Despite this list being about the best CrossFit gloves, I’ll preface this by saying that I normally don’t wear gloves or grips for CrossFit. To me, there’s just something about the direct contact of your skin with the bar. I’ve tried almost everything on the market, and even some gels or pastes to apply to my hands, but there was always something off about these remedies.
That said, I still do try out a variety of grips and gloves, mainly for pull ups, especially when a workout calls for a high volume of them. My hands don’t seem to tear when it comes to any barbell movements (thankfully).
While this post is about the 7 best CrossFit gloves or grips, I can’t specifically say which one is best, as everyone tears in different ways – in the palm, just above the palm, on their fingers, etc.
Also, some people, like myself, only use grips or gloves for certain WODs or movements.
I’ll give you the pros and cons of each of the following products and for what types of movements, WODs, or tears they’d be ideal for.
The WODFitters are as basic as you can get when it comes to CrossFit grips. You can get these in any brand and they’d basically be the same. Back when grips first came out for highly functional athletes, these were the only types available on the market.
These hand grips are perfect for high volume pull ups and mainly for people who tear at the palms. For workouts that also mix in some barbell movements with the pull ups, the grips can be kept on or removed at the barbell portion of the WOD.
If you tend to tear at your fingers just above your palm, then these grips won’t really do much for you.
While these hand grips can be slipped off during part of a WOD without pullups, it can take time to remove and put on again.
Another thing is the plastic clip that helps you adjust the strap around your wrist can get bothersome for some people during pull ups. It might even slightly hurt, depending upon the angle of the straps on your wrists.
And if you need wrist support for barbell lifts in the safe workout, this doesn’t come with that feature. Using a separate set of wrist wraps in addition to these grips just won’t work. You won’t have a good time.Learn More
The WODies 2 in 1 gives you a great a combination of the traditional gymnastics grip like the WODFitters along with the support of wrist wraps. This was an idea I thought of a while back, and of course, you can find these all over the market now.
The wrist support is a big deal if you need to do overhead barbell movements in the same WOD as your pullups. This is the type of grip you can wear for an entire workout.
The wrist wraps stay in place with velcro, so they’re easy to remove and put on again.
Compared to the WODFitters, the gymnastic grip is wider and protects more of your palm, accommodating for this with 3 holes in the grip for your fingers, instead of 2.
On top of that, these grips protect the very top of your palm, just before where you fingers are. Traditional grips don’t protect this.
And who doesn’t love a wider variety of colors to match your workout outfit?
Might feel a bit bulky for some. And the wrist support may not be necessary for every workout where the grips are needed.
They’re about double the price of traditional grips. Then again, you basically get 2 accessories in one.Learn More
The Emerge pullup grips are essentially a more robust version of the WODies 2 in 1.
These have stronger grip and still provide the wrist support you need.
They can be worn for an entire workout, and even people who don’t CrossFit can benefit from these grips.
If you tear just above the palm and right where your fingers start on your hand, these are the grips to get.
You get the effectiveness of the WODies 2 in 1 for cheaper.
Like with any grips or gloves, the Emerge grips can feel bulky to some.
For the fashion conscious, these only come in black or pink. There are no other options.Learn More
Okay, when I first saw The Gym Paws grips, I laughed. I’m not gonna lie. They looked like something I would use to hold a hot plate or bowl coming from the microwave. However, with over 1000 reviews on Amazon, a lot of people are raving about this.
The Gym Paws are lightweight and are not bulky compared to those wrist wrap/grip combinations.
They tend to last longer due to leather material.
They’re much easier to put on and remove compared to traditional grips, so you can simply take these off when the pullup portion of your WOD is over and put them back on again with ease.
These protect a good portion of your palm and also help prevent tears at the top of your palm and at the lower portion of your fingers.
The Gym Paws come in a wide variety of colors and designs on Amazon.
And to top things off, these are some of the best CrossFit gloves you can get for the same price as the traditional WODFitters.
The simple mit design isn’t for everyone.
No wrist support.Learn More
The Gripper is a close contender to the Gym Paws. They’re also of the minimalist type of grips, yet unlike the Gym Paws, which are almost like pads on your hands, the design of the Gripper is more like a glove stripped of the lower palm area and the tops of the fingers.
