There’s an old rule of thumb saying when it comes to buying something: you can either pick ‘cheap’ or ‘quality’ but not both at the same time.
However, it’s my goal with this article to perhaps proving that cheap and quality are not necessary mutually exclusive. You can, in fact, get a glove that’s of reasonable quality for cheap — if you know what glove to look for.
I’ve written a couple of detailed lists about the best boxing gloves and the best Muay Thai gloves; however I have noticed that most people seem to be interested in not necessary what’s the best, but what’s the best bang per buck gloves you can get.
So here’s a guide for those people who are a) new to boxing / MMA / Muay Thai or b) who want the cheapest quality glove or c) want to spend under $50 bucks.
Budget Boxing Glove Buyer’s Guide
Before we actually look at the best budget boxing gloves, let’s take a look on how to choose a good cheap boxing glove. It’s actually more difficult to buy a quality cheap boxing glove than it is a mid-range or premium boxing glove. If you spend $70 or $80 or a boxing glove, you are probably going to get a decent glove that you can use for any regular boxing training, even if it’s not ‘the best’ glove. It’s likely good enough for 90 percent of the people out there.
But when you are looking at entry level boxing gloves, it’s much more difficult because many of the cheap boxing gloves offered are pretty crappy and don’t offer any real protection. In some cases, you might as well just be using your bare hands to punch a bag over that actual boxing glove.
The problem here is that it’s easy to ‘make’ a decent looking glove from the outside. Take a boxing glove shape, slap some fancy designs on it, maybe a ventilated mesh on the inner face of the glove, stuff some low-quality foam ‘padding’ into the glove and sell it for $25.
The problem comes when you buy the glove, put it on, and start actually hitting hard stuff with it. That boxing glove, as it turns out, offers little to NO protection for your hands. In fact, it provides a false sense of security. You think your hands are being protected, but they are not. And the result can be some devastating hand injuries, especially if you use the gloves over and over.
Even if you avoid the worst case scenario of hang injuries, you may face other nagging annoyances like an uncomfortable fit, material that chaffs your hands, bruised knuckles, gloves that don’t dry properly (and smell bad), and durability problems.
Fortunately, you can get some really sweet deals in the budget boxing glove range. So yes, it is possible to get a quality boxing glove for under $50.
How Cheap is Too Cheap when It Comes to Cheap Boxing Gloves
Obviously, the more you spend, the more likely you are to get a better quality glove. This is not always the case, with some of the ‘better’ gloves actually overpriced (cough ‘Hayabusa’).
But generally, a $50 glove is going to have better quality materials than a $15 glove. And a $30 glove better materials than a $15 glove.
The borderline price range, however, where you get a decent glove that’s actually sort of usable for real training is about $30, depending on the brand. I’ve found the best budget glove buys are solidly around $35, at which point you do get a real glove, Below $30, and you usually get a cheaply made glove that’s not very well padded — useful for a fitness class, but not real training. Below $20 and you don’t get a real glove at all but a toy or souvenir glove that looks like a real glove on the outside but horrible on the inside with no real padding or proper protection.
Keep in mind that the prices of boxing gloves can and will vary depending on a few things:
- glove material (leather, synthetic leather, etc.)
- glove size (lighter gloves weights are usually cheaper)
- glove color (some colors are priced cheaper)
- glove styling (some models offer limited editions with fancier colors and styling, but charge more for that)
- type of closure (i.e. lace or Velcro — there are often price differences between models that offer lace vs. Velcro)
- glove sales (some boxing glove companies offer occasional Amazon sales which can knock off 10 to 30 percent of the listed price)
Based on those four points, there may be quite a bit of variance in price. You might be able to say buy a TITLE 8-ounce black glove for $45. But that same glove that’s 16 ounces and yellow, may be priced at $60. And sometimes you might find a 10 to 30 percent Amazon sale price offered by the company.
So expect prices to vary by about 10-20 dollars.
Used, New, or Older New Models
It’s possible to get a steal on a great new glove that’s an older model. Usually, these are the left over stock that have been replaced with new models for the same glove. Often these ‘new models’ are the same glove with a few cosmetic features. As such, you may be able to get a great glove for 30-50 percent cheaper. This requires shopping around on your part. Once thing you can do is look up a glove that has ‘new version models’ in the title, then see if you can find the older version on Amazon. You just might be able to, if the glove model is not too old, and you might be able to get a steal on it.
Used: It’s also possible to get great boxing gloves for a steal if you shop around and buy a used glove.
What’s Available Under $50
There are THREE types of boxing gloves you find under $50.
