Most boxers or aspiring boxers looking at this article are going to be looking for a pair of gloves that might never see the inside of a ring. If you’re someone looking to get fit, you might have noticed a heavy bag at your local gym and thought that boxing might be a good way to get some more cardio in. And you’d be right - but with boxing comes needing to buy boxing equipment.
There’s a lot of junk on the market unfortunately, from manufacturers that are selling cheap products. My intention is to show you which products are worth spending your money on and which ones you should avoid (unless you’re an absolute beginner who doesn’t care that they might have to replace their gloves in as little as three months because theirs have fallen apart.)
In this article we’re going to go through the best boxing gloves for heavy bag training. These aren’t designed to be used in the ring - we’ll have a separate article for that. These are squarely aimed at the beginner boxer - and as such these gloves are all well below the $80 mark.
The Best Boxing Gloves for Heavy Bag Work
(updated for 2022)
RDX Kara Leather
Hayabusa Leather S4
TITLE Boxing PRO Style
Leather Training Gloves
Adidas FLX 3.0 Speed
50 Boxing Gloves
TITLE Boxing PRO Style
Heavy Bag Gloves
Which type of gloves are best for heavy bag work?
Firstly let’s get into why you need a special set of gloves for heavy bag work.
Sparring gloves tend to have more padding (to protect your opponent.) They tend to be a little heavier (although as a beginner I would recommend getting heavier gloves as opposed to lighter ones) and are designed to allow you to fight someone safely without causing them unnecessary injury.
Traditional bag gloves tend to be light. They have less padding, and are designed only to protect your hands (and not your opponent - as your opponent is a heavy bag.) As a result, it’s not recommended to train in bag gloves.
There are traditional style bag gloves - which look a bit like this...
...but we’re not reviewing those today as I don't feel these are suitable for beginner boxers. In my view a traditional-looking set of gloves can be just as effective for bag work as they can be for sparring - you just need to ensure you buy the right ones.
Remember a few things when looking at the products below. A number of these products are “training” gloves that come in several different sizes. In my opinion, if you’re a beginner and you’re looking for the best gloves for heavy bag work, you need to be picking the heaviest gloves you can (ideally the 14oz or 16oz options.) This will give you the best possible hand protection. You don’t really want to be hitting the heavy bag (especially if you’re a beginner) with 8oz gloves.
Before you start punching, though - make sure you've wrapped your hands with inner gloves or hand wraps.
Heavier gloves can also allow you to spar with an opponent, as a heavier glove will mean more protection and also means you’re less likely to hurt someone you’re fighting against. If you’re wearing 10oz or 12oz gloves (like pro boxers do on fight night) you’re more likely to cause someone an injury in the gym. That’s why even though we’ve rounded up a set of gloves here for heavy bag work, you should be able to use these in some situations as sparring gloves as well, providing you pick the heavier options.
RDX Kara Leather Boxing Gloves
Our Rating: 4.5/5
We’ve long been a fan of RDX products on this site. We feel RDX provides decent-quality products to beginners and intermediate boxers at an excellent price - certainly a cut above what you get from other manufacturers that operate in this price point, and the Kara Leather Boxing Gloves are no exception. In our view after trying these gloves, the specification you get for your money is very, very good indeed. The design is sleek and understated - these gloves come only in black, with a choice of red, gold, silver or black trim. They also come in 8oz, 10oz, 12oz, 14oz and 16oz sizes.
One of the things that stands out about these gloves is that they certainly don’t feel like a cheap product, and give good protection to the knuckles and the wrist when working the heavy bag. These are leather gloves, which use RDX’s Maya Hide ConvEX Skin Leather, which is anatomically contoured and designed for a more comfortable hand position. This is what the marketing material says, and I’m not sure exactly what this means in all honesty, but they appear to be pretty comfortable gloves to train in.
These gloves are also very well padded, thanks to what RDX calls their “Quadro Dome 3-Mould” foam, which supposedly acts almost as a shock suppressant. As a result, they should be a little more impact resistant than other brands I’ve tried at this price point, and should allow you to go a little harder than you otherwise might with a pair of gloves like these. There might be an element of the placebo effect in this, but it’s worth trying them compared to your existing gloves and seeing what you think.
I will say that RDX products tend to be of a decent quality, well made and have decent longevity, so while you’re probably not going to be using these gloves for 20 years, they should last you a good while. RDX’s customer service has always been pretty decent to deal with from my experience, so even if you do have problems, it’s likely to be sorted pretty quickly.
Hayabusa Leather S4 Boxing Gloves
Our Rating: 2.5/5
Hayabusa is actually a name I’d not heard of before researching and writing this review. After doing some research (and finding some excellent information at Expert Boxing) it seems they’re a brand very popular with MMA fighters, and are trying to break into the boxing glove scene. I have to say I was quite interested in the design of these particular gloves, the Hayabusa S4s - it’s not really to my taste, but not something I’ve seen before. They include a thumb that’s not made of leather, but of microfibre, and it’s designed to allow you to wipe sweat away from your face while training. A nice touch, but what’s wrong with your t-shirt? They come in 10oz, 12oz, 14 oz and 16oz sizing, and are available in a range of colours, including black, white, pink, gold and blue.
One of the things you’ll likely find about Hayabusa gloves is that they’re exceptionally stiff. I’d read this in some of the reviews and found a lot of complaints in my research. These gloves tend to be hard and unforgiving. I would not spar with these - try them out for yourself, but based on what a lot of people have said online you could end up hurting someone given how stiff these gloves are. If you’re a heavier hitter, or anything over middleweight/super-middleweight, I’d really recommend you avoid these gloves - in fact one of the review comments on Amazon was “getting hit with these felt like getting hit with a 2x4.”
