Custom Gloves: Ringside, BillBoxing, Zepol

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment Reviews' started by destroyer4147, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. destroyer4147 Orange Belt

    destroyer4147
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    In this review, I compare 3 different models of custom-made 16-ounce sparring gloves. It is important to note that I use the gloves strictly for sparring, and therefore I cannot make any comment regarding their performance on the heavy bag. With respect to the pictures, the gloves being compared are:

    Ringside
     
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  2. destroyer4147 Orange Belt

    destroyer4147
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    Ventral (Palm-Side) View:

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    Hand Compartment: I have small wrists, medium/wide hands, and long fingers. I find that the hand compartments of all three are very comfortable, and have not made-up my mind regarding which of three I like best. The Ringside glove has the widest hand compartment of the three, but it is heavily padded provides a snug fit. The Billboxing hand compartment is the snuggest. The seam at the junction where the palm meets the fingertip is folded and lined in such a way that it feels like a second grip-bar that compliments the main grip-bar in making a fist. The hand compartments of both the Ringside and BillBoxing gloves are thoroughly lined. The hand compartment of the Zepol glove is not lined in the region near the fingertips. The seam at the junction where the palm meets the fingertips is very noticeable due to the lack of lining, and it could be uncomfortable. The compartment in the finger area is widest in the Ringside glove, and most narrow in the BillBoxing glove.

    Wrist/Forearm Compartment: The Ringside and Zepol gloves have wrist compartments of about equal width, but the heavy padding of the outer cuff gives the interior a snug fit. The piping along the laces of the Zepol glove can close upon itself without being laced, which leaves little room for more closure upon being laced. It is for this reason that many Zepol owners say that this area is loose and offers little support. However, I find that lacing tightly can compensate for this, although the support in the other two gloves is superior. The BillBoxing glove has the narrowest compartment, and there is ample separation in the piping between the laces to allow for closure upon being laced.

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    Leather: The palm of the Ringside glove is made with very thick, super high quality full-grain leather that has the exact same texture and smell of a pair of all-white Nike Air Force One sneakers freshly purchased from Foot Locker at the mall. The metallic gold leather used by the BillBoxing glove is very smooth, with a feel similar to baby oil when you slide your finger across it. The leather used for the piping and inner thumbs of both the BillBoxing and Zepol gloves are very, very similar with basically the same feel.

    Thumb: The Ringside glove features the thumb design that feels most natural when making a fist. Both the Ringside and Billboxing gloves are lined throughout the thumb, but only the Billboxing glove features vented thumbs. The Zepol glove is not lined in the inner, red region of the thumb. The strip of leather between the palm and inner thumbs of both the Billboxing and Zepol glove are elevated slightly to accommodate the seam of that junction. That strip of leather is relatively flat on the Ringside glove. The Ringside glove has the shortest thumb-attachment leather, effectively pinching the thumb to the fingertip. The Zepol glove has the longest thumb-attachment, and would be the most effective for use in clinching. This is because the leather strip attaches at the tip of the Zepol thumb, rather than toward the top edge of the thumb as in the Ringside and Billboxing gloves.

    Laces/Piping: The Ringside and BillBoxing gloves feature traditional shoe laces. The Ringside glove uses a very thick, high-quality lace that is long enough to be wound twice around the wrist before being knotted at the palm. The lace perforates the palm of the glove at 7 eyelets. The Billboxing glove uses a thinner, softer, and shorter lace that can be wound only once around the wrist before being knotted at the palm. The lace perforates the palm of the glove at 7 eyelets. The Zepol glove is the only glove that uses a very flat, but durable cotton ribbon that is about twice as wide as a shoelace, and is long enough to be wound twice around the wrist before being knotted at the palm. The lace perforates the palm at 8 eyelets. The tips of the ribbon have been dyed yellow, twisted, and glued to allow them to pass through the eyelets.

    The leather piping in the Ringside is entirely continuous around the bottom border of the glove. In the cases of the BillBoxing and Zepol gloves, there is a discontinuity of the piping on the bottom edge of the glove, where the edge of the piping is overlapped and sewed upon itself. This occurs in opposite directions in the Billboxing and Zepol gloves.

