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What material are boxing gloves made of?

What material are boxing gloves made of?

Boxing gloves are an essential piece of equipment for any boxer, offering protection for both the athlete wearing them and their opponent. The padding of boxing gloves plays a crucial role in this protection, absorbing and distributing the impact of blows. The choice of padding material affects not only the safety but also the effectiveness of the glove in training and competition.

Foam Filling

The most common material used in the padding of modern boxing gloves is foam. There are several types, including latex foam, injected foam and multi-layer foam. The latex foam provides a soft feel and is quite flexible, adapting well to the shape of the hand. Injected foam, on the other hand, offers even material distribution, resulting in consistent protection throughout the entire glove. Multi-layer foam-filled gloves combine different foam densities to maximize shock absorption and comfort.

Stuffed with horse or camel hair

Traditionally, boxing gloves were filled with horse or camel hair, a practice still found in some models of professional boxing gloves or replicas of vintage gloves. This type of padding offers a more "firm" feel when striking, allowing boxers to feel more of the impact of their punches. However, horsehair does not distribute impact as evenly as foam, which can increase the risk of injury to both the user and their opponent.

Gel Filling

A relatively recent innovation in boxing glove design is the use of gel as a filling material. Gel-padded boxing gloves offer superior shock absorption and exceptional hand protection. The gel adapts to the shape of the hand, providing a personalized fit and improving comfort during prolonged use. This type of padding is particularly popular with boxers who have previous concerns of hand or wrist injuries.

Selection Considerations

When choosing boxing gloves, it is important to consider the type of padding along with other factors such as glove weight, fit, and purpose of use (training, sparring, or competition). Beginners may prefer gloves with injected or multi-layer foam for their protection and overall comfort, while more experienced boxers may opt for gloves with gel padding or even traditional horsehair models for a more "real" training experience.


The filling material of boxing gloves plays an essential role in the protection, comfort and effectiveness of boxing training. Whether you prefer the shock absorption of foam, the traditional feel of horsehair, or the advanced protection of gel, choosing the right glove is crucial to your safety and performance in the ring.


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