Reviews Gloves Gym Equipment

7 Best Functional Fitness Gloves in 2024

Reviewed by: Oleksiy Torokhtiy (21 years of Oly Lifting experience)

Fitness is a high-intensity, high-volume sport that involves multiple compound and dynamic movements, often put together in a sequence or using a time limit. During repeated functional fitness movements, friction on the skin commonly happens when the bar moves through the hands or up against the shins.

The last thing you want is for this to impact your training or competition. To protect your hands from blistering and cuts, I’ve reviewed the best functional fitness Gloves available to purchase.

7 Best Functional Fitness Gloves in 2024

Top 7 Best Functional Fitness Gloves Reviewed

  1. PICSIL RX Carbon Hand Grips — Top Pick
  2. Bear Komplex 3 Hole Hand Grips — Runner-up
  3. Mava Sports Cross Training Gloves with Wrist Support — Best with Wrist Support
  4. Bear Grips Weight Lifting Gloves — Best Full Finger
  5. Contraband Pink Label Padded Weight Lifting Gloves — Best for Women
  6. RIMSports Breathable Workout Gloves
  7. Fit Active Sports Ventilated Weight Lifting Gloves

I’ve ranked the best gloves for functional fitness below according to price/quality, design, comfort, stitching, durability, and protection. These are the most important factors when choosing a suitable pair.

ProductTotalPrice/
Quality
DesignComfortStitchingDurabilityProtection
PICSIL RX59.510109.5101010
Bear Komplex599.5109.5101010
Mava Sports57910109.599.5
Bear Grips5699.59.59.599.5
Contraband559999.599.5
RIMSports559999.599.5
Fit Active Sports54.599.599.58.59

1. PICSIL RX Carbon Hand Grips — Top Pick

PICSIL sees sport as a way to face life, with functional fitness helping us to stay fit, improve, and change our outlook. By providing durable workout accessories and gear, PICSIL wants to help you overcome life’s challenges.

PicSil RX Grips
  • Type: 2-3 Finger Hand Grips
  • Sizing: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
  • Material: Leather, Carbon Fiber
  • Color Palette: Red, Orange
  • Closure Type: Velcro with Anti-allergy Buckle

The PICSIL 2-3 Finger Carbon Hand Grips are my top pick functional fitness gloves, specially designed for cross-training, gymnastics, and weightlifting.

Constructed from PISCIL’s patented combination of synthetic leather and carbon fiber, the RX hand grips are ergonomically designed to feel thinner than leather on its own whilst offering increased grip strength and stability when training. This gives you more bar control without sacrificing flexibility when lifting.

Weighing just 90 grams, the PISCIL hand grips are vegan-friendly and allergy free. PISCIL is a sustainable brand that uses recycled fibers, degradable bags, and recycled cardboard packaging.

The grip design has three finger holes at the top that are 1.8 mm thick and a large velcro strap with an anti-allergy buckle to secure the grips in place if using the fitness gloves for pull ups and other functional movements.

PISCIL has included branding on the strap and middle of the gloves, with sizing options ranging from small to x-large and red or orange color options.

Overall, the PISCIL RX Hand Grips feature an ultra-thin design that you can hardly feel on your hands, with a secure closure mechanism and three finger holes at the top.

59.5 EXPERT SCORE

Weighing just 90 grams, the PISCIL hand grips are vegan-friendly and allergy free. PISCIL is a sustainable brand that uses recycled fibers, degradable bags, and recycled cardboard packaging.


Price/Quality:0
Design:0
Comfort:0
Stitching:0
Durability:0
Protection:0

Positives:

  • Synthetic leather/ carbon fiber combination offers increased grip performance without sacrificing flexibility
  • Large velcro strap with anti-allergy buckle keeps the grips securely in place
  • Minimal three-finger material design protects from calluses well whilst allowing hands to breathe

Could be better:

  • Only two color options are available which are red and orange

2. Bear KompleX 3 Hole Hand Grips — Runner-Up

Bear KompleX aims to assist functional fitness athletes to achieve their maximum performance level. Founded in 2015, they worked with high-level functional fitness athletes to produce training gloves that work. 

Bear KompleX 3 Hole Hand Grips
  • Type: 3-hole Hand Grips
  • Sizing: Small, Medium, Large, X-large
  • Material: Carbon Fiber, Leather
  • Color Palette: Black
  • Closure Type: Velcro Grip

Bear KompleX’s 3-hole Hand grips feature a similar design to the PISCIL grips, with a carbon fiber-leather hybrid design and 3-finger holes at the top. They are my runner-up functional fitness gloves choice, coming close behind the PISCIL grips.

