I don't promote boxing, I promote people. Boxing is a catalyst to bring people together. Don King
Taking sports classes in a boxing club has become a thriving past time for many, so much so that boxing clubs and gyms across the UK are said to have side-stepped any economic slumps of the last decade and recorded a steady increase in the number of participants in the sport. There are several types of combat sports – Thai boxing, boxing, kickboxing, full contact boxing, ju jitsu, taekwondo, and aikido - and of them all, boxing is one of the sports that has grown the most in recent years.
According to the Active People Survey (APS) conducted in 2016, in the last ten years more than 55,000 have taken up the sport for the first time and 140,000 participants in the survey were recorded as taking part in boxing at least once a week.
This year is even the first ever year that a British boxer has won the Savate World Championships.
Whether you are training for self-defence or competitive boxing matches, French boxing requires a selection of specialised sports equipment. Here is how you can get your hands on the whole set of necessary boxing equipment so that you can jump into a boxing ring as soon as possible.
Why Use French Boxing Equipment?
Taking part in French boxing does not mean having a rowdy brawl in the boxing ring to let off steam or eliminate all the stresses of your life.
Of course, what boxing does allow you to do is perfect your fighting technique and improve your physique through the muscle strengthening exercises that the sport involves.
All the same, boxing as a sporting practice is a very regulated activity and any boxer - especially a beginner - should be in possession of sportswear that provides protection for you, allowing you to hit and be hit whilst still protecting your opponent from life-threatening injuries.
As you may know, the main aim of wearing protective French boxing equipment is to avoid getting hurt and this applies to both participants involved in any body-to-body combat, not just the wearer.
Boxing with bare hands can be a violent activity that can be damaging for the metacarpal bones and the area of the skin that receives the main impact of a punch or kick. Wearing boxing gloves, elastic hand wraps and inner gloves will help to limit the number of skin lesions that occur.
This will also encourage an improved protection of the phalanges without softening the force sustained by the person pulling the punch.
Protective French boxing equipment will, therefore, soften blows and prevent open wounds.
It is easy to understand why fighters can box until knock out, which is why it is especially important for beginner practitioners to choose their boxing kit carefully.
Firstly, it is important to select boxing gloves in the correct size and with the appropriate amount of padding in relation to the weight and age of the person who will be wearing them.
This is equally the case for training with a punch bag or bear paw pads - try to avoid hitting the punch bag with unprotected hands or feet to ensure you don't sustain any wounds or burns or leave your hands exposed to violent shocks.
What French boxing accessories should your kickboxing kit be made up of?
Good question! Obviously, a boxer does not need just boxing gloves...
To guarantee that you are physically well protected and can make quick movements, boxers often wear a pair of Savate boxing trousers that are light, soft and supple. The garment is a kind of leggings for boxers that can be worn in conjunction with Savate shoes.
Other kickboxing equipment you will need:
- Boxing Hand wrap and boxing mitts
- Groin protector
- Chest protector (optional, but especially recommended for women),
- Shin pads
- Headgear (not often worn by Savate professionals, but recommended for amateur boxers all the same)
- Elbow pads and ankle supports (also optional)
Note that Savate is the only kind of combat sport that involves kicks where one wears Savate shoes.
Essential Kickboxing Equipment: Boxing Gloves
Boxing gloves are an obligatory tool and piece of boxing equipment that are essential for any kind of Savate training.
They are often made of plastic and a kind of imitation leather, gloves for practitioners just starting out or boxing only for leisure are that is. Professional kickboxing competitors usually opt for a more hardy material, such as leather gloves, which are better quality and will last longer.
How to Choose Your Boxing Gloves?
Our number one piece of advice is to choose a pair of boxing gloves that are specially designed in relation to their size. Glove sizes are always expressed in ounces (Oz) where 1 ounce is roughly equivalent to 28 grams.
We understand that if you weigh 60 kg and you choose to wear gloves that are too big or to heavy, you may not be abile to make quick agile movements.
The padded material of the glove should stick to the skin, if you find yourself drowning in the fabric of the gloves then they are definitely not your best bet!
Find out which one are the best kickboxing classes London on Superprof.
Thus, to choose your gloves, you first need to check their weight category:
- 51 kg to 63 kg: 08 Oz (light and feather-light),
- 63 kg to 74 kg: 10 Oz (supper light and semi-medium light),
- 74 kg to 100 kg: 12 Oz (medium and heavy),
- More than 100 kg: 14 Oz (super-heavy).
In terms of budget, here are the prices and brands for some boxing gloves according to online sellers.
- Flight Equipment UK - prices start from £17.99 to £219.99 depending on the brand (Twins, Adidas, Venum, Fairtex, Sandee)
- Amazon UK - prices range from £8.99 to £269.99, brands include Adidas, Everlast, Lonsdale, Lions, R2F, Farabi, Cleto Reyes, etc.
- Argos - £13.99 to £39.99 (RDX, Everlast, Pro Power, Venum)
- Valour Strike - £20.95 to £60.95 (Valour Strike)
For training, rather than choosing gloves with drawstring fastenings, bands with tight elastic auto grip or velcro fastenings should take priority as they offer an increased amount of durability.
You will also need to add another additional item. Go for boxing mitts (£14.99 to £104.99) in order to make your movements lighter and absorb sweat (to prevent deterioration in the quality of the gloves) and allow better air circulation.
Boxing hand wraps will prevent significant injuries occurring to the hands and fingers whilst the hands are on guard (defending) and will increase the strength of the strikes (as your hands are well-wrapped)
My Superprof boxing coach taught me how to select the right gloves in our boxing classes!
