Cleto Reyes, the legendary gloves worn by the likes of Manny Pacquiao and one of the most famous pure boxing glove brands in the world. Cleto’s have been around for decades and are intimately tied to the sport of boxing.
The only other brand that’s more visibly associated with boxing is Everlast, who’s star has fallen considerably over the years (Everlast gloves are jokingly referred to as ‘Neverlast’ gloves by boxers now).
These are premium boxing gloves and priced solidly close to the $200 USD mark. Expect to pay at least $150 for a pair of Cleto Reyes, which put them into the upper range of pricing for a glove, beaten only by Winnings and Grant. If you are looking for a solid budget or mid-range boxing glove, you are best off looking at another brand which, frankly, give you better value, but less craftsmanship.
If you are willing to commit to the price though and you are a fan of the Mexican boxing glove build, then Cleto is one of the best gloves on the market, both in performance, comfort, and quality.
I own a pair of 16 ounce laced Cleto Reyes that I use primarly for sparring. I’m a huge fan of the overal feel and sleek design.
The Mexican Style of Boxing Gloves
Cleto Reyes are Mexican-style gloves which are a style of boxing glove known for less knuckle padding, with a square, rectangular front glove shape, and a longer wrist cuff. By far, Cleto Reyes are the most popular Mexican boxing gloves and arguably, the best of that style you can buy.
Cleto Reyes Boxing Gloves vs. Other Brands
When it comes to Cleto Reyes gloves, they are known for two specific things: they are sleekly colorful, and they are minimally padded. If you like putting the hurt on your partner during sparring, you need reach for nothing more than a pair of 16 oz Cleto Reyes to do that job.
One of the significant differences with Cleto Reyes vs. other gloves is that they use horse hair filling for the inner ‘padding’ of the glove. This is not a ‘new’ method of padding; rather, it’s the old school way of building boxing gloves, back before the invention of foam padding or other advancements.
What’s pretty clear, after getting hit by Cletos in sparring, is that the old school boxers dished out and received a hell of a lot more punishment than the modern boxers.
For you, this means there is less overall padding in the frontal glove area. And while Cleto Reyes puts 1-2 inches (depends on the model) of padding along the knuckle area on their gloves, padding ‘size’ and the actual impact-absorbing properties are not exactly the same thing.
This means that getting punched with a pair of Cleto’s is like knocking a few ounces or more off the same weight glove from other the boxing glove brands. I don’t have a scientific figure here for you guys, but I’d say 16 oz Cleto’s is like getting hit with a 12 oz Twins / Fairtex / Grant or a 10 oz Winning. Basically, it’s a hell of a lot harder.
These babies are meant to give out punishment which is why knockout fighters love to wear them during boxing matches. They are also wonderful on the pads, but due to the reduced padding on the front, less so on the heavy bag. So pick up a pair of Cletos for sparring, mitt work, double end bag, but these are not ideal for pounding away at the heavy bag for long durations.
The gloves look great and feel great, but they are perhaps on the more overpriced side for what you get. Keep this firmly in mind: you are paying for a premium brand name more than actual quality or craftmanship. That’s not to say the gloves don’t have tight stitching or a nice build to them; they do. But Cleto Reyes are not necessary worth as much as they are
You’ll find boxers divided on how good Cleto Reyes are: some people love the gloves while some despise them. And while rumors (which are in fact somewhat true) about the decline in quality of the gloves abound, the truth is that they are excellent gloves for a certain type of person.
But not everyone.
Regardless of whether you love the feeling of the gloves or not, visually the gloves are stunning — sleek, shiny red with a premium leather that screams for attention. You might not be a good boxer in the gym, but you sure damn feel like one when you put them on and strut around.
Cleto Reyes Boxing Glove Models
Here’s a brief list and description of all the various Cleto Reyes boxing glove models on the market right now, not counting any limited or special editions they have.
