Almost every full contact combat sport requires boxing gloves: Muay Thai, Boxing, MMA, and Kickboxing. Because boxing gloves are a requirement for these sports, there’s a lot of different types of boxing gloves from a lot of different brands on the market.
This article is my attempt to give a buyer’s guide to the top boxing gloves currently available on the market, recommending them to Boxers, Muay Thai Boxers, Kickboxers, and MMA fighters.
Note that this article focuses on boxing gloves for Western Boxers (pure boxing gloves), though I do also recommend Muay Thai Boxing gloves as well. We have a comprehensive separate recommendation list for the Best Muay Thai Gloves as well (so if you are looking for PURE Muay Thai gloves only, then look at that list).
I’ve completely updated this article with new picks, revised information, updated links, and even MORE general guidance for 2017. We also have an article covering the Best MMA Gloves, if you are looking for MMA gloves rather than boxing gloves.
If you are looking for PURE Muay Thai Gloves, check out our 10,000 word Ultimate Guide to the Best Muay Thai Gloves
How to Choose a Perfect Pair of Boxing Gloves
If you are going to invest some cash in a good pair of boxing gloves, you want to make sure you know how to pick the right glove. There are a lot of factors that will determine whether a glove is right for you, such as the padding level, the glove weight, the material, what activities you will do with the glove, your boxing experience level, and the type of martial art you are training.
I’ve written a 5000-word guide on how to choose the best boxing gloves that walks you through all you need to know to make the right choice. Please read it and come back to this article so you can make the best boxing glove choice.
Your boxing gloves are THE most important piece of boxing gear you can buy and along with a good pair of boxing shoes, can make a significant difference in how you box.
Main Tip on How to Choose the best glove:Choosing the ‘Best’ boxing gloves really comes down to what activity you intend to use the gloves for and how much you are willing to spend. Is money no limit? Are you trying to find the absolute cheapest pair? Or do you want to best value to quality ratio? Different gloves are suitable for different uses and budgets. So keep that in mind.
Cheap Toy Boxing Gloves vs. Real Boxing Gloves
But, not all gloves are the same. Quality is one area where you actually do get what you pay for when it comes to Boxing Gloves. If you go super cheap and pick up a pair of gloves for 15-25 bucks, don’t expect the gloves to last, provide any reasonable comfort, or to actually properly protect your hand.
So the one piece of advice I can give you right away is: BUY A QUALITY PAIR OF BOXING GLOVES — even if you spend a bit more. You’ll be using them for hours each week and investing in something quality will save you money in the long term — and perhaps your hands too.
Boxing Glove Price Range
The Pricing Range: $20-$500
At the lowest end and with the right brand, you can get a decent pair of budget, no frills, entry level gloves for about $20-$60 USD. The mid range to upper mid range starts at about $60 and ends at about $150. At the pro end, expect to pay about $150-$400 for one of the premium boxing brands like Grant, Cleto, and Winning. For top premium customized boxing gloves by the likes of Winning and Grant, you can easily pay $400 to $700!
The Types of Boxing Gloves
We can break boxing gloves into a few distinct categories:
Boxing Glove Styles
These are boxing gloves but have different overall design aesthetics and may or may not include more modern features and designs:
‘Pure’ Boxing Gloves: the gloves designed for pure boxing. Many of the the MMA brands and Muay Thai brands produce ‘boxing gloves, feature’ but there are usually design variations to the gloves that specialize them for their specific sports which include MORE than just boxing.
As such, boxing gloves designed for ‘boxers’ tend to have a slightly different distribution of weight, shape, and grip ability. See our Boxing Gloves vs. Muay Thai Gloves article for more info.They are quite often minimalist and usually handmade with double stitched leather stuffed with triple layered foam padding.
Mexican Boxing Gloves: a sub-style of boxing glove that feature less padding, stuffed with horse hair filling instead of padding and handcrafted in Mexico. The best brand example of this format are Cleto Reyes.
MMA Boxing Gloves: Boxing gloves (not MMA gloves) designed by MMA gear brands, popular in the MMA circles for bag work, boxing sparring, and pads. These boxing gloves, like MMA, usually reflect a more modern inclusive philosophy; the designs often borrow features and modifications from other types of boxing gloves and even completely different sports.
The idea is to try and make the best performing glove, even if you have to change everything about that glove to do so. MMA gloves are usually very ‘feature driven’ which includes adding more modern features or ‘sciency’ engineering.
However, these features don’t always (in fact don’t usually) make the glove any better than the traditional gloves – and sometimes make them worse, depending. The visual styles are usually very colorful. Brand Examples that reflect this style of glove would be Hayabusa, Rival, Ring to Cage, and Venum.
Muay Thai Gloves: the style of gloves used for Muay Thai matches and training (see Muay Thai Gloves Guide and our Ultimate Guide to the Best Muay Thai Gloves list for detailed PURE Muay Thai glove recommendations)
Muay Thai Gloves: a decades-old style of boxing glove first manufactured in Thailand for Muay Thai fighters, but now quite popular around the world. Muay Thai gloves feature subtle design differences over Boxing gloves to adjust for the sport of Muay Thai which includes heavy clinch work and kicks. Read my ‘what’s the difference between boxing gloves and Muay Thai gloves article” for more info.
Toy Gloves: technically, not a style of boxing glove, but nevertheless, I thought it worth mentioning because these are so pervasive. These are usually gloves offered between $15 to $40 by some money grabbing boxing glove brands (or non-boxing gear brand trying to jump into the market by offering a product outside of their specialty). They are not real gloves and not designed for real training. Quite often they are marketed as ‘fitness gloves.’ If you really train with these, you will break your hands. You have been warned.
Training Specific Varieties of Boxing Gloves
Within each boxing glove type, you can get variations of the glove designed for a specific format of training. These adjustments drastically alter the size, weight, and design of the glove. It’s usually not recommended that you use one specialized glove for something it’s not designed. For example, you don’t usually want to use bag gloves as sparring gloves and vice versa. You don’t want to use fight gloves as bag gloves, etc.
