Which gymnastic grips are best?
Gymnastic grips are designed to do what any grip is designed to do: protect the hands. These grips are more specialized than the average grip, however, as they are typically meant for use on bars during gymnastic routines. Failing to use a good set of gymnastic grips can lead to blisters, calluses and ripped-off pieces of skin. And pain. Lots of pain.
The best gymnastic grips are the WODFitters Textured Leather Gymnastic Hand Grips. They cover the wrists as well as the palms and their leather is top-tier.
What to know before you buy gymnastic grips
Gymnastic grips vs. alternative grips
Gymnastic grips can refer to true gymnastic grips or generalized hang grips. Both are useful in most situations, but they still have their differences.
- True grips are designed for more intense use. They use thick leather with textured surfaces to provide extra grip while performing routines on various bars. They usually have two or three finger holes that are designed to be as tight around the finger as possible so they remain firmly in place. More advanced versions include dowels to make spinning around the bars easier.
- Alternative grips are designed with weightlifting in mind, though they can still be used for gymnastics. They tend to be more absorbent and looser around the wrist and fingers. They also have two-three finger holes, but a few may have four.
Gymnastic grips can be straight, skinny or curved.
- Straight grips are the most protective as they cover more of the hand. However, they can be difficult to adjust to.
- Skinny grips offer less protection for those who prefer to feel as much of the bar on their skin as possible, but they still help prevent various sores.
- Curved grips combine elements of the above grips. They’re wide at the base of the palm and fingers but narrow in the center. Thus, they are more protective than skinny grips and more natural-feeling than straight grips.
What to look for in quality gymnastic grips
Gymnastic grips use either buckles or Velcro to secure around the wrist.
- Buckles are best for advanced gymnasts. They take more time and effort to secure and loosen, but there’s no way for them to come loose during a routine unless the entire grip fails.
- Velcro grips are best for everyone else. They are quick and easy to secure, and they are the most adjustable.
Some gymnastic grips have moisture-wicking properties. Alternative grips typically use them more as gymnasts usually use chalk, which provides the same moisture-wicking aspect but better.
A few gymnastic grips are machine-washable, though most are not. Again, alternative grips are more likely to have this feature than pure gymnastic grips.
How much you can expect to spend on gymnastic grips
Gymnastic grips rarely cost more than $30-$40 at their best. Average grips usually cost $15-$25. Some grips cost $10 or less while still being a worthwhile product.
Gymnastic grips FAQ
Can I not use gymnastic grips?
A. Sure. You may not like the way they feel on your hands or how you can’t feel the bar in your palms. That’s fine. You’ll just need to handle the endless series of blisters and calluses you’re going to develop by not wearing them.
What’s the best way to break in gymnastic grips?
A. There’s no secret method to breaking in gymnastic grips. You just have to use them enough. It is best, however, to start by performing small gymnastic routines or lifting basic weights until you feel like they’ve become broken in enough.
How do I maintain gymnastic grips?
A. Maintaining them is simple. Make sure you’re dusting any excess chalk off of them once you’re done, and keep them in a carrying bag. A grip brush can help you with the dust, and a few grips include carrying bags with purchase. Unfortunately, there’s no maintenance to perform to prevent natural wear and tear. Once you notice tears and holes, loose stitching or thinned-out leather, it’s time for a replacement.
What are the best gymnastic grips to buy?
Top gymnastic grips
WODFitters Textured Leather Gymnastic Hand Grips
What you need to know: These are well situated between affordability and function.
What you’ll love: The leather is textured and of good quality. They come with a carrying bag. The wrists and palms are covered adequately. Consumers frequently noted how comfortable they are. They secure tightly and easily with Velcro straps. They’re equally good for gymnasts and weightlifters.
What you should consider: The wrist straps can be difficult to remove. Some consumers noted that these grips begin to fray quickly. They’re only available in extra-small or large sizes.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top gymnastic grips for the money
Gibson Athletic Rainbow Gymnastic Hand Grips
What you need to know: This budget pick is perfect for those new to gymnastics.
What you’ll love: These require no break-in period. The leather is smooth but effective. They come in sizes from medium to XL and in four colors. The finger holes are designed to be customized. They are made in the U.S. and have a 30-day warranty.
What you should consider: Some consumers felt the finger holes were rough and uncomfortable. Others said these tend to run small, requiring an order of the next size up.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Bear Komplex Three-Hole Leather Gymnastic Hand Grips
What you need to know: These top-dollar grips are good for serious gymnasts and athletes.
What you’ll love: They come in three sizes and three colors. They’re made with high-quality leather. The three-finger design offers more coverage and protection than average grips. The Velcro straps are easy to secure and adjust. They use quadruple stitching for durability.
What you should consider: They’re among the priciest picks. The Velcro straps can break if overused. Some consumers had issues with breaking them in.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.