If you’re in the market for your first pair of boxing gloves, you’re probably completely inundated with information about the many various brands of gloves that are available at vastly different prices. When considering how much you should spend on a pair of gloves, you’re likely to wonder, “How long are these going to last at that price?” Whether you’re looking at a cheap pair and thinking that they can’t possibly last very long, or considering an expensive pair, and wondering if they’re worth it, you’ll be hoping for a comprehensive answer to this question.
The bad news is that there is no simple answer. The lifespan of your gloves will depend on three clear factors.
The first is the quality of the materials the gloves are made from, and the second is what kind of training you will be doing with them. The third factor is likely the most important if you want your gloves to last, and that is how well you will look after them.
In this article, we are going to give you all the information you need in order to make the most informed choice you can when buying your gloves.
Should I Buy Expensive Gloves or Will Cheap Ones Do?
The first question you need to answer when deciding how much money to spend on boxing gloves is, how often are you intending to train? If you’re certain you’ll be training a few times a week, you’ll likely want to spend a little more on a pair of gloves. However, if you’re only intending to have a sparring session every now and then, a cheaper pair will do.
Also, consider your habits when starting a new sport or hobby. Are you someone who always sticks to things you have decided to learn, or are you someone who is likely to go through a boxing “phase”, and then give up after a few months?
Another aspect to consider when buying a pair of gloves is the health of your hands and wrists. Boxing gloves vary greatly in price, and if you’re intending to use your pair for just a few sessions a month, or even less, you may be tempted to just buy a super cheap pair for $20. However, gloves at this price will be made from cheaper materials, and will not support the hand or wrist during your training session, so be sure to buy a pair that will offer the support you need, as well as the durability you are hoping for.
So be sure to research tried and tested brands of boxing gloves before deciding to spend money on them.
What Will I Be Doing with My Gloves?
If you know anything about boxing, you’ll know that sparring and hitting the heavy bag are two vastly different things. If you have a personal trainer who wants to incorporate some sparring into your training regimen, and you have no intention to go deeper into boxing, you will want to look specifically at sparring gloves. These are made from stronger, higher quality leather than most heavy bag gloves, but the padding inside is much softer, to protect your sparring partner from your blows, which actually makes them less durable than heavy bag gloves.
If you are wanting to take boxing seriously, and you intend to train on the heavy bag, you’ll want to rather buy the right gloves for that. Sparring gloves will not last long against the bag. Having said all this, we would like to recommend that you don’t go too overboard on the price of your first pair of gloves. Because you will be a weaker hitter as a beginner, and because you won’t be too confident about what you are doing, your first pair of gloves are likely to last a good while longer than a pair of gloves belonging to a professional boxer, even if they’re not the best quality.
However, as a caveat to the last paragraph, if you’re a very strong person, and you’re keen on getting into boxing, don’t buy very cheap gloves and expect them to last. Even without boxing experience, if you’re a 200 lbs man with a solid weight lifting routine, you’ll already be a hard hitter, and a cheap pair of gloves won’t last long under the pressure you put on them.
How Durable Are Boxing Gloves?
The durability of a pair of boxing gloves will mainly depend on the materials they are made from, and how hard you hit. However, even the best quality pair of gloves won’t last long if they are not properly cared for.
However much you decide you are willing to spend on a pair of boxing gloves, you’ll want to get the most out of that money, and the way to do that is by treating your gloves like gold. The most important things to do to ensure your gloves last longer are:
- Always wear hand wraps with your gloves.
- Clean your gloves after every use.
- Allow your gloves to fully dry before putting them in your gym bag or their storage bag.
- Don’t leave your gloves lying in direct sun, or in a hot car, for a long time.
If you know you are a person who is unlikely to stick to a routine of caring for your gloves, rather spend a bit less on them, and be willing to replace them more regularly. However, if you are someone who is religious about caring for your belongings, spend a bit more.
So How Long Will My Boxing Gloves Last?
If we have to give you an expected average, we would base it on a medium hitter, who is boxing a few times a week with an average quality pair of gloves.
Under these circumstances, you can expect a pair of sparring gloves to last you six months to a year, and a pair of heavy bag gloves to last you two to three years.
In the case of sparring gloves, the signs of wear you would be looking out for are in the leather – cracks and micro-tears are a sure sign that you need to consider replacing your gloves. If you have a pair of heavy bag gloves, the part that will get damaged the fastest is the padding, and if you’ve been boxing for a couple of years, which you should have been by the time your gloves need replacing, you’ll be able to feel the difference between how your gloves felt when they were in good condition, and how they feel when they are ready to be retired.
Whatever pair of gloves you decide to buy, and however much they cost, always bear in mind that boxing gloves are built for the sole purpose of hitting things, and under that kind of pressure, anything will eventually break. The same is true for boxing gloves.