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Top 10 Climbing Gloves Reviewed & Rated for Quality

last updated Nov 15, 2019

If you’ve ever needed to catch yourself or your partner on a fast rope, or if you’ve had a brush with a scorching hot carabiner, then you’ll understand the extreme importance of getting a good pair of rock climbing gloves that you can rely on.

But those extreme conditions are not the only ones where gripped gloves, mountaineering gloves, and rappelling gloves come in handy.

Especially if you have sensitive hands, a good pair of gloves can protect you from stray wire and fray or sharp rocky edges, and they may even help to provide a little extra warmth during the chillier months (though they won’t replace your hand warmers or winter gloves).

So peruse our list below. With full coverage and partial coverage options, you’ll be sure to get the fit that is perfect for your next climb.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research

icon
Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger
98.6/100 our score
Materials
99
Comfort
100
Durability
95
Fit
99
Value
100
Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger
Why is it better?

Half finger design

Padding at the knuckles

Breathable mesh on back

Hook and pull closure

Reinforced thumb and pointer finger crotch

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger
Test Winner: Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger
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Researched Sources
18
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
15k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
12
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Materials Comfort Durability Fit Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.6
Materials
99 %
Comfort
100 %
Durability
95 %
Fit
99 %
Value
100 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.19)
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.2
Materials
98 %
Comfort
98 %
Durability
97 %
Fit
97 %
Value
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.19)
Amazon Link
$21.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.2
Materials
100 %
Comfort
96 %
Durability
100 %
Fit
96 %
Value
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.19)
Backcountry Link
$29.96
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$39.95
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
Materials
96 %
Comfort
95 %
Durability
94 %
Fit
97 %
Value
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.19)
Amazon Link
$40.00
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Materials
99 %
Comfort
95 %
Durability
98 %
Fit
88 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.19)
Amazon Link
$36.08
Backcountry Link
$39.95
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Gear Coop
$39.95
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#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
Materials
95 %
Comfort
92 %
Durability
93 %
Fit
95 %
Value
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.19)
Amazon Link
$42.95
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.2
Materials
94 %
Comfort
95 %
Durability
93 %
Fit
90 %
Value
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.19)
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Materials
88 %
Comfort
90 %
Durability
92 %
Fit
90 %
Value
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.19)
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
Materials
96 %
Comfort
90 %
Durability
92 %
Fit
85 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.19)
Amazon Link
$28.27
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Materials
88 %
Comfort
86 %
Durability
90 %
Fit
88 %
Value
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.19)
Amazon Link
$15.99

10 Best Climbing Gloves

1. Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.6
Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger
Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger
Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger
Amazon Link
Materials
99
Comfort
100
Durability
95
Fit
99
Value
100
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Amazon Link
$15.00
Pros:

Half finger design

Padding at the knuckles

Breathable mesh on back

Hook and pull closure

Reinforced thumb and pointer finger crotch

Cons:

Some issues with the stitching

The first pair of stellar gloves to pop off our list are the Black Diamond Crag Half-Fingers. These are made from durable synthetic materials with strategic padding to ensure that your knuckles are protected from sharp crags. And with reinforcements in all of the right places, you’ll be able to enjoy this pair for longer.

Reinforced Thumb and Index Finger Crotch
The Black Diamond Crag Half-Fingers features a durable design that is reinforced in all of the right areas. The thumb and index finger crotch is extremely durable so that it can fight off rips and friction tears from contact with your ropes.

We also like the synthetic leather material that is used for the palm as this offers up a durable base that will not easily rip or tear. And with a breathable mesh fabric on the backside of the hand, you will enjoy a healthier airflow that works to cut down on the sweatiness of your palms. These are no intended for ice climbing.
We award points for durability and materials here.

Knuckle Padding
The Black Diamond Crag Half-Fingers are designed specifically for those climbers who go crag climbing. This means shoving your hands into the crabs of rocks in order to get a hold. This also means torture for your knuckles.

Thus, these babies provide an extra layer of padding just around the knuckles to cut down on the overall bulk of the glove, and to give you the necessary padding you need to protect your knuckles from serious damage. We award points for comfort here.