(velcro or lace)
This is the classic training glove, designed for the bag, pad, and sparring. It’s the generalist Cleto glove and the glove you’ll likely be using most of the time in the gym. For pure looks, the lace is the one to get. But for practicality, I find the velcro more functional.
This model is to address those who want more padding than the minimal style that most Mexican boxing gloves give you. These are Cleto Reyes but the watered down version. However, these are really good for sparring and heavy bag work — more so than the regular Cleto Reyes
These are the gloves you fight in. They are NOT for sparring and not for heavy bag use. If you hit the heavy bag, you’ll ruin them quickly. These are also good for speed pad work, and if you do fight, I recommend having a pair of these to train in to simulate your actual fight speed and fight-glove weight.
This has a redesigned velcro strap for easier closing, more padding, and a re-positioned thumb. It’s the newest model by Cleto Reyes. These are a more ‘modern’ take on the Cleto Reyes traditional glove. They are stuffed with latex foam (instead of horsehair) and feature a larger velcro strap, a re-positioned thumb, more padding, and less ‘wrist’ length. If anything, these gloves are more similar to the Thai-style boxing gloves or a sort of hybrid between Thai boxing gloves and Cleto Reyes traditional gloves.
Cleto Reyes take on the traditional bag glove. Which means it’s a hard-hitting bag glove that may just ruin your hands.
The model designed for amateur completions. These have special foam padding and a special construction.
A more padded version of the Fight Glove that’s combines the shape and weight of the Fight Glove model with a more padding to allow for general training. Good for those who want to really work on power and speed during training without hurting their hands too much.
Cleto Reyes Boxing Gloves Reviews
Here’s my hands-on review of all the current models of Cleto Reyes gloves.
I specifically had to order a number of different gloves to test them, which frankly, was expensive to do (like very expensive!) and tough on my fists. The reason being that unlike other gloves, you can’t just put them on and immediately get a comfortable experience when you punch. The gloves need to be broken in, which takes at least 3 weeks to do. In fact, it takes a good six months to really wear them in.
So I’ve given my initial impression and reviews of the glove models after using them. I did not, however, have enough time or willpower to use them all for the six month period to break them in. So keep that in mind. At best, I used these gloves for a month of boxing to see how they stacked up to the other brands.
In the case of my Cleto Reyes, I bought a 16 ounce laced for sparring. They are beautiful gloves to look at. I don’t think any other glove on the markete quite has the asethetics of Cleto. They are not wildly fancy gloves with a zillion colors. Rather, the look is simple, understated, yet elegant.
About Cleto Reyes Gloves: What Makes Them Special
The gloves are well known for their minimal padding — and you’ll see this as soon as you put on a pair of the classic Cleto Reyes training gloves.
The training gloves do protect the hand well and give good stabilization to the wrist due to the longer wrist cuff area. For even more wrest stability, though, you’ll want to go with the lace version which strap up very tightly.
The gloves also tend to have a nice crack when you hit something hard. This is the one thing I’ve noticed the most while using these gloves. They have a vicious crack to them when you hit the bag or pads. I love this, and it’s one of the biggest criteria that define what makes a good boxing glove good.
I’m not sure what to call this effect, but whatever it is, Cleto Reyes has it plenty.
HOWEVER, because there is less padding around the front knuckle area, your hands will be sore after a few hard rounds on the heavy bag.
You’ll either want a heavier glove (14oz vs 12oz) if you want to handle the heavy bag or look at their Extra Padded model. If you are planning to fight, you might want to look at the official fight boxing gloves which come in either 8 or 10, but feel like money on the pads.
Cleto Reyes Boxing Gloves Costs
Cleto Reyes is considered a premium or professional boxing glove brand. This means you are going to pay more than the mid-range boxing gloves. The price starts at about $150 and ranges up to about $180, though depending on the size and color, the price can vary between 20 to 30 dollars.
For the classic Cleto Reyes training gloves, expect to pay about $160 for a 12 ounce.
