Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Boxing Equipment and Boxing Gear
Luckily for your wallet, boxing is a pretty inexpensive sport to get involved with, at least when you are first starting out.
There are people out there who will tell you you need every latest gadget guaranteed to help you KO every opponent you have. Don't believe them. All you really need are some equipment and supplies designed to protect you while you provide the hard work and determination.
Where conditioning is concerned - your body is your equipment and a lot of the other boxing gear and equipment can be made at home if your budget is tight. Discount and used boxing equipment is also available if you look for it.
I'm going to assume that you have clothes to work out in. That would include T-shirts, shorts, socks, and shoes. All of those are optional, of course, but if you're boxing naked - please don't send me your videos to review.
The clothes you wear when boxing just need to allow you to move. They are going to get super sweaty. Some people, myself included, like to wear a backwards hat to soak up some of that sweat and keep it out of my eyes while training.
For home workouts with heavy bag and no partners:
For training with a partner, you will also need:
- Sparring gloves
- Groin Protector (and Chest Protector if you are female)
You do not need boxing shoes to start with. Any pair of athletic shoes will do until you actually get in the ring to compete. Even then, you usually have the option of what you want to wear. My first amateur boxing match saw me decked out in my running shoes. However, if you need to be decked out like all the cool kids, something like these Rival boxing boots would be a good choice.
I made the mistake of not buying boxing shoes for my first fight. If you ever plan on getting in the ring, you will want to get a pair of boxing shoes. In my first fight in the ring I was wearing regular sneakers. Not only did I look like a chump, but I ended up slipping and received an eight count. I'm not saying I slipped solely because of my shoes, but I checked out someone else's afterwards, tried them out and there is a big difference in terms of grip and weight.
If you don't like those Rival shoes, there are plenty more types of boxing shoes available.
Your hands are your weapons so you have to protect them. There are hundreds of little bones in your hands which will break and cripple you if you do not take the necessary precautions. The best way to do that is by learning how to wrap your hands to provide protection for those bones like your knuckles.
Hand wraps will also keep you from bleeding all over the place as a result of scraped knuckles and prolong the life of your bag gloves and boxing gloves as they soak up sweat that would otherwise seep into your gloves.
Hand wraps come in various sizes and colours. I recommend a 180" wrap like these pro style hand wraps. They give you enough length to wrap your hands in a number of different ways - whatever suits you the best.
An alternative are the Mexican style hand wraps which many fighters prefer. They are slightly elastic which makes them form a tighter wrap around your hands and keeps them in place a little better.
At any rate, choose a hand wrap and then use either the basic method or the between the fingers method to wrap your hands before you hit anything.
BAG GLOVES (TRAINING GLOVES)
There is a whole article on Commando Boxing describing everything you'd ever want to know about boxing gloves.
To keep it brief here, bag gloves (also known as training gloves) are different than sparring or competition boxing gloves. Bag gloves are designed with just enough padding to protect your hands while you knock the living crap out of the heavy bag. This is one thing you don't want to be too cheap with. Get a quality pair (otherwise you'll end up buying another pair real soon as the first pair disintegrates on the bag).
These 12oz bag gloves by Rival are a good durable leather glove that can take the punishment. They are what I currently use. My next pair will likely be something more heavy duty and high tech like these Rival RB11 gloves. At any rate, with any pair you choose, make sure they have Velcro fasteners for ease of use and they fit your hands securely. You can buy cheaper gloves, but remember, it's your hands and without them, you aren't boxing.
There is a separate, more detailed heavy bag buying guide, but here is a tidbit for you.
There are a lot of options when it comes to heavy bags, but generally speaking they weigh about 70 pounds, are filled with hard or soft fill, and are made of a durable vinyl material, leather, or canvas. They should come with a swivel mount to attach to your ceiling or stand.
Especially for beginners and even skilled boxers - the best heavy bag I've ever used is the Aqua Punching Bag. It has a lot of great things going for it and if you're looking for a heavy bag - I reco1mmend this one above all others. Read the Aqua Punching Bag review to find out why.
On regular heavy bags (not water filled) -the difference between hard and soft fill is that soft fill has an extra layer of foam inside, it really makes no difference. A good leather heavy bag will stand up to years of abuse and is a good investment.
