I remember one of the first gloves a friend of mine ever bought were some Rivals for about sixty bucks. They were a great pair of gloves that would have lasted him a lot longer if he didn’t use them as an all-purpose glove. Fast forward several years later and I decided to try out this Rival brand by getting a pair of their boots and also one of their more popular gloves.
The RS2V-Pro Sparring gloves were my first and so far only pair of Rival gloves. In hopes that they would be as good as those inexpensive ones that my friend bought, I spent the cash and tested these things out in every which way possible. Since the day I got them these have been my only pair of Rival gloves. Is that for a good or bad reason? We’ll find out.
Protection & Padding
The padding is where these things really shine. For starters it’s semi-broken in, it’s a near-perfect blend of soft and firm. Soft enough to open the hand up but firm enough to not open it completely. Firm enough to feel as if the padding will protect you and yet soft enough to spar in right out the box. Of course, these are sparring gloves so that’s expected but even on the bags or mitts, these things feel amazing. They pop on mitts and make the same satisfying sound on the bag. Now the foam isn’t as perfect as say Winning, but they aren’t supposed to be. These are different and more firm. It’s difficult to find something else that’s as soft but firm and comfortable as these. The shape of the overall glove is supposed to be more anatomically correct as a straight fist has that slight bend at the wrist. Now I’d be lying if I said I felt a huge difference but either way it’s still comfortable and I have nothing negative to say about that.
The dual velcro closure system is something I don’t agree with and I’ll go in-depth in the design portion of this review. Simply put there are better ways to implement this closure system. Secondly, it looks like the only true wrist support you have in these are the straps. There is firm padding on the sides and behind the wrist but nothing in the front beside the straps. This means it’s easy to bend the wrist and the glove is also top-heavy, hold it straight and it bends right down. I wrap my wrists up a lot so I’ve never had an issue with this and that’s coming from someone with glass wrists but again I think they could have done a better job with the straps.
Either way that feature or inconvenience doesn’t ruin the glove nor does it take much away from it at all. In terms of protection, these things are amazing. Like I mentioned earlier, mitts, bag work, sparring, whatever you choose to do with these your hands will feel safe during and afterward. The padding is more designed for sparring but I haven’t noticed any kind of breakdown in the foams even though I used them for bag work. The downside of the Rival gloves my friend had was that the foam ending up breaking down the more he used it on the bag, mitts, and Bob. It got to the point where he ended up just splitting it apart with his knuckles, and he doesn’t have the heaviest hands. I don’t see that happening with the RS2V’s though, the foam has that perfect amount of firmness to it. These will last a long time.
In terms of comfort, these are one of my absolute favorite gloves. Up there with Winning, Sabas, Death Adders and the UMA RT-41s. Mine are 14oz and I have small hands, they’re nearly perfect. The size and shape of the thumb is short, wide, and rounded. It’s not a straight or curved thumb but because of the shape, you have enough room to grip it, however. Now, like I mentioned before, it is short, people with bigger hands should go for 16oz gloves.
The hand compartment is wide and gives you room to really wrap up your hands without feeling tight. You can wrap your fingers around the grip bar too and make a tight fist. Like I mentioned before, because of the semi soft padding you can also open up your hand some. Even the strap system isn’t exactly uncomfortable, just unnecessary. I have yet to find any complaints when it comes to comfort, even when these were new straight out of the box.
Quality & Durability
The thing I was most worried about was the quality of the padding, again because of the experience my friend had with his old Rivals. I am happy to say these things have been holding up incredibly. I don’t have any issues with the padding or just the overall construction. They have those inconsistencies that most mass produced gloves have such as weird/off stitching but its not something that causes any sort of issue at all. The stitching, leather, and foams are holding up just fine. I don’t think I even have one loose thread and if I do it hasn’t caused me any problems or made me worry about it. The leathers thick and feels sturdy enough to last me years. The Straps have held up just fine as well, the velcro doesn’t look like day one but that’s expected of velcro, they still get the job done fine and again no issues.
Overall durability i have to say these things passed that all important test. They’ve held up to everything I’ve thrown at them. They haven’t broken down at all and I just have no complaints when it comes to them. These are great gloves and they surpassed my expectations.
These gloves have a very specific style. Looking at just the unique closure system or the slanted ergonomic wrist. The rounded off look that the gloves make when you make a fist, a little bulbous, big, but I find it so clean and “right,” if that makes any sense at all. Even while they look bulky they’re actually weirdly compact. I suppose that’s why I describe them as, “right.” I think this is just that Rival style that they instill in all their gloves and it’s just one of my favorites.
The dual velcro is something that I have an issue with. Which is a shame because it’s one of the main features of this glove. Ergostrap system is what Rival calls this closure style. If you’ve ever tried the Hayabusa Tokushu closure system, these are similar, kind of. Before I bought these I saw and read reviews where most people complained about how it was nearly impossible to put these on by yourself. The velcro straps are on one side of the glove and overlap each other for a tight closure. It IS difficult to put them on yourself, not impossible though and normally I tighten the first glove perfectly, put the second one on with the straps loose and just tighten them up with my gloved hand. If I take one off though, its essentially impossible to put them back on, that’s for sure.
My issue with the closure system is that it’s a hassle and there are so many small tweaks Rival could have done to improve this design. Yes, the gloves are more snug with two straps. But the size of the straps and the time-consuming process to put them on if you’re alone is just a waste. No better word describes this than, “unnecessary.”
But with all that said I can’t disregard these gloves, call them trash, and not recommend them. Their one flaw, in my opinion, is easy to ignore and if you can’t then just buy the lace-ups. Add a velcro converter to them and loosen the laces, boom, a better version of the Ergostrap. When these gloves die on me, if they ever do, or if I want a black pair I’ll gladly buy them again, dual tiny straps, headache, and all.
In terms of weight, these are a little under 14oz with the left glove weighing in at 13.6oz and the right 13.8oz. Again no deal breaker there.
The RS2V’s have a higher price tag at one hundred dollar range and personally, I don’t agree with the price. There are better gloves at better prices without the annoying features. With that being said though I’d buy them again because you do get what you pay for and I’m not trying to bad mouth these things. These are quality gloves that perform as good as they look. If the issue is price then I’d recommend getting them during a sale because you wouldn’t be disappointed, even just $20 bucks off is a great deal for these.
Summary, Pros & Cons
Countless bag work, sparring, countless punches thrown that landed and some that didn’t. The big question I had was if these things would last me and they have without a doubt. I take care of my gear, clean them up routinely, etc. But there is no way to stop foam from degrading and breaking down which is the biggest fear I had with these gloves and they’ve held up good as new ever since day one. They’ve become one of my favorite gloves and I’m happy I bought them. I can not recommend the Rival RS2V’s enough.
- Hand Compartment
- Broken In
- Top Heavy
Rival RS2V was tested and reviewed by Lobo. It was not sponsored or otherwise endorsed by advertisers.