7 Best Boxing Gloves For Sparring + Sizing & Safety Tips

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When you’re jumping into sparring, either as a beginner or more advanced fighter, you’ll want to make sure you get the right gloves for this use-case.

Because not all gloves are perfect for each training style, so in this article, I’ll tell you my pick of the best boxing gloves for sparring right now.

My top choice for the boxing glove for sparring is the Fairtex BGV1 because it offers dense sponge-like padding over the knuckles that protect your hands and your opponent. Plus, it’s excellent value considering the price and durability of Fairtex products.

Close runner-ups are the Ringside Apex Flash, as it’s an excellent budget option for a second pair, and the Hayabusa T3 because of the stellar wrist support, and it’s one of my favorite gloves on the market.

But there are more options out there, which you can find below by scrolling.

The key features we’re looking for are an acceptable glove size/weight, a decent level of knuckle padding that’s durable, and enough reliable wrist protection – all in one.

Let’s crack on with the top options!

Top options of boxing gloves for sparring

In no particular order, these are my picks of gloves that are suitable for regular sparring.

It’s a lot to do with choosing an option that keeps your sparring partner safe, which ensures a respectful training environment that enables everyone to keep coming back for more sessions.

Here’s a quick list of my top choices:

And keep scrolling to check out more detail for each glove option.

Ringside Apex Flash

Budget
Ringside Apex Flash Training Gloves
4.6

Dense shock-absorbing IMF padding and a taprered, wrap-around wrist closure makes the Apex glove a reliable option for heavy hitters on a budget.

Pros:
  • 2.25" IMF padding for shock absorption
  • Durable synthetic leather shell
  • Full wrap-around hook & loop closure
  • Decent wrist support for cost
  • Mesh palm to keep hands cool
  • Available in sizes 14 oz, 16 oz, 18 oz
  • Suitable for mixture of martial arts
Cons:
  • Can cause discomfort on fingers
  • Stitching frays quite quickly
Comfort:
4.5
Protection:
4.4
Style:
4.7
Durability:
4.5
Check Dick's Price Check Amazon Price

Ringside shows up as one of my regular picks because of its perfect balance between value and quality.

They may be the cheapest glove on this list, but that doesn’t take away from how reliable they are for most.

Especially since the Apex Flash gloves offer a great level of padding over the knuckles and are available in both 16 and 18 oz sizes, making them great for sparring.

You’ll also get a solid level of support around the wrist as the hook and loop velcro lock in tightly.

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It can be a little too snug for those with longer fingers and cause discomfort if you’re wearing them for hard or long sessions.

But, considering sparring sessions are usually only a few minutes per round, this should still make them a decent option as a second glove.

With the price being so affordable, you could definitely consider owning a second pair like these just for sparring.

Anthem Athletics Stormbringer II

Kickboxing
Anthem Athletics Stormbringer II
4.5

Anthem Athletics' Stormbringer II's are an excellent glove option for kickboxers and Muay Thai fighters that need a glove for diverse use, like bag, sparring, and mitts. Firm wrist stability but with enough bend to catch kicks, clinch, and other kickboxing movements.

Read our review

Pros:
  • Handcrafted and small-batch for uniqueness and quality
  • Made with highest-grade full-grain buffalo leather
  • Triple density, high-impact foam for protection
  • Velcro closure for secure wrist fit
  • Breathable mesh panel to keep hands cool and dry
  • Reinforced stitching for added durability
  • Designed in USA
Cons:
  • Big fit, not great for smaller hands or wrists
  • Wrist bend might not be wanted for some
Comfort:
4.5
Protection:
4.5
Style:
4.4
Durability:
4.7
Check Anthem Price

I’ve added the Stormbringer II to this list since I tried on these gloves, and I like that they have very dense padding over the whole hand area.

The padding is dense and multi-layered that is designed to absorb a lot of impact.

So the glove is a good option for absorbing impact for your opponent’s safety in sparring and for absorbing shock if used on a heavy bag.

