Written by Alistair Knight | 27 November 2021
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This is the ultimate review on the best Rival boxing gloves.
In this review, I’m not only going to share what the top gloves are, but I’m also excited to show you:
Jump to the pair of boxing gloves you’d like to find out about:
1. Rival Boxing RS1 2.0 Ultra Pro Lace-Up Sparring Gloves (Best overall and best for competition bouts)
2. Rival RB11 Evolution Bag Gloves (Best bag gloves)
3. Rival RFX Guerrero V Bag Boxing Gloves – HDE-F (Best for beginners)
4. Rival RS100 Sparring Gloves (Best looking and best for sparring)
(Best overall and best for competition bouts)
Sizes: 14oz; 16oz; 18oz.
Color options: Black; blue; gold; red; white.
Wrist support: The RS1 2.0 Rival boxing glove has a unique Angled Ergo Lace Track System that is essentially a criss-cross design that provides an extra secure fit due to it’s shoelace resemblance. Furthermore, the top of the wrist has two ‘X’ shaped indents, which allows you to easily tie the lace around the back of the glove and secure it on.
Grip bar: The grip bar on these RS1’s is a perfect size and allows you to form a solid fist.
Attached thumb: Your thumb is attached to the knuckle area of the glove, which prevents your thumb from poking out, thereby preventing injuries.
Padding: I love the multiple layers of medium-density foam padding that accurately find the middle ground between impact feedback and protection. This padding is evenly distributed across the glove, meaning it isn’t knuckle heavy.
Design: The design is brilliant. I love the criss-cross pattern of the laces, the different color combinations and the screen-printed rival logo is symmetrical.
Comfortable: These are one of the most comfortable boxing gloves any boxing brand has ever made. The pre-molded fist provides terrific ergonomics so when you put your hand in for the first time, it will slide in as though you have already broken them in yourself. The inner lining is made from microfibre leather which feels quite spongy, and there is a deep hand compartment where you’re fingers are able to curl over to form a fist.
Synthetic leather: The exterior material is made from a microfibre leather material (synthetic). While synthetic gloves don’t tend to last as long, the synthetic leather on these RS1’s is good due to its thickness and durability.
Overall, these Rival Boxing RS1 2.0 Ultra Pro Lace-Up Sparring Gloves are Rival’s best because they are well padded, look great, are supportive, and have superb comfort. The only caveat is that it isn’t made from real leather.
(Best bag gloves)
Price: £135.13 – £146.99/$180.30 – $196.12 USD/$253.12 – $275.33 AUD.
Sizes: X Large – 14oz; Large – 12oz; Medium – 10oz.
Note: If you have medium-sized hands, “Large – 12oz” size will fit well.
Color options: Black; blue; white; red.
Strong wrist support: These Rival RB11 Evolution Bag Gloves do a terrific job at supporting your wrists thanks to the unique dual angle “V” strap and “Wrist-Lock 2” system. This technology essentially acts as a ratcheting system that locks your wrists in thanks to the crisis cross nylon straps. The straps emulate a hand wrap where you would cross each strap over itself like an ‘X’. This clever piece of engineering will help you punch with maximum power without the fear of injuring your wrists if you hit the bag at an awkward angle.
Design: Instead of screen printing like most glove manufacturers, Rival use high-end embroidery with the RB11’s that portray the Rival logo and patterns excellently. I also love the color contrasts where the thumb meets the back of the glove.
Comfortable: Rival uses an inner microfibre leather that feels comfortable to the skin and helps you slide your hand into the glove. The microfibre leather also doesn’t bunch up by the knuckle and feels smooth rather than pinchy where your fingers are. When you strike the heavy bag, the multiple layers of medium density foam do a great job at absorbing the shock of the punch and protecting your hands.
Mesh ventilated palm with grip bar: The gloves are well-ventiallated thanks to the mesh ventilation system that also has a medium-density grip bar stitched into it that helps you to form a fist.
Stitching: Rival does a good job of rolling the microfibre over where the thumb meets the back of the glove, which is why you don’t see the stitching coming out in this area. This reinforcement of the seams prevents the leather from separating from the stitching. However, the stitching isn’t always perfect, because I can see a few threads poking out by the thumb, and the back of the glove by the wrist strap could have neater stitching.
Not good for sparring: This glove should not be used for sparring because the D-rings on the wrist lock technology could hurt your training partner.
Takes time to break in: These Rival RB11 gloves feel quite stiff in the beginning and take about a dozen training sessions to break in. In comparison the Rival RFX-Guerrero pro fight gloves and the RB10’s break-in much faster.