The Economy Boxing Glove Brands
Rival, TITLE, and Ringside are what I tend to call ‘economy’ boxing glove brands. That is companies that cater to the budget / mid-range glove market. The companies all tend to offer full featured, quality gloves, packed with features, but for an affordable price.
Budget Boxing Glove Brands
Then there are the ‘budget’ boxing glove brands of which Everlast, Lonsdale, Century, and TKO operate in.
These are gloves made from the ‘casual’ boxer, weekend warrior, and fitness classes by long-standing boxing glove companies that have now completely marketing low-quality, mass market gloves.
These are the boxing gloves you can buy in a generic sports store or at say Walmart.
If you actually want a real boxing glove for real training, I recommend you avoid these budget boxing glove brands. You might have a boxing brand like Everlast that’s made a name for itself in the boxing world over decades, but the days when Everlast actually made quality gloves for the average person are long gone.
Everlast, in particular, have started catering to the fitness/weekend warrior crowd by releasing extreme budget versions of their gloves. Which is to say, you get a ‘glove’ (and I use this term very loosely) with the boxing brand name on it, but very little else.
Made for Amazon Private Label Glove Brands
Then we have the ‘Made for Amazon’ glove companies where people/companies who usually know absolutely nothing about boxing or boxing gloves, are white labeling generic boxing gloves from China and Pakistan factories and then selling these gloves on Amazon with paid-for reviews to prop up the Amazon rankings.
Some of these gloves look pretty ‘snazzy’ from the images, but the quality and padding in these gloves are usually pretty dreadful. Many of these copycat boxing glove brands cater to the budget crowd and are between $15-$30. You should absolutely avoid these gloves at all costs.
Even if you pay $20 bucks for this crap, it’s not worth it. I’ll list some of the worst offending ‘made for Amazon’ boxing brands at the bottom of this article.
Best Sparring Gloves Under $50
Here are my category picks for the best Sparring Gloves that are $50 or less. These are shortcut picks for specific types of boxing gloves.
The Best (for the Price)
You can buy a lot of boxing gloves under $50 if you are willing to scrape the bottom of the quality barrel. However, there’s not a lot of good sparring gloves under $50. Sure, you can use a cheap old pair of gloves, but your sparring partner is not going to be thanking you any time soon for the privilege of sparring with you.
The $50 limitation makes this one difficult. If I have to give one recommendation and we are being strict about the $50, then I recommend the 16-ounce TITLE Classic Lace-Up Leather Training Gloves. You can pick them up on sale for $39 with the regular price being about $54.
These are LACE up gloves, made from REAL leather, and have a full Velcro strap. At 16 ounces, these have enough padding to do the job for basic sparring. What’s really standout here is that you are getting a 16-ounce glove that’s made from leather and one that has laces. Laced Gloves are always MUCH better for sparring than regular velcro as they fit tighter.
If you want a different style of glove, one that has some pretty sweet padding and designed just for sparring, then look at the Ringside Apex Sparring gloves. You can find one of these (in one of the less popular colors) for about $53.
It’s a good budget sparring glove that contains the awesome IMF foam padding, which gives better hand protection and better padding absorption than regular foam padding. This makes these gloves the ideal sparring gloves given the price. The downsides is the durability of these gloves is not very high and they are not constructed from real leather. But a dedicated sparring glove for $50 bucks is a pretty good deal.
My only complaint here is that the IMF foam tends to be rigid and hard. This means it does offer better protection, but it’s not necessarily soft. Those who want a more ‘plush’ sort of padding might be better off looking at the TITLE pick above.
For an even cheaper sparring glove, you can get the 16-ounce TITLE CLASSIC PRO STYLE TRAINING GLOVES in a 16 oz size. While these are not leather, they are still fully functional gloves and priced about $39. I’ve seen them on sale for $29. This is incredibly cheap for a fully functional glove that you can spar in.
This is a starter sparring glove. If you are an intermediate boxer, you should spend double or triple for a much better sparring glove. But for beginners who need to save every cent, then this is my ultra budget sparring recommendation.
Best Bag Gloves Under $50
Bag gloves are specialized boxing gloves designed for hitting the heavy bag. Generally, Bag Gloves and Training Gloves mean the same thing (you can use a bag glove for general training, pads, etc.) though for some brands, ‘bag gloves’ are specially made with denser padding to provide additional shock protection for the hands — more than regular training or sparring gloves.
You can certainly use training gloves on the bag. You can also use ‘sparring gloves’ on the bag, though by doing so you will wear out the softer padding used in dedicated sparring gloves. However, if you find your hands become sore after consistent bag workouts or you have pre-existing hand injuries, then you may want to use a specialized bag boxing glove rather than a general boxing glove.