We also like that these come with a hook and pull closure featuring strong velcro and that there is a pull-on loop for easy on and off action. We award points for comfort and fit here.

Cost and Value
The Black Diamond Crag Half-Fingers ring up at the bottom of our price range and we love their value because they are a great introductory option for those who are getting into climbing. They are very affordable and work well in terms of breathability and protection.

And while they offer reinforced sections, some of the stitching was reviewed as less than perfect, so you may have to replace these more often than you would with a more premium pair.

2. Intra-FIT

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.2
Intra-FIT Climbing Gloves
Intra-FIT Climbing Gloves
Intra-FIT Climbing Gloves
Intra-FIT Climbing Gloves
Amazon Link
Materials
98
Comfort
98
Durability
97
Fit
97
Value
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$21.99
Pros:

Soft and flexible goat skin

Breathable spandex

Padding in the palm

Velcro closure with carabiner hole

Curved fingers

Cons:

Run a bit small

The Intra-FITs are an amazing product that features a mix of materials to give the best performance possible. With natural flexibility and the right amount of padding to prevent burns from repelling, these are a great option for a variety of different purposes and they’ll also hold up well the job too--almost as well as your climbing knots.

Reinforced with Goat Skin
The Intra-FITs are designed with a mix of materials for optimal performance.
This product is soft and flexible to the touch as it is comprised of goatskin of premium grain quality. That means this product will flex with your hand’s natural movements while also providing excellent durability.

You will also enjoy the spandex which is flexible and breathable for less sweaty palms, as well as the extra padding in the palms which helps to safeguard against rope burns and abrasions. We award points for materials, durability, and comfort here.

Anatomically Curved Fingers
The Intra-FITs also come with a uniquely curved finger feature that matches the natural anatomy of the human hand. This natural curvature helps to achieve a more realistic grip and a more natural movement of your hand. This increases the comfort and fit of the product so we award points here.

And we like the velcro and neoprene cuff, as well as the carabiner loop so that you can always have these ready and by your side while you’re scaling the mountain.

Cost and Value
The Intra-FITs ring up in the middle of our price range and we love their value because they offer full protection which is useful in a variety of different climbing contexts. We also like the mix of materials as this helps with comfort and flexibility.

3. Petzl CORDEX Lightweight

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.2
Petzl CORDEX Lightweight
Petzl CORDEX Lightweight
Petzl CORDEX Lightweight
Amazon Link
Materials
100
Comfort
96
Durability
100
Fit
96
Value
89
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$39.95
Backcountry Link
$29.96
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Pros:

Double layer of leather

Reinforced high-friction areas

Carabiner hole

Breathable nylon

Good fit

Cons:

Not very grippy

The Petzl CORDEX Lightweight is made from 100% leather, so you know you’re getting quality that will last. These are lightweight with the right fit to ensure that you can belay and rappel while still feeling confident in your grip. And these are reinforced in high-friction areas to ensure even more longevity.

100% Leather
The Petzl CORDEX Lightweight is made with a double layer of 100% leather. This double layer works to provide the right amount of padding and protection needed with rappelling and when belaying.

We also like that the back is finished with stretchy nylon that works to drive down the weight of the gloves while increasing their breathability at the same time, so we award points for comfort and materials here.

Ergonomic Cut
The Petzl CORDEX Lightweight features an ergonomic cut that blends the need for protection with the need for free and natural movement of the hands. We award points for fit here.
There is nice flexibility to these within their protective structure and they are also reinforced in the high-fiction areas of the palms and thumb and pointer finger crotch. We award points for durability and comfort here.

Plus, we like the carabiner hole so that you can keep your gloves as your side and ready for the draw whenever you need them.

Cost and Value
The Petzl CORDEX Lightweight rings up at the very top of our price range but we love its value because they are very durable and because they provide a super snug and comfortable fit, which makes them well worth the investment in our book.

