If you’ve ever done any kind of bar exercise, you’re probably familiar with the excruciating pain that results from the intense and explosive friction between palms and rusty bars in the absence of gloves.

You might have bled, formed bubbles, or simply had that first layer of skin peel off, but that feeling of dipping your hand in disinfectant after a training session is one that we don’t wish upon our worst enemies.

For that reason, we bring you our latest buying guide, showing you the best calisthenics gloves and grips on the market.

This might seem like an easy call – Maybe you’ll just go for the cheapest pair of gloves you can find and if they don’t work, well at least you didn’t lose much money.

However, we urge you not to do this. It will almost definitely be a waste of money.

Choosing the best calisthenics gloves is a balance between protection and friction.

You want to maximize the latter whilst minimizing the latter. Therefore the material and quality of the gloves are paramount for your training performance.

With that in mind, we conducted our own first-hand research and as a result, we bring you our favourite bar gloves:

  • Pros:
    • Allows Hand to "Breathe"
    • Durable and High Quality Material
    • Affordable
    • Less Friction than Rubber Counterparts
  • Cons:
    • Must be Washed in Cold Water
    • No Thumb Protection
    • Still Produces Some Friction
  • Pros:
    • Thumb Protection
    • Good amount of friction
    • Wrist Protection
    • Perfect Thickness Pads
    • Ventilated
  • Cons:
    • Beware of sizing: Users have complained about some gloves being too lose
    • Some doubts regarding material
  • Pros:
    • Easy to Wash
    • Allows Hand to “Breathe”
    • Wrist Protection
  • Cons:
    • No Thumb Protection
    • Material is Not the Best
  • Pros:
    • Full hand protection
    • Durable Material
  • Cons:
    • A little bit too much friction in our opinion
    • Sweat accumulates easily
Pros:
  • Allows Hand to "Breathe"
  • Durable and High Quality Material
  • Affordable
  • Less Friction than Rubber Counterparts
Cons:
  • Must be Washed in Cold Water
  • No Thumb Protection
  • Still Produces Some Friction
4.5
Editor's Choice
Pros:
  • Thumb Protection
  • Good amount of friction
  • Wrist Protection
  • Perfect Thickness Pads
  • Ventilated
Cons:
  • Beware of sizing: Users have complained about some gloves being too lose
  • Some doubts regarding material
4.8
Pros:
  • Easy to Wash
  • Allows Hand to “Breathe”
  • Wrist Protection
Cons:
  • No Thumb Protection
  • Material is Not the Best
4.7
Pros:
  • Full hand protection
  • Durable Material
Cons:
  • A little bit too much friction in our opinion
  • Sweat accumulates easily
4.0

WODner Leather Cross Training Gymnastic Grips

Ignoring the poor naming choice of including “Cross” in the title, which could have you confused to think that these gloves are exclusively for use in the pseudo-sport known as crossfit, this pair of calisthenics gloves is actually pretty solid.

We were expecting the leather to slow us down considerably, but we found that it is the perfect compromise for pull-ups and similar exercises. It also didn’t wear out as much as we thought it would.

If you’re doing street workout routines involving several bar swings, these might not be the best calisthenics gloves though. Our #2 choice would be more appropriate.

Pros

  • Leather causes less friction than rubber
  • Protects palms, allowing the rest of the hand to “breathe”
  • Durable material
  • Affordable

Cons

  • No thumb protection. If you grip the bar with the thumbs down, you’ll be exposed.
  • Not ideal for bar routines consisting of consecutive swings.
  • Must be washed in cold water, preferably by hand.
WODner One Size Fits All Handsavers WODner One Size Fits All Handsavers
3.9

Premium Leather Grips Cross Training Gloves for WODs, Gymnastics, Olympic Weightlifting, Calisthenics & Gym, Great Protection Against rips and blisters.

  • Soft leather interior to take care of your palms
  • tough leather exterior to guarantee they will last WODs for a long time

WODies Calisthenics Gloves by Jerkfit

The battle for editor’s choice was tight, and the DYNAM calisthenics gloves could have well taken the first spot, if not for the slightly higher price.

We can’t attest for the durability either, as we haven’t received that kind of feedback yet, but one thing is certain: These grips perform really well.

The friction is much smaller than it’s leather counterparts and you won’t even notice you’re using them.

Additionally, they offer wrist support, which is crucial in preventing wrist injuries.

Pros

  • Less friction than leather models, good for pull ups.
  • Can be washed in the same batch as the rest of your workout gear.

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive
JerkFit WODies Hand Grips with Wrist Wraps JerkFit WODies Hand Grips with Wrist Wraps
4.1
$38.95

For Weightlifting, Pull-Ups, Cross Training, WODs, and Gymnastics, Prevent Blisters and Rips, for Men and Women.

