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I was looking at a pair advertised as "bag gloves" and then I realized that they are only offered in 8oz and 10oz weights.

Isn't it typically recommended that bag gloves be heavier? Additionally, how much functional padding could an 8/10 oz glove provide?

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What weight class are you?

I'm 6'3" (186cm), 220lb (100kg). A high-quality, leather, 10 oz, dense foam, full-wrist velcro-fastened glove suits me well and lasts approx 2 - 3 yrs of 3 training sessions of 6-9 rounds of bag work per week (Approx. 2,700 rounds without injury), and about 1000 rounds of light sparring.

If you are much lighter, 8 oz gloves will likely be fine. If you are heavier, 12oz might be suitable. 2 oz to either side of 'ideal' should not present too many issues.

A downside to using bigger gloves for bag work relates to leverage. A very wide glove can lead to your wrist sustaining lateral torque injuries when hitting the bag hard, usually during hook-related strikes, where it is common for the leading inner edge of a big glove to contact the bag first. Hand size relative to glove size is important here. If you have an extra small hand, then the torque exerted upon impact by a bigger glove will be greater, and vice versa.

Remember too, that glove weight does not always equate to glove size. Density of foam/horse hair influence how big a glove is relative to its weight. In my experience, better quality gloves are constructed more densely, which results in a smaller glove per oz.

Heavier gloves also mean that less power from your punches is transferred to the bag. This means the bag will move less. This can be a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on your training goals/style and the weight/size of the bag. If you are hitting a very dense bag, heavier gloves may help prevent repetitive stress injuries.

Heavier gloves can be a great way to increase you local shoulder-muscle endurance and even aerobic endurance, and prepare you better for sparring with heavier gloves, although this is outweighed - in my opinion - by any of the aforementioned wrist-sprains that larger gloves can cause. There are other ways for you to build your endurance.

Also, don't limit your search to 'bag gloves' or 'bag mitts'. Many of the gloves advertised in this way are simply 'lesser gloves' that don't have nearly the quality of support, fit and durability of proper boxing gloves.

All this being said, you will likely adapt to whatever you can afford/is available. If possible, try some gloves at a gym prior to purchase. Many gyms have plenty of different gloves to use free of charge. This experience - coupled with advice from any decent trainer who can assess your needs in person - should point you in the right direction.

Good luck.

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    Just a minor pun: I remember when a goju ruy karate practitioner asked an mma guy who got ready for bag work, putting on bandages and fastening the velcro support of his gloves around his wrists: "What do you need those for?" - "To prevent wrist injury." - "So you can't punch." - "No no, it is to prevent wrist injury!" - "Yeah..well...so you can't punch properly." ;) Aug 26 at 11:32
  • Yep : ) I'll take that. Don't get me wrong though, I trained Kyokushin; hit the heavy bag and fought without gloves, so I acknowledge the importance of a strong fist. A good fist is very resilient. However, large gloves alter the mechanics during certain impacts so that even the perfectly-formed fist can be exposed to significant lateral leverage far greater than what a bare fist endures. In other words, the glove becomes a handicap. This becomes immediately apparent if you throw hard, rangy, palm-down hooks whilst clad in wide 16oz leather. Not a good glove choice. Especially for a beginner. Aug 26 at 12:19
  • @Futilitarian funny you mention the palm down hooks because those have hurt like hell when I throw them, so I don’t, and with your answer explaining the idea of the bigger glove catching on the bag and applying torque on the wrist, it makes sense. Anyways, thank you for the answer. Because of the pandemic, I unfortunately can’t go gym-to-gym trying on gloves. If you have boxing specific gloves in mind, specifically for just bag work as we’re being locked down again, any suggestions? FWIW I actively train, took private lessons from fighters pre-pandemic, am 5’7 155lbs
    – 8protons
    Aug 26 at 13:42
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    @8protons Conversely, I've never heard anybody suggest using full-size/-weight gloves for bag work, regardless of which art, over decades. Like ever. There's a reason when you search for "bag gloves" you rarely find anything much heavier than 14oz (and even that's somewhat of an anomaly). There may be an argument for training with what you fight with, which would make it an art-specific choice, and the bulk of my training is for no- or minimal-glove fighting. Aug 26 at 13:56
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    @8protons. The only risk I think I mentioned was the one about the hooks, which you seem to agree with. If my advice matches with your experience, it's probably reasonable. I do however encourage skepticism towards all online material, especially mine :) As for a specific glove - Help Centre seems to think I can mention a brand or two - I have been very happy with Twins 12 oz (value/durability) and Hayabusa Kanpeki 10 oz (high-end/outstanding durability). I have no affiliation with either brand, and I have almost zero experience with other brands. Aug 26 at 13:59

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