Running a store which essentially only sells professional level boxing and Martial Arts Equipment could make you a little snobby about what you use yourself but having been involved with boxing and MMA for over 20 years now both on a sporting level and within the industry I think its fair to say I have an informed opinion nowadays.
I remember first looking at the famous Cleto Reyes boxing gloves
and thinking "What can possibly make these worth £200?"
Well I hate to tell everyone this but.....quite a lot actually. In my time I've had TITLE, Top King, Fairtex, Windy and still use a set of Rival 10's but two years ago I got a set of Cleto Reyes 14 oz Lace up sparring gloves
and basically I don't think I'm ever going to want a different set again.
First thing that hits you is the smell! Whilst all quality boxing gloves are made of decent leather Reyes leather smells like good quality new shoes, they really do! I'd almost forgotten what this smells like as leather shoes are no longer really my thing but I have to say this alone stood out about the build quality of Reyes gloves. The leather is soft and pliable whilst strong and having a beautiful polished finish. Boxing Gloves made in Thailand have a particular tough and certainly less soft leather which often makes them very durable however these gloves made in Mexico have a quality not matched in the East.
The Reyes fit is comfortable and close without being overly tight, with a good wrap and a little use the softness of the leather soon molds to the shape of your hand and the long wrist gives optimal protection in aiding keeping your wrist straight whilst striking. I chose lace ups for the added comfort value and I'll maintain that once you wear laces you'll never go back to velcro cuffs however the fit is no different for either variety but worth noting the wrap around adds 2 ounces to the overall glove weight with the sparring versions making a 14 a 16 in actual glove weight (Where as the padding is lighter!)
Whilst sparring the Reyes boxing gloves
are famously "light" on padding with the weight distributed in such an even way that you might be accused of using lighter gloves and its worth mentioning that hand protection really will require proper wrapping so if you do want to just throw on your gloves without wraps maybe you want to look at a bulkier glove such as the Revgear Sentinel or RIVAL RS11V however if you want refined striking and comfort then this truly is the king of boxing gloves.
So are Cleto Reyes really worth the high price tag? If you are serious about your boxing and want something that makes you smile everytime you put them on then the simple answer is "Yes, worth every Penny!"