The 8 Best Boxing Gloves of 2021, According to an Expert

Protect your hands and wrists through powerful punches

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Our Top Picks
"This pair stands out for its double straps, which keep your joints protected while the multi-layer foam shields your knuckles."
"Affordable while still protective, this pair offers multiple layers of foam to allow for shock absorption."
"They feature foam padding and a wrist closure aimed at superior security as you jab, cross, and uppercut."
"It's complete with a thick foam layer for support and shock absorption as you throw powerful punches at heavy bags."
"The foam padding on these boxing gloves gets a gel upgrade, giving them extra softness while still providing shock absorption."
"Its leather composition ensures it'll last throughout all your rounds, while its temperature-regulating lining increases comfort."
"Made with leather on the exterior and latex foam on the interior, it offers sufficient protection as you throw jabs and uppercuts."
"Ideal for budding boxers, this full set includes gloves, headgear, and punch mitts for when working with a partner."

If your workout involves throwing punches—especially if you hit heavy bags—you’ll want to invest in a good pair of boxing gloves. "They'll help protect your wrists and the small bones in your hands from injury," says Eduardo Perez, senior director of mixed combat arts and pilates programs at Life Time. Buying weighted gloves can also up the intensity of your workout.

One thing to keep in mind when making your boxing glove pick: You get what you pay for. Cedric Jones, owner of Beastie boxing gym in Manhattan Beach, California suggests going for leather gloves, but you also have the option to choose synthetic (usually at a lower price point). And make sure you buy a pair that's slightly larger than your hands, as you’ll want space for wraps underneath.

Throw your punches with confidence knowing your pair fits your needs for padding, comfort, and wrist protection.

Here are the best boxing gloves on the market, according to a certified personal trainer.

Best Overall: Hayabusa T3 Boxing Gloves

Pros
  • Superior protection

  • Secure

  • Durable

Cons
  • Expensive

This pair stands out for its double straps around the wrist, which keep your joints protected. The multi-layer foam creates a shield for your knuckles and helps you hit with confidence, while the liner keeps your hands cool.

To top it off, you get a microfiber thumb to wipe off your sweat—often necessary for high-intensity workouts like boxing. 

Weight: 10 to 18 ounces | Outer layer: Vylar (engineered leather) | Padding: Foam 

What Our Experts Say

“My favorite gloves are any from the Hayabusa Fight brand. They have incredible engineering and craftsmanship.”—Eduardo Perez, senior director of mixed combat arts and pilates programs at Life Time.

Best Budget: Trideer Pro Grade Boxing Gloves

Pros
  • Inexpensive

  • Quality protection

Cons
  • Durable

Snag a pair of boxing gloves at an affordable price with this set from Trideer. Despite the price, you still get multiple layers of foam to allow for shock absorption when you hit your bag. While the synthetic leather won’t hold up to the same standards as genuine leather, it will still last through multiple rounds.

These gloves also provide a full wrap-around wrist strap to keep them secure through tough workouts.

Weight: 8 to 16 ounces Outer layer: Synthetic leather Padding: Foam

Best for Sparring: Everlast Pro Style Elite Boxing Gloves

Everlast Pro Style Elite Boxing Gloves
Pros
  • Quality protection

  • Breathable

  • Antimicrobial

Cons
  • Durable

Another top brand backed by boxing instructors, these Everlast gloves feature a synthetic leather outer layer, foam for the padding, and an hourglass-shaped wrist closure aimed at superior security as you jab, cross, and uppercut.

In addition to the antimicrobial finish, these gloves also keep your hands cool as you heat up, thanks to the mesh palm.

Weight: 12 to 16 ounces | Outer layer: Synthetic leather | Padding: Foam

Expert Advice

“Sparring gloves are designed for protection for both the fighter and the opponent. They are generally heavier but might also provide extra padding if you are not accustomed to striking a surface. Bag gloves are designed to protect the user and will generally have a little less padding as they are not also protecting the opponent,”—Eduardo Perez, senior director of mixed combat arts and pilates programs at Life Time.

Best for Bags: Hawk Sports Boxing Gloves

Pros
  • Premium Protection

  • Secure

Cons
  • Durable

A hook and loop closure around the wrist allows for security and makes it easier to take on and off. Like other gloves, these also offer a thick foam layer for support and shock absorption as you throw powerful punches at heavy bags.

You also get holes to allow for some ventilation and a waterproof lining so your hands stay comfy—not soggy. 