General Training Gloves: can be used for bag work, pad work, and sparring – these are all purpose gloves. Many people use training gloves as sparring gloves and vice versa. However, the usual purpose is bag, pads, and other such work, not really sparring though you can in a pinch.
Sparring Gloves: boxing gloves made for sparring — usually 16 ounces with additional padding. Quite often, the padding is softer, so it provides more protection for your opponent and for your hands. These are the type of gloves to use for sparring if you have any respect for your partner.
Light Speed Bag Gloves: light-‘er boxing gloves designed for bag work with speed — generally, pretty useless as most of them don’t offer decent protection for your hands AND they are lighter and smaller than the gloves you would hit pads with, spar with, or fight with. You could do speed bag work (speed bag say) or hit the heavy bag rapidly. However, I personally don’t see the reason for these gloves — if you want a proper bag glove, use general training gloves or a glove designed for the heavy bag.
Heavy Bag Gloves: these are thicker gloves designed just for the heavy bag. It’s confusing because you do see lighter, minimalist gloves labeled as ‘bag gloves.’ However, proper bag gloves are about the size of a regular boxing glove but have extra padding and, in some cases, a different type of specialized padding that offers even more energy absorption than regular padding. For beginners or intermediate trainees, these type of gloves are overkill. If you are an advanced boxer or you hit with serious power or you have hand injuries, then it might be a good idea to invest in these specialized gloves for bag work.
Fight Gloves: gloves the pros use for fighting — usually 8 oz or 10 oz. The premium boxing glove brands are often used, but the weight of the glove is always at a set standard based on the regulations for the match organization. The gloves are designed for maximum speed, power, and tight fit. They are always laced. Most of the major boxing brands have ‘fight’ version which you see used in actual fight matches.
Before we give a ranked list of boxing gloves, are are our some of our specialized picks based on categories. This makes it a bit easier to pick out a boxing glove that fits a specific profile you are looking for.
Best ‘Pure’ Boxing Gloves
Keeping in mind reasonable price, budget, and comfort this come down to four gloves – 3 of them premium gloves and the third, a budget glove for value. By pure, I mean no MMA style boxing gloves and no Muay Thai boxing gloves. Boxing gloves designed for boxers and punchers.
Selecting an ‘overall‘ best pick boxing glove is darn near impossible. The problem is that there are gloves for the bag, gloves for sparring, and general style training gloves. It’s more practical to recommend best gloves for specific training like sparring or bag work or budget, rather than selecting an overall best.
However, I’ve revised this list to try. For selecting my best pick, my biggest determining factor (as is probably the case for most of you looking for a pair of gloves) is the price. The best of the best is undoubtedly Winnings, but you need to pay $300 for those, something that I’m sure 90 percent of the people won’t pay.
Understand this: the Ring to Cage C17 is not the best of the best you can find. But it is ‘the best’ with price as a major consideration. And for most of you guys, that’s going to be the biggest factor.
So with comfort, quality, punching ‘feel’ and price, my best recommendation are the Ring to Cage C17 2.0’s, a classic style glove designed for the pure boxer.
These are the ‘best’ glove because they offer a lot of what the $300 Winning gloves offer but at about a third of the price. Even better, the awesome soft padding and comfortable fit make these great ‘budget’ sparring gloves. The gloves are firmly styled as ‘Japanese Style’ gloves, a direct nod to Winning, which they unashamedly rip off in design and feel.
But you get a pretty damn good glove for under $100. Keep in mind that if you are a brand new beginner, you are better off looking at a budget boxing glove or beginner glove under 60 bucks. But for people who want to serious train, and spar, the Ring to Cage C17’s are a wonderful buy. The downside of these gloves is that the quality is definitely not as high as some of the other brands, and nothing on the source glove they copy their design from (Winning). But, considering the price you pay, this is a minor consideration.
Both gloves will cost you over $300, but between the two, Winning have a better overall reputation for quality. Grant was formerly considered the best of the best (and you’ll see them used in virtually every pro-boxing fight on TV, but there are complaints with their durability and quality, and frankly, while the gloves are awesome, they are overpriced.
That leaves us with Winning which are the best quality boxing gloves you can buy. Used by some of the best word class boxers for training (and in some cases, during a fight), these are the gloves to get, if you can afford them.
For hand protection, these gloves have no equal. The have the best padding out of any glove — soft, comfortable, and pillowy. If we can lay any complaint about these gloves, it comes down to the tight fit and the padding, which for some people, is a little too good especially if you are a power puncher. Outside of these, these are the gloves to buy if you can afford them.
Grant is our pick for the best pure boxing glove. Grant’s are considered a pro class glove in quality, durability, and cost. You know these are one of the BEST gloves on the market when the gloves are used by many of the top boxers in the world during top matches, for pad work, and for sparring.
Grant also offers more support can padding than do Cleto Reyes — which means they are better for hitting the heavy bag and for sparring (you don’t risk hurting your opponent during sparring sessions or your hands like you would with Cleytos).
And they are less expensive than the universally regarded ‘top’ brand ‘Winning’ which offer a far more padding, which may or may not be a bad thing depending on your hands and what you need the gloves for primarily.
As such, Grant occupies the space between Winning and Cleto in terms of padding and comfort — the perfect ‘middle ground’. Many people claim grant as the best feeling gloves in the world, which may explain why they are so popular in pro matches. Grant are also the most visually beautiful gloves you can buy and the most expensive at over $350 for the starter gloves
TITLE Classic gloves are the best entry-level, no-frills boxing glove on the market that combines both high value and high quality. For the price you pay for these — about $35 at time of writing this, you won’t find another glove brand offering the same sort of quality.
These things will last you forever. They may not have all the fancy new modern features some of the new brands offer, but they are durable, they are comfortable, and they are a REAL boxing glove that will do you true.
Unless you are in Thailand and find a non-tourist Muay Thai gear shop selling you Muay Thai gloves at wholesale prices, you won’t find anything else on the market for gloves in terms of quality for price (in Thailand you can pick up a pair of Twins or Top King for about 35 – 40 USD if you walk into the right store in Bangkok).