Constructed with carbon fiber, the triple stitched grips help to create a more consistent hand grip without wearing down and changing shape. The hook-and-loop velcro wrist strap keeps the gloves secure and provides some added wrist support when lifting.

Bear KompleX offers the grips in 2 and 3-finger designs, with small to X-large size options and a black grip design with an orange branded strap.

Overall, the Bear KompleX Hand Grips feature the same lightweight design, with a 2-finger hole option and triple-stitched material design.

59 EXPERT SCORE

Constructed with carbon fiber, the triple stitched grips help to create a more consistent hand grip without wearing down and changing shape.


Price/Quality:0
Design:0
Comfort:0
Stitching:0
Durability:0
Protection:0

Positives:

  • The 2 and 3-finger hole options give you more flexibility when choosing the best design to suit your preference and training style
  • The triple-stitched material design increases the durability of the grips from repeated heavy use
  • The aggressive angled material design keeps the gloves firmly against the main contact areas on your hands

Could be better:

  • The holes are designed for the index, middle, and ring fingers which can be awkward to get used to at first

3. Mava Sports Cross Training Gloves with Wrist Support — Best with Wrist Support

Mava Sports manufactures and sells a wide range of sports and fitness rehabilitation aids, including wraps, gloves, and apparel. Their brand motto is ‘we are what we repeatedly do’, a term first coined by Aristotle.

Mava Sports Cross Training Gloves with Wrist Support
  • Type: Cross-training Gloves
  • Sizing: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
  • Material: Silicone, Neoprene, Leather
  • Color Palette: Black, Yellow, Blue, Pink, Orange, Red
  • Closure Type: Hook + Loop

Taking the top spot for the best gloves with built-in wrist support are the Mava Sports Cross Training Gloves.

At first glance, the gloves feature a rather striking design that combines full-lifting gloves and heavy-duty lifting grips. The gloves offer full palm coverage with finger and thumb coverage to protect your calluses and blisters when lifting.

The fingerless design combined with the lack of material at the front of the hand helps to add comfort whilst allowing the gloves to breathe during high-intensity workouts.

Mava Sports Instagram
Photo by @jake_b_75

Constructed using a combination of neoprene and silicone material, the gloves mold comfortably against the skin whilst offering moisture-wicking properties to reduce odor. The anatomically-shaped silicone padding on the palms increases your grip without taking hand contact from the bar.

The built-in wrist straps are an excellent addition, with 15" of supporting length that supports your wrist joints whilst allowing the Velcro closure to wrap around securely.

Mava Sports offer the gloves in X-small to X-large sizing options and in six different color options including pink and red. Overall, the Mava Sports Gloves feature a unique hybrid design, provide great wrist support and come in a good range of colors and sizes.

57 EXPERT SCORE

The built-in wrist straps are an excellent addition, with 15" of supporting length that supports your wrist joints whilst allowing the Velcro closure to wrap around securely.


Price/Quality:0
Design:0
Comfort:0
Stitching:0
Durability:0
Protection:0

Positives:

  • The anatomical silicone padding improves grip without being too bulky
  • The wrist wraps offer excellent wrist support when lifting
  • The neoprene material + front glove design helps with breathability and comfort

Could be better:

  • The neoprene material isn’t as durable as leather so may wear down quicker with repeated use

4. Bear Grips Weight Lifting Gloves — Best Full Finger Gloves

Founded in 2014, Bear Grips started with a personal trainer drawing a glove design on a napkin. They aim to provide products that focus on performance, with minimalist designs and based on customer feedback. 

Bear Grips Weight Lifting Gloves
  • Type: Full Finger Gloves, Half Finger Gloves
  • Sizing: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
  • Material: Faux Leather
  • Color Palette: Black
  • Closure Type: Hook

If you prefer a full-finger glove design, the Bear Grips Weight Lifting Gloves are my top pick choice.

The gloves feature a two-toned construction, with stretchy, soft foam material on the backside that provides a comfortable fit. On the palm, the durable faux leather with patterned gripping gel helps you to keep contact during functional fitness exercises.

Both the full finger and fingerless gloves designs are triple stitched on each side, with 4-way flex threads that mold around your hands.

