What are Boxing Gloves Filled With

What Are Boxing Gloves Filled With?

Boxing is a sport that does not require much equipment to play like other widely played sports. A boxing glove, protective gear on the head, and mouthguard are all you need. From this list of protective gear boxing gloves are the most important gear. Hence, when buying boxing gloves or other boxing equipment it’s important to consider the finest quality gear. Keep reading this article to know more about boxing gloves and the materials used inside boxing gloves.

Types of Padding in Boxing Gloves

Boxing gloves are filled with different materials. There are extra paddings for boxing gloves, such as horsehair padding, foam padding, and gel padding. A mixture of horsehair and foam padding is also a type of padding. Every kind of padding has its benefits and features.

1. Horsehair Padding

The name itself tells what is filled in the boxing gloves with horsehair paddings. Earlier, the boxing gloves were filled with the hairs of the horses. Recently, with innovations, these were replaced with new materials. Puncher gloves compose of horsehair padding. 

Each thin hair of the horse is closely packed. The closed packaging doesn’t leave my space, so these boxing gloves are more rigid. When the boxing gloves are used to push the opponent, they give a more significant effect. This created a comparably large force, causing more damage to the opponent. 

Horsehair padded boxing gloves are durable. If we are concerned about nature, horsehair padding gloves are the best.

Also, in horsehair padded boxing gloves, you could deliberately push the horsehairs. They were generally forced towards the knuckles to cause damage to the opponent.

Disadvantages of Horsehair boxing gloves

● Offers less protection. The protection of our hands is reduced. This causes easy injury to the boxer’s hand who is wearing them.

● They can also absorb the sweat easier. This makes them prone to molding. Sweat absorption might also result in loss of grip.  

2. Foam Padding

At present, boxing gloves come with foam padding. This padding is more comfortable for boxers than horsehair padded boxing gloves. Generally, foam padding boxing gloves are lightweight and moisture resistant. 

Two techniques manufacture these gloves. Either layered foam or injection molded foam. As compared to horse hair padding, foam padding is more versatile.

In injection molded foam, the gloves are molded according to the shape of the gloves. Injection molding helps in giving a perfect shape to the gloves.

Whereas in layered foam, there is a little variability in terms of protection. This is because it depends on the manufacturer and the foam they use to manufacture these boxing gloves. 

Also, different types of foams are used while manufacturing gloves. Let us understand the concept behind it by an example. Foam with high density is used at the location of the knuckles. This is because it will offer more impact when used by a boxer. This will force the opponent considerably, causing them more harm.

Disadvantages of Foam Padding boxing gloves

There is a disadvantage of using foam padding boxing gloves over horsehair gloves:

● After using it for some time, it becomes brittle.

● If the foam used is not protected with leather, it can cause wear quickly. 

The foam padding also comes in two types:

PVC Foam Padding

PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. PVC foam padding gloves are sound shock absorbers. Shock absorption helps in taking care of hands after an impact. This impact is due to the opposite force generated while punching the opponent.

Latex Foam Padding

These gloves, like PVC foam padding, are also sound shock absorbers compared to horsehair padding gloves. Latex padding offers extra cushioning to the boxing gloves. They are making it easier and more comfortable for boxers to wear them for longer. 

3. Mix Of Both

This type of gloves padding is a combination of both horsehair padding as well as foam padding. The latex foam is inserted between the different materials. 

The combination of both paddings is ideal for manufacturing boxing gloves. This helps in the complete protection of the boxer’s hand. They are also durable and help in creating a more significant impact. 

4. Gel Padding

Gel padding is not as popular as horsehair or foam padding.

Gel padding helps in displaying the impact all over the hand. There is a very appreciable benefit of gel padding to boxers. While training for a more extended period, sores are developed in the hands of the boxers. Gel padding comforts the sores from the impact. This helps the boxers continue their training and practice sessions without further interruption.

Disadvantage of Gel Padding boxing gloves

Gel padded boxing gloves have some disadvantages:

● Results in easy injury to the wrists.

● Gel padding is heavier as compared to other paddings.

Difference between horsehair and foam-padded boxing gloves 

Till now, we have learned about the different paddings. Horsehair padded and foam padded gloves are both widely used by boxers.

  • Horsehair padded gloves are less resistant to sweat. At the same time, foam padded gloves have good resistance against sweat. 

Sweating is a common cause, as boxing gloves cover the whole wrist. There is little to no place for air to go inside the gloves. Sweating results in looseness of the grip. So, to excel in the bout, it is essential to have suitable boxing gloves. Appropriate sweat-resisting boxing gloves would be a good option.

  • Foam padded boxing gloves are safer for hands than horsehair padded gloves.

It is evident that you will experience an opposite force after punching your opponent. This opposing force creates an impact on the hand of the boxers. This impact can cause minor shocks to severe bone injuries in knuckles. Safety is the most crucial concern. Hence, safe padded boxing gloves are better to use.

  • The material in horsehair padded boxing gloves is closely packed. While in foam padded gloves, there is not that close packaging compared to horsehair padded gloves.

The more closely packaged the boxing gloves are, the more the effect will be created by the punch on the opponent. Horsehair padded gloves give a cutting-edge performance in the bout. 

  • Horsehair padded gloves are environment friendly. At the same time, foam padded boxing gloves are not.

Sometimes boxing gloves are eliminated. If these boxing gloves are manufactured with foam padding, it harms our environment. 

  • Foam padded gloves are better shock absorbers as compared to horsehair padded gloves.

Are Horsehair Gloves Legal?

There is no rule in boxing-related to the legality of the material used in boxing gloves. So, the answer is yes. Horsehair padded gloves are legal. But, many top professionals avoid using horsehair padded gloves. The reason behind it is low safety for hands. This is one of the most important reasons. 

However, Dean Lonergan, a former professional rugby player from New Zealand, called for action. He demanded that the NASC (Nevada State Athletic Commission) ban horsehair padded boxing gloves.

Later in 2006, a medical advisory board advised NASC to scrutinize the case. The medical committee recommended the commission test the effects of horsehair padded boxing gloves on human beings. But, even after several years, it remains unclear what the outcomes of the testing carried out by the NASC.


In any sport, safety is the topmost concern. In boxing, there is a one-to-one face-off between the players. So here, there is no space for the lack of safety of the boxers. 

The boxing gloves are padded with different materials. It is crucial that the padding should not be harmful to the players. Moreover, the padding should give comfort to the players. 

Here we tried to cover every aspect of different paddings for boxing gloves. In a nutshell, we can say that foam padded gloves are safe to use and suitable for players to use.

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