French Boxing Protective Equipment
Woah! That is not all, hold up there!
Whether you are participating in male or female boxing, you will also need to make sure your teeth and jaw are well protected. You should also cover your shins and have good Savate boxing trousers. This is our guide to help you choose all your Kickboxing equipment.
Mouthguards are one of the most indispensable French boxing accessories. They are not costly and allow your teeth to remain relatively harm-free and stop teeth from bashing together during a fight.
Find the different boxing trainers here.
There are two types of mouthguards: single mouthguards and double mouthguards.
Single mouthguards are easier to mould around the teeth thanks to the fact that they can be boiled and take the true shape of the jaw. A single mouthguard will cost between £2 and £15 whilst the price of a double mouthguard can be as high as £100.
Groin Protector and Chest Protector
Men and women alike need to protect their genitals as they are very sensitive areas.
Advised for training and obligatory for competitions (where fight techniques are more developed and aggressive), there are many different kinds of groin protectors offering differing levels of comfort.
Groin protectors cups tend to cost between £20 to £50.
In, Savate, unlike other types of boxing, blows below the chest are authorised. As a result, a hit to the chest can be an extremely painful and unpleasant experience for female French boxing practitioners.
This is the reason why we strongly recommend purchasing a chest protector.
Advice to female boxers - in order to find a suitable chest protector you could check out a number of vendors:
- Fruugo: moisture-absorbing polyester, cotton, and Lycra blend chest guard by Title at £24.95
- Blitz: chest guard with elasticated back panel and strap by Wacoku at £49.99
- Amazon UK: synthetic leather chest guard at £30.99 by RDX
- Flight Equipment UK: heavy duty chest guard by Adidas at £149.95
- Made 4 Fighters: bodyguard with multilayered side pads at £159.99
You could also opt for a boxing body shield to protect the entire bust, torso and chest area.
French Boxing Headgear
French boxing headgear - also often referred to as headguards in amongst boxing jargon - allows the wearer to protect their own face and jaw and takes the impact of direct punches, such as uppercut.
They also protect you if you find yourself suddenly hitting the ground.
A number of elements need to be considered when choosing a headguard:
- The size - it should mould to the shape of your face and there should not be a gap between the skull and the helmet.
- Comfort - the protective head harness should be pleasant and comfortable to wear
- The inner layer of the helmet - should prevent the helmet from sliding when experiencing a strike.
- The chin - if it is too lose you need to readjust the helmet, which it is not possible to do in the middle of a match.
- Visibility - what is the point of wearing headgear that is too narrow and obscures your line of vision?
We don't often think about it, but a good headgear can be used to your advantage to help with tactical dodging during a French boxing match. This is a really useful skill to have in any contact sports!
In terms of price, for brands like Everlast, RDX, Venum, Title etc. – the cost ranges from £15 to £60.
It is up to you to choose appropriate headgear in line with your own budget and the number of times you envisage practising the sport.
Another important piece of kickboxing equipment is shin pads.
Protecting your shins will help to avoid fractures when your shin comes into contact with your opponents.
As mentioned earlier, kicks are authorised in French boxing and a plastic padded shell will soften any shocks to the leg and avoid the practitioner experiencing severe leg pain.
Shin pads should be worn several centimetres under the knee and several centimetres above the ankle.
Thus you need to select shin pads that are intended for and adapted to the size of your legs so that they protect you without limiting your ability to participate in the leg wars that are such a fundamental element of French boxing.
Some shin pads consist of leg protection up to the ankle whilst others protect the ankle and under the foot. As always, comfort and price are major factors that are going to affect your choice of product.
Shin pads should not break the bank, ranging in price from to for a full shin pad that reaches up to the knee.
Don't forget to throw a pair of French boxing shoes into your gym bag!
In fact, simple kicks are not the only thing allowed in French boxing, you are allowed to hit with the heels, ends and bottom of your feet.
When selecting your kickboxing shoes, you should make sure they fulfil certain criteria:
- A smooth sole
- Supported laces
- Foam padding that is covered up
- Side support at the tip of the feet and at the heel.
Note that generally, it is possible to get kitted out directly at your local boxing club. If you are looking for better value, then our mini guide to French boxing equipment will help provide you with the information you need to get equipped and start training!
Here is a table of comparison for brands and prices:
|Kick Boxing Equipment - Item Category||Kick Boxing Equipment - Vendor||Kick Boxing Equipment - Brand||Price Range|
|French Boxing Gloves||Flight Equipment UK, Argos, Amazon UK, Valour Strike||Twins, Adidas, Venum, Fairtex, Sandee, RDX, Everlast, Pro Power, Lonsdale, Lions, R2F, Farabi, Cleto Reyes,||£8.99 to £269.99,|
|French Boxing Mitts||Amazon UK, Selfridges, Active Instinct, Sports Direct||Everlast, Lamyland, Adidas, RDX, MMA, Lonsdale||£8.99 to £125.00|
|Mouth Guard||Blitz, SafeJawz, Amazon UK, Made 4 |
|SafeJawz, Venum, Blitz, Under Armour||£2.00 to £100.00|
|Groin Protector Cup||Fruugo, Sports Direct, Blitz, RDX Sports||RDX, Adidas, Title, Lonsdale,||£20.00 to £50.00|
|Chest Guard||Fruugo, Made 4 Fighters, Blitz, Flight Equipment UK, Amazon UK||Wacoku, Adidas, Title||£24.95 to £159.99|
See the equipment required for Muay Thai boxing here.
Find tips on how to choose your boxing equipment here.
Find out more about American kickboxing and its equipment here.