Bear Grips has included some great added features, which include breathable air circulation holes and touch screen finger pads so you don’t need to take the gloves off to use your electronic device.

The gloves are secured via a hook closure mechanism, with an easy on/ off pull tab at the bottom to take the gloves off quickly. The sizing options range from X-Small to XX-Large, with the gloves coming in black.

Overall, the Bear Grips full-finger gloves offer excellent hand protection, have some nice added features, and come in a large range of sizes.

56 EXPERT SCORE

Both the full finger and fingerless gloves designs are triple stitched on each side, with 4-way flex threads that mold around your hands.


Price/Quality:0
Design:0
Comfort:0
Stitching:0
Durability:0
Protection:0

Positives:

  • Two-toned glove construction combines flexibility and comfort whilst enhancing grip strength
  • Easy on/ off pull tab allows you to take the gloves off quickly when working out
  • The touchpads allow you to use your mobile device without having to take the gloves off during the workout

Could be better:

  • The full-finger glove design is more prone to odor meaning they need to be washed more regularly 

5. Contraband Pink Label Padded Weight Lifting Gloves — Best for Women

Contraband Pink Label manufactures and sells weightlifting accessories which include gloves, belts, wraps, straps, and cuffs.

Contraband Pink Label Padded Weight Lifting Gloves
  • Type: Padded Women’s Gloves
  • Sizing: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large
  • Material: Vegan Amara Leather, Lycra, Mesh
  • Color Palette: Black, Gray,Pink, Purple
  • Closure Type: Hook

The Contraband Pink Label Padded Weight Lifting Gloves are my best pick functional fitness gloves for women, protecting the palms, back of the hands, fingers, and wrists.

Constructed using a combination of vegan Amara leather and lightweight breathable Lycra, the gloves have more flexibility compared to traditional leather with enough breathability to prevent unwanted odor.

On the glove palms, the medium grip lock padding uses silicone beading to enhance grip and keep your hands protected. To secure the gloves, the large Velcro straps can be pulled around your wrists and taken off easily via the conveniently located finger tabs.

Contraband Pink offers the gloves in four different sizes from X-Small - Large and four color choices that include pink and purple.

Overall, Contraband has designed a great pair of comfortable functional fitness gloves for women with durable lock padding and construction materials.

55 EXPERT SCORE

To secure the gloves, the large Velcro straps can be pulled around your wrists and taken off easily via the conveniently located finger tabs.


Price/Quality:0
Design:0
Comfort:0
Stitching:0
Durability:0
Protection:0

Positives:

  • The vegan leather and lightweight glove materials give you increased hand flexibility and breathability
  • The medium grip lock padding with silicone beading offers excellent bar grip
  • Convenient finger tabs for easy glove removal

Could be better:

  • The gloves only go up to large which may be too small for X-Large hand sizes 

6. RIMSports Breathable Workout Gloves 

RimSports started in a small living room but quickly grew into a popular lifting brand. They focus on product quality, design, and color using high-grade materials and innovative designs. 

RIMSports Breathable Workout Gloves
  • Type: Workout Gloves
  • Sizing: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
  • Material: Leather, Lycra, Spandex
  • Color Palette: Black, Blue, Camouflage, Gray, Dark Gray, Green, Peach, Pink, Purple, Red, Turquoise
  • Closure Type: Velcro Strap

The RIMSports breathable leather gloves use a similar design to the Contraband Pink Label ones, with 12 different colors to choose from.

The ergonomically designed fingerless gloves combine breathable Lycra material with durable leather padding offering both comfort and protection during your functional fitness workout. The gloves are double-stitched throughout meaning they won’t get ripped or torn with repeated heavy functional fitness use.

The diagonal Velcro used for the closure mechanism keeps the gloves secured whilst allowing you to use a smartwatch during your workout for monitoring your fitness timings and reps.

RimSports offers the gloves in a great range of size choices from X-Small - X-Large, with exciting camouflage colors. Overall, the RIMSports Workout Gloves are compatible with smart technology, have durable leather padding, and come in a huge range of great color choices.

55 EXPERT SCORE

The diagonal Velcro used for the closure mechanism keeps the gloves secured whilst allowing you to use a smartwatch during your workout for monitoring your functiona fitness timings and reps.


