The Best Boxing Gloves On The Market (2017 Review)
I love boxing and I have been looking forward to writing this post for ages! Boxing gloves are the number one tool a boxer has, equipment wise, and therefore every boxer needs to know the in's and out's of the gloves on the on market today.
So I have put together the ultimate guide for purchasing the best boxing gloves to suit your boxing style and personal preferences. Take a look at the table below for an overview and rating breakdown, and scroll down for a more in-depth review of each glove brand.
I hope you find this useful, and as always, please let me know what you think or leave any questions in the comments below. Enjoy!
The Top Picks
The build quality of a boxing glove has a massive influence on the quality of the boxer. A decent built pair of boxing gloves will be made from high quality leather and feel very comfortable to wear. The gloves shouldn’t damage the boxer’s hands or cause any irritation when fighting, allowing the boxer to keep their full attention on their opponent.
A high quality pair of gloves will also last a very long time (years), a lot longer than a cheaper pair that can sometimes fall apart after a few months. I’ve factored this into my reviews and measured the cost against quality to get a clearer picture of the value provided.
A glove needs to be super comfortable, gloves are one of the main bits of kit a fighter has and the fighter needs to feel great when wearing them. Comfort can be broken down into two parts, one when actually throwing punches and one with other boxing movements such as blocking your face with your hands.
Padding is the amount of protection the glove provides, and the higher quality the glove is, the more padding it typically provides (across the same glove weight size). The padding is normally made of out foam, with better gloves having higher density foam that provides greater impact protection.
The Run Down
1) Winning Boxing Gloves
Winning gloves are renowned around the world, almost every professional boxer has a pair, they simply are the best glove for comfort and protection due to their top quality – handmade – production process. They are hand crafted in Japan with a reputation dating back to 1937.
Often referred to as ‘pillows’ by boxers due to the unrivalled amount of protection they provide through their impact absorber and high density foam.
Using a glove like Winning gloves protects your hands just that little bit more and dramatically reduces the risk of hand damage when boxing, injuries which can be disastrous for professional boxers and anyone needing their hands for work.
If you are prone to hand injuries or have existing problems, winning gloves are the gloves for you.
Winning gloves are one of the most expensive brands on the market, but for very good reason, along with their exceptional comfort, padding and flexibility, their lifespan is a staggering five years daily training so definitely worth the extra investment.
Notable professional boxers who wear Winning gloves in competition fights are Floyd Mayweather, Erik Morales and Canelo Alvarez. Most other professionals use them during training, but opt for a glove with more power in competitions, such as Cleto Reyes.
- Simply the best gloves on the market. Every glove is handmade in Japan.
- Unrivalled hand protection: often called 'pillows' due to their comfort when throwing punches.
- Ideal if you are prone to hand injuries or need your hands for work.
- Five year average life span - with daily use!
- The most expensive gloves on the market, but for good reason.
2) Cleto Reyes Boxing Gloves
Cleto Reyes gloves are very popular in boxing, they are without doubt the best Mexican gloves on the market, and very high quality. Similar to winning gloves they are handmade and hand stitched and provide a very comfortable fit - they offer a very natural fit when wearing them.
What makes them stand out from other gloves on the market is less padding around the knuckles, you can actually feel your knuckles through the padding when wearing them. What this provides is much greater punching power, these are definitely gloves for big hitters with above average punching power.
Do bear in mind, that this does mean slightly less protection to the knuckles.
The reduced padding at the front of the glove also helps when training on pads and bags as they provide the boxer with more ‘feel’ allowing them to train for improved accuracy and punching power.
Notable professional boxers who use Cleto Reyes gloves are Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan, Marcos Maidana, Juan Manuel Marquez and Kelly Pavlik.
- Best glove on the market for punching power.
- High quality: handmade in Mexico.
- Can be quite expensive.
- Slightly less padding around the knuckles.
3) Grant Boxing Gloves
Grant, like Winning and Cleto Reyes, are very highly regarded in the boxing world, these three brands really are very difficult to rank ahead of each other.
