Venum’s been making decent quality boxing gloves for a few years and are one of the (if not most) popular boxing glove companies in the world right now, especially when it comes to modern gloves and MMA-style gloves (see our brand overview in our Venum Boxing Gloves Review)
The quality of the Venum gloves are mixed, ranging from bad, to good, depending on how much you pay. The average quality sits squarely in the ‘ok’ range.
Warning About Venum: Venum have two ‘quality levels’ of gloves: ‘Made in Thailand and ‘Designed in Thailand‘. Don’t be sucked into the ‘Designed in Thailand‘ gimmick — these gloves are not hand-crafted or manufactured in Thailand, but made and manufactured in Pakistan and of much lower quality materials and construction. I recommend avoiding these models and stick with the Made in Thailand models.
I won’t say any of the Venum models are ‘bad quality’ — they are not.
Compared to crappy brands like Everlast and Londsdale, Venum hold up pretty well.
However, with the budget models, cheaper materials are used which you do notice right away once you start actually using the gloves for a few weeks.
Generally, at the ultra low budget end (under $50), there are better alternatives that offer better quality and better construction for less money from other brands like TITLE. On the upper mid-range end (100+) there are better gloves for similar prices offered by the other brands. And at the budget / entry level range, there are better boxing gloves that offer you more bang for your buck in terms of better quality, better materials, though by far Venum’s best value gloves are the Venum Elite model at around $65-$78 (they are for sale sometimes on Amazon with 15 percent off).
However, choosing Venum over the other, better-constructed gloves around the same price mostly comes down to how you like their unique look, which granted, is unique.
Venum’s best niche then is the $60-$80 budget mid-range glove which is where you can find their best glove offerings in a visually appealing style. Also note that Venum has a certain unique aesthetic that the other brands don’t have. If you like the aggressive look and flashy style, then this may be THE main reason to consider buying Venum in my opinion.
Venum Elite Boxing Gloves Review
The Elite’s are a mid-range Venum option, designed I feel for casual to regular gym usage. What I mean by this is that you can function just fine using these gloves 4-5 days in your MMA gym for general training.
And yes, I do have these specific gloves. I have used them thoroughly in the gym to test them out for you. So this is a legit, hand’s on review here by someone who bought them specifically to test them out just for the review. I’ve put a few good weeks into trying them out when boxing training.
However, these are not necessary designed for hard training usage or for professionals who want the best padding, form, and protection. Nor are these the best gloves for sparring, though in a pinch you can use them.
Padding & Protection
Generally, these fit comfortably. They are on the larger size and the gloves do extend a bit down your forearm area. As such, they are a ‘longer’ boxing glove with good wrist support. Personally, I much prefer this style of boxing glove over the shorter, Thai-style gloves which sit barely below your wrist bone.
The Elites are more comfortable than the Venum Challenger 2.0’s, which are a cheaper glove by about 20-30 bucks.
You really do notice a difference in comfort between the Challenger’s and Elites. Which is to say that Venum Elite’s feel a hell of a lot more comfortable. The wide Velcro stretches tight without too much struggle and the soft ‘Skintex’ is softer. This is definitely a good thing if you want to spar with these.
The gloves are also ventilated with a mesh covering on the front. This allows a bit of air flow to reach the inside of your hands. However, your hands still get quite warm, so I’m not sure how effective this feature is with this model (basically, not so much).
These are larger gloves (I have small hands); so those of you with big hands and wraps on should have no issues here.
I find the overall glove makes a nice shape on your fist and you get a nice creak when you clench. But the shape fits a bit better and is a bit more contoured than the Challenger’s. This means they are better for bad and pad work.
I will note that there is a bit of extra padding in the palm area, so your hand has a bit of give. This reduces the stability and is something I don’t like in a glove. The thumb area too has a bit of extra room and you can wiggle it around a bit. So the fit could be a bit tighter, especially if you have smaller hands. Tighter fit means more stability. As such, these are not the gloves you really want to be pounding the heavy bag with for too long.
Aesthetics & Design
Visually, these have the Venum design that you either love or hate. I suspect if you like the ‘modern’ boxing glove look with flash and bling, well, these gloves won’t disappoint. Venum has pioneered this look over the years and is probably the front-runner in this visual style. If you like the look, Venum will give you the best of that look you can find.
At this point, you’ll either dig Venum’s design or completely hate it. So this one is a personal decision on your part. Overall, I find the colors appealing and there’s a number of different color selections you can choose from, so even if you don’t like the default color, there is likely a color scheme combo that fits your taste.
Here’s a look at the different colors available:
Quality & Durability
As for quality, you get what you pay for here: a more budget-ranged glove. At under $80, you are not going to be getting the level of quality and construction from a pair of Winnings, but you do expect a glove that will last you for a few years while keeping your hands protected.
In that regard, the quality is adequate, but nothing special. I don’t want to necessary slam Venum here given the price, but the quality is neither impressive, nor disappointing.
