Complete Guide to Buying Gym Gloves

Photo of author

Crafted by Mikey

Last updated:

When it comes to working out, we know that the smallest details can make the biggest difference. That’s why today, we’re focusing on something many often overlook: gym gloves. 

From boosting your grip to making a style statement, these handy companions can elevate your fitness game. Here are some of the top things you should consider before buying yourself a pair of gym gloves. 

The Purpose of Gym Gloves

Ah, the sweet (or should we say sweaty?) benefits of gym gloves. Firstly, gym gloves are major lifesavers on your hands. If you’ve ever felt the sting of a blister after an intense session, you know what we’re talking about. 

Gym gloves shield your palms, ensuring a smoother experience. This protects your hands from blisters or calluses over time, and also keeps your workouts more comfortable. 

But it’s not just about protection. Gloves can seriously up your weightlifting game. Ever had that annoying moment where the barbell slips? Gym gloves offer an enhanced grip. And for those of us who go hard, wrist support can be invaluable, reducing strain and potential injury.

Lastly, there’s the undeniable cool factor. Whether you’re into neon colors or sleek black, there’s a pair out there that screams “you.”

woman holding up three pairs of black running gloves

Types of Gym Gloves

Full-Finger vs. Half-Finger Gloves

This is truly the age-old debate. 

Full-finger gloves, as the name suggests, cover all your fingers. They’re fantastic for total protection, especially if you’re doing activities where you might scratch or scrape your fingers. However, they do tend to run warm and aren’t always as breathable.

On the flip side, half-finger gloves (or fingerless gloves) give you a bit more tactile feel. They cover your palms but leave your fingertips exposed, which is great if you want to feel the bar or equipment more directly. This is also helpful in the hot summer months to let your fingers breathe. 

Weightlifting Gloves

These are the heavy hitters of the glove world! If you’ve ever lifted weights, you know that pressure on your palms and potential wrist strains can be real issues. 

Weightlifting gloves are specially designed with padding to protect your hands from those rough barbells and dumbbells. Plus, they often come with wrist straps for added support. 

CrossFit Gloves

Many people love the intensity of CrossFit, us included! These workouts vary from lifting to pull-ups to rope climbs. 

CrossFit gloves are versatile all-rounders, built to handle the demands of different exercises. They provide an excellent grip, protect against friction, and are typically breathable. So when you’re jumping from one workout element to the next, these gloves are up for the challenge.

Pull-Up Gloves

Pull-up bars can be tough on the hands. Pull-up gloves are designed to give you a sturdy grip, preventing any unwanted slips. They’ll also have good palm padding to protect against those metal bars, ensuring that the only burning sensation you feel is in your muscles, not your skin.

Cycling Gloves (for stationary bikes)

Spinning or stationary biking can get sweaty and intense. Cycling gloves for indoor bikes help absorb sweat, reduce friction, and prevent any blisters that might occur from continuous gripping. 

Plus, they often feature padded palms for comfort and mesh designs for breathability. This is especially great for those who plan to cycle in the summer.

Agness In The Gym

Fit and Sizing of Gym Gloves

Fit is one of the most important aspects of your gloves. An ill-fitting glove can do more harm than good. So, how to find your perfect match? 

Start by measuring your hand. Most brands provide size charts, making the process a breeze. You’ll want to measure the length and width of your hand, especially around the palm. You may also want to measure the circumference of your hand and wrist. 

When in doubt, we always recommend trying before you buy. Remember, gloves might feel snug initially, but they often have a break-in period. Give them some time, and they’ll mold to your hand shape. But if discomfort persists, it might be time for a swap.

Key Features to Consider

Material

There are many different types of material to consider when it comes to finding a pair of workout gloves. Here are just a few of the most common:

Leather: Leather gloves are like that old-school rocker everyone respects. They’re robust, dependable, and have an air of class. Over time, as you wear them, they soften and mold to your hands, giving you a customized fit. While they might require a little more care (avoid getting them overly wet or exposing them to extreme heat), their durability makes them worth the effort.