Price/Quality:0
Design:0
Comfort:0
Stitching:0
Durability:0
Protection:0

Positives:

  • The diagonal velcro strap design allows you to wear a smartwatch alongside the gloves for ideal fitness workout timings
  • The gloves are available in a huge range of color options, allowing you to customize them according to your preference
  • Dual leather padding to provide maximum hand support throughout vigorous workouts

Could be better:

  • The enclosed thumb area material may be a little restrictive when moving

7. Fit Active Sports Ventilated Weight Lifting Gloves

Fit Active Sports produces a great range of lifting gear including accessories, apparel, and workout equipment.

Fit Active Sports Ventilated Weight Lifting Gloves
  • Type: Ventilated Weightlifting Gloves
  • Sizing: XX-Small, X-Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Color Palette: Black
  • Closure Type: Velcro Patch

The Fit Active Sports Weight Lifting Gloves are last on my list but still offer a high-quality fitness glove option. They are hugely popular among athletes and enthusiasts, with excellent customer reviews online.

They are made of durable silicone-printed neoprene which offers resistance to oil, chemicals, water, and heat. Alongside this, they are machine washable and easy to clean.

The material covers your entire palm and wrist whilst still leaving some breathing room and flexibility for your thumbs and fingertips.

The Fit Active gloves are designed for men and women, with built-in wrist support that fastens around via the velcro closure loop. This allows you to choose your level of wrist support and keep the gloves from moving around.

 In terms of comfort, the open-hand design stops your hands from overheating and reduces odor by allowing your hands to breathe. Fit Active offers a good range of glove sizes from X-Small to X-Large with black material and white branding.

Overall, the Fit Active Sports Gloves combine comfort with durability to give you a solid pair of neoprene lifting gloves.

54.5 EXPERT SCORE

In terms of comfort, the open-hand design stops your hands from overheating and reduces odor by allowing your hands to breathe.


Price/Quality:0
Design:0
Comfort:0
Stitching:0
Durability:0
Protection:0

Positives:

  • The open-hand design reduces odor and the chance of overheating during intense workouts
  • The silicone-printed neoprene glove material is machine washable and easy to clean
  • The wrist velcro closure loop allows you to customize the level of wrist support when lifting

Could be better:

  • The finger holes feature a smaller design which may be too small for larger hand sizes

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What Are the Benefits of Using Functional Fitness Gloves?

Here are some of the benefits of using fitness workout gloves: 

✅ Injury Prevention 

Fitness lifting gloves are designed to provide hand protection by putting a durable material between the barbell and your hands. This helps to prevent calluses, blisters, and skin irritation caused by repeated contact.

Gloves with wrist support also help to reduce wrist stress, therefore reducing the chance of injury.

✅ Enhances Grip

Most hand grips and gloves have a grippy inside layer that helps to keep contact with the bar, therefore reducing the chance of your grip slipping or grip fatigue.

The straps and wrist support help to reduce the grip pressure, therefore enhancing your grip.

Tips From the Champ

Functional fitness gloves offer a great addition to your fitness accessory bag and provide excellent hand protection and comfort. The 7 glove choices I’ve reviewed above feature a range of unique designs which make them suited for a wide range of athlete needs and goals.

Oleksiy Torokhtiy
Oleksiy Torokhtiy

Olympic Weightlifting Champion

✅ Hygiene 

Let’s face it: high-intensity exercise causes you to sweat, breathe heavily, and even bleed sometimes. The last thing some people want is to touch a surface that’s not been cleaned properly.

Wearing gloves helps to provide comfort and some added hygiene protection over bare hands.

When Do You Need Functional Fitness Gloves?

Functional fitness gloves offer a range of versatile uses that cater to a wide range of athlete abilities and needs. These include:

  • Any level of cross fitter struggling with skin irritation which includes scuffs, scratches, calluses, and blisters
  • Beginner athletes who are new to lifting and therefore more prone to skin irritation
  • Lifters who suffer from wrist injuries or pain that need additional support when lifting
  • Lifters who struggle to keep a strong bar grip and are looking for extra performance support
  • People who prefer to limit exercise equipment contact using their bare hands
  • Elite level cross fitters looking for an extra level of performance
Functional Fitness Gloves

What To Look For in the Best Functional Fitness Gloves

When deciding on a suitable pair of cross training gloves to purchase, consider the following factors:

1. Construction/Design

Different glove design features include the number of finger holes, closure mechanism, and amount of finger coverage.

