A common misconception about boxing is that gloves were introduced to protect the fighters’ heads. However, the actual reason why gloves were introduced was to protect the fighters’ hands. Bare-knuckle boxing often resulted in fractures and breaks of the hands and wrists. Eventually, in 1867, the Marquess of Queensbury Rules introduced a rule stating that boxing gloves are mandatory for fighters. Ever since gloves have been in continuous development and technological progression has allowed companies to build gloves that are comfortable, supportive, and provide adequate protection to the user.
As boxers’ hands are their most valuable tools, they should look to maintain them as best as possible. This is where gloves fit in the equation and why they are so important in boxing. Gloves are highly subjective but there are particular brands like Grant, Winning, and Cleto Reyes that have solidified their names in the boxing glove industry as some of the best. However, there are also a lot of great brands than don’t have the same publicity or popularity but are still reputable manufacturers.
Below we’ve compiled a list of some of the best and most reputable brands that produce boxing gloves:
|Winning||Winning is among the most experienced glove makers in the world. Founded in 1937, they have been manufacturing and exporting gloves from Japan for over 80 years.||Winning gloves are the textbook perfect boxing glove, they provide excellent wrist support and the padding construction is impeccable. They provide great hand protection and are long-lasting, however, they are sometimes criticized for being too soft. Winning gloves are expensive but they do reflect the quality.|
|Cleto Reyes||Cleto Reyes was founded in 1979 but had been trading long before then and quickly rose to be a staple for boxing gloves. Reyes has been worn but Ali, Mike Tyson, and Ray Leonard.||Cleto Reyes gloves have developed a reputation for being a knockout glove. They are lightweight, have a thin profile, and are stuffed with horsehair that is soft around the knuckles and tends to thin out and harden over the course of a fight. Despite this, they still provide excellent hand protection and are hard-wearing. Also, with many Reyes gloves selling at around the $200 mark, they are considered a luxury brand.|
|Grant||Founded in 1995 in NYC, Grant is the baby of the luxury boxing glove family. They are produced in limited quantities in Mexico and have been popularised by the illustrious Floyd Mayweather Jr.||Grant is similar to Winning in the sense that its primary focus is the protection of the hands. Floyd had well-documented issues with his hands from boxing young, so in the latter stage of his career, we saw him wearing Grant gloves for optimal protection.|
|Everlast||Everlast is one of the oldest companies on this list. They were founded in 1910 in the Bronx New York but didn’t start producing gloves until 1917 when Jack Dempsey asked them to make headgear for him.||Everlast has done some good work in recent times in regards to their professional boxing gloves. They’ve greatly improved the structure and composition of their competition gloves and we’ve seen the likes of Deontay Wilder, Andre Ward, and even Conor McGregor wear them in his clash with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Their training gloves have always been excellent and are very popular among amateurs and professionals alike.|
|Casanova||Worn famously by Sylvester Stallone in the original Rocky, Casanova is another old and reputable boxing brand. They are a Mexican manufacturer and have been in business for over 70 years.||Casanova is often compared to Cleto Reyes. They are both Mexican manufactured gloves, they have similar profiles, and they both are of good quality. The general consensus from boxers is that Casanova gloves are very good but the Reyes gloves are slightly better. Casanova is by no means cheap but it won’t set you back as much as a pair of Cleto Reyes gloves would.|
|Rival||Rival was founded in 2003 by Russ Anber with the goal to “reinvent the industry” through embracing modern technology and using innovative designs.||Rival has become a popular training and professional boxing glove brand. Their training gloves are on the slightly higher end of the spectrum in regards to price, however, it does also reflect in the quality of the gloves. We’ve seen Rival gloves worn by the likes of Jean Pascal, Anthony Joshua, Leo Santa Cruz, and many more. They have also developed quite the reputation of being a puncher’s glove.|
|Venum||Venum is a relatively new company, founded in 2006 by Franck Dupuis. They came into popularity at a similar time to Mixed Martial Arts and therefore produce a variety of equipment as well as boxing gloves.||Venum is more well known as a training glove for boxers rather than a completion glove and a rather good one. We’ve seen Vasyl Lomachenko wear Venum gloves in the professional boxing ring but not many others. However, their training gloves are comfortable, well constructed for boxing, and reasonably priced.|
|Adidas||While Adidas isn’t primarily known for their boxing equipment, they do produce good gloves. They are a general sports & clothing company but have been refining their sporting goods since 1949.||Adidas offers a wide range of boxing gloves, they primarily offer training gloves but they do also manufacture professional competition gloves as well. However, while their training gloves are reasonably and even competitively priced, their professional gloves are quite expensive.|
|Twins||Twins is a company that specializes in Boxing, Muay Thai, and MMA and all of their products come from Thailand itself.||Twins is originally a Muay Thai brand and Muay Thai gloves tend to have more padding which is also more evenly distributed because of the nature of the martial art. But this is why some western boxers actually favour them because of the extra support and padding around the knuckles.|
|RDX||RDX was founded in 1999 and they are actually a general fitness company rather than solely a glove manufacturer. However, Boxing and MMA are two of their major focuses, hence why they have developed lots of equipment for both sports.||RDX has become a very popular glove for training and sparring. They are the gloves that I use most often for training because they provide plenty of support in the wrists and are well padded which protects the hands from hard punches on the heavy bag, etc. They are also relatively affordable for a training glove but I’m yet to see any professional boxer wearing RDX branded glove for an actual bout.|
|Ringside||Ringside is a company that specializes in boxing equipment. They produce everything from heavy bags to headgear but are best known for their gloves.||Ringside offers sparring, training, and competition gloves. Their training gloves are much cheaper and adequate for most people. However, for serious boxers, the sparring and competition gloves may also be worth a look.|
I’ve always looked at brands as safe choices, in the sense that, I know what to expect. I’m sure there are plenty of great products and gloves on the market that are relatively unknown and that I didn’t mention. That’s not to say that unbranded gloves aren’t as good but rather, they can sometimes be a gamble. Especially if you buy them online.
Also, there could be some brands on this list that aren’t worth the price in your particular case. Unless you’re a serious boxer or you’re competing, its nearly impossible to justify spending upwards of $400 on a pair of boxing gloves. The more premium gloves on this list are designed to give a competitive edge in a fight. In most training and real-life use cases, a $50 glove will do the same job as a $200 glove for half the price.