Over ten years of running Fightstorepro the question of which gloves to buy for hitting bags and pads is one of the most commonly asked questions asked by customers both in the shop in Newcastle and over the phone.
Regardless of the sport you do, whether it’s boxing, Muay Thai, MMA, kickboxing, one of the countless traditional martial arts involving punches or if you want to hit a bag for the fitness aspect of this style training, you are going to want to protect one of your most useful assets...your hands!
On the face of it there are quite a lot of different options for hitting bags and pads. Depending on the sport you do then there may well be a large variety of gloves available but they will largely fit into three categories.
Boxing Gloves, whether Velcro or laced, no matter what size.
MMA gloves, competition, sparring or hybrid.
Bag gloves, there are a range of varieties but largely they are all designed to do a similar thing.
Breaking it down
Simply put, unless you have a very sound reason for doing so, you should not use MMA gloves for bag work, there are one or two MMA bag gloves on the market which would fit into the bag gloves section of this article, but an MMA glove was never designed for this purpose and should be avoided for bags and pads as a rule.
As a caveat to this, if you are a professional or at least dedicated amateur level fighter and are using MMA gloves on bags and pads for targeting reasons, then this is one of the exceptions to the rule.
I would note that when we write articles such as this we are aiming at the less well informed public, not expert level fighters, therefore In short, unless you are certain as to why you would want to do so, then MMA gloves are not for use on bags and pads.
Over 80% of the boxing gloves we sell at Fightstorepro are bought with at least some element of use for bags and pads in mind, however most boxing gloves are primarily made with sparring and technical drills as their main purpose.
Essentially any decent boxing glove can be used on bags and pads. The main question is firstly WRAP.... Protection for your hands starts with a good hand wrap, failing to do so will give a high possibility of injury at some stage. The second one is glove life. If you buy boxing gloves to hit bags with then accept your glove life will be lower than if you used it purely for partner work, the padding will soften much quicker with multiple bag rounds.
Sizing only matters if you are looking to practice distance; the heavier the glove, the more protection but also the further away you are from the target. Most people opt for a 10 or 12 when choosing primarily for bag use but if you have any thought that you may use the gloves, even occasionally for sparring then you should opt for 14 ounce or larger.
Some boxing gloves are really designed only for sparring and you should really consider avoiding those for use on bags and pads.
As the name might suggest, bag mitts are gloves designed only for use on bags and pads.
These range from little more than a padded cover for your hands, through to sophisticated, multi layer padding, designed for ththe best possible hand protection.
Quality leather bag gloves with good padding is a great option for bags and pads. There are two advantages. Firstly they are generally (although not always) much cheaper than the equivalent sparring glove, then secondly the padding is only designed to protect your hands, therefore often denser and tougher than sparring gloves that are more designed to protect your partners.
Hybrid Boxing Gloves
Some top brands produce gloves that are a hybrid designed primarily for use on bags and pads but with enough padding for use in light sparring. The new REVGEAR S5 All Rounder is a good example of one of these gloves.
Budget always plays a role in decisions so if you need a glove to do everything in but you are mainly hitting bags and pads, buy a mid range boxing glove such as the Pro Box Pro Spar or Revgear S5, If you want to save your sparring gloves then buy bag mitts, and if you never intend to actually spar then buy whatever you wish in whatever size but make sure you wrap your hands!