A Starters Guide to Choosing the Right Protective Gear for Boxing

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The art of boxing has been around for hundreds of years in various different forms; enjoyed by both men and women it provides a relatively safe and controlled sporting outlet that keeps our deep seeded animalistic instincts from rising to the surface. These days both women’s and men’s boxing is enjoyed by millions of people from all over the world and can be viewed as its original classic style, its kickboxing form or more recently as mixed martial arts, which combines together many fighting styles. Although fights are kept in the ring and are run under the keen eye of a referee, even with these safety measures personal padding and other gear serious injuries can and do occur.

In order to avoid particularly serious breaks, sprains or strains on your self or on your opponent there are two particular things required; firstly a solid knowledge of basic defensive moves and secondly good quality protective gear for boxing. Fortunately for us, due to the popularity of the sport there is an ever growing range of equipment available in a number of different sizes, shapes, colors and designs; as well as being for both men and women. The downside to having such an abundance of protective gear for boxing is that beginners to the sport may find it confusing and frustrating trying to figure out exactly what they need to get started. To help point you in the right direction here is a list of the vital protective equipment initially needed for training sessions, sparring and match fights.

A. Boxing gloves – Besides the MMA gloves which have very little padding and open palm/finger ends, you’ll find that most boxing gloves are quite similar. The main difference between each glove is its weight which ranges from 8 to 20 ounces and are made from either natural leather or a synthetic version. When selecting your gloves the most important consideration is having a tight comfortable fit that doesn’t slip during a fight. There are also 3 types of boxing glove; those for training, sparring and fighting. You’ll find training and sparring gloves to be heavier and have more padding to protect your hands during long sessions of constant impact against heavy bags or an opponent.

B. Hand Wraps – These are a much underappreciated piece of protective gear for boxing as most people believe that gloves alone provide enough protection. The truth is boxing hand wraps are essential for the well being of your hands, this is especially true during training sessions because your hands are put under constant impact stress for long periods of time. Hand wraps come in many types, but the most common form is as a 2 inch wide by 180 inch long strip of material that is wrapped around a fighters hand before putting on the gloves. You can buy either throw away bandage varieties, Velcro strips that can be reused or the latest ‘hand gel’ design that is basically a padded finger-less glove that fits on under the main glove.

C. Head Gear – Mainly used in classic style boxing and kickboxing padded helmets come in two main versions; the open face helmet and the full face type. The full face slips over the head with only a small opening for the eyes, nose and mouth; the open face is similar to a motorcycle helmet and has no padding for the front of the fighters face. The full face head-gear provides better protection, but obscures the fighter’s vision during a match; on the other hand the open face allows a better line of sight but leaves the front of the head open to attack.