The Top 7 Workout Gloves for Weight Lifting, MMA, and More

by Michael Brown on September 19, 2019

girl wearing her workout gloves to punch guy

​Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

​Some find them ridiculous, while others swear by them. What are we talking about? Workout gloves. When you think of the gym, the most common items that come to mind are weights and treadmills, respectively. If you routinely hit the gym, chances are you’ve seen someone with gloves on during a workout. They might look tacky, or provide a serious look, but the reality is workout gloves provide numerous benefits. From protection, to comfort, to improving your overall performance, there are key benefits to having your own pair.

Comparison Table

Product Name

Price

Rating

Cobra Grips Pro Grip Pads – Best Overall

Cobra Grips Pro Grip Pads

Fit Active Sports Weight Lifting Gloves – Best for Weight Lifting

hands wearing the Fit Active Sports Workout Gloves

Grip Power Pad’s FIT Grip Pads – Best for Extra Grip

Grip Power Pads for workout gloves

Hayabusa T3 Kanpeki MMA Gloves – Best Competition MMA Gloves

brown leather workout gloves

Everlast Pro Style Training Gloves - Best Boxing Training Gloves

a pair of black everlast workout gloves

Reebok CrossFit Training Gloves – Best Full-Body Gloves

Reebook workout gloves

Harbinger Power Weightlifting Gloves – Best Cheap Gloves

Harbinger workout glove

Of course, these specialized gloves not only work at aiding in your gym session, but they can be used for MMA, along with other action-sports. Thus, owning a pair gives you plenty of freedom to participate in activities you may not play otherwise. Plus, weightlifting is a solid way to shape your body, all while building muscle in the process.

Why Should You Wear Gloves When Working Out?

The biggest side effect of weightlifting, or MMA-style fighting, is calluses. Ultimately, your skin can’t take the beating. Whether it’s hitting something or simply grabbing a big steel bar, it takes a toll. No one wants skin marks that can hurt, scab, or ultimately bleed due to usage. Thankfully, workout gloves exist. These beauties allow you to think less about the taxation on your body, and more about that next set. With workout gloves, you’re able to put little distractions, such as sweat or pain, behind you. After all, working out is an exercise, so you’re bound to sweat.

When using glove when lifting, you should get extra grip strength. This combats the sweaty palms that most people suffer- again, which is expected-and keeps you going. Oh, and don’t even get us started on the germ aspect. How dirty do you think public, or even private, for that matter, gyms are? If you have dedicated gym gloves that can stay in your bag, you don’t have to think about your hands trapping other people’s germs every time you do some squats.

How We Choose the Best Workout Gloves

For us, workout gloves should provide some comfort, all while lasting a whole season. They should also give you extra grip that could be missing as your hands start to become sweaty. Overall, you don’t want too much padding, as that can hinder your performance, but enough to keep your upper-palms supported. Regarding MMA gloves, the top-rated for sparring come from trusted makers in the business, which shouldn’t come as a surprise.

To find the best that fit these criteria, we scoured numerous brands and experiences across Amazon and bodybuilding websites, along with MMA-based training sites. Our top 10 focuses on gloves for most gym-based activities, including boxing, MMA, weightlifting, and actual competition usage.

Our Top 7 Mixed-Usage Gym Gloves

Cobra Grips Pro Grip Pads – Best Overall

Cobra Grips Pro Grip Pads
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Let’s get this out of the way first: these workout gloves look hardcore. Seriously, they’re cut like a cobra. If that doesn’t seem like something you want to wear around, then there are alternatives on the list (see below.)

But, if you want to look good, and have the best, then the Cobra Grips Pro should be on your radar. These heavily-padded gloves feature a unique design, one that leaves your hand open for airflow, all while giving your wrist the support it needs. At 6mm thick, it’s one of the most-cushioned workout gloves you’ll find on the market.

While the company claims these gloves are best-suited towards heavy lifting, the reality is that they’ll be perfect for most weight, or machine-based, activities at a gym. Because they’re non-slip and provide a secure grip, exercises like rowing, among others, can utilize the features. The glove is crafted from a neoprene rubber, while also being available in a durable leather version, making it sustainable to use daily.

Fit Active Sports Weight Lifting Gloves – Best for Weight Lifting

hands wearing the Fit Active Sports Workout Gloves

Across the board, the Fit Active Sports Weight Lifting Gloves are no frills, maximum performance achieving workout gloves. They don’t look like anything fancy, but they have performance where it counts.

The gloves are manufactured from neoprene rubber, giving a good build platform with plenty of potential usage. While the inside is a full-palm covering design, the outside features an open-hand design for air ventilation. Among the features are silicon printed rubber inserts for extra grip, along with extra padding on high-traffic areas to keep you protected where you need it most.

The wrist wrap area is double fitted, providing you with injury prevention and comfort. Everything is easily adjustable with Velcro, plus they’re machine washable, which is a bonus.

Grip Power Pad’s FIT Grip Pads – Best for Extra Grip

Grip Power Pads for workout gloves

If the name doesn’t provide enough context, these “gloves” are featured for their impressive clasp. Sure, they may not take home any designer awards, but when you’re searching for gym equipment, style should be the last thing on your mind.

