Venum Boxing Gloves Review

While I have listed Venum gloves on a number of my recommendations over the past years, this powerhouse brand deserves a dedicated article. With Venum signing on and taking over Reebok as the official UFC outfitting partner, there is no better time than now. Venum is one of the most prominent fight brands today, thanks to the exposure from its stellar team of sponsored athletes that competes in promotions like UFC, ONE and Glory. But how do Venum boxing gloves fare up to its competitors?

TL;DR: My review is based on my experience with the standard-range Elite (made in Thailand) and the lower-end Challenger 2.0 (not made in Thailand) models. Right off the bat, one key characteristic across both Venum gloves is the roomy fit which makes them most suited for average-sized to big hands

The Challenger 2.0 has inadequate wrist support and very soft padding. With the Elite model, you can expect just a slight upgrade including better foam padding, and improvements in providing wrist stability. Both Challenger and Elite are constructed with synthetic leather but the quality on Elite is higher with better feel and durability. For the same price of the Elite model, you can get a real leather pair from Thai brands like Twins and Fairtex. The Challenger 2.0 comes at an affordable price-point and so you do get what you pay for. What ultimately wins fans over is the brand’s modern aesthetic sensibilities and less its overall quality.

Venum Elite Boxing Gloves - Black/Pink Gold - 8 Oz
  • 3 layers of natural foam
  • Attached thumb
  • Anatomical shape / Grip
  • Reinforced seams
  • Fully assembled and hand-stitched in Thailand

Venum Challenger 2.0 Boxing Gloves - Blue/Red/White - 8-Ounce
  • 100% high quality PU leather
  • Triple Density foam for better shock management
  • 100% full attached thumb
  • Large Velcro enclosure with elastic for a better fit

If you want an in-depth review of Venum Boxing gloves and the brand’s history, read on before investing in a pair.


About Venum
venum boxing gloves review

Venum is a French mma brand founded in 2005 by Parisian, Franck Dupuis. Venum’s early years centered on Brazil where the label’s first products (shorts, t-shirts, rash guards) were manufactured. It also sponsored a number of top Brazilian fighters like Wanderlei Silva and Jose Aldo. This association led to the widespread -but erroneous- assumption over the brand being Brazilian. However, Venum’s iconic viper logo does take its inspiration from Brazil’s rainforest snakes. 

In 2010, Venum began expansion on its product range to a complete catalog of fight gear and equipment. Dupuis took its manufacturing operations to Thailand and developed a series of products including boxing gloves and mma gloves for which the brand is now known for. 

The brand’s quest was taken further in 2014 when Venum launched its Muay Thai product line. A year later, the Venum fight camp opened in Pattaya, becoming a key player producing many top strikers. Today, Venum sponsors a star-studded fight team of world-class strikers including Giorgio Petrosyan, Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong, Petpanomrung Kiatmoo9, Elias Mahmoudi, Alaverdi Ramazanov and many more. 

It was recently announced (10 July 2020) that the brand would be the official partner for UFC beginning in 2021 when the promotion’s contract with Reebok ends. Venum was one of the most popular choices of apparel for UFC competitors prior to the promotion’s partnership with Reebok. So this new partnership comes as no surprise.


Venum Boxing Gloves Review (Elite vs Challenger 2.0)
venum boxing gloves review

This review is based on my experience training with the Elite and Challenger 2.0 boxing gloves models.  

Fit

Venum gloves fit on the roomy side of things, making them more ideal for boxers with average to large hands. The gloves feel soft and did not require any breaking-in, ready for use straight out of the box. If you have smaller hands, you might want to avoid them.

Protection

The wrist support is where I have an issue with the Challenger 2.0. I get that these were designed in Thailand and so clinching may have been taken into consideration but the flex on the wrists is way too soft. There is simply no stability and support which is not ideal for hard training on the pads and heavy bags. The Elite model has better wrist support than the Challenger 2.0 so it’s something to consider paying more for if you need that additional stability.

In terms of the cushioning, there is just a small difference between the Challenger 2.0 and Elite. With the Challenger, the padding is soft but too soft for protection if you are a hard puncher. The padding is not thorough and lacks the back-of-hand protection for sparring. The Elite fills little of the gap left by the Challenger, featuring just slightly firmer padding for moderately better training/sparring experience. 

Durability

Venum Elite gloves feature reinforced stitched seams and the Thai-made quality shows. After all, the Elite model was conceived and continues to be manufactured in Thailand. If you compare them to traditional Thai brands like Fairtex and Twins, there is still some catching up to do mainly due to the fact that real leather is not used. 

