When it comes to necessities in combat sport, gloves would be the first item that comes to mind. Boxers heavily rely on gloves to protect their hands and knuckles whenever they are sparring, punching pads or doing bag work. Boxing gloves vary in shapes, sizes and materials. Certain actions require different gloves which is why boxers must have a variety of them. Keep reading to discover how boxing gloves are manufactured and the many purposes they serve, courtesy of Fight Gear Direct.
The Three Types of Boxing Gloves
While individual manufacturers produce gloves with unique elements, there are two main builds. The most commonly used glove is the standard glove that is designed for maximal protection during sparring or competitive bouts. Even though they look similar to standard gloves, Muay Thai gloves have increased flexibility and less padding around the wrist and palm. Clinching is a key component of Muay Thai which is why the gloves promote movement in the hands and wrists. Unlike standard or Muay Thai gloves, bag gloves are made with less padding to give boxers a better feel for their punches when hitting the heavy bag. It's important to use each of the gloves correctly to maximize your ability and prevent hand injuries.
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Another aspect boxers need to consider when protecting themselves or sparring partner, is the size of their gloves. Lighter gloves allow for quicker hand speed and are often used during pad work. In contrast, Heavier gloves are produced to generate more power in your hands when throwing punches. Here is a sizing guide displaying all the available glove sizes at Fight Gear Direct (Lightest to Heaviest).
Benefits of Velcro and Laced Gloves
Despite the majority of modern boxing gloves having velcro wrist straps, laced gloves are also advantageous. Velcro gloves are frequently used because they can be easily placed on or removed during training. The use of a velcro cuff also allows boxers to fasten the glove in a variety of ways to increase comfortability. Although they are time effective, velcro wrist straps are less secure on the hand and wrist compared to laced gloves. Some boxers prefer the tighter fit that laced gloves offer since it gives them a better feel for their punches. Laced gloves are commonly used during fights to ensure they don't loosen when sweating or coming in repeated contact with an opponent.
Covering and Padding Materials
Glove manufacturers often use different covering and padding materials based on the price of their product. Cheaper gloves have a vinyl covering because the material is less expensive than leather. While vinyl gloves are more affordable, they don't have a long life span and aren't very durable. If you are comparing quality, leather gloves last much longer and don't peel easily. Even though they are a pricier option, leather gloves will give you a much better return for investment.
Much like covering, there are also different forms of padding used in boxing gloves. Traditionally, boxing gloves were padded with horsehair but have since been replaced with different layers of foam. Horsehair padding did increase punching power but wasn't an effective way to protect the hands and wrists from injury. Since foam has been introduced, many injuries have been prevented because the material absorbs force and disperses it evenly across the hand.
Additional Forms of Protection
Modern gloves have many protective features that assist in the prevention of injuries. A common form of protection in modern boxing gloves is an attached thumb. This feature ensures that the boxers thumb doesn't get jarred or poke an opponent in the eye when extended. Several current gloves have also installed a grip bar. Grip bars effectively reduce the pressure boxers put on their lower fingers when making the shape of a fist before punching. Another feature that is frequently installed in modern gloves is breathable mesh. The mesh increases the airflow within the glove and reduces sweat coming from the hands. When boxers sweat from their hands, it can lead to calluses or bacteria forming within their gloves which is why breathable mesh is effective.
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