Boxing is the ultimate challenge. There's nothing that can compare to testing yourself the way you do every time you step in the ring.' - Sugar Ray Leonard
Taking boxing classes in your local town means that - like with all sports - you will need to free up some cash and prepare a budget appropriate to the planned training program, which will probably entail going regularly to a boxing club and purchasing sporting equipment.
This might seem like a costly endeavour but it is not as expensive as it seems considering the number of mental and physical health benefits that boxing can bring.
A recent national survey (APS - Active People Survey) showed that boxing enthusiasts are on the increase with a 30,000 increase in the number of boxing practitioners in the last 6 months in the UK alone.
There are thousands of combat sports practitioners in the UK who have joined the Combat Sports Federation (CBS), which caters to a wide range of disciplines - French boxing (savate), standard boxing, Thai boxing, full contact kickboxing, mixed martial arts, etc.
This guide will help you choose your boxing equipment!
How to Choose Boxing Gloves for Standard Boxing
If you have ever experienced punching your fist into a wall, you will know just how painful it can be and how much it can hurt the bones in your hand (phalanges and metacarpal bones).
Boxing gloves and boxing mitts are part of the most basic equipment needed by any boxer or body to body combat practitioner.
Why are Boxing Gloves Important?
The most important of all boxing accessories and the first with which you should fill your boxing kit bag is an item that will protect your metacarpal bones.
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Boxing gloves not only protect the bones in your hand, they also soften the impact of a punch when you hit your adversary whilst minimising the risk of cuts.
Boxing is a relatively violent sport where strikes can be made as long as they are to your opponent's face or chest. Fighting with bare hands is strictly prohibited and you should make the most of this when preparing for both attack and self-defence.
Be it gloves for hitting a punch bag or for a full-on boxing match, boxing gloves are the tools of the trade of any boxer. Whether you are a world champion, a boxing ring king or even just a beginner trying out the sport for pleasure at your local boxing club, boxing gloves are without a doubt, the most essential fighting accessory there is.
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Choosing your Boxing Gloves
A boxing glove is compromised of 3 elements: the palm, the fingers and thumb and the wrist. The padding of the gloves help to prevent sprains and twists occurring when you are on guard (defence) or attacking.
It is important to note that the heavier you are the heavier your gloves should be. The weight of boxing gloves is expressed in ounces (Oz).
You may remember the short film by Charlie Chaplin, The Champion (1915), where a vagabond finds himself an unlikely sparring partner during a boxing training session to challenge the world champion.
Seeing how all the contenders dropping like flies as they find themselves on the receiving end of the boxer's all-powerful strikes, Charlie decides to put a horseshoe inside in his glove. To everyone's utter surprise and delight he manages to knock out the world champion!
Don't know where to begin when wading through the maze of boxing gloves out there? We are here to guide you!
Some of the most reputable boxing glove brands are Venum (middle to high-end), Everlast (middle to high-end) and Blitz (for beginners)
The outside material of a boxing glove for beginners is made of plastic whilst the material of more professional gloves is usually leather or synthetic leather to limit the amount of sweat and let the skin air out.
Remember that in order to be able to stretch your wrist and hand fully whilst wearing the glove, you should choose a glove according to your weight:
- 6 Oz: less than 50 kg,
- 8 Oz: 51 kg to 63 kg,
- 10 Oz: 64 kg to 74 kg,
- 12 Oz: 75 kg to 90 kg,
- 14 Oz et 16Oz: more than 90 kg.
An ounce (Oz) is equivalent to 28.3495 grams and is used to show the weight of protective gloves.
The size of the glove affects the strength of the punch as one increases or decreases the surface area - the greater the surface area, the less violent the punch.