Easy to remove during a workout thanks to the minimalist design.
Do an excellent job of protecting the upper palm and lower portion of your fingers.
Come at a solid, affordable price similar to the WODFitters and Gym Paws.
They don’t really protect the lower palm area that well.
To some, they might feel weird to use for movements aside from pull ups. These might not be that ideal for barbell movements. It all depends on the athlete’s preferences.
No wrist support.
The look and styling isn’t for everyone.Learn More
No, we’re not talking about the movement. We’re talking about the Bear Complex grips.
The Bear Complex grips are very similar to the traditional WODFitters, yet with some improvements.
Simple CrossFit grips that remove the irritation of the plastic clip on the wrists.
Comes in the traditional 2 hole version and also the 3 hole version to account for a wider surface area of protection on your palms.
Provides some wrist support for lifts.
Comes in a wide variety of colors.
The wrist support is not as strong as the wrist wraps from the WODFitters or Emerge grips.
Yes, these Mechanix gloves might seem a bit off the wall for a list of the best CrossFit gloves. I mean, they are actual gloves yet used by mechanics and other workers who extensively use their hands. Back when Reebok first released their workout gloves (overpriced and easy to break), I was looking for an alternative to a full glove that actually was affordable.
Very inexpensive. While these may not be as sturdy as a lot of the grips mentioned above, you can easily replace a pair without breaking the bank.
They protect your whole hand.
Can easily be used for both pullups and barbell movements. There’s no need to remove the gloves when you switch movements.
Wearing a full glove is bothersome and can get in the way of a WOD.
While these gloves protect your full hand, they don’t provide the best grip out there. However, for gloves that weren’t made specifically for CrossFit, they’re not too bad.
The Mechanix gloves wear down quicker than grips made just for CrossFit.
It can look pretty ridiculous wearing mechanic gloves during a workout.Learn More
I’ve tried pretty much everything. For years, I’ve been sick of tearing my hands at the worst times, so I’ve always wanted to find a solution.
What do I use now?
For the most part, I don’t use any grips unless I tear really bad. I’ve been using more of almost a false grip with the bar for my pull ups. As a result, I’ve been tearing less just above my palm.
If I do tear, the next day, I just tape my hand up. However, there are times when I really need something with more grip than the tape, so that’s where something like the the WODFitters or Gym Paws come into play.
In the end, it all comes down to what works for you. Yes, I hate to say that, and it sounds cliche, but everyone tears differently and everyone has their own preferences when it comes to grips and for what types of workouts to use them.
Fortunately a lot of these grips are rather inexpensive. My 2 cents is to go through what I wrote above and make a decision on a pair of grips that would suit your situation. If it doesn’t work, then try another.
This trial and error can seem annoying and costly. However, I think of it like this. Tearing is one of the biggest issues with CrossFitters. Whether you’re a competitive athlete or just an everyday WOD warrior like myself, then finding the solution for your hands that can reduce your tears (you can’t prevent them completely) can be worth all that trial and error.
…for only around 4 minutes lol.
It was funny when Bob Harper showed off his CrossFit friends on the Biggest Loser doing random WOD’s in his workout playground. His team of contestants were just floored seeing them do weird, foreign movements like overhead squats and handstand pushups. And when he said this was something his team could “potentially do” at some point…it hit me.
That’s so true. Sure, I was never as out of shape as the contestants, but I know that feeling of being pretty out of shape and thinking something like a muscle up was impossible.
Also, the whole place was DECKED OUTTTT in Rogue Fitness equipment. From the Games to now prime time television, it’s awesome seeing Rogue really flesh out their business.
Anyway…yeah…as you can see in these videos (we’ll see how long they stay up lol…), the CrossFit segment was only around 4 minutes long. Still, it was cool seeing our heroes like Rich Froning, Camille, Matt Chan, Kristan Clever, and Miranda Oldroyd on national TV.
Props to Carols Villafana for posting these on YouTube:
…since I really don’t watch TV aside from a few shows and sports. Most shows are a waste of time to me. Channel surfing + junk food were one of the many reasons I got out fat when I was younger.
