Ever climbed a rock or done pull-ups with no gloves? You end up getting bruises, blisters and calluses on your hands which can be painful. Owning a great pair of climbing gloves can always come in handy if you love outdoor activities. Look for some of the top climbing gloves in the market in 2020 and make sure you enjoy your outdoor activities.
- 1. Trident Weight Lifting Gloves
- 2. Petzl – CORDEX PLUS Gloves for Climbers
- 3. FREETOO Tactical Gloves Army Military Police Rubber Knuckle Outdoor Gloves for Men
- 4. Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger Glove
- 5. VMFTS Cycling Gloves Gel Padding Sporting Glove
- 6. CLC Custom Leathercraft 125M Handyman Flex Grip Work Gloves
- 7. Ocun Crack Climbing Gloves
- 8. Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger Climbing Gloves
- 9. Black Diamond Crag Climbing Gloves
- 10. Petzl – CORDEX Lightweight Gloves for Climbers
- Climbing Glove Selection Tips
- Types of Climbing Gloves
- Common Questions and Answers
1. Trident Weight Lifting Gloves
If you love rock climbing then being comfortable and having a perfect time is always a priority. The hard rocks can cause blisters and bruises to your hands, and for this reason, you need climbing gloves. The gloves offer protection to your hands from getting bruises and calluses.
Additionally, the gloves provide you with a great grip since they are made from silica gel which adds grip to the gloves. This helps you climb comfortably without slipping. The gloves are all-purpose and can be used when you are weight lifting and the gym, doing pull-ups, and general workouts. Moreover, they have adjustable wrist straps that you can adjust according to the size of your arm for added protection and getting the perfect fit. They are made from high-quality material that is durable and does not tear easily. Moreover, the material is lightweight and breathable which keeps your hands dry and absorbs the sweat from your hands. Additionally, the gloves have a pull buckle which is on the fingertip that allows you to take them off easily.
• It is an all-purpose glove
• Has a one year warranty
• Made from durable material
• The gloves are breathable which keeps your hands dry
• Size up when you order them as they come in a small size
2. Petzl – CORDEX PLUS Gloves for Climbers
The CORDEX PLUS climbing gloves are made from high-quality, durable material that lasts for a long time. The material does not tear easily, and it protects your hand from blisters and bruises. This leather glove provides you with a perfect balance between comfort and durability. They have a double layer of leather that makes them resistant to tear even when you climb hard and steep rocks.
Moreover, the gloves are made from breathable and stretchy material to keep the gloves fitting to your hands. Additionally, the breathable material prevents your hands from being slippery as it absorbs the sweat and keeps your hands dry. An added feature is the built-in carabiner hole that is used to attach your gloves to your clothes. This ensures that your gloves are always on your hands and they don't slip off. Also, the gloves are built with an ergonomic style that offers you the perfect fit that allows your hands to move freely without restriction.
• The gloves are the right fit
• Made from leather material which is resistant to tear
• They are breathable keeping your hands dry
• Order a size down as they come in large sizes
3. FREETOO Tactical Gloves Army Military Police Rubber Knuckle Outdoor Gloves for Men
If you love owning a pair of gloves with a rugged look, then this can be a perfect choice for you. The gloves have a certain rugged look and feel to them. They are built with reinforced palm to give you that extra grip and dexterity.
Moreover, they have knuckle padding and double stitching that ensures that you are comfortable when you bend your fingers. They have a great grip with anti-skid that allow you to hold on to anything without slipping. Additionally, they are built to fit snuggly to your hands and fingers without giving you a bulky look. They are made from odour free, breathable material that allows your hands to stay dry with no odour. The gloves are intended for heavy duties and intense outdoor activities like rock climbing, hunting, camping and shooting. However, they are not to be used while riding a motorcycle or mountain biking.
• They fit perfectly and can be adjusted on the wrist
• They have an excellent grip that prevents slipping
• They are made from breathable material
• They are not recommended for motorcycle or mountain biking
4. Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger Glove
This is half finger gloves that provide you with extra breathability to your hands by leaving your fingers open. Moreover, the half finger gloves are preferred if you want to have enough room on your hands to hold on something. They are made from breathable material that provides you with air circulation and keeps your hands dry and odourless. Also, the material used in making these gloves is strong and provides you with a high grip that prevents you from slipping when you are climbing. The gloves are perfect for summer since your hands won't feel that hot in them.