Price Comparison of Boxing Gloves
- Decathlon: £7.99 to £39.99 (Adidas, Everlast, Outshock, Domyos),
- Sports Direct: £8.99 for normal gloves to £315 for special edition gloves signed by Muhammed Ali's opponents (Everlast, Lonsdale, Addidas),
- Flight Equipment UK: £17.99 for beginner's gloves to £219.99 for professional quality gloves (Cleto Reyes, Revo, Addidas, Venum, Fairtex, Twins),
Made 4 Fighters: £9.99 to £129.75for professional quality gloves (Century, Ringside, Addidas, Venum, Top Ten, Twins),
- Blitz: £7.99 to £39.99 (Blitz)
- There are gloves for every budget and to suit every level of fighter!
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How to Choose Equipment for French Boxing
Wrist wraps for boxing: choose, try, buy! Simple as that!
We tend to hear a lot about boxing wrist wraps for one simple reason - they have a particularly important function in terms of safety and hygiene.
Essentially, boxing hand wraps and boxing mitts allow the wearer to better protect their joints during a fight or training.
Use of hand or wrist wraps also increases the power of punches since they ensure the hand is well encased in the glove.
Protecting your hands before a hit? The very basics of boxing!
There are in fact a number of different types and styles of boxing hand wraps. Make sure that you choose the type of hand wrap that best corresponds to your needs from the point of view of comfort:
- Wraps made of cotton with a velcro fastening
- Mexican hand wraps (elastic wraps),
- Inner gloves made of gel (worn like a glove)
Here is an A to Z guide on how to wrap your hands with a boxing hand wrap before a big fight or boxing training session.
Fortunately, in terms of budget, the cost is not too high for this kind of boxing accessory.
You can find the same brands of boxing wraps as for the boxing gloves listed above:
- Decathlon: £2.99 for 2.5m wraps and £3.99 for 3.5m wraps.
- Athlete Shop: 4.5m Bruce Lee wraps for £5.20 and 3m Reebok wraps for £9.56
- Made 4 Fighters: boxing wraps from £2.75 to £14.95
Voilà, you really have something to get your hands on now (no pun intended)! All that's left to do is find some boxing gear to protect the rest of your body!
Which Boxing Training Equipment do I Need for American Boxing?
Boxing: Upper Body Protection
When you box with a boxing pad or bear paw gloves you might be able to do without any heavy protection, but as soon as you step into the boxing ring they become an absolute necessity.
Boxing gear for any amateur or professional fighter should really include a mouth guard, head guard and a groin protector for men or a chest guard for women.
Boxing Mouth Guards
Mouth guards are compulsory when competing in any boxing match whether on a local or national level. They are also a wise boxing accessory to have for training although they are only optional for sparring sessions and many choose not to wear one. All the same, if you are intending to box at all, we strongly recommend you purchase one.
As the name suggests, a mouthguard is there to protect your teeth and mouth, but it is also designed to protect your tongue and jaw.
A quality mouthguard can prevent you having to go through the trauma of losing or breaking a tooth and can save you a packet in costly dental operations.
Although it's certainly true that you can buy basic single mouthguards for £2 to £3, we still suggest loosening your purse strings a little in order to better preserve your teeth. A poor quality mouthguard or gum shield could leave you faced with some very hefty dental fees, so in the long run, you would be better off going for a higher quality item.
There are three categories of mouthguards and gum shields in the boxing world - basic non-adjustable models (very uncomfortable to wear), adjustable models (thermoformable) and completely custom-made models. Put it this way, the difference between custom-made mouthguards and non-adjustable ones is like the difference between your grandma's specially made to fit dentures and those plastic vampire teeth you bought last Halloween.
Choosing an adjustable mouthguard will enable you to effectively mould the mouthguard to your teeth and gums like a second skin. The guard will remould under the effect of heat and water so that you can mould it according to the shape of your teeth.
This is how to mould the guard yourself.
Right, got it! But how much is this all going to cost me?
Here is a list of a few mainstream sellers and brands for you to choose from:
- Blitz: £2.49 to £10.99 (Blitz, Shock Doctor, BadBread)
- Made 4 Fighters: £4.19 to £29.99 (Under Armour, OproPower, Shock Doctor, Venum)
- SafeJawz: £6.49 to £59.00 (SafeJawz)
- Valour Strike £12.95 (Valour Strike)
Bite together, smile and say cheese! There you have it, all that awaits now is the boxing ring, let the boxing begin!
