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Weight Lifting Gloves – Should You Use Them?

weight lifting gloves harbinger or valeo ocelotShould you use Weight Lifting Gloves for your training sessions?

I think they are of great benefit and wouldn’t dream of working out without them.

Here are a number of benefits of weight lifting gloves:

  1. They absorb pressure on the hands. Sore hands may make you cut a set short. Allow the muscle(s) you want to build to take the strain, not your hands
  2. This decreased pressure also benefits the wrists. If you’ve ever had wrist pain during or after a workout, cushion your hands to decrease the discomfort
  3. No calluses. If you’ve lifted for even a few months without gloves, you’ve probably formed a few calluses on your hands as a result – ouch!
  4. Better grip. Hands can get sweaty during a grueling workout, let your gloves remedy this

Even if you don’t have any of the above problems without gloves, I still suggest you use them as you may not be performing at 100% of your potential without the comfort they provide.

So which weight lifting gloves should I choose?

Look out for the following features:

  1. Leather or Neoprene – They provide much better grip than nylon ones and will last longer.
  2. Fingerless – Your gloves should cover the bottom half of your fingers but not the tips. This allows the glove to ‘breath’ a little and avoids the build up of sweat.
  3. Wrist Wraps – A great pair of gloves will have adjustable wrist wraps built into them. Even if you don’t suffer from sore wrists, you’ll really feel the benefit of these.
  4. Tight Fit – They need to be a snug fit to provide the best grip. Tight, but not so tight they cut off circulation 😉

So, is there a specific pair I recommend?valeo lifting gloves

Yes, after a little research, I found these beauties.

I used to use harbinger weight lifting gloves but after searching high and low, I really, REALLY like these Valeo Ocelot gloves. Here’s the features:

  1. Slow recovery ergo-foam padding provides a superior custom grip
  2. Wrist wraps help stabilize wrists during lifting
  3. Super soft durable full-grain leather with 3/4 length fingers
  4. Machine wash and dry
  5. Buy in your own size

Also, they seem like they would last forever. One guy in the Amazon review says he has used 1 pair for the last 2.5 years!

When I discovered these I was drooling, lol. Eager to purchase my own I searched my local Amazon, not a pair in site. I think I might just order them from the US if I can’t get them locally – the search begins!

To a comfortable, productive training session!

Mark McManus

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Mark McManus
Mark McManus
Mark is now available for 1-on-1 consultations to help you take your results to the next level. Click here for more details.
Mark McManus is a trainer & author from Ireland. His work has been featured in major publications all over the world. He is the creator of the free growth-promoting workout Targeted Hypertrophy Training' (THT) and author of the NEW fat-torching system Total Six Pack Abs.
He has also created the BREAKTHROUGH arm and chest maximizer programs The Arms Blast' and 'Chest Blast' workouts.
And if you're a fan of delicious high-protein recipes to fuel your muscle growth, check out his cook book 'Buff Baking' here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Tony June 27, 2008, 7:51 pm

    The first time i worked out at my university’s gym (I previously use my home gym) i RIPPED off a callus doing the preacher curl. After that, i won’t do any exercises that put pressure on that part of the hand w/o gloves on. however, i like bench pressing, mil. press, etc with no gloves.

  • Eyal June 27, 2008, 8:49 pm

    They look good. I’m also thinking of getting a pair from overseas, how do you know what size to get?

    Great site btw, I’m an avid reader.

  • Dave June 28, 2008, 5:48 am

    Great timing – my old gloves (a cheap pair of Harbingers that didn’t really fit right) were getting a bit worn and I was just thinking about replacing them anyway. I think I’ll pick up a pair of the Valeo Ocelots and see how nice they are. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Josh June 28, 2008, 9:32 am

    Gloves are for gardening.

  • Gazo June 29, 2008, 8:13 pm

    Hi mark
    I looked on amazon and it was all in dollars not pound why couldnt you get none even then if you still cant I just got valeo gloves from ebay try there a million and one things in one place I love it ebay just a heads ups.

  • Matt July 2, 2008, 5:20 pm
  • Marc David July 2, 2008, 8:52 pm

    Nice write-up. I’ve stopped using gloves as I felt more in control of the weights. Connected somehow. No matter, using them or not… it doesn’t matter. Personal preference.

    I’ve seen posts about how gloves can deter muscle building?! LOL.. please.

    Sometimes with an Olympic bar that has those nasty jagged teeth, I’ll use my gloves. Nothing like free handing 315+ lbs and having that bar rip off skin.

  • Rob December 18, 2008, 8:14 am


    has a size chart for those people who don’t know what size to get, also if you are unsure is it better to get the tighter fitting size or the larger size??


  • Rob December 21, 2008, 12:31 pm

    I used some old gloves i found lying around at the gym earlier….my god it was like heaven! 😀
    The contraption i used to do shrugs on is broken so doing them with 40kg dumbells was rather painfull on the hands, but with the gloves it was fine, also had a much better grip on them as i didnt have to adjust to stop it being painful!

    I ordered myself some of those Valeo Ocelot gloves you recommended straight away, I was wondering though.

    Sometimes when i do barbell curls or excercises that involve lifting or holding weight in that manner make my wrists ache in a painful way, do you think the wrist wraps would help alleviate this at all?


  • Mark McManus December 21, 2008, 1:26 pm

    @ Rob, yes the wrist wraps will help alleviate that. Wrist ‘straps’, in contrast, help take the weight off the wrists in heave moves like deadlifts – also recommended.

  • Alex May 26, 2009, 9:17 am

    hey Mark nice tip “Even if you don’t have any of the above problems without gloves, I still suggest you use them as you may not be performing at 100% of your potential without the comfort they provide”.
    i personally do recommend some gloves. they will surely protect your hand and give you better grip.

  • htownskater20xx November 19, 2009, 2:19 am

    I have more grip without gloves. I you kind of shave the callus down it wont rip off. I think a lot of people must have really delicate hand and want absolutely zero discomfort.

  • Rob P January 26, 2010, 12:08 am

    I’ve used Ocelot gloves for years. I might be hard on the gloves, as they last me about a year – max. The foam padding does “break in” a bit after the first few workouts, but the velcro straps allow for a tighter fit after that.

    One word of caution: they ARE machine washable, but don’t use hot water, and wash with dark, preferably all black or dark blue clothes. I made the mistake of washing them (I buy the black color gloves) with some white towels in hot water, and they all turned mottled gray. Live and learn.

    I like to start out my workout by either getting them slightly damp (wipe with a warm damp towel) or just breathe a few times onto the gloves, as they grip much better with a little moisture.

    But lastly I will say that of the dozen or so different gloves I’ve tried, these are by far the best for improving your lifts while saving your hands. Some powerlifters will tell you to never use gloves, but I find I can focus on the weight with a minimum of hand and wrist strain using these.

  • Workit January 29, 2010, 4:33 am

    I have Wrist wraps and a guy at my gym told me they were more detrimental then beneficial. He said that I would be cutting off circulation to the rest of my arms and I wouldn’t properly be working out my wrist/forearm. Any truth to that? Should I stop using my wrist wraps?