Rock Climbing Gloves – What To Look For When Buying New Gloves


rock climbing gloves

Rock climbing is a popular sport, enjoyed by people of all ages, from the young, to the more mature, and from the professional to the novice. If at all, use gloves for rock climbing? The answer can be relative. For some people, using hands to rock climb is absolutely necessary. For others, it may only be a good idea. In this article, hopefully I will share with you some thoughts on what types of climbing gloves are good for rock climbing, why I would need a good pair of climbing gloves, and how to select them wisely.

Full Fingered Rock Climbing Gloves

A snow covered mountain

There are many different types of rock climbing gloves available in today’s market. Rock climbing gloves can come as a full fingered glove (for all 4 fingers), a thumbless finger climbing glove, or a fingerless thumbless glove. Some are designed for specific environments and some are designed to be worn every day, in any weather. Rock climbing gloves designed specifically for wet, cold, or slippery conditions are called wet gloves; finger gloves designed for warm, rainy conditions are called waterproof finger gloves; and fingerless thumbless gloves designed for dry, warm conditions are called dry finger gloves.

Why would I need a rock climbing glove? Well, having a good pair of rock climbing gloves helps tremendously to increase your overall dexterity. Increasing your dexterity greatly increases your safety. One of the most common mistakes that people make when climbing is clipping their fall directly to their own fingers. If you happen to catch yourself clipping your fall, you could easily lose your balance, stumble, or even break your hand at the wrist if your balance is not correct. This can be extremely painful and a potential death trap, especially if it happens while you’re moving up or down a ladder.

Leather Gripped Gloves

A person in a swing

A rock climbing glove helps to prevent this because of the increased grip it provides. These gloves offer a much improved grip over regular sports gloves because they are usually made out of a thicker, sturdier leather. The thick leather also provides better dexterity because it provides support. These kinds of specialized hand gear is made to provide better grip.

In addition, rock climbing gloves feature a second layer of protection, usually a thin leather layer between the leather top layer and the finger. This provides an additional protection for the fingers. Leather is great for protection, but cowhide palms offer more dexterity for gripping. They have a larger surface area than leather, which makes them easier to grip. The synthetic glove layer on the other hand, provides the strength for your grip and is generally made from a more durable material.

Lightweight And Moisture-Wicking

I’m sure you’ve done enough research to know that many rock climbing gloves offer a variety of features and qualities. Which one is right for you? Well, that’s completely dependent upon what type of climbing you are planning to do. Some of the main types of climbing include free climbing, aid climbing, lead climbing, hybrid climbing, traditional climbing and bouldering.

For lead climbing, you will want to invest in a pair of rock climbing gloves that are made with a strong grip so your fingers won’t slip. You will be wearing your gloves during a lot of walking, belaying and rope burns so you need to get a good fit. If you plan to take on a multi-day hike or spend hours rappelling down a mountain, you’ll want something lightweight and moisture-wicking. Finally, for traditional climbing, you’ll want a pair that is comfortable, flexible and has a good amount of insulation built in. It has to be breathable because you’ll be sweating a lot while you are climbing.

Final Words

Some of the better brands to look for in rock climbing gloves are Black Diamond, Volcom, Nixon, Oakley, Smith, Spy, Eagle Creek and others. You’ll find that some of these brands have more sturdiness than others, while other brands have less durability or wear. It’s often difficult to find a brand that all of the testers love, but that’s because each user has their own personal preferences. The best way to choose the perfect pair of gloves for yourself is to try a few different kinds out to see which ones work the best for your personal needs. In general, you should be looking for durable, comfortable and easy to use rock climbing gloves.

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