Best Workout Gloves 2018

by Cole Matthews - Last Updated October 4, 2018

Of all of the training equipment that you can carry into the gym, none is more important than workout gloves. Your hands are the contact point between the weight and the muscle, so enhancing your hold is vital to workout success.

In this article, we discover the 6 best brands of workout glove on the current market. We’ll also provide you with a workout glove buyer’s guide and an FAQ so that you can make the most informed decision when it comes to purchasing your workout gloves.

Best Workout Glove Why We Love It Our Rating
Harbinger Leather palms, vented design, double stitch seams  ★★★★★
Nike Men’s Lockdown Soft dry-fit fabric, breathable, mesh backing  ★★★★
Bionic Beast for Men Strategically placed padding, antimicrobial treatment, Pre-rotated finger design  ★★★★
GoFit Weightlifting Glove Tac pattern palm, ergonomic design, reinforced areas  ★★★
Gold’s Gym Weightlifting Glove Amara Suede palms, hook and loop adjustment  ★★★
Valeo Performance Three quarter inch fingers, hook and loop tabs  ★★★

Best Workout Glove

Harbinger Weightlifting Gloves

 

Why We Love It

The Harbinger Weightlifting glove has the best balance between soft palm comfort and secure gripping power that we have found. The full leather palms give you a high degree of protection without interfering with your tensile connection with the bar. These gloves made our Best Weightlifting Gloves review list.

Breathability

The Harbinger glove is the most breathable leather glove that we encountered. It provides you with a vented design to remove sweat build up. This overcomes the problem of your palm slipping, which is common with other leather gloves.

Reinforced Thumb

The Harbinger workout glove has a wrap around thumb cover to provide extra protection. This extra leather layer is great for those extended heavy sets.

Double Stitching

Every seam on the Harbinger glove is double seamed. That makes an incredibly strong, robust glove.

Finger Length

The Harbinger provides you with great gripping ability, thanks to the half finger length. This doesn’t restrict your movement in any way.

Variety

You get the choice of five different sizes with this glove so you can be confident that the fit is going to be just right. You also get a 90 day warranty with your purchase.

What’s Not So Great

The one negative we found about this glove was that it may transfer dye onto your hands or, even worse, your favorite training shirt.

Nike Men’s Lockdown Gloves

 

Fabric

The Nike Men’s Lockdown glove is constructed from a soft dry-fit fabric. This provides you with comfortable palm support that will prevent hand chafing and blisters without taking away from the feel of the weight in your hand. It will also prevent the bar from rolling down your palm.

On the back of the glove, Nike has placed a mesh fabric. This makes the glove more flexible.

Breathability

The Nike workout glove has been designed with aeration in mind. The mesh fabric on the back of the hand greatly enhances the breathability and ability of the glove to wick away sweat. The glove has also been sprayed with moisture wicking technology to further reduce moisture, as well as get rid of unpleasant odors.

Adjustability

The wrist strap on this glove is completely adjustable, allowing you to customize your fit. The glove goes on very easily.

What We Didn’t Love

The Nike workout glove has extended fingers. This tends to restrict your natural finger movement and adds to the moisture build up problem. Some people may also find that the palm padding is too thin for them.

Bionic Men’s Beast Weightlifting Gloves

 

Extra Padding

The Bionic weightlifting glove for men is called the beast and for good reason. It has a half finger fit design and has been fitted with extra padding all around in key areas to avoid calluses and blisters.

Flexibility

The half finger design of the Bionic Beast for men provides you with free and natural movement of your fingers, which is especially important on exercises such as pull ups and chin ups. A patented pre-rotated finger design allows your fingers to be closer together to give you a stronger grip on the bar.

Antimicrobial Treatment

The Bionic Beast has been treated with an antimicrobial treatment in order to protect you from unpleasant odors, germs, and bacteria.

Polytowel Thumb

The Bionic Beast features a patented Polytowel thumb that adds to the ability of the glove to wick away moisture.

What’s Not So Great

The stitching on the Bionic Beast glove is a little sharp. It has a tendency to slightly dig into your skin.

GoFit Weightlifting Gloves

Tac Grip Pattern

 

The GoFit weightlifting glove has an innovative Diamon-tac grip pattern on the palm that ha been designed to enhance the strength of your grip on the bar while also reducing hand and wrist fatigue.

Ergonomic Design

The GoFit glove has been ergonomically designed with a palm pad cut that provides the maximum amount of protection. The neoprene knuckle panel and two way stretch top also enhance the design, ensuring a snug and secure fit.

Reinforcement

The GoFit glove has reinforced rubber on the thumb and forefinger. As a result, your gripping power is enhanced. The material used on the thumb is terry cloth. This makes it very useful to wipe sweat from your brow.

What We Don’t Love

There is some slight gap in the padding.

Gold’s Gym Weightlifting Glove

 

Material

The Gold’s Gym weightlifting glove is constructed from Amara Suede to give you a very comfortable feel on the skin and a high level of bar gripping protection. The cushioning is not so much, however, that it detracts from the power of your grip.

Hook & Loop Adjustment

The hook and loop adjustments on the Gold’s Gym weightlifting glove allows you to get just the right level of fit in a quick on/off action. Unlike Velcro, the fastening system will not deteriorate over time.