Notes about pricing variations
- Different weights costs different amounts; the heavier the glove, the more you pay
- Velcro models and Lace models are sometimes priced differently
- More exotic colors (blue, yellow, fancy patterns) may cost additional money over the basic red or black colors.
- Cleto Reyes is sold in the USA by RINGSIDE, which is an official Cleto Reyes distributor in the US. You’ll see some gloves called RINGSIDE Cleto Reyes, but this simply means they are sold by RINGSIDE, but still manufactured by the Cleto Reyes Mexican factory in Mexico.
Cleto Reyes Training Boxing Gloves Review
These are the most ‘popular’ Cleto Reyes glove and the workhorse model of the brand. These are the gloves that give you that Cleto thrill when you put them on and when you start hitting things. This is the pair that I own (the laced black version in 16 ounce).
Cleto Reyes Lace vs Hook & Loop Training Gloves
You can get these in two versions: Training Hook & Loop (i.e. the Velcro) or the traditional lace.
There are differences. The lace look better with a sleeker design. Like all laced gloves, they fit more snugly once tied up, which requires someone to do it for you. They are also lighter as the actual weight (10,12,14,16 oz) do not count the added weight of the velcro. So for pad work and for sparring, the lace are definitely the better glove. However, because you need someone else to tied up and remove your gloves, they are less suitable for general training (especially by yourself).
The big deal with the Cleto Reyes gloves comes down to two things: the sleek, glossy leather and the minimal padding that offer just enough protection to protect your hands while allowing you to feel the crack of impact.
Trust me, you do feel the impact with these gloves — especially when the gloves are new. It takes a few weeks (or longer) to break them in so they are comfortable. But once you do, they are something special.
These gloves really are a work of art — the sleek leather (especially the red) and, if you have the Lace up versions — the white lace unifies into a perfect aesthetic whole. You’d have to be blind not to appreciate how beautiful these gloves look.
For the power punchers in all of us, punching with Cleto Reyes after using other gloves is like coming home after a long vacation. The bottom line: punching with these gloves is fun and woe to the poor sparring partners you unleash these gloves upon.
Now, if we ignore the almost religious-like experience these gloves bring on when you put them on and start punching things, there are a few complaints some might have.
The minimal padding — just enough to offer protection — means just that: don’t expect maximum protection and padding. This means you may suffer from sore knuckles and hand pain when smashing the heavy bag, especially for long durations.
This might not affect everyone equally, but certainly, if you have pre-existing injuries with your hands, or you are the sort of puncher who tends to punch through a glove, these are not the glove for you or not the ONLY glove you should wear during training.
The other major complaint is that these gloves take forever to break in. Unlike a pair of Winning’s that already feel broken in as soon as you put your hand in a new pair, Cleto Reyes will take you weeks — or months — to break in.
This means the initial period can be rough on your hands. These are NOT a glove you want to first start wearing a couple weeks before your competition; give yourself a few weeks to a few months to properly break these babies in.
This might not affect everyone equally, but certainly, if you have pre-existing injuries with your hands, or you are the sort of puncher who tends to punch through a glove, these are not the glove for you or not the ONLY glove you should wear during training. The other major complaint is that these gloves take forever to break in.
Unlike a pair of Winning’s that already feel broken in as soon as you put your hand in a new pair, Cleto Reyes will take you weeks — or months — to break in. This means the initial period can be rough on your hands. These are NOT a glove you want to first start wearing a couple weeks before your competition; give yourself a few weeks to a few months to properly break these babies in.
Once thing I noticed after a few training sessions with my gloves on the heavy bag (I was using 16 ounces) is that the gloves don’t have a lot of breathability. This means your hands get very warm inside and will sweat. So keep this in mind — using them somewhere warm will have your hands soeak
CONS: long break in period (3 weeks to a few months); minimal padding on front area; horse-hair stuffing gives more impact to blows; the gloves are very, very warm, and your hand will sweat after a few minutes. The hard padding may cause knuckle pain when hitting heavy bag; pricey at nearly $200. More after you pay for shipping.
