The 5 Best Workout Gloves
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Weight lifting gloves are at the center of something of a debate in the fitness world.
They have their devout fans, who could never imagine working out without their gloves, and they also have some devout anti-fans, for want of a better word, who may find the concept a little ridiculous.
Regardless of where you stand on the discussion, there are a few benefits to using weight lifting gloves that are undeniable.
How to Choose your Gloves?
Put simply, wearing gloves greatly increases your grip. As anyone who has ever lifted weights knows, your hands (and your whole body for that matter) can quickly become more than a little sweaty.
The sweatier your hands, the worse your grip on any variety of machines or free weights.
Normally, this can be solved with a quick wipe on your shirt, but it can be dangerous: if you’re bench pressing with ultra-slick hands, there is a higher possibility the bar can slip.
Wearing gloves eliminates this possibility.
Something that goes relatively hand in hand with weight lifting is the accompanying calluses and blisters that will often line your palms after a few weeks at the gym.
Some people enjoy having these calluses, but many don’t. They can be painful at times, and are often accompanied by peeling skin.
For anyone wishing to keep their hands on the more pristine side, gloves are really the only thing that will work. And in terms of blisters, which are universally painful and irritating, gloves will diminish your likelihood of getting them.
A key component of weight lifting gloves is also the wrist support. Each model and brand will have a different level of wrist support, something I’ll be getting into later, but all weight lifting gloves will have wrist support to some extent.
This is an invaluable addition to someone with weak wrists or a hand/wrist injury, as it acts like an extra tendon, supporting your wrist while you lift heavy weights.
With that, gloves also allow you to lift more, as they evenly distribute the weight across your forearms, instead of through your fingers, enabling you to get stronger, faster.
This comes from a general relief of pressure on your hands, which allows you to handle higher levels of pressure (and weight) than you would be able to handle without gloves.
Here are the top 5 workout gloves of 2019:
Mava Sports Leather Padding Gloves - #1 for Women
Workout gloves are highly popular among female athletes, as there is a higher desire to maintain healthy (non-callused) hands, and gloves are the only way to achieve that goal.
When looking for your best option, you’re going to want to look for a sweat-wicking glove that is not made of natural leather, as natural leather can’t be washed and so will start to smell bad after a few uses.
The fit should be snug and should contain enough padding so that your hands will be protected, but not so much that it limits your grip or movement (this part is very open to personal preference).
The number one weight lifting glove for women is the Mava Sports Leather Padding Gloves, which has a 4.1 star rating on Amazon, and more than 500 customer reviews.
This glove comes in a variety of colors, and is made with a combination of neoprene and leather, which allows for the strongest padding, without being too thick. It also includes a full wrist wrap, which is a truly imperative aspect of a good weight lifting glove.
The style of the glove allows for maximum comfort. It is a half-finger glove with an open back and sides, which allows for a good amount of breathability, something that is incredibly useful during intense (and sweaty) workouts.
The durability and fantastic grip of these gloves, which cost somewhere between $15 and $30, depending on size, are proven by user experience.
The leather addition to the neoprene allows for supreme grip strength, while the padding allows for optimal palm comfort and pressure relief, and the open style of this glove allows for a limited amount of physical bar-hand connection, which increases confidence and strength during a lift.
Overall, Mava is making a really solid weight lifting gloves, one that transcends the categorization of the best women’s weight lifting gloves, as it also provides a good option to men (plus it comes in black, a strong, neutral color that allows for varied wearability across genders).
Mava Sports Cross Training Gloves - #1 for Men
Male athletes should look for many of the same qualities in a weight lifting glove that female athletes should look for; a sweat wicking material, and a material that is not all leather, as an all-leather glove would be non-washable and would smell after a few uses.
The fit of the glove additionally should be snug and the level of padding should fit what you’re looking for; not too much, not too little.
The number one weight lifting glove for men is the Mava Sports Cross Training Gloves, which has a 4 star rating on Amazon, and nearly 700 customer reviews.
Mava is a great brand, making great options for both male and female athletes.
This specific model is marketed more so to men, yet still is truly unisex in function. It comes in a variety of colors, and is made with neoprene and reinforced with split leather and silicone padding. It also includes a strong wrist wrap, which again, is an essential part of a good glove.
This glove is a half-finger design, but is slightly different than their women’s glove, with a slightly more closed design; the back is partially open and reveals an additional strap that wraps around the hand, adding comfort and security.
The wristwrap is adjustable, and the neoprene design provides maximum breathability and comfort. The reviews back up the legitimacy of these gloves, explaining how useful the wrist wrap is, as well as how comfortable these gloves are.
And, they’re only $35 for a pair, which may seem like it exists on the upper end, but the value you get for a relatively minimal cost makes the purchase totally worth it.
