Boxing gloves are used in a range of martial arts and combat sports, besides boxing itself. The gloves may be different as per the sport, but their lifespan is more or less the same. As a newbie in the field, you must be wondering how long your boxing gloves will last. Also, when is the right time to replace them?
Well, this depends on the type and quality of the gloves you purchase.
There are a few other factors that can determine the lifespan of your boxing gloves. With some research and surveys, we can give you an estimate. Read on to know about it.
What is the Lifespan of Boxing Gloves?
Typically, a pair of boxing gloves should last you anywhere from 1 year to 3 years and 4-5 years maximum in best-case scenarios. It actually depends on the type of gloves you own. For instance:
Sparring Boxing Gloves
These gloves have a heavy leather exterior but weaker padding on the inside. They are made from high-quality leather and have rough edges for the training. Sparring gloves are designed to protect your opponent from major injuries. Therefore, they have soft padding and are more cushioned as compared to the training gloves. However, this padding affects durability. So, the sparring gloves will only last you 6 months to 1 year, provided you train only twice or thrice a week.
Heavy Bag Boxing Gloves
Although the heavy bag gloves have a weaker exterior, they have a more solid foam padding. The quality padding delivers a good punch that is delivered in a split second. It returns to its original state during the impact and the quality decreases over time, but at a bit slower pace. This makes the gloves more durable, and they can last you at least 2-3 years.
Manufacturers do not use high-quality leather in these gloves since the padding quality deteriorates over time. This is because the leather exterior will outlast the padding and will be useless thereafter. If you train daily, heavy bag boxing gloves are the right way to go.
Many professional fighters change their gloves every 3 to 6 months. This helps them stay at the top of their boxing game and have a productive training session.
Factors That Affect the Durability of Boxing Gloves
Boxing gloves are used for sports like MMA, Muay Thai, and also boxing. You will have to change many gloves during the course of your training and professional career. You might want to use a pair as long as possible, but this is not feasible at all. The lifespan of your boxing gloves depends on the following factors:
The quality of the gloves determines their longevity. High-quality gloves last longer in comparison to others. Naturally, these gloves have an expensive price point owing to the material used to make them.
As a professional boxer who trains regularly, you can invest in high-end gloves from well-known brands that can withstand daily wear and tear. They have a decent lifespan and will save you from the hassle of replacing them after every few months.
The more you train, the more stress is put on the gloves. It affects the padding and causes tears on the gloves. Experienced boxers use their gloves far more than newbies, and their punching power puts more strain on the gloves. As a result, their gloves wear out quickly, necessitating the purchase of new ones.
But if you train once or twice a week, they might last more than a couple of years, provided they are of excellent quality.
Treatment of the Gloves:
It’s human nature to treat new things with care and then slowly neglect them as they get old. For the gloves to last longer, you need to clean and maintain them properly. Clean them after every training session and match, especially if they are expensive. For more details refer to the section: How To Make Your Boxing Gloves Last Longer?
We recommend you to always have a backup pair handy, as you never know when you might need it.
Do You Need Expensive Boxing Gloves?
The answer is yes, since there is a connection between price and quality. A $300 pair of gloves is undoubtedly better than a $50 pair, but the type of use also matters. Gloves that are less expensive but last longer do not provide enough support to your hands and wrists.
Boxing is no joke, and the safety of both you and your opponent is of utmost priority. Cheap quality gloves can be dangerous and can increase the risk of unwanted injuries. The costlier gloves are more durable than the cheaper ones. This is because the manufacturers use high-quality material to make the gloves. They add more padding on the inside to protect your knuckles when you throw a punch.
If you are an experienced boxer, it is better to buy high-end gloves for heavy bag training. And for those of you who are just getting started, a pair of cheap and mid-range boxing gloves should work. To be on the safe side, we recommend you to remain around the $100 budget range.
How to Choose the Right Boxing Gloves?
Boxing gloves are an essential part of your gear, and you should choose them wisely, especially if you want to pursue the sport professionally. You can start with a cheaper pair but will have to switch as you start gaining experience.
You can use your gym gloves if it’s a hobby, but this isn’t recommended because they’ll be old and unfit for the match. Here’s how you can choose a durable pair of gloves:
Choose according to your Sport:
There are different gloves recommended for each sport. They are designed in a way to work well with moves of a particular sport and offer an advantage. You can use regular gloves, but they won’t benefit during the sparring session. If you are into a variety of boxing activities, it’s a good idea to get a pair that works for all of them.
The Size of the Gloves and your Weight:
There are five different sizes with boxing gloves, ranging from 8oz to 18oz. Choosing the right size also depends on your body weight. This will allow you to perform quicker movements and improve performance. Also, they will last longer for you. For a person with standard weight, anything between 12 oz to 14 oz should work. Buying heavier gloves may sound like a lucrative option due to more padding, but it will only slow you down.
Also, there are different gloves for men and women. If you are a female boxer, do not settle for the regular gloves designed for men. They might be uncomfortable on your hands, and your performance will be affected.
Velcro vs Lace-Up:
This is completely going to be your choice. Velcro strap gloves are easy to take on and off, while the lace-up gloves require help to tie. Velcro straps can scratch the opponent, and their quality deteriorates over time. With lace-up, your wrist will feel less bulky, and the surrounding pads provide comfort. You should choose the one as per your comfort or even go for hybrid gloves with both lace-up and velcro straps.