If you are starting out in Muay Thai, Boxing, Kickboxing, or any martial art that requires boxing gloves, and you are watching every penny you spend, then Title Classic Boxing Gloves are my best recommendation for you.
Best Sparring Boxing Gloves
There are two requirements for sparring gloves: 1) they must be light and 2) they must have sufficient padding to product your opponent as well as your hand
This is one area you don’t want to go cheap out and buy a crappy pair of gloves that don’t have enough padding & support. You may injure your hand or your opponent during a sparring match. Because you want MINIMAL quality here, I only recommend the better gloves here. I don’t recommend ultra budget $30 sparring gloves — your brain and face won’t thank you.
Ask just about any serious boxer and the name Winning will come up when sparring gloves are mentioned. Winnings are the best sparring gloves hands down because they offer superior comfort and padding. In fact, they have so much padding; they are often called ‘pillows’. But if you have the cash to spare and you want the best of the best, well-Winning gloves are that. For gloves that will protect your hand when you punch and/or protect your opponent just as well, Winning are the gloves you want to wear. Even near the end of 2016, with countless gloves to choose from, these remain just about my favorite pair of gloves.
If you want some of the Winning experience when sparring, you can get something a bit similar (though not the same) by going with the Winning knockoff brand, Ring to Cage, with their Japanese Style Boxing Gloves.
The Ring to Cage Japanese Style gloves offer nice soft padding, a nice minimalist look, a tight, comfortable fit, and are great for protected sparring (read they look and feel like a cheaper pair of Winnings). Yes, they are also at least 1/3 of the price you’ll pay for a pair of winnings, which is a pretty big deal for the value conscious person.
Overall, these are my overall top pick for boxing gloves when you consider price as one of the major factors to your decision. You can use them on the heavy bag, for sparring, and for pad work.
The only issue is that they don’t last very long and there are quality issues. But despite this, they do feel pretty good, and I say are worth the price. For those looking for budget gloves, these are not those gloves because they cost nearly $100. But for great mid-range gloves that try and do something similar to the $300 premium experience you get with Winning gloves.
For general training, and if you are pinching pennies, go with the Lace Up 12-ounce version — it will cost you $99 vs the Velcro which is $20 more bucks. For sparring, go with the 16-ounce lace up.
Ringside is a company that has a very good reputation. The gloves made by this company really are some of the most durable gloves on the market. I STILL have my old pair of Ringside IMF’s I bought back in 2006 to this day after YEARS of abuse both in the cold of Canada and the sweltering hot of Thailand.
For sparring, The Ringside Pro Style IMF Tech Sparring Gloves are Ringside’s best sparring glove option.
These gloves have a unique and effective lace system to tighten the gloves (one that does not require you fiddling around with tying laces), they fit snugly, they are fairly light (a big deal when sparring) and most importantly, they have a lot of good padding with their Injected molded foam padding technology to absorb shock.
And at about $120 or so dollars, they may not be the cheapest pair of gloves out there, but for day-to-day sparring, I recommend these if you can’t afford the winning.
Best Muay Thai Gloves
Thai-style gloves have some design differences when compared to pure boxing gloves. These are my picks for the best Muay Thai Gloves. We’ll have a specific list in the future of the best Muay Thai Gloves specifically.
Quality, comfort, padding, minimalist style — these are all the qualities you’ll find in a Fairtex gloves. For the gloves I personally wear on a day to day basis for Muay Thai training, The BVG1 Fairtex Muay Thai gloves are my favorite pick.
There are cheaper brands out there, yes, but none of them offer the craftsmanship, durability, and support the Fairtex brand offers in every single one of their gloves. But, you will pay 20-30 percent more for Fairtex gloves over the cheaper Thai brands like TWINS. At about $80 for these gloves, you can’t get much better bang for buck for a Muay Thai glove.
These are Muay Thai style gloves, but you can certainly use them for general boxing or MMA just fine. And for what you get for the price, Fairtex are one of the best value brands out of any Boxing or Muay Thai glove.
If you want a list of pure Muay Thai gloves rather than general boxing gloves, look at our dedicated Ultimate Guide to The Best Muay Thai Gloves list please. Fairtex is rated very highly on that list too.
Twins and Muay Thai go together like two peas in a pod. In Thailand (and around the world), Twins is by far the most popular Muay Thai glove brand out there.
I find the basic Twins Special Muay Thai glove works perfectly fine for every day Muay Thai training which includes pad work, sparring, and bag work.
The glove feels good, offers good protection, and is reasonably durable as gloves go. And the glove is priced very fairly — you’ll pay about 75-80 USD for these gloves in the US, though in Thailand proper if you look around in the non-tourist areas that sell wholesale, you can pick up a pair for about 35-40 USD.
Typically, training twice a day in the sweltering heat of Thailand, a pair of Twins will last about 6 months before starting to fall apart. In colder areas and with less use, you can likely get a year or two out of a pair.
To see how TWINS stacks up against other, Muay Thai gloves, read our Ultimate Guide to the Best Muay Thai gloves list.
The Top 13 Best Boxing Gloves
The list of boxing gloves below is carefully chosen using our meticulous criteria. I’ll keep the list updated whenever there comes along a new and better boxing glove brand/model. As of now, this list is updated for 2017.
Because not all boxing gloves are designed for the same purposes, I list specific best picks based around differing specialties.
The Rating System Explained
I want to give a thorough breakdown to the absolute best boxing gloves out currently there giving consideration to quality, comfort, padding, durability, aesthetics, type of glove, and price.
Like my other reviews, I break down the glove recommendations by the following six metrics:
Quality: How good the materials and design are
Comfort and Padding: How comfortable the gloves are to wear and the overall support built into the gloves to withstand punishment
Durability: How long the gloves will likely last based on the build quality and design
Aesthetics: How stylish the gloves look
Price: The Actual Cost – higher means the gloves are more expensive
Value (Bang for Buck): How good the gloves are for what you pay
These aren’t called ‘winning’ for no reason! If you are a boxer, the name of ‘Winning’ is whispered in almost a sacred, reverent tone. These gloves are legendary: meticulously crafted Japanese hand-made-to-order gloves that will cost you an arm and leg, but deliver the absolute best quality for those willing to PAY the (hefty) price for them. Winning Boxing Gloves are worth every cent you pay, especially compared to some of the other costly brands like Grant which are on the overpriced side.