Moreover, they are built to give you that perfect fit when you wear them. They have an adjustable wrist band to fix it to your liking. Moreover, they have a hole to be attached to your outfit to ensure that they don't come off. The material used provides comfort and protects you from getting bruises and blisters.
• They are breathable
• Offer you a perfect fit when you wear them
• Made from durable material
• Not great for winter
5. VMFTS Cycling Gloves Gel Padding Sporting Glove
VMFTS is one of the top climbing gloves in the market today. The gloves are made from strong, durable material that does not reap easily even when climbing steep rocks. The gloves are made to protect your hands from getting blisters, calluses and bruises while climbing the rocks or working out. An advantage of these gloves is that you can use them when working out, rock climbing, weightlifting, pull-ups and riding.
Moreover, if you hate having normal black or grey gloves, you would be glad to know that this company provides gloves in different colour shades. They have gloves in pink, blue, and red which you can choose from according to your personality. The gloves are made from breathable material which limits your hands from sweating a lot, and they remain dry throughout the workout or climb. Also, they have an adjustable wrist to give you the perfect fit according to the size of your hands.
• Have an adjustable wrist which can be adjusted to your liking
• Made from breathable material
• Protect your hands from blisters
• They don't have a kid-size if your hands are really small
6. CLC Custom Leathercraft 125M Handyman Flex Grip Work Gloves
The CLC company manufactures one of the top climbing gloves. These gloves are perfect for use in winter and cold weather since they are insulated to keep your hands warm and comfortable. The gloves are shrink resistant and perfect for outdoor events. When you wash them, they remain the same size and don't shrink giving you comfort whenever you use them. They are made from leather which is a durable material and can be used on very hard rocks and steep rocks.
Moreover, the gloves stay on while you are using them and they don't slip off easily. Additionally, they have a wing closing strap which is used to secure the gloves. Hence they don't come off when they get wet. The gloves are flexible and stretch to provide you with great dexterity when you are using them. Additionally, the gloves have a concealed inner stitching that prevents gloves from snagging on metal or wood.
• They are flexible and give you additional dexterity
• Great for winter since they are insulated
• They don't shrink
• They don't absorb the sweat, and they get wet from your hand sweat
7. Ocun Crack Climbing Gloves
Finding the perfect fitting climbing gloves is always a bonus point if you love outdoor activities. Ocun climbing gloves are made with a stylish new look and still offer you great comfort. They are made from a microfiber suede stretch material which offers comfort and dexterity. The material conforms to the shape of your hands meaning that any hand size can wear the gloves. Additionally, this feature makes the gloves lightweight and less bulky and you can climb with them comfortably.
Moreover, the gloves have increased feedback and friction which makes climbing any rock very easy. The gloves are made to provide you with utmost comfort and give you additional grip while wearing them. Additionally, they have Velcro quick closure for quick closure that makes the gloves fit you perfectly and not slip off. The Velcro quick closure tucks away easily, and this ensures that it will not loosen up.
• The glove stretches to conform to your hand
• The gloves are lightweight
• Made from durable material
• Have Velcro closure which makes the gloves fit you perfectly
• Not great during summer
8. Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger Climbing Gloves
These gloves are made from synthetic rubber which is strong and durable. The gloves give you additional protection when rock climbing, weight lifting, push-ups, and mountain biking. They are perfect for any outdoor activity since they are made from breathable material which keeps your hands dry. Also, they are made from stretch mesh fabric which is great to provide air circulation to your hands. The gloves are fixed with knuckle padding to give you more comfort and make it easier for you when you fold your hands.
Moreover, the gloves are designed with a reinforced index finger and the thumb crotch. This is for added durability of the glove since the thumb and index fingers are mostly used while climbing. Additionally, the glove has a hoop and loop closure cuff which makes the gloves stay in position without slipping off.
