The Ultimate Guide to Boxing Equipment: What You Need and What You Don’t

Even though boxing isn’t as popular as other sports such as basketball or football, it’s one of the best ways to stay in shape and develop strength, stamina, and coordination. 

If you’ve ever watched a boxing match, you know how intense and high-energy it can be. But unless you’re a pro boxer or have extensive training in the sport, diving into the ring to spar with another person probably isn’t the best idea. Instead, try getting your adrenaline flowing by hitting the bag instead. 

Boxing is an excellent way to get fit and release stress while also building stamina, agility, and strength. It’s also a great opportunity to socialize with friends while having fun – which is why it’s such a popular activity in gyms across America.

Boxing Equipment 

Boxing is a sport with a lot of rules. There are strict regulations on what type of clothing you can wear, how many ounces of gloves you can wear, and even the type of tape you’re allowed to use on your hands so as not to risk an unfair advantage over your opponent. 

Clearly, there are many things that you need when starting out with boxing as a hobby. When you start training, it feels like everything is an uphill battle. You have to keep track of your workout, buy the right gear, find storage space for all your stuff… the list goes on and on. 

If you’re just getting started with boxing, there are a lot of different pieces of equipment that can be overwhelming. Some pieces are more essential than others. Here’s our ultimate guide to boxing equipment and everything you need to get started as a boxer.

What You Should Know Before You Start Boxing

For many, the idea of boxing conjures up images of two people in a ring duking it out to see who emerges victorious. In reality, boxing is a sport that is practiced by individuals, pairs, and teams. The rules vary depending on the type of boxing you’re participating in. When you’re just starting out, it’s important to learn the rules of the boxing you’re doing and get the right equipment to ensure safe and fair competition. 

All of your boxing equipment should be designed to protect you. This is especially important since boxing is an extremely physical sport. It can be strenuous on the joints and can lead to serious injury if you aren’t wearing the right boxing equipment.

Gloves: Types of Boxing Gloves

The most essential piece of boxing equipment is the boxing glove. There are some types of boxing gloves:

  • Sparring Gloves

Ideal for beginners and lighter-contact training, these gloves are designed to help you avoid injury and prevent you from getting seriously hurt. They’re less durable than other kinds of gloves and usually have less padding on the palms. 

  • Competition Gloves

 These gloves are designed to be as light as possible, meaning they don’t have as much padding as other gloves. Competition gloves are meant to offer protection but not too much so as to provide an unfair advantage. 

  • Training Gloves

These are your standard gloves, used in all types of boxing training. You can choose the amount of padding you want in your training gloves, which lets you customize them to fit your level of skill. 

  • Winning Gloves

Winning gloves are typically used by professional boxers and have a ton of padding. These are great if you like to hit really hard but are probably overkill for beginners. 

  • Bag Gloves

Bag gloves are designed to protect the knuckles on your punching bag, which is a great way to strengthen your hands and prevent injury. 

  • Hybrid Gloves

These gloves are a mix of bag gloves and training gloves and are a great choice for beginners who want more protection than sparring gloves but aren’t ready for full-on competition gloves.

Shoe and Footwear Options

Boxing shoes are designed to provide extra grip and protection. While they’re not a necessity, they’re a good investment if you’re serious about boxing. If you’re just getting started, you don’t necessarily need to buy special boxing shoes. 

Running shoes are perfect for boxing, and many experienced boxers prefer running shoes over boxing shoes because they’re less expensive and offer just as much grip and protection. 

If you want to invest in boxing shoes, you want to look for shoes that are slip-resistant and have good support. If you do want to buy special boxing shoes, look for a pair that’s breathable, lightweight, and provides good arch support.

Hand Wraps

Hand wraps are meant to provide extra support and protection to your wrists and hands while boxing. They’re not required but are a good idea if you’re boxing competitively or if you’re new to the sport and want extra protection. 

When you’re wrapping your hands, the key is to make sure they’re snug but not too tight. You don’t want them to be too constricting, or you run the risk of injury. Hand wraps should be tight enough to provide support but not too tight. Hand wraps come in several different colors and styles. 

Before you buy them, make sure you know how to properly wrap your hands. Some wraps come with instructions printed on them, but it never hurts to also watch a YouTube video for extra help.


A mouthguard is another piece of boxing equipment that is essential for protection. It’s designed to prevent teeth from getting knocked out, help with your jaw and joint protection, and prevent you from getting a concussion. 

There are two types of mouthguards for boxing: a boil-and-bite mouthguard and a custom-fitted mouthguard. If you’re just starting out, a boil-and-bite mouthguard is perfect. It’s less expensive and will still provide ample protection. 

If you’re boxing competitively and need a mouthguard that adheres to the Athletic Mouthguard Rule (AMRA), a custom-fitted mouthguard is what you need.

Boxing Headgear

Boxing headgear is another piece of essential boxing equipment. It’s designed to protect your head and face from injury while boxing. It’s important to buy high-quality headgear that fits your head properly and has good padding to provide the right amount of protection. 

There are a few different styles of boxing headgear. The main types are: 

  • Full Headgear

This is a full-coverage headgear that protects your face and head from all angles. It’s the most popular style of headgear. 

  • Cut Throat Headgear

Also known as a thumbless headgear, this type doesn’t cover the back of your head. It’s a good choice if you have long hair and don’t want it getting caught up in your headgear. 

