female boxing gloves toronto

Toronto startup has created a boxing gloves brand just for women and girls

If you've ever taken a boxing class, you'll know that it's really hard to uppercut a boxing pad if your gloves don't fit. 

An all women's boxing program is trying to change that with a new kind of glove designed for fighting fists of all sizes. 

Girls Just Wanna Box (GJWB), which runs out of the Mind-Set gym near Eglinton Town Centre, has just started selling their own line of polyurethane boxing gloves.

While there are American brands like Society Nine or Machina that do cater specifically to women, GJWB offers sizes for both women and young girls, meaning gloves that weigh anywhere between 4 oz to 16 oz. 

"Right now, brands like Adidas and Everlast have what they would call a female glove, but nothing is changed other than the colouring or the pattern itself," says Helene Jafine, a partner and coach at GJWB. 

Over the last two years, Jafine and GJWB's founding partner Kristina Ejem have been developing and testing gloves with the students at GJWB's boxing classes, taking factors like bone structure and density into consideration. 

"The biggest difference is the wrist and cuff, most [boxing gloves] are way too long for a female and go halfway up their arm...We've just tightened up everything to mould better to a woman's hand, which is typically smaller than a man's."  

GJWB's gloves, which come in eight different colours, have been tweaked in a few ways. 

Glove length has been shortened, plus the knuckle padding has a 4-layer foam for extra protection. Excess space around the thumb area has also been reduced. There's also stronger velcro for additional wrist support. 

On the inner wrist wrap is the text #ProtectThePretty: a hashtag Ejem coined as a play on the boxer's mantra of putting your hands up to protect your face. But it's less about aesthetics than encouraging self care practices for women. 

Adult-sized gloves, which typically weigh either 10 oz or 12 oz depending on a fighter's weight and height, cost $130. Their 'Lil Star's' Girl's gloves (typically around 6 to 8 oz) cost $65-$75, with options to buy packs with a freshening spray and hand-wraps.

The GJWB program, which was first founded in 2000, and ran out of the now-closed Clancy's Boxing Academy between 2014 and 2017. It now offers a boxing program called Lil Stars, which is designed for girls between the ages of 7 and 12. 

"To start young and build up, that's the one thing that differentiates us," says Jafine. "We want to teach women the technical sport of boxing, not just boxercise." 

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