For bag gloves that offer the best production for your hands and knuckles at the under $50 price range, I recommend the Ringside Apex Bag Gloves. The reason being these gloves have the Ringside’s IMF foam which provides better protection for your hands. If you plan to hit the heavy bag over and over, day by day, you really do want a better protecting glove. Given the $50 these gloves cost, you won’t find any other glove that offers the level of padding at this price point.
Best Budget Boxing Gloves Under $50
Here’s my comprehensive pick for all the best boxing gloves under $50 that are worth buying, depending on your exact budget and what you are looking to do with the glove. I’ve ranked these gloves to provide, what I consider, the best gloves, with the best picks starting first.
- The ventilation is not as good (your hands get warm)
- The insides tend to stay damp longer
- They are less durable
- They don’t feel as good as the leather
However, considering these are $30 and you get an actual, real boxing glove that works for general training (bags, pad, and in some cases, sparring), then these are a pretty good deal. Again, I recommend you get the leather versions, but if you can’t, then these will do.
Ringside’s entry level model are just under $50. And for that price, you get a pretty good starter boxing glove with some outstanding padding.
These are specifically designed as ‘bag gloves,’ so they do provide that extra padding to protect your hands. The benefit of the Ringside’s are that they do include the IMF padding technology which stands for Injection Mold Foam.
This is a fancy term which basically means the foam padding is a single unit rather than layered. The benefit is that you get stronger padding, more durability, and the force is distributed better along the whole glove due to the single unit of foam.
In reality, I do find the IMF foam a bit on the harder side. While it may protect your hands better than regular gloves, the foam is not soft and plush. As the gloves get older (we are talking a couple of years), the foam really starts to get rigid and hard. I had an old pair of IMF Pro Tech sparring gloves that lasted 7 or 8 years, but after 3 or 4 years, the gloves were too hard, and the padding was like rock.
However, for starter gloves with some really good padding — perhaps the best padding available in the $50 and under glove range — the Ringside Apex gloves take my pick. The downside to these gloves is that they are not made from real leather, and the durability of the Apex model is suspect (I’ve seen quite a few complaints where people say the gloves fall apart after a couple of months). However, in my own tests, this was not the case. But I can’t rule it out — the gloves do NOT feel as durable or as high quality as the higher, more expensive Ringside models.
I do recommend these for general training, but not for sparring. Ringside does make a Sparring version of these gloves (called, unsurprisingly, Ringside Apex Sparring Gloves) if you want a cheap sparring glove.
Note that as ‘beginner’ gloves there are only two sizing choices here:
- 8 oz (small/medium)
- 12 oz (large)
There are no 10,14, or 16 ounce sized gloves offered by Ringside for this model. So for Sparring, if you plan on using these, you will need to invest in the Apex Sparring model which comes in 14 or 16 ounces and a few subtle design differences to tune the gloves up for sparring use.
Not being able to spar in these gloves is not really an issue for most people though who would buy these. Considering that most people looking for starter boxing gloves or ‘budget’ gloves are probably not going to be doing any sparring.
If you have hand issues or you want maximum protection for your wrists or hands in a sub $50 glove, the Ringside Apex gloves are the best you are going to find.
Thai boxing gloves are some of the best deal steals on the market. You get a handcrafted, genuine leather glove made in Thailand. The craftsmanship of the Thai brands (Twins, Top King, Fairtex, etc. ) is usually pretty awesome — usually much better than the western brands given the same price.
The limitation here is that these gloves are not made from real leather, and the durability won’t be as long as more expensive gloves. However, makein the Challenger 2.0’s you get a full-fledged, arguably snazzy looking (if you like the flashy style Venom gloves are famous for), boxing glove suitable for beginners or intermediate level boxers. For MMA, Muay Thai, or Boxing, these gloves will do just find for the average person.
Well, there’s not confusion about what these gloves are for based on the title: fitness. Being Canadian, I do appreciate a Canadian brand that offers pretty decent level gloves, especially on some of the higher priced models.
The Rival Boxing RB7 fitness gloves are a decent budget glove buy. Straight out, I don’t recommend you use these for any real serious boxing training.
But if you just want a basic glove to smash the bag with and pads, you are a raw beginner, or you need something cheap for your boxing fit cardio class, these gloves will do the trick. The price of the 6, 8 and 10 ounces are all the same. I do recommend you go with the 10 ounce for a bit more protection.
