October 29

Heavy Bag Gloves: The Ultimate Buyers Guide


I am sure you will agree.

The heavy bag is one of the best pieces of training equipment every created.

But, what few people realise is the importance of choosing the right heavy bag gloves.

And in this article, I am going to list the best heavy beg gloves you can buy but also explain what you need to consider before you purchase.


Let's dive in.

The Number 1 Thing That 30 Years Of Wearing Heavy Bag Gloves Taught Me

I have been training on a heavy bag and wearing boxing gloves for over 30 years ('I'm the skinny one in the photo)

In addition to being an amateur boxer, former British police boxing champion and member of the British police national team, I was also an Inspector for the British Boxing Board of Control, working at World and British title events.

I'm not saying this to brag, but to show you that I know my stuff.

Now, onto the number 1 thing, I have learned over the last 30 years of heavy bag training.

The heavy bag is all about work rate.

Some equipment is about increasing speed, some equipment about accuracy, and some based around improving timing.

The heavy bag is all about increasing your 'work rate'.

And this is what you should base your decisions around when choosing your heavy bag gloves.

Don't worry. I am going to explain precisely what you need to consider next.

What To Consider Before Buying Heavy Bag Gloves

You might be a little unsure about what I mean by 'work rate'.

So here it is.

Work rate is you punching as hard as you can, for as long as you can, in the same style you would in a boxing match.

In other words, it is you going all out.

Going all out doesn't mean going berserk or just swinging punches.

But it means pushing your cardio system to levels required for a boxing match.

And this is where most people come unstuck in choosing heavy bag gloves.

Bigger is not better.

Sadly, this isn't something that many glove manufacturers have realised. 

Too often, you will find bag gloves that are 16oz (which is way too big unless you are a pro boxer with fragile hands that need protecting).

No, instead you should look to choose bag gloves that are as close to what you wear in a fight.

And for most this will be 10 oz or 12 oz gloves.

This contradicts a lot of training advice where people tell you that the gloves you wear should be heavy to build even greater levels of cardio.

But I will explain next why I feel this is wrong.

Why Buying 16 Oz Heavy Bag Gloves Is A Mistake

The old boxing coaches tale goes like this 'heavier gloves will protect your hands and make you fitter'.

While you might think this is true, it is not really a valid point.

You can train with weighted gloves if you want to increase your resistance or even strap small weights to your wrists.

And that would be a perfectly fine training drill.

But, for general training on the heavy bag, the goal is to strike with as much power, speed and technique that you could muster in a real match.

And 16 oz gloves will stop you from doing that.

You see, the bag isn't just a cardio training device.

It is where the boxer gains their confidence, where they can work on their power shots, and this needs to be as closely aligned to the experience they will have in the ring.


They are designed to protect your training partners from excessive punch damage.

So, they are not for use on the heavy bag (unless as stated, that you are a pro boxer and have injured hands).

The advantages you get from wearing 16 oz loves on the bag are far outweighed by the disadvantages.

OK, with that rant out of the way, let's break down the best bag gloves you can buy.

Rival Bag Gloves

The Winner: The Best I Have Ever Used

The Rival glove is without a doubt the best I have ever used. The shock absorbing foam is amazing and they are really light, so this makes getting a great workout in easier than ever.

Straight out of the gate, I am going to give you the winner.

Rival bag gloves.

These are the gloves I chose to buy after an extensive research mission and a recommendation from a pro boxer friend I know.

Rival might not be a name you have heard of, but I am sure that will change very soon. They are a Canadian born company that has been in business for 10 years, and now many world-class fighters are choosing their gloves.

Why? Because they are making incredible developments in glove technology.

Here are the 2 major advancements that make their bag gloves stand out.

Ergo Strap System: This unique strap system follows the angle of your wrist and makes the glove fit tight. It actually feels like the gloves are part of you when you put them on.

Intelli Shock D30: The experience of using Rival gloves was simply amazing due to their shock-absorbing intelligent foam.

As explained by Rival:

 "At slow speeds, the molecules inside d3o™ flow freely making it soft and flexible, whereas at high speeds the molecules lock together to become an excellent shock absorber."

I purchased the 10 oz gloves because they were out of the 12 oz, and I was nervous, but these are the best bag gloves I have ever used, and I have used most makes over the years.

If you have big hands, I recommend the 12 oz as there isn't much room for wraps under the 10 oz for me (I'm a heavyweight), but the shock-absorbing foam is incredible.

You won't be disappointed by choosing Rival gloves.

Cleto Reyes Bag Gloves

The Classic

Cleto are a glove that has been around for 70 years. I have used them and liked them, but they are expensive.  

Cleto Reyes has been producing gloves for over 70 years and for many, these are the best in the business.

Based in Mexico, their bag gloves have a nylon sweat-resistant lining and impact reducing foam.

I have worn a pair of these and found them a quality glove, well made but sadly very expensive.

They are certainly a 'status' glove, and wearing them definitely sends a signal that you have both cash and take your boxing seriously. 

You can't really go wrong with a Cleto Reyes glove.

Venum Bag Gloves

Great Looks By Venum

Venum gloves are great looking and they are very similar to the Rival glove.

