Boxing Equipment – Everything You Need to Know

If you are new to the sport of boxing, there is likely a lot of things you have to learn about the sport before you begin training.

One thing, however, that you probably already know, is that you will need to invest in some quality gear to get you started.

Boxers train in all sorts of ways, styles, and according to all sorts of budgets.

Boxing Equipment for Starters

All boxers will have a few things in common:

First, most boxers will belong to a boxing gym.

This is a place where they can have access to some equipment they may not own and where they will sometimes go to spar and train with other boxers. 

Sparring with other boxers of your own level is hugely important in your training, and it is a sure way to get better. 

Sparring with boxers who are better than you can sometimes be just as beneficial if they know how to keep you safe and are willing to help you out.

In these cases, you will learn simply by watching and feeling the way the boxer across from you reacts and moves.

boxing fighter training with coach

First, most boxers will belong to a boxing gym.

This is a place where they can have access to some equipment they may not own and where they will sometimes go to spar and train with other boxers.

Third, boxers train at home.

Chances are, you aren't going to be giving up your job and spending all day every day at a gym training with your coach. 

You probably won't even be there more than one or two days a week, and you probably won't see your coach even that often.

Boxing Training From Home

 Home training is key -- both to get and stay in shape and to practice perfect techniques.

As you progress, and if you are safe, you may even decide to begin sparring at home with friends who also train.

For this last part of your training you will need to invest in some extra equipment.

Clearly, just having an old pair of gloves won't get you where you need to be, especially if you will be doing a lot of this on your own at home. 

So, the question is -- what will you need, bare minimum, to get started? What are the essential pieces of equipment for a boxer both in the gym and at home?

Sparring Sessions

 Sparring with other boxers of your own level is hugely important in your training, and it is a sure way to get better.

Sparring with boxers who are better than you can sometimes be just as beneficial if they know how to keep you safe and are willing to help you out.

 In these cases you will learn simply by watching and feeling the way the boxer across from you reacts and moves.

Second, most boxers will want to find a trainer or a coach. 

Boxing coaches have a lot of wisdom,

 While they may not all be like in the movies (which is probably a good thing) they will help you learn good technique, solid timing, and will show you how you should go about training. 

boxing trainer teaching skills

They will also whip you into shape.

No matter how healthy you feel, there is always room for improvement, and a good boxing coach will push you to get there.

Remember, twelve rounds are a lot.

 Even if amateur fights won't go that long, it’s always good to be prepared.

Boxing Gloves

The first and most obvious thing you will need comes in a pair. 

Boxing gloves are likely the first piece of equipment that comes to mind when you think of a boxer, and they are, of course, important. 

Gloves serve a few purposes.

First, they protect your hands. Punching something heavy and hard -- sometimes a bag, but certainly a person -- is rough on your hands.

blue boxing gloves

Even if you are tough and seasoned with great technique, landing a punch that’s a  bit off, or landing it on an especially hard part of a person, can easily sprain or even break your hand or wrist. 

That may be an acceptable risk in martial arts such as Tae Kwon Do, in which many of the strikes are kicks (and in which, in general, people do not spar full-contact), and it may be something that you don't think about if you are ever in a self-defense situation on the street.

If you're going to throw hundreds of punches at bags and sparring partners, and then start all over tomorrow, you must protect your hands.

As a boxer, your hands are your weapons and they are worthy of protection.

Protection

Boxing gloves also protect your opponent or partner.

One strong blow from a bare fist can knock a person out, injure them severely, or end the training session (and any session of theirs for weeks or months to come).

 A punch without a glove that’s landed wrong can kill a person if they are not prepared (or if they are unlucky).

When MMA fighters fight with very small gloves, they do real damage to each other, and often don't fight again for months. 

The recoup time after a match like that is long, and those are highly trained fighters who know how not to punch anyone in a way that will likely injure them permanently (or cause death).

The point is that if you and your partners are going to train often, and if you are going to be safe, you need to wear gloves

Gloves allow us to punch many times, hard, every day, without doing permanent injury to our hands or to the people we are punching.

This means that we get to train more, which in turn means that we get better quicker.

Types of Gloves

There are different sized gloves to consider.

Gloves in boxing are much larger and more padded than MMA gloves and they come in different styles and sizes for different uses, ages, and weight classes.

Generally, these are the most common types of gloves:

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    Gloves for bags
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    Training/sparring gloves
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    Gloves for Amateur Fighters
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    Gloves for Pro fighters

 There are also gloves specifically designed for Olympic fighting.

Gloves Sizes

 Bag gloves range from 6 to 18 ounces, depending on how heavy you are, and are designed to be used when hitting a bag.

These gloves are not made for sparring or competition.