    Stitching: Both Ringside and BillBoxing gloves feature double-stitching along the lace region to separate and enclose the padding on the palm, and on the padding of the grip-bar. The Zepol glove features only a single-row of stitching. However, both the Billboxing and Zepol gloves feature an extra stitching-curve that is not featured on the Ringside glove. This is more effective in the Zepol glove to further enclose the padding on the palm. The Zepol glove also features a single row of stitching close to the junction where the palm meets the fingertip. The stitch-lines are closer and finer on the Ringside and Billboxing gloves than they are on the Zepol glove.

    Lining: The Ringside glove features a tricot lining. It is extremely soft, smooth, and comfortable, and is very effective in wicking moisture and dries very quickly. It is cut very close to the contours of the interior of the glove. The entire interior of the glove is lined. The Billboxing glove features what was described to me as a Triple-Playboy lining. It very similar to the Ringside glove
     
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  3. destroyer4147 Orange Belt

    destroyer4147
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    B]Radial Profile View[/B]:

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    The Ringside glove has the largest thumb compartment, and the BillBoxing glove has the smallest thumb compartment. Only the Zepol glove features a welted-seam at the junction where the outer thumb meets the backhand of the glove.

    The padding that protrudes from the side of the knuckle of the index finger toward the thumb is angled slightly upward in the Ringside and BillBoxing gloves, but is almost relatively level on the Zepol glove. This would make it more perpendicular upon impact when the Zepol glove makes contact.

    Cuff: The Ringside glove does not feature a triple-cuff design, but it has the thickest cuff padding. The BillBoxing glove has a significantly more elevated triple cuff than does the Zepol glove. It also features single column of stitching that reinforces the segments of the triple-cuff, which is absent in the Zepol glove.

    Ulnar Profile View:

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    The padding at the knuckle is thickest on the Ringside glove. It is about 2 inches thick. It is also about the same thickness on the BillBoxing glove, but it is a bit denser. The padding is significantly smaller at the knuckle of the Zepol glove.

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    Fist Curvature: The curvature of the Ringside glove is such that it requires the least energy to make a fist. It is a bit more open in the BillBoxing glove, but the aforementioned “extra grip-bar” provided by the fingertips eases in the making of a fist. It is also relatively easy to make a fist with the Zepol glove due to the pliability of the padding and leather.

    Knuckle Comparison (Top View):

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    The Ringside glove has the widest knuckle region. The region is very notably rounded in the BillBoxing glove. However, the width of this region is similar in both the BillBoxing and Zepol gloves.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  4. destroyer4147 Orange Belt

    destroyer4147
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    Knuckle Comparison (Front View):

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    On all three gloves, there is a protrusion of padding that extends from the knuckle of the index finger toward the thumb. I think that it serves the purpose of increasing the punching region while covering the thumb to prevent jamming. It is thickest but least prominent on the BillBoxing glove, and most prominent on the Zepol glove.

    Notes:

    The custom Ringside RP=16 gloves were purchased back in 2006 and have held up very well since then. They have been my favorite sparring gloves for a long time, and I’ve also used them in smoker competitions where 16oz gloves are required. I purchased them from over the telephone from Ringside. The gloves took about 2 months to arrive. The standard colors of the gloves (black w/ red thumb, or red w/black thumb) were listed at $69.99 in the Ringside catalog. To have the customs made, I was charged twice the price of the glove. After shipping, the pair cost me around $150. I asked them if they could screenprint the Ringside logo in red rather than black, and they initially told me that it would cost me an extra $15 to have any sort of screenprinting at all. I had to argue that the standard color gloves already included screenprinting and that it was their own logo I was asking for. They agreed to waive the charge. Last November 2012, I called Ringside to see if they would make me a custom pair of IMF Training Gloves. The person on the phone told me that they do not offer, nor have they ever offered the service of making equipment in custom colors.

