as you want to ensure you have a pain free workout each and every session.

Some things are cut back to provide a low price point however, such replacing genuine leather with Venum’s synthetic Skintex leather. In saying that though, this is one of those examples where synthetic leather is actually pretty good; it’s supple, comfortable and relatively durable.

In fact it could be argued that because the Skintex leather has less friction than leather, and that it could actually last longer than leather. That’s important in a training glove, because you’ll be using it for every training session.

All in all, they provide great value, and would be an excellent first pair of boxing gloves.

3. Everlast Pro Style Training Gloves — Best Budget Boxing Gloves

Everlast Pro Style Training Gloves

The Specs

  • Glove type: Training
  • Glove size/weight: 8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz, 14 oz, 16 oz
  • Lace up/velcro: Velcro
  • Material: Synthetic Leather

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The Good

  • Inexpensive
  • Durable for the price
  • Versatile
  • Antimicrobial material

The Not so Good

  • The break in period can be longer than other options
  • Some find they are not as supportive as other options
  • Some might find the gloves are too large for their weight

Boxing is a sport that anyone should be able to have access to — you only have to look at some of the greats such as Mike Tyson and Deontay Wilder, to see world champs can come from humble beginnings.

So for that reason, no one should be excluded from boxing because they can’t afford a good pair of gloves. Sure, when you first start out you can use the gym’s gloves, but at some stage you’ll need to get your own, and when that happens we’d definitely give the Everlast Pro Style Training Gloves some consideration.

Look, we’ll admit they aren’t the best gloves around, and they certainly don’t offer the latest technology. But what they will do, is provide you with a safe and reliable pair of boxing gloves that will last you until you are ready to upgrade to something a little more advanced. When you’re starting out on a budget, you can’t ask for much more than that.

Are Everlast Boxing Gloves Good?

There is no doubt that Everlast is a household name when it comes to boxing. The brand is extremely mainstream, and it’s probably the first name that comes to the mind of someone who only knows a little bit about combat sports.

Because Everlast is so well known, it could be argued that it’s become a victim of its own success. In it’s desire to become more affordable and therefore more popular, over the years they have been guilty of cutting corners in materials and manufacturing.

So for that reason they often get a bad wrap in hardcore boxing circles. But, as we mentioned, boxing should be accessible to everyone, so there is a place for less expensive, slightly lower quality gloves.

If you’re a beginner, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Everlast gloves, in fact they are our number one beginner’s pick in this list. They will serve you well in terms of safety and comfort, until such time you’re ready to invest in something a bit more durable. Everlast actually does make some terrific gloves that are at the higher end of the price range, so the brand is not without merit. 

Don’t let anyone brand shame you, buy what you can afford to start your training. Over time you’ll save up enough to upgrade your boxing gloves.

4. Winning Training Boxing Gloves  — Best Premium Boxing Gloves for All-Around Training

Winning Training Boxing Gloves

The Specs

  • Glove type: Training
  • Glove size/weight: 8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz, 14 oz, 16 oz
  • Lace up/velcro: Lace up
  • Material: Genuine Leather

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The Good

  • The gold standard in boxing gloves
  • Unmatched durability
  • Excellent protection
  • Versatile
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Good weight distribution

The Not so Good

  • Very expensive compared to other options
  • The break in period is very long — make sure you get the right fit
  • Some people with longer fingers have to go up from their normal size

Okay, there is no getting around this, these bad boys are expensive. Like, really expensive. But hear us out, we actually think they provide terrific value. If you are at the point where you are serious about your boxing training, and you want a glove that can cover all your bases, and will also last for a long time, the Winning Training Boxing Gloves are a great pick.

It’s hard not to gush over these gloves, as they just do everything so well. They offer great protection, excellent fit and support thanks to the lace up construction, and they can last for up to a whopping 5 years. That’s pretty much unheard of in terms of durability.

So why they are jaw-droppingly expensive, over those 5 years, they will probably actually provide you with a really good return on your investment. If you’re serious about your boxing, and you have the cash, get these gloves.

If they cut my bald head open, they will find one big boxing glove. That’s all I am. I live it.

Marvin Hagler

5.  Rival RS2V High Performance Sparring Gloves  — Best Boxing Gloves for Sparring

RIVAL Boxing RS2V 2.0 Super Pro Hook and Loop Sparring Gloves

The Specs

  • Glove type: Sparring
  • Glove size/weight: 12 oz, 14 oz, 16 oz, 18 oz
  • Lace up/velcro: Velcro ‘Ergo Xtrem Strap System’
  • Material: Genuine Leather

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The Good

  • Amazing wrist strap support, especially for a velcro glove
  • Well padded for comfort
  • Very durable
  • Good weight distribution

The Not so Good

  • Difficult to take off compared to other velcro gloves
  • Slightly more expensive compared to other options

When it’s time to let your hands fly and enjoy that satisfying sound of your gloves popping off the pads, take a look at the Rival RS2V High Performance Sparring Gloves. The two standout features of these gloves are the wrist support, and their padding. The unique ‘Ergo Xtrem Strap System’ protects your wrists very well for a velcro glove, and the padding can be described as ‘soft but firm’ which makes them supremely comfortable as gloves for sparring. 