Winning are the gloves worn by many of the professional boxers during training and typically referred to by many as ‘Pro gloves’ due to the level of craftsmanship and quality of materials.
The only thing that’s not “Winning’ about these gloves is the price.
Winning gloves are not the gloves you get when you are trying to get the best bang for buck in terms of quality for value; they are for the people who want the best.
Winning gloves cost over $300, and you have to specifically order them. It’s unlikely you’ll find these for sale in your local sports store or martial arts supplier.
I’ve owned two pairs of Winnings — an 8-ounce pair and a 12-ounce pair. My 12 ounce pair is my regular go-to pair of gloves for general training. I absolutely love them and if someone stole my Winnings, I would order another pair right away.
They live up the the legendary hype in every way. Trust me. Buy winnings and you won’t regret it (well your wallet will, but you won’t).
Winning boxing gloves offer superior padding, are extremely lightweight, and have a simple overall design, but every inch of these gloves reeks of absolute quality.
Winning gloves have slip protection and have awesome wrist support built in. Winning gloves are also the most comfortable gloves currently made — they fit your hands like a glove, and they offer superior padding when you strike the pads, people, or the heavy bag.
Winning gloves are often known for their extra padding — fighters with hand problems are particularly recommended to go with winning. Sometimes they are called ‘pillows’ by boxers who prefer less padded gloves (such as Cleto’s), but some people want the extra padding (for sparring protection or hand protection).
No kidding, when you slip a pair of winnings on, you won’t want to go back to anything else: this is a promise. I own a pair of these babies and they are my preferred training gloves hands down. There are times I do want a bit more feedback from harder, more compact glove, but by and large, I use winning about 80 percent of the time. You can read my full Winning Boxing Gloves review for more information about how these gloves stack up.
Winning gloves are best suited for BOXING. If you are practicing Muay Thai, you may want to opt for gloves that offer more wrist protection (against kicks) and have a more movable thumb for clinching (as Muay Thai gloves made by companies like Fairtex and twins do). But certainly, for the boxing training aspects of Muay Thai, these gloves are magnificent.
Fighters who use these: Canelo Alvarez; Erik Morales; Floyd Mayweather
PROS Best in class for quality, durability, comfort, and padding
CONS: Winning gloves will cost you as much as a ticket to Hawaii at over $400 USD
Recommended for: Pure Boxing (sparring, pads, and bag work), Muay Thai (if you are hand heavy and for hand only work)
[Quality: 5/5 | Comfort & Support: 5/5 | Durability: 5/5 | Bang for Buck: 3/5 | Aesthetics: 3/5 Price: $$$$$]
A runner-up pick for ‘the best’ in terms of what you get for what you pay is the Winning ‘rip off’ glove, also called Ring to Cage C17’s.
Look, I’m not going to claim that these are the greatest gloves ever. The quality and construction can be on the dodgy side, and they won’t last you nearly as long as a real pair of Winnings (or even some of the other brands). But man, for under $100 bucks, you get a Winning-style boxing glove that’s great for sparring, pads, and bag work. You can buy three of these gloves for the price of one pair of Winnings.
Are Winnings better? Absolutely, but for 1/3 of the price (if you select the lace-up models vs. the velcro), these gloves offer 75% of the Winning experience. And for most of you people who can’t afford to pay top dollar for the best, that makes these gloves a good alternative.
For beginners, people who want Muay Thai or MMA style gloves, these may not be the most suitable gloves. But for pure boxing work, for sparring, and for soft comfort, you can’t go wrong with these gloves. Just don’t expect them to last you for years, because they sure as hell won’t.
But for $100 or so, who the hell cares?
#3. Cleto Reyes
Classic Reyes are stuffed with horse hair, as opposed to foam, which means the gloves hit a lot harder than other glove brands. These are premium gloves at near $200, but for the puncher or, if you like the sleek leather design, these gloves are something special"
If you are involved in any sort of boxing, you’ve probably heard the name Cleto Reyes — one of the premier boxing brands and universally loved and respected around the world. Cleto’s are the final part of the holy trinity of Boxing Gloves: Winning, Grant, and Cleto Reyes. As for how good they are, Cleto’s are right near the top and may be the top glove for you, depending on your style of boxing.
For many pure boxers who don’t mind paying for quality, Cleto’s will be the best boxing glove out there if you like their padding level (or lack of padding). Because of the minimal padding near the front of the glove, Cleto’s are known as a ‘puncher’s glove’. So if you are a hard puncher and you want to maximize your knockout power during a match, Cleto’s are the gloves you want to wear.
Because they have less padding, they also give you some good feedback on the back with a crack as you punch the bag — something some of the softer, more padded glove brands don’t offer. Keep in mind if you have hand problems, these gloves won’t offer you the protection you need, though. And I pity the sparring partner you use these glove on — Cletos are not recommended for sparring due to the same padding issue!
The materials in a pair of Cleto Reyes is some of the best in the business – gloves are made from horse hair, goat leather, strong nylon threads and manufactured with the highest quality.
Really, pick a pair of these gloves up and they SHINE with quality. I’ll be the first to say, if you wear a pair of these in your gym, you will get some comments about how cracking the gloves looks. Yes, they are that beautiful to look at.
I own a nice pair of 16 ounce Cleto’s, bought specifically because I want to be a dick in sparring (I spar Russians looking for the KO). They are gorgeous gloves and they feel when you hit the pads or bag is wonderful — even with 16 ounce, which is frankly not my preferred size for general training.
My major complaint with Cleto’s are that they seem to trap a lot of heat inside the glove: your hands will sweat something fierce inside. It also takes 2-4 weeks of using Cletos before they break in properly. The first few weeks of using Cleto’s on a heavy bag is uncomfortable.
They will cost you around 170 to 180 bucks on average (more if shipping outside of the US). I paid over 200 USD for mine after shipping to Canada. So Cleto’s are not exactly cheap, but they are worth it if you are a hard puncher looking to dish out damage.
