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There’s a lot to focus on while weightlifting.
Safety is first, followed by form, rep count, and being careful not to overdo it, as one injury can quickly sideline you for weeks.
Lots of lifters seem to overlook another key factor too: all those sets can be especially harsh on your hands. Cuts, calluses, and blisters can make things incredibly uncomfortable. Weightlifting gloves are an easy and instant way to guard against them.
What You Need to Know About Buying Weightlifting Gloves
The best weightlifting gloves will not only protect your skin from becoming rough, but a good set of gripped gloves can also prevent unwanted slipping of the bar when your palms get sweaty. Most gyms don’t allow the use of chalk – it gets everywhere, on both yourself and the equipment, bothers the other gym-goers, and the staff doesn’t want to constantly have to clean it up. Gloves are a great alternative: you’ll get a great grip, without creating a cloud of chalk dust and a messy station. Plus, while it can improve your grip, chalk still won’t protect you from calluses.
Another perk of protecting your hands: the gym can be a germ-fest. Even with hand-sanitizing dispensers all over the place, you can never be 100% sure that other athletes were practicing good hand hygiene before you, or if they forgot (or completely neglected) to spray and wipe down the bench after they’ve lifted.
A leather-palmed glove is always a positive, and can greatly improve external grip of the bar. But no matter what it’s made of, make sure the inside keeps a firm and steady hold on your hand as well. Certain internal materials like felt can be too smooth and cause slippage, which is a deal-breaker when holding heavy weights. Leather, Lycra, or suede will provide some traction when your palms start perspiring. A velcro wrist strap can also provide added support.
Before your next set, check out these choices to protect your hands, and improve your overall workout experience.
1. Fit Active Sports Ventilated Weightlifting Gloves
Fit Active’s open-back weightlifting glove offers full palm protection, including your thumb, which may not seem like much, but makes a huge difference when a tight, no-slip grip is essential.
Made of silicone-printed neoprene, the padding is a perfect thickness to protect most palms, and naturally helps prevent the nauseating glove-smell that comes after multiple gym visits. The open-back design also helps with ventilation, letting your hands breathe and cool off between sets.
These work well with everything you’ll need to grab onto: ropes, resistance bands, pulleys, rings and bars, even bikes. And the double velcro strap provides an additional line of reinforced protection against any looseness or shifting while lifting. It’s resistant to water, oil, heat and sweat, so you can focus on your workout without worrying.
PROS: Provides an excellent grip as well as ventilation, cutting way down on calluses and clammy, sweaty hands.
CONS: Make sure these fit snug and comfortably tight on your hand – if not, the glove can shift around a bit, which is not what you want when handling heavy weights.
2. Skott Weightlifting Gloves
Skott’s Evo 2 gloves are protected on both palms with gel-infused padding, for a comfortable lift that won’t interfere with your grip. The padding even redistributes itself along your hand based on where the most tension is.
The double-stitched fabric is reinforced with high-density foam too, for extra durability that’s still comfortable. And the wrist straps go beyond the basic support of other gloves. Created with industrial-strength velcro, these straps wrap around a few times before connecting, to provide a solid feel and prevent any slipping and sliding while you’re mid-rep.
When you’re done lifting, these hook together for easy storage, and are machine-washable.
PROS: Gel-infused palms add a layer of soft protection between you and whatever you’re lifting, without any loss of grip.
CONS: Some find that these can be too cushioned when lifting thicker bars, making it tough to fully wrap your hand around.
3. Ihuan Professional Ventilated Weightlifting Gloves
The Ihuan’s wrist support is what really helps it stand out from the pack. Its straps wrap tight, with good elasticity and quality velcro, supporting your wrist through every lift.
The material is flexible and stretchable, but still durable enough to protect your hands from getting torn up after frequent gym visits.
For the front of your hands. there’s a good balance of foam padding here – enough to provide cushioning and protection of your palms, but without being too bulky and feeling like you’re wearing mittens. On the back, they’re made with ultra-light microfiber, to keep air moving and flowing. These gloves are also waterproof, which means wetness from sweat won’t slow you down.
PROS: Excellent wrist support, ideal for people with petite or smaller wrists looking to protect from old (or future) wrist injuries.
CONS: May take a few gym sessions to really break them in when you first start using. Also the thick padding at the bottom may interfere with wearing your fitness tracker watch.
4. SIMARI Workout Gloves
These microfiber gloves quickly absorb palm perspiration while providing steady support to your wrists. The terry cloth thumb is a nice touch too, when a towel isn’t available, to wipe away any forehead sweat drops before they find their way into your eyes.
Simari provides a sizing guide to make sure you get a good fit, and the gloves are also made with Lycra for just enough elasticity to remain taut but comfortably stretchy when you need them to be.
This pair is perforated and nicely breathable to further prevent soggy hands, while still giving plenty of grip strength on the palms. And for after your workout, the middle and ring fingers have a convenient flap to help pull them off.
PROS: Lightweight, durable and sweat-absorbing, while providing the protection expected from a workout glove.
CONS: The wrist support might be too much for some, as it can be hard to fully bend and flex while wearing.