After a few months of using the Fairtex BGV1 Muay Thai gloves (reviewed here), I felt as though I needed a change. As I explained in the Fairtex BGV1 review, the hand compartment was too large and the padding was too stiff/dense for my liking.
I was looking for a glove that met the following criteria :
- Smaller / Lighter than the BGV1’s. My BGV1’s are labelled as 14oz but they actually weigh in at 16oz.
- Quality needed to be on par or better than the BGV1’s. I wanted a high end pair of gloves that I could use for a long time and that I would not feel like I had compromised on.
- They needed to have greater protection than the BGV1’s. The extremely dense padding of the BGV1’s made heavy bag work a nightmare because my knuckles felt awful afterwards.
For some background, I typically do about 80% pad work and 20% heavy bag work and I currently do not spar. I train Muay Thai and Boxing but the type of Muay Thai our gym does is in the Dutch Style, which has a heavier emphasis on boxing than traditional Muay Thai. I have relatively small hands, I’m 5'9 and weigh about 175lbs.
After researching online, speaking to the coaches at my gym and friends who also box or train Muay Thai, I had widdled my options down to two brands : Cleto Reyes or Winning. Cleto Reyes essentially won the battle by default for being easier to buy and significantly less expensive than Winning. I opted for the Hybrids because they had a Small (10 oz) option and the Training Gloves only went down to 12 oz. The Training Gloves also have a very long cuff compared to the Hybrids and I prefer shorter cuffs.
Important note when buying the Cleto Reyes Hybrids :
The sizing is super confusing and Cleto Reyes has done nothing to help clarify. The Hybrids come in size XS, S, M & L but Cleto Reyes do not say how much they weigh anywhere on their website. I can tell you that the Small gloves weigh in at just about 10 ounces. From all of the research I’ve done I was able to find out that the XS = 6oz, Medium = 14+ oz and Large =16+oz.
First Impressions / Quality
I was truly blown away by how beautiful these gloves were when I opened up the box. I inspected the gloves thoroughly and they were absolutely flawless. I was worried when I pulled the gloves out of the box because they looked very small but once I put my hands in them, they fit perfectly.
I put them side by side with the Fairtex 14oz BGV1’s and they were noticeably smaller. First impressions were absolutely positive and I couldn’t have been happier.
Score : 10/10
I have been using the Cleto Reyes Hybrids nearly every day since I received them and they are wonderful gloves. The fit is very snug and compact when I have my handwraps on but they never feel constricting. Cleto Reyes are often called “puncher’s gloves” but I believe that description might apply more to their pro fight gloves than their training gloves. I found the Hybrids to be the perfect balance of feel and protection.
The BGV1’s had a nice feel to them but the padding was too dense to give me the protection I needed. I was nearly always coming home after training with pain in my knuckles and wrists with the BGV1’s and that’s all but vanished with the Hybrids. I feel every punch in a positive way with the Hybrids, due to their soft leather and padding but I’ve yet to feel any knuckle or wrist soreness after using them.
I much prefer the weight and size of the 10 oz Hybrids over the 14oz BGV1’s. I find I pay more attention to my guard, errors in my punching technique are more apparent and my punching speed is much higher. The weight of gloves that you choose will boil down to personal preference because there are some people who will never touch a glove that is lighter than 16oz and others like me that now swear by a 10 oz glove for pad work and bag work.
All in all, I’ve tried a few different brands and styles of gloves and these gloves outperform them all by a long shot.
Score : 10/10
Judging the value of a boxing glove can be hard because some people believe that buying a pair of gloves for over $200 will never be worth it.
I work an office job and I use my hands all day to make a living and protecting those hands is well worth the $200 investment. The materials used on the Cleto Reyes Hybrids are superior to the ones used on the Fairtex BGV1’s but I‘m not sure they warrant an extra $100.
If you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of gloves that you can purchase for half the price that will do the trick just fine. If you want the best of the best, you’ll have to dish out a significant amount more but I can nearly guarantee you won’t regret it.
Score : 8.5/10
Pros + Cons
- Build Quality and materials are very high end
- Padding on the knuckles is fantastic and the hand position in the glove is perfect
- They are beautiful looking gloves and they do everyting well
- Sizing is confusing (hopefully I’ve clarified this for everyone)
If you are just starting out with Muay Thai, Kickboxing or Boxing, I would not recommend dishing out $225 CAD on a pair of gloves. There are plenty of brands like Windy, Twins, Fairtex to choose from that make great gloves for $70+ CAD.
If you’re someone like me who has used beginner/intermediate gloves and you’re looking to move up to a higher end glove, I absolutely recommend you try these gloves.
I’ve heard of some people not liking the thumb on Cleto Reyes but I personally had no problem with it. I’ve read that there isn’t enough wrist protection on Cleto’s but the Hybrids seem to have plenty and I’ve blocked Thai Roundhouse kicks with them and felt fine. You’ll read tons about how Cleto’s are “puncher’s gloves” that offer little protection and I can tell you that the Hybrids offer me better protection than any gloves I’ve used to date.
It’s rare that you purchase something and are 100% satisfied with it or better yet blown away by it but the Hybrids not only met my expectations but blew them away.
Overall Score : 9.5/10