If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
Workout gloves have seen a spike in popularity recently as gym-goers seek extra protection against germs and viruses. Avoiding frequently-touched areas in your gym or local park is nearly impossible, making workout gloves an effective sanitary measure. But after wearing gloves for a couple workouts, many athletes, weightlifters and cross-trainers are realizing the other benefits of the best workout gloves.
The two primary draws with workout gloves (besides hygiene) are protection and grip. Every weightlifter and cross-trainer is familiar with the old problem of permanently torn-to-bits hands with callouses and peeling skin. Workout gloves keep your hands safe from this kind of abuse, but also up your game in the gym as well. With the extra grip provided by the best workout gloves, you’ll be able to lift heavier weights and maintain your grip during bodyweight exercises such as pull-ups.
What Are the Best Workout Gloves?
As most of us are new to workout gloves, finding the right pair can be tricky. Below are a few factors to help guide your search for the best workout gloves.
Coverage: Although most workout gloves are fingerless, some gym-goers prefer a full-finger glove. This full coverage is ideal if you’re working out in a chilly outdoor park, and/or looking to maximize protection against germs and viruses. The drawback to full finger gloves is potentially sweatier hands and less firm grip.
Grip: Not all workout gloves provide the same level of grip. You’ll want to check a glove’s grip-strengthening materials (leather and silicone are the best) as well as how much area the grip material actually covers.
Fabric: It’s crucial to make sure that your new workout gloves are made of a comfortable, breathable material. The gloves should also be solid enough to prevent callouses, so gloves that balance comfort, breathability and strength are the best.
Wrist support: Wrist support is one of the main benefits of workout gloves. This is especially important for bodybuilders or anyone moving heavy weights. Some workout gloves are designed specifically for supporting heavy workouts while others are meant for cross-training and beginner routines.
Padding: The padding is what keeps your hands safe, but too much of it can hamper your grip strength. So if you want more protection and aren’t so worried about grip, go for a glove with thick padding.
BEST OVERALL: Trideer Workout Gloves
These workout gloves from Trideer tick just about every box and make a great companion for almost any workout. The showstopper is a chunky 18-inch wrist strap that provides secure, customizable wrist support. This is essential for training with heavy free weights, but comes in handy for cross-training and certain bodyweight exercises as well. The Trideer gloves are also equipped with a thick, silica gel palm that prevents callouses while improving grip. To top it off, the gloves are also quite breathable thanks to a lightweight microfiber and mesh back.
RUNNER-UP: Under Armour Men Training Gloves
Under Armour has proven to be one of the best big-name brands for weightlifting gear, as evidenced by these training gloves. The grip is top-notch with a leather-covered palm, but breathability is what these gloves do best. They feature UA’s CoolSwitch coating on the interior, which keeps your hands cooler by pulling heat away from the skin. This coating works in unison with perforations on the palm and back, and a terry cloth strip on the thumb lets you easily wipe sweat off your face.
BEST FOR BODYBUILDING: Harbinger Pro Weightlifting Gloves
For serious bodybuilders we recommend these gloves from Harbinger. The brand’s line of gloves is well-known for offering the wrist support and tough, rugged build quality necessary for intense weightlifting sessions.
On the palm you’ll find sticky genuine leather grips, a venting system to reduce sweat and double stitching for durability. The Harbingers also offer more protection on the thumb than most gloves with wraparound coverage. Your wrists are in good hands (no pun intended) thanks to a sturdy, adjustable poly-cotton wrist strap.
BEST FOR WOMEN: Contraband Women’s Weight Lifting Gloves
Good women’s weightlifting gloves can be hard to come by, making these Contraband gloves a great find. Most “women’s” gloves are simply small-sized gloves that were designed for men, but these were actually designed specifically for women’s hands. The padding is on the minimal side, making the gloves better for use with lighter weights, while silicone rubber beads across the palm, fingers and thumb offer fantastic grip. The gloves also have handy finger tabs for easy removal – even with long nails.
BEST FULL FINGER: Simari Workout Gloves
If you want a full finger glove for working out in the cold – or to ensure maximum sanitary protection – go with this pair from Simari. Although they are full finger, the gloves feature an air mesh back which keeps your hands from overheating while wearing the gloves. Grip and wrist support are also on-point thanks to grips on the palm and a solid adjustable wrist band. Plus, as all gloves should be nowadays, the fingers are touchscreen-friendly.
BEST FOR CROSS TRAINING: Mava Sports Cross Training Gloves
Cross training requires a slightly different workout glove. These Mava gloves fit the bill with a couple tweaks to up your CrossFit game. Most importantly, the gloves don’t cover the thumb. This extra mobility is essential for cross training workouts involving hook grips, handstands, rope climbs and so on.
Because cross training can get a little heated, the gloves feature a (mostly) open back for breathability. You’ll also get an extra sticky grip thanks to palm pads with silicone, neoprene and leather.
MOST BREATHABLE: Fit Active Weight Lifting Gloves
If you’re prone to sweaty hands or you’re working out somewhere warm, go for these gloves from Fit Active. They feature minimal coverage with an open back as well as ventilation in the palm. But less material doesn’t mean less performance or durability. The gloves boast silicone printed neoprene grips, a sturdy integrated wrist support strap and a solid overall construction. They should withstand weightlifting, pull-ups, kettlebells and anything else you throw at them.
BEST LOOKING: Nike Fundamental Training Gloves
Everyone cares about their workout style. In our opinion, these Nike Fundamental training gloves are the best bet for anyone that wants a dialed-in gym look. They come in a few colors, but the grey, black and volt green colorway below is our favorite. The gloves are fairly low-key with a no-frills microfiber palm and minimal padding. They’re a bit lacking in terms of wrist support, but this makes them a good choice for beginners or anyone lifting lighter.