Quality of the Material:
The gloves you buy should be of high quality. Don’t compromise on the quality for the sake of saving money. The gloves should be made of genuine or microfiber leather. Also, check if it has enough padding to cushion the blow to your knuckles. As you will need to do many heavy bag workouts, the pads on the gloves should be tough. If you have sweaty hands, go for a breathable pair.
Pro tip: Pure leather boxing gloves generally last longer than the ones made out of synthetic leather.
Best Gloves For Durability
Quality of the boxing gloves matter. We cannot stress this enough. You need to buy excellent quality gloves from a reliable manufacturer if you want them to last longer. It might take you some time to figure out the right gloves, but you will soon know which pair works best for you. Here are a few options that you can look out for:
The high-quality Winning Training gloves are ideal for sparring and heavy bag training. They’re made of high-quality leather and are water-repellant. The extra padding on the inside protects your knuckles from getting injured. The material is strong, and it will keep your hands from getting sore after a hard workout. They have laces instead of velcro straps to keep the gloves in place. Overall, these gloves are quite durable and will last you long.
Next up, we have the Twins Special gloves that are made from genuine leather in Thailand. These gloves are not only used for western boxing but also for Muay Thai and MMA. You can use it for high-impact and sparring training. The high-quality padding on the inside protects your hands from impact and provides the required support. It has a velcro strap closure that won’t wear out for years. The gloves are available in different sizes for your requirement.
They are highly durable and can be used for both sparring and heavy bag workouts. They have 2 inches of latex foam padding around the fist for extra protection.
The Cleto Reyes pair has a full hook & loop closure on the wrist so that you can easily wear and take them off. The water-repellant lining on the gloves keeps your hands dry and comfortable. However, you need to be careful as they might tear up during very heavy training.
You can find them and a few other good options on Amazon. And if you are buying offline, ask the store manager to guide you.
How To Make Your Boxing Gloves Last Longer?
With proper care and maintenance, you can definitely make your boxing glove last longer. This is even more crucial if you buy an expensive pair. But do not overdo it as you will have to give them up later, no matter what.
They just need a little TLC that can be done without having to spend any extra bucks. Follow these steps to make your gloves a little more durable:
Clean your Gloves Regularly:
Clean your gloves after every training session to increase their longevity. It will take a few minutes of your time every day and will be beneficial in the long run. You can buy cleaning solutions or even clean them at home using vinegar and water. Mix them in equal parts and wipe the gloves from outside and inside. The vinegar will kill off the germs and bacteria.
Use Leather Conditioners:
You can buy leather conditioners for the gloves. This will prevent the leather exterior from drying out and cracking later. You can also apply some essential oils with a cotton sheet over the gloves in a circular motion once they dry. This will also help with the odor. Make sure you use the ones without harmful chemicals that can further damage your gloves.
For the odor, you can use GloveStix. It is a deodorizer that eliminates odor and inhibits the growth of bacteria in the gloves. It absorbs moisture and works to neutralize the smell.
Store the Gloves Properly:
After cleaning the gloves, do not put them in your bag or the locker. Germs in these areas have the potential to contaminate the gloves again. Allow them to air dry and the odor to dissipate naturally. The best thing to do is hang them and take them down only when you have to train. You can also use a fan to dry the inner part of the gloves but don’t use a hot blow dryer.
Pro tip: Do not leave the gloves out in the heat like in the back of your car or out in the sun. It can put stress on them, and they will crack over time.
When Should You Replace Your Boxing Gloves?
As a boxer, you need to identify when it’s time to hang those old gloves and get yourself a new pair. Otherwise, it can affect your performance in the ring and can even hurt the opponent while you are in there. Therefore, make it a point to replace them after 1-2 years of training or less if you use them daily.
Here are a few signs you need to look out for:
Tearing and Damage:
The gloves are made of leather and wear out with repeated use. The tears are hard to miss and can cause injury to your opponent in the match. Even the referee won’t allow torn gloves.
With regular tying and untying of the velcro straps along the wrist, the gloves can become loose on your hands. It is vital to secure the gloves properly before you enter the ring for both your and your opponent’s safety.
There are many external factors that cause damage to the gloves, such as dry heat and sunlight. Too much heat can crack the gloves and cause them to tear open during training. Therefore, you need to replace them as soon as they start wearing out.
Boxing gloves have a specific lifespan, which too depends on their quality. As a newbie, you might put less stress on the gloves, and they may last a few years. But if you are an experienced boxer who trains daily, it will be a matter of a few months before you will have to replace those gloves.
Long hours of training can make your hands sweaty to emit an unpleasant odor. The gloves become dirty over time from inside and become a house to bacteria and germs. Also, they are harder to clean from the inside. This odor becomes unbearable, and it is a sign for you to buy new gloves.
If there is tear damage on your gloves and they have started to stink, it’s time to say goodbye to them.
It is important to note that boxing gloves do not have a long shelf life. They are only designed to last from a few months to years. 1-3 years is the average time for any boxing gloves to last, longer if you don’t use them regularly. They wear out with time, depending on the amount of usage.
You need to invest in the right gloves based on the training you are going to undertake. Also, figure out when there is a need to buy a fresh pair to avoid getting hurt. It is always a good idea to replace the gloves after a certain period.