That being said, for smaller boxers these gloves may suit your needs if you’re planning to do heavy bag work - which is the purpose of this review. However, based on my research these particular gloves and other Hayabusa gloves are likely to be very, very rigid. They seem to be padded reasonably well but in my opinion given the hardness of the leather it’s not enough, and if you’re boxing fairly regularly, I really would look at another option on this list for a more comfortable choice.
These are also not real leather gloves (although you can’t really expect that at this price point) being made out of a synthetic, PU leather that feels a bit plasticky. It’s certainly no worse than any other brand as most brands make a synthetic glove (but there are much better options, such as the RDX option we’ve already spoken about.) Despite all this, the Hayabusa S4s are a pretty capable glove - for working the heavy bag or the double end bag for a few hours each week they certainly won’t do you any harm, but anything more and you’ll want to get yourself a better pair of gloves. There are definitely options in this price range I’d pick over the Hayabusa S4s.
TITLE Boxing PRO Style Leather Training Gloves
Our Rating: 4/5
Title Boxing is an old-school brand that’s been around forever, and has garnered a lot of respect among old-school boxers as the glove of choice for those on a budget. The Pro Style Leather Gloves seem to be a bit of a recreation of their gloves of old, albeit with modern twists such as a velcro strap. These gloves come in 10oz, 12oz, 14oz and 16oz sizes and come in a variety of colours - black, blue, red and pink.
One thing I particularly like about these gloves is that they appear to be of a much higher quality than a lot of other options in this price range. In fact, I believe these are on par with the previous RDX model we spoke about for the best gloves under $50. These gloves are lightweight and pretty solid - with good protection around the wrist and knuckle area (which is vital even in a pair of gloves at this price point.) What’s great about these gloves is that they’re made of real, full-grain leather, which (while not being the highest quality leather you’ll ever find in a boxing glove) is a great addition and a definite USP for these gloves, as most offerings in this price range are made of the synthetic plastic stuff. What this should mean is that you get more for your money, and ultimately a pair of gloves that are going to wear better, feel better and last longer.
In terms of how they feel in the gym - you’ll have to try them for yourself to see if you get on with them - they’re certainly not the same kind of moulds that are used for others at this price point. They do seem a bit light on the padding, and how this would fare long-term if you planned to use these for long heavy bag sessions a few times a week remains to be seen, but for the casual boxer wanting a good pair of gloves to train with, you won’t go far wrong with these.
Adidas FLX 3.0 Speed 50 Boxing Gloves
Our Rating: 3/5
Adidas is a brand that, while not new to the boxing scene, don’t have the brand recognition or perhaps the heritage of more familiar boxing brands such as Everlast or Lonsdale. However, they’ve been in boxing a long time, primarily making boxing shoes - in fact, in Ali vs Frazier I in 1971, both boxers wore Adidas boots. Their gloves don’t perhaps have the same legacy, although some Adidas gloves do have a following among some amateur boxers in the UK. These particular gloves are starter gloves, and come in a number of colours - fluorescent yellow, classic red and black with a number of different trim colours. They also come in 6oz, 10oz, 12oz, 14oz and 16oz sizes.
Again, we’re looking at another PU leather set of gloves, which makes them hard to recommend against the Title Boxing gloves we’ve already reviewed which are full grain leather. The polyurethane in these gloves isn’t particularly cheap, but it isn’t particularly pricey either - it’s pretty much what you’d expect in this price range.
Polyurethane leather gloves are usually pretty stiff and rigid to punch with. You aren’t likely to find them particularly comfortable for heavy bag work. However, for a beginner, they’d probably be fine for a few months while you decided whether you wanted to continue with the sport. At which point, you’d want to look at getting a better set of gloves.
While the price point on these gloves is very low, which serves as a good entry point into the sport, I’d urge you to spend the few extra dollars and pick up the Title Boxing or the RDX examples. The reason for this is that these gloves are unremarkable - they’re not particularly bad or particularly good, and to be honest you don’t expect much else from a pair of gloves as cheap as these, but I do think you’ll get better value for money by spending a bit more.
I will say I am a huge fan of the design and the way these Adidas gloves look - especially the white ones with gold trim. It’s not enough to make me overlook the cheapness of construction and the unremarkable experience you’ll get when punching a bag with them.
TITLE Boxing PRO Style Heavy Bag Gloves
Our Rating: 3.5/5
We’ve had a good entry from Title Boxing so far on this list, and I’m pleased to say that the PRO Style Heavy Bag gloves are a continuation of (some of) those good things I said about the previous model. While these gloves are slightly more expensive, they feel a little bit more substantial - a bit weightier. This may be because the Pro Style Leather Training Gloves are noticeably lighter than most other models. The PRO Style Heavy Bag gloves only come in 14oz and 16oz weights (which are the only two weights you really should be using on a heavy bag as a beginner) and come in a nice black/red design.
Let’s go over the things I didn’t like first. I can’t find anything in the marketing materials to suggest what material these are made of, but if I had to guess, these are made out of synthetic leather (polyurethane.) This boggles my mind a little bit because Title was obviously able to afford to make the PRO Style Leather Gloves out of real, full-grain leather - and yet they decided to do these ones on the cheap using PU and charging $20 more? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.
Having said that, they’re not a bad set of gloves - a damn sight better than a lot of others at this price point. They’re well padded and the interior was made of satin which makes them very comfortable to wear. They seem to be a nice fit (if a little snug) and you should be able to train with them for quite a while without developing any kind of aches or pains characteristic of cheap, synthetic gloves.
However, given the choice between these and the other Title Boxing gloves? I’d pick the full-grain leather gloves every time, because I know they’ll last longer.