Weight: 8 to 16 ounces | Outer layer: Synthetic leather | Padding: Foam

Best Gel: Sanabul Essential GEL Boxing Gloves

Pros
  • Inexpensive

  • Premium Protection

  • Breathable

Cons
  • Not as durable as other options

The foam padding on these boxing gloves gets a gel upgrade, giving them extra softness while still providing shock absorption.

They also have a mesh palm for airflow that keeps your hands cool as you get sweaty. Take your pick from a range of bright colors in the detailing. 

Weight: 8 to 16 ounces | Outer Layer: Synthetic leather | Padding: Gel-infused foam

Best Leather: Hayabusa T3 LX Leather Boxing Gloves

Pros
  • Premium Protection

  • Durable

  • Luxurious

Cons
  • Expensive

Looking for high-quality boxing gloves that’ll stand up to multiple rounds of fighting? This genuine leather pair from Hayabusa has you covered. The wrist strap also provides a customizable, secure fit—and you get the required protection for your punches from the multi-layer foam.

To top it off, the gloves feature a temperature-regulating lining that increases overall comfort. 

Weight: 12 to 16 ounces | Outer Layer: Italian leather | Padding: Foam

Best Professional-Grade: Cleto Reyes Hook & Loop Training Gloves

Pros
  • High quality

  • Premium Protection

  • Durable

Cons
  • Expensive

One of the top-tier boxing brands, according to Jones, these Cleto Reyes gloves offer a durable, high-quality shield for your hands.

Made with leather on the outside and latex foam on the inside, you have the perfect combo for keeping your body safe as you throw jabs, crosses, uppercuts, and hooks. 

Weight: 12 to 18 ounces | Outer Layer: Leather | Padding: Foam

Best for Kids: Everlast Youth Prospect Boxing Training Set

Pros
  • Kid-friendly

  • Comes with other gear

Cons
  • Can't buy gloves on their own

Get the kids in on the cardio action with this full boxing set, which includes gloves, headgear, and punch mitts for when your little one is working out with a partner.

The glove features foam padding, a mesh palm, and a hook-and-loop velcro wrist strap. 

Weight: 8 ounces | Outer Layer: Synthetic leather | Padding: Foam

Final Verdict

The Hayabusa T3 Boxing Gloves (view on Amazon) stand out for their superior comfort and protection—and they’re boxing-coach approved. But if you’re looking for something at a lower price point, try the Everlast Pro Style Elite Training Gloves (view on Dick’s Sporting Goods), as they’ll also offer supreme protection.

What to Look for in Boxing Gloves

Fit

You want a pair of boxing gloves that’s snug but not too tight, offering protection and security without restriction. Choosing the right size will play a big role in this. If you feel like your gloves are so tight that they’re cutting off circulation or so loose that your hands are moving around on the inside, then it’s time to try a different size. 

Comfort

As with any fitness gear, you want the gloves to simply feel good on your hands, so they’re not holding you back from a good workout. If they’re bothering you as you work through jabs and crosses, it’s time to switch to a new pair. 

Protection

The point of wearing boxing gloves is to protect your hands from punches. So you want to make sure they have enough foam and durable leather or synthetic leather to withstand your power. Make sure you feel the shock absorption as you punch. 

FAQs

How do I wash boxing gloves?

According to Perez, gloves should be treated like a personal item—very much like shoes, you should ideally be the only user of the gloves. When you do need to clean them, start by wiping down the outside with a gentle disinfectant. 

"Because you’ll want to wear wraps under gloves, you can throw those in the washer and that will keep your gloves clean," says Cary Williams, boxing coach and CEO of Boxing & Barbells. You can also spray a disinfectant inside the glove, but make sure to then keep them open so they can dry out. 

How do I wrap boxing gloves? 

It’s easy to wrap your boxing gloves, as they usually come with just one velcro strap. (It’s the wraps worn inside the gloves that can get more complicated.) But keep in mind: “You should wrap your wrist with the velcro closure tight enough to have little mobility in your wrists, but not so tight that it's uncomfortable,” says Williams. 

How are boxing gloves supposed to fit?

“A glove should feel snug around the hand, but not too tight,” says Williams. “If your hand floats around a lot in the glove, it is too big.” Make sure the wrist part doesn’t go too far up your arm, too, especially if it hinders circulation or decreases mobility.

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

Mallory Creveling has covered the fitness industry for more than a decade, often writing about workout equipment. She’s also a personal trainer who’s tried tons of at-home workouts, including boxing. She knows what you should look for to get the most out of your gear.

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