Leather boxing gloves are a crucial part of any boxer's gear, and breaking them in properly is essential for comfort and performance in the ring. But how should you do it? While there is a ton of advice on the internet from not breaking them in at all to punching brick walls (please don’t do that lol) we compiled the best advice into one blog post to provide you with some tips on how to do it without damaging your new gloves.
Do I have to break them in?
While you can totally go straight into training or sparring without breaking in new gloves, it's not entirely recommended as it could cause more issues than it's worth. First of all breaking in your gloves will help to form them to the shape of your hands, resulting in a better, more improved, and comfortable fit. Brand new leather gloves can be stiff and might cause blisters if you go hard on the bag straight away.
Secondly, properly broken-in gloves will provide better protection for your hands and wrists. This is because they will conform to your hands and provide a snug, secure fit that reduces the risk of injury. And of course lastly increased comfort and protection will enhance your performance in the ring. Broken-in gloves will allow you to perform at your best by allowing you to move your hands freely and generate more power in your punches. This is because they will fit better, reduce the risk of injury, and provide a better feel for the gloves.
Tips for breaking in leather boxing gloves
- Soften the leather: Before breaking in your gloves, you can soften the leather by rubbing them with a leather conditioner, or oil.. This will help to make the leather more pliable and easier to break in. A little goes a long way you don’t want to be using more than a little drop on a towel on your gloves as that could make them way too slippery. Also note only do this if your gloves are made from real leather, using leather softener on any other type of material will not do any good.
- Put your gloves on: simply just move your hands around in the glove to have them start molding to the shape of your hand. You can wear them shadow boxing or even just around our house to give them the time to form your hands before you start actually boxing.
- Use hand wraps: while it might seem obvious, make sure you wear hand wraps when breaking in your gloves. It's important to use hand wraps to protect your hands and wrists, but also to prevent blisters from the new gloves. This will also help to keep the gloves snug and prevent them from slipping during your training sessions.
- Hit the heavy bag/mitts: Start doing some light bag/focus mitts work with your gloves on. This will help to loosen up the leather and form it around your hands. Make sure to hit the bag evenly on all sides of the gloves to ensure they break in evenly. Start with light hits and gradually increase the intensity as you go along.
- Repeat the process: Repeat the above steps several times until the gloves feel comfortable and fit snugly. This may take a few days or even weeks, depending on the thickness and quality of the leather.
What not to do
- Punching hard surfaces, like a wall: it's said many pro boxers do this as well and movies certainly love to show boxers doing this before a fight to harden up the padding in their gloves to have a harder punch. But unless you're rocky or creed, I would skip this as it is a very easy path to injury and ruining your gloves.
- Putting your gloves in a tumble dryer: excessive head to your gloves definitely isn't good, and like the option below this might mess up the wrist support of the glove,
- Sit on your gloves- While this might work for baseball players, doing this to your boxing gloves can put the integrity of the wrist support at risk
In conclusion, breaking in leather boxing gloves is an important process that will improve the fit, protection, and performance of your gloves. By following the tips outlined in this blog, you can break in your gloves effectively without damaging them. Keep in mind that the break-in process may take some time, so be patient and keep using the gloves regularly until they feel comfortable and fit properly. Good luck and happy training!