  • Full Palm protection and Wrist Support combined in one product
  • Heavy-Duty built-in supportive wrist brace gives you the extra confidence to push harder
02/01/2023 12:36 am GMT

Bear Komplex Pull up Grips

There was a bit of an internal debate on whether we should include this model in the list. It’s more “barebones”, which doesn’t particularly suit some of our team’s taste, but we can understand the appeal.

It covers key areas, whilst leaving a good portion of skin exposed, which can then be protected with tape or magnesium.

Pros

  • Less cloth = Less friction.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • The wristband can be intrusive for compound movements such as muscle-ups and pull ups.
  • Must be complemented with tape for full coverage.
Bear KompleX 2 Hole Leather Hand Grips Bear KompleX 2 Hole Leather Hand Grips
4.3
$38.98

Best Hands Protection for Cross-training, Weight Lifting, Gymnastics, Bodybuilding - Alternative to gym gloves - Improve your fitness without hand rips! LIMITED TIME OFFER!

  • Manufactured from genuine leather
  • Custom wrist strap
  • Grips will NOT dig into your wrist
  • Durable triple stitching
  • Reduce slipping on the bar


01/31/2023 07:26 pm GMT

Bionic Full Finger Calisthenics Gloves

We’ve included this pair as a full finger alternative for athletes who really don’t want to leave any skin exposed.

We’re personally not huge fans of this type of glove as it will add a lot of friction and isn’t very hygienic as a lot of sweat tends to accumulate in the inside, but we have learned that a lot of our readers use this kind of glove, and as such, we thought we’d give our opinion on the best calisthenics gloves within this category.

Pros

  • Full protection: No part of the hand will be left exposed.
  • Material is easy to clean

Cons

  • Some friction will limit bar swing momentum
  • Quality of material could be better
  • Lack of ventilation in hands means sweat will accumulate fast
  • No wrist support
BIONIC Gloves Mens Premium Full Finger Fitness Gloves BIONIC Gloves Mens Premium Full Finger Fitness Gloves
4.4
$34.99

With Natural Fit Technology, Gray/Orange (Pair)!

  • The Bionic Glove pre-rotated finger design adapts to your hand’s natural curving motion.
  • Strategically placed relief pads even out the surface of your hand displacing the pressure from your workout.
01/31/2023 08:01 pm GMT

Fit Active Sport’s Ventilated Gloves

We’ve decided to include this set in our ranking for the best calisthenics gloves as we thought it was important to provide a choice for those with calluses in the inner region of the thumbs.

This is the only model that provides protection to that area, and for that reason, it gains access to the list.

In terms of actual performance, it does ok. The material grips well, but causes a lot of friction and will wear out relatively fast if you do a lot of bar swings and exercises.

Pros

  • Full hand coverage
  • Allows sweat to release
  • Not too padded: offers protection without incurring in too much friction.

Cons

  • Sizing issues- Check hand size before buying
Fit Active Sports | New Ventilated Weight Lifting Gloves Fit Active Sports | New Ventilated Weight Lifting Gloves
$19.95

With Built-in Wrist Wraps, Full Palm Protection & Extra Grip. Great for Pull Ups, Cross Training, Fitness, WODs & Weightlifting. Suits Men & Women

01/31/2023 10:31 pm GMT

Final Thoughts

There are alternatives to gloves. Namely, magnesium and tape are a less effective measure to combat palm burns. However, these aren’t really designed for this purpose.

Magnesium is meant to dry up the sweat so that you grip the bar tightly, and tape can, to a certain degree, protect existing wounds, but only up to a certain point.

Unless you use miles and miles of it, it will fall out of place and expose/create wounds.

That being said, we hope you enjoyed this article and that we have helped you choose the best gloves for calisthenics.

Please note that as a final alternative, you can choose to ignore the recommended use of gloves and go barehand, which will break down and build up your hand skin resistance until eventually, you develop a thick skin that is immune to the calluses caused by bar exercises.

However, this can take a whole lot of time and if you don’t train frequently it might never happen.

For that reason, we recommend going for an affordable and high-quality pair of calisthenics gloves.

Fit Active Sports | New Ventilated Weight Lifting Gloves Fit Active Sports | New Ventilated Weight Lifting Gloves
$19.95

With Built-in Wrist Wraps, Full Palm Protection & Extra Grip. Great for Pull Ups, Cross Training, Fitness, WODs & Weightlifting. Suits Men & Women

01/31/2023 10:31 pm GMT

As a final tip, if you’re currently struggling with open wounds in the palms of the hands, dipping a pair of normal gloves in moisturizer and using them overnight will do wonders for your skin, you’ll most likely wake up with your hands ready for another round.

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