They are a bit more pricey that some other options, but because they are of a very good quality, we think they represent very good value given that they should last you a long time. Safe, comfortable and durable — you can’t ask for much more in a pair of sparring gloves.

What Brand Gloves Does Floyd Mayweather Use?

Floyd Mayweather, with a supreme record of 50-0 (3) generally uses Grant boxing gloves on fight night. Grant boxing gloves, while obviously being exquisite quality gloves, they are also known for their padding around the wrist, so it makes sense that a defense focused fighter like Mayweather would prefer them.

Designed in the United States and hand stitched in Mexico, Grant gloves are a middle ground between the firmness of Cleto Reyes, and the pillow-like feel of Winning gloves. Many pros find that this brings a great balance of power and comfort, and give that satisfying crack when you hit something. 

We haven’t included them on this list, because they aren’t really suited for amateurs, they are extremely expensive, and Grant doesn’t even have an official website! That probably gives you an idea of how exclusive they are. 

They must have something going for them though, because Mayweather is joined by the likes of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, Andre Berto, and Bernard Hopkins  as Grant glove fans.

6.  Cleto Reyes Women’s Training Gloves  — Best Boxing Gloves for Women

Cleto Reyes Hook & Loop Training Gloves

The Specs

  • Glove type: Training
  • Glove size/weight: 12 oz, 14 oz, 16 oz, 18 oz
  • Lace up/velcro: Velcro 
  • Material: Genuine Goatskin Leather

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The Good

  • Handmade construction
  • Good padding
  • Versatile
  • Strong seams for durability

The Not so Good

  • Slightly more expensive compared to other options
  • The flatter face of the glove might not be for everyone
  • Long break in period

The sport of boxing has come a long way in recent years, and part of that evolution is the growth of women’s boxing. So it makes sense that boxing glove manufacturers have stepped up their game in catering for the unique requirements for women’s gloves. 

Related: the best boxing gloves for women

For the most part, a woman’s hand is not only smaller than a man’s, but it has shorter and slimmer fingers. So this means that even if a woman got a smaller sized men’s glove, the fingers probably won’t be protected well. Thankfully, this has been addressed with specialized women’s boxing gloves, and we think the Cleto Reyes Training Gloves are the best of the bunch.

While the break in period may be up to 6 months for some users, they will last for a very, very long time to come, all while providing excellent support and comfort. And when it comes to a training glove that you’ll be using most of the time, those are the major things to consider. 

Oh, and as a cherry on top, the Cleto Reyes Women’s Training Gloves come in a whopping 32 color variations, so you’ll never be short of choice in style.

7.  Title Gel World Bag Gloves – Best Boxing Gloves for Heavy Bag Work

TITLE Gel World Bag Gloves

The Specs

  • Glove type: Bag gloves
  • Glove size/weight: 16 oz (Small, Medium, Large, X-Large)
  • Lace up/velcro: Velcro 
  • Material: Genuine Leather

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The Good

  • Very durable
  • Secure
  • Gel padding
  • Grip bar in the palm
  • Strong seams for durability

The Not so Good

  • Slightly more expensive compared to other options
  • Not versatile
  • The face of the glove isn’t flat, so it can be hard to roll your wrist when you hit the bag

If there is ever a time you’ll want to use the phrase ‘fits like a glove’, its when you’re hitting the heavy bag, and the Title Gel World Bag Gloves will have you saying it to yourself over and over. The gel inforced lining makes these gloves feel like they are custom molded for your fists, because in effect, they are. This allows for superb comfort and impact resistance, making them perfect for bag training or mit work. 

It should also be mentioned, that weighing in at a hefty 16 oz, you will absolutely increase your endurance and hand speed once you transition from these gloves to sparring/training/competition gloves. 

If you want to smash the heavy bag without the risk of smashing your knuckles and wrists, the Title Gel World Bag Gloves are a great option.

The Verdict: What Are the Best Boxing Gloves in 2020?

Our boxing gloves review has covered almost every need a glove needs to take care of, inside and outside of the ring. We’re absolutely confident that you can’t possibly go wrong with any of our picks.

But if you had to push us to tell you what the best pair of boxing gloves are in 2020? Well, we’d go for the Hayabusa T3 Boxing Gloves.

Hayabusa T3 Boxing Gloves

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They offer just about everything you need in a boxing glove — they are loaded with features, are comfortable, well made, and super versatile for all sorts of boxing training. They are also extremely durable for the price, so we think they represent great value in terms of how often, and how long you use them.

If you have any questions about the gloves we’ve picked, click on the links to see what other customers say about their fight gloves. 

Remember, do your research, talk to your sparring partners and coaches about what they like, and always double check your glove sizing. Here’s to making those punches sizzle!

References

  1. Ragpala, K. (2009, September 20). The Evolution of the Boxing Gloves – Bleacher Report. Retrieved from https://bleacherreport.com/articles/258668-the-evolution-of-the-boxing-gloves
  2. Roberts, JB. Skutt, AG (1999). Jack Broughton – The Boxing Register. Retrieved from http://www.ibhof.com/pages/about/inductees/pioneer/broughton.html
  3. Floyd Mayweather Jr – BoxRec. Retrieved from https://boxrec.com/en/proboxer/352

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