Do You Need Gloves for Kickboxing? (And What Type)

What kind of gloves should I wear for kickboxing? Well lets first get to know what kickboxing really is. Kickboxing is a popular sport, which can be trained in a number of ways. Some kickboxing clubs are cardio focused and simply have the practitioners kicking and punching the air or working with a heavy bag or pads. Other clubs are more combat or sport focused, and will involve more sparring.

If you are training a type of kickboxing that involves sparring, either point-fighting or continuous sparring, then the type of protective equipment that you wear will matter a lot. You will definitely need gloves, and depending on the ruleset you spar with you may want to wear shin pads as well. Shin pads are important if you are going to be giving, or receiving leg kicks.

Gloves are important both to protect your hands and also to protect your sparring partner from blows. If you punch someone with a bare hand, not only will it do a lot of damage to them, it is also quite likely that you will damage your hand.

How to choose boxing gloves – Choosing the Right Gloves

What a lot of people don’t realize is that there are actually several different kinds of protective glove. Boxing gloves have a grip bar in them and are quite bulky. They are heavily padded at the knuckle because pure boxers rely only on their knuckles when striking. They usually have a lace-up closure, although some modern designs use velcro instead. Western boxing gloves are not very flexible. They are designed for the wearer to simply make a fist and throw punches.

Thai boxing gloves are very similar to boxing gloves, but they are usually more compact, and the foam is spread out more instead of being primarily on the knuckle. Thai boxing gloves are more flexible because Thai boxers need to be able to use their hands when they are clinching.

MMA boxing gloves are a ‘new’ style of glove that is a hybrid of boxing gloves and Thai boxing glove. They use velcro enclosures, and they are sectioned with a split back hand and a separate knuckle section. These are not to be confused with MMA sparring gloves that have an open palm to allow for grappling.

Gloves that are explicitly designed for kickboxing have a longer cuff than Muay Thai gloves because kickboxers do not clinch as much as Muay Thai practitioners. The padding is spread out, instead of focused on the knuckes, because kickboxers are able to use more than just their knuckles for striking.

In reality, you can use most types of glove as a beginner, but if you choose a Muay Thai of a Kickboxing glove then you will likely find it more comfortable than a bulky, heavy boxing glove.

What is the weight of professional boxing gloves – Choosing the Weight of Your Gloves

It is best to talk to your coach before you purchase a pair of gloves so that you buy the appropriate size. Kickboxing gloves can range from 6 oz to 18 oz, and the weight you choose will depend on your size and the power you produce with your punches. In many gyms, children and smaller adults will be encouraged to choose 8 or 10 oz gloves, while bigger people may be encouraged to use 16 oz gloves.

Some gyms, however, have a broad safety rule that all practitioners should use 12 or 14 oz at a minimum, with bigger being OK for stronger people, but smaller being forbidden even for a small female beginner. This is to prevent cuts and concussions. In addition, it can be a useful rule to ensure that even if the beginner purchases some low-quality gloves, they will not run into trouble because of the lack of padding. Cheap gloves that weigh 12 oz or less are often very poorly padded.

You Get What You Pay For

It is a good idea to choose a trustworthy brand such as Hayabusa, Boon, Windy, Twins or Century. Avoid some of the newer ‘lifestyle’ brands, and avoid generic brands from sports stores, especially if you are training with the intent of eventually fighting. Cheap gloves will wear out quickly and could hurt you or your partner. There are affordable ‘training’ gloves offered by the trustworthy brands, and you can often pick up a decent pair of such gloves for $50. Professional grade gloves, however, can cost up to $150. They are worth paying for if you are planning on fighting.

If you have the opportunity to try a pair of gloves on then it is a good idea to do so before you buy them. Ask at the gym and sample a few different pairs of gloves from different brands to see what is most comfortable for you.

If you are a beginner you probably don’t want to spend $150 on a pair of gloves immediately, since you may not be sure if you are going to stick with the sport. It is worth buying a decent pair of training gloves, however, since they will likely last you for 1 to 2 years.

People who are serious about the sport usually end up replacing their gloves every couple of years because the padding wears down and the gloves develop a bit of an odor. You can reduce the smell issue by airing your gloves out after using them, wiping them with antibacterial wipes, and using ‘glove deodoriser’ packs.

If your gloves do develop an odor, then you may be able to reduce it by putting them in the freezer for a while (this can stop bacteria from growing, and reduce the smell). If you do this, put the gloes in a plastic bag first to stop them from getting damaged.

Don’t Forget Handwraps

When you are a beginner, you can get away with just wearing gloves without handwraps, but it is not a good idea to punch without wraps. As you become more experienced and develop more punching power you will definitely want to wrap your hands because this provides support for the hand and the wrist, and helps to reduce the risk of injury, especially when hitting pads or the heavy bag. Another benefit of the hand wrap is that it helps to soak up sweat that would otherwise make the gloves smell.

You should take into account the bulkiness of the hand wraps when considering what gloves to get. Hand wraps will make your ‘fist’ bigger, and this means that you might need a bigger hand compartment than you expect in your gloves. The bigger your hands, the heavier a glove you will need in order for your hand to comfortably fit. Don’t try to force your hands into a smaller glove, because you may find that the restrictiveness of the glove makes it harder for you to make a proper fist.

Take Care of Your Equipment

For your first few classes at a kickboxing gym it is likely that you will get to borrow some equipment. When you buy your own you will feel, rapidly, how much nicer it is to have equipment tailored to your preferences. Take care of that equipment, and it will take care of you and your sparring partner. Always re-wrap your hand wraps after using them, and wash them regularly. Air out your gloves, and if you use velcro gloves consider taping over them if you do a lot of clinch or grappling in a session so that exposed velcro doesn’t hurt your training partners.

Kickboxing is a great sport, but it is also a contact sport, and it is important that you have gear in a good state of repair to ensure that you and your partner can train safely for session after session.