Neoprene: Now, neoprene brings to mind that flexible wetsuit you’d wear for a dive. In gym gloves, it provides a soft, cushiony feel, making them comfortable from the get-go. Another perk? They resist water (or in our case, sweat), ensuring a firm grip even during intense workouts.

Mesh: Mesh is breezy, loose, and breathable. These gloves are all about maximum airflow. Especially great for longer workouts, they prevent your hands from feeling like they’re in a sauna. This also helps reduce sweat during those intense workouts. 

Padding

Padding can be likened to the comfy cushions on your couch – they provide that extra layer of protection and comfort. The material and thickness of the padding can vary.

Gel padding is like the memory foam of gym gloves. This material contours to your hand shape to give you even pressure distribution. However, it tends to be more expensive because of this. 

Foam, however, is cheaper and more common. It is lightweight and shock-absorbent, providing a protective barrier against rough surfaces without adding much bulk.

The type of padding you choose is up to your budget as well as your personal comfort preferences. 

Wrist Support

Imagine wrist support as that trusty friend who’s always got your back, or in this case, your wrist. The wrists are more delicate than we often realize, and they bear a lot during exercises.

Many gym gloves have adjustable straps so you can fit your gloves specifically to your wrists. These straps can be tightened or loosened based on the workout and your comfort. They ensure your wrist remains aligned, especially during weightlifting, reducing your risk of strains or sprains during your workout. 

Grip

Grip is like the tires on a car – you need good traction to perform well. A glove’s grip determines how securely you can hold onto equipment. This is incredibly important for safety depending on the type of workout you’re doing. 

Many gym gloves have textured palms, which are patterned palms to enhance grip. Usually, this material is made of rubber or silicone. 

Some gloves, however, have grip-enhancing patterns. This means they have unique designs specifically designed to increase friction and further reduce the chances of equipment slipping from your grasp. These tend to be a bit more expensive but are often worth it for exercises like weightlifting.

Breathability

Ever wish for that cool breeze on a hot day? Breathability in gym gloves offers you just that. This is especially helpful in those hot, sweaty summer months.

We recommend looking for gloves with breathable fabric like mesh to increase airflow throughout the glove. You can also look for a pair with ventilation ports, which are small holes or perforations to increase air circulation. 

When in doubt, wicking materials can help pull sweat away from the skin, which keeps your skin cool and dry. Gloves with a combination of all of these features tend to be the most breathable. 

Adjustability and Closure

Just like how everyone has a preferred way to tie their shoelaces, adjustability in gym gloves caters to personal comfort. 

The most common type of closure is velcro. Velcro is affordable and easy to use, letting you tighten or loosen the glove exactly to your liking.

If you want something a bit more secure, opt for buckles or toggles. These are better for more rigorous workouts that may cause softer closures like velcro to come undone. 

Tech Features

Living in a digital age, even our workouts are often paired with tech. Some gym gloves come compatible with touchscreen technology so that you can use your phone even while wearing your gym gloves. 

This is perfect for changing songs or checking workout apps mid-session!

Design and Aesthetics

Lastly, because who doesn’t like to look good while working out?

From understated blacks to vibrant patterns, there’s a glove style to match every personality. Look for different color and pattern varieties to find your favorites.

For brand-conscious individuals, many top fitness brands offer gloves with their distinct logos. Find your favorite brand and show them off at your next public workout. 

the closure you pick for your gym gloves determines how well they fit on your wrists during your workout

Care and Maintenance of Gym Gloves

Invested in a great pair? Let’s make sure they last! Cleaning your gloves extends their lifespan. Depending on the material, some can be machine-washed, while others need a gentle hand wash. Always let them air dry. Direct heat can warp their shape.

Store them flat, preferably in a cool, dry place. And if they start to show significant wear, like tearing, it’s time for a new pair.

Final Thoughts

Getting the right pair of gym gloves can make a huge impact on your overall workout. From finding the right size to the right material, there are many different options out there for everyone. No matter what type of exercise you’re doing, there’s a pair that can make your workout even better.  

If you’re new to working out, check out our article on How to Make a Workout Plan to get started.