One of the hallmarks of being a CrossFitter is having calluses and rips on your hands at all times. But it’s painful and not the most attractive look. Also, let’s be real for a minute, have you ever had to shake hands with someone who had twelve calluses on each hand? Gross. So a lot of us buy gloves or grips. But there are so many kinds. And they can be expensive. It’s overwhelming. Which is the best? Well, lucky for all of you, we have done the homework for you. You can thank us later. We like pizza.
To test the gloves and grips I recruited three of my fellow CrossFitters. They used each glove for workouts that included both barbell movements and gymnastic movements and then scored them in each category. Part of CrossFit is moving quickly from barbell to rig, and within a WOD the best kind of glove or grip is going to be one that can support you well through both kinds of movements.
The gloves/grips: (left to right) Barehand , JAW grips, Rogue V2 grips, The Natural Grips, Victory grips
The Testers: (left to right)
Kelsey/23: taco enthusiast, lover of all things blue, low-key sarcasm slinger, former cheerleader
Fave CF movement: HSPUs
Fave lift: snatches
Motto: “Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards.”
JC/26: Atlanta sports aficionado, secretly artistic, will outwit you, meme lover
Fave CF movement: ring muscle ups
Fave lift: cleans
Motto: “If I believe in dinosaurs, then somewhere, they must be believing in me. And if they believe in me, I can believe in me.”
Bekah/37: life of the party, certified step aerobics instructor, a better shot than you, Usher fan
Fave CF movement: double unders
Fave lift: deadlifts
Motto: “Remember these words and live by them: Screw ‘em! Who cares what everybody else thinks?”
Barehand ($50 ea) and JAW grips ($30 ea on WODshop) scored the highest overall in both categories. Both were touted to be comfortable, versatile, and effective. Barehand was scored lower in comfort/ fit for not covering the entire hand and not offering wrist support. The only negative noted about JAW was the concern about longevity. The fabric is thin and testers weren’t sure how long they would last.
Victory ($40/45 ea) and Rogue ($22) scored well in gymnastics, but were impediments to barbell movements. To be fair, they were designed with gymnastics in mind. But for CrossFit, we need them to be able to travel over to the barbell also. If you are looking for a purely gymnastic grip, one of these would work great. Victory lost a few points for comfort. Testers noted that they needed to be broken in, but also speculated that upon being broken in, they would be quite comfortable. The Rogue grips were noted as being uncomfortable and loose in the palm.
The Natural Grips ($25/28) did not score well in barbell or gymnastics. While they did offer some grip support with gymnastic movements, overall they were cumbersome to assemble and were sticky and slid when they became sweaty. They were not noted to offer any benefit at all with barbell movements. And while they were designed with gymnastic movements in mind, for CrossFit purposes we were looking for a glove or grip that could do double duty.
I could try to explain how each glove/grip scored in each category, but you know, a picture is worth a thousand words.
However, the overall winner was JAW grips!
Thank you to our testers who did a very thorough job of providing feedback about each glove or grip in each category.
A special thank you goes out to Victory, Barehand, and The Natural Grips for offering us discounts in order to test their products!
The winner of our JAW Grips raffle is...