Natural Feel

These gloves are of the half finger variety, so there is impeding of your natural finger motion when you wear them.

What’s Not So Great

The sizing of the Gold’s Gym weightlifting glove sizing runs a little small.

Valeo Performance Wrist Wrap Gloves

 

3/4 Inch Finger Design

The Valeo Performance weightlifting glove has a 3/4 inch finger length design that enhances your gripping ability, while also improving the breathability of the glove.

Double Leather

The Valeo Performance glove is made from double leather for an extremely durable and sturdy finish. On the back, the glove is made from nylon mesh, providing the breathability that you need.

Hook & Loop Enclosure

The Valeo glove features a hook and loop enclosure to provide for a custom fit while also giving you better gripping ability. The glove is very easy to put on and secure and the enclosure won’t come undone half way through a set.

Reinforced Stitching

All of the seams om the Valeo Performance glove feature reinforced stitching, so you can be sure that this glove will last for years. It is also machine washable and is available in six sizes.

What We Don’t Love

The leather on the palm is a bit thin.

Workout Glove Buyer’s Guide

 

Meet the Purpose

The first consideration in buying workout gloves is to think about what sort of training you will be primarily doing. If you are into fast moving, Crossfit-type training, then you are going to be sweating a lot. A prime consideration for you will be  glove that is breathable and aerated with minimum cover to provide protection. A glove that has an open back or that only provides coverage for the palm (open fingers) may be the way to go.

If, however, you are planning to mainly do bodybuilding and powerlifting type training, then you will want a more substantial glove. You’ll probably be wearing the glove throughout the entire workout, which may not be the case with Crossfit training.

Padding

One of the key reasons that you wear a workout glove is to lessen hand discomfort. This is often achieved by adding padding to the palm. However, there is a sweet spot here that you don’t want to go beyond. Experienced bodybuilders will tell you that a key to establishing the mind-muscle connection is to get a tactile feel for the weight in your hands. If you have too much padding, then that sensation is lost. Too much padding will also make it difficult to get a solid grip.

Fit

While you want a glove that prevents your palms and fingers from getting calluses and nicks, you certainly don’t want any restriction of movement in these areas. You do not want gloves that are too tight or it may actually cause a restriction of blood flow. Gloves that only cover up to the first joint of each finger allow for free digital movement.

You also do not want gloves that fits too loosely. They will prevent you from having a firm grip and will be liable to come loose while you are working out. To this end, you need to ensure that the velcro, or whatever tightening system is being used, is secure, durable and reliable. There is nothing more annoying than having the velcro come apart half way through a heavy set.

Materials

You will find gloves that are made from all sorts off materials. The most common are leather, synthetic leather, and neoprene. You might think that leather gloves are the best and that is generally true. They will afford you the best level of protection with the best padding and durability. However, leather gloves also sweat more than any other and do the worst job in terms of breathability. If you are after sweat-reducing gloves, neoprene is your best option. If you couldn’t care less about that and just want a grunty glove that will do the business when you go into beast mode, by all means stick with leather.

Surface

Many gloves will have a textured surface on key areas of contact. These parts are usually constructed of suede or rubber to provide greater protection and traction.

Fasteners

As already mentioned, the integrity of the enclosure system of a workout glove is very important. You will generally find one of two types of enclosure – velcro fasteners or slip on gloves. Most people prefer velcro fastening workout gloves – just make sure that the velcro is going to last.

FAQ

 

Do I really need to wear workout gloves in the gym?

No, you don’t have to. In fact, some guys (and girls) prefer the natural feel of naked hands against the bar. Then there are the hardcore Crossfit-types who see the development of calluses, ripped skin, and cuts as a badge of honor. But there is no doubt about it that workout gloves will make your gym experience more comfortable. Contrary to the ripped palm mentality, there is no muscle building or fitness enhancing benefit to tearing up your hands in the gym. No one actually enjoys having torn calluses, so why put yourself through that pain?

If your hands tend to sweat a lot, then you should definitely be wearing gloves. Sweat in the palm makes your hands slip and this can not only be annoying, it can be dangerous when you are doing a heavy exercise.

Gloves also help to avoid pain in the hands and wrists. The gloves will improve your gripping power and, if it has a reinforcing wrist wrap, will take the pressure off your wrist.

In summary, whether you are in the gym or just at home using exercise equipment for home use, you can benefit from proper workout gloves.

Are there any negatives to wearing workout gloves?

Yes, there are a few potential negatives to wearing gloves in the gym. Gloves that are too thick will actually lessen the power of your grip. This is especially the case on a movement like the deadlift. Some gloves may also have the effect of rolling the bar out of your palm and toward your fingers. This is not good – you want the bar to be firmly resting in the middle of your palm where your grip is the strongest, not in the finger where it is the weakest.

You also need to avoid becoming overly-reliant on workout gloves. Having a strong grip is crucial to your training success. Don’t allow gloves, especially those with wrist supports, to rob you of developing your own natural grip strength. Also, you do not want to become mentally dependent on workout gloves. If you do, what’s going to happen when you turn up at the gym and realize that you have left your gloves at home? More than likely you will have convinced yourself that your workout is going to be a sub-par effort before you pick up the first weight.

The bottom line here is to use workout gloves selectively and not to become dependent on them.

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