What got me hooked on watching all 2 hours of last night’s Biggest Loser episode? Getting all those flashbacks to when I started hitting up the gym.
It was the summer going into my senior year of high school.
My weight reached an all-time high due to poor eating and sleeping habits, along with a lack of any physical activity whatsoever. Since I stopped playing sports around 8th grade, the only activities I had outside of school were guitar and video games. Yeah…can’t lose weight with those hobbies…
…that’s when I knew I had to make some changes with my life. I’ve done some workouts at home using some light dumbbells and even Dance Dance Revolution for some cardio (lol), but I knew that signing up for a gym membership had to be done to see the results I wanted.
Seeing the contestants struggle with their workouts and their new lifestyle changes seemed all too familiar to me. I was so self-conscious about how I’d looked when working out. Whether it’s doing a lift for the first time or how weird it would be for a guy to use an elliptical machine.
Honestly, that self-consciousness at the gym didn’t disappear until I got deep into CrossFit. I mean I’ve fallen off the GHD with no shame haha. That’s where I am now.
Watching the show reminded me how tough those mental hurdles were to overcome. But you know what? It’s all about starting somewhere, right?
When I started out at Planet Fitness, I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. I pretty much just came up with my own stuff based off the material on JohnStoneFitness.com and the forums there. Then I thought LOTS of cardio was necessary, so I did 1-2 hour cardio sessions (bike, treadmill, or elliptical) on top of 30 minute lifting sessions.
I’ll never forget my first cardio “session.”
It was pretty much a 30 minute walk on the treadmill because I had NO ENDURANCE at all and my asthma was pretty bad then.
Hey, it was a start and I did see results. Even more so the following summer going into my freshman year of college. So much for that… (beer + Domino’s + Easy Mac + barely any sleep)
I watched the Biggest Loser last night only to see the CrossFit people, which ended up being such a small part of the episode. However, watching the show reminded me so much of where I started.
It reminded me that I don’t want to go back to that. That lifestyle where I constantly felt like shit. That lifestyle I was really unhappy about.
Fortunately, I’m now in that place, that zone where I no longer have worries about getting into shape. It’s all about executing that solid plan made for your body.
So all these thoughts of my beginnings really got me thinking of people starting fresh in 2013. I was already pretty damn self-conscious at Planet Fitness, a “judgement free zone” (lulz…felt more the opposite). Then things were taken to a whole new level at my school gym, where guys stared at each other working out and girls were afraid of stepping foot in due to the same reason.
What about a newbie signing up for a CrossFit gym?
I don’t know about you, but I feel a lot of people new to CrossFit would find many of our gyms intimidating simply because of the shit they see in the Games on TV and also the intense personalities of some athletes.
It’s hard for a lot of outsiders to see the welcoming culture under the image of intensity.
So for you newcomers, here are some things I just wanted to point out:
Whether CrossFit or another type of gym, each has its own personality. Some are totally hardcore while others cater to almost everyone. If you’re thinking of signing up, visit the local box and talk with the trainers there to get a feel for it. You’re going to be working out here 3-5+ times a week, so it should be a place you like.
We all started somewhere. The majority of people are not going to be lifting heavy-ass weights or getting sub-3 minute Fran times right out of the gate. Just keep doing your thing and listen to what your coaches have to say.
You make a mistake with a movement? No biggie.
You fail a lift at a very light weight? Shake it off.
You trip or something during a run? Get back up.
All that matters is that you’re working towards a healthier lifestyle. The community around you can’t help but respect that.
Leave your ego at the door.
I noticed this especially with guys who’ve had some previous lifting background. A lot of these lifts and movements will be new to you, so focus on getting your form down. Yeah, your form will go to shit at times during certain workouts, but it’s best if you lay down a solid foundation when you start.
It’ll help reduce any bad habits that’ll be hard to shake off down the road, which’ll drastically reduce your chances of injury. I’ve seen way too many people who can’t accept that their form sucks, yet continue to push through with it. It’s people like that who give CrossFit a bad name. Don’t be that guy or girl. Your body will thank you later as well.
And in the long-run, nailing down your form will help you lift more weight. 1 simple tweak in your form can help you shoot up in weight for a lift. I’ve experienced this countless times and still continue to.
