Boxing glove weights explained

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Within our club we will tend to use a variety of different protective equipment when sparring, one of the most common questions I am asked is what gloves should I wear when sparring or striking pads or bags.

Because we teach a variety of martial arts, we will tend to ask the students to wear different gloves for different arts, generally if we are sparring and striking and throwing, we will use MMA gloves, but for kickboxing we will tend to wear boxing gloves when sparring.

So in this blog I thought I would break down the various sizes for you.

As a general guide the weight of the gloves you buy will depend on how you want to use them, the weight of the glove in ounces (oz) is the weight of each glove (not total weight for both).  The heavier the weight the more padding the glove will provide, with most of the padding being on the front of the glove.  If you tend to spar in training with heavier weight gloves and then wear lighter ones for competitions then your hands should move quicker.

10oz Gloves

These are light and usually used in boxing by professional boxers for competitions, they can also be used for light pad work.

12oz Gloves

These are likewise light and usually used for competitions, they can also be used pad work and bag work.

14oz Gloves

These are a good general purpose glove for the average sized person and are good for light sparring, hitting pads or being used on heavy bags, they are good for the beginner as your arms won’t tend to get as tired as with the heavier gloves.  These are a good compromise.

16oz Gloves

These are probably the most versatile of gloves and most gyms will have these for use by students.  These are good gloves for pad work, bag work and heavy sparring, if you are a large person they will work well for you when sparring as they ensure your partner is protected by having additional padding.  However these gloves can be tiring to use.

18oz and 20oz Gloves

These are heavily padded and probably best used by those with larger body frames or a beginner to ensure that during the early stages of their training they do not hurt their opponents when sparring.

Children’s glove sizes

Kids boxing gloves are a little different, as a quick guide;

2oz – For children 3-4 years

4oz – For children 4-5 years

6oz – For children 5-7 years

8oz – For children 7 years to early teens

You may vary sizes based on the child’s size but this is a rough guide.


Beginners should really start with heavier weight gloves and progress to lighter ones as their skill develops.  

In the club heavier ones are better for sparring and bag work.

In competitions lighter ones are better. When trying out the gloves you should ensure a snug fit, they will stretch with time and use.  Generally, when buying go for gloves that are slightly smaller in size, so they still feel snug after being broken in.  Also consider putting on hand wraps when trying your gloves as these can make a difference.

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