What does the ‘oz’ mean on Boxing Gloves? Glove Sizes Explained

What does the 'oz' mean on Boxing Gloves? Glove Sizes Explained

If you’ve just started looking for a pair of boxing gloves you’ll spot that boxing gloves aren’t measured in size, but in weight. It’s easy to be pretty clueless as to what to buy, but we’re here to break it down.

The size is measured in ounces

Usually when you see a pair of gloves they’ll be labelled with a certain weight – for example ’16oz’. This is the weight in ounces.

The weight of a glove refers to the physical weight of each glove, not the total weight. So for example on a 16oz pair of gloves, each hand will weigh as close to 16 ounces as possible.

Why are they not measured by size?

At first, measuring gloves by weight seems a little weird, but it all comes down to the amount of padding and protection each glove has. Depending on what you’re doing you might want a more or less padded glove – if you’re just lightly hitting pads then you might want a thinly padded glove for speed, however if you’re planning on sparring and practising hitting another person then you’ll want a glove which has more padding so you don’t hurt them unnecessarily. Essentially, the heavier a glove is, the more padding it has.

Hand compartment sizes are usually designed to be fairly universal, so in theory you should be able to fit your hands into any adult sized boxing gloves. That said, higher weight gloves tend to have more padding so are often physically a bit larger, so if you have large hands you might find a heavier glove to be more comfortable.

Different people find different fits comfortable, and in the same way, some brands design their gloves to fit slightly differently, so make sure to check out some Boxing Glove Reviews before you buy to find out what the fit of that pair is like.

What sizes are available?

Boxing glove sizes are typically sold in 2oz intervals. 2 ounces may not sound like much, but for each increase in glove size, that essentially means an extra 2 ounces of padding in front of each knuckle, which makes a noticeable difference when punching.

Most brands sell 10oz, 12oz, 14oz and 16oz. This gives plenty of choice, with a 10oz being the same size that most professional boxers use for fights, and 16oz being the most common boxing glove size for sparring thanks to it’s extra padding. Some brands sell additional sizes, such as a lower 8oz size, or even sizes 18oz and above (We’ve even seen custom made gloves up to 24oz which is pretty huge!)

Kids boxing glove sizing

Kids boxing gloves are usually a little different. for kids, the gloves the weight corresponds much more directly with the physical size of the glove. As a quick guide:

2oz – For children around 3-4 years

4oz – For children around 4-5 years

6oz – For children, aged around 5-7 years

8oz – For around 7 years to early teens

Obviously it depends on the size of the child though, so always try the gloves on for size first if you can.

How to work out what size boxing gloves you need

We’ve previously created a great graphic showing How To Tell What Size or Weight Boxing Gloves You Need, which is perfect to help you work out what size gloves you need.

As a quick summary:

10oz – Thinly padded glove, good for light pad work

12oz – Slightly more padding, good for pad work and bag work

14oz – An all-round training glove, good for pad work, bag work and light sparring

16oz – A protective glove, good for pad work, bag work and hard sparring

If you’re not sure, always check with your coach. Many gyms won’t let you spar with anything under 16oz, and your gym may have other requirements or suggestions for different types of training. Once you know what size boxing gloves you need, check out some reviews to work out the best pair of gloves for you. We have a whole Boxing Glove Reviews section here on Fight Quality to help give you a great starting point for your research.

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