Whether you’re looking to buy boxing gloves or just using them regularly it’s a good idea to know what the common features of boxing gloves are and what they do. We’ve already been through the Types Of Boxing Gloves and broken down the benefits of Lace Up vs Velcro Boxing Gloves, so by now you should know the basics when it comes to boxing gloves. Here we’ll break down some of the additional features of gloves that can improve usage and add that extra touch.
Please remember that not all gloves are designed with these features, and some people prefer to buy their gloves without these extras for a number of reasons.
A grip bar is a lightweight bar, often made with a dense foam which sits between the fingers and the palm. Grip bars are there to make it feel more natural to make a fist and stop the leather from bunching up uncomfortably in your hand.
An attached thumb means the thumb is connected to the fingers with a piece of leather. In the early days of boxing, boxers were prone to thumb injuries and accidental eye gouges to their opponents. Most gloves now have attached thumbs to keep the thumb in place and prevent these injuries.
These are simply holes which are often punched directly into the leather on the palm, or the insides of the thumb or fingers. They allow air to flow through to keep your hands cool and help the gloves to dry slightly easier, without losing the natural shape of the leather.
On breathable gloves, part (or sometimes all) of the palm is replaced with a breathable mesh, which works even better at letting air flow through for maximum comfort, however sometimes reduces the natural shape of the gloves slightly.
On some Velcro boxing gloves, the separation between the two sides of the palm comes up quite high, so the gloves have an elasticated strip to hold the glove together. These can sometimes provide a tighter fit, as well as making the gloves easier to slide your hand into and secure compared to other gloves.
You may have noticed that the padding on the knuckles of some gloves overhangs slightly, sticking out over the thumb which makes it look like it’s tucked in slightly. This is to protect the thumb from getting hit accidentally, and taking the full force on the knuckles instead.
Less common features
This is a feature only found on some bag gloves and not suitable for sparring. Some gloves have been designed with hard padded layers on the outside of the gloves, which reduce some of the impact, allowing you to hit much harder safely, whilst also increasing the durability of the gloves.
Padded palms are more often found in Muay Thai gloves, which are often used for protecting against kicks, but can sometimes be found on regular boxing gloves too. Padded palms aren’t necessary for boxing, but can add an extra layer of comfort when blocking and parrying, as well as overall hand protection.
Gloves with shielded wrists are becoming a bit more popular at the moment. These gloves are usually Velcro gloves where the Velcro strap on the inside of the wrist, with the back of the wrist covered in a sturdy ‘shielded’ section. This can drastically improve wrist stability and also creates an additional layer of support when blocking strikes.
Sweat absorbent thumb
This feature isn’t found often, but some gloves have a sweat absorbent thumb which is great for quickly wiping off sweat when training without you needing to go and grab a towel.
Two strap system
Some Velcro gloves utilise a two strap system. This is more commonly found on MMA gloves but also sometimes found on regular boxing gloves. Usually one of these straps will be a shorter elasticated strap to hold the glove tight, while the other strap wraps around the wrist keeping the whole wrist secure.