Venum as a brand launched in 2004 when a Frenchman named Franck Dupuis deciding to change combat sports by creating something never seen before.

And that is something I am happy to say, Venum gloves look amazing.

The design of their gloves catch the eye, and their triple density foam protects the hands.

I do like Venum gloves, and while more well known in MMA circles, the brand has taken the design of heavy bag gloves and turned them into something that looks great.

RDX Heavy Bag Gloves

A Great Price Meets Performance

The RDX has been my glove of choice for some time, great quality and a good price.

RDX is a British based firm that has been going since 1999, and they were the makers of my last 2 pairs of bag gloves, check out the picture below.

I have to say, I love RDX bag gloves, and I punch seriously hard, so these gloves have stood up to a tremendous pounding over the years.

RDX uses 'Quadro-Dome Technology' to reduce the impact on the hand, but I read one reviewer state that they don't have much protection. 

What a load of rubbish. The RDX bag gloves are a great glove at an affordable price, AND they protect your hand just fine.

What I would say though is that they aren't built to last.

I have never had a bag glove come apart like these have and look so battered, but their lower price means I am happy to buy them again and recommend them to others.

There is quite a lot of features packed into an RDX glove such as their Max Shock foam and gel integrated padding.

And that is the important part, my heavy gloves gave up cosmetically and not structurally.

I was still using them up until I decided it was getting a bit embarrassing when the flakes of white from my gloves were starting to land on the floor like dandruff.

But don't let this put you off. These lasted me 4 years of heavy use, which I think was excellent.

Twins Heavy Bag Gloves

Not For Me But Others Would Disagree

Twins are the glove I like the least, but many of my friends use them and love them. 

Twins are my least favourite bag glove if I am honest. It's not that they aren't an OK bag glove.

They have OK protection, OK fit and they look very 'old school'.

On the plus side, they are built to last (a friend of mine has had his for 10 years) and they feel like feathers when you put them on. Oh, and they are 100% leather.

But, they are such a dull looking glove when compared with the more modern-looking alternatives.

So, if you like an old school bag glove, Twins will be great for you.

OK, so those are my recommendations for heavy bag gloves, let's look at how to protect yourself while using the heavy bag, and yes, injuries can happen.

How To Protect Yourself And Your Gloves On The Heavy Bag

heavy bag

Heavy bag gloves are not cheap these days, but consider them an investment into the safety of your hands.

But the gloves are just one part of the equation.

Because a bad punch bag has lead to some serious injuries over the years.

The first thing you should do when training on any type of heavy bag is to check it with your hands.

A good coach will naturally be checking their punch bags on a regular basis, but sadly, not every bag gets checked by every coach.

So, if you can, just check the bag with your hands or in between rounds and you have gloves on, check the bag by just prodding it a little with a punch.

You are looking for 'settling' in the bag.

This is where material can be displaced and creates either very hard places on the bag or very loose, weak areas.

And yes this depends on the age of the bag and what substance is inside it.

Weak areas can cause injuries to your wrist where you punch too hard, and your wrist bends.

And areas that are too hard can cause bone and soft tissue damage.

If you spot any bad areas, just work around them, or make the round focused on a technique such as a jab, or straight shots. 

The second thing to look for is the distance the bag is away from the wall.

This shouldn't be an issue if they have attached the bag using the right equipment. 

However, over the years, I have seen some pretty inventive ways that people hang bags.

Wall Bags: Why You Should Be Careful

One of the worst types of heavy bags is the 'wall bag'.

Not because they aren't a great training tool, because they are.

But because over time, these lose their padding and they tend not to have a lot of padding anyway.

An ageing wall bag can quickly make a mess of your new bag gloves and your hands, so again, give it some taps before hitting it with your heavy shots to make sure it is OK.

Taking Responsibility For Your Hands 

The main aim of heavy bag gloves is to protect your hands while on the heavy bag, but you need to make sure that the heavy bag is OK before you hit it.

So, as stated, use the tap method to check for damage, hard areas, weak spots and also have a look around you.

Especially at commercial gyms where the bag has often been put in the most stupid of places.

What you don't want to do is to step backwards during your work out and end up on the lap of someone on the squat machine.

So, if the bag is OK, the next thing to look at is your hands.

Should You Wear Hand Wraps Or Not?

There is a little bit of controversy around the wrapping of hands.

The idea around wrapping them is to stop the small bines of the hands from breaking on impact.

The downside is that if you wrap the hand, you don't condition them over the years and as such, they will likely to break easily.

Now, this is where science comes in.

Modern gloves are vastly more effective at absorbing shock due to the improvements in foam shock absorption.

However, this still doesn't replace the need for hand wraps.

Handwraps protect the small bones of the hand from breaking under the force, so get yourself a pair.


So there you have it.

Our ultimate guide to buying a pair of heavy bag gloves.

Do you use another bag glove?

If so, comment below and let me know.

Thanks for reading

Andrew Holland

“Hi there, I am sure you will love any products or recommendations on this page, but just to let you know, if you click on a link or advert we may get some revenue. ”

Andrew Holland


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