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How Boxing Gloves Are Made (And What They ACTUALLY Do)

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Written By: Richard Magallanes
Last Updated: March 5, 2021

How you ever wondered how boxing gloves are made?

Not to worry.

In this article, you'll get to know what is inside the boxing glove and how the materials in it contribute to a boxer’s safety.

"...if regular boxing is checkers, then bare-knuckle boxing is chess," says Canadian bare-knuckle boxer Bobby Gunn.

He made this statement with the intention that while boxing with naked fists, athletes are more cautious and methodical.

But fighting without gloves can damage a boxer’s hand.

No one wants to give up a hand when they can fight in gloves that offer protection and extra power, and that's the reason why boxing sanctioning bodies introduced rules involving padded gloves in the 19th century.

With that, let's go back in time.

History Of Boxing Gloves

According to Title boxing, the first record of boxing gloves was during the early Olympic games in ancient Greece around 688 B.C.

The fight starts with the participants wearing a pair of leather gloves soaked in oil. Good thing, right? —  some soft material to reduce the effect of the strike on the hand. 

But later, the gloves evolved, and not for the better by popular opinion.

Spikes were attached to the gloves to deliver devastating effects to the fighters.

No rules. 

From The Olympics To Jack Broughton

However, the introduction of gloves in modern boxing is with good intent.

The purpose was to prevent damage to the hands of the boxers.

But when the Englishman Jack Broughton introduced boxing gloves, they were only used in sparring or striking the mitts until the sanctioning bodies introduced them fully in the 1800s.

Boxing gloves are essential items in a boxer's tool kit, among many other things like shoes, mouthpieces, and headgear. 

Although everyone is intrigued by the strikes, some want to know how manufacturers produce the boxing gloves.

In this article, you'll get to know what is inside the boxing gloves, which means you'll understand how boxing gloves are made. 

It might interest you to know what makes the boxing glove thick and how they help to prevent damaged hands in the ring. 

If we had more damaged hands before the fights get steamy and nice, boxing wouldn't be the spectacle it is today.

Fighting Styles And Glove Makeups

One of the essential things to note about boxing gloves is the effect they have.

The preferred impact depends on a boxer's style.

Here's a little story to help you understand fighting styles and a glove’s make-up.

It appears that Deontay Wilder broke his hand in the build-up to his fight with Tyson Fury around late 2019.

Not sure, but it could easily have been due to his boxing glove of choice —  latex and horsehair gloves tend to recoil, which is an advantage for aggressive punchers.

However, it leaves a possibility for injuries while a layered foam or IMF glove provides extra safety to the hands. 

Some gloves are considered ‘hybrid,’ providing a balance between good recoil and safety of the hands.

Types Of Gloves 

Another thing that might affect the makeup of a glove is the type of sport or the glove's purpose.

Boxing isn't the only sport that involves striking with the hand. Some martial arts need gloves, too, especially while sparring.

Although we are talking boxing gloves, it's still fair to digress a bit to help you know that Muay Thai gloves also exist, and the content within could vary slightly.

The same goes for bag gloves that usually offer extra protection around the knuckles, making them suitable only for punching bags.

How boxing gloves are made, what are they made of?

What Are Gloves Made Of 

Now that you know the factors that are likely to affect the glove let's quickly delve into the manufacturing process.

And let's start from the outside and knowing what they are made of.

The outer part of the glove you can see right away is made of either leather or vinyl.

If you want a  glove that would last long, you had better opt for that made with leather.

Leather gloves are the better choice because the gloves made of vinyl are subpar and likely to wear out quickly. 

Beneath the exterior's smooth surface is the padding that helps to keep the knuckles safe from the harm of forceful impact — this is what makes a boxing glove thick!

This layer is either made of synthetic materials like layered foam, IMF, and latex or horsehair.

While horsehair is natural, it is almost outdated when it comes to boxing glove padding, and foam and latex are the most common options. 

So the layered foam, latex, or horsehair makes up the glove's interior, and the leather or vinyl material goes outside.  

Horsehair Padding Vs. Foam Padded Boxing Glove

Generally, boxing gloves with foam padding offer boxers maximum protection, while latex padding and horsehair padding offer the bounce that an aggressive puncher needs.

An excellent example of an aggressive puncher is Manny Pacquiao, and his choice of Reyes gloves is not surprising.

How Are Boxing Gloves Made?

Cutting the pieces is vital to making a glove, and different manufacturers have their unique patterns.

Most of the time, custom made gloves are generally higher quality, meaning they fit nicer, and absorb better and feel amazing.

Below is the manufacturing process of 1v1 Fight Gear's boxing gloves:

The General Process

They have to cut the thin leather to pieces — thumb, palm, and knuckle, basically.

Next is the assembly.

After assembling the cut pieces, the leather shell is stitched together on the inner side to shape the glove.

Using an industrial sewing machine is preferable for forming the smaller details. However, a fully handstitched glove is usually of the best quality. 

After the glove is assembled and the pieces are stitched, stuffing is next. The glove’s pattern is drawn onto the stuffing material and layered to the required thickness.  

Finally, to secure the hands, some gloves come with velcro around the cuff, and others have nylon rope that you can tie.

The gloves are laced like a shoe for a firmer experience. Hence, the glove doesn't come off at the cuff. 

If it's going to be velcro, the velcro is stitched onto the already assembled part.

Meanwhile, for the lace, the lace's material would be laid on the palm's opening, and the holes would be punched in. 

The velcro type gloves would be most suited to training since they are comfortable wearing and taking off. 

However, when a boxer has to step into the ring, he might need assurance that his gloves won't slide off, which is why the lace. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Boxing Gloves Filled With?

Depending on the maker's choice, the assembly of gloves could involve several different padding materials.

It's either layers of horsehair or synthetic latex padding.

Both give a recoil effect. On the other hand,  layered foam or injected mold foam for maximum protection.

Another material that manufacturers rarely use is gel.

Gloves padded with gel help you distribute impacts more evenly across the gloves but have a downside concerning the wrist's stability.

Today, synthetic padding has taken over the use of horsehair. 

How Do You Make Boxing Gloves?

There is no one way to making a glove.

Just make sure to consider good shell and padding materials.

Basically, you make boxing gloves by cutting materials, assembling and stitching them, and then stuffing the thin leather shell with preferred padding.

Why Are Boxing Gloves Red?

Some people believe that gloves are red to hide the game's seeming brutality with the spilling of blood.

Others believe that the solid color in red helps the judges see the punches clearly and help a boxer score points.

Why Are Boxing Gloves Made Of Leather?

Anyone would choose a quality material over a weak one.

Whether it's goatskin or cowhide, leather happens to be the best stuff for a durable boxing glove —this means the gloves will last longer and help perform better.


Now you know a brief history of why boxing gloves were introduced, and how they were made.

The major part of the boxing glove is the foam, latex, or horsehair that provides a cushioning effect.

The manufacturing process involves pattern cutting, assembly, and stuffing of layers of the padding material. 

Some glove designers are so considerate that they include breathable meshes and attached thumbs in the design.

The meshes are around the palm close to the cuff. 

Also, with the improved thumbs design, the gloves' thumb piece is attached to the more oversized compartment holding the remaining four fingers.

This helps to keep the whole fist together as a unit and prevent injuries.

So if you're a boxer, or if you're into any martial arts that involve striking, buying gloves is a must, to prevent injuries to yourself, and to others.

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