So you’ve done your research, decided what you wanted to train and you decided upon Boxing, what do you need? what do you buy? what is essential and what is just a bit extra, a bit nice to have but non-essential? well I have a treat for you, I have collected together a nice numbered list of what you need to get training.
Your own pair of Boxing gloves in my opinion, is the most important piece of equipment you need to start Boxing at Boxing gym. Most Boxing gyms will have a plethora of gloves to borrow, but these are always minging, they’re fine for your try-out session but after that its time to get your own. The gyms gloves always smell AWFUL and even though most gyms will give them a clean, it still doesn’t feel hygienic when you put them on, it feels like one of those bush tucker trials from I’m A Celebrity, where you’re half expecting a crab or a scorpion to pinch your hand for intruding in its sweaty, malodorous home. Now you don’t need an expensive pair to get started, a 20 quid pair from sports direct will be enough, but as you progress it would behove you to drop a little bit more money on a more expensive pair, as they will last longer, protect your wrist more and will feel better, I personally like the Hayabusa T-3’s, Fairtex gloves and Twins gloves, but those gloves really are on the higher end of the expense scale, with the T-3’s being about 120 pounds on Amazon, but with something like boxing gloves the old adage ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ comes to mind, you will end up spending more money on pairs of cheap boxing gloves than you would buying one more expensive pair, I used to go through 3 pairs a year because I would insist on just buying cheaper unbranded pairs off of amazon. Your own pair of gloves is an absolute must have, just make sure when purchasing them that you pay attention to the weight of the gloves, as it does matter when it comes to sparring how heavy your gloves are.
Hand wraps are next in line for essential pieces of equipment, these are essential from a safety perspective as they stop your hands from breaking. Yep, kinda a big deal if you want to you know, bash people with your hands. cant go around boshing people if you have dismantled, broken hands. Wraps are always cheap, you don’t need to break the bank with them just never go less than 5 pounds for a set, just because all the super cheap pairs I’ve used have been awful quality and have been too short and didn’t offer me as much support as the longer pairs did. the current pair I use were six quid off of amazon and have lasted me well over a year. Adidas, Venum, Everlast and Lonsdale all make good wraps and all of them are affordable, the most expensive one from that list being Venum coming in at 9 pounds per pair. You can also get slip on hand wraps that are almost like ‘under gloves’ but honestly I wont recommend them because every pair I’ve used has been absolutely WANK, they’re also way more expensive and they don’t do the job as well so in my opinion, you should give them a miss.
A Mouthguard is the next piece of essential equipment you need, this is another important piece of safety equipment as it works to keep all your pearly whites in, there’s also some evidence that suggests that a mouthguard can help disperse energy from punches to stop you from being concussed or knocked out. It doesn’t need to be bought right away as you shouldn’t be doing full contact straight away, that means you have some time before you have to buy one but you will HAVE to buy one eventually as most gyms wont let you spar or do full contact drills without one. I would say to buy a quality mouth guard, I use the Venum Challenger, the one pictured above and it cost me around 30 pounds, you shouldn’t really go much lower than that. most brands will retail between 30 and 50 pounds, some reputable brands are, Shock Doctors, Venum and Safejawz but if you are competing at an amateur level then you should look into getting a personal one made by a dentist as that will give you another level of much needed protection, it will however cost a whole lot more though.
Now, this is where we hit some controversy, some trainers will INSIST upon you wearing a head guard to help protect you, however relatively new information has come to light about head guards actually not protecting you from concussive damage and only protecting you from cuts and bruises, some even believe that the head guard just makes your head an easier target and that you will take more shots, thus more concussive damage, than if you just hadn’t worn one at all. Honestly its down to if the gym you’re training at has a policy on wearing one, most gyms do, so its generally sensible to have one if you want to spar. Price wise I personally don’t think you should spend less than 100 pounds on one, but cheaper brands do exist.
Non Essential Gear
Everything that I list now i would now consider non essential gear, things that are nice to have for a more advanced boxer but not entirely necessary.
5. Boxing Shoes
Boxing shoes are nice, but are relatively expensive and are what I would consider non essential, they do have many pros, such as ankle support and extra support, but for the beginner boxer, they aren’t completely necessary, a pair of flat trainers will work in a pinch. I personally use a pair of Adidas Box Hogs which retail for about 80 pounds now, but there are so many different brands out there and so many different styles of shoe, which tends to correlate with what style of fighter you are that the decision to buy a pair should be made when you are well and truly into Boxing so that you can really justify spending between 60 to 200 pounds on them. They do help and are nice, but are not necessary.
6. Boxing Glove Hygiene Products
Boxing hygiene products are quite new, and in my eyes, non essential. I don’t think anyone would say they are essential. Like the boxing shoes, they’re a nice addition to a set of boxing equipment but are not really necessary, they basically act like air fresheners for your gloves that also dry them out, they aren’t too expensive and are a nice afterthought but definitely are not a priority.
7. Focus Pads
Focus pads will often come as part of a bundle deal with your boxing gloves, but honestly, they aren’t a necessity for your kit if you aren’t training with someone outside of the gym you go to, if you are then yes they are good to have, but if you a cheap skinflint like me you can just hold your hands up while you’re wearing your boxing gloves and that’ll be almost as good. pads will generally retail for between 20 to 100 pounds. a purchase best left until later.
this list has covered the bare essentials, as well as some purchases for later on in your Boxing journey, if you are going to start Boxing than the first 3 on this list are must have purchases for sure, everything else can wait a while, this list feels quite conclusive but if something comes up in the future that has slipped my mind ill be sure to add to it. Remember to train hard and to stay civilised and I will see you next time.