4. Ocun Crack

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
Ocun Crack
Ocun Crack
Ocun Crack
Amazon Link
Materials
96
Comfort
95
Durability
94
Fit
97
Value
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$40.00
Pros:

Minimalist fit

Replaces taping

Soft and flexible microfiber suede

No-snag velcro closure

Cons:

Issues with loop closure durability

The Ocun Crack is an incredible product if you are looking for a super low profile product that won’t interfere with your finger feel on the rocks. Rather than struggling with different taping styles and excessive chalk, this product allows you to protect the most sensitive areas of your hand while still giving you the natural range of motion and finger feel of climbing without gloves.

Takes the Place of Tape
The Ocun Crack is one of the most minimal products on our list. It stands here to take the place of taping and chalking your hands before each project.

Thus, these are not intended for rappelling as they will not provide the protection against friction. Instead, these are meant to protect the back of your hands and tops of your palms from rips and tears. We award points for fit and comfort here.

Suede Microfiber
The Ocun Crack is made from suede microfiber which is both durable and soft to the touch. It will mold to the shape of your hand and works to provide more responsiveness as well.

And because the velcro closure locks inside, you won’t have to worry about it snagging on a rock while you’re climbing and coming undone. We award points for materials and fit here.

Cost and Value
The Ocun Crack rings up at the top of our price range and we love their value because they offer the perfect minimalist design that protects the most sensitive areas of your hand while still giving you the comfort and feel of the rock for a secure grip.

That being said, some reviewers found that the closure loops are not so durable, so we dock a few points here for that.

5. Metolius Full Finger Belay

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Metolius Full Finger Belay
Metolius Full Finger Belay
Metolius Full Finger Belay
Amazon Link
Materials
99
Comfort
95
Durability
98
Fit
88
Value
90
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$36.08
Backcountry Link
$39.95
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$39.95
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Pros:

made with cow-hide

Reinforced in high friction areas

Triple stitching

Carabiner hole

Nice velcro closure

Cons:

Run large

The Metolius Full Finger Belay is another of our full leather options. This product is reinforced at the crotch between the thumb and pointer finger which makes it a great companion for belayers--as well as a potential life saving tool. And with reinforced stitching, these are well worth shelling out a little extra for.

All Cow-Hide
The Metolius Full Finger Belay is made from cow-hide that is flexible and durable at the same time. The outer is made from a strong hide that is comfortable to the touch, and the palm and crotch are reinforced with split cow-hide as well as triple stitching to ensure that you can enjoy these for seasons to come.
We award points for materials, comfort, and durability here.

Great for Rappelling and Belaying
The Metolius Full Finger Belay is, as the name suggests, ideal for belaying and rappelling. The fit is snug enough for comfort and molds to your hand’s unique shape.

And we like the hook and closure loop finished with durable velcro so you can be sure these won’t come loose on the way down. Plus, we like the carabiner loop that means you can always have these close at hand when you’re ready to put them on. Points for fit and comfort here.

Cost and Value
The Metolius Full Finger Belay rings up at the top of our price range and we love its value because they are made of super durable and flexible materials that will ensure a long life’s worth of use out of them.

6. Singing Rock Chocky Jamming

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
Singing Rock Chocky Jamming
Amazon Link
Materials
95
Comfort
92
Durability
93
Fit
95
Value
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$42.95
Pros:

Replaces need for tape

Double elastic band

High-friction rubber

Low profile design

Cons:

Rubber is a bit thick

The Singing Rock Chocky Jamming is another one of our featured products that offer up a super slim profile. You can put down the complicated tape and turn to these durably made responsive rubber gloves that give the backside of your hand and upper palm protection while still allowing you to feel the rocks on your hands.

Double Wide Elastic
The Singing Rock Chocky Jamming features velcro closure that is secured by a double-wide and layered elastic band. This allows for a super-secure and snug fit that won’t budge when you’re climbing so you can feel safe and supported. We award points for materials, comfort, and fit here.

Responsive Rubber Composition
The Singing Rock Chocky Jamming is made out of a rubber material that allows for freedom of movement in the hands while also delivering high-friction. This means that when you’re shoving your hands into crags, the rubber works to create friction and hug the rocks of the crag tightly. More points for material here.

Cost and Value
The Singing Rock Chocky Jamming rings up at the top of our price range and we like its value because it replaces the need for tape which is not reusable and allows for more friction and secure contact while still having the secure feel of the rocks under your fingers.

