In the latest refresh of this article on the best weightlifting gloves around, we changed a few of our recommendations. Four new pairs came into the chart, including our new top pick, the Skott Nemesis Evo 2.
We also added two aesthetically-pleasing pairs – the GloFit Freedom Gloves and the Contraband Pink Label Designer Series, as well as a popular open-backed pair in the ProFitness Gym Gloves.
When it comes to popular gym accessories, weightlifting gloves are perhaps the most common. Unlike knee sleeves for powerlifting, lifting shoes or lifting belts, gym gloves are used by everybody from complete beginners to seasoned pros.
Table of Contents
We are going to reveal our current seven favorite weightlifting gloves, which happen to be some of the best on the market.
Some gloves are unisex, some are made for women; some are traditional in design, while others are open-backed – our chart covers them all.
After this, we will discuss weightlifting gloves in general, addressing their advantages and disadvantages, and some of the most common concerns, before answering some of your questions.
Kicking off this list is a pair of gloves packed with features. The Nemesis Evo 2 from Skott are a popular pair for their heavy-duty but comfortable feel. With an attractive modern design, they feature a mix of durable synthetic materials with ample palm padding.
The palm and fingers also feature gel printing, which enhances grip even further. These gloves include integrated wrist support in the form of a double wrist wrap with a large Velcro strap to secure them in place. When they are on, they are on securely!
However, these gloves are fitted with a small tab in the ring finger to help when it comes to taking them off. Other innovative features include knuckle impact protection and a hook to keep the gloves together when not in use
Another very popular pair of lifting gloves comes from Godzilla Grip. While the rear is completely exposed for maximum ventilation, the front of the glove is fully padded with silicone grips. This protects your entire palm and extends onto the thumb.
This enhanced grip is perfect for everything from pull-ups in CrossFit boxes to lifting heavy barbells in the gym. The integrated wrist wraps are wide and stiff, offering plenty of support for your wrists.
While the gloves offer a comfortable and secure fit, it is easy to temporarily free your hand while still wearing them, thanks to the backless design. Finally, the inclusion of a Godzilla Grip-branded glove pouch and a general drawstring bag is a nice touch.
The first thing we notice about this pair is the design – it has to be one of the most attractive pairs around. While aesthetics should always take a back seat to functionality, the black, grey, pink and yellow color choices just look awesome in any gym.
Yet, it’s still a very functional pair, offering an excellent fit. They are made from synthetic materials that perform well in sweaty gym conditions. The rear uses perforated microfiber for enhanced breathability, while the front features a cushioned pad with silica anti-slip points for great grip.
While there is no wrist strap, this pair features convenient extras such as two tabs to help remove the gloves, as well as a handy toweling material on the thumb to allow you to wipe away sweat.
While we feature some very modern gloves with plenty of bells and whistles, this pair from RIMSports offers a more traditional minimalist design. These work well for everything from weightlifting to CrossFit to rowing!
These lightweight but durable gloves are made with a mix of suede leather and spandex, with a breathable mesh on the sides and back to keep your hands feeling cool and comfortable. The Velcro strap sits diagonally across the back of the hand for a more secure feel.
While there is no built-in supportive wrist strap on these gloves, some users will prefer the added range of motion this brings. Finally, these gloves also come in a diverse range of eye-catching colors including red, pink, neon green and an assortment of camo designs.
Sizes: XS, S, M, L
Material: Synthetic leather and Lycra
Wrist Strap: No
Features: Vegan construction, medium padding, good silicone grip, series of eye-catching designs, quick-removal finger tabs
While the majority of gloves we have featured on this chart are unisex, there’s no questioning that the Pink Label series from Contraband are built solely for women!
The stretchy sweat-wicking Lycra rear is adorned with a striking sugar skull design (available in multiple colors), which is sure to catch the eye in any workout scenario. However, this cute design doesn’t hide the fact that these are high-performance gloves.
The palm of the glove is stitched with a synthetic leather, featuring multiple silicone rubber dots and a medium foam padding. This helps strike a nice balance between comfort and grip. Quick removal tabs and the ability to wash them in a machine enhances the convenience.
There’s a huge selection of open-backed gym gloves on the market, which makes narrowing our choice down to just a few quite a difficult task. However, it’s hard to overlook this popular pair from ProFitness.
This affordable set offers substantial palm coverage, with a soft neoprene layer covered with a grip-enhancing silicone snowflake pattern. It’s a comfortable pair that provides great ventilation and a solid grip, even though there is no thumb coverage.
The built-in Velcro wrist support straps are a good addition at this price. A bonus is that these gloves look pretty cool, with a choice of trim colors including pink, red, blue, turquoise and camouflage. A good pair for both the gym and CrossFit sessions.
