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PREMIUM GLOVES: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

If you’ve been boxing and kicking around the striking arts for a while, you might have gone through several pairs of gloves. Most of us will go through a few pairs of Thailand branded gloves, switching from one Thai brand to another. There is some consistency in this, afterall, the Thai-branded gloves all belong to the same pricing band, and they are all generally made with similar levels of quality and materials.


As you browse our website, and if you select ‘Gloves’ and list the pricing from high to low, you will see that right at the top sits gloves that are priced in a totally different range from the commonplace Thai brands. Brands like Cleto Reyes and Winning anchor our premium range.


The hard truth? One pair of gloves from either of these brands can afford you two or more Thai brand gloves. Are they truly worth their price tag?


The ‘Feel’

If you haven’t tried a pair of Cleto/Winning, you should. You will almost feel the difference immediately. Cleto gloves feel “punchy”; you put your hands into one, and you immediately feel like punching.


This is because of the difference in materials used: both external and internal. The foam used in a pair Cleto gloves are made from latex, which gives that tighter, firmer feeling. Snug into a pair of Winning gloves and it will almost immediately feel quick, light, but well protected.


Winning gloves from Japan use orthopedic foam in its innards to give a softer protective feeling vis-a-vis the firmer fit of the Cletos. It is not to say one is better than the other, it boils down to preference. Most that we’ve served, choose Winning because they prefer the protection it offers, and the lightness of it. Those who choose Cleto prefers the pseudo aggressiveness that it brings, and the legacy of the Cleto brand.

The 'Quality'

Premium gloves are built with quality in mind. Small details matter, like the stitching, the leather used, the internal stitching; the list goes on and on. All these little details add up to form a product wrapped around your fists, enduring endless amounts of punishment, sometimes on a daily basis.


Premium gloves like Cleto Reyes and Winning often do not come in fanciful designs. Instead, what you will find is plain colours and/or a mixture of plain colours. The simplicity alludes to the fact that the quality presented is unsurpassed, and the logo of these brands tailored onto the gloves are the only design essentials.


In our recollection, the only “fancy” design that appeared for Cleto Reyes was one that had the Mexican flag, and even that pales in comparison to the typically designed Thai gloves available. When you own a pair of Cleto or Winning, you do not own it for its design; you own it for its quality, build, and it’s undisputable legacy.


The Price

Price is usually the deterrence from most of us owning a pair of these premium mitts. A standard pair of Cleto sets you back anywhere between $270 – $299, while a pair of Winning is priced at $599. The pragmatism in some of us will probably be thinking of shunning away from the significantly higher price tag.


It is true though, that these premium brands usually come with a price tag that seemingly doesn’t make sense to… we dare say, a majority of practitioners. Getting 2 Thai-branded gloves with the same budget of getting just one entry Cleto Reyes doesn’t seem like the most prudent of choices.


But for those who know, and for those who desire its quality, craftsmanship and its unparalleled build, the price tag is warranted. Us too, have our preference laid on the typical Thai brands, because they are familiar, because they are priced consistently. But for those of us who’ve had the privilege of trying, or better, owning a pair of Cleto Reyes/Winning gloves, it was every cent well spent.

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