7. Outdoor Research Fossil Rock

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.2
Outdoor Research Fossil Rock
Outdoor Research Fossil Rock
Amazon Link
Materials
94
Comfort
95
Durability
93
Fit
90
Value
89
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$34.46
Pros:

Leather palm

Split-suede panels

Breathable back

Grippy

Cons:

Back panel lacking in durability

The Outdoor Research Fossil Rock offers up a mix of textiles to provide you with peak performance. You’ll get stretch and breathability for comfortable wear, and you’ll also enjoy the true leather and split-suede panels that provide for tons of heat protection and a nice grip to feel secure.

Breathable Back
The Outdoor Research Fossil Rock delivers a breathable back panel that has just the right amount of stretch so that you can enjoy a snug fit that also moves with you naturally. We award points for materials and fit here, as well as for comfort.

Leather and Split-Suede
The Outdoor Research Fossil Rock features an all-leather palm that is accented with split-suede panels for extra insulation against rope burns and for extra gripping and friction power at the palm and fingers. We award points for materials and durability here.

Cost and Value
The Outdoor Research Fossil Rock rings up at the top of our price range and we like their value because they hold together nicely for their price and they are comfy for the wearer as well.

8. Metolius Belay Slave

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Materials
88
Comfort
90
Durability
92
Fit
90
Value
95
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Pros:

Breathable mesh back

Flexible mesh fingers

Decent heat protection

Good closure

Cons:

Not same fit as genuine leather

The Metolius Belay Slave is a nice middle of the road option if you’re looking for more coverage but don’t want to shell out for a pair of genuine leathers. These are made of synthetic leather with mesh backing for breathability.

Synthetic Leather and Mesh
The Metolius Belay Slave is made using a synthetic leather palm and fingers. The back (and the back of the fingers as well) is made of mesh to ramp up breathability on these full-finger gloves.

The mesh also works to deliver a bit more flexibility, though the gloves to do not fit as snugly as their genuine leather counterparts. We take some points for fit and materials here.

Solid Closure
The Metolius Belay Slave features a solid closure that is a hook and loop and which secures with sturdy velcro. Reviewers find that this feature holds up well. We give points for durability here.

Cost and Value
The Metolius Belay Slave rings up in the middle of our price range and we like its value because it’s a step above the budget brands in terms of longevity and also provides decent protection from burns when belaying.

9. Singing Rock Grippy

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
Singing Rock Grippy
Amazon Link
Materials
96
Comfort
90
Durability
92
Fit
85
Value
90
best offer for today
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$28.27
Pros:

Leather and suede

Loop pull

Nice and grippy

Cons:

Issues with velcro closure

The Singing Rock Grippy is a beautifully made leather glove that features ¾ fingers. You’ll enjoy the all-leather body that is accented with split-suede on the parts of the product that need the most reinforcement because they get the most heat-friction action.

Gripping Power
The Singing Rock Grippy features a palm and fingers that are made of split-suede panels. These panels work as an added barrier against heat friction and they also provide extra gripping power so you can get a steady hold. We award points for materials and comfort here.

Pull Loop
The Singing Rock Grippy comes complete with a pull loop that makes getting these on and off a breeze. We also like the velcro closure, though it has been noted to snag on rocks during climbs. We take a few points to fit here.

Cost and Value
The Singing Rock Grippy rings up in the middle of our price range and we like its value because these hold up to heat and use fairly well and are a bit less expensive than other all leather options.

10. Seibertron Half-Finger Padded

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Seibertron Half-Finger Padded
Seibertron Half-Finger Padded
Seibertron Half-Finger Padded
Amazon Link
Materials
88
Comfort
86
Durability
90
Fit
88
Value
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$15.99
Pros:

Kevlar string reinforcer

Padded in palm to fight fatigue

Carabiner hole

Cons:

Run small

The Seibertron Half-Finger Padded is the perfect way to round out our list. This is another budget option that is great for crag climbing as you will be able to enjoy the dexterity of your fingers. It is reinforced with specialized thread and padding for more durability and comfort.