But one thing to note is that this glove is mainly designed for kickboxers and Muay Thai-style fighters.

The glove bends at the wrist a bit, and the palm opens more easily than some gloves, making it ideal for catching kicks and getting involved in the clinch.

If you’re a beginner, I might not suggest these gloves because of that wrist-bending ability, as it can lead to too many newbie injuries in the wrist — I’ve been there!

Otherwise, I really like these gloves for their matte style, buffalo leather, and dense padding that still feels lightweight.

Fairtex BGV1

Dense Padding
Fairtex BGV1 Sparring Gloves
4.7

The ideal Muay Thai glove, equipped with these luxurious leather that offers protection, tons of durability and a contour-fit design for cushioning.

Pros:
  • High-quality construction, built to last
  • Delivers solid hand and wrist protection
  • Comfortable and snug fit
  • Velcro closure system
  • Great for beginners and professionals alike
  • Perfect sparring glove, great for bag and pads too
  • Praised for the solid, firm striking feel
  • Sizes 4 oz > 16 oz
Cons:
  • Requires break-in time for comfort
  • Size runs larger for average-sized hands
  • Colors can vary from product image sometimes
Check Fairtex Price Check Amazon Price

I love the BGV1 glove for sparring because Fairtex is a brand that produces very reliable gloves that last a long time.

On top of that, the BGV1 is specifically great for sparring as it has a ton of dense padding around the knuckles and back of the hand, making it useful to protect your opponent and yourself.

The main downfall with this glove is that it’s another option best suited for kickboxers and Thai boxers.

Fairtex specializes in Muay Thai products, so their gloves often have a bit of bend at the wrist to make them suitable for grabbing body parts.

That being said, the wrist strap is always firm, and the level of classic padding offers a lot.

And having some flexibility in the wrist is desired for many fighters for mixed martial arts, anyway.

And with it being priced comfortably under the $100 mark, I think it will give the best bang for your buck for most sparring fighters.

Hayabusa T3

Wrist Support
Hayabusa T3 Boxing Gloves
4.8

Probably the best glove on the market for stellar wrist support and stability that helps to reduce and prevent hand injuries unlike most other options. Dual-X strapping, Fusion Splinting keep things nice and tight.

Read our review

Pros:
  • Vylar-engineered leather material
  • 5-layer foam padding
  • Dual-X strapping closure system keeps wrist and hand secure
  • Fusion Splinting ensures hand-to-wrist alignment for added stability
  • Grip bar for holding a tight fist
  • Perforated and elasticated palm
  • Available in sizes 10oz-18oz for all needs and fighter weights
  • 18+ color variations to choose from
Cons:
  • Dual straps can be a bit fiddly to wear and take off
  • Needs extra care to keep them odor free
Comfort:
4.7
Protection:
5.0
Style:
4.7
Durability:
4.7
Check Hayabusa Price Check Amazon Price

Hayabusa’s T3 boxing glove drops into this list, as it does on many of our reviews, because it’s simply one of the best boxing gloves on the market, largely down to its incredible wrist support.

It’s also available in those bigger sizes like 16 oz and 18 oz, which makes it suitable for almost any big or heavy fighter.

The T3 will give the most reliable stability to your wrist by maintaining perfect hand alignment when throwing your punches, dramatically reducing injuries.

It’s also good for sparring because it has five layers of foam padding on the inside, absorbing a ton of shockwaves for you and giving necessary safety to your opponent’s face or body.

I love the Hayabusa T3 line. And there’s a style or color variant for anyone’s taste. You just have to be ready to spend a bit more money — but it’s well worth it!

Fairtex BGV6

Sparring Style
Fairtex BGV6 Stylish Angular Sparring Gloves
4.4

Angular gloves that help to feel form-fitted with high durability premium leather and an ideal fist closure system.

