Like one should have the perfect shoes for soccer or football, perfect racquet for tennis or badminton; similarly perfectly fitted gloves are an absolute necessity when it comes to boxing. For the gloves to be a perfect fitting, it is important that one knows how to measure their hands to find the glove that works best. Here we will give you some tips and tricks that are sure to help you in measuring for gloves. Read on to know more:
How to measure for gloves
First and foremost is measuring the circumference of your hand
For this measurement, use your dominant hand. Hold out your palm as if you are waving to someone and keep your fingers extended. Use a fabric measuring tape and wrap it around your palm where it is the fullest. Don’t include the thumb in this measurement; just wrap the tape around the palm. Once you have wrapped it, close your fist. Ensure that the measuring tape is at the position where your hand is the widest (Should be slightly below your knuckles).
You can use a string as well for this. Wrap the string around your palm and mark the end where the loop ends. Mark this end. Unfurl the string and put it on the measuring tape or scale.
Note the figure on the measuring tape in inches or centimetrers as this figure is directly correlated to the size of the glove. Usually an XS size is about 7inches, S is between 7.5 – 8 inches, M is 8.5 – 9 inches, L is 9.5 – 10 inches whereas XL is 10.5 – 11 inches and XXL is 11.5 – 12 inches. However this varies from brand to brand therefore check the sizing charts of the particular brand.
Measure the length of your hand
The second step to finding your perfect glove size is to measure the length of your hand, especially if you have larger or longer hands. Put the top of the measuring tape on your middle finger and pull it down to the point where your palm meets the wrist.
This would give you an idea about which size would work best for you. If you have longer hands than average then you might want to take a size bigger than what your circumference corresponds to.
Measure the span of your hand
The third part of measuring hand for gloves is to measure the span of your hand. For this place a ruler or measuring tape on a flat surface. Flex your hand with your pinkie finger and thumb spread out as wide as possible. This would help you understand what is best for your grip.
Though the first step is the most important but the next two steps help you be doubly sure. Also, it is advisable that you always try on your gloves to see the fit before you break them in.
We’ve covered the how to measure for gloves, let’s also take a glance at different types of boxing gloves available currently.
Types of boxing gloves to choose from
All-purpose boxing training gloves
These are basically used for training with bags as well as sparring. Usually a sparring glove should be 16oz whereas training gloves are 12oz. When you are going in for an all-purpose training glove then usually for those who weigh less than 120lbs it is recommended that gloves of 12oz and 14oz are used. If you weigh between 120lbs – 150lbs then you should go in for 14oz to 16oz whereas for 150lbs – 180lbs, 16oz to 20oz is recommended.
However, if you are above 180lbs then 18oz or up is what would suit you. This being said, we would also like to add that you should consult a professional trainer who can give you useful advice when it comes to which glove to buy.
These gloves are usually the ones with extra padding so that your hands are well protected when you are sparring. Though one spar with 16oz or more of course exceptions are there especially if you are lesser than 120lbs.
These are usually lighter than the training or sparring gloves but the exact requirement for the competition is usually written in guidelines. Also, your trainer would be the best person to advice you on the specification of these gloves.
So along with the size it also is crucial that you know which type of martial art glove you require.
We have now and then discussed a lot about boxing gloves except their history. So along with how to measure for gloves and types of boxing gloves; let us also take a look at where it all began.
History of the boxing glove
Did you know that fist fighting has been a source of entertainment for about 6,000 years or so? Some form of sport appeared in Ethiopia and from there it spread through the ancient world. In 688 B.C., the program was included in the Olympics.
Though not much has changed about the sport except gloves; earlier leather strips were wrapped around the hands followed by hardened leather and to this iron and brass was added to make them into weapons. There was a large spike called Myrmex which was attached to the strips. All this made the sport deathly.
English fighter Jack Broughton is acknowledged as the inventor of the gloves as we know them today though he also fought with bare knuckles for most of the time. He developed gloves that came to be known as mufflers.
These were invented so that boxers could train with heavy bags etc. without inflicting serious damage. It was in 1743 that he codified the rules of boxing but here as well there was nothing about the gloves.
In 1867, John Graham Chambers published the Marquis of Queensberry rules in which it was said that the gloves were to be of a fair size and best quality as well as they should be new. Chambers was the member of London’s Amateur Athletic Club.
Soon these rules were rolling in and being adopted during the amateur competitions but professional combats still had no signs of gloves. It was John L Sullivan who was the World Heavyweight Champion 1882 – 1892, who popularzed wearing of gloves during professional and public fights.
The most fascinating aspect of boxing is that they aren’t open to changes and it is quite surprising how little the gloves have evolved since the beginning. Of course, they have become more padded and there is a variety of padding materials available but the basics have all remained the same. It has been a long journey till now but let’s wait and watch what more changes await us…