Kevlar Threads
The Seibertron Half-Finger Padded is reinforced with kevlar thread at the palm and fingers so that you can enjoy these budget gloves for longer. There is also a carabiner loop and an easy pull tab on the fingers to remove the gloves quickly. We give points for materials and durability here.

Padded Palm
The Seibertron Half-Finger Padded offers, just as you might guess, extra padding in the palm. This serves to fight against hand fatigue so that you can extend your climbing hours in comfort. We award points for comfort and fit here.

Cost and Value
The Seibertron Half-Finger Padded rings up at the bottom of our price range and we like its value because it is a great entry-level glove that will hold up better than some other budget brands on the market.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

When selecting the products for this 10 Best List, we highly considered what materials each bag is made out of.

The more premium options on our list are made of leather and suede. This material lasts longer, holds up to heat better, and will generally form to your hand more readily.

We also feature options made of synthetic leather and mesh. These are more affordable and offer up more breathability. They are even sometimes more flexible. However, they frequently do not last as long and need to be replaced more often.

Comfort

We also consider how comfortable a bag is to wear. In this consideration, we take into account the actual feel of the fabric, how easy they are to get on and off, and how well they breathe, especially in warmer weather.

Durability

When looking at durability, we consider the different features that are designed to make the bag more durable.

We value options with reinforced stitching at the thumb and pointer finger crotch as well as at the palm as these areas encounter the most heat from friction and the most action on the glove. In order for the product to be really durable, these measures have to be taken.
We also value sturdy velcro and secure closures.

Fit

We heavily considered the fit of each product. Just like with your climbing shoes, it is important to get a pair of gloves that fit just right. As we go into below, you want to ensure that the gloves are neither too tight or too loose.

Making this decision mostly depends on the type of material it is made out of.

However, there are other factors we consider like the type of closure, how easy they are to get on and off, and the overall snugness and flexibility of the product.

Of course, we also consider whether or not they fit as expected.

Value

Finally, we considered value. We will say again that you do not want to purchase more glove than you actually need. This is true in terms of coverage and durability.

If you are a casual climber, go with a more budget and full-coverage option. If you climb quite seriously, it’s worth investing in specialized and premium pairs for your different climbing adventures.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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expert tips icon
Choosing Between Glove Styles

As you are likely aware, there are two different large umbrella styles of gloves: full finger coverage closed gloves, and half finger gloves. Each of these options have their benefits and drawbacks, and we’ll outline the pros and cons of each here.

Full Coverage Closed Gloves:
Some of the advantages of having full coverage closed gloves are their protection of your sensitive fingertips. They provide more coverage and ergo more protection against frayed rope and wire, hot carabiners, and spikey rocks.

They also provide more warmth in chilly seasons, though this can be a notable drawback for warmer seasons as your hands my sweat uncomfortably.

As for the cons to closed gloves, we find that they allow for less control and dexterity and that they are not ideal for gripping into crags and rocks because you don’t have the same finger feel when your fingertips are covered.

For these reasons, a closed glove is most ideal for those climbers who are going on fixed rope climbs (where ropes are secured into the side of the mountain for the climber to hold onto, rather than grasping and climbing rock directly), as well as for those practicing on ropes courses.

Half Finger Gloves:
The advantages of using a half finger glove are that you will enjoy a greater and more natural range of motion in your fingers and hands, and that you will also experience less overheating in your hands as your fingertips will be able to breathe.

You will also get to enjoy a greater feel in your fingertips which comes in handy when gripping rocks.

On the downside, you won’t get any of that extra warmth, so they won’t double for winter gloves and your fingertips will also be more susceptible to blistering, callouses, and tearing.

For these reasons, a half finger glove is ideal for those who like the feel and security of direct contact with the rocks, and who are doing most of their climbing in the summer and warmer months.

So consider the type of climbing you are likely to be doing before making a purchase, and go with the style that checks most of your boxes.

What About Chalk?

If you are using half finger gloves, then you’re still going to want to use chalk when you are climbing. Your fingers will still produce moisture than can make getting a secure grab a challenge.

So you’ll apply chalk in much the same manner as you would to your entire hand to the end of your fingertips, working to get an even layer that isn’t clumpy.