Summary: One of the better premium boxing gloves on the market that really do feel lovely when you put them on; they are pricey at nearly $200, but you get what you pay for. If you are unsure about what Cleto Reyes glove to buy, THIS is probably the model you want to get. It’s the most popular Cleto Reyes glove model and delivers the performance and feel that people reference when they talk about Cleto Reyes.
There is a serious pop when you smash pads or the bag and they are excellent ‘hard’ sparring boxing gloves. However, when it comes to Cleto Reyes, you either love them or hate them.
The glove take a very long time to break in. These are gloves that perform better after six months than they do six weeks — so keep that in mind. They are also not very good for heavy bag work, due to the padding issues. As such, Cleto Reyes are best for specific types of training rather than all training; you may want to invest in another pair of boxing gloves for bagwork, which will add to the overall cost. For day to day training, I prefer my Winnings — they are just so much easier on your hands, even though they don’t have as much crack on the bags as Cleto. For sparring though, Cleto’s give you a real edge.
Cleto Reyes Extra Padding Training Gloves
One of the primary joys or limitations, depending on which side of the fence you are on, of Cleto Reyes is the reduced padding. The gloves are well known as a ‘puncher’s’ glove. Watch professional boxing matches, and you’ll see some of the greatest knockout artists love wearing Cleto Reyes (Manny Pacquiao, GGG, etc.more dense). Now if you don’t already have knockout power, wearing a pair of Cleto’s is not going to give you knockout power. But if you already have power, it adds to it.The downside is that Cleto Reyes are a punishing glove on your sparring partners — or on you if you are on the receiving end. Getting hit by a 16 oz Cleto’s in sparring like getting hit by a 12 oz glove. Again, good for a power puncher in sparring; bad for the guys getting hit.
The extra padded gloves are Cleto’s answer to this: a safer, more padded glove. The horsehair filling is replaced with latex foamdenserand shock absorbing.
These are the best version of Cletos to use on the heavy bag and for SAFE sparring — you get the craftsmanship of the Cleto Reyes brand, the beautiful design, but with a lot more padding.
PROS: far more padded than regular Cleto Reyes; good for heavy bag and sparring
CONS: lack the pop feeling you get when punching with traditional Cletos; not as much wist support
Summary: Those who love the feeling you get when punching with the traditional Cleto Reyes brand probably won’t like these. But those who are want more hand protection while hitting the heavy bag and who want to engage in safer sparring sessions while using Cleto gloves will find these gloves are good for just that.
Cleto Reyes Official Professional Boxing Gloves Review
These are the gloves you see the pros wearing during actual boxing matches.
They are gorgeous and have subtle design differences that make them stand out over the regular Cleto Reyes such as a different color logo, a different thumb color, and a more contoured frontal area that wraps a bit tighter around your fist area. Overall, they are a better, more efficient punching glove for maximum power and speed.
So if you want to be a pro boxer — and train like one or fight matches — or you want to feel like a god on the pads, these are the gloves to use.
They are specifically designed for combat and NOT for bag or padwork and only come in either 8 oz or 10 oz and no other sizes.
Unlike the Reyes glove models, the fight gloves are made from goat leather rather than cow leather. The result is a softer, more subtle feel to the leather. I personally like it though I’m not sure this adds anything to the durability — it’s been my experience with gloves made from lambskin or goatskin that while the leather feels more subtle and softer, it’s a bit less durable.
PROS: a more contoured shape for better punching speed; subtle design changes that make them stand out visually; beautiful craftsmanship; made from goat leather which gives them a softer feel
CONS: far less durable than the regular Cleto Reyes; only come in 8oz or 10oz sizes; not at all good for bagwork — pad work is ok, but the gloves will wear out quickly
Summary: if you want to train like a pro on the pads or you intend to fight, these are likely the gloves you want to use. However, they are specialized gloves and made for combat, NOT training. As such, your usage of these gloves will be very limited to fighting or padwork.
