Essential Boxing Equipment

Sure, boxing gyms provide equipment like heavy bags, speed bags, and rings, but boxers are still responsible for bringing some of their own gear, as well. Some gyms allow you to borrow equipment — like gloves, for instance — for your first week or two of training. The majority of gyms, though, require you to supply certain things after your first few sessions. This guide offers a list of ten items that should fill your gym bag as you continue to hone your skills.


Handwraps are the first line of defense against unnecessary injuries to the hands and wrists. They protect against the impact of punches by consolidating the bones and joints. Different styles of handwraps are on the market, including cotton wraps, Mexican wraps, and gel wraps.

Serious boxers almost always prefer cotton or Mexican wraps due to their support and durability, while some recreational boxers prefer gel wraps due to the convenience. Whether you simply want to hit the heavy bag as a cardio exercise or have dreams of an Olympic gold medal, several pairs of boxing handwraps should be in your bag at all times.


Not even novice boxers forget to bring boxing gloves to the gym. Along with handwraps, gloves are a necessity for punching exercises/drills throughout your workout. Most boxers train with 16-ounce gloves; although, you might choose to begin with lighter gloves and work your way up. Some professional boxers wear 18 or 20 oz. gloves while sparring in order to improve hand speed and strengthen arm muscles.

Gloves range in price from approximately $35 to $200. A good, durable pair of training gloves will cost you somewhere around $70. Although expensive, boxing gloves are long-lasting and are used on a daily basis in the gym.

Jump rope

Warming up in the sport of boxing usually consists of shadowboxing and jumping rope. The jump rope acts as a great workout tool, enabling you to break a sweat and get the blood flowing. Footwork can also be improved by jumping while using various rhythms. Whether you’re a seasoned boxer or are brand new to the sport, a jump rope is a necessity within your collection of gym equipment.


This is a piece of equipment that has evolved drastically over the past decade. Mouthguards used to simply protect the teeth from getting knocked out. Now they have the capability to limit impact to the entire head and potentially prevent you from getting a concussion. A well-fitted mouthpiece is a must for you if you plan on engaging even in light sparring.

Boxing Shoes/Sneakers

If you are a recreational boxer, then you need not worry too much about boxing shoes. Boxing shoes range from around $30 to $200, with durable shoes usually costing at least $50. If you can afford it, go ahead and buy a pair of lightweight, soft-soled boxing shoes. They can be either high-top or low-top, with high-top providing more ankle support. These shoes enable quick and dynamic movement due to their lightness and the flexible material with which they are made.

Do not stress if a pair of boxing shoes does not fit into your budget. Other soft-soled running or cross-training sneakers provide sufficient traction for beginner-level boxers. Just be sure that the sneakers are comfortable and provide enough support for your routine.


Your head is your most valuable asset — in life and in boxing. For that reason, it warrants protection. Professionals are able to box without headgear because of their experience. However, even professionals wear headgear while training. Amateurs wear headgear while competing as well. Headgear comes in various styles. Some versions offer more security than others. If you are even considering light sparring, you should invest in this crucial piece of equipment, usually ranging from around $40 to $150.


In boxing, groin protection is often referred to as a “No-Foul Protector” since it comes up to the waist and protects against low blows. Styles of groin-protectors vary greatly, with some protecting the sides or the lower back, as well. Female protectors also exist for the groin area and the chest. A groin protector (also known as a “cup”) is an essential investment if you are looking to engage in sparring.

Focus Mitts

Most trainers have their own punch mitts. However, if you plan on training without a trainer, then mitts should be high on your list. You and a training partner can take turns holding the mitts for one another. Punch combinations and defense are key components of boxing, and the punch mitts enable you to practice both skills with a partner.

Focus mitts can simulate the feel of a boxing match when the holder challenges the puncher. The holder can move around while catching punches. The holder can also force the puncher to avoid incoming punches by sweeping the mitts toward the head or body of the puncher. Mitts serve as a good alternative to sparring, and act as a way to diversify your workouts.

Water Bottle

It may sound obvious, but you should definitely throw a cold water bottle in your bag. Some gyms have water fountains or sinks available, but hydration becomes much more convenient if you have a bottle within reaching distance. With 30-second or one-minute breaks between rounds, you cannot afford to wait in line for the sink or water fountain. Save yourself some time and effort and bring along some water.

Additional Clothing

Boxers often wear extra clothing during warm-up. A sweatshirt, for example, enables you to break a sweat quickly. Also, if you are training during the fall or winter, it may be chilly when you step outside after your training session. A pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt will guard from sickness.

Fill that Bag

You now have a list of items with which you can fill up your gym bag. As you continue to improve and get more serious about the sport of boxing, your bag will fill up with more items. Do not feel the need to buy everything at once. You can even begin your boxing career with nothing more than sneakers and a jump rope.

As you begin punching the bag or mitts, you will need handwraps and gloves. When you are ready to spar, you will need items such as a mouthpiece, headgear, and a groin protector. Take your time in learning the “sweet science” of boxing, for sound fundamentals provide a strong foundation for more advanced skills.

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