The durability, because the material is NOT genuine leather, won’t last as long. That’s not to say these gloves are badly constructed — they are not. However, while the Skintex (faux vinyl leather) is soft and feels very ‘leather-like’, I still much prefer the feeling of leather.
You should get a couple years out of these gloves (the padding will likely decline before the actual Skintex shell) though, but you should get your money’s worth.
These gloves are ‘Made in Thailand‘ which is good in that someone actually has their hands on the glove in Thailand, though more of a marketing term then anything else.
Note that while SOME of Venum’s gloves are Made in Thailand, many of their cheaper models are ‘Designed in Thailand‘ which is a pure marketing gimmick that basically means someone emailed a factor schematic from a Thailand email address to somewhere in Pakistan, where the glove is actually made.
In all, a well-built glove with a premium feel at a value price point. There are, of course, more expensive gloves out there, including other Venum gloves in genuine leather. But if you are looking for a quality entry level glove that won’t break your budget, these are not a bad choice, especially if you like the visual design.
PROS & CONS
Here’s what I feel are the major pros and cons after my hands-on testing of them.
Good Value: A good entry-level pair of gloves. The gloves work just fine as a starter pair of boxing gloves and you can use them for general training in any MMA, Boxing, or Muay Thai gym.
Comfortable: Reasonably comfortable with decent padding
Stylish: if you like the flashy aesthetic, then you’ll like these gloves. There are also a lot of different styles you can choose from.
Durability Issues: the gloves are not made from real leather and won’t last you for years
Not Rigid: there is extra space inside the glove and in the thumb area
Not Ideal for Heavy Training
Venum Challenger 2.0 vs Venum Elite Models
The two most compared glove models in the Venum lineup are the Challenger and the Elite, both of which look a bit similar and even feel slightly similar — at first.
For a cheaper glove, you might look at the Challenger 2.0’s, which are designed in a way similar to the Elites, but are a bit smaller. The wrist support, feel, and overall look is the same, however. The main difference I’ve found is in the thumb area — the Challengers have a different position for the thumb, which is moved slightly higher and in such a way that it’s a bit more rigid and a bit more supportive. This comes at the cost of thumb flexibility though. They are also made from polyurethane leather (rather than the Skintex leather which is Vinyl), which is made by mashing leather scraps together with glue to make a new pseudo fabric.
Ultimately, the Challenger’s are a bit more rigid, a bit smaller, than the Elites and less durable. Again, a more budget version. It’s a tough call for a started glove as to which of these to choose. The Challenger’s are 30 bucks cheaper. But both gloves are what I consider a starter glove, though the Venum Elite is a better glove overall.
If you just need a casual glove for fitness or pounding the bag a few times a week to burn some calories, go with the Challenger. If you actually train in a gym (MMA or Muay Thai), then get the Elite — it’s a better glove and feels better on your hands.
If you are serious about training, compete, or are a boxer, then get a different (and better) glove.
The Final Word
Overall, the Venum Elite Boxing Gloves are a good buy. You get a modern style look, a comfortable fit, reasonably padding, all between $70-$80 bucks. If you want a more serious, durable, and protective glove, you are going to have to spend more money on a different brand or higher model glove.
The Elite’s are better than the Challenger’s, though they cost $30. Generally, I feel given the better fit and feel, the extra $30 is worth the price unless you are completely new to boxing, then just go with the cheaper Venum Challenger 2.0 model.
As such, I feel these are good mid-range budget / entry level pair of boxing gloves. You can use the for general padwork, bag work, or light sparring (at 16 ounces). So for the casual MMA / Muay Thai student, these gloves will do you just fine.
However, if you want to get into serious sparring session or you are serious about boxing, or you plan to compete, then you’ll want to choose a better glove which will offer better durability, protection, and fit.
At the $60-$80 price range, the competition is pretty fierce. You can in fact quite quite a few value bargains at around this price, and in some cases, a better constructed glove, if you shop around with other brands.
As a real alternative that’s nearly the same price point, I would point out the Fairtex BGV1 Boxing Glove which costs exactly $78 for the same size glove, but is a much better-constructed glove (made from real leather, not faux leather) and one that offers better padding more rigid padding. However, you are getting a Muay Thai style glove (note, you can still use it just fine for MMA or Boxing — you won’t likely notice a difference) rather than a more modern style boxing glove design (and look).
So choosing Venum over the other brands comes down to one thing: you like the visual style. And on this regard, Venum has a unique selling point because their gloves have a unique look. And if you like it and want a decent glove, then I recommend the Venum Elite Boxing glove as a pretty good value buy.
While I have used and tested these gloves out, there are NOT a glove that I will keep on using. I feel there are better gloves out there for the price to choose from; and these gloves are not especially well-suited for people who the more advanced user.
HOWEVER, that’s not to say these are bad gloves at all. They are good enough to do the job and, if you are a beginner or new, a good buy to ‘buy’, especially if you like the visual style offered by the gloves. So I do recommend these gloves as a good buy and good value, especially for beginners or people who love the look of them.