Phenom Boxing Elite SG-200 Professional Sparring Gloves (16oz) Review
Phenom Boxing was started by a team with over 20 years of experience in designing and producing fighting gear for major brands. The brand are now pursuing a premium market, aiming to produce high quality boxing equipment.
About the gloves
When I was first made aware of Phenom, I have to admit I was a little skeptical. Their SG-200 Elite boxing gloves are far from cheap, and there are too many brands out there offering what they call a ‘premium’ glove, without having justified the high price. Phenom boxing sent us a pair of these in 16oz to test out and give our feedback and opinion on. After getting my hands on the Phenom gloves I have to say seems my initial worries were wrong, and we’ve since seen big names such as Amir Khan being seen sporting custom versions of them.
The SG-200 are Phenom’s lace-up training model, with sizes from 12oz to 16oz on their website
The SG-200 come in a range of colours. There are a couple of stock versions, but a quick glance at the Phenom Boxing Instagram page will fill your eyes with all sorts of custom colour combinations and custom versions. In most cases the visuals follow the same sort of lines – A combination of colours, often with alternating colours on the lace ridges and thumb, a small ‘P’ logo on the ends of the fingers and ‘PHENOM BOXING’ written down the back of the hand with their ‘P’ logo behind.
The pair we were sent to review was a little different however. On our version there isn’t any ‘P’ logo on the back of the hand, which I think I actually prefer overall, as it gives the gloves a slightly cleaner look. While most pairs of the Elite SG-200 gloves have a plain-coloured palm, the ones we were sent have a patterned palm, made up of the same sort of angled shapes seen in the Phenom logo. I have to admit I wasn’t too keen on the pattern and could easily see why people would be put off by it, but after seeing it in person and using the gloves properly I’ve actually come to like the pattern – it just works really well on these gloves.
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Phenom have chosen to use a premium full-grain leather for these gloves, and the quality is instantly noticeable. Just from looking you can see the texture of the leather, and it feels great to touch, without feeling too dry or overly treated. The leather is folded really neatly around the fingers, and it’s clear some attention has been paid to the construction of these.
Speaking of the construction, the stitching is really solid all over. Some lines aren’t perfectly straight, such as the lines of stitching between the ridges on the back of the wrist. That said, these are a notably hard area to stitch, and considering we can see multiple lines of stitching on each edge, it’s clear these are held in place strongly, and that the issues are just visual. Often you’ll see one or two minor loose threads, but I haven’t seen anything like that on these just yet.
I found the inner lining to be pretty soft, with a smooth feel on the skin. I’ve tried wearing these with and without hand wraps and found them to be nice and comfortable both ways.
The padding Phenom have used is a multi-density foam. Overall I’d say they make for a medium-firm feel when punching, so you can get a nice solid contact with these and have a good sense of what sort of contact you’re making. Thankfully due to the multiple densities, the inner padding doesn’t feel too hard on the knuckles.
The first thing to say here is that I absolutely love the fit of these gloves. Phenom claim the fit is similar to that of their fight gloves and while I haven’t tested the fight gloves personally, I’d say that gives a good summary of the sort of fit these gloves have. They’re a fairly slim fit, which is perfect for myself as a lighter weight fighter, with a wrist that ties up nice and tight.
The hand compartment also feels well fitted. Some brands try to achieve this by just making the padding thicker and tighter, but with these gloves it feels like it’s more down to the shape of the hand compartment. The benefit of this is that over time as the padding softens, the gloves will still feel like they fit just as well.
Overall they have a fairly slim profile. If you have particularly large hands I’d suggest trying these out first if possible. Considering these are designed as sparring gloves however, the smaller profile is a definite advantage, allowing you to get into gaps easier for example.
I’ve found the finger compartment a little small to get into, but overall fairly comfortable once your fingers are in place. Once you have the gloves on properly though, these gloves seem to have a good amount of movement from the start, and will only open up more in time. This flexibility is great to have and opens up your options a little more in terms of any open handed techniques. In boxing this is mostly parrying, but for other combat sports can include clinching or catching kicks.
One issue I have noticed with these gloves is that they can feel a little hot after a while of training. While there’s a little natural breathability from the laces, I noticed myself getting noticeably sweaty on a couple of occasions. There are a few perforations on the thumb and hand, however the padding and inner lining seem to trap heat a bit too much.
Other than that though these are a surprisingly solid pair of gloves with a great fit which could be used for any form of training, but really come to life when sparring.
At £149.99, these are by no means cheap gloves, so it’s mostly going to be more advanced fighters or even professional fighters who are going to consider these. To compare to other lace-up gloves we’ve previously tested, this price comes in a little higher than the RDX A4 Pro Boxing Gloves – (Overall the Phenom gloves are admittedly better than RDX’s offering) and very slightly cheaper than the Rival RS1 Boxing Gloves (These are probably both on a similar level, however the Phenom Gloves are a more conventional shape and fit).
Overall I’d say the gloves are priced at about what we’d expect for a glove of this quality, and would make a great option for anybody looking for a high-level pair of lace-up gloves with a slimmer fit.
Looking to buy these?
+ Colour choices and customisation available
+ Slim, well-fitted profile
+ High quality
– Can get a little hot during long sessions
This graphic is to illustrate the areas this product excels in, and is not intended for direct comparison to other reviews.