Types

Sizes

Safety

Punching Bags Gloves

6 to 18 ounces

Sparring Gloves

6 to 18 ounces

Amateur Gloves

10 to 16 ounces

Pro Gloves

8 to 10 ounces

 Training gloves come in roughly the same sizes, but are designed to be used in sparring.

These are the gloves you will use when you train with another person.

Finally, there are competition gloves, which you may or may not want to buy at first (or ever).

These gloves are smaller (especially pro gloves) and do a little more damage.

Amateur gloves range from 10 to 16 ounces, and pro gloves are either eight ounces (for under 147 pounds) or 10 ounces (for 147 pounds and over).

To know which gloves to buy, it might be best to consult a trainer, or at least a qualified salesman at a sporting shop -- you will likely want to pick up at least bag gloves and training gloves that are sized for your weight.

Hand Wraps

You have likely seen in movies and on television, boxers wrapping their hands and wrists in white tape prior to putting their gloves on.

This is an important safety measure and should not be ignored.

If you are boxing, you will need hand wraps and you will need to learn to put them on correctly.

Hand wraps keep your wrist immobilized, and protect you from injury. Gloves may protect your hands, but they don't give your wrists as much support as they need.

For this reason, boxers wrap their hands and wrists prior to putting on their gloves.

man wearing blue hand wraps

Hand wraps are inexpensive, and once you learn to put them on they are not difficult to use.

You will want to consult someone who knows what they're doing to learn how to use them at first.

Learning how to wraps your hands can be explained in a few steps here.

Punching Bags

Punching bags are the bread and butter of boxing training.

You can't always train with a partner, and when you aren't, you still want to be punching. 

Ultimately, boxing is a game of repetition, and so the more punches you get out there the better.

There are a few basic kinds of punching bags, and you may want to get a hold of each of them:

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    Heavy Bags​​​​
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    Speed Bags
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    Double-end Bags
boxer training with heavy bag

First, there are heavy bags -- these are the large, vertical bags that you are probably used to seeing.

These are for training many of your techniques and allow you to hit hard and gain  resistance.

Second, there are speed bags. Speed bags hang down and are very small.

These bags allow for quick strikes to be performed, working on timing and speed. 

Finally, there are double-end bags, which are strung between two elastic bands above and below the bag.

These are also small bags, and they are designed to spring back toward you after you punch them. 

This allows you to work on evasion, timing, and counter-strikes.

Protective Gear

For training purposes, you will likely want to invest in protective gear. This includes head gear and pads. 

This gear will keep you as safe as possible while you train, and will prevent injuries that may prevent you from being able to train again tomorrow. 

This is the goal of much of boxing's gear -- it allows the trainee to work out day in and day out safely.

Establishing a routing and repeating your training is the best way to get better more quickly.

Best Boxing Equipment Brands

The most iconic boxing brand is Everlast.

From gloves to shorts to wraps to bags, Everlast has been making great boxing equipment for decades. Nothing says boxing like the Everlast logo.

There are other brands, however, that make great gloves, shoes, protective gear, shorts, and other clothing.

These include: Adidas, Nike, Under Armour, Fighting Sports, and Title. 

Many other brands exist, but these are some of the largest.

Benefits of a Boxing Workout

There are many benefits to a boxing workout, though not all of them are obvious.

 Some of the reasons that people train are self-evident, but not everyone is the same and not every benefit of training is superficial.

The first, most obvious benefit to boxing training is that it makes you a better boxer.

If you are training in boxing than you likely already love the sport, and you already know how great it would feel to be a fighter in the square circle.

You may already be dreaming of the accomplishments and accolades you could have, and likely realize that getting good at boxing is a rewarding thing on its own.

Boxers by and large do it because they love to box. 

fighter training with speed bag

They love the way their bodies and minds feel when they are in the ring, and even when they are training, and they want to be the best they can possibly be.

The feeling of getting good at something that you love -- regardless of what it is -- is unparalleled, and this is the main reason that boxing training is so worthwhile.

There are other reasons to train.

Another benefit to boxing training is that it increases -- greatly increases -- your overall fitness level.

You will be healthier, stronger, faster, and more flexible than ever.

Your cardio will go through the roof and you will burn fat, gain muscle, and likely look better than you ever have before.

Boxing Gym Training

Boxing training is hard-work, but it pays off.

Fortunately, going to a boxing gym and working out is for many people a lot more fun and mentally stimulating than going to a regular gym.

Simply lifting weights (not that weight lifting is something you should avoid if you want to be a good boxer). 

As you jump rope, you will be not only developing your boxing timing but getting in great shape.

It is for most people a lot more fun (even if it is more difficult) than riding a bike or jogging on a treadmill.

fighter lifting weights

Boxing is a martial art. It may be a sport, but it is rooted in the needs of fighters in real-life situations.