Again, if you need a boxing glove for training and are willing to spend $45 dollars or less, look at the slightly cheaper TITLE Leather Hook and Loop or just pay $5-10 dollars more and upgrade to the much better quality, much better padded TITLE Leather Training gloves or the better protected Ringside Apex Boxing Gloves.
My biggest complaint with these gloves are the price. At about $44 on Amazon, these gloves are priced $5 or $10 under some of the other brand gloves which, frankly, offer a lot better glove for a few dollars more.
Because of this, it’s seriously hard to recommend the Rival Boxing RB7 considering the are much better gloves to be had for only 5 or so dollars more. If you can find these gloves between $30 to $40, then I recommend them. But don’t pay more than $40 for them. Note that the Rival RSV2 High-Performance Sparring gloves are excellent mid-range sparring gloves.
The Do Not Buy Boxing Glove List
There’s plenty of sub $50 gloves out there. But I don’t recommend most of them. If you just want a glove to giveaway as a gift or something to put on during ‘boxing fit’ class and wave around in the air with your hands, then any of the gloves below will work. But if you actually want to bring a glove to boxing / MMA / Muay Thai class and have a real glove that’s comfortable, one that protects your hand like it should, and one that will last more than a few months, then don’t buy one of the gloves below.
Crappy Mainstream Boxing Glove Brands
- Title Classic Boxing Gloves (some models): While TITLE makes some of the best quality budget boxing gear, they also make some garbage boxing gloves too, especially at the below $20 range. Do NOT buy the basic TITLE Classic glove model. The material is not quality, the gloves have horrible ventilation, the fit is not comfortable, and durability is poor. You should spend $15 dollars more and get the Classic PRO model recommended on the list, which is leather and much, much better quality. You have been warned.
- Everlast (All models under $80): Everlast is the worst offender when it comes to making mass market, corner-cutting, crappy boxing gear. Everlast mostly caters to the sub $50 market these days with gloves ranking from $15 to $50. Almost all of their boxing gloves at this price point is pure and utter shit. The padding, the durability, the overall hand protection is crap. Some of the more expensive Everlast gloves are good, but the budget stuff is not
- Lonsdale Boxing Gloves (all gloves): owned by the same company as Everlast
- Century Brave Boxing Gloves (all gloves) – The definition of Toy boxing gloves
- TKO Boxing Gloves (all gloves): crappy, casual boxing gloves
Crappy Made-For-Amazon Brands
These are white labeled boxing glove brands where someone white labels / private labels a generic made-in-China or made-in-Pakistan glove, slaps a private label on it, and resells this glove on Amazon. These are the absolute worst gloves you can buy. Even worse, they are propped up by fake bought Amazon reviews. Avoid them if you want a proper glove!
- Fighting Fit Boxing Gloves: Cheap gloves, but not suitable for real training. Buy only for fitness, not for training.
- Meister Pro Boxing Gloves: white labeled copycat crap gloves. For ultra budget gloves (like you just need some gloves to hit the bag during cardio kickboxing), they are ok. But for real training, no.
- Sanabu: crappy made for amazon brand with subpar materials and manufactured in China/Pakistan/India
- ProForce: crappy made for amazon brand with subpar materials and manufactured in China/Pakistan/India
- Flexzion: crappy made for amazon brand with subpar materials and manufactured in China/Pakistan/India
- Cheerwing PU: crappy made for amazon brand with subpar materials and manufactured in China/Pakistan/India
- Anthem Athletics: crappy made for amazon brand with subpar materials and manufactured in China/Pakistan/India
The Final Word
If you pick any one of the boxing gloves mentioned on this list, you should end up with a pretty good entry level boxing glove.
Keep in mind that you are, mostly, going to sacrifice a few things in order to get a cheaper glove. That is usually the padding and durability (though, depending on the exact brand and model, not always the case).
The main takeaway is that a boxing glove should not be judged on how it looks, but how it feels and how it performs. It’s easy enough to make a crappy glove ‘look good’, but it’s not easy to make a cheap boxing glove such that it protects your hands and feels good on the bag during actual training.
While a budget boxing glove is a great buy for beginners, casual fitness freaks, and even intermediate boxers, you will, if you stick with training for more than six months, likely want to upgrade to a better boxing glove.
If you also have plans to spar, you probably should invest in a better glove. While there are a couple Under $50 boxing gloves you can, if you get the right size, spar in, for the sake of your sparring partner, invest in a more padded, more protected glove.
Just remember that these are mostly STARTER boxing gloves. Buy them for 6 months to 1 year of training, but plan on upgrading to something BETTER after that.