If you train MMA or Muay Thai, a good pair of shin guards is essential for your protection.
Venum have an excellent range of quality shin guards, but picking the right pair can be a challenge
So, I’ve put together a detailed review of all of Venum’s shin guards here, which will help you to get the very best shin guards for your training needs, at a price that’s right for your budget.
I’ll be looking at everything from quality and durability, to comfort and materials, to ensure you know everything you need to make the right choice
Venum Challenger shin guards
The Venum Challenger Shin Guards are the entry-level of the three I’ll review in this article, but still a quality product.
They’re a lightweight but strong shin guard, ideal for anyone new to the sport, who wants to protect themselves from the contact of kicks and blocks during sparring.
They’re constructed using Skintex leather, a triple (non-leather) strapping system and high-density foam padding.
They are great for somebody who is just getting into the sport, or just started sparring – but probably not strong enough for a seasoned fighter.
- Lowest priced shin guard offered by Venum
- Solid construction – great impact protection and decent spec materials
- Light weight, so easy to train in
- Excellent fitting and very comfortable
- Great foot protection
- The stiffness may take a while to break in, but this is fairly normal and not a huge issue
- The stitching can start to come out after prolonged use in rare cases
- Their light weight may not be firm enough for people who compete or train at a high level
Venum Elite shin guards
The next Venum shin guards I’m reviewing are the Elites, which are the mid-range option.
These are made with a higher-grade premium Skintex leather, but still maintain the light weight feel synonymous with Venum shin guards.
They benefit from an increase in the padding layer on the shin and instep, improving their shock absorption, plus the pad will stay locked in place during sparring with very strong velcro strapping.
A great pair of shin guards for somebody looking to get serious with their training and avoid nasty shin injuries.
- Premium Skintex leather construction – high quality material.
- Higher level of protection than the Challenger range thicker and tougher
- Maintains the lightweight characteristics of Venum guards, despite the extra padding.
- Exceptional quality strapping – these guards stay locked in place.
- Fantastic build quality means they last a long time
- The foot guards are a little on the small side, so may not protect the whole foot it if you have larger feet
- Not as tough or long-lasting as the Predators (below)
Venum predator shin guards
The Venum predators are the most expensive in the range and are a competition standard guard.
They’re hand made with a 100% premium synthetic leather and the straps are made from Buffalo leather, making them the best on this list – and possibly one of the best pair of shin guards I’ve seen from a western brand.
The padding is built from high-density foam, with extra protection on the shin and instep.
These competition guards are heavier than the others, but offer superior protection in competition – by far the toughest shin guards offered by Venum
- Hand made with quality materials, so great build quality.
- The best padding of the Venum shin guard range.
- Fantastic strapping quality – they stay tightly in place and can be adjusted more for comfort.
- Great-looking design
- The strongest and most durable shin guards in the Venum range
- Slightly heavier due to the extra padding, no heavier than other brands though
See also: RDX shin guard reviews
How to choose your Venum shin guards
My aim with the reviews is to run you through the details of each pair of Venum shin guards, helping you choose the right pair for you and your needs.
In this section we’ll look at the different features of the products and how this can affect your training and competing.
It’ll help shape your opinions more and give you a little more depth on each pair of guards.
With the exterior I’m referring to the materials used in the construction of the guards and the craftsmanship that the guards are made with.
At the lower price points, you should typically expect that the shin guards will be made with cheaper materials – mostly synthetics. In the Venum shin guard range, the Challenger guards are made with Skintex leather, so better quality than other brands at a similar price point.
The Elite guards are made with a more premium version of the Skintex leather and the Predators are hand made.
This usually means the finished product has a better quality of construction, fewer faults and has been made with more care and attention than the machine-produced guards.
As a rough rule of thumb, cheaper guards have less padding and the padding they do have is often slightly lower quality. This is OK at more beginner levels of competition, but the further you progress in the sport, the harder the hits and the more protection you’ll need.
The amount of padding directly contributes to the weight and sturdiness of the guards. More padding usually contributes more weight to the guards but it also makes them studier and improves their ability to absorb impact.
You’ll have to weigh up materials, padding, quality and price before making a call. Decide what’s important to you and your requirements then go from there. If you’re a newbie, you’ll be fine with a budget pair, but if you are experienced and intend to be doing lots of sparring drills, you’ll need to get better quality.
An overlooked but important aspect of shin guards is the ankle protection. Joints typically take longer to heal than limbs, so sturdy ankle protection can prevent a lot of injuries, both major and minor.
The Venum range seems to appreciate this because all of their guards, even at the more budget end seem to have good foot and ankle protection.
With training and competition, you’re likely to spending a lot of time in your shin guards, so comfort has to be really high on the agenda. As well as that, you can do without the distraction of an uncomfortable shin guard – if you lose concentration for a second during sparring, you can land yourself in trouble, so you have to pick shin guards that fit you comfortably.
The important things with comfort are the straps – what do other people say about them? In my opinion it’s worth paying attention to the straps because essentially they are what holds the shin guard in place. Bad straps will allow the guards to slip out of position, reducing protection and causing a constant distraction.
Another tip is to read the sizing charts before committing to a particular size. You don’t want the guards to be the wrong size otherwise comfort will suffer massively.
Venum are a quality brand and as such their products come in at a higher price. That doesn’t mean they’re expensive by the way – they’re just quality and that has to be paid for.
Take your time to consider what you want, what you need,what you can afford, and make your decision from there.
You don’t want to skimp and buy the cheapest shin guards on the market, only to need a new pair in a few weeks because you’ve gotten better at the sport, or they’ve fallen apart Buy with care and consideration, and be willing to stretch your budget if the perfect guards for you are slightly more than you were hoping to spend. Remember – you can’t economise on your safety and protection.
Choosing the best Venum shin guards for your training
Take an honest and considered look at what you like, what you need, what you have to spend and where you want to take your Muay Thai or MMA in future – if you buy better shin guards now, they’re likely to last you much longer, so consider that too.
We know Venum make good quality MMA and Muay Thai equipment, so you won’t go far wrong with any choice, but you could make a great choice if you take the time to consider things properly.