In terms of padding, Grant slot right in the middle between Winning and Cleto Reyes, they provide slightly less padding than Winning gloves but more than Cleto Reyes. This means they offer more punching power than Winning, but not quite the same as Cleto Reyes.
They are the perfect mix of padding to punch power. They can be used for competitions, sparring and general training against bags and pads.
The quality is very high and like Cleto Reyes, they are hand-crafted in Mexico. The padding conforms well to your hand and the gloves offer great wrist support.
Aesthetically, Grant gloves are the best on the market, they simply look beautiful (if like me, you find boxing gloves beautiful).
Notable professional boxers who wear Grant gloves are Floyd Mayweather, both Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Gennady Golovkin, Tim Bradley, Andre Berto and Bernard Hopkins.
- Great padding across the glove, slightly less than Winning but more than Cleto Reyes.
- Great wrist support.
- Look great.
- As they sit in the middle of the field between comfort & power, they don't offer the maximum of either, therefore other gloves are better in terms of comfort or power.
4) Rival Boxing Gloves
Rival is a popular brand of gloves in Canada, although not too well known elsewhere across the globe, although they are definitely growing fast.
They offer great protection along with a good amount of punching power, although not to the level of gloves like Cleto Reyes.
Also check out the design on the gloves, they look pretty cool.
Rivals’ mission to revolutionize the boxing equipment industry, and they are definitely starting to do that having released shock-absorbing bag gloves, which absorb 40% more impact energy than standard bag gloves.
Rival gloves are great for protection and comfort, just don’t expect a huge amount of punching power.
Notable boxers who wear Rival gloves are Jean Pascal, who is of course Canadian, and Vasiliy Lomachenko.
- Shock-absorbing gloves absorb 40% more energy than regular gloves.
- Great gloves for hand protection & comfort.
- Look good with a sort of 'modern' look.
- You won't generate much punching power from these gloves.
5) Title Boxing Gloves
Title gloves are known for their comfort as they offer gel enforced lining and ‘gel infused tri-stack cuffs’ which makes use of gel within the padding of the gloves to provide extra impact absorption and to mould around your hand, allowing for an almost ‘custom-fit’ glove.
Their hook-and-loop (velco) strap wraps around the wrist 360 degrees, and therefore provides a good amount of wrist support and with the gel inside the strap it provides great protection for blocking punches.
The high level of protection these gloves provide does have it's downside; the weight of the gloves. Due to the gel within the padding, the size of glove of for instance a 14oz glove, feels more like 20oz.
However, this can be advantage to those fighters who like to train in heavier gloves, which improves strength, stamina and speed, but won’t get you ready for a competition fight.
- Good for protection, especially across the wrists.
- Feel very heavy for it's actual weight.
- Not recommended when preparing for a fight.
6) Everlast Boxing Gloves
Everlast is a well known brand across the world, due to their great marketing and brand power, they’ve been around for over one hundred years. but does this mean they produce quality boxing gloves?
Before the last few years when they released their ‘Elite Pro’ range – which are hand made in Mexico using high quality leather (similar to Cleto Reyes and Grant).
Previously Everlast were not well regarded as producing high quality gloves, they produced gloves for the masses, and were typically introductory gloves for beginner fighters as they were some of the cheapest gloves in the market.
However the Elite range have been picked up some boxers in the ring and for training gloves, who define the gloves as a great mix between comfort and power, and so fit bang in the same range as Grant gloves, which is not a bad place to be.
Notable boxers include Miguel Cotto, Andre Ward, Brandon Rios, Nonito Donaire and Deontay Wilder.
- Elite range is becoming popular among better boxes due to the mix of padding and power.
- Elite range is handmade in Mexico (high quality).
- Aside from the Elite range, Everlast are only really suited towards beginner boxers who are looking for some cheaper gloves.
The the winner is... Winning. It's a strange name for a pair of boxing gloves, and if you've never heard of them before it can be very confusing when talking or reading about them. Nevertheless, they are a superb glove and highly recommended due to the amount of padding and comfort they provide, with only a small trade-off in power.