FIGHTERS: Manny Pacquiao; Juan Manuel Marquez; Kelly Pavlik; Marcos Maidana; Amir Khan and numerous other top fighters.
PROS: Superb craftsmanship and quality; aesthetically beautiful; long lasting; minimal padding = good for punchers
CONS: Expensive; Gloves are stiff at first and take a long time to break in properly; minimal padding on front; not good for sparring unless you hate your opponent; gloves trap heat and make your hands hot
[Quality: 5/5 | Comfort & Support: 3/5 | Durability: 5/5 | Bang for Buck: 3.5/5 | Aesthetics: 5/5 Price: $$$$]
If you talk about the best boxing gloves, Grant is always going to be somewhere near the top. A huge number of the best pro boxers in the world use Grant both for sparring, training, and during their matches — simply watch any boxing fight on Youtube and there’s probably a 50% chance one of the fighters is wearing Grant.
Grants are made for boxers who want to punch and punch hard. The gloves are more expensive as the Winnings but offer about the same quality.
Winning, I feel, have higher quality padding, especially noticable when you hit the bag or someon’s face. Winning padding is NOT latix foam (which Gant and most of the other glvoes are); as such you can use Winning with bags and for sparring without damaging the foam.
Grant, however, can’t be used for sparring and bag work — you’ll wear out the foam like this.
Grant, however, is better for fighting (or heavy sparring) due to the great wrist support and less padding (they also feel really good on your hands).
Grants are another glove referred to as ‘Pro Gloves’ and are one of my picks for the 3 best boxing glove brands in the world.
Grant are my personal favorite pure boxing gloves (yes, I even prefer them over the legendary Winning gloves) because they balance 1) quality, 2) comfort and 3) padding perfectly.
Compared to the next best, Winnings boxing gloves, Grants are less padded but nearly as comfortable. Between the two, you can’t go wrong — but it depends on whether you want a quality, comfortable glove with less padding around the knuckle area (Grant) or a quality, comfortable glove with more padding around the knuckle area (Winning).
Another factor is the actual colors and aesthetics. Grants just look a lot cooler than do Winning, which is a monotone blue or white color. Grants are flashy and just ooze style and flash. So if that’s your thing, I recommend Grant as your number one choice. Keep
The Verdict: If you have the money and you like using your hands…or you want to fight…then buy a pair of Grants. Let me repeat: BUY A PAIR IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT. I don’t care if you need to rob a bank to do it, you’ll be glad you did. Grants are my personal favorite gloves — yes, even throwing in Muay Thai style gloves into the mix — tied with Winning as the absolute best of the best. I actually like Grants even better than Winning for punching because they offer more feedback and crack on the heavy bag, while Winning gloves are softer with less feedback and better for protected sparring. Unlike Cleto Reyes, Grant still offer good padding and won’t break your knuckles. And yes, you can even use these for Muay Thai as well, though if you intend to fight, I recommend you swap in regular old Twins or Fairtex because you’ll be fighting in those brands. Make sure to read my Grant Boxing Gloves review for more details.
Fighters: Floyd Mayweather, Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, Andre Berto, Tim Bradley, Bernard Hopkins, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Evander Holyfield, Gennady Golovkin (and many more)
PROS: Comfortable & Supportive, padded but not too padded, superior quality
CONS: expensive; hard to find; quality issues with some, takes forever to get if you order (4-6 weeks!)
Recommended for: Premium pro-level gloves that strike the perfect balance between padding, comfort, and power
[Quality: 5/5 | Comfort & Support: 5/5 | Durability: 4/5 | Bang for Buck: 4/5 | Aesthetics: 4/5 Price: $$$$]
If you are looking for the best value for dollar, these gloves are that. You get serious comfort, serious protection, and a seriously good looking glove for only $50 bucks.
There ARE better gloves out there made with fancier sounding technology.
Nothing comes close when it comes to the quality you get for the price you pay. These are not necessary ‘the best’ boxing gloves — not by a long shot. But they are the best budget boxing gloves, hands down.
For under 50 bucks you can get a decent quality entry level pair of boxing gloves. Other brands that sell gloves for about 30 bucks typically offer you a toy version of boxing gloves, not real boxing gloves you will ever want to use for a real training (case in point, the Venum Contender gloves which are $34, but far, far lower quality than the Title Classic Pro’s).
But TITLE, with their Classic Pro model, gives you a REAL pair of gloves you can use for REAL boxing.
TITLE has been around for quite a while now, and their new gloves straddle between the old school ‘pro’ glove boxing brands and the modern glove companies. I feel TITLE gloves offer the perfect bridge between the two — with the best value per quality ratio on this list.
I’m not a big fan of TITLE’s advertising policies, which are pretty gimmicky with the company throwing ‘HUGE’ sales on their website (and spamming your inbox) which simply reduces the ‘sale’ price to the regular retail price. It’s downright dishonest in my opinion. However, SOME of the TITLE boxing gear is good (note, NOT all of it is).
With most of the other major boxing glove brands, you are going to pay at least $100 for a quality pair of boxing gloves. And if you want one of the premium pro-grade gloves, like Winning, Cleto’s, or Grant’s, expect to pay between 250 to 400 USDs.
But you don’t necessary need to spend this type of money on a glove. I offer you the best boxing glove value on the market: the good old TITLE Classic Pro glove. These won’t break the bank at a mere 34 bucks and, treated right; they will last you for years.
Note, if you are looking for good value budget boxing gloves, then please read my comprehensive article on the best budget boxing gloves under $50. I go through ALL the cheap entry level boxing gloves from most of the boxing brands and select the handful of gloves that are actually good quality and less than $50.
The Verdict: Best value for money hands down when it comes to boxing gloves. Perfect for broke fighters, weekend warriors, and the budget conscious consumer. The Title Classics may not have the top-of-the-line build quality, or any fancy new tech in the foam, or even premium leather, but man, are they a good value. If you can’t afford anything else but want a good glove for real use, start with this glove first.
