Are Leather Boxing Gloves Better Than Synthetic? - A Guide To Choosing The Right Boxing Gloves

March 11, 2019

Leather Vs Synthetic Boxing Gloves

Leather is, in general, a better material to make gloves out of than synthetic, with one notable exception (Fairtex Microfibre).  However, the answer is that It really depends on what you intend to use them for and how often.  

If you are training frequently or looking at doing semi-professional/professional fights then you really should be looking at getting a high-end set of leather gloves.  If you don't support the use of leather (i.e. if you are vegan) or are only training infrequently then you may be OK with synthetic.

Here is a breakdown of the different type of materials used in the construction of boxing gloves.

Types of material used to make boxing gloves

100% Cowhide leather

This is the top grain of leather used to make gloves.  It is highly durable, offers excellent flexibility, is very comfortable, and best of all controls odours and moisture.  This is the standard material for all top flight boxing gloves today.  Cowhide stretches very well around the padding.  The grain is fine and has a soft feel.  Cowhide is the most expensive leather and can last a very long time.

Buffalo leather

Full grain buffalo leather boxing gloves are extremely durable.  Leather sourced from buffalo hide is courser than cowhide leather but is just as strong.  The reason this is considered slightly lower grade is that the hair marks are more easily seen due to the courser hair of the buffalo.


Microfibre is a newer high-quality synthetic material which can be used to make boxing gloves.  It has similar durability to leather but is much smoother (due to having no grain), lighter, and it does not degrade like leather.  It is also excellent at handling moisture and odours (unlike most synthetic materials.  If you are vegan then this could be a good choice for your boxing glove material.



Vinyl whilst being fairly resilient, will not last as long as leather.  Eventually, with frequent use, they will begin to split.  If however you do not want to purchase leather gloves, or you only train occasionally, vinyl gloves could be perfect.  The material is cheap which in general makes the gloves much cheaper to purchase and can be easily cleaned.  The big issue with Vinyl, however, is odour can build up if used regularly.  Particularly if they are not allowed to dry out properly after use.


PU - Polyurethane

Polyurethane: PU is a low material which can be used to make boxing gloves.  The overall look can be good but again they will not last as long as leather.  In general, the gloves made from this material are entry-level ones.  They are fine for infrequent training, but again as with vinyl, odour build up can be a problem.  PU gloves are not as durable as leather and will split over time.  If you are a pro or heavy hitter then these are not recommended.

We stock a range of high-quality boxing gloves







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