One of the most popular glove sets on the market at the moment is this affordable pair from Trideer, which offers everything an advanced lifter needs for a comfortable experience. This goes for both lifting weights or performing calisthenics movements.
Made from synthetic materials, these gloves feature a three-part padding on the palm with additional finger padding for more comfort. The side and rear are made with breathable mesh, keeping your hands relatively cool during workouts.
The gloves also come with an 18” wrist strap for additional protection. The stealthy black design is great for no-nonsense lifters, although the option to have gold, orange or pink stitching is a plus for those who want to add a little flair to their workouts.
While some lifters wear their calluses with pride, others are less keen on torn up hands and blistered skin. This is why lifting gloves exist, and why they are so popular in gyms, weight rooms and CrossFit boxes.
However, with many different styles, materials and features, how do you choose the right glove for you?
This section will run you through considerations worth making before jumping in and buying a pair that aren’t suitable.
Workout gloves come in several basic designs, all with the purpose of protecting your hands and enhancing your grip.
While many designs exist, you will most often come across two of the most popular – traditional fingerless gloves and modern open-backed gloves. Both do roughly the same job, but some work better for certain applications.
Traditional fingerless gloves are those that slide on like a regular pair of gloves, yet don’t have material covering the tops of the fingers. Their design allows for good range of motion in the fingers, which is why they are often worn in both weightlifting and cardio applications
This style of glove will feature a nicely padded palm covered with a grippy material (such as leather or rubber), while the rear will be made of a lighter material to offer better breathability.
On the other hand (excuse the pun…) open-backed gloves may be less traditional, but have their benefits. While they don’t cover the entire hand, these gloves tend to offer a much bigger surface area on the palm. This can enhance grip and gives a greater sense of confidence.
These gloves also offer much more ventilation, considering they don’t have material on the back. Minimum coverage, maximum ventilation!
Of course, this translates to a more comfortable experience as the temperature and sweat increases, which is why they tend to be favored by CrossFit athletes.
Another benefit is that they require fewer washes, which increases the longevity of the glove.
This design also makes it easy to remove the glove from your fingers, while the wrist strap remains in place. This allows your palm to enjoy some cool air, while saving time from not having to take the gloves off completely.
Finally, a word on aesthetics. Naturally, functionality and durability should take center stage when you browse for weightlifting gloves, but it doesn’t hurt to have something that looks good too.
The market is flooded with gloves, all with different designs, giving you plenty of options. You may want a stealthy all-black pair, or you may prefer something with a bit more color – red, green, yellow or pink for example, which makes a nice change.
However, you may prefer something with a more intense design, such as sugar skulls, zebra stripes, leopard print, camouflage or even paisley for a touch of retro!
Weightlifting gloves are made using all kinds of materials, although there are certainly those that are more common.
For example, leather. Like a good weightlifting belt, leather is an excellent material for gym gloves. It’s flexible and hardwearing, making for a durable pair that nicely enhances grip.
Unlike the gloves you may wear at winter time, weightlifting gloves aren’t worn to keep your hands warm. Quite the opposite in fact. While protection and grip are paramount, a pair that won’t boil your hands is another worthy consideration.
While all-leather gloves would be great in theory, they would soon become very hot and uncomfortable. For this reason – combined with costs – many manufacturers tend to use synthetic materials in addition to leather.
Neoprene is one of these materials. This synthetic rubber is flexible, snug and comfortable against the skin. Spandex or Lycra offer a similar but slimmer feel, with great elasticity and sweat-resistance. Both are also easy to wash and dry.
However, these synthetic materials are not naturally very grippy, which is why they are often paired with silicone or rubber patterns on the palms.
You will also find gloves made with a cotton mesh, which provides a soft and comfortable fit with good protection and breathability.
In short, there’s a wide range of materials to choose from. Chances are, the gloves you pick will have at least two of these materials working together to optimize performance.
While the gloves you wear at winter time can be any size, weightlifting gloves are built to do a specific job. They therefore need to fit you well.
Finding a glove that fits isn’t rocket science. You simply need to find a pair that isn’t too loose that your hand slides around inside, or too tight that proper movement is restricted.
Of course, buying weightlifting gloves online doesn’t give you the chance to try them on before you buy. This is why most brands offer their gloves in multiple sizes, with sizing charts to help you find something that fits. Make sure to pay close attention to this before purchasing.
You may notice that some gloves have wrist straps built into the bottom. These pieces of material strap around the wrist with Velcro to offer additional support and stability to a notoriously unstable joint.
Using a pair of gloves with built-in wrist straps can eliminate the need for separate wrist wraps in many instances.
However, these straps add an extra inch or so to the bottom of the glove. If you wear a watch or fitness tracker at the gym, wrist straps may impede these devices.
