Here we’ll go into the use of gloves in CrossFit, why I think they’re the ultimate choice for serious box goers, and some alternatives and supplementary items to round out your hands-on experience in the gym.
Finger, palm, and wrist protection are important in strength training. This is especially true in CrossFit where you swing, pull, and push different kinds of weights. If you aren’t taking care of your hands, you can develop calluses or rip your skin forcing you to take time off working out.
There are a few options out there for hand and wrist care. The most comprehensive option is to purchase a pair of CrossFit gloves. They protect your whole hand and wrist from strain and will also provide your skin with callus protection. There are many different kinds of gloves, with various features that can adapt to your specific needs.
Gloves aren’t for everyone, but I do think that more people would wear them if it weren’t for the stigma around using hand protection. Unfortunately, a lot of people think wearing gloves isn’t the “right” way to lift.
In my opinion, though, taking care of yourself is the smart thing to do. A good pair of CrossFit gloves can actually make sure you are lifting in a way that is protective of your body.
If you are interested in more hand and wrist protection, but you aren’t sure what the options are, I’ll go over them in just a sec. First a quick word about the links: text links are sometimes affiliate links and sometimes not, but product images can always be assumed to be affiliate links. Now, onto chalk.
You may have seen a lot of chalk around your local gym. Some gyms will keep it in giant bowls in a few corners of the building. Others require that you bring your own.
If you are looking for a suggestion, I recommend Gibson athletic chalk
Chalk coats your palms and fingers in order to keep them dry. By absorbing the sweat on your hands, it will increase your grip and reduce the potential for losing control of the weight. It can also reduce some of the tension that can cause skin damage, like calluses.
Chalk is an easy and popular option. However, it also has its downsides. Chalk causes a total mess, and you often have to stop mid-workout to reapply—which can disrupt your momentum.
Grip lotion is another option for people who don’t like the feel of material on their hands while they lift. It is, essentially, liquid chalk. If you want a suggestion, I like SPRI
Grip lotion repels sweat to keep your hands dry and your grip tight. It often lasts longer than chalk, reducing the number of reapplication stops you’ll have to do. However, some say it makes their hands feel sticky and damp.
Grips are material-based protection for your palm and, sometimes, your wrist. They usually slip around two or three fingers and provide a thin layer of fabric over the middle of your palm. They fasten at the wrist with Velcro or a buckle. I like Bear KompleX
Grips are a middle-of-the-road option for people that don’t like a lot of material on their hands but need something more protective than chalk or lotion.
I wrote a lengthier guide specifically about grips, because they’re such a common choice. Although I’ll argue for gloves, you will see almost everyone in the box wearing anything on their hands will likely have grips. Here’s that lengthier guide if you’re curios.
Gloves are the most protective option out there. They typically cover all of your fingers and most or all of your palm. Many gloves are designed to provide structure as well, which keeps your wrist in the proper position.
Some CrossFit gloves also provide a lot of outer protection for your knuckles and fingers. When you start lifting more than 20 or 30 pounds, the weight room can be a dangerous place. You don’t want a 100-pound weight to drop or slip onto your hand—padded gloves can add an extra layer between you and the weight.
For more tips on CrossFit hand care, check out this video:
Not all gloves are the same. When shopping for a pair of CrossFit gloves, you’ll want to think carefully about the characteristics that are important to you. Here are a few things to consider:
Some gloves are designed to ventilate. If you don’t like that warm, damp feeling that gloves can create, you may want to look for this feature.
Different gloves offer more or less wrist support. More support can make the gloves feel stiffer, so you’ll want to weigh up which will benefit you most.
Some skin can become sensitive to certain materials, especially when damp from sweat. If your skin tends to react, be careful about the type of material you choose.
If you’ve decided that gloves are the best option for you, here is a review of some of the best CrossFit gloves out there. Finding the right pair for your needs will ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
These CrossFit gloves are designed to address one of my biggest pet peeves: hot and sweaty hands. I personally love to wear gloves, but I hate feeling like I have swamp hands. These gloves are made of neoprene, but they are covered with a ventilating layer to ensure more airflow.
Providing protection for all of your fingers, including your thumb, they have a soft cover on the outside and a lightly padded layer on the inside. On the back, your hand is open, which provides an extra source of airflow.
A thick wrist strap provides even more support. During CrossFit, you’ll do a lot of snaps, so wrist protection will come in handy.
The ProFitness gloves are made of neoprene but have reinforced silicone-padded palms. This feature helps to strengthen your grip and further reduce the tension against your skin.
The CrossFit gloves have holes for all of your fingers and leave your thumb free. This is a great feature if you don’t want your fingers to be held together. A free thumb also helps you adjust your hold more easily in the middle of a round.
A wrist strap is attached to the glove to provide more support. You can adjust it easily with Velcro to make sure it fits you perfectly.
SIMARI workout gloves are made of microfiber and Lycra, making them really flexible. This is a good feature for people who worry that gloves will make their hands feel too stiff during a routine. Microfiber is also quite breathable, encouraging more airflow around your hands.
With the option of a covered or backless design, you can decide if you want more protection or more ventilation. The inside of the glove features a foam pad for your palm to further protect it from tension and discomfort.
The loops of these CrossFit gloves cover all fingers and your thumb. They are also designed to help you pull the gloves off more easily. Perhaps the coolest feature, however, is the patch of terry cloth on the thumb that can act as a sweatband.
These CrossFit gloves are designed for moisture wicking, which diverts sweat into the glove and keeps your hands cool and dry. They are made of a StretchAir performance material which makes them really flexible and easy to maneuver.
The glove covers all of your fingers and your thumb. On three of the fingers, the loops feature pull tabs, which make it really easy to take off your gloves when you need to switch activities.
On the inside of the glove, the palm is covered in a double layer of padding for more protection.
Made from lightweight material, they offer a unique good-sized and well-padded wrist support. They are also double-stitched to ensure that they last a long time.
The RIMSports CrossFit gloves feature extra cushioning on the palms for more protection.
Gloves are the most effective way to protect your hands and wrists during strength training and weightlifting. They not only protect your skin from painful calluses that can split, but they also give you a better grip on the bar.
The best CrossFit gloves, in my opinion, are the Fit Active Sports ventilated weight lifting gloves. I love the extra airflow that the material and design provides. When my hands are dry, I can focus completely on my workout.