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Published Jul 18, 2022 9:54 AM

We’ve all been through that phase where we thought weightlifting gloves were cool and rushed out to buy a pair. Either we saw some jacked guy wearing them or just thought the accessory would help us lift better. Whichever way you slice it, weight lifting gloves can be handy for those who need them. Most people think they help you lift better, which is not entirely untrue, but the real purpose of wearing gloves while exercising is to protect your hands from getting beat up. These full-finger or half-finger gloves are ideal for those just starting out or for anyone like hand models whose career depends on immaculate hands. Many gloves now offer built-in wrist straps for those looking to train insanely, opening the market wider to anyone needing a little extra boost during workouts.

Methodology

Researching the best weightlifting gloves began with looking at similar buying guides and reviews to identify the most popular choices.  With those product ideas in mind, I began searching websites like Amazon and Walmart to see if there were other gloves worth considering. I was able to do this by utilizing my personal experiences with gloves and those of other consumers. This process included researching frequently asked questions and the questions that occurred to me while reading and writing to include the best and most up-to-date information. 

This process is the same one that I’ve used for previous athletic gear articles on running socks, running hats, barbells, and rowing machines. Task & Purpose has also covered running shorts for men and women, weightlifting shoes, and various types of gym equipment. You can learn more about how Task & Purpose gear reviews work here.

The Trideer Padded Workout Glove will give you the protection you need and the support you want. By using 5mm padding in the palm and smaller pads in between finger joints, this half-fingered glove offers excellent grip. The 18-inch wrist strap uses hook-and-loop Velcro to support your wrist during heavy lifts. On the middle and ring fingers are small pull tabs to make removal easy, you just need to undo the wrist strap first. To help with breathability, the material between the fingers is a flexible mesh. It is available in four sizes and one color.

Product Specs
  • Finger length: Half
  • Wrist support: Yes
  • Pull tabs: Yes
PROS

Anti-slip palm padding

Easy-to-use pull tabs

Elastic fabric for custom fit

Wrist strap for extra support

CONS

Limited mesh for breathability

Not the easiest to take off between sets

Minimalists will love these Steel Sweat Workout Gloves, and so will heavy sweaters. The most prominent feature of this glove is the full-stretch mesh backing that allows airflow and fights sweaty hands. The palm side sports a full padding system with grip dots all over, including the fingers. Since half-fingered gloves are notoriously difficult to take off, Steel Sweat has added three easy-to-use pull tabs that work well with the hook-and-loop closure for fast removal in between sets. You can get this glove in three colors and five sizes, all for the same price as that protein shake you drank this morning.

Product Specs
  • Finger length: Half
  • Wrist support: No
  • Pull tabs: Yes
PROS

Full mesh back

Grippy padding on full palm and fingers

Three pull tabs for easy removal

Multiple sizes and colors available

CONS

No wrist support

You’ll be tempted to use them for other sports too

The Mava Sports cross-training gloves are more like palm pads tailored towards cross fit, but that doesn’t mean they won’t work for you. The basic design of these gloves is a sturdy, grippy pad that uses the flexibility of neoprene to provide a breathable backing and stout wrist support. That’s probably why there aren’t any pull tabs — you can easily hook the neoprene finger straps to pull these off at the end of your WOD. With five sizes and seven colors, you’re sure to blast through plateaus with these gloves.

Product Specs
  • Finger length: Half
  • Wrist support: Yes
  • Pull tabs: No
PROS

Versatile performance

Maximum airflow

Wrist support strap

Minimalist design

CONS

May be difficult to remove fast

Higher price point

Best for Wrist Support

This one is for the powerlifters and strength trainers who want padding and wrist support. The Grip Power Pads Leather Gloves are an elite option that looks like something from a Marvel movie. Made from genuine leather, the body of these gloves are designed to last and feature vent holes across the back and wrist strap. On the palm are thick rubber pads designed to handle any weight you’re lifting. While there are two finger pocket pull tabs on the middle and ring fingers, there are also two rope-style pull tabs on the fingers for convenience. The wrist strap is two inches wide and 25 inches long to offer unparalleled support.

Product Specs
  • Finger length: Full/half
  • Wrist support: Yes
  • Pull tabs: Yes
PROS

Thick rubber padding

Extra wide wrist straps

Easy pull tabs

Ventilated leather backing

CONS

Bulky

High price point

Best for Women

Any glove would work just fine for a woman, so this is really for the girls who like to have pretty nails. Since artificial nails would make it difficult to wear a full-fingered glove, the Contraband Pink Label half-fingered glove is an excellent choice. This glove features a medium to light padding system to offer protection without interfering with your grip. The palm features a grip lock silicone padding to prevent slippage. Securing these gloves is easily done with a large hook-and-loop Velcro system that works great with the two pull tabs for fast removal. There are four color choices and four sizes available. Keep in mind, there is latex present for those with an allergy to latex.

Product Specs
  • Finger length: Half
  • Wrist support: No
  • Pull tabs: Yes
PROS

Lightweight

Breathable

Grip-lock padding

Wide Velcro closure

CONS

No wrist support

Has latex

Best for Women Runner-Up

Let’s be honest, full-fingered gloves don’t really look as cool in the gym. That being said, they do offer more protection and grip, which is why the Bionic full-finger glove for women is a solid choice. Made from genuine leather, this glove features a unique pad relief system to help fight fatigue in your hands. There’s plenty of mesh and ventilation to fight sweat and perspiration, which is interesting because the thumb material is designed to absorb sweat from your brow. It is secured by a hook-and-loop Velcro strap that adjusts for the perfect feel.