Different types of gloves can include normal gloves, grips, and wrist wraps, all of which change the most suitable use and benefits.

Concerning the number of finger holes, consider the amount of finger coverage needed. If you struggle with calluses, a fuller glove design may be a better choice. If you want extra grip but don’t need callus protection, go with a more minimal design.

If you’re using the gloves or grips for lots of high-volume fitness work, go for a pair that has a durable closure mechanism such as a wrap-around Velcro strap or hook and loop mechanism.

2. Materials 

The type of material used in the functional fitness gloves changes the performance therefore it’s good to be aware of the most common materials when choosing.

Leather is most commonly used and offers high-quality grip and flexibility which allow the gloves to mold well as you wear them.

Neoprene is great for breathability, comfort, and is easy to wash. However, it doesn’t give the same durability as leather.

Best Functional Fitness Gloves

3. Fit

Fit is perhaps one of the most important and overlooked factors when choosing the correct pair. If your gloves don’t fit correctly, they can’t perform their function correctly.

Make sure your gloves are tight enough so they don’t fall off during exercise but not too tight so they reduce blood flow or hand movement.

4. Support 

Built-in glove support includes hand padding and wrist support, both of which can help to enhance functional fitness performance.

If you’re struggling with hand comfort when lifting, gloves that offer additional padding may be a good choice. If you need additional wrist support when lifting or feel like you lift better with added protection, go with gloves with built-in wrist support.

FAQ

Should I Wear Gloves for Functional Fitness?

Due to the high-volume nature of functional fitness, hand blisters and skin abrasions may be common, especially when starting. The use of functional fitness gloves may be warranted for hand protection during normal training if your hands are currently damaged, or if you simply prefer wearing them. 

Why Do Functional Fitness Athletes Tape Their Fingers?

Functional fitness athletes tape their hands, more specifically their thumbs to protect them from blisters and stop them from slipping when using a hook grip. Applying tape to fingers or thumbs takes seconds and is easy with practice. 

Should Gym Gloves Be Tight or Loose?

Gym gloves should be well fitting so that they don’t fall off the hands but not too tight so that they restrict blood flow. If your gloves slip during training, they are too loose. If you notice changes in skin color when wearing them, they are likely too tight.

Conclusion

Functional fitness gloves offer a great addition to your fitness accessory bag and provide excellent hand protection and comfort. The 7 glove choices I’ve reviewed above feature a range of unique designs which make them suited for a wide range of athlete needs and goals.

Out of my top 7 choices, the PISCIL RX Carbon Hand Grips are my top pick choice. They scored the highest total for design, comfort, durability, and protection.

Do you like wearing fitness gloves? Do you have a favorite glove type? Let’s discuss this below!

Also read:

References:

  1. Blisters // Healthdirect: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/blisters
  2. TOP REASONS TO USE WRIST SUPPORT WRAPS AT THE GYM // Gripads: https://gripads.com/blog/wrist-support-wraps
  3. Neoprene // Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoprene
  4. Leather // Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leather
  5. Corns and calluses // Mayoclinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/corns-and-calluses/symptoms-causes/syc-20355946

Why Trust Us?

With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here

Ihor Shymechko

Author: Ihor Shymechko
Pro Olympic Weightlifter, Coach

Experience: 26 years
Best Results: Snatch – 208 kg,
C&J – 240 kg

Ihor has been a professional weightlifter since 1996, boasting over two decades of competition experience. His notable achievements include clinching the European Championship in 2009 and securing a silver medal in the 105kg division at the Senior World Championships in 2011. Ihor represented his country in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics. After retiring from competitive weightlifting, he transitioned to coaching, leveraging his vast experience to guide athletes who now compete on both national and international stages.

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Oleksiy Torokhtiy

Reviewed by: Oleksiy Torokhtiy
Olympic Weightlifting Champion

Experience: 21 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 200 kg,
C&J – 240 kg

Oleksiy Torokhtiy is a professional athlete boasting 20 years of experience in Olympic weightlifting. With multiple European and World titles under his belt, he has showcased his prowess in two Olympic Games (Beijing 2008 and London 2012). Upon concluding his illustrious career, Oleksiy dedicated himself to coaching. By 2022, he had conducted over 200 weightlifting seminars worldwide. He is the visionary behind an international sportswear and accessories brand known for its motto, “Warm Body Cold Mind.” Additionally, he is an esteemed author and the creator of a series of training programs and eBooks.

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