The history of Cleto is vast, the style is classic, and true to their roots it’s a Mexican style punchers glove, but are Cleto Reyes boxing gloves passed their prime?
Years back maybe 2012 I owned a beautiful Metallic Gold Limited Edition 14oz Hook and loop pair that was a real head turner. The beautiful shine of the metallic gold leather and the smell was intoxicating. I was so excited to feel what everyone was talking about, so I ripped the box open pulled the gloves out, but sadly while sliding my hand inside the glove I heard the dreadful sound of fabric tearing, an omen of what was to come. I didn't want to let a little tear ruin my experience of the legendary Reyes glove, so I decided to use them anyway. The next day I headed to the gym. As I opened my gym bag I could see the metallic color radiating from the inside of my bag and once i pulled them out people began to give 2nd looks or steal side eye glances. The gloves were beautiful! I did my first few rounds on the bag and I couldn't help this feeling of ambivalence that swept over me. In my mind I should love the way these feel, but why are these so damn uncomfortable? I figured I'd have to break these in, but they felt awful, yet I finished up my workout. I continued to use them for months and didn't really notice the 'break-in' period every ending. It felt like the same uncomfortable brick for gloves I had been using for months, so ultimately I sold them.
Fast-forward to 2021, I was able to purchase a pair of Yellow 16oz lace-ups second hand. The reason I decided to use this particular pair was due to them feeling really soft, which was a the antithesis of what I remember from my old pair. This pair was nice and broken-in, so I decided what the hell lets give Cleto another shot. The glove design of Cleto is one of my favorites, Classic, simple, yet beautiful, old school, but not outdated (as far as aesthetics go) and for whatever reason I have an affinity for yellow boxing gloves. I used them hoping the broken in glove would be more comfortable and I wouldn't get the same uncomfortable feeling that I remember, but I was wrong! The same heavy, uncomfortable glove it was when I tried it years back is the same uncomfortable heavy glove it is today. No innovation, no improvements, just the exact same design. I really wanted this time to be different, I wanted to like Cleto, but if you ask me Cleto Reyes is a half decent glove that lives off their past and survives from the strength of their name. The good is that they offer great “pop” when working the bag, classic beautiful styling, and are durable, yet they are one of the most uncomfortable and heaviest gloves I’ve used. At around $200 bucks I can think of several other gloves I’d rather use, but even with that being said I kinda took a liking to these gloves, although not for me I can see why some still hold them dear.
P.S. I still really love the classic look of the Cleto Reyes glove I just don't like training in them and if you do that's cool. At the end of the day it all boils down to preference. Since I wrote this Cleto has come up with a new design and it's an ugly ass one. It took them decades to come up with a new design and they come up with this? The turds stray dogs leave in random yards have more creativity than the new Cleto glove...just my opinion.