Best CrossFit Grips & CrossFit Gloves for 2021

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In this review article I focus on 7 popular & highly-regarded weightlifting and CrossFit hand protection products from Bear Komplex, JerkFit, WODNation, & RipToned.

I stuck to these companies because I am familiar with their products in action, and I think highly of them.

Also, I wanted to present a decent variety of designs to accommodate everyone’s needs & tastes, and I think these 7 pairs of CrossFit gloves, gymnastic grips, & powerlifting wrist wraps cover that.

Here’s who’s here:

Bear KompleX Carbon Hand Grips

Bear KompleX 3 hole Hand grips for CrossFit

Bear KompleX 2 hole Gymnastics grips

JerkFit RAW Grips

JerkFit WODies

Rip Toned Wrist Wraps Professional Grade

WOD Nation Wrist Wraps for Lifting

 

So what do we got?

We have 2-hole leather & 3-hole synthetic CrossFit gloves, 2-hole & 3-hole synthetic gymnastics grips, and 2-hole & 3-hole leather gymnastics grips.

And as far as wrist wraps go, there’s (what I consider) the best wrist wraps for women, and we conclude with a pair of the best wrist wraps for lifting heavy, period.

 

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What we DON’T have here

If you’ve scanned through the Amazon listings for CrossFit hand grips before, you may have noticed here in my article that I excluded some CrossFit gloves & grips that are big sellers, highly rated, & real inexpensive.

Why?

 

Two things.

One is that I don’t like imported knockoff fitness gear, and so I don’t want to write about it either.

My remaining planet earth time is precious to me. 😀

 

The bigger reason I left some of the best-selling CrossFit gloves & grips out of my article is that I won’t write about products on my blog that have stuffed their Amazon listing with a bunch of fake 5-star reviews.

‘Nuff said.

 

 

Best CrossFit Grips Sneak Peek

from Bear KompleX:

Bear KompleX Carbon Comp Hand Grips

“After several workouts including TTBs, muscle-ups, and pull-ups, they work great! They are much better and more comfortable than the previous grips I used and really seem to keep my hands protected. Very glad I purchased!” – P

Bear KompleX 3 hole Hand grips for CrossFit

“I tried four other types of grips before I purchased these leather hand grips. I wish they had been my first purchase. As soon as I chalked them up and got on the bar, I was able to string together more pull-ups than I had ever done consecutively.” – J

Bear KompleX 2 hole Gymnastics grips

“I cannot recommend these grips enough. With normal gymnastic grips, I was getting sores and callouses around my wrists from where the straps would chafe. The BearKomplex 2 grips eliminate the discomfort and my gymnastics work is easier to accomplish.” – C

 

 

from JerkFit:

JerkFit RAW Grips

“Love the RAW grips! Usually do 4-5 CrossFit workouts a week & it’s hell on the hands. These grips are great, lightweight & not bulky but can withstand the damage.” – DT

JerkFit WODies

“I absolutely love my Wodies! I was really struggling with pull ups & barbell work due to my hands hurting and poor grip, but these have made a huge difference! I definitely recommend these! – S

 

Best Wrist Wraps for Women

WOD Nation Wrist Wraps for Lifting

“5 out of 5 stars! I bought the 12″ size and they’re perfect. Not just for lifting! I bought them for yoga. My wrists are my weak point, and would get sore after more intensive yoga classes…my wrists are doing great” – C

 

Best Wrist Wraps for Lifting

Rip Toned Professional Grade Wrist Wraps

“Bottom Line – This is a must have for anyone new to crossfit, olympic lifting, etc. who find that their wrists hurt during exercise. This product will significantly reduce, or in my case eliminate, your wrist pain during workouts.” – BG

 

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Wondering why use CrossFit grips?

Maybe you’re new to CrossFit or have just started thinking about joining a local Box.

Or maybe you’re new to bodyweight calisthenics & resistance training in general.

If either of these is the case, the purpose of donning a pair of hand grips to bang out a set of pull ups may not be clear.

 

Lots of wear & tear on your hands’ skin

Well…in a nutshell, you’ll be doing a lot of sets of bar moves on the CrossFit rig.

You’ll also be doing a lot of sets with a barbell, and likely some with a kettlebell every now & then too.

And if unprotected, your hands will eventually pay the piper so to speak.

And an avoidable injury to your hand that takes you out of your workout schedule just plain sucks.

Being sidelined can mess with your momentum, your training flow.

You don’t want that; nobody wants that.