[Quality: 4/5 | Comfort & Support: 3/5 | Durability: 3/5 | Bang for Buck: 5/5 | Aesthetics: 3/5 Price: $]
Fairtex is one of the oldest, most establish Muay Thai glove brands, churning out top quality since 1975. Fairtex, a Thai company has dabbled in boxing, Muay Thai, and MMA over the past few years and while it’s not well known in the boxing circles, Fairtex nevertheless produces a very good glove for under $100 bucks.
I list this here as my number 5 pick because Fairtex offers some serious quality for the price you pay AND these gloves can be used with all the major martial arts like Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and Boxing.
For the best Muay Thai style gloves, Fairtex is my best pick. They are the Cadillac of the Muay Thai glove brands. These gloves also make my #1 pick on our Ultimate Guide to the Best Muay Thai Gloves list too!
I’ve personally owned and abused all the Thai style gloves from the major Thailand brands (Twins, Fairtex, Top King, Windy, Raja, Boon, etc.) and Fairtex is by far the best when it comes to quality, design, and comfort. You pick these things up, put them on and instantly know they are a cut above Twins, Top King and the like.
However, as Muay Thai Boxing gloves go, Fairtex are also the most expensive of the bunch. Still, compared to the better pure boxing gloves, Fairtex only 1/3 the cost, so they are still cheap comparatively.
The advantage here of the Fairtex over the other gloves I’ve rated above it is that you can use (most of) their boxing gloves for Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and Boxing.
Frankly, though, if you are doing pure boxing, you are better off with one of the other pure boxing brands which weight their glove designs better for punching. Muay Thai style gloves also have thicker wrist areas (because you get kicked here) and they have a more flexible thumb so you can actually grip better for clinch work.
The Verdict: When it comes to the Muay Thai crowd, you’ll get an endless debate about which Thai-style glove is the best — everyone has their own preferences. I’ve used almost all the Thai brand (and not just use — I use a glove till it falls apart in Thailand) over the years and after 4 or 5 years, Fairtex is my top pick for Muay Thai gloves. I solidly recommend them over Twins, Top King, Boon, Raja, Windy, Yokkao, and Venum. They are just much better quality and they feel better on your hands. You can read my full Fairtex Boxing Gloves review for more info.
PROS: excellent quality; durable; excellent support; good padding along wrist area
CONS: most expensive Thai Style glove; can be weighted a bit heavy near side and front of glove
[Quality: 4/5 | Comfort & Support: 4/5 | Durability: 4/5 | Bang for Buck: 4.5/5 | Aesthetics: 3/5 Price: $$$]
Rival is one of the newer boxing glove brands, and in my opinion, the best of the new brands, though you can get lesser priced gloves with other brands that offer nearly about the same.
However, Rival really do bring it with their gloves in pretty much all areas: durability, quality, padding, comfort & support, and aesthetics. Not content to rest on their laurels, Rival tries to improvise their gloves with new technology every few years. Consequently, their products only seem to be getting better and more refined with time.
And they’ve done something spectacular with their RS2V model, combining both quality and value into this product — something you don’t often see in boxing gloves. Read my full Rival High-Performance Boxing Gloves review for more details.
This is a glove that’s designed for sparring (hence the foam is softer and less dense than general training gloves), but you can use it for general training if you wish at the cost of the glove wearing out sooner.
These gloves will put you back about $120 and are a pair of all round use for anything, anywhere boxing glove that just nips at the heels of the best gloves out there, especially if you want an affordable sparring glove.
One thing that Rival does have is their gloves are just pure sexy. They have without a doubt some of the best looking, sexiest glove designs on the market.
Rival puts a lot of new technology into their gloves, and as they are now, they are a blend between power and padding. Some of the other higher ranked glove brands offer better construction and more padding (winning) but can be quite ‘soft’ when hitting.
And other brands such as Cleto Reyes offer a lot more power at the cost of less padding. Grants are the high-end compromise between this spectrum. The Rivals are the more budget friendly version of the Grants; the High-Performance Sparring gloves, in particular, are a good budget version of Winnings for sparring.
The High-Performance model, particularly, is designed for sparring and do a very good job at that. You can use them in a pinch for pads and bag, though you will wear out the padding much faster if you do.
Note that with this design, the strap can be difficult to put and tighten up by yourself. You may have to either resort to using your mouth (gross) or asking someone to do it for you.
However, there are two straps that each pulls in the opposite direction for better ‘grip’ when you tighten them — so this makes up for the difficulty with a more firm fit on your hands.
- Good wrist protection (some of the best)
- Good padding
- Real leather (and quality)
- They look good
PROS: good quality; durable; very comfortable support; can be used for any sport for any type of training
CONS: stiff gloves and need time to break in; hard to tighten strap by yourself
The Verdict: If you are looking for a boxing glove brand that offers a good value to quality ratio, the RS2V’s are a good pick. They are not ‘the best’ but offer an experience that’s about 80% there. If you want the quality, design, and comfort of the top gloves, but don’t want to shell out 200+ bucks to get that, well Rivals are your best alternative, since you can pick up a pair for just over $120.
[Quality: 3.5/5 | Comfort & Support: 4/5 | Durability: 4/5 | Bang for Buck: 4/5 | Aesthetics: 4/5 Price: $$$]
One of the first boxing gloves that used the now common Injected Mold Foam technology. I owned a pair of these way back years ago when I first started training MMA in 2006. They stood up very well for years. I even took them down to Thailand and used them for a month before finally retiring them for a new pair of Twins.
IMF technology is a good thing to have, though — you have better shock absorption and padding.
The Pro Style IMF are laced gloves with 2.5 inches or protection around the knuckle area and feature a simple wrist strap to make it easy to secure the gloves. The gloves are constructed with real leather.
Overall, Ringside are a good brand — durable, comfortable, and reasonably priced. They fit squarely into the upper mid-range category for boxing gloves. They are not super cheap, but they are not super expensive either — you can get their top end models for just over $100 on Amazon.
If you are looking for the best quality to price ratio, then the Title PRO classic gloves is that choice as my #4 pick. These are the BEST bang for the buck for what you pay.
But if you want something a bit better than their entry level Classic gloves without breaking the bank and some more protection for your hands in the form of gel padding, then I recommend the Title Gel Intense Boxing Glove model as the next step up and a solid mid-range choice.