    The custom BillBoxing gloves were purchased last December 2012, and arrived in 4 weeks. I ordered them via email with Bill Beaulieu himself. Bill is a very nice guy, and has been very helpful. He responds to emails sometimes within minutes…even past midnight! He would send me pics of leather swatches and confirm with me if the color was acceptable. He would also ask for my specifications and review them with me so as to get it right. He received the gloves from overseas and inspected them himself, as well as sending me pictures, right before he sent them out to me. In several posts, he has been getting some heat because of the price of his gloves and where they are made. This brings about several points:

    Pakistan-made gloves: The quality of the gloves appears to be excellent. The left and right gloves are symmetric. That is not always the case with Grant. The leather is very thick, high quality, and durable. The stitching is very well-done. I can say this about both the Ringside and the BillBoxing gloves. However, Bill’s gloves are unlike any other Pakistan-made glove I’ve ever experienced. They look to be unique in design, and very pleasing to the eye. The triple-cuff looks simply awesome, and is just as awesome at absorbing impact from punches whilst blocking with the forearms. It can be said that not all Pakistan-made gloves are equal. Most people agree that Title and Ringside provide relatively good quality gloves. Bill’s gloves are definitely in the upper level of quality. I am willing to give Bill the benefit of the doubt that he offers a distinctive and high-quality product based on his own designs and specifications, even if his factory is in Pakistan.

    Price: After shipping charges, the glove cost me a few bucks cheaper than the custom Ringsides. Since Ringside is considered one of the standards of Pakistan-made gloves, it shows that Bill’s pricing for a Pakistan-made custom glove is fair. Not cheap, mind you, but fair. Of course I’d love for it to be cheaper. It is possible to get a cheaper Pakistan-made custom glove, but Ringside is already reputed as a standard, and it is by that standard that I gauge a fair price. However, this is only my opinion. I would say that a BillBoxing custom is priced “fairly,” while a Ring to Cage custom would be a “great price.” One can make the case that it would be better to purchase a Reyes glove for the price, but the Reyes glove would not be a custom. One can also argue that Mexican-made customs would be of higher quality. Often the argument is that Mexican-made equipment is generally better than Pakistan-made equipment. While such is often the case, we must remember that it is a generalization. Not all Pakistan-made equipment is equal, and the same can be said about Mexican-made equipment. Lastly, I think that the premium Bill charges for a Pakistan-made glove is far less ridiculous than the premium charged by Grant for Mexican-made gloves. I would like to see a quality-to-price relationship that disproves this.

    Ultimately, these are my opinions. I am very happy and satisfied with my purchase from Bill, and I have what I feel to be a high-quality product. If you are curious about giving BillBoxing a try, I highly recommend doing so.

    The custom Zepol gloves were purchased last December 2012 as well, and arrived in about 6 weeks. I ordered them via email with Juan, known as Technoir on Sherdog. Juan is a very nice guy as well, and has also been very helpful. Like Bill, he responds to emails sometimes within minutes. If he doesn’t hear from you, he’d sometimes send emails to follow up. I asked Juan if Zepol can make a certain leather color, and gave him the computer RGB (Red, Green, Blue) values. He then sent me a pic of several swatches from which I chose the one that matched my color most closely. Specifically, it is known as “32 Turqueza Azul.” The tannery from which Zepol gets its leather had to produce the leather, which resulted in the delay of the arrival of the gloves. Otherwise, the glove would have arrived in 4 weeks. Of the 3 gloves reviewed, the Zepol was the most expensive pair. The price would have been comparable to the other two, but I paid a bit more to have the turquoise-colored leather made. Juan also sent me pictures of the gloves when he received them, just before he sent them out to me. The gloves are of very high quality and very durable. They are not superior, nor are they inferior, to the BillBoxing gloves. They are merely different. In comparing the two gloves, I cannot justify in this case that Mexican-made is better than Pakistan-made. I do love the unique springiness of the Zepol padding, and the distinct “smallness” of the glove.

    Most of my sparmates would prefer me to wear the Ringside gloves, and have complained about the Zepol gloves as being too small. They’d argue that the Zepols look like 14-oz gloves. After they’d been hit by the gloves, they were fine with them. I hit the BillBoxing gloves on the mitts for a few days to soften them up. When they’ve broken-in sufficiently, I introduced them to the sparring sessions and got no complaints.