Cleto Reyes Official Safetex Boxing Gloves Review
Do you like the official Cleto Reyes Professional Boxing Gloves? They are beautiful gloves but pretty much only suitable for fighting — not training due to the 8 oz and 10 oz weight limitations. At best, you can only use them on pads, and if you do, they where out quickly and are no longer suitable gloves for fighting.
The Safetec Fight Gloves take the same design, but change out the horsehair stuffing with Safetec foam so you can use them for regular training. You can use these gloves for padwork, uppercut bag, speed bag work, and the double end bag with maximum speed and punch power — without hurting your hands. Keep in mind that these only come in 8 oz or 10 oz and are formulated to match as closely as possible in size, shape, and weight of the Cleto Reyes Fight glove model.
Though these have a more dense pad for better fist protection than the fight gloves, these are still not suitable for heavy bag work — you will hurt your hands / knuckles. You are better off using the regular Cleto Reyes training gloves OR, better yet, the Extra Padded version for heavy bag workouts.
PROS: better padding than the fight gloves while still retaining the same weight and shape; great for punching speed and power
CONS: don’t feel as snappy on the pads or bag as traditional Cleto Reyes
Summary: it’s a toss up whether you want to go with a pair of Safetec gloves for general training or slightly heavier regular Cleto Reyes. It comes down to whether you like the more contoured form of these and the extra padding; compared to the fight gloves, they are much more padded. Compared to the regular Cleto Reyes training gloves, they have more padding, yet still retain the more contoured fight shape (and size) of the fight model.
Cleto Reyes Hybrid Boxing Gloves Review
The Fit Cuff model is a variation on the traditional model. Instead of horsehair stuffing, the gloves have the more modern latex foam padding. The thumb area has been redesigned / modified so it’s a bit higher and wider, the Velcro strap is bigger and more prominent, and the wrist cuff area is wider and shorter than on the Hook and Loop model.
Basically, these are a sort of hybrid boxing glove style and to me, feel a bit like a Thai-style boxing glove with the bigger thumb, more square design, and shorter wrist area. I suspect those of you who want a Muay That style glove might quite like these.
The real issue with these gloves is that there is significantly more padding than the regular Celto Reyes. Because of this, and the fact the padding is foam not horse hair, the glove don’t have that spectacular pop feedback you get from the regular model. They are however, far more padded and you wont’ run into the bruised knuckle / sore hand issues that the regular model cause for many people when they hit pads or the heavy bag.
So for those looking for a ‘real’ Cleto Reyes experience when you hit stuff won’t get that feeling when using these gloves. But these are far more friendly for beginners and lack many of the associated ‘cons’ of the originals such as hurting your knuckles when doing bag work.
PROS: far more padding; more comfortable to use; no break in period; re-positioned thumb is more comfortable for some people
CONS: lacks the pop and feel of the regular model when you punch; weight distribution is not as ideal for quick punching; does not feel like it has the craftmanship of the origionals
Summary: Because of the radical redesigns, these really don’t feel like a regular Cleto Reyes — so fans of the original design and feel of the regular model may not like these. I recommend these as a good ‘starter’ boxing glove for those who are getting into boxing, Muay thai, or MMA and don’t want to deal with all the pros and cons that the regular model bring out. The more ‘advanced’ boxers will probably want to go with the regular model, which frankly, make Cleto Reyes Cleto Reyes.
Cleto Reyes Bag Gloves Review
In general I’m not a big fan of bag gloves — they offer nothing that you can’t get with regular boxing glove. In fact, they offer lest wrist support and less padding, regardless of how they are designed. But that’s just my opinion — some people do love them.
