The Best Fit: Bag vs Sparring Gloves

You’ve seen it in on TV: two champions, both sweating and bruised, waiting for the buzzer to sound for another round.  When the moment arrives, they carefully advance and circle each other, gloves raised for protection and offense. 

You’ve seen it in the movies: the hero, bulging muscle and adrenaline, punching the bag over and over as the music plays in a training montage, each cut showing mounting stamina and force as the bag rocks further and further, until finally the music crescendos, the hero lets out one final grunt, the fist hits the bag in slow motion, and the bag swings in a wide arc.

What you didn’t see: the hero finishing his warmup punching routine, then turning around and besting his sparring opponent.  At least, not without a change of gloves.  Why? Because using the same pair of gloves for punching a bag and sparring can have detrimental results.

Bag Training

The main purpose of boxing gloves in training is to protect your hands while giving good tactile feedback about the punch.  Because of this, bag gloves are much harder than sparring gloves (represented by lower weights = less padding).  Training focuses on stamina as well as strength, so lower-weight gloves allows the practitioner to use gloves that best compliment his or her current fitness and strength level.

Our size guides, shown on each product page, will help you choose fit-for-purpose gloves based on their intended use. Here's an example:

Popular bag training gloves:

Fairtex F-Day Boxing Gloves

 Fairtex Muay Thai Boxing Gloves (BGV1)

Pro Bag Busters Commercial – Bag Boxing Mitts

* Be sure to reference the size guide for sparring VS bag work recommended sizes

Sparring

The main purpose of boxing gloves in training is to protect your opponent (it’s a sport, after all, not a death-match).  Objects in motion tend to take less damage than the things they hit, and sparring gloves are designed with this in mind.  Sparring gloves are much softer than training gloves (represented by higher weight = more padding).  Furthermore, sparring matches usually have a minimum weight requirement of 16oz (some will allow 14oz) for boxing gloves.

Popular sparring training gloves:

 

Fairtex Muay Thai Sparring Boxing Gloves (BGV6)

Fairtex Muay Thai Boxing Gloves (BGV1)

* Be sure to reference the size guide for sparring VS bag work recommended sizes

    Warning

    Do not use the same set of gloves for gloves for bag training and sparring.

    While at first this may seem like a cool way to save money, punching a bag with gloves will eventually compress the padding inside, turning them into bag gloves by reducing the effective padding and making them no longer fit for sparring.

    Similarly, using gloves with too low weight (not enough padding) for sparring is the quickest way to to end up with no one willing to spar with you.  Show you respect your opponent by getting a dedicated pair of gloves for sparring only.

    If you wish to spar and train, it is best to go ahead and purchase two sets of gloves, one for each use.

    See our boxing gloves >