What Do Boxing Gloves Protect?

What Do Boxing Gloves Protect?

What Protection Does Boxing Gloves Offer?

Regardless of which combat sport you are involved with whether it's boxing, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, or MMA, most require the use of protective equipment for one important reason... safety.
Without these items, the risk of injury can dramatically increase for both the user, the training partner, or the opponent.
In this blog, our expert team will explain the protection that a pair of boxing gloves offers and why.
Once you understand their purpose, you'll also understand why boxing gloves look, feel, and are built a certain way.

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Why shouldn't you train barehand?

Unless you're training at a karate dojo, you'll most likely be wearing some form of hand protection.
While training barehand may be considered tough and hardcore, your hands will pay for this in the long run!
Our hands unfortunately weren't designed for repeated and heavy impacts...
The bones, tendons, and ligaments in the hands are small and don't have the necessary strength to absorb repeated amounts of impact.
Professional boxers who utilise boxing gloves still face injuries such as fractures, calcifications, tendonitis, joint injuries, and more.
Imagine how those injuries compare if they were training barehanded!

How do boxing gloves offer protection?

Similar to how a pair of running shoes offer support for the runner's ankles and feet.
A boxing glove is designed to provide stability, support, and protection to the boxer.
A boxing glove is purpose-built to minimise the side effects of punching.
Let's look at each particular element of a boxing glove and see why they are built a particular way.


Boxing gloves are intentionally created with additional weight to protect the user and sometimes the opponent.
Boxing gloves are measured in ounces (OZ) to signify how much weight and resistance the user is carrying in their boxing gloves.
Simply put, a lighter-ounce boxing glove requires less energy to throw a punch than the latter.
As a general rule of thumb, 10oz-12oz boxing gloves are recommended for boxing bag and focus pad training and 16oz boxing gloves for sparring.
The above recommendation is important for a few reasons.
If you were to spar with a pair of 12oz gloves and your opponent was wearing 16oz gloves, this could be considered a severe disadvantage to the person with the heavier glove.
They will most likely fatigue faster than you due to the added weight.
That is why amateur and professional competition require boxing gloves to weigh a specific weight for a ring bout, to ensure the safety of both boxers.


Boxing gloves will typically carry a standard amount of foam padding around the back of the hand and fist, knuckles, palm, wrist, and thumb.
Padding over and around these areas does a multitude of things for the user.
Knuckle padding for example displaces shock absorption and can lower the risk of injuries when punching.
Padding around the fist and back of the hand can help form a natural fist position and protect the user when guarding or blocking strikes.
Padding over the thumb will of course protect the thumb if accidentally struck.
Padding in the palm can assist in protecting the user's hand when blocking.
Lastly padding over the wrist will help create a solid brace, lowering the risk of injuries when guarding or throwing punches.


Sewn-in thumb

A sewn-in thumb is added to boxing gloves to place the thumb into a natural position with a closed fist.
As boxing gloves don't house the thumb under the fist, the sewn-in thumb is the next best position to house your thumb.
This section should comfortably hide the thumb from being accidentally struck during training.
A sewn-in thumb should also be covered by an ample amount of padding to protect the user against accidental collisions.

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Wrist wrap

The wrist wrap is particularly important for keeping the wrist and hand in a neutral position.
While many wrist wraps aren't completely solid, their function is to bring the wrist back into a neutral position if a punch is connected on an awkward angle.
Without an adequate writ wrap, flexing or overextending the wrist when punching can dramatically raise the risk of injury to the user's hands.
Finally, there are many variables of wrist wraps available, from their shaping, design, features, and materials.
You will typically find a hook-and-look wrist wrap that is easy for on/off usage. (Pictured left.)
The other common wrist wrap system will be a lace-up closure, which laces will take longer to complete, lacing may provide a more secure brace around the wrist. (Pictured right.)

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Additional features

With the above main areas of boxing gloves now covered, you may also find additional features that some models of boxing gloves carry to provide added benefit to the boxer.
For example the Black Diamond Muay Thai Boxing Gloves from Punch Equipment house a generous amount of palm and wrist padding for safety during Muay Thai drills and sparring.

Black Diamond 7

There you have it!
We hope this has helped give you a better understanding of how boxing gloves protect the user and also the training partner.
If you have any questions regarding the above, send us a msg via our chat software below!