Boxing isn’t just a sport, it’s a science. Every punch, every block, every movement is calculated. But behind those punches are the gloves, and behind those gloves are the hands that deliver the force. Ensuring those hands are snug and comfortable in those gloves is crucial. You wouldn’t step into the ring unprepared, so why leave the fit of your gloves to chance?
Why Hand Size Matters
When you’re in the ring, it’s you against your opponent, and every advantage counts. Ill-fitting gloves can be a distraction. They can slip, reduce the effectiveness of your punches, and even lead to injuries. A glove that’s too tight restricts movement, and one too loose can’t deliver a solid punch.
Moreover, the impact of a punch isn’t just on the recipient; the force reverberates. A glove that fits properly absorbs that force, protecting the hand from fractures or sprains. So, measuring the hand accurately isn’t just about comfort; it’s about performance and safety.
Tools and Equipment Needed for Measuring
Alright, champ, before stepping into the ring, a boxer needs the right gear. Similarly, before choosing the perfect glove, you need the right tools. Here’s the basic lineup:
- Measuring Tape: A flexible one, not the rigid carpenter type. It should comfortably wrap around your hand.
- Ruler: Preferably one with both inches and centimeters. This ensures you can match measurements with any glove brand’s sizing chart.
- Pen and Paper: To jot down measurements. Because, hey, even champions can forget numbers amidst the adrenaline rush!
- A Helping Hand: Measuring alone can be a challenge. Having a buddy or trainer assist can make things smoother.
Measuring Hand Length
The length of the hand plays a critical role in determining glove fit. Here’s how to get it right:
- Place the Hand Flat: Lay the hand flat on a table or against a wall. Make sure it’s relaxed, not clenched.
- Start at the Base: Place the end of the ruler at the base of the hand, where the wrist starts.
- Measure to the Tip: Stretch the ruler straight up to the tip of the middle finger. That’s the longest part of the hand, and it’ll give the most accurate length measurement.
- Jot It Down: Write down the measurement. Always good to double-check for precision.
Remember, there’s power in those fingers. Measuring them correctly ensures they’re effectively channeled in the ring.
Measuring Hand Width
While length is crucial, the width of the hand often determines the snugness of the fit. Here’s the lowdown on getting it right:
- Open Hand: The hand should be open and relaxed. No clenched fists here; save that for the ring!
- Place the Measuring Tape: Position it around the hand, just below the knuckles. Don’t include the thumb; it has its own compartment in the boxing glove.
- Get the Circumference: Pull the tape so it’s snug but not tight. You’re looking for a comfortable measurement, not a stranglehold.
- Record That Number: Note down the measurement, preferably in both inches and centimeters for versatility.
Width is about power distribution. A glove that respects the width ensures punches are solid and impactful.
Boxing Gloves Size Guide
Measurements for Glove Sizes
Every brand has its unique size chart, but a few general guidelines span across the board. Typically:
- Small (S): 6.5 to 7.5 inches (hand circumference)
- Medium (M): 7.5 to 8.5 inches
- Large (L): 8.5 to 9.5 inches
- Extra Large (XL): 9.5 inches and above
While these are general numbers, always refer to the specific brand’s size chart for the most accurate fit.
Trying On Gloves
Alright, you’ve got the numbers, but numbers don’t deliver punches – hands do. It’s time to feel the glove.
- Insert the Hand Slowly: Gloves should be snug but not suffocating.
- Flex Those Fingers: There should be a slight room at the tip, ensuring you can make a solid fist without restraint.
- Check the Wrist: The strap or elastic should secure the glove without cutting off circulation. Remember, it’s about support, not constriction.
- Test Movements: Mimic some jabs and hooks. The glove should move as an extension of the hand, not as an added bulk.
Common Mistakes When Measuring Hands for Boxing Gloves
- Ignoring Width for Length (and vice versa): Both dimensions are crucial for a solid fit. Don’t compromise one for the other.
- Measuring Over Existing Wraps: Always measure on the bare hand for the most accurate fit. Wraps add bulk and can skew measurements.
- Guesswork: “Feels about right” isn’t a measurement. Use those tools and get precise numbers.
- Over Tightening the Measuring Tape: It’s about comfort, not constriction. The tape should be snug, not squeezing.
Caring for Your Gloves
Once you’ve got the right fit, it’s all about maintaining those gloves. They’re your shield; treat them right.
- Air Them Out: After a session, let them breathe. This prevents odor build-up and increases glove lifespan.
- Clean Regularly: A simple wipe-down post-training can keep them fresh. For a deeper clean, some diluted disinfectant does the trick.
- Store in a Cool, Dry Place: Humidity and heat can degrade the glove’s material over time.
Finding the right boxing glove is more than just a purchase; it’s an investment in safety, comfort, and performance. The journey from measuring your hand to caring for your gloves is one of precision and diligence. It’s about respecting the sport, the tools, and most importantly, respecting the hands that deliver those knockout blows. Remember, in the boxing world, precision is power, and that power starts with the perfect fit. Always measure, always care, and always step into that ring with confidence. The ring awaits, champ. Make every punch count.
Having properly fitted boxing gloves is crucial for performance and safety. As a boxing coach, I always advise students to take time measuring their hands before purchasing gloves. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get your hand measurements right:
Start by gathering a cloth tape measure, pen and paper. You’ll need to take two measurements – your dominant hand length and width.
To measure hand length, extend your dominant arm straight out with fingers together. Place the tape at the bottom crease of your wrist and measure to the tip of your longest finger. Round to the nearest quarter inch.
For width, wrap the tape across the widest part of your knuckles, excluding the thumb. Make sure to keep your fingers straight and tight together. Again, round to the nearest quarter inch.
Once you have these numbers, consult a sizing chart from reputable glove brands like Cleto Reyes or Winning. They will recommend glove sizes based on hand length and width. For example, 8 inch long and 3.5 inch wide hands would likely wear 8-10 oz gloves.
Keep in mind other factors like intended use and padding amount. Sparring and training gloves differ in padding thickness. Go with thicker padding for sparring safety. Bag gloves are more slender and compact.
Finally, try on gloves in person if possible. The fit should secure your hand without cutting off circulation. Your fingertips should graze the end but not jam too close to the padding. With proper hand measurements and trying gloves on, you’ll be able to find your perfect fit.
Kirill Yurovskiy, boxing coach in London