Pros:
  • Highly durable for daily training
  • Comfortable fit, feel great even after a year
  • Good aesthetics with a unique angular design
  • Premium leather ensures quality and longevity
  • Great to spar with, good for bags & pads
  • Supports optimal hand positioning, reducing injury risks
  • Sizes 12 oz > 16 oz
Cons:
  • Initial stiffness requiring break-in period
  • Can fit a bit too snug for some
Check Fairtex Price Check Amazon Price

If you want to step into the sparring class looking like the most stylish fighter in the room, then the Fairtex BGV6 is bound to be your top choice.

You’ll be getting the same Fairtex quality and durability but in a much more angular and stylized package.

It’s designed to be a glove that can aid in keeping a stable wrist-to-hand positioning which prevents stress on your wrist joint.

But it also has great coverage of sponge padding over the knuckles, and the 16 oz size gives a great overall package for sparring proficiency.

It’s going to be more structured in the wrist and stable, rather than slightly bendable like the BGV1, which might be better for you if keeping your wrists safe is important.

The downsides are that these can feel a bit stiff and tight at first, as the size runs a bit smaller, so it likely isn’t any good for big-handed fighters.

Ring To Cage Sparring Gloves

Huge Hands
Ring to Cage MiM-Foam Sparring Gloves
4.8

Ring to Cage offers these sparring gloves that enable the heaviest hitters in the game. One of the few brands to offer glove sizes up to 24 oz for huge hands.

Pros:
  • MiM Foam Technology protects knuckles
  • Ultimate wrist support with Safety Strap Closure System
  • Unmatched level of protection
  • Made of cowhide leather
  • Attached padded thumbs
  • Soft poly/nylon lining for quick drying
  • Multiple sizes available (14oz-24oz)
Cons:
  • Fiddly to get the dual strapping on and off
  • Velcro catches on your wraps when getting them on
Check Amazon Price

While the previous option isn’t much good for large hands, the Ring to Cage Deluxe Sparring glove absolutely is.

This is the best option I’ve seen that gives Heavyweights the size offerings they need to add appropriate padding protection around their fists and cushioning for their sparring partners.

They can size up as high as 24 oz (sometimes heavier, but harder to find), which gives the Derrick Lewis and Deontay Wilder’s of the world the proper weighted gear for fight training.

A glove with a unique strapping system keeps the gloves locked in place, but it can be a bit fiddly to get on and off — so it’s certainly a glove for committed sessions.

I’d recommend this glove over most other options for any fighter that is heavy or particularly big.

You have way too much power in your hands and weight to throw around, so wrap them boys up and keep your training partners safe.

ONX Sports X-4

Superior Stability
X-4 Velcro Training Glove by ONX Sports
4.7

Extraordinary wrap-less gloves designed to provide elite wrist, carpal, and metacarpal bone protection on the market.

Check out our full review.

Pros:
  • Provides superior support to the wrist, carpal, and metacarpal bones in the hand
  • Supports grip and hand position during training
  • Patented internal strapping system allows for adjustable sizing and support
  • The first wrap-less glove on the market
  • Versatile technology suitable for boxers and mixed martial artists
  • Ideal for sparring, bag work, and mitt work
  • Endorsed by Trevor Wittman, World Championship Coach & ONX Founder
Cons:
  • Very expensive
  • Getting the first heat mold right is critical for a good fit
Comfort:
4.7
Protection:
4.9
Style:
4.8
Durability:
4.5
Check ONX Price

Finishing off my selection of the best gloves for sparring with this premium option from ONX Sports.

It’s the brand that is the brainchild of Trevor Wittman, renowned boxing and MMA coach that has created several champions across both combat sports.

They are one of the few gloves on the market that tries to advance the technology behind training gloves, particularly in stabilizing the wrist with the hand.

The other option being the Hayabusa T3, which is further up on this list already.

The X-4 gloves have diagonal strapping that pulls the glove’s materials between the knuckles and the wrist together, creating a “lock” that stabilizes them.

It’ll ensure that you can’t bend your wrist in an unnatural position and causes fewer fractures and other problems with the small ligaments and bones in the hands or wrist.

They come in both 16 oz and 18 oz sizes so that they can be a great sparring option for most weight classes.

