Boxing gloves come in 8oz, 10oz, 12oz, 14oz, 16oz or 18oz. Is this sizing related to the hand size or to the amount of protection that they offer?

For use in sparring, is it better to have a heavier glove? How should I choose the size of my boxing glove?

  • 1
    What are you getting the glove for? Training at a gym, training at home, hitting a bag, competition? Dec 5, 2012 at 1:51
  • @DaveLiepmann Let's said for sparring in a gym but I would be also interested to known what kind of glove is used in competition.
    – ucsky
    Dec 5, 2012 at 4:25
  • 2
    Competitions will often have requirements for gloves. For sparring and heavy bag I use 16oz gloves, personal preference. For choosing the size, try them on and see how they feel. Try different weight of gloves. Dec 5, 2012 at 17:13

3 Answers 3


I know this answer comes late, but perhaps it will add additional info for folks coming here for the first time.

The weight of the glove is not related to the hand size or amount of protection that it offers. Once you know the weight you want, you'll want to try on a few different brands to see what works for your hands - I, for instance, swear by my Twins because they are a great fit for my small hands and short forearms, while others may find them too snug.

The regulations for competition vary by region so I would suggest googling for your region's boxing association website which is sure to clarify which is the right weight for competing in your area.

In Ontario the competition weight for amateurs is 10oz, and these gloves must also have a white stripe and the AIBA label of approval.

For professionals, 6, 8, and 10 oz. gloves could be used it, varies by jurisdiction so you'd really need to ask your coach or regional association which is the appropriate weight for you.

As the others have mentioned, 16 oz is generally the recommendation for sparring - though younger youth or very light-weight individuals may prefer 14oz.

When I first started out 18 years ago my coach's recommendation was to train with 16 oz gloves, however I disagree with this approach. While it can be great for building muscle endurance, the high weight over a long stretch of time can be a strain on the shoulders and cause muscle fatigue (I personally was never able to adjust to the weight and was in chronic pain until I switched to training in 12 oz gloves.) Consider alternating weights for this reason - do your speed and technical bag training in bag gloves (10 or 12 oz depending on your weight) and add in some shadow boxing with 1 or 2 lb hand weights into your routine to strengthen your shoulders.

Another reason you won't want to use your sparring gloves for bag-work - you'll wear them out a lot quicker, so even if you do choose to train at that weight, you'll still want to consider a second pair.


You'll likely need a couple pairs of gloves. Most gyms require a certain size for sparring. Probably 16oz. This tends to be the size required for boxing and Muay Thai fights as well.

For hitting a bag, I like to use light gloves and that is how my Muay Thai instructor taught me.

Some people like to use the 18oz for training so that when they fight, their gloves feel lighter and they will be faster. I'm not a big fan of this, because, in theory, your aim could be affected and I'm a big fan of training as close to how you compete.

Bottom line is this: Ask the coach what he would recommend/require, and if they have no recommendation, go with 16oz for your first pair. Try on the gloves before you buy them. Everyone's hands are a bit different so some gloves might not fit quite right.

  • For have heavier glove why not use wrist weight?
    – ucsky
    Dec 6, 2012 at 20:33
  • The weight of gloves in fight depends on the weight division. As a welter or junior welter (-67kg) in muay thai (in europe) i usually got 10oz.
    – kioopi
    Dec 7, 2012 at 10:25
  • aberration: that is an option, but would probably add to much weight. kioopi: That is very interesting. Around here ( in ontario, canada) I was under the impression that it was 16 all the time. Could just be our government trying to hard to keep people safe.
    – Patricia
    Dec 7, 2012 at 17:57

Heavier gloves are generally preferred in sparring; in my gym, most amateurs won't spar in less than 16oz gloves.

Pros generally use 8oz gloves in a fight (although this is a negotation point when making a match sometimes), in an amateur bout I believe you must use at least 10oz gloves; although the exact specification depends on age/weight/experience.

  • IIRC glove weight depends on weight class, e.g., 10oz for welterweight+, 12oz for super-heavyweight; I don't recall the exact split points. Sep 23, 2021 at 12:39

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