Difference Between Men's & Women's Boxing Gloves

Women sometimes use men's boxing gloves.
i Burke/Triolo Productions/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Boxing has been around for more than 2,000 years and has traditionally been a man's sport. Originally, the sport was fought with bare fists. Women’s boxing began in London in the 1720s mainly as exhibitions. It took off in the 1950s, with women initially using men's small boxing gloves. Today, there are boxing gloves specially made for women. There are a few differences that distinguish boxing gloves for men and women.

Hand Size

    Women tend to have smaller hands and slimmer fingers than men. Women’s boxing gloves are made with a smaller hand cage inside the glove to protect women’s smaller and slimmer hands and are more suitable for the female bone structure. Most women find that women’s boxing gloves fit better than men's and are more comfortable. Well-fitting boxing gloves reduce the impact of striking trauma to the hands, and thereby, aid performance.

Closings, Materials and Colors

    Gloves come in different sizes, types, weights and brands. Closings may feature laces or hook and loop, and materials are typically either leather or vinyl. This applies to gloves for both women and men. Apart from hand size, the major difference between male and female boxing gloves is that often women’s gloves come in a greater range of colors, including lots of pink ones. Choosing the wrong type of glove can lead to injuries, so seek the guidance of a professional trainer when purchasing a pair.

Glove Size and Weight

    Choose the size of a glove depending on the fit -- most women need small or medium, while most men use large. Select the weight depending on how you will be using the gloves. Professional boxers in the ring often use 8-ounce gloves if their body weight is 147 pounds or less, and 10-ounce gloves if body weight is more than 147 pounds. For training, women generally use 12-ounce gloves while men use gloves that weigh 14- to 16 ounces. You can get any weight glove in small, medium, large or extra-large.

Other Considerations

    Specialty boxing retailers will have more choices for women than general sporting goods stores. A good pair of gloves for men or women should feel comfortable and fit the wrist and fingers snugly without feeling as if you are forcing your hand into an unnatural position. They will stretch with time so should feel a little tight. Always wear hand wraps when trying on gloves or you will select ones that are too small. Leather gloves will last longer than vinyl gloves; good gloves will cushion the impact of punches better than inferior ones.

the nest