 

 

Benefits of good Crossfit hand grips

Here are the 2 main reasons to wear a solid pair of gymnastic grips or CrossFit gloves when you train.

 

#1 CrossFit grips are a protective barrier

A hand grip or glove is between your palm & its sweat on one side, and the bar or handle on the other.

It helps prevent your bare skin from constantly rubbing against the metal on the bar or handle you’re holding onto.

The tacky side of the grip helps absorb much of the friction generated by your movements.

This in turn reduces the amount of wear & tear your hands would’ve experienced if they were in direct contact with the bar.

 

Wear only good quality CrossFit grips

Note that it’s important to wear a well-built pair of gymnastics or CrossFit hand grips.

Inferior models don’t mold to your palms very well, which causes their own friction.

In turn, a poorly made hand grip like this can end up giving you a lot of blisters & rips on its own.

 

Bottom line: 

Wearing quality CrossFit grips can greatly reduce the amount of damage to your palms’ skin due to all that contact & movement with the bar. 

Proper hand care maintenance in between workouts can further reduce the likelihood of missed time due to injury.

But that’s a topic for another day…

 

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#2 CrossFit grips help you…um, grip longer

During a long workout involving holding onto lots of heavy things, the small muscles & tendons in your hands & wrists will start to fatigue.

Many times they start quitting before your bigger muscles have even fatigued, or before your own energy supply has run out.

You might bail on a rep or two only because of your grip problems.

Compounding the onset of fatigue could also include excess sweat on your hands, which can make gripping the bar more difficult.

So now slipping could enter the equation.

This can also cost you a couple of reps as well as interfere with your form, which could then become a safety issue.

 

More grip, less slip

Well-made CrossFit grips can extend your gripping time by doing some of the gripping themselves.

In addition to that assistance, the leather or synthetic material that the gymnastic grip is made of will absorb some of the sweat from your hands.

And a solid pair can reduce that slipping.

Improving your grip this way might help you knock out a couple of reps more than you would’ve without the hand grips.

 

Bottom line:

CrossFit grips provide a little gripping assistance over the course of a long workout.

Good grips can help a little with hand & wrist fatigue, as well as with sweat wicking.

This can boost your productivity above what it would’ve been without them.

 


 

Benefits of wrist wraps for lifting

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Wrist fatigue, wrist soreness, & sometimes even wrist injury can show up when you’re lifting heavy.

If you’re in a lifting program/cycle where heavy sessions are occurring weekly, soreness or that “little tweak” that won’t go away are unwelcome distractions.

Or a potential show-stopper if the condition got worse.

A good pair of wrist wraps can do a world of good by keeping those scenarios away.

 

Joint support leads to more strength gains

Wearing wrist wraps during your heaviest lifts provides important support to your wrist joint.

This helps reduce the amount of pressure your wrist bears.

Thus, your wrist doesn’t fatigue as quickly which enables you to work on your larger target muscle(s) longer.

 

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Wrist wraps support reduces soreness

Consistently wearing wrist wraps whenever the reps go low and the poundage goes up can also help keep wrist joint soreness from giving you the blues.

A quality pair of wrist wraps for weight lifting will help stabilize all those teeny muscles, bones, & tendons in your wrist joint.

This bracing of this fragile area of yours during big lifts is a smart way wrist wraps prevent soreness or injury from interfering in your workout goals.

 

Net result using the best wrist wraps

Thanks to the nice benefits that quality wrist wraps can provide…

…You’re lifting more, training longer, & getting stronger than you would’ve without them.

And you’re protecting those vital wrist joints in the process.

 

 

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Best CrossFit Grips Reviews

Top Pick

Bear KompleX Carbon Hand Grips

Available in 2 or 3-hole configurations, this is a ‘cream-of-the-crop level’ gymnastic grip.

Its tacky & tough carbon fiber can grip better than leather, but is as breathable.

The lightweight carbon material provides best-in-class protection too.

Folks, we have a winner…”

 

What I like:

*The design, build, & materials are all top notch – They all add up to a pair of gymnastics grips ideal for CrossFit workout intensity

*Excellent owner satisfaction rating – 95% across the internet, 4.8 stars

*60-day money back guarantee – if they disappoint

 

Potential issues for some:

None. They cost a lot more than the knockoffs, but that’s because they’re not knockoffs.

 

Summing up:

Top notch protection, grip, and durability thanks to their space-age carbon material.

And with all of the same design features of their industry standard leather 2 & 3-hole gymnastics grips.