    I hope this review has been helpful to those who are curious about purchasing custom-made gloves, curious about the brands, or have questions regarding specifics of any of the aforementioned gloves. This review took a lot of time, and I now appreciate what Clamp and the other reviewers put themselves through. I definitely don’t think that I’ll do something this extensive again! Haha
     
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    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  5. ClampXVII Bravado Muay Thai Trainer

    ClampXVII
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    Great review! I gotta step up my game now!
     
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  6. Minowafanatic Brown Belt

    Minowafanatic
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    you are the man TS, another fantastic review! agree with the points about Beaulieu and the whole Mexico/Pakistan thing. They all look like great gloves

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    Easily one of the most detailed (and therefore useful!) reviews I've ever read. G&E heaven.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  7. KounterPunch Purple Belt

    KounterPunch
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    Ask bill why he implies the gloves are US made rather than a simple "Hecho in Karachi" on the cuff ?
     
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  8. roadwarrior357 Green Belt

    roadwarrior357
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    wow...great review! I had to get up and get a drink and a snack midway through...that was serious business!
     
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  9. Championstuff Brown Belt

    Championstuff
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    That has been covered extensively in other threads
     
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  10. shihtzu Purple Belt

    shihtzu
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    Definitely like Bill's gloves the most of these 3 pairs. Great review, thank you!
     
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  11. mmaboxing1 White Belt

    mmaboxing1
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    How much were you quoted before the shipping cost?
     
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  12. KounterPunch Purple Belt

    KounterPunch
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    Not really.
     
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  13. firstDan 2-3-2-5

    firstDan
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    Wow, very thorough review, good job!
    BTW are you/were you a Biology major, because that could be the first glove review I've read with the words dorsal, ventral, ulnar, and radial in it :)
     
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  14. billboxing BEAULIEU "Old School" hair padded training gloves.

    billboxing
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    The gloves are made in Pakistan and I'm ery pleased with it's quality. The reference is to Hooksett, NH where I live. I don't believe I EVER stated Mande in the USA, as most knowledgable boxing glove enthutisest know that no gloves are made in the US. Sorry.
     
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  15. mmaboxing1 White Belt

    mmaboxing1
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    bill just wondering why are there so many variations in prices for your gloves? Everyone gets a different price of gloves of the same look,size and style.
     
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  16. destroyer4147 Orange Belt

    destroyer4147
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    I took some anatomy and physio hahahaha
     
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  17. KounterPunch Purple Belt

    KounterPunch
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    Hmmm.....like I said , u don't out and say "Made in the US" but it is implied.
    I dunno what you mean by "glove enthusiasts".
    You mean ppl who train ?

    Maybe so but those companies don't put American / Mexican cities on there implying its local made.

    After all , iPhones may be made in China but it don't say Paolo Alto on there.
    Your reason for putting Hookset ; Wherever is pretty strange.

    Dishonest practices are dishonest practices.
     
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  18. KounterPunch Purple Belt

    KounterPunch
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    Lol !
     
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  19. BigCP84** There are no absolutes!

    BigCP84**
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    I think he means that typically when someone wants a custom glove, they are normally informed on what they want, and what is out there; however, I have never seen a Pakistani made glove stamped with a North American city //.=and province/state before. Typically that indicates where the glove is made, like all the Mexican gloves say, "Hencho En Mexico", or, "Made in Thailand"....

    So... yes, informed buyers should know, but yes it is a little misleading.
     
    #19
  20. KounterPunch Purple Belt

    KounterPunch
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    ^ this.

    As for informed buyers , who informs them ?
    Nowhere on Billboxing's non-existent site does it say that.
    All u get is "Hookset ; Nebraska" which 99.99% of the time means "Made in...."

    Add in all the "special" pricing and wack job proprietors and it isn't a company I'd want anything to do with.

    But ppl always be looking for non-existing savings on things , so I guess they'll be in business for a few years.
     
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