By comparison, the Challenger 2.0 is an even less optimal option and best skipped over if you are a serious practitioner of Muay Thai. They are more suitable for fitness classes or casual boxers training once or twice a week. If you train several times a week, go for the Elite.

Breathability

With more models constructed using synthetic leather, breathability can be a concern. It’s well-known that synthetic leather (especially PVC leather like vinyl) don’t ventilate well, which causes the hands to sweat easily and to retain moisture easily. Venum effectively works around this by incorporating breathable mesh on the palm on the Challenger 2.0. Note that the Elite 2.0 used to sport the mesh-on-palm design but newer versions lack this feature. 

Aesthetics

Venum takes a contemporary approach on its aesthetic design but without being too over-the-top. Modern and classy. I would rate Venum as one of the top 3 when it comes to overall design and style. If you want some badass-looking gloves, go with Venum.

Price

Like I mentioned at the start of the article, you can get genuine leather gloves from Thai brands like Twins and Fairtex for the price you would pay for the Elite gloves. This means that you can expect better quality and durability for the same cost if you purchase Thai gloves. This boils down to your expectations and possibly the style that you are looking for. 

The Challenger 2.0 comes at an affordable price-point and so you do get what you pay for. You can’t have it all at this price point but the Challenger 2.0 still fares better than many gloves in the same price range. But if you are looking for fairly decent boxing gloves with sharp aesthetics, this will be an ideal choice.


Venum Boxing Gloves Models

Venum offers a full range of gloves to cater to different budget needs of the mass market from the lower-end Challenger series to the standard-range favorite, Elite. For those with more cash to spare, you can also consider Venum’s high-end product series like Giant, Bangkok Spirit and the top-of-the-line Hammer pro boxing gloves (retails for $300). 

Elite 
Venum Elite Boxing Gloves - Black/Dark camo - 12 Oz
  • 3 layers of natural foam
  • Attached thumb
  • Anatomical shape / Grip
  • Reinforced seams
  • Fully assembled and hand-stitched in Thailand

For the serious Muay Thai enthusiast who trains several times a week, the Elite Boxing Gloves can be a fitting alternative to the regular Thai fan-favorites like Fairtex, Twins and Yokkao. Pros: Striking eye-catching design, fairly good wrist stabilization (compared to Challenger),  high-quality craftsmanship, roomy fit suitable for large hands. Cons: Synthetic leather.


Challenger 2.0
Venum Challenger 2.0 Boxing Gloves - Black/Red - 14-Ounce
  • PU leather construction for great durability and performance
  • Triple Density foam for enhanced shock Absorption and long-lasting hand protection
  • Large Velcro enclosure with elastic for a perfectly customized fit
  • Reinforced palm for increased safety with 100% attached thumb

As I’ve mentioned above, I would recommend the Challenger 2.0 for the casual boxer and fitness enthusiast who has incorporated some kickboxing workouts into his/her training routine. The wrist support and all-round foam padding on the Challenger is painfully inadequate for hard bag work and sparring. Buy this for its good looks and budget price-point but if you get serious about Muay Thai, you should consider investing a bit more. 


Giant 3.0
Venum Giant 3.0 Boxing Gloves 12 oz, Black/Gold
  • 100% nappa leather
  • Triple density foam for advanced shock absorption and protection of the hand
  • Velcro closure System for a custom fit and stabilization
  • Waterproof lining prevents moisture from entering the stuffing
  • Handmade in Thailand

The Giant 3.0 is a step-up from the Elite model with premium Nappa leather (real leather), superior wrist support and great all-round protection. They have a narrower, more streamlined silhouette compared to the Elite and Challenger, which makes them great for sparring. The fit is just a tad smaller but should still fit large hands with some breaking-in. These are recommended for the serious martial artist and are worth every cent.


Loma Edition Pro Boxing Gloves
Venum Shield Pro Boxing Gloves Loma Edition - Velcro - Blue/Yellow - 16 Oz
  • Professional boxing gloves
  • Multi-layer construction for protection and durability
  • Thorough hand-protection in 16 and 18oz weights
  • Hard hitting glove in 8oz and 10oz weights
  • Premium Argentinean nappa leather beauty durability and longevity

The top-of-the-line pro boxing companion, this Loma special edition is made for Ukranian boxer and one of modern boxing greats, Vasyl Lomachenko.  I do not own a pair as they are priced way out of my budget but these deserve to be as a display piece in a collector’s home. Or maybe the occasional flex when you train at the gym. If you do actually wanna train with these, do note that these are designed more for boxing -not Muay Thai- with the streamline silhouette and thicker front padding for the knuckles. 

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