Difference Between Training Gloves & Sparring Gloves

Let’s be honest; you can’t have a good training session without a good pair of gloves.


Do you know which kind of gloves are suitable for which exercise? Despite training four times a week, the majority of people are still unaware of the difference between different types of gloves available in the market.

Sparring gloves and training gloves are the two most commonly used gloves in the gym. Surprisingly, they are also the most commonly confused ones! People, more than often, just pick the pair of gloves that is more affordable than the rest because they all look the same right so they must serve the same purpose, right?

Nope! That is a far cry from the truth. There is a distinct difference between them.

Before investing in your first pair of sparring or training gloves, it’s worth researching the major factors that set both sets of gloves apart from one another. While most people would assume that all kinds of gloves come with a universal set of features such as a protective wrist straps and reinforced knuckles, that’s is not true.

If you are looking to get the most out of your gloves, you need to buy the right kind of gloves first. This mini guide about sparring and training gloves will sort things out for you.

What’s the difference between training gloves and sparring gloves?

When it comes to boxing, the terms “training gloves” and “sparring gloves” are often used interchangeably.

However, the reality is far from it!

The reality is that there is a significant difference between the two. Training gloves are designed to protect your hands and enhance your punching power; this is achieved by incorporating extra padding into the glove.

The padding in these gloves is typically softer and therefore less durable. As a result, you should only use training gloves when hitting bags or mitts.

On the other hand, sparring gloves are designed to protect your opponent from harm. They are more durable than training gloves and typically feature less padding on the back of the hand.

The Importance of a Good Fit

Before even considering the different aspects of construction, the first thing you need to do is make sure the gloves fit properly. When your gloves are a poor fit, you are at risk of developing painful blisters or even ripping your skin open. Additionally, poor-fitting gloves can negatively impact your performance.

When purchasing your first pair of boxing gloves, the best thing you can do is try on a few different pairs. Even if you are purchasing online from a retailer with a great reputation, it’s always best to try out a few options beforehand. When trying on your gloves, make sure you have your hands fully extended at the wrist.

Furthermore, make sure there is no excess material around your knuckles. While the gloves shouldn’t be too snug, they also shouldn’t be too loose. It should feel as if the gloves are hugging your hands comfortably.

Also Read: A Step by Step Guide to Wrapping Hands for Boxing!

Differences in Construction

How your gloves are constructed can have a significant impact on the performance and durability of gloves. There are a few things you should consider when it comes to the construction of your gloves.

The first thing to consider is the type of stitching used in the gloves. The best boxing gloves are stitched using a chain-stitch method to ensure that your glove will not come apart when you are in the middle of a tough training session. Based on the kind of activity you want to buy gloves for, the type of stitching can make or break the deal for you.

The next thing to look at is the material used in the glove’s wrist strap. When purchasing boxing gloves, it is important to note whether they feature a Velcro or lace-up closure because it will offer you an easier way in and out.

Velcro closures are quicker to put on and take off; however, they also tend to loosen up a little more during training sessions as they lose their adhesive power over time.

Different Material Choices

The material makeup of your boxing gloves is also worth taking into consideration. Many different types of materials are used in boxing gloves; some are superior to others.

Most professional boxing gloves have a mix of leather and synthetic materials like foam and faux leather. Instead of real leather, a synthetic covering offers more durability and longevity because real leather wears off easily.

Some boxing gloves are made from 100% leather. However, these tend to be more expensive than synthetic options. It is worth noting that not all leather boxing gloves are created equal.

Related: How To Clean Boxing Gloves Naturally?

The Importance of Wrist Straps

The wrist strap is one of the most important features of your boxing gloves. It protects your wrists from injury (1) and aids in rotating your wrists. While wrist straps vary between each manufacturer, there are a couple of things to look out for when it comes to boxing gloves. Most wrist straps are fully adjustable and allow you to adjust the tightness depending on your training goals.

For example, it is important to have tighter wrist support to prevent the gloves from falling off. Another feature to look out for is the type of closure used in the wrist strap on boxing gloves. Therefore, finding a glove that has a secure closure that won’t come undone during training sessions is important. Velcro straps are the most convenient. You will find them only on high-quality boxing gloves.

Determining your budget: How to find the best value for money

When purchasing boxing gloves, it is important to take into consideration what you are after from your gloves. The more expensive gloves will typically be more durable and provide better wrist support, but they might not be necessary if you are just starting out.

A great way to determine the best value for money is to determine your budget. There is no right or wrong amount to spend on boxing gloves; it all comes down to your budget. There are some excellent boxing gloves that are under £50 and provide great value for money.

If you are looking for boxing gloves that will last you a long time, it is important to find a reputable brand that offers a money-back guarantee. This will allow you to return your gloves if they break or fall apart within that period. If you are new to the sport of boxing, it is important to purchase gloves that provide adequate wrist support and protection for your hands.

While it is tempting to purchase the most expensive pair of gloves, it is important to remember that higher price tags do not always guarantee good quality.

How do Different Types of Boxing Gloves Compare with Sparring Gloves?

Boxing gloves come in different styles and sizes, depending upon their goal and use. Here is a comparison of boxing gloves with sparring gloves:

Hybrid gloves vs. sparring gloves

Hybrid gloves are designed to be used for both sparring and training. They typically have more padding than bag gloves but less than sparring gloves, making them a versatile choice for different types of training. However, sparring gloves still have more padding and are better suited for sparring with a partner.

MMA gloves vs. sparring gloves

MMA gloves are specifically designed for mixed martial arts training and competition. They are smaller than boxing gloves and have an open-finger design, allowing for grappling techniques. 

MMA gloves often have less padding than boxing gloves but more than traditional martial arts gloves. Sparring gloves have more padding and are better suited for boxing or kickboxing sparring sessions.

Muay Thai gloves vs. sparring gloves

Muay Thai gloves are specifically designed for Muay Thai, boxing and kickboxing training. They have more padding around the knuckles and a longer wrist strap for added support during kicks. 

Muay Thai gloves often have less padding than boxing gloves but more padding than traditional martial arts gloves. Sparring gloves have more padding and are better suited for boxing or kickboxing sparring sessions.

What is the difference between sparring and fighting gloves?

If you are wondering what is the difference between sparring and fighting gloves, here is a comparison:

Gloves weight and size

Sparring gloves are usually larger and heavier (14-18 ounces) than fighting gloves. The extra weight of sparring gloves slows down punches to reduce punch impact on the opponent. 

The bag gloves or fighting gloves for bag work are usually lighter, weighing around 10-12 ounces.  

Knuckle and hand protection

Sparring gloves have thicker padding around the knuckles and back of the hand. The pad work absorbs impact and reduces the risk of injury during training. 

Competition gloves have less padding, as they are primarily designed for use on less hard punching bags.

Suggested Read: How To Fill A Punching Bag? A Step by Step Guide!

Comfort and ventilation

Sparring gloves are more comfortable and have more ventilation. They keep hands cool during longer training sessions. 

Fighting gloves have less ventilation and are designed for shorter training sessions.

Bottom line

The best boxing gloves are an essential piece of gear for any aspiring boxer. While there are a number of different factors to consider before purchasing a pair, it is worth remembering that you get what you pay for. When purchasing boxing gloves, make sure that you consider the different aspects of construction and the purpose you will be using the gloves for because that is what matters at the end of the day.



(1) https://medlineplus.gov/wristinjuriesanddisorders.html