• Made from breathable material
• Has knuckle padding
• The gloves have a hook and loop cuff closure
• The stitching unravels at some point
9. Black Diamond Crag Climbing Gloves
Black diamond gloves are one of the top climbing gloves in the market. The gloves are made from synthetic leather which is strong and durable. The gloves help in protecting your hands from getting blisters and bruises while working out or rock climbing. They are perfect as they can be used for any outdoor activity like rock climbing, hunting, shooting and mountain biking. Moreover, they can be used in the gym for workouts, push-ups and pull up.
Moreover, they are made with strong material with double reinforcement on the index finger and thumb crotch. This is because the thumb crotch and the index fingers are the once that experience too much pressure while working out. Additionally, they have a hook and loop closure cuff that allows them to stay in place and not come off once you wear them.
• They are made from breathable fabric
• Have reinforced index finger and thumb crotch
• Has a hook and loop cuff closure
• Not great for winter
10. Petzl – CORDEX Lightweight Gloves for Climbers
These gloves are the perfect fit, and they offer a great level of dexterity and grip when you are using them. They have the perfect size as they are not too tight and this allows you to move your hands-free and be able to take part in all your activities. These gloves are high-quality, and they provide the perfect balance between flexibility and durability. Moreover, they are made from breathable material that allows your hands to stay dry even when you are sweating. Additionally, they are fitted with cuffs on the wrists to tighten the gloves according to your hand size.
• Made from breathable material
• They are great at protecting your hands from bruises
• Made from high-quality, durable material
• Size down as they come in large sizes
Climbing Glove Selection Tips
There is much more to consider than just the size when selecting climbing gloves. It is crucial for you to decide how you want to use them. Is this glove for outdoor or indoor use. If this is an indoor glove is it properly ventilated. Are you using them to cut down on chalking or are you protecting your hands? If it is an outdoor glove what kind of climbing are you doing? Are you belaying or rappelling and need protection from friction? Are you climbing on sharp rock and you need padding or do you do you need a splitter glove to jam your hands into cracks? Do you have the budget to get a different glove for each activity or do you need to get one that can be used for multiple disciplines? Ask yourself these questions before buying.
The kind of glove you purchase also depends on your level of experience. A more experienced climber has had time to develop calluses and tougher hands, reducing the need for a lot of padding. A newer climber might have more sensitive hands when first starting and require a thicker more padded glove. It is also important to weigh how much you will use this piece of equipment. It will make a difference in how durable the glove must be.The last thing to consider is fingerless or full finger. Preference on this is personal and perhaps on the time of the year. Full finger gloves are a must for those who climb in cold conditions.
Types of Climbing Gloves
There are a few different types of climbing gloves available. There are those made for outdoor use, those of indoor use, and hybrids. There are splitter gloves for jamming your hands into cracks and crags. The last category are belay gloves designed for belaying and rappelling. All the types of gloves typically come in a full finger and fingerless version.
Like most products there are a number of brands on the market. Most agree that some of the top brands include Black Diamond, Metolius, and Outdoor Research. However, this is also a matter of personal opinion and other brands like Petzl and Ocun are also praised in the mountain climbing community. Do not be swayed by the mention of the top brands because the glove that works for you the best is the best brand for you.
The average amount you will spend to equip your hands for climbing is between 25 and 30 dollars. However, the actual price range in this piece of equipment is pretty broad. You can spend from as little as fifteen bucks to more than a hundred. Cold weather climbing gloves can easily top $150.
Common Questions and Answers
The questions you ask usually depends greatly if it is for indoor or outdoor use. The answers vary depending on the glove considering each company will highlight certain features. Outdoor users usually question the durability of the glove. This is especially true for those who look for splitter gloves. The next most asked question is whether or not certain areas of the gloves are padded. Some like for both the knuckles and the palm to be padded while others do not like padding on the palm. Some do not want padding at all. This is particularly true for those with large hands who climb cracks and crags.
Do You Need Gloves to Climb?
You certainly do not need gloves to climb either indoor or out. In fact it is a fierce debate among climbers as to which is better, more pure to the sport. However, even purist give in with a little tape on really rough or sharp rock climbs. The exception is belaying. Few to none think belaying without gloves is a good idea. It is actually dangerous to both your hands and the person on the other side of the rope to go bare handed for this activity.
What are Belay Gloves?