See reviews & price on Amazon

 

 

Bear KompleX 3-hole Gymnastics Grips

Superior quality leather improves your grip while keeping your hands breathable, and its heavy-duty stitching makes these more durable than most.

Nice design with the adjustable wrist strap so it’s snug without digging into you.

 

What I like:

*High quality leather – great grip & protection provider. Note that the black ones are made with a softer suede that doesn’t require the same break-in time as the tan or gray

*Stitching is sewn to last – many cheaper grips fail to keep it together (literally), and fall apart prematurely for consistent WOD trainees.

*Very high owner satisfaction – 90%, 4.5 stars, with over 1,500 reviews online

*60-day money back guarantee 

 

Potential issues for some:

*If you have fat fingers, you might find the holes a little small…but the leather on these grips will stretch after breaking them in

 

Summing up:

Great leather gymnastic grips for CrossFit.

There’s a reason they’re an industry standard and so popular.

Well there’s a few reasons: design, construction, materials, company backing & support.

Make sure to size yourself correctly and follow their guidance listed on their Amazon product page. 

See reviews & price on Amazon

 

 

Bear KompleX 2 Hole Leather Hand Grips

Same excellent qualities as the 3-hole just mentioned, but in a 2-hole design.

What I like:

*Same as the 3-hole, great gymnastics grips

 

Potential issues for some:

*Same as the 3-hole

 

Summing up:

Top-tier CrossFit hand grips.

These 2-hole gymnastic grips work great for a wide range of people.

If you have big palms, these may not provide you the coverage you might be looking for.

See reviews & price on Amazon

 

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JerkFit RAW 2 Finger Leather Hand Grips

With a unique 2-hole design that still covers most of the palm, these soft leather Raw Grips are ideal for all pull-up bar & CrossFit rig movements.

Provides superior grip & great rip protection.

Has all the same excellent design elements as the 3-hole version.

Remember: tan & gray are made of leather that needs breaking in, & the black model is made of suede leather.

 

What I like:

*Great for all high-rep rig & pull up bar routines

*2-hole design yet still covers most of your palm

*Owners report less breaking in time needed vs. other grips

*Excellent owner satisfaction rating – 93% 4.6 stars across the internet

*120 day full replacement promise – now that’s standing behind your product

 

Potential issues for some:

None.

 

Summing up:

Top notch 2-hole CrossFit glove that’s easily one of the best CrossFit pull up grips available.

Superior grip & protection provided by great form-fitting soft leather.

See reviews & price on Amazon

 

 

JerkFit WODies CrossFit Gloves

Full palm protection good for any movement & exercise.

Stays flat to your palm regardless of your hand’s open, closed, or in front rack position.

One of the top sellers in CrossFit hand grips.

 

What I like:

*Excellent wrist support 

*Good owner satisfaction rating – 4.4 stars, 1,300+ reviews

*Versatile, good with any workout

 

Potential issues for some:

*A few owner complaints of slipping on the bar. I wasn’t there obviously, so don’t know how well they had broken in their Wodies, nor how much/little they chalked up

 

Summing up:

Very good all-round CrossFit gloves that provide great wrist support.

See reviews & price on Amazon

 

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Best Wrist Straps for Women

WOD Nation Weight Lifting Wrist Wraps

Professional strength providing superior protection.

Excellent choice for women lifters with their 12” size. Great for many sports besides weight lifting too: yoga, martial arts, boxing, baseball, & more.

 

What I like:

*Excellent owner satisfaction rating – 93% with hundreds of verified purchase owner reviews

*Excellent warranty – Lifetime

*Excellent choice for women – 12” size available for those with smaller wrists

*Versatile – good for a wide range of physical activities where great wrist support can enhance performance

 

Potential issues for some:

None

 

Summing up:

Great combination of simplicity, functionality, strength, comfort, & flexibility.

A lifetime warranty tells you WOD Nation believes in the performance & longevity of their weight lifting wrist wraps.

See reviews & price on Amazon

 

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Best Wrist Straps for Lifting

Rip Toned Wrist Wraps Professional Grade

Only weightlifting wraps endorsed by 2014 World Champion Powerlifter Kevin Weiss.

Reinforced thumb loop keeps wrist wraps in place no matter the lift.

Excellent support & stabilization for your wrists.

Can definitely handle protecting your wrists whatever weight you’re lifting.

 

What I like:

*Excellent warranty – Lifetime replacement guarantee

*Excellent owner satisfaction rating – 93%, 4.7 stars, 3,500+ owner reviews

*Professional grade – simply not built to fail

*They’re a little stiff – but by no means are they uncomfortable

*18” is a lot of wrist wrapping – but they go on & off with no hassle

 

Potential issues for some:

None

 

Summing up:

Excellent wrist protection & stabilization, giving confidence to your heaviest lifts.