There's no better way to relieve the day's stress than by heading to the basement and beating the crap out of something. You and your heavy bag will form a special bond - sounds crazy but it's true. Heavy Bag workouts are a major portion of this site and a staple part of the Commando Boxing Body Transformation Program.
Headgear will take a lot of abuse, so when deciding what to buy, ensure you buy something that is going to last. Generally speaking, that means not buying the cheapest vinyl set of headgear you can find, but actually spending some money to buy a quality product. Headgear protects your head from soft tissue damage -- meaning cuts, scrapes and so on. It will not protect you from the force of a punch. While a well padded headgear can alleviate some of the blow, it will not be significant enough for you to notice. Even with headgear on, one can still be knocked out, receive a concussion and any other injury associated with repeated punches to the head.
There are many styles ranging from minimal head coverage to ones which cover everything but your eyes. If you fear having your nose broken, you can buy headgear that covers the nose as well. If you want to fight and come away unscathed, you want headgear which covers as much of your head as possible, fits tightly and laces up so it stays tight. Last thing you want is it coming down over your eyes every time you get hit.
Ringside Boxing Head Gear is a good choice. There are models such as the Title Full Face Head Guard that cover the nose as well as the rest of your head. This can be good and bad, depends on personal preference. On the good hand, it offers more protection but some people complain it affects their sight and/or breathing ability. It also costs a little more which may or may not be a factor.
If you are sparring with a partner or competing you have no choice, you must buy a mouthguard or you will spitting up chicklets (your teeth) or bleeding from your mouth as your lips get split open. Like the name suggests, a mouthguard protects your mouth and there are lots of varieties to choose from ranging in price from $10 to $30 or more.
If you have the resources, the best thing to do is go to your dentist and have him custom make a mouthpiece for you. I can say this, because that is what I did, but I'm in the army and it is taken care of for me. I'm not sure what it would cost in the civilian world.
Just as effective are the boil and form type varieties which cost around the $2 mark. The mouthguards are made of material which do not hold heat, so you boil them which makes them pliable, put in your mouth, bite down and they form around your teeth and you don't get burned in the process.
There are some good mouthguards by Shock Doctor such as the Gel Max Shock Doctor which cost a little more, but fit nicely and are supposed to realign your jaw so less damage is done to your brain during impact. Don't know if it works, I don't have an MRI machine to test it out with. I can say that I tried these upper and lower mouthguards and prefer a single mouthguard protecting the upper teeth. While these double duty mouthguards may offer better protection, especially on the lower teeth, I found breathing a little difficult and they just aren't as comfortable. Feel free to disagree...
SPARRING BOXING GLOVES
These are not bag gloves. Where bag gloves are padded just enough to prevent injury to your hands during the heavy bag workouts, boxing gloves are designed to lessen the damage done when sparring with a partner. 16oz sparring gloves are a necessity. Again, do not skimp on your boxing gloves and hope that the person you are sparring with didn't skimp either.
A two layered foam padded glove with Velcro straps for easy on/off is good for sparring. The extra padding in these gloves as compared to bag gloves serves to absorb some of the force of the blows. Coupled with headgear, it is unlikely you will suffer any serious damage, but of course it all depends on how much and how you are hit. I make no promises... Here is a complete list of boxing and sparring gloves.
GROIN PROTECTORS AND CHEST PROTECTORS
Alright, let's be honest. If you are going to be sparring with someone and that someone plans on hitting you and you know that eventually you are going to get hit and the possibility exists that that hit could go wild and nail you in the kahoney's, nether regions, nuts, whatever -- do you really want to forgo this little piece of equipment?
Didn't think so: Title Groin Guard and Chest Protector (ladies)
OTHER BOXING EQUIPMENT AND BOXING SUPPLIES
There is other boxing equipment you can buy such as speed bags, double end bags, fancy skipping ropes etc... and if you have the money and the inclination, go ahead. However, with the boxing equipment listed above you will have no problem getting started in boxing. Anything extra is gravy so to speak.
WHERE TO NOW?
For good priced, quality boxing and martial arts equipment shop for discount boxing equipment and boxing supplies in the Commando Boxing Store. I get a small commission for anything you buy in there which helps me grow the site. Your support is very-much appreciated. Thank-you and Boxon.