Product Specs
  • Finger length: Full
  • Wrist support: No
  • Pull tabs: No
PROS

Full finger protection

Pad relief system

Genuine leather

Breathable

CONS

No wrist support

Higher price point

There’s an old saying that “if you ain’t sweating, you ain’t working.” Men know this more than anyone and, while how much one sweats is highly personal, men tend to sweat more than women. That’s why the Trideer breathable exercise gloves are a solid choice for guys. This glove is made of a highly breathable mesh material to allow maximum airflow and keep your hands dry. Featured on the palm are foam pads for cushion and anti-slip silica for extra grippage. Unlike other gloves with wrist straps, Trideer includes an elastic wrist strap that offers breathability and a customizable fit. While there are only two color choices and three sizes, these gloves are priced for convenience.

Product Specs
  • Finger length: Half
  • Wrist support: Yes
  • Pull tabs: Yes
PROS

Low price point

Highly breathable

19-inch elastic wrist strap

CONS

Small pull tabs

Limited sizes and colors

When it comes to grip, it is not enough to focus on the type of material — the amount of material must also be considered. I’ve found that it’s easier to lock a grip in with full-finger gloves as the fabric grips itself better, especially handy for heavy sweaters. The Bionic full-fingered glove for men sports a genuine leather palm that uses the extra material and unique pad relief system to offer superior grippage. These pads are placed between the knuckles on your fingers to increase comfort and reduce blisters. Bionic also incorporates a pre-rotation in the fingers, just as your hands naturally do, to give a natural fit and feel. An adjustable hook-and-loop closure secures the glove to your hand. There’s only one color option, but three sizes are available.

Product Specs
  • Finger length: Full
  • Wrist support: No
  • Pull tabs: No
PROS

Anatomical pad relief system

Full finger protection

Pre-rotated finger design

Genuine leather

CONS

Higher price point

No wrist support

Our verdict on the best weightlifting gloves

Anyone would benefit from the Trideer Padded Workout Glove, while cross-trainers would enjoy wearing the Mava Sports Cross Training Gloves. Women have solid choices made just for them with the Contraband Pink Label and Bionic Women’s Full Finger Glove. Men can stay cool with the Trideer Breathable Exercise Gloves. If money is tight, Steel Sweat Workout Gloves give you the best bang for your buck. And men who want extra grip will excel with the Bionic Men’s Full Finger Glove.

What to consider when buying weightlifting gloves

Types of weightlifting gloves

Full finger

These are the traditional style of gloves that feature material completely encasing your hand and fingers. The full-finger style offers extra protection and grip, but they can get sweatier than fingerless gloves without proper ventilation. 

Half finger

Whether for functionality or cool points, half-finger or “fingerless” gloves tend to be more popular when working out. These offer protection to the palm-like full finger gloves, but they only have material covering the first digit of your fingers. They can breathe a little better but are a pain to take off without pull tabs. 

Key features of weightlifting gloves

Padding

Padding is the primary defense against blisters and calluses. This can be foam or rubber and can vary in thickness. Keep in mind that while thicker padding can offer extra protection, it can also make getting a solid grip dangerously difficult. 

Wrist straps 

A newer addition to weightlifting gloves is wrist straps. These are long sections of fabric that you wrap around your wrist to help stabilize during lifts to reduce pain when used properly. Wrist wraps should not be used to avoid strengthening your wrists

Pull tabs

You won’t win money off these pull tabs, but they can make taking gloves off easier, especially half-fingered gloves. Essentially, these are a piece of material attached to the fingers to aid in pulling off the glove. Many designs feature a flat tab coming out of the palm side of the fingers, but other gloves use pockets on top of the fingers. 

Pricing for weightlifting gloves 

If you’re spending more than $60 on a pair of workout gloves, you’re spending too much. Budget pricing is under $20, while the average is around $30 to $40 a pair. 

Tips & tricks

  • Make sure you wash your gloves frequently as instructed in the owner’s manual.
  • Add a little baby powder to your gloves if you’re a heavy sweater.
  • You’re not MJ, so wear both gloves or no gloves. 
  • Follow the sizing directions of each brand as sizes may vary. 
  • Avoid over-tightening your gloves/wrist wraps.

FAQs about weightlifting gloves

You’ve got questions. Task & Purpose has answers!

Q: Should you wear gloves when lifting weights?

No, for the majority of lifters out there. Folks who have sensitive skin, sensory issues, or jobs that require an obvious lack of calluses have legitimate reasons to wear workout gloves. Men’s Health does a great job of explaining this in more detail. 

Q: Do gloves help with deadlift?

A: They can, but don’t rely solely on gloves to complete the lift. Focus your accessory work on the forearms and grip strength with lifts like rack pulls or just hanging from the pullup bar. The gloves will only protect your hands from getting torn up.

Q: Are weight lifting gloves cheating?

A: No more than wearing running shoes would be. If you need to wear gloves to work out consistently, then keep on wearing them. 

Q: Do weight lifting gloves prevent calluses?

A: Yes, which is why most people wear them. If you’re a heavy sweater, I’d encourage using a little baby powder to prevent blisters that could turn into calluses. 

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