In summary, these Rival RB11 Evolution Bag Gloves are Rival’s best bag glove because they are easy to use, support your wrists excellently, are comfortable, and look fantastic.
The price (£135.13 – £146.99/$180.30 – $196.12 USD/$253.12 – $275.33 AUD) is more than worth the different technologies, designs, and love that are put into these Rival gloves.
(Best for beginners)
Price: £179.99/$240 USD/$337 AUD
Sizes: 8oz; 10oz
Color options: Black; red; white; grey
Padding: The HDE-F Rival boxing glove contains polyurethane foam with EVA laminated to the leather that gives you a firmer texture that provides fantastic feedback on the bag and great protection for your hands.
Well-broken in: Many gloves such as the RB11’s (reviewed above) feel quite stiff to begin with and usually take multiple training sessions to break in. However, these HDE-F gloves feel excellent right from the get-go which is a great advantage.
Design: The Guerrero HDE-F glove looks good due to the multiple color combinations and the embroidery at the wrist. To enhance the design even further, Rival could embroider the logo onto the backside of the glove which is currently screen printed.
Genuine leather: What separates these HDE-F gloves from other Rival gloves is the exterior material they use. Instead of using synthetic leather (which isn’t as durable), Rival uses genuine leather for the HDE-F’s which provides a thick, strong texture that smells good.
Comfort: The Guerrero HDE-F gloves go above and beyond in this area. The microfibre leather is comfortable for your skin and makes it easy for you to slip the gloves on. There is also a large hand compartment that provides plenty of space and your fingers don’t feel pinched at the top of the glove.
Wrist support: The D-ring knuckle wrist strap and ratchet closure really locks your wrists in and align’s your hands, thumb, and wrist in one straight line. This secure fit allows you to strike the punch bag without the fear of accidentally hitting it at the wrong angle.
No ventilated holes: Rival didn’t add perforated holes into the palm side of this glove, which means that they can become quite hot.
Stitching: The edges have frayed stitching which isn’t what you should expect when you look at the price of these gloves.
Not to be used for sparring: The D-rings used for the wrist support technology could hurt your sparring partner so I would avoid using these gloves when sparring.
Overall, these HDE-F Rival RFX Guerrero V Bag Boxing Gloves are a great pair of bag gloves thanks to their supreme wrist support, protection, and high-quality materials used. However, there are some noticeable errors such as the stitching and absence of perforated holes.
(Best looking and best for sparring)
Price: £189/$252 USD/$354 AUD
Sizes: 14oz; 16oz
Color options: Black and gold; blue and silver; green and gold; red and silver
Design: This sparring glove looks excellent, with the Rival 100 series patch stitched into the wrist compartment, and the radiant shine that reflects off of Rival’s custom-designed rich microfibre polyurethane leather.
Padding: There are multiple layers of medium-density EPA foam padding that are well distributed across the glove that provide great safety for your opponent as well as your knuckles, hands, and wrists. At the top of the wrist there is a solid 1/2 inch of foam padding at the bottom of the wrist there is also 1/4 of an inch of foam, which gives you extra protection when parrying shots when sparring.
Wrist support: The laces these RS100’s come in can be easily tightened for a snug, secure fit, and laces, in general, are better for locking your hands and wrists together in comparison to velcro straps.
Stitching: The stitching is perfect across all areas of the glove and I couldn’t see any fraying errors.
Comfort: Like all of the Rival gloves reviewed on this article, the comfort on these Rival RS100’s is excellent due to the ergonomic shape, with the thumb being in an excellent position, and the fingertip compartment providing depth to easily form a fist.
Requires breaking in: The RS100’s do feel stiff in the beginning and take several training sessions to break in until they can be open (to parry) and close (to form a fist) with ease.
Expensive: Priced at £189/$252 USD/$354 AUD, these Rival RS100’s are in the upper price range.
In summary, while these Rival RS100 Sparring Gloves are an expensive pair of boxing gloves, the price is well justified due to the high-quality materials used, precise workmanship, and strong emphasis on protectiveness.
Rival produce fantastic boxing gloves and have been doing so since their origin in 2003. The areas that Rival excel in include:
Rival produces boxing gloves in Pakistan and China and have offices across the world in Montreal, Canada (Head Office); Las Vegas, USA; Northamptonshire, UK; and New South Wales, Australia.
You can purchase Rival boxing gloves both in-store and online.
Here is a dedicated page to all Rivals in-store retailers: https://rivalboxinguk.co.uk/pages/rival-authorized-retailers
Alistair Knight is an amateur athlete in boxing and the founder of Healthy Principles. He spends most of his time practising and learning more about boxing to ensure you get the best experience-based and evidence-based insights to learn. Learn more about Alistair Knight