What does ‘oz’ mean in Boxing Gloves? Sizing Explained

If you’ve ever shopped for boxing gloves or watched a match, you may have noticed a peculiar aspect regarding their size specification: they are measured in ‘oz,’ an abbreviation for ounces. This unconventional method of sizing may seem puzzling at first, but it plays a significant role in maintaining the sport’s safety, fairness, and competitiveness. This article aims to demystify what ‘oz’ signifies on boxing gloves and how it plays a crucial role in choosing the right glove size for both adult and child practitioners alike.

Understanding the Ounce Measurement in Boxing Gloves

The ‘oz’ on boxing gloves, short for ounces, refers not to the overall weight of the glove, but to the weight of the padding inside. This padding weight determines the glove’s overall size and level of protection, rather than its actual weight.

Gloves are designed to safeguard both the wearer and their opponent. The padding’s weight affects how much force is transferred to the opponent upon impact. Heavier padding (more ounces) means less force gets through, reducing the likelihood of causing serious harm. On the other hand, the padding also protects the wearer’s hands and wrists from the impact of their punches.

Therefore, the ounce measurement of a glove is a crucial factor in safety in the sport of boxing. Different levels of ounces are suited to different types of boxing activities.

RS2V Gloves Weight

The Range of Available Boxing Glove Sizes

Boxing gloves come in various sizes to cater to different needs, whether for training, sparring, or professional matches. These sizes are generally expressed in 2-ounce intervals, ranging from 8 ounces up to 20 ounces or more.

Here’s a rundown of the typical boxing glove sizes available:

  • 8 oz – 10 oz: These are lighter gloves used in professional and amateur competitive matches. They are less padded, providing less protection but allowing for quicker and more precise punches.
  • 12 oz: This versatile size is often used for a mixture of bag/pad workouts and light sparring. These gloves balance speed and protection, making them popular among beginners and those who prefer a single pair for all activities.
  • 14 oz – 16 oz: These sizes are the most commonly used for sparring due to the significant padding they provide. The added weight ensures a safer impact for the sparring partner and builds the user’s endurance and strength.
  • 18 oz – 20 oz: These are heavier gloves, typically used for heavy bag training or for boxers who want to build strength and endurance. Due to their large size and heavy padding, they are not usually used for sparring or professional matches.
Sizes of gloves

Keep in mind that the right glove size for you will depend on your weight, the size of your hands, the type of boxing you’re doing, and your personal comfort.

Related: Check out our top picks for boxing gloves

Kids’ Boxing Gloves and Sizes

Children’s boxing gloves are designed to ensure safety and comfort for young boxers who are still growing and developing. Just like adult gloves, the size of kids’ gloves is also measured in ounces, but the range is different due to the smaller size of their hands and their different needs.

Children’s boxing gloves typically come in three sizes:

  • 4 oz: These are the smallest gloves suitable for children aged 5 to 7 years. They are designed for children just starting to learn the basics of boxing.
  • 6 oz: Slightly larger and heavier than the 4 oz gloves, these gloves are generally suited for children aged 7 to 9 years. They provide a bit more padding for increased protection.
  • 8 oz: These gloves are for older or larger children aged 9 to 12 years. They provide more protection and are suitable for light sparring or bag work.

Choosing the correct glove size for children is extremely important for their safety and to avoid injury. Children should always use the proper protective gear, and the gloves should provide a comfortable fit without being too tight or too loose.

Related: See our list of best boxing gloves for beginners here

‘Oz’ in Boxing Gloves for Sparring

Typically, 16 oz gloves are used for sparring. These sizes provide substantial padding, reducing the force of the blows and thus minimizing the risk of injury during practice sessions.

The heavier gloves also help build strength and endurance, as they require more effort to move and maintain speed during the bout.

Sparring is crucial in boxing training, allowing boxers to practice and improve their skills in a controlled environment. Regarding sparring, the ounce size of the gloves plays a significant role in ensuring safety and effective training.

Boxing Gloves Sizes and Their Uses

Gloves SizeAge GroupFighters Weight (Pounds)Fighters Weight (KG)Palm Size Circumference (Inches)Palm Size Circumference (cm)Uses:
4 oz.5-7 years< 80 lbs< 36 kg< 5.5 inches< 14 cmThese are ideal for children who are just starting to learn the basics of boxing. They’re lightweight, allowing the young boxers to move their hands while providing ample protection easily.
6 oz.7-9 years< 80 lbs< 36 kg< 5.5 inches< 14 cmThese gloves offer more padding for increased protection. They’re best suited for children who are slightly older or have some experience with boxing.
8 oz.9-12 years80 – 110 lbs36 – 50 kg5.5 – 6.5 inches14 – 16.5 cmIdeal for older or larger children, these gloves are suitable for light sparring or bag work.
10 oz.Adults110 – 130 lbs50 – 59 kg6.5 – 7.5 inches16.5 – 19 cmCommonly used in professional and amateur matches, these lightweight gloves offer less padding, which results in quicker and more precise punches.
12 oz.Adults130 – 165 lbs59 – 75 kg7.5 – 8.5 inches19 – 21.6 cmA versatile size often used for a mix of bag/pad workouts and light sparring. These gloves strike a balance between speed and protection.
14-16 oz.Adults165 – 190 lbs75 – 86 kg8.5 – 9.5 inches21.6 – 24 cmMost commonly used for sparring, these gloves offer substantial padding for safer impacts and help build endurance and strength.
18 oz. – 20 oz.Adults185 lbs+84 kg+9.5 – 10.5 inches24 – 26.7 cmHeavier gloves used primarily for heavy bag training or for boxers who want to build strength and endurance. They offer substantial padding but are usually not used for sparring or professional matches due to their size and weight.
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Mantas is the Founder of MMAGearAddic.com and has a passion for all martial arts and travel. You can find him on Twitter @MantasLang or mantas@mmagearaddict.com

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