Before you get started though, another essential item of boxing equipment that your boxing kit could also do with is some headgear!
Boxing headguards or any type of boxing headgear are fundamental items to have if you are looking to take part in boxing matches and competitions. If you are simply looking to train with a punch bag then you probably won't require any headgear at all as there is not any body-to-body contact due to your opponent being made of padded plastic and foam!
Boxing headgear is ultimately designed to protect your face and skull. With a suitable headguard that fits well (not too tight or too loose), you will be able to throw yourself into sparring sessions and boxing matches without having to worry about being hit by your opponent, even if he is a heavyweight champion!
A full-face helmet will even stop you suffering any nose fractures due to a padded bar that stretches in front of the face.
Wearing a boxing helmet or headguard is obligatory when learning boxing techniques, no matter what level you are. This is because headgear will help prevent any cognitive impairments, sleep disorders, memory problems or motor disabilities arising from shocks your body receives following a series of kicks and punches.
Criteria for choosing your headgear are as follows:
- Size of the helmet or headguard - should be perfectly adjusted to fit the size of your head (headgear usually comes in small, medium, large or extra large sizes).
- Padding - material that is well padded will stop the eyes, nose or ears from coming in direct contact with your opponent as they attempt to punch or strike you.
- Lining - should stop the helmet from slipping (I mean, just think what would happen if it fell off completely due to a lining made of slippery material).
- Chin strap - to provide good support, it should not be so tight that it is uncomfortable or so loose that it is not fixed to your face and your jaw is left unprotected.
- Visibility - if you can't see a punch coming your way, you won't be able to dodge out of the way and your game will suffer!
There are a number of sites selling sports goods, which can sometimes make purchasing headgear a bit of a complicated and arduous task!
If you are at a loss when it comes to finding places to look, you could try some of these sites:
You can find lower quality boxing headgear at around £15 to £30 from brands such as Domyos, Lonsdale, Addidas, and RDX sports. Middle of the range headguards will cost you approximately (£30 - £60).
If you are looking for more high-end products made from better quality material, then you will need to turn to brands that are global leaders in boxing equipment, such as Fairtex and Everlast and count on spending around £120.
Lower Body Boxing Accessories
Use of the feet to kick your opponent is an important part of many types of boxing, such as Muay Thai, French kickboxing (Savate) and American kickboxing. However, kicking is forbidden in standard boxing, which means that it is usually not necessary to wear shin pads unless you are recovering from a recent leg injury and want to give your legs extra protection.
This means that sports accessories for a standard boxing kit will usually be cheaper than for kickboxing and you may not have to tighten your purse strings as much as you first thought!
Be it a match, one-on-one sparring or just a solo box fit class - remember that you must be thoroughly warmed up prior to starting any boxing session!
However, although you may not require shin pads, boxing is a combat sport that involves constant movement and continually hopping from one foot to the other. Thus, there remains a lower body accessory that you will need to complete your boxing kit and protect you right up until that last bell in the boxing ring chimes!
Boxing trainers are specifically designed to fit the individual.
To ensure that you are well-protected for your boxing session, we recommend that you buy some boxing trainers made from foam that are high density to make sure you are well protected.
A good pair of boxing trainers will enable the wearer to have a lot of mobility and help master good body control.
Boxing trainers can range in price and value from very cheap to very expensive.
Why not just whip out your tennis shoes before jumping into the boxing ring?
Because the thin and supple soles of boxing shoes are better adapted to boxing rings and gym mats. In fact, in many boxing clubs, tennis shoes or any shoes other than boxing shoes are categorically forbidden as they could cause damage to the boxing ring floor or gym mats.