These are a minimal style glove and to be honest, if you want a bag glove, you might want to look at one of the other brands with better padding than Cleto Reyes. If you are going to hit the heavy bag with reduced padding, you want to make sure you get the best, most dense, padding you can. These bag gloves are not necessarly bad — you know what you are getting into if you buy a pair of bag gloves — but there’s more padded bag gloves from some of the other brands. Winning, for example, has much superior bag gloves that offer far better protection. Some of the cheaper brands like RIVAL or Hayabusa have good bag gloves.
Summary: if you want a minimalist bag glove, and the Cleto name, these are decent bag gloves. But they are not overly impressive nor offer anything that cheaper brands don’t offer better. And let’s be frank, you don’t buy Cleto Reyes for a pair of bag gloves, you buy Cletos for their traditional boxing glove.
Cleto Reyes Official Amateur Boxing Gloves Review
I’m not going to go too much into detail for this model. These are designed specifically for amateur boxing competitions. If you are an amateur boxer, then these are the gloves you’ll want to buy for general training and for sparring. They do have that Cleto Reyes look and craftsmanship, but the gloves lack the feel that regular Cleto Reyes have when you punch something, due to the specialized foam padding the gloves have (a requirement for amateur boxing gloves). However, compared to generic amateur boxing gloves, the craftsmanship and feel of these gloves is superior.
Summary:For the average beginner, boxer, muay thai, or mma trainee, these gloves are not really suitable. They are ONLY made for amateur boxers. Consider one of the other glove models if you are not an amateur boxer. However, if you are an amateur boxing, these are high quality gloves with good Cleto craftsmanship and superior to your run-of-the-mill generic amateur boxing gloves. Keep in mind that for actual competitions, you are typically given the gloves before the match; it’s unlikely you can bring your own gloves to the match — so don’t buy them to compete in them as you probably won’t be allowed to wear them during matches.
The Final Word
Cleto Reyes are one of the better premium boxing glove brands around. Now, there are some issues with the quality of their gloves; there’s a good number of boxers who do say the quality has gone down from what it was a few years ago.
Buying a pair of Cleto Reyes is not for everyone. You either like the Mexican style of glove, as represented by Cleto, with less knuckle padding and a more rectangular shape, or you don’t.
My feeling is that the gloves look great, feel great, and have a magical ‘pop’ when you hit the bag with them. However, I personally prefer the non-mexican style glove brands like Grant or Winning (which are my two favorite brands). I do enjoy using my Cleto Reyes though and I can definitely see the appeal for a certain type of boxer.
Having a pair of Cleto’s lets you express your full punching power on the pads, a bag, or someone’s face. But, the gloves are NOT for everyone. I would say these gloves are for the intermediate or advanced boxers, but not well suited for new boxers (for MMA, boxing, or Muay Thai). The long break in period is, frankly, pretty annoying; you are basically forced into committing to weeks or months wearing (somewhat) uncomfortable gloves that don’t really fit well until they are finally punched in properly. If you can last the break in period, the gloves are magical.
I recommend that if you do buy a pair of Cleto Reyes and want to only stick to the Reyes brand, then you’ll need two pairs of gloves — one for sparring and one for general training. it’s hard to use a single pair of Cleto Reyes as an all round training glove for sparring, padwork, and bagwork — so you are best off having dedicated gloves for either sparring or bag work which will mitigate some of the disadvantages to Cleto Reyes (the lack of protection when hitting the heavy bag).
My recommendation is to get a pair of LACED 16 oz Cleto Reyes training gloves for sparring and a pair of Extra Padded Cleto Reyes or Velcro 14 oz Cleto Reyes Training gloves for bagwork and padwork.
Overall, Cleto Reyes is one of the best boxing glove brands and their gloves are beautifully crafted, feel wonderful to punch in, and delivers serious power. But you will pay a premium price for these which may not be worth it for those looking for more bang for buck, non-power punchers, or more casual boxers.