I often see TKD and Karate folks sparring with these types of open-palm glove, made of some sort of plastic-dipped foam that seems common for those styles' equipment.

How much do they weigh?

(I understand they're not directly comparable to the "oz" weight system of boxing gloves, but I'm curious of their weight just to get a ballpark idea of their padding, since they always looked pretty flimsy to me.)

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


With regards to open palm, dipped foam sparring gloves that karate and taekwondo typically use in class, the weights are usually much lighter than typical boxing gloves.

Weights for boxing gloves are measured in ounces. And it's for one glove by itself. Adult gloves will weigh more than child sized gloves. A typical child sized boxing glove would be 6-8 ounces. A typical adult sized boxing glove would be 14 ounces.

It's the weight that matters. If you imagine a "weighted" glove that weighs 5 pounds, it's the same as having a 5 pound dumbbell in your hand when you throw a punch. You are basically throwing a big weight at your opponent. It's a weapon. So the gloves are standardized by weight to ensure nobody has that kind of an advantage.

For karate and taekwondo, the glove is very different from a boxing glove. It doesn't go all the way around the hand. It's open at the palm and allows finger tips to stick through. These weigh typically 3-7 ounces. For a typical adult sized karate glove like this, you're looking at around 5 ounces. Again, it depends on whether it's a child sized glove or an adult sized glove.

The other thing about these karate / tkd style gloves is that they don't have standards. Mostly they're just designed to cover certain areas with a certain thickness of foam. The weights aren't standard, because basically there shouldn't be any way they could weigh much if they are just made out of a thin layer of foam. (Although that assumption is exploited by cheaters every now and then.)

Where you'll see some standardization of gloves is at the tournament level. Like you'll see "ITF Taekwondo Certified" gloves listed in the tournament requirements, and each competitor needs to have a glove that's from one of the certified suppliers. But local tournaments and individual schools can use whatever they want. It doesn't have to be certified.

Hope that helps.

  • Ok, so "5-7 oz" is what I'm hearing. That's good to know!
    – ETL
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 18:52
  • 1
    @ETL More like 5-6 ounces. Rare to find bulky ones as much as 7 ounces. There are a bunch around 4.5 to 5 ounces, too. The 6 ounce gloves will have more padding and will bulge out a bit in the front, almost like a boxing glove. So a 5 ounce glove is more typical, and you're just going to see the same thickness of foam all around in those. Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 21:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.