Their Gel Intense Boxing Glove model is their best-rated model, and it’s not hard to see why once you get a pair of these. These babies will cost you about $100 on Amazon, which gives you an excellent boxing glove indeed.
These gloves feature some technology called Gel foaming which helps reduce the shock. If you have problems with your hands or you want additional cushioning, the gel lining adds that extra layer of shock protection.
These are a good pick if you want an old school boxing brand designed for western boxing, but one that also embraces some of the newer modern technology. The Title Gel Intense gloves are that bridge between the old classic and the new.
Personally, I’ve suffered issues with my knuckles becoming very sore after hammering away at the heavy bag and pads with less padded boxing gloves. Using the Title Gel Intense Boxing Gloves did stop this problem (as did buying a pair of gel knuckle inserts to put beneath my wraps).
The downside here is that this extra protection comes at the cost of a bit more front heavy and a different distribution than non-gel versions. You may not like this, depending. I will point out, these feel a bit heavy (yes, even 16 oz) when sparring, so I recommend as general training / heavy bag gloves, but look for sparring gloves elsewhere.
- Gel Shock Absorbing lining
- Strong Wrist support
- Very comfortable
- Wrist cuffs for sparring
PROS: good quality for price ratio; comfortable; very good padding and shock absorption (good for people with hand issue or sore knuckles)
CONS: heavy (not so good for sparring)
Verdict: For a solid mid range pair of gloves with GEL technology for about $100 bucks, these are a good deal at that price. If you are a heavy puncher who loves smashing the heavy bag with power or you suffer from sore knuckles after training, these gloves were made for you. They are weighted a bit heavy on the front, which detracts from sparring usage, which may or may not be an issue for you.
[Quality: 3.5/5 | Comfort & Support: 4.5/5 | Durability: 3/5 | Bang for Buck: 4.5/5 | Aesthetics: 3/5 | Cost: $$]
The Everlast brand has been tied to boxing for many, many years, and it’s one of the oldest boxing brands out there. You’ll see some pro fighters using the gloves during actual matches.
However, just because a product — or company — was great in the past, doesn’t mean it’s great today. Their quality — and reputation — has thoroughly degraded over the years. In fact, many boxers call the company ‘Neverlast’ due to the low-quality gloves they produce.
If you’ve ever heard of ‘Toy Gloves,’ Everlast is definitely at the forefront of this movement. You can pick up one of their cheapy toy gloves for under 30 bucks, but don’t expect a real glove that’s going to perform…or last. Unless you are flat out broke or are a weekend warrior playing around as a wannabe boxer, you are best off doubling that amount and getting a better brand.
Still, if you willing to pay for their top of the line product the Protex3, you can expect gloves that rival the other top brands for the upper-mid range glove. However, their budget line of gloves (stuff that’s under 80 bucks US) tends to be pretty crappy overall.
The Protext3 model (the top of the line) are good gloves indeed — offering a sort of quality and comfort that’s somewhere between the middle of the road and high end. The Protex2 model is cheaper, and I would rate as a middle of the road glove.
Fighters: Miguel Cotto, Andre Ward, Nonito Donaire, Deontay Wilder and Brandon Rios.
What happens when you combine science with MMA? You get a brand like Hayabusa. The company got down and dirty with statistics about how people use boxing gloves then produced a glove to meet what they saw as some glaring inefficiencies in current boxing glove design. And bam, Hayabusa was born.
If you want a pair of gloves with more fancy patented technology that you can possibly pronounce or even understand, well Hayabusa are your pair of gloves. Stuff like ‘Dual-X closure, Fusion-Zone wrist support, Ecta Activated Carbonized Bamboo Lining, Engineered Leather Vylar. What does this all mean? I can’t tell you because even I don’t know. But what I do know is the glove do perform, they are comfortable, they offer a lot of protection, they are durable, and they look sexy. Even better, they are decently priced.
This brand is not so popular with western boxers (who prefer the more august boxing brands) or the Muay Thai crowd, but you’ll spot a pair of Hayabusa’s in any MMA gym quicker than you spot a tribal tattoo — which is to say, pretty damn fucking quickly.
- Carbonized Bamboo lining to evenly distribute heat, cool your hands and keep bad smells down
- Delta EG inner core (helps reduce impact shock and allow for quicker punching — apparently)
- Various other stuff I don’t understand
This list would not be complete without the good old Twins BGVL3 Boxing gloves making the list.
Here’s the deal, I’ve given a list of the BEST BOXING GLOVES — not the BEST PURE MUAY THAI GLOVES.
For pure boxing, these gloves are admittedly pretty poor. They would never be my first or even 10th choice for a pair of boxing gloves to use for BOXING training.
But if you are buying a pair of gloves for boxing that includes Muay Thai sparring or Muay Thai training, then these gloves have to be mentioned here.
Now, living in Thailand and training at a Thai gym for years now, I’ve tried pretty much every major Thai style boxing glove: Twins, Top King, Fairtex, Raja, Windy, Yokkao, Fighter, Sandee, Thaismai, and Boon.
The plain old classic Twins BGVL-3 are still one of my favorite ‘use 70 percent of the time’ Muay Thai style boxing gloves.
For those who don’t know this brand, Twins Special is an old school traditional Thai-style glove boxing glove — suitable for Muay Thai but can also be used for MMA, Kickboxing, and in a pinch, western boxing.
Now for pure western boxing, I don’t find Twins anywhere near some of the other brands with both their design and their overall quality.
If you are only going to punch — and punch like a boxer, Twins gloves are not weighted for maximum punching effectiveness, having a thick wrist ear (for absorbing Muay Thai kicks), and a flexible finger for clinching — both features that are not necessary — or even desirable — for a boxing glove designed only for boxing.
I find the padding around the knuckles a bit thick and puffy — something that does not lend itself as well to throwing crisp punches against a heavy bag or pads like a pair of Grants or Cleto’s.
So frankly, if you want to work on pure boxing, save yourself the trouble and just go with one of the western style boxing glove designs from the likes of Grant, Winning, Cleto, or Title.