  • Half Headgear

A hybrid of full headgear and cutthroat headgear, half headgear protects the front and back of your head but doesn’t cover your face.

Body Armor (Chest Guard and Shoulder Pads)

Body armor is designed to protect your ribs. Most boxers don’t wear body armor because it’s not necessary. However, if you have a bad injury or weak spot, body armor can help protect you from getting seriously hurt. 

There are two types of body armor: 

  • A rigid body protector is a full vest that protects your ribs, spine, and upper back. It’s more costly but offers more protection. 
  • A softer body protector is a harder plastic-like material that covers your ribs.

Hook and Elbow Taping

Hook and elbow taping are helpful but definitely not essential pieces of boxing equipment. It’s important to note that if you tape before boxing, you have to keep the tape on until your fight is over. 

  • Hook taping is used to protect your thumb, which can be susceptible to injury. 
  • Elbow taping is used to protect your elbow, which can also be injured while boxing. 

If you feel like you have weak spots that need extra protection, it’s a good idea to tape your thumb and/or elbow. However, it’s important to note that taping can actually weaken your grip. Therefore, only tape if you need extra protection.

Jump Rope

A jump rope is yet another essential piece of boxing equipment that is also great for cardiovascular health. It’s a useful tool for improving your footwork, agility, and endurance. 

There are many different kinds of jump ropes out there, but a classic wooden-handled jump rope is a great choice for boxing. It’s durable and easy to use. 

It’s important when using a jump rope that you don’t put too much weight on your knees and ankles. Instead, it should be a controlled motion that keeps your hips steady.

6 Tips to Help You Choose the Right Boxing Equipment

When you first get into boxing, it can feel a bit overwhelming. There are so many different types of boxing equipment and so many different brands that it’s hard to know where to even begin. 

When you’re trying to figure out what you need for training, it can be helpful to have some tips about how to choose the right boxing equipment and gear. This sport is very specialized in terms of equipment, but luckily there aren’t too many things you need. 

Here are some great tips on how to choose the right boxing equipment:

Know your budget before you shop

This is arguably the most important tip on this list. You don’t want to shop blind or on a whim and then realize that you can’t afford most of the boxing equipment you might want to try. Make sure you know how much you have to spend on boxing equipment and try to stick to that. 

Boxing gloves can cost a pretty penny, so try to keep them in mind when budgeting. If you’re just beginning, you probably don’t need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on equipment. 

A nice pair of training gloves and a decent bag will do you fine. You might want to invest in a speed bag later, but for now, you don’t really need anything else.

Trainers or boxing shoes?

Trainers are something that most people associate with boxing, but this may not always be the best idea. Trainers are great because they are generally very comfortable, but they aren’t designed with any support or stability in mind. 

They often have very little support and aren’t meant to be used for a high-impact sport like boxing. If you’re just starting out or are just a casual boxer, trainers are probably fine, but if you plan on taking boxing up as a serious sport, you may want to invest in boxing shoes. 

While boxing shoes aren’t necessarily meant for training, they do offer more stability and support than trainers do. They are often built with a sturdier sole and a more supportive upper. This is great for boxers because it helps you stay stable and keeps you from getting injuries.

The importance of good hand wraps

One of the most important boxing equipment items that many people forget about is hand wraps. If you don’t use hand wraps when you’re sparring or hitting a heavy bag, you’re going to injure your hands pretty quickly. Hand wraps are designed to put pressure on your knuckles to keep them in place and prevent you from injuring them. 

Some people like to use athletic tape or an athletic wrap to help keep their hands in place. While this is a great idea and something you can use as well, it isn’t nearly as effective as a good pair of hand wraps. While athletic tape and athletic wraps can be useful and help keep your hands in place, they don’t provide the same amount of protection as hand wraps do. 

Hand wraps are specifically designed to help with this. They put pressure on the knuckles and help protect your hands from injury.

Which gloves?

This is an important consideration when you’re choosing boxing equipment. There are different types of gloves, and when you’re shopping for them, it’s important to consider which ones are best for you. 

You may want to consider investing in a high-quality pair of boxing gloves as soon as you start boxing to help you avoid injury and get the most out of the sport.  You should choose the pair that best suits your needs and level of skill. 

Footwear is the next most important!

You might not always think about your footwear when you’re shopping for boxing equipment, but it’s important to choose a pair of shoes that are both comfortable and allow you to move around and kick as easily as possible. Most people recommend that you wear running shoes for this. They are lightweight and are meant to be comfortable, so they are great for this sport. 

Look for running shoes that have a thick and stiff sole, are well-cushioned, and have a good amount of stability. This will help you keep your footing and not trip or fall while you’re kicking or moving around on the mat.

Don’t forget the headgear and mouthguard

Headgear is meant to help protect your head from injury while you’re sparring. If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to wear headgear whenever you’re hitting a bag or sparring. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re hitting hard or anything like that; it’s always better to be safe than sorry. 

Once you get more advanced, you might not need to wear headgear as often, but until then, it’s a good idea to have it on. 

A mouthguard protects your teeth from injury. It’s important to make sure that you are wearing headgear and a mouthguard when you’re boxing.


Boxing is an incredible sport that can help you get in shape and make serious gains both physically and mentally. The best boxing equipment is the stuff that keeps you safe and helps you improve as a boxer. 

It’s important to buy gear that is quality and will last you for a long time. From choosing the right pair of boxing shoes to picking the right pair of gloves and everything in between, you’ll be ready to go in no time at all.