You want it to get to the point where you can visualize what a lift SHOULD look like and then things just happen automatically. Then you’ll have less things to think about while you work out.
Yes, we all have many reasons why we do it. And that’s pretty damn awesome.
However, if you really do want to see results consistently and faster, focus on 1 thing at a time. Do you want to drop fat/health? Do you want to improve your performance? Or do you have some other reason for hitting up a CrossFit box?
I’m suggesting focusing on 1 main goal, especially in the beginning, because scattered plans tend to give you scattered results. I’ve been there numerous times. For example, I’ve bounced back and forth between dropping body fat and performance for quite a while. It wasn’t until I asked myself why I CrossFit that I decided to keep my focus on fat loss right now.
So far so good.
Having that proper focus will make things easier for you and for your CrossFit trainers, as they’ll be able to give you better, more personalized suggestions to achieving your goals.
Think about how lucky you are.
You have this awesome opportunity to change things. To live a healthier lifestyle. To make yourself look pretty damn good. To make yourself stronger and faster than ever before.
Enjoy yourself out there. Savor every single rep. Feel that pump you get from a heavy lifting sesh. Soak in the flow of those butterfly kipping pullups.
And it’s sweet how you can share these experiences with other people. You don’t have to go through this journey alone. Between your coaches and other people in your class, you have a lot of like-minded individuals who want to see you succeed.
Joke around. Do a WOD. Have a good time.
The fun factor of CrossFit is what gets me to show up each day with ease.
Happy new year! Kip it real, my friends.
Here’s the first KippingItReal Photoshop Friday. Enjoy:
Man. That’s a loaded question.
As much as I’d love to PR my Fran time, that would be so fuckin cliche. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t pick anything from your typical CrossFit exercise list. I could easily spend all night listing down the best CrossFit WODs out there, and there’s no way I’d be able to narrow down to 1 that I would be totally happy with.
And no…I won’t partake in something like CrossFit endurance training. If tomorrow were my last day on this earth, I wouldn’t want to end things with one of the many intense CrossFit workouts. Forget about some extreme exercise program tomorrow. I could give two shits about “forging elite fitness.”
The more I think about it, the more I’d rather keep things simple. Go back to basics.
Lift heavy. Motherfucker.
I would most likely do a whole WOD of cleans. For the first part of my workout, I’d do some strength shit. Building up to a new 1 rep max would be my plan. 250# or 255# would be a sweet final PR.
After doing that for a good 20 minutes or so, I’d do a fairly long AMRAP, maybe like 20 minutes of something with squat cleans, double unders, and pull ups.
I don’t see any logic or purpose to this WOD, but those are a few of my favorite movements. Even if this were my last workout, I wouldn’t go all out.
Every single rep. I’d cherish it – I’d feel every muscle in my body working together to complete each squat clean; I’d feel every rotation of my jump rope overhead; and I’d string together some of the smoothest butterflies I could ever do.
Rather than shoot for some crazy time for some crazy WOD with no standard, I’d simply appreciate this workout for the art found in CrossFit. Despite all the BEAST MODEEEE (roar) and skull-n-bonez mentalities in our CrossFit world, there’s much more to our sport.
When you stop for a moment and see the forest from the trees, that bad day at your box or that failed PR seems like nothing. Whenever I get down because of shit like this, I always ask myself, “Why do I CrossFit?”
I hit up my local box 5 times a week because:
1) I don’t want to be fat again.
2) I love doing these CrossFit workouts. Hitting up the gym is no longer a chore.
3) This shit makes me happy as fuck.
And how do I make sure I always maintain those 3 reasons above? Just show up. Simple as that.
So in the grander scheme of things, those little obstacles in my way don’t mean shit. And if tomorrow were that final day of working out, I would savor being in that moment. Being in the now.
…but I’m going to live tomorrow’s WOD and my entire day in the moment. I’m sure, like myself, a lot of you lose sight of what really matters with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We get pissed at the stupidest shit. We bitch over all these #firstworldproblems. We don’t realize how fuckin lucky we are.
Enjoy tomorrow. Kick some ass. YOLO 😛
Kip it real, my friends.