Other Factors to Consider

Breathability

It should come as no surprise that hands get sweaty. That’s why we value products that are nice and breathable as sweaty hands can be a huge issue when climbing, especially if you’re wearing partial gloves and this moisture is creating a slippery hand that has trouble gripping.

Style

We consider the different styles of products and what their intended uses are for. We work to provide a range of useful options from belay and rappel products to crag and jamming options so that you can get the pair that's just right for your specific needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Do climbers need to have gloves?

a:

If you’re a climber, you don’t “need” gloves, but they provide several advantages like the ones we outlined above in the Expert Tips section.

If you plan to go crack climbing, you will likely rely on a pair of half-finger gloves to protect your knuckles from getting scraped and destroyed in the rock craps while still giving you the finger feel of the rock underneath.

If you plan on doing repelling, then having a pair of gloves to protect your hands from burning rope is also important, even if you aren’t wearing these gloves on your ascent.
Ultimately, this is a preference call. While many new climbers find that climbing is really uncomfortable and hurts their hands a great deal, with some time, callouses will form and this pain will subside. If you only use gloves, callouses will likely not develop and will continue to hurt.

Tha’s why we think it’s a good idea to get just enough glove for you--no more and no less for your specific climbing ventures.

q: How should my gloves fit?

a:

You are going to want your gloves to fit fairly snugly, but this answer depends mostly on the material that your gloves are made out of.

If you are going with a pair of leathers, then you’re going to want to buy the gloves a size smaller than you typically would. This is because leather has the tendency to stretch out when worn and used frequently. Thus, getting a smaller size leaves room for your gloves to stretch a bit while still being useful to you.

On the other hand, if you’re going with a synthetic pair, you’re going to want to make sure that you don’t get a pair that are too tight. Try these on as soon as you get them. If you have any trouble getting them on, then you’ll want to return them for a larger size. These materials have minimal give and so they will not stretch out with use.

q: How do I care for fingertip callouses?

a:

If you are one of those climbers who prefer to have a freer range of motion and likes the natural feel of the rocks under your fingertips, then you’re likely going to go with a pair of half-finger gloves.

However, this also means that you’re likely going to have to deal with some callouses developing on your fingers.

But let’s get one thing straight: callouses are not the bad guys! In fact, you should love and nurture your callouses so that you can climb for longer in comfort.

Callouses work to protect your skin from the burns and friction of rope, rock, and carabiners. So keeping your callouses intact is important. In fact, not taking care of your callouses correctly could result in them ripping off which will ultimately put you out of commission for potentially multiple climbing days.

So how do you take care of those bad boys?

For one, you’ll want to make sure that you properly clean the dirt and accumulated grime off of your hands after each day of climbing. The chalk and rock can seriously dry out your mitts and this causes skin to crack. You don’t want that.

Next, you’ll want to properly lube your hands up before bed each night. You can use a cream that is specifically created for climbers, or another tried and true moisturizer. Having properly moisturized skin works to prevent cracks and tears in your skin--and it keeps them nice and soft as well.

Then you’ll want to make sure you are manicuring your callouses. If you notice that a callous is bumping and sticking out, it is time to file it down as this will help to prevent it from getting snagged on a rock and ripping. You can do this with a pumice stone while your hands are wet or dry--it’s up to you. Make sure that you don’t file away too much as this could result in eliminating the callous altogether.

You’ll also want to make sure that you have the right kind of chalk. There’s lots of chalk out there designed specifically for climbers with ultra-sweaty hands. This chalk works to dry moisture super fast to help better their grip. If you do not have an issue with sweaty hands, avoid this chalk as it will dry out your hands excessively.

And finally, try to avoid too much exposure to super hot water. Hot water loosens callouses and can cause them to easily rip.

So we know this is a lot to take in. Follow the advice that works for you to prevent nasty rips that keep you ground bound.

Sources

  1. Wikipedia Contributing Writers, Fixed Rope, Encyclopedia Article
  2. Bonnie de Bruijn, New to Indoor Climbing? 10 Beginner Questions, Answered, Article
  3. Alex Beale, Climber’s Hands: How to Take Care of Calluses & Prevent Flappers, Article