Learning to punch effectively and powerfully, learning to out maneuver and out think your opponent, and learning to take a blow if you need to are all hugely beneficial abilities in real-life fights. 

Self-Defense Skills

A great boxer will likely be able to knock out your average street fighter before a fight really gets going.

For this reason, though boxing is a sport, it is also a good way to train in self-defense.

This isn't to say that it is a complete self-defense art.

If you are looking for overall self-defense training you will want to supplement boxing training with other things, such as grappling and throwing.

A great boxer stands a good chance of staying safe in a real-life self-defense situation.

I don't think anyone would have wanted to meet Mike Tyson in a dark alley in his prime.

All of this is to say that training in boxing is beneficial to anyone who wants to feel safe in the street and who wants to be able to defend themselves. 

This is not something that boxers emphasize, but it is a part of the history of the sport, which goes right back to Western street fighters and even Eastern martial arts.

Not all benefits of boxing training are physical. 

training with discipline

Beyond encouraging speed and strength, it encourages self-discipline, which is one of the things that so many of us lack in our daily lives.

Mental Toughness

By committing to something so difficult, and by staying disciplined in your training, you will develop emotional and psychological habits that will benefit you in every aspect of life.

This is equally true of psychological and emotional focus, which is a result of having that kind of discipline.

By focusing on your training and learning to box as well as you can, you will encourage yourself to be the kind of person who takes on tasks with laser-honed vision.

Refusing to let yourself fail or quit, and not being distracted by other things in your life.This too is a powerful psychological habit.

Boxing is valuable because it is a great way to relieve stress.

In part because of its physical exertion, like all exercise, and in part because of the violent nature of its techniques, boxing helps you to work out your psychic and physical energy, allowing you to feel more at ease and less aggressive in your daily life.

 Your stress will melt away as you train.

More Boxing Gear

Beyond the gear we have already mentioned -- boxing gloves, hand wraps, punching bags, and protective gear -- there are other things you may want to invest in.

Most of these are not expensive, but they can be important in your training.

Jump Rope

You likely already know that a jumping rope is an essential part of boxing training.

Boxers jump rope to increase their speed, agility, quickness on their feet, and their timing.

They also do it because it is great cardio, virtually matching the effort it takes to be in a fight. 

black jumping ropes for boxers

You will need a jump rope if you are training in boxing. But not just any jump rope will do.

You don't want to borrow your child's rope and start jumping. You will want a rope that fits you -- that isn't too long or too short -- and you will want one that is made of something tough.

Some high-quality ropes are made of leather, but there are plenty of other lighter-weight materials.

In general, good ropes have bearings in their handles, or some other system that allows the rope to move freely.

This makes it easier to move the rope quickly and smoothly.

Boxing Shoes

Boxing shoes are essential if you're going to be getting into the ring, especially for competition.

These shoes protect your ankles as well as the mat on the ring, and give you an ideal surface to surface contact to allow you to grip the ring without getting stuck on it.

These shoes can be found at most sporting goods stores, and they are worth the investment.

To read an in-depth review for the Adidas Box Hog 2, click here.

Boxing Shorts

If you are competing, you will need boxing shorts.

But even if you will not be competing, you may want to pick some up.

They are designed to establish the line between legal and "below the belt" strikes, and they are lightweight and loose to give you the kind of free movement you will need.

 They are useful even for sparring and practice matches.

To read an in-depth review of some of the best groin protectors click in the link below:

https://theboxinggear.com/best-groin-protectors/

Workout Clothing

You will need to pick up workout clothing for your non-ring training, such as running, jumping rope, lifting weights, and hitting a heavy bag.

These clothes need not be fancy -- in fact, you may lose some credentials if they are -- but they need to be loose and lightweight, and cannot be constricting.

Some sets of sweatpants, shorts, sweatshirts, and tee shirts should do the trick.

Boxing Shoes

For jogging, jumping rope, and general workouts, you will likely not want to wear boxing shoes.

So, if you don't already have some, you can pick up a pair of high-quality sneakers. Jogging shoes or cross-training shoes are ideal.

Gym Membership or Home Workout Gear/Weights

You will need to work out your whole body a few times a week at minimum, though you might not be going to your boxing gym this often.

This means you will either need to invest in a membership at a local gym that has weights or machines, or you will need to purchase a resistance machine or free weights for your home.

This can be quite an investment, but it is worth it to get into fighting shape.

Finally...

Boxing is a time-honored western tradition. It is the closest thing, for many people, that America has to a martial art of the status of Kung Fu or Karate.

 Its devotees are powerful, dedicated, and in some cases quite famous, and they make the complex psychological and physical techniques of boxing look artistic, fluid, and even beautiful.

Many of us want in on that action, and so each year many people invest in the supplies to begin boxing training.

If you are one of those people, then you are in for a lot of hard-work; but if you have the dedication, you are in for great rewards.

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