But, you can use Twins if you wish and some people may prefer this style for boxing even. I don’t.
For value and quality, you get a pretty good deal — at about $60 or so dollars, Twins offer good value. Considering that Twins are constructed from premium leather, they look good and feel good and have a good amount of padding — the price is right. Some of the newer models have a foam mesh to better allow heat dissipation. I’ve done a review of Twins Boxing Gloves for more details.
For pure Muay Thai gloves, Fairtex, the pricier but better constructed Thai-style glove is recommended. They last longer and just feel much better. But, if you are into Muay Thai gloves, then a lot of your choice of glove will be how the glove feels — some people like Twins, some like the Top King feel, and some like Fairtex. Make sure to read our Best Muay Thai Gloves list, which is a different list that looks at ONLY Muay Thai gloves.
Another glove from one of the newer glove companies to rise the past few years. Venum are a pretty good pick if you are looking for cheaper boxing gloves — straddling the budget and mid-range category at about 70ish dollars.
Their Elite model is one of the better-priced quality entry level gloves (read my full Venum Elite Boxing Gloves review for more info).
Some of the Venum gloves are produced in Thailand (the cheapest Venum models such as the Venum Contender and Venum Challenger are made in Pakistan or China, and NOT Thailand), but unlike the traditional Thai boxing style gloves, these are of ‘modern’ design visually and feature wise. Make sure you look for the ‘Made in Thailand’ logo on their products, not the ‘Designed in Thailand’ they put on their cheap gear.
Traditional Muay Thai boxers and/or western boxers may prefer some of the more old school versions of boxing gloves to better match their sport demands. Personally, I find the Venum Elites a decent buy — good value and of decent enough quality to use as a second glove; for beginners, these gloves will do fine.
For general boxing, as it applies to MMA, Venum are a highly recommended brand. Indeed, you’ll see quite a few Venum gloves kicking around at MMA gyms. Less so at boxing or Muay Thai gyms. There are a lot of positive reviews floating around about the Venum Elites, and I find personally, most of what’s said is true.
But, Venum Elites are decent enough for Muay Thai or MMA. I don’t recommend these gloves though over the other brands for either Muay Thai or pure Boxing unless you are looking for cheaper boxing gloves made in Thailand that have a more modern look to them than some of the other Thai brands like Twins and Top King.
Venum are sort of a combination between the traditional Thai gloves (again, some of the gloves are made in Thailand and borrow some of the base construction and design from the Thai style gloves, with a few modifications) and a more modern glove. So if you like the feeling of a Thai glove, but want a more modern look and slightly modified design, Venum are the perfect glove for you with the Elite model probably their best bang for buck (if you want the real leather version — the Venum Sharp or Venum Giant 3, you’ll pay $30 more).
Overall, for about $70-$78, you get a pretty design started boxing glove with a flashy design. The construction and quality are not as good as some of the cheaper, Thai-style boxing gloves though which are always made from leather; the Venum Elites are made from Skintex, which is basically faux leather and not as durable, as pliable, or as well fitting as real leather.
- Triple density foam padding
- Mesh panel inside glove for heat dissipation
- Flashy Design
The Worst Boxing Gloves – Brands You Should Avoid
Here are a few brands you should not buy under any circumstance. Given that you can pick up a good value boxing glove from the likes of Title or Venum for about 30-40 dollars, there is NO way you should consider any of these brands, some of which offer gloves between 15-30 dollars.
- Everlast Gloves (anything under the $60-70 range is pure crap)
- Lonsdale (the same owner as Everlast and they do the same sort of things)
- TKO (no, just no)
- Century (buy at your own risk — has a reputation for being crap)
- RDK (if you value your hands, don’t. These are mostly cheap gloves that don’t compare well)
The Final Word
Here’s the real deal: the is no such thing as the perfect boxing glove. Every person looking for a boxing glove has a different set of needs:
- size of hands
- sport type (MMA, Boxing, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, etc.)
- Experience Level
- Training Purpose
Someone looking for a glove for cardio kickboxing, won’t need the same glove as someone who just started an MMA class, but will actually be hitting a heavy bag. These two people will have a completely different requirement than someone looking for a Muay Thai glove for Thailand training. And someone who’s an experienced boxer looking for a glove to fight train in and spar in, will too, have a different set of needs and require a different glove.
So the best way to find the best boxing gloves for your needs is to look at your experience level and figure out what you intend to do with the glove in training. Once you can answer those two questions, you can select a glove that fits your budget.
I’ve given as accurate a guide that targets specific needs and training to make things easier for you, but ultimately, you’ll have to make the choice.
But if you want a summary of my best. Here it is.
Summary of Best Choices
Best of the Best: Buy Winning Boxing Gloves
Best with Price Considerations: Buy Ring to Cage C17 Boxing Gloves
Best Budget Glove: Buy Title Pro Leather
Final Buying Tip: And that’s everything you need to now about buying the best boxing gloves. But I’ll give you one more piece of information to help guide you. There are plenty of other boxing glove brands out there, especially if you look on Amazon which seems to be flooded with white label boxing gloves from Pakistan and China. However, my recommendation is that you stick to one of the established boxing glove brands that’s been around for a few years, and one that has an established reputation, rather than go with a brand new glove that contains a bunch of fake, paid-for Amazon reviews. Just because a glove is a) new and flashy looking and b) super cheap does NOT mean you are going to be getting a quality glove. More likely than not, you’ll get a glove that offers no proper protection and one that falls apart in a couple months.
Enjoy The Article? Then Read more of our Ultimate Guides Below…
- Best Muay Thai Gloves
- Best MMA Gloves
- Best Handwraps for Boxing/MuayThai/MMA
- Muay Thai Heavy Bags
- Muay Thai Boxing Shorts
- Muay Thai Shin Guards
- Best Elbow Pads for Muay Thai
- Best Knee Pads for Muay Thai
- Best Belly Pads for Muay Thai
- Best Muay Thai Pads
- Muay Thai Head Gear
- Muay Thai MouthGuards
- Best Punching Bags
- Best Skipping Ropes
- Muay Thai Shorts Guide
- Best Heart Rate Monitors