You want products that produce results, and the Grip FIT Power Pads do just that. The basis of this style for workouts is heavy lifting, so if you’re the type of person that does more weight during reps than standard, these should be right up your alley. They’re designed with a textile-patterned material that should eliminate most slippage when lifting.

Hayabusa T3 Kanpeki MMA Gloves – Best Competition MMA Gloves

brown leather workout gloves

Need some gloves to hit the ring? Look no further than the Hayabusa T3 Kanpeki MMA gloves. As a piece of equipment, these high-quality competition gloves will serve anyone well when they need it most, during a real fight.

Crafted from full-grain leather, this combination provides a versatile and hardy option for those who want some of the best gloves out there. The Dual-X closure design allows for hand and wrist stabilization to deter injuries and keep you protected. If you’re worried about bacteria growth, Hayabusa has you covered.

They lined the T3 Kanpeki gloves with the XT2 antimicrobial technology that inhibits germ growth and minimizes odors. Plus, it features thermoregulating properties to allow a cooler temperature when in use. They aren’t cheap, coming in at $110, but as is the mantra so often, you get what you pay for. These gloves are no different, and will last you a whole, so long as their taken care of.

Everlast Pro Style Training Gloves - Best Boxing Training Gloves

a pair of black everlast workout gloves

If you need to work on your skills before hitting the ring, these Everlast Pro Style Training gloves should help you reach peak performance. These are only valuable to those who need a training glove for their sparring sessions, as they’re a full-service boxing glove.

This glove features full padding in the front and back of the wrists to aid in using proper technique when throwing a punch, and the ThumbLok feature keeps your hands positioned correctly. All this aids in staying injury free, along with providing ways to improve your skills as a boxer. Concerning the materials, the Everlast product is formed from synthetic leather, providing increased toughness for any long session.

Reebok CrossFit Training Gloves – Best Full-Body Gloves

Reebook workout gloves

If you’d prefer an all-purpose, fully-enclosed style glove, then the Reebok CrossFit Training gloves could be a choice worth looking into. They’re available in both men’s and women’s sizes.

The glove itself is a simple, spandex crafted body that provides stretch and little restriction when needed. Other materials include standard nylon and gel pads on the palm areas for a cushioned grip. Reebok has moisture-wicking technology on the inside of the gloves to keep sweat cool and dry, and there are mesh areas with perforations that allow airflow.

Harbinger Power Weightlifting Gloves – Best Cheap Gloves

Harbinger workout glove

The last glove on our list is the cheapest, which may lead you to think negatively about the quality. However, price-to-quality ratio is very good, with the $12 price tag providing a good product. The Harbinger Power Weightlifting Gloves provide a mesh-based Lycra fabric on the top of the glove, while the palm area is reinforced with a double-leather fabric.

Both aid in providing a sturdy grip and abrasion resistance when you might need it most. In terms of workout gloves, these are your standard fair, and will only last around six months with average use. Again, this is mainly due to the quality of construction, while some people have found their gloves to bleed through after use. If you can get past these problems, though, they should serve you well.

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The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to Workout Gloves

woman boxing

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

To get the most out of any exercise gloves, the first thing you must do is measure your hands. You won’t be happy if those precious gloves you buy don’t fit, so doing this simple, and easy, task will make a world of difference.

Most gloves are measured by the circumference of your hand. Measuring correctly is key to finding the right size. For this, grab a tape measure and close your strongest hand. Then, simply take the tape measure wrap it around the area just below your knuckles. Take note of the measurement.

Finding the right size may be the most important item to check off the list, but knowing the health of your body, specifically your hands, will also play a key role.

Think about it this way: if you have weak knuckles, you’ll probably want to find gloves that provide extra upper padding to protect those bones. Of course, you also should choose workout gloves that compliment your exercise style, whether you’re in a MMA ring or simply on a weightlifting bench.

While having MMA gloves for MMA-style workouts or sparring sessions makes sense, using these to do some deadlifts won’t be advantageous.

Lastly, you’ll always want to remember that quality matters.

Choosing a brand or specific model of glove that is made from stronger materials, such as Kevlar or leather, can have a big impact on durability and the lifespan. In the world of exercise gloves, you really do get what you pay for.

That’s not to say inexpensive options are bad, but just be wary of too-good-to-be-true prices.

Having Workout Gloves Can Be Beneficial

two pairs of boxing gloves hanging

​Image by andreas160578 from Pixabay

Even if you don’t think you need them, exercise gloves can prove to be valuable. If you prefer to power through sets and reps with the potential for injury and the germ-infested public gyms, then continue to disregard any gloves.

However, if you’d like to lift and workout safer then gloves can be a difference maker.

Keeping germs and bacteria off your body makes it easier to think about your workout, rather than outside issues. Workout gloves are there to help you, and if you happen to prefer bare hands or other methods when lifting, it’s not a chore to take them off.

Thus, there’s not much to lose when thinking about getting a couple.  

If you’re ready to try them yourself, grab a pair and hit the gym.

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