In these pictures, I am comparing a pair of 16 oz Zepol Customs to a pair of 16 oz Cleto Reyes. My friend Mark was kind enough to loan me his Reyes gloves and allow me to take the pics.
**The Reyes gloves are a 2001 model purchased from Ringside. I do not know how they compare to the Mexican Model Reyes gloves, or to later models adopted by Ringside that include white palms and triple tones.
A general view:
You can see that the Zepols are roughly the same size as the Reyes, if not ever slightly smaller
The palm-side view:
Reyes employs what appears to be superior stitching, notably the use of double-stitching along the edge of the thumb, the palm surrounding the piping and laces, and the grip-bar. Zepol uses a single-stitching. Other points of interest:
-The Reyes thumb is vented. It also has greater thumb-curvature.
-The Padding on the medial(ulnar) side of the glove is shorter on the Zepol.
-Reyes uses traditional laces, Zepol uses a flatter and wider ribbon-like lace that so far has worked just as well.
Profile view (radial):
The Zepol thumb compartment is slightly smaller, and the triple-cuff padding is much, much thicker on the Reyes. There is also a reinforcing stitch-line on the edge of the Reyes triple-cuff that can be seen in white thread.
Profile view (ulnar):
The Zepol grip-bar is very small. It is about 1/3 the size of the Reyes grip-bar. Again note the single-stitching in the Zepol as compared to the double-stitching in the Reyes.
The Zepols have thicker padding in the knuckle and punching areas, whereas the Reyes' have thicker padding in the palm and wrist/cuff areas.
Knuckle comparison (top view):
The area of the Zepol striking-surface is a bit smaller than that of the Reyes. The region where the Zepol thumb connects tot he body of the glove features a welted-seam. Reyes generally does not contrast the back-thumb with the body of the glove, so I am not certain if Reyes would use a standard-seam or a welted-seam. Grant uses a standard-seam at this junction.
Both the Zepol and the Reyes gloves use a heat-transfer decal for their logo imprints, rather than silk-screen printing. The Reyes glove, which is about 11 years old, has shown cracking on the logo, which is to be expected. The Zepol glove, in only its second use in sparring only, has already begun to see some parts of the outer edges of the logo peeling and tearing off. That was very disappointing, much to my dismay.
Knuckle comparison (front view):
Again, we see that the hand compartment is just a bit more narrow in the Zepol glove.
As previously mentioned, the Zepol padding is much more "springy," with a bounce that is immediately noticeable. The Reyes padding is much more "spongy." In other words, the Zepol has a characteristic recoil, whereas the Reyes padding has more significant compression. The weight on the Zepol gloves is distributed mostly over the knuckle, whereas on the Reyes glove it is distributed on the cuff.
The Zepol hand compartment seems to be perfectly sized for my hand. I have long fingers and normal/wide hands. The area in which the palm and fingertips meet come together at a seam at the inside of the glove near the fingers, and that is very noticeable at the start. Most other gloves that I have experience with include a lining that covers this seam. The lining in the Zepol does not extend to the fingertips on the palm-side of the glove.
The wrist/cuff compartment is wider on the Zepols than it is on the Reyes. The Zepols feel a bit loose in that region before the laces are tied, but if the laces are wound around the glove tightly and tied well, you should still be able to get sufficient support. The cuff and wrist padding of the Reyes "hug" the distal forearm.
Both gloves use high-quality leather. The Zepol glove has maintained a distinct "new leather glove smell" for well over a month now. The Zepols appear to be extremely durable, even with the lack of double-stitching.
Both Zepol and Reyes use a lining with similar texture and moisture evaporation. However, Zepol for some strange reason uses an orange lining in almost every glove that I've seen them make. I like personally like it...it gives the glove a sense of uniqueness and character.
I bought the Zepol glove from Juan for about the same price that he quoted everyone else, but I paid a litte extra to have the turquoise-colored leather made on the palm and outer-thumb. The people at Zepol have a set of colors ready to be used, but they can also make other special colors for a bit extra. Ask Juan if they can make a certain color, and he will show you a series of swatches used by the tannery that supplies Zepol with their leather. If you're lucky, some of the swatches might just match your color.
My friend bought these Reyes gloves back in 2001, on some perchance sale that Ringside had on their website during that time. He got them for just under $100! I doubt that will ever happen again.
Overall, I would say that the Zepol glove is a very, very good glove in terms of quality and price for a custom-made glove.