If this is the case, you’ll either have to wear your watch higher up your arm or take it off completely
In short, a weightlifting glove is a heavy-duty fingerless glove with the job of enhancing both grip and comfort while you lift weights.
Wearing gloves in the gym isn’t a fashion statement. They have a specific purpose and, if you are buying a pair of weightlifting gloves online, you should be aware of what they actually do.
One of the main reasons you would wear a pair of lifting gloves is to help your grip. Having particularly sweaty palms when training can impede certain movements. For example, doing pull-ups or holding heavy dumbbells as you perform shrugs or a farmer’s walk.
As well as enhancing your grip in certain situations, weightlifting gloves are naturally good at protecting your hands. They provide cushioning to soften the feel of a barbell or dumbbell, while protecting the palm and fingers from calluses, blisters and tears.
They can also relieve pressure on the hands. While your back or chest may be able to take a few hundred pounds of weight, your hands may not. By helping them cope with the weight, you may be able to lift more of it.
Finally, many modern weightlifting gloves provide an integrated wrist strap. This wrap-around strap provides sturdy support for the wrist, helping you to prevent wrist injuries.
If you read the section above, you will know what weightlifting gloves do. However, now you need to know whether you should be wearing a pair.
Walk into any gym and you will see some lifters – both men and women – wearing gloves. Others are barehanded. Neither is wrong.
As we highlighted earlier, the benefits of wearing gloves are quite clear. They can help improve your grip on the bar if you have sweaty palms. They can also relieve pressure on your hands, helping you lift more weight.
Plus, they protect your hands from calluses and blisters. If you want to prevent calluses, or already have sore hands and want to protect them, then yes – wear gloves. While it’s not a guarantee that they will prevent calluses, they will certainly help deter them.
Regardless of this, many lifters don’t wear gloves for several reasons.
One of these is that they can hinder your natural grip. This may seem like a bit of a contradiction after what we just said, but it’s true!
While gloves can aid a sweaty-handed lifter, they can also prevent you from gripping the bar naturally – especially if it’s a thick bar. You lose the feeling between yourself and the metal, which can actually weaken your overall lift.
Wearing gloves for every lift can also weaken your grip strength over time. You may develop an overreliance on gloves and, suddenly, the day you forget to wear them, you find that you cannot lift as much without them.
Finally, gloves can hinder your technique on certain lifts. The bench press, for example. Here, the bar should fit snugly in the palm of your hand. Wearing bulky gloves can push it more towards your fingers, which can – over time – cause wrist problems.
Ultimately, wearing gloves is a personal choice. If you feel you would benefit from the comfort, protection and grip enhancements – particularly if you suffer from sweaty hands – then go for it!
Just remember that they aren’t a fashion accessory and wearing a pair if you don’t need to will not be beneficial for you in the long run.
Using your gym gloves for a series of hard, sweaty workouts can eventually result in a pair of gloves that smell pretty bad.
Do you have to throw them out and replace them every few weeks, or can you wash your gloves?
Many gloves are actually machine-washable, which is very convenient. However, unless the manufacturer recommends using a machine, the best method is to handwash them – especially if they feature leather parts.
Fill a bowl with warm soapy water (regular detergent or dish soap will do), then submerge the gloves. Give them a massage, working the palms and fingers to release trapped dirt and sweat. Be sure to also turn the glove inside out, as the majority of sweat buildup will be on the inside.
When you have done this for a few minutes, simply rinse thoroughly and – if needed – repeat.
Towel off the excess water then allow the gloves to air dry, either indoors or outdoors. If outdoors, avoid putting them in direct sunlight, as this can damage the material and cause colors to fade.
If the leather on your gloves feels too hard or shows signs of cracking, you can rub a little shoe polish or oil onto it to bring it back to life.
Of course, preventing the gloves from smelling in the first place is the best course of action.
Instead of leaving them at the bottom of a dark gym bag, you could air your gloves outside after every gym session. You can also add a dryer sheet inside each glove, which will help them dry quicker and smell better.
Finally, you could try leaving the gloves in the freezer for a little while (protected in a sealed plastic bag). The low temperature will kill the bacteria that causes the smell in the first place.
Before doing any of the above, we recommend you refer to the care instructions for your individual pair of gloves.
Weightlifting gloves are not for everybody – we would be doing you a disservice if we told you they were!
However, thousands of people strap on a pair every workout, from casual gym goers to experienced bodybuilders. While there are some negatives, the pros will outweigh the cons for thousands of regular gym glove users.
In this article, we have highlighted seven popular pairs, although the market is awash with weightlifting gloves. Take a good browse around – you may find something more suited to your exact goals and tastes.
Keep our advice in mind when shopping and you should end up with a pair that protects your hands while enhancing your workout – who’d say no to that?!