Having explored the best in men’s and women’s weight lifting gloves, I’m now going to outline three other top contenders (they’re all incredibly similar, and each have their own specific strengths, so these are coming in no particular ranking):
Fit Active Sports New Ventilated Weight Lifting Gloves
At only around $20, Fit Active Sports’ New Ventilated Gloves are Amazon’s choice for weight lifting gloves, with a 4.4 star rating and over 2,000 customer reviews.
These gloves are made from silicon printed neoprene, which increases grip, but also increases breathability, and is also resistant to certain chemicals, water, oils, and heat, making it a truly long-lasting option.
This glove is designed to cover the entire palm plus your thumb, something that is unique in the world of fitness gloves, and also includes a built-in Velcro wrist wrap, which makes rapid exercise movements easier to perform, without fear of the wrap opening.
The gloves are half finger gloves, like most weight lifting gloves are, and they leave the back of your hand completely open. The palm is fully covered, which allows for better and more complete protection from tears, scrapes, and calluses.
The more complete coverage may allow for increased reps and higher weight, owing to a more complete weight distribution.
Specifically pertaining to the performance of Olympic Lifts (a single, maximum barbell lift above the head), these gloves allow you to forgo the excessive use of tape that generally accompanies an Olympic Lift, making them much easier to accomplish.
When purchasing these gloves, just be careful to size your hand correctly, as they tend to run large. Additionally, if there is any sudden and rapid damage to the gloves, which are designed to be long-lasting, the seller will likely provide compensation in the form of a new pair, all you have to do is reach out.
Overall, these gloves protect your hands well without being too bulky; they provide ample support and enhance, rather than degrade, your gym experience.
Trideer Padded Weight Lifting Gloves
Residing at somewhere between $14 and $20, depending on the size, Trideer’s Padded Weight Lifting Gloves are also one of Amazon’s choice deals, with a 4.3 star rating and more than 1,500 customer reviews.
These gloves are incredibly versatile, and can be successfully used for weight training, calisthenic exercises, as well as rowing and similar exercises.
These gloves are made from an ultra-light microfiber with a highly breathable mesh design on the back. They are half-finger gloves that offer full and complete coverage, without sacrificing breathability.
Part of this is a cloth separation between fingers, which is inspired by more traditional gloves, and allows for a reduction of friction between fingers, increasing overall comfort during use.
It also includes a thickening palm cushion that is coated in a Hexagonal anti-skid gel to improve grip. These specialized palm cushions include noticeable side stitching, which is a mark of quality on the product.
The wrist wrap is easily adjustable, and the glove includes a unique rubber backing that adds to the level of protection exhibited by this glove.
Additionally, Trideer offers a 30 day no hassle return, and a 12 month warranty for all Trideer customers, showing their commitment to the quality of their product.
These gloves can be machine washed, though it is recommended that you clean them by hand instead. They also size relatively accurately, and the company behind them exhibits consistent and fantastic customer service, showing an unusual level of pride and care in their product.
Trideer is putting out a really great option in their padded weight lifting gloves, and one that definitely merits looking into.
Skott Evo 2 Weight Lifting Gloves - #1 in Wrist Protection
At around $25, the ultra-durable Evo 2 weight lifting gloves are also one of Amazon’s choices for fitness gloves, and have a 4.5 star rating with close to 1,000 customer reviews.
These gloves are designed with a 3-dimensional unisex fit, so that they are accessible to both men and women.
They also include industrial strength Velcro and an integrated wrist wrap, which is designed to be thin rather than bulky, and allows for maximum wrist support, making these gloves the best option if the main thing you’re seeking is wrist protection.
The palms include a gel print to avoid the injury-causing potential for slipping during a workout.
These gloves are thick and full, with a durable foam padding for added protection. The Evo 2 is the heaviest glove on this list; it is a half-finger design, but otherwise, the hand is fully and completely covered and protected.
The wrist wrap is designed as an extended, double wrist wrap, which increases wrist support, and the small plastic hooks that are included on the sides allow for easy transportation and storage.
The gloves run relatively true to size, and the quality of the materials used is a standout perk of these gloves, and is something that is immediately noticeable in the level of comfort these gloves have.
Like I said earlier, these are the heaviest gloves on the list; they have much thicker padding than other options. This can be both a blessing and a curse; for some exercises, the excess pattern makes an exercise difficult, but for many exercises, the excess padding eases the stress and pressure on your hands.
These gloves are also time tested to be highly durable, which is perhaps owing to their extremely thick and durable design with thick padding and tons of reinforcement. The area they may lack in is breathability, but their level of comfort might be enough to make up for that drawback.
A lot of this will come down to personal preference; do you prefer heavier gloves with more cushion, or lighter gloves with more breathability?
And these kinds of preferences will shift depending on what kinds of exercise you regularly perform.
It might be beneficial to just try a few pairs until you find your personal favorite; these five are all, overall, really solid options – the one that’s for you will depend on what exactly you are seeking.
I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.