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Kickboxing Gloves vs Boxing Gloves: A Detailed Comparison


Taylor Saipe |

The gloves you select in the realm of combat sports hold immense significance, capable of making a substantial impact.

Regardless of your experience level, be it a seasoned professional or a novice commencing their journey, comprehending the contrasting qualities of kickboxing gloves and boxing gloves is paramount. 

So, what precisely distinguishes these two glove variations? Let's delve deeper and uncover the dissimilarities.

The Tale of Two Gloves

When it comes to the debate of 'kickboxing gloves vs boxing gloves', it's important to understand that each type of glove is designed with a specific sport in mind.

Boxing gloves are designed for the sweet science of boxing, where punches are the only legal strikes. They typically have a larger, more rounded shape to provide extra padding and protect the hands during a bout.

Kickboxing gloves, however, are a bit more versatile. They're used in sports like Muay Thai, where fighters not only punch but also throw kicks and knee strikes. This means that kickboxing gloves need to be flexible enough to allow for a wider range of motion, while still offering the necessary protection.

Pro Venum Kickboxer

The Anatomy of the Different Gloves

One of the key differences between these two types of gloves lies in their construction. Boxing gloves are designed with a grip bar in the palm area, which helps fighters make a tighter fist. This is particularly useful when throwing punches, as it allows for more power and precision.

Kickboxing gloves, on the other hand, often lack this grip bar. This is because kickboxers need to be able to open their hands to catch kicks or clinch with their opponent.

The wrist area is another point of difference. Boxing gloves typically have a longer cuff for added wrist support, which is crucial when throwing powerful punches. Kickboxing gloves, however, often have a shorter cuff to allow for greater wrist mobility, which is necessary for the varied techniques used in kickboxing.

The Weight of the Matter

When it comes to the weight of the gloves, or 'oz gloves' as they're often referred to, there's a bit of overlap between boxing and kickboxing.

Both sports use gloves that can range from 8 to 16 ounces, depending on the fighter's weight and the nature of the training or fight.

However, heavier gloves, like 16 oz gloves, are often used in boxing for training purposes, especially for work on the heavy bag. This helps to build strength and endurance.

In kickboxing, lighter gloves are often preferred for their versatility and the speed they allow.

female kickboxer venum

The Closure System

One significant contrast between kickboxing gloves and boxing gloves lies in their closure systems.

Kickboxing gloves commonly feature a Velcro strap closure, allowing for quick and easy adjustments. This type of closure offers a secure fit, enabling fighters to swiftly put on or remove the gloves during training or matches.

On the other hand, boxing gloves traditionally employ a lace-up closure system. This lacing system provides a more customized and snug fit, as the laces can be tightened or loosened according to the boxer's preference. While the lace-up closure offers enhanced wrist support and stability it requires assistance from another person to properly tie and untie the gloves, this is the reason why hook and loop gloves have gained increased popularity in boxing especially for bag work.

The Importance of Hand Wraps and Extra Padding

Whether you're donning boxing gloves or kickboxing gloves, one thing remains constant: the importance of hand wraps.

Hand wraps are used to secure the bones in the hand, and to support the wrist and thumb. This is crucial in both boxing and kickboxing, as it helps to prevent injuries.

Boxing gloves, especially those used for training or heavy bag work, often come with extra padding. This additional cushioning helps to protect the hands and wrists from the impact of repeated punches. Some boxing gloves, such as the Black Rose Fumetsu Ghost MK2 Boxing Gloves, are known for their superior padding and protection.

Kickboxing gloves, on the other hand, might have less padding than their boxing counterparts. This is because they need to be lighter and more flexible to accommodate the diverse range of techniques used in kickboxing. However, some gloves for kickboxing also come with extra padding for added protection, especially in the knuckle area.

The Role of Brands in Your Glove Choice

When choosing between boxing gloves and kickboxing gloves, the brand can play a significant role. Different brands offer different features, styles, and levels of quality. For instance, brands like Cleto Reyes are renowned for their high-quality boxing gloves, which are often used in professional bouts.

On the other hand, brands like Ringside Boxing and fumetsu offer a range of gloves suitable for both boxing and kickboxing. Their gloves are known for their durability, quality, and versatility.

