Leather Boxing Gloves: Preventing Cracking

If you’re a boxer, your boxing gloves are the most important piece of equipment you own.

But like your bag or opponent, boxing gloves take a beating.

And one of the most common problems that lead to the death of your favourite pair of boxing gloves is …

cracking.

Red Cleto Reyes Boxing Bag Gloves
Cleto Reyes Boxing Bag Gloves in Red

The good news is, preventing your boxing gloves from cracking does not need to be a chore and prolonging the life of your gloves can save you a few quid too.

Find out how to clean your Cleto Reyes Boxing Gloves.

So here’s our guide on how to prevent your boxing gloves from cracking.

It starts when you remove your boxing gloves.

Glove care begins as soon as you take your gloves off.

Unlace your gloves completely every time you remove them. If you pull them off by yanking them with your teeth or getting someone to pull them, you’ll shorten their life by tearing the seams or ripping the leather.

Yellow Cleto Reyes Sparring Gloves , Velcro
Yellow Cleto Reyes Sparring Gloves , Velcro

Wipe with a damp cloth.

An obvious, quick and simple step; wipe your gloves down with a damp cloth.

Get into the habit of carrying a small hand towel in your kit bag, dampen it, then wipe your gloves down.

Inside and out.

The leather of your boxing glove is natural, so using any chemical or synthetic agent could be harmful.

Moisture is the enemy, on the inside.

As you workout, your hand’s sweat and the inside of your gloves will become damp.

It’s important for glove care that the inside of your gloves stay dry, or mildew or mould can form and attack the leather – and your hands.

A tried and tested solution is to stuff old newspapers into your gloves when you have finished using them to keep their shape as they dry, and soak up any moisture.

Blue Cleto Reyes Sparring Gloves, Traditional Lace
Blue Cleto Reyes Sparring Gloves, Traditional Lace

Too much heat ruins boxing gloves

Allow your gloves to dry without exposing them to extreme heat.

Leather will become stiff and the seam thread can deteriorate if your gloves are exposed to heat. Think direct sunlight.

Give your gloves an airbath

Moisture in your gloves can damage the padding in your equipment.

And the worst place to leave your boxing gloves after use is in the sauna of your kit bag.

So find somewhere that you can hang your gloves to give them air. Keep them out of direct sunlight, but somewhere with a breeze is perfect.

Pink Cleto Reyes Women's Sparring Gloves, Velcro
Pink Cleto Reyes Women’s Sparring Gloves, Velcro

Beware of forum tips, leather foods

We’ve read threads on forums about how to clean and look after leather, many of which can damage the lifespan of your gloves.

It is common to read about leather foods. There are special leather creams, conditioners, foods, etc. on the market.

But what is not made clear is that the majority of these products are made for leathers made from more traditional tanning recipes, where the technologies used were not substantive (i.e. chemically fixed) to the leather, and as such, they required nourishing.

The majority of modern day boxing glove leathers simply do not need these ‘foods’.

To summarise, here are the main tips to prevent your boxing glove leather cracking:

  1. Wipe off excess moisture/sweat with a damp cloth
  2. Stuff clean newspaper inside your gloves to soak up the sweat
  3. Keep your leather gloves away from heat
  4. Regularly air out your gloves
  5. Keep an eye out for harmful advice regarding leather foods

At the end of the day, seams will burst, leather will crack, foam will break and bacteria will flourish, but you can extend the life of your gloves and wraps and such by simply taking a little care.

And it begins the moment your gym day ends.