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There is quite the controversy in the Crossfit community when it comes to the use of gloves. The majority of Crossfitters don’t use gloves, preferring the feel of bare hands. With heavy weight lifting, many will use chalk for a better grip.
Calluses will naturally form and help protect the hands, which helps, but tearing or otherwise hurting the hands is still common. Still, it’s rare to see people wearing gloves in a Crossfit gym.
The Crossfit community has been under scrutiny before for its machismo approach to working out, to the point it seems almost encouraged to push yourself to the limits of sickness, muscle failure or injury.
This certainly doesn’t apply to all and pushing away the idea that using gloves is some type of weakness is quite ill-founded.
Wearing gloves for Crossfit are a good idea for certain circumstances, such as:
- Protecting the hands from injury during repetitive bar work
- Protecting an existing injury from further damage
- Working out in very hot or very cold weather
- Chalk is unavailable or your gym is very busy and finding chalk isn’t easy
- Preventing tears or burns from a tape-wrapped bar or climbing rope
Gloves should only be worn for protection purposes and shouldn’t be relied on as a crutch for a weak grip.
Here are 3 pairs of gloves that are ideal for the rigors of Crossfit.
JerkFit WODies Gloves
The nature of Crossfit makes finding suitable gloves difficult. You want as much freedom as possible and ideally not have to repeatedly stop to put on/take off your gloves during the workout. JerkFit’s WODies Gloves are perfect for weightlifting during Crossfit. They are made specifically with Crossfit in mind, which can be rare to find.
- Available in sizes S, M, L and XL
- Color options include Black, Gray Camo and Green Camo
- Made of a woven elastic blend (latex-free & hypoallergenic)
- Offers wrist support and palm protection
- Finger hole slits allow you to customize fit
- Absorbs chalk and sweat
- Retails for $39.95
The combination of wrist support and palm protection, without fingers, is perfect for Crossfit. You can keep these on throughout your WOD without having to remove them, which means you can focus more on your workout than on your gear. The palm is perfectly padded, with enough protection to prevent fatigue but not so much padding you lose grip. The wrist support is really helpful at the end of your WOD. These gloves will easily absorb sweat and excessive chalk. After they start getting a bit “ripe”, you can toss your WODies right into the washer and either air dry or tumble dry on low.
Getting a close fit with gloves is important. When you get your pair of WODies you’ll notice that there are only small slits where the finger holes should be. JerkFit purposely did this so each customer can cut their own finger holes for a customized, individual fit. Since their sizing is unisex, this really helps both men and women get the best grip possible. JerkFit does stress that customer measure their hands prior to ordering, as a too large or too small of a glove can do more damage than good.
Barehand Minimalist Gloves
If you like the idea of the WODies gloves but want even more minimalism, Barehand’s Minimalist Gloves could be the right pair for you. These super thin gloves have one purpose, and that is to offer protection only on the upper palm. If you aren’t quite comfortable with going bare-handed but want just a bit better of a grip than chalk gives, these will be very useful.
- Available in sizes S, M, L, and XL
- Comes in a bright blue color
- Dual layer design prevents pinching
- Reduces the growth of calluses
- SkinTexture technology gives gloves natural feel
- Maintains 95% of barehand bar sensitivity
- Half palm coverage prevents bad grip technique
- Removable extended tabs for additional finger protection
- Anti-Odor strips keeps gloves smelling fresher for longer
- Arc Tension design over knuckles prevents pinched nerves
- Retails for $49.99
One reason some Crossfitters bash gloves is due to a belief that using them will negatively affect grip and technique. This can certainly be true of poorly made gloves. Barehand realized that there were very few Crossfit gloves on the market that can offer protection without affecting proper hand/wrist posture during weightlifting. Most gloves cover majority of the hand and wrist which can leave wearers relying on this support, actually increasing the chances of injury.
The half palm design means wearers still have to push from the bottom of their hand and maintain a natural grip as close to barehand as possible. These gloves are super thin and have a similar texture to human skin. Barehand’s Minimalist Gloves are about as close to barehand perfection as you can get.
These gloves are more expensive than most but are worth every penny.
Fit Four The Gripper Gloves
Fit Four is a smaller company that focuses primarily on hand protection. Their three main categories include callus guards, gymnastic grips and true workout gloves. The callus guard line is particularly useful for Crossfitters that are concerned over rips on the upper palm. Repetitive weight lifting and barwork can easily loosen calluses on this part of the hand, which can lead to a nasty injury if the hand happens to slip.
Fit Four’s Gripper gloves are perfect if you don’t want/need full wrist support but you want more padding than a true minimalist glove. These are ideal for Crossfitters that are beginners and have yet to develop strong hand grip but are worried that thick, traditional gloves may ruin their form.
- Available in sizes XSmall, Small, Medium, Large, and XLarge
- Color options include Neon Green, Hot Pink, Electric Blue, and Black
- Made of a blend of 40% synthetic leather, 50% lycra and 10% silicone
- Silicone overlay on palm for less slip
- Best for exercises needing improved grip
- Half palm design for easy on and off
- Retails for $24.95
The Gripper Gloves are sold as a callus guard style of Crossfit glove. They only cover half the palm and are primarily used for protecting just the upper palm. The Gripper is similar to the Barehand gloves in this sense, but Fit Four added silicone for a “better than bare” grip. The silicone overlay helps the wearer get a stronger grip, which can be useful for slippery bars or kettle bells. They are also ideal for climbing rope, which the silicone sticks to particularly well.
It is really important to size these gloves properly before purchasing. Since these are for improved grip, not just pure protection, having too loose of a fit can actually increase the chances of tears or ripped calluses. The Gipper stills has quite a natural feel to it and are comfortable enough to be worn throughout a workout. In fact, some wearers find they are useful for pushups, burpees, mountain climbers, or other exercises on slippery rubber mats.
Gloves aren’t for all Crossfitters but they certainly are useful for protecting the hands under certain circumstances. If you are recovering from an injury or are concerned over tears from a tough WOD, considering trying out one of the pairs of gloves featured.