Spotlight on Specific Models

When it comes to choosing the right gloves, it can be helpful to look at specific models. For instance, the Venum Elite Boxing Gloves are a popular choice among boxers for their superior quality and comfort. They come with a secure Velcro strap and are known for their durability.

On the other hand, the Red Fairtex BGV19 Deluxe Boxing Gloves are a great option for kickboxing. They are designed with a grip bar and extra padding for maximum protection, making them ideal for both training and competition.

Choosing the Right Pair

When choosing between boxing gloves and kickboxing gloves, there are a few factors to consider. First, think about the sport you're participating in. If you're primarily boxing, then boxing gloves will be the best fit. If you're into kickboxing or Muay Thai, then kickboxing gloves will be more suitable.

Next, consider the fit and comfort. The gloves should fit snugly around your hands and wrists without being too tight. They should also be comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. 

Occasionally, gloves may need some time to be properly worn in, so it is advisable to allocate a few sessions to ensure optimal comfort before making a final judgment.

Lastly, take into account the caliber and durability of the gloves. Gloves of superior quality not only offer enhanced longevity but also provide superior protection. However, they tend to come with a higher price tag. Conversely, lower-quality gloves may be more affordable but can still offer decent performance and utilize good synthetic materials. The choice between the two depends on the frequency of use and the intensity of your competitive or training endeavors.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, the debate between kickboxing gloves and boxing gloves is not about which is better, but rather about which is more suitable for your specific needs. Both types of gloves have their unique features and benefits, and the best choice depends on your sport, level of training, and personal preferences.

Remember, the right pair of gloves can enhance your performance, protect your hands, and even prolong your career in combat sports. 

For more information on kickboxing and other combat sports, check out our Beginner's Guide to Kickboxing and explore our wide range of boxing gloves on our website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do you use hands in kickboxing?

A: Yes, you absolutely use your hands in kickboxing. Kickboxing is a stand-up combat sport that combines punches, kicks, knee strikes, and sometimes elbow strikes. The punches in kickboxing are similar to those in boxing, which is why hand techniques are a crucial part of kickboxing training and competition.

Q: Can you use grappling gloves for heavy bag?

A: It's not recommended to use grappling gloves for heavy bag work. Grappling gloves are designed for grappling and mixed martial arts (MMA), where the fingers need to be free for grabs and holds. They don't provide the same level of protection as boxing or kickboxing gloves, which are specifically designed to protect your hands during striking exercises like heavy bag work.

Q: Is it better to do boxing or kickboxing?

A: Whether boxing or kickboxing is better depends on your personal goals and preferences. Boxing focuses on punches and footwork, while kickboxing includes kicks and sometimes knee and elbow strikes. If you're interested in a more varied range of techniques, kickboxing might be for you. If you prefer to focus on hand techniques and enjoy the strategic aspect of boxing, then boxing might be a better fit.

Q: Can kickboxing help you in a street fight?

A: Kickboxing can certainly be useful in a street fight. It teaches you how to strike effectively with both your hands and feet, how to move and evade attacks, and how to manage distance against an opponent. However, it's important to note that the best self-defense strategy is to avoid physical confrontations whenever possible.

Q: Does kickboxing build muscle?

A: Yes, kickboxing can help build muscle. It's a high-intensity workout that involves your whole body. The punches and kicks you throw work your upper body, core, and lower body, helping to build strength and muscle tone over time.

Q: How do you wrap your hands for kickboxing?

A: Hand wraps are used in kickboxing to protect the hands and wrists. To wrap your hands, you start by looping the wrap around your thumb and then wrapping it around your wrist several times. Then, you wrap it around your knuckles, go back to the wrist, and then wrap it around each individual finger. Finally, you finish off by wrapping any remaining length around your wrist. It's important to make sure the wrap is snug but not too tight.

Q: Why is kickboxing so effective?

A: Kickboxing is effective because it's a full-body workout that combines cardio, strength training, and flexibility. It helps improve your endurance, coordination, and balance. Plus, it's a great way to relieve stress. The techniques you learn in kickboxing can also be useful for self-defense.

Q: What are point fighting gloves used for?

A: Point fighting gloves are used in point fighting, a type of kickboxing where the aim is to score points by landing clean techniques on the opponent. These gloves are designed to protect both the fighter's hands and their opponent, allowing for fast, controlled strikes that can score points without causing serious injury.