The Olympics didn’t host women’s boxing as an official sport until 2012. The public was fascinated, appalled, supportive, shocked, and curious. Even now, many questions remain. For example, what do female boxers wear? 

Female boxers wear no makeup and use non-abrasive materials to secure their hair. They are required to wear mouthguards, breast protectors, and groin protectors. Head protection is necessary for Olympic Women’s Boxing and has the option of shorts or a skirt. 

Women’s boxing is similar to men’s. The weight classes are the same, and both play in a series of rounds, although the women’s are shorter. However, there are some notable differences. For example, female boxers must provide a negative pregnancy test before each fight. Also, the protective gear between female and male fighters is slightly different. 

Keep reading to learn all there is to know about what female boxers wear during matches!

What Equipment Do Female Boxers Wear?

The rules surrounding women’s boxing gear differ between amateur and professional. However, even within these two categories, the guidelines vary on female fighter’s equipment. For example, some protective equipment required by the Association of Boxing Commissions is optional at the Olympics. 

Boxing Shoes

A vital piece of equipment for any boxer is a good pair of boxing shoes. Boxing shoes are designed to provide better traction and mobility than regular sneakers, which can be important in the ring. They also often have extra padding to protect the feet and ankles from impact.

When choosing a pair of boxing shoes, it’s important to pick a comfortable pair that fits well. You’ll also want to make sure they have good ankle support and are made from breathable material to keep your feet cool during a match.

Boxing Gloves

Gloves are arguably the most important piece of equipment for a female boxer. They protect the hands and wrists from injury, and they also help deliver powerful punches.

In terms of size, gloves typically come in 8oz, 10oz, 12oz, and 14oz sizes. The weight you’ll need will depend on your size, weight, and boxing experience. For beginners, it’s generally recommended to start with an 8oz or 10oz glove.

Boxing Headgear

As of 2022, Olympic female boxers still wear headgear. Some other amateur boxing associations also require it. 

Headgear is highly controversial in boxing after a study revealed that male boxers suffered more head blows while wearing headgear. Thus, male Olympic boxers stopped wearing headgear in 2016. 

However, the study on boxing headgear was on male fighters. Thus, some regulators insist that women boxers continue to wear headgear until there is more data on female fighters.  

Boxing Shorts

Another important piece of equipment for boxers are their shorts. These need to be comfortable and allow a full range of motion. Boxing shorts also have a waistband that helps keep them in place and can be tightened or loosened as needed. Many boxing shorts have a slit up the side to allow even more movement.

Hand Wraps

An important part of any boxer’s attire are their hand wraps. Hand wraps protect a boxer’s knuckles and wrists from injury, and they also help to stabilize the bones in the hand. When choosing hand wraps, you’ll want to make sure that they’re made from a breathable material so that your hands don’t get too sweaty during the match. You’ll also want to make sure that they’re comfortable and provide adequate support.

Chest And Groin Protection

Female boxers don’t wear cups like male fighters. However, there is groin and breast protection available to women. The Association of Boxing Commissions makes breast and groin protection mandatory for female boxers. However, the Olympics makes it optional. 

Women’s chest protection usually looks like a sports bra. However, it protects the breast area only. Thus, it does not cover the collar bone, solar plexus, abdominals, or the sides of the ribcage. 

Women’s groin and pelvic protection look like unflattering g-strings. The fighter typically wears them over her underwear. 

Mouth Guards

Like male boxers, female boxers wear mouth protection. They go by various names, including mouth guards and gum shields. These protect the teeth and limit the cuts to a fighter’s lips and cheeks. 

Non-Abrasive Hairbands

Female boxers must secure their hair back. They cannot wear any grips or bands with plastic or metal components. The hairbands must be non-abrasive to protect both the fighter and her opponent. 

Makeup Is Not Allowed

Boxing bans makeup and other facial cosmetics. The no-makeup rule is for both amateur and professional boxers. It is a safety issue, as it could damage a fighter’s eyes. 

Final Thoughts

Female boxers wear similar gear to male fighters. However, there are slight differences, such as chest and groin protection. The headgear, however, is the same that men used to wear before studies showed it was causing harm. Thus, the rules on women’s headgear are controversial. 

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