These are special gloves used for both belaying and rappelling. They are designed to protect the hands from friction created by the rope during breaking. They are exceptionally durable to stand up to continued use. The reinforced palm prevents rope burns in the case you have to break quickly or just for regular use. While it is not essential to have a glove designed specifically for belaying to engage in the activity, it is a good idea if it is a regular sport in which you engage.
What are Splitter Gloves?
This is a piece of climbing equipment made for a specific type of climbing. Several climbers enjoy the discipline of climbing cracks and crags. Splitters are designed to protect the sensitive areas of the hand while jamming them into abrasive rock. Splitters are typically very thin yet are made to withstand extremely rough and even sharp surfaces.
Some climbers actually prefer to use climbing tape over gloves. One of the benefits of using tape is the customization. You can easily dictate the thickness and placement of the tape unlike gloves. The downside is that it takes time to apply tape every time you climb. If it becomes dislodged you must reapply. With gloves you only have to slip them on. They generally stay on when you put them on, but some brands can wear out fairly quickly.
Does Climbing Make Your Hands Bigger?
Generally this is true, but there are some factors that can change things. Frequency is the biggest determining factor in whether climbing will increase the size of your hands. You have to climb fairly frequently for you to gain muscle and size in your hands.
If you are a younger climber and you are still growing there is a better chance that it could make your hands bigger. A developing hand could easily grow bigger and longer if it is used regularly to climb. People who have played stringed instruments from young ages typically will have one hand slightly larger than the other from using it to finger the notes. It makes sense that an activity as strenuous as climbing would have the same effect.
Genetics also plays a part in this. If you have a tendency to gain muscle in your hands they might get larger and faster than most people’s hands. Even if your hands do get larger it will be a fairly unnoticed amount by you or anyone else. The most notice you will take is if your gloves get to small. The increased amount of strength will be much more notable than any increase in size.
Is Climbing Bad for Your Hands?
This is not the easiest question to answer. The reason is because climbing could be both good and bad for your hands. It goes without doubt that the activity will certainly increase the strength of your fingers as well as your entire hands. It will also increase your wrist strength and also grip. All of these things are definitely good for anyone.
The bad part is that climbing can also injure your hands. This is especially true with outdoor climbing. The surface of the rock often rips and tears the flesh on hands, knuckles, and fingers. Even fingernails can take a beating in this sport. The sheer amount of force on your hands and fingers also puts them at risk for musculoskeletal injuries. Tears to ligaments, tendons, and muscle are serious possibilities in the sport. While not common, it is even possible to break a finger or hand. These serious injuries and even repeated minor injuries can equate to arthritis in the long run. The more avid of a climber you are the more likely the risks of injury.
How to Heal Injured Hands
There are several ways to heal up those beat up hands and fingers. The first thing to try is a little rest. No matter how you injured your hand, whether it is a bruise, sprain, cut or scrape, rest is the best cure. You might want to hear it, but rest might be the quickest and sometimes the only way to heal up a damaged hand.
If you are dealing with cuts, scrapes, and blisters you have several choices. Most therapies fall into the category of natural or not. A lot of people will just look to the quick healing power of an antibiotic topical cream. This kind of product allows you to heal quickly and fights infection. Others, especially frequent hand abusers, prefer something a bit more natural. Many look to aloe to heal cuts and scrapes.
Then there are the die hard types. If you ask this type of person how to heal hands banged up by a long climb he or she will say, wash your hands. Several participants of the sport prefer to simply keep these kinds of injuries clean to prevent infection, but then the air does the rest. The argument is that antibiotic creams can lower your immune response. This kind of person also believes that keeping it exposed with help the cut or scrap toughen up quicker. Covering scrapes and cuts with creams and bandages might protect the skin, but it also allows your skin to stay more delicate and thus sensitive for a longer period of time. Since a climber needs to have relatively tough hands, no really tough hands, healing them in this manner is out of the question. So, in short how you heal your hands depends on what you are going to use them for afterwards. If you are just going to dog them out climbing again consider keeping the tough and gruff.
Elizabeth Sparks received a Masters Degree in geology from The University of Colorado. Elizabeth has been working as a full-time geologist for the past 5 years. In her spare time, Elizabeth participates in rock climbing competitions and frequently goes camping with friends.