But they are insanely expensive, largely because of how limited their production line is. I would choose them if you want one of the top gloves and have the budget for it.

As they are so pricey, I’d take extra care to keep them clean by wiping them down and allowing them to air dry after every use — the materials will maintain much better.

Considerations for sparring gloves

If you’re trying to pick out a pair of gloves specifically for sparring, there are a few key things to know to make the right choice.

Let me answer those for you below.

Choosing the right size for sparring

The first key thing to know is that most reputable gyms will have a requirement to wear a minimum of 16 oz gloves for any kind of sparring.

And fighters in the size range of Light Heavyweight or Heavyweight should probably be wearing 18 oz gloves or higher.

The “bigger” the size of boxing gloves, the heavier the weight in ounces (oz).

And with more size and weight in a glove, it usually means more padding added to the knuckles.

The point of extra padding in gloves for sparring is to protect your sparring partner.

Wearing boxing gloves and displaying a philly shell guard in the gym
Keeping your guard up and hands tight to your head softens blows

When you make contact with your opponent, more padding helps spread the impact and reduces superficial cuts, bruises, and swelling.

But it also helps you, too, as having more padding gives you a larger surface area to protect your head — which is really important, especially if you’re still learning how to protect yourself as a beginner or intermediate.

Boxing glove sizing chart for sparring

To help you pick out the right size for sparring, check out this table I’ve put together that makes it simple for most training needs:

Bodyweight Glove Size Glove Size (Sparring)
110-140 lbs 8-12 oz 16 oz
140-165 lbs 10-12 oz 16 oz
165-190 lbs 10-14 oz 16 oz
190-215 lbs 12-14 oz 16 oz
215-240 lbs 12-16 oz 16 oz
240-270 lbs 14-16 oz 18 oz
270 lbs + 16-24 oz 18-24 oz

I would only recommend considering a glove size lower than 16 oz for sparring if you and your partner are both advanced and have a specific purpose behind using a smaller size.

You’d also want to have an agreement with your training partners to engage in lower glove-weight sparring.

You might use a smaller glove size if you are in a fight training camp and looking to sharpen your skills to an elite level and get ready for the upcoming matchup.

But, for most situations, you should be wearing at least 16 oz gloves, and that’s the same for almost all smaller sizes between 110-240 lbs.

Once you are above the 240 lbs body weight, then you probably should upgrade to 18 oz or heavier.

Owning more than one pair of gloves

Since sparring usually requires a glove size of 16 oz or more, it likely means you will need two different-sized gloves, depending on your own body weight.

While 16 oz gloves are ideal for sparring, gloves you train in to develop technical skills, like on pads with a coach, might be better in a smaller size.

So if you weigh between 110-215 lbs, you likely want a glove size between 8-14 oz to use for other training like on the heavy bag or on pad/mitts work.

If you weigh between 215-270 lbs, then you might be fine with just one pair of 16 oz gloves to use for all purposes.

I still don’t recommend you do that because you’ll wear down your gloves on the heavy bag (most commonly) and end up with frayed skin over the knuckles, which can cut or scrape your opponent’s skin more often.

If you weigh more than 270 lbs, then you likely need 18 oz gloves for nearly all training and multiple pairs to avoid wearing any one glove down too quickly.

So, the TL;DR is: get more than one pair of gloves. One pair for general training and one pair for sparring.

Final word on sparring gloves

So if you want to get a good glove for sparring purposes, you should choose a 16 oz glove with plenty of knuckle padding and, ideally, decent wrist protection to keep you injury free.

If you have the budget to spend, consider getting a regular size for general practice and a second larger (16/18 oz) sized pair for sparring.

That will ensure you are maximizing your training sessions without wearing down your gloves too fast.

Choosing from the list I’ve put together in this article should help you have the ideal live sparring experiences and upgrade your skillset.

What to read next

Now that you’ve learned which glove is right for sparring, you might be ready to grab that secondary pair for other training types where these next articles might help you:

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