Game-changer type of product for those who like to stay heavy or max out on a regular basis.

The top-notch bracing will lock down your wrists which can help your lifts if you already have a sore tweak or injury when you buy them.

See reviews & price on Amazon

 

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Buyer’s guide to the best CrossFit grips

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Here are a few things to consider when you’re choosing the best CrossFit hand grips for you.

 

CrossFit grips & personal preference

With most personal products, we each have our own individual preferences as to what makes this one better than that one. “For me”.

And with CrossFit gloves & gymnastics grips, there are very few hard & fast rules we all follow when picking out a pair.

 

(Besides, they’re dirt cheap compared to, say, a $2,000 pull up rig or a $40,000 car. And you can simply return them before you use them if they don’t fit right.)

 

So don’t sweat over your CrossFit Grips purchasing decision.

That said, there’s a couple of things to pay attention to.

 

CrossFit hand grips sizing

Do as the manufacturer suggests and dial in your size according to their instructions.

Most CrossFit grips makers all pretty much measure from the crease where your wrist & hand meet, up to the crease where your middle finger meets your palm.

Do that, then check out where your number is on their sizing chart.

Some CrossFit hand grip makers want you to size down if you’re between sizes, some ask you to size up. Pay attention to that.

 

2-hole vs. 3-hole

Although you may overhear a couple of people duking it out over the virtues of “my 3-hole grips vs. your 2-hole grips”, this is really just one of those personal preference decisions.

If you have big hands, you might opt for the 3-hole version of a pair of gymnastic grips you really like simply to get more material onto the palm of your hand.

But then lo & behold, a 2-hole CrossFit glove like the JerkFit RAW comes along that covers most of your palm anyway.

 

 

Where it all began…

The 2-hole vs. 3-hole choice pre-dates CrossFit, and originated in the sport of gymnastics.

Gymnasts would use 2-hole hand grips for the rings and switch to 3-hole grips for the bar.

Generally speaking, there’s a little less range-of-motion flexibility in the fingers with 3 holes vs. 2 holes, but more hand protection.

But as improvements in design continue, those lines will likely continue to blur as well.

 

CrossFit grips & wrist support

Comparing different gymnastic grips you’ll notice variation in the amount of thickness &/or width in the wrist wrap part of the grip.

A wider band around the wrist means (at least in the high quality gymnastic grips for CrossFit) that more stability is being applied to the wrist area.

This is helpful for people whose wrists are prone to soreness or are a noticeable weak link whenever lifting things, gym weights or otherwise.

If you suspect that your wrists are suspect, limit your choices to the CrossFit grips that emphasize the wrist support that they build into their hand grips.

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Final thought

One of my subjective opinions I repeat a bunch here on heydayDo is my bias towards high quality products that are well-designed and built to last.

So with that mindset, may I humbly offer this last suggestion to you.

 

Pay for quality, it’s worth it

Buy the best quality CrossFit grips you can.

Buy from an established proven company.

Buy one of their products that has an excellent track record as far as performance & durability goes.

And like I mentioned earlier, if you don’t get the perfect one this time, no worries all good: even the best ones are inexpensive.

And if you stick with CrossFit® for awhile, you’ll be going through several pairs of hand grips or gloves anyways.

 

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Wrapping Up

I hope my gymnastic grips & CrossFit gloves product recon, research, & review is useful to you, and that my buyer’s guide and sections on the benefits of hand grips & wrist wraps is helpful too.

I wish you well on your fitness journey; let’s go.

– greg

January 2021

 

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About heydayDo

heydayDo author Greg Simon
Hi I’m Greg Simon. Fitness training & nutrition researching since 1982. Organic food & wine grower. Surfer. Congenital heart disease survivor (so far). Read more…
heydayDo is my “fitness after 50” website that’s about embracing the physically active lifestyle as we get older.
 
I write about the fitness and health research I’ve found concerning the quality of life benefits that exercise and good nutrition provide.
 
When I get curious about something, I’ll dig into whatever sports science & medical facts there are on the topic to learn what’s real & what’s only hype. I also post my experiences product-testing & evaluating home gym equipment & fitness supplements.
 
 It’s an information-sharing, personal opinion blog of mine.
 
So if you’re looking for medical or nutritional advice, please consult with your doctor or health professional for that, since heydayDo does not provide medical advice.