Lastly, a good pair of boxing shoes will allow you to maintain good balance as you engage in leg wars with your partner or when your ankles need more support as you put weight on them. On the flipside, a bad pair of boxing shoes could result in you not being able to apply pressure to your feet and losing your balance, power and precision.
In summary, boxing shoes are designed to prevent you from forming bad habits!
A complete set of boxing gear can usually be bought at your nearest boxing club (and probably for a rather eye-watering fee!). If you are looking to get newer versions of your existing sporting goods or want to find more competitively priced clothing and equipment then online shopping would probably not be a bad idea!
In order to select shoes that fit well, be sure to squeeze the pointed front section of the trainers as you would do for any combat trainers or indeed even normal shoes!
Listed below are some online sellers of boxing trainers:
- Adidas - £54.95 to £159.95 (Adidas)
- Made for Fighters - £53.99 to £169.75 (Adidas, Nike)
- SportsShoes - £38.65 to £152.29 (Adidas, Reebok)
- Start Fitness - £20 to £119.90 (Adidas)
- Decathlon - £39.99 (Addidas)
What do you notice? There is a market price for each quality level, prices differ in line with the quality of the shoes, even when it is from the same brand, such as Adidas.
Your choice of brand, product quality and the personal comfort level of the shoe that is going to make a difference during your next match.
Thus, we recommend going to a sports shop initially, so that you can get a feel for the shoe in the flesh. You can always have another browse online afterwards if you want to get a bargain!
Here is a quick run-through of some recommended boxing equipment:
|Boxing Accessories||Where to Buy||Brand||Price Range|
|Boxing Gloves||Decathlon, Sports Direct, Flight Equipment UK, Made 4 Fighters, Blitz||Adidas, Everlast, Outshock, Domyos, Everlast, Lonsdale, Cleto Reyes, Revo, Venum, Fairtex, Twins, Top Ten, Blitz, Century||£7.99 to £315|
|Boxing Hand Wraps||Decathlon, Athlete Shop, Made 4 Fighters||Bruce Lee, Reebok||£2.99 to £14.95|
|Mouthguards||Blitz, Made 4 Fighters, SafeJawz, Valour Strike||Blitz, Shock Doctor, Bad Bread, SafeJawz, Valour Strike||£2.49 to £59.00|
|Boxing Headgear||Fruugo, Flight Equipment UK, JD Sports, Decathlon, RDX Sports, Active Instinct, Amazon UK||Domyos, Lonsdale, Addidas, RDX, Fairtex, Everlast||£15.00 to £120.00|
|Boxing Trainers||Adidas, Made 4 Fighters, Sports Shoes, Decathlon, Start Fitness||Adidas, Nike, Reebok||£20.00 to £169.75|
So now you should have just about all the boxing equipment you will need to become the next boxing champion! Get on installing your punch bag and a hook on which to hang your new treasure trove of boxing gold dust (a.k.a. your brand new boxing kit bag with all your boxing equipment) and start warming up the jump rope, so you can get in shape!
Training with a punch bag or punch pads and using a skipping rope (jump rope for the hardcore) are excellent activities to try in order to get into physical shape.
Definitions: Boxing and Boxing Equipment
Here are a few brief reminders of some common terms and their meanings, to help avoid any confusion or misunderstandings arising from this article
Boxing is sometimes also known as Noble Art boxing and in this article, we also refer to it as standard boxing. Boxing is a type of combat sport where to opponents from the same weight category and of the same sex confront each other in the boxing ring. Competitors where boxing gloves and punches are thrown at the chest or face, but never below the waist.
Boxing matches are subdivided into separate rounds connected by one-minute breaks where competitors can rest or ask their coach for advice.
All boxing disciplines require specialised sports equipment.
In boxing (standard boxing), wearing a boxing headguard (especially for beginners), a mouth guard, boxing gloves, boxing mitts and inner gloves or hand wraps, loose shorts and comfortable boxing shoes is an absolutely fundamental part of training and competing.
Without the abovementioned equipment, one should not practice the sport as the risk of serious injury would simply be too high.