After researching nearly 25 Gymnastic Grips and legitimately testing 8 of them over the course of 35 workouts, we've determined that the best Gymnastic Grips for CrossFit currently available are the Leather 3-Finger Gymnastic Grips by Victory Grips.
The 3-Finger Leather Victory Grips are one of the most popular gymnastic grips in the world of CrossFit today. The founder Victor has spent more time refining and creating the best possible gymnastic grips available than anyone else in the world. Although there are other great options, every time we used a pair of gymnastic grips besides Victory Grips, we simply compared them to Victory Grips and how they were inferior. Although the Victory Grips are some of the most expensive on the market, this is definitely a case of you get what you pay for.
Although we are big fans of the Victory Grips, the Bear Komplex Carbon Fiber Grips were easily our second favorite pair of gymnastic grips. We like the 3 hole finger design and highly recommend them over the two hole style.
The best part about the Bear Komplex Grips, however, is the Carbon Fiber that is both lightweight and sticky. If you ever use gymnastic grips on a slick pull-up bar, these grip very well and in our experience are stickier than all of the other options we tested.
The Bear Komplex Carbon Fiber Grips are also well built and will last longer than many of the cheaper options on the market.
The Rogue V2 Gymnastic Grips take the old style of gymnastic grips that have been around for ages and included suede texture on both sides of the grips.
Although there are better options available at higher price points, the Rogue V2 Gymnastics Grips have been proven to last through many workouts and provide a solid grip, while protecting against hand rips.
If you're on a budget, but want a reliable pair of gymnastics grips from a great company, we recommend the Rogue V2 Gymnastics Grips.
Table of contents
- How we picked and tested
- Our top pick: Victory Grips 3-Hole Leather Gymnastic Grips
- Our runner-up: Bear Komplex Carbon Fiber Gymnastic Grips
- Our budget pick: Rogue V2 Gymnastic Grips
- The competition
How we picked and tested
To compile our list of gymnastic grips, we researched all of the major manufacturers within the industry as well as reached out to industry experts and various forums. In addition to this, we went to Garage Gym Reviews HQ to rank and test all of the gymnastic grips we've used over the years. After researching around 25 different gymnastic grips that were worth your time and money, we narrowed it down to our top picks, all of which we acquired from companies to test out in-house.
There is an overwhelmingly large amount of gymnastic grips available for purchase today. Due to the growth of CrossFit training as well as gymnastics training for adults, the amount of people using gymnastic grips is likely more today than it ever has been. In our search for gymnastic grips, we found options at varying price points, although it seems that anything above $50 really isn't worth your time as are most of the grips below $20. Similar to what we found in our article on the Best Olympic Barbell (as well as virtually all fitness equipment,) when it comes to gymnastics grips, you get what you pay for.
One thing we found with all gymnastic grips was that the lifespan and effectiveness of the grips are increased through the use of sweatbands underneath the grips during use. We highly suggest that no matter what gymnastic grips you purchase, that you also get a pair of terry cloth sweatbands to absorb sweat and go under the gymnastic grips.
The gymnastic grips we picked to test could all be considered worth purchasing. Even the ones that didn't make our top pick, runner-up, or budget pick have various features that we found to be excellent. The issue is when you have to pick three of the best options, even ones that are good get taken off of our list. Ultimately, after some deliberation, we narrowed down our specifications to the following list of features placed in no particular order.
- Overall Construction: Although the gymnastic grips we recommend aren't the absolute most expensive available, they need to be constructed well to provide a reliable experience over the products suggested lifetime. The quality of materials and workmanship of the company play a large part not only in the performance of the grips, but also in how long they will last.
- Materials Used: Although we found that we preferred leather for its durability and feel, there were other materials that worked great with varying durability. Our runner-up pick features a carbon fiber material and a pair of grips we loved that were made by Victory Grips called Stealth Grips used a synthetic microfiber that was ultra light and thin.
- Durability: Gymnastic grips are not designed to last a long time; in fact, a majority of the experts we consulted recommended people who use them often, to replace their grips at a minimum of once a year and most people would be best off replacing every 6 months. There are many “disposable” gymnastic grips available, and although they are effective during use, their life is much too short, and we don't see a reason to produce so much waste for a product that is inferior to our top picks.
- Warranty: Although gymnastic grips have a short lifespan, they should at least live up to 6 months worth of use, and if they don't, the company should have procedures in place to rectify the situation.
- Price: The price of the gymnastic grips should be in alignment with the quality and features offered in the gymnastic grips. Value is important, but in seeking the absolute best gymnastic grips for CrossFit, it was of less importance than our other specifications.
During testing, we performed many different movements including high rep kipping pull-ups on various pull-up bars, kipping muscle ups on wooden and plastic rings, strict muscle-ups using a false grip, kipping toes to bar, skin the cats. In addition to traditional gymnastic type movements found in CrossFit, we performed barbell movements and other movements found in metcons like handstand pushups, burpees, and dumbbell snatches. Finally, we asked the opinion of others on which grips they preferred.
Our Pick: Victory Grips 3-Hole Leather Gymnastic Grips
Of all the gymnastic grips we tested, the Victory Grips were not only the best performers, but they also weren't the most expensive available. Every pair of gymnastic grips in this guide is worth using, but Victory Grips Leather Gymnastic Grips, especially the 3-hole versions, are a shining example of just how good a piece of training equipment can be when someone throws out preconceived notions and focuses on making the best product available.
The Victory Grips were designed by Victor Pellegrino who competed both in gymnastics as well as CrossFit and Grid. We had a chance to speak with Victor on why he perceived his grips to be better than others (we also spoke with other companies), and the passion Victor has for gymnastic grips is likely what caused him to produce the best that are currently on the market.
The first thing you notice about victory grips is how soft the leather is compared to others. Our budget pick, the Rogue V2 Gymnastic Grips are cheaper, but the leather is also much rougher and at first is almost a chore to use and break in. The reason most other gymnastic grips leather is rougher is that it's chrome tanned and often uses a less expensive part of the cow. If you've ever bought a leather jacket or shoes, you understand the difference between top grain and “genuine” leather. The same can be said for the leather used in gymnastic grips.
The leather Victory Grips uses milled vegetable tanned leather which allows the grips to be softer, durable, yet thin enough that it doesn't get in the way during barbell cycling or when using the rings or pull-up bar. Out of all the grips we tried, the leather on the Victory Grips was the most comfortable without question. Granted, we didn't find it to grip as well as our runner-up pick, the Bear Komplex Carbon Fiber Gymnastic Grips, but they weren't far off and were much more comfortable.
The Victory Grips were one of the first pairs of 3-hole gymnastic grips to come to market. The advantage of the three finger holes verses two is the design does a better job of covering the hand where calluses typically form as well as keeping the grips from sliding off the hand. Another benefit of leaving the index finger free is it allows for more dexterity for the hook grip during Olympic lifts.
In addition to being unique in having 3-finger holes, the holes themselves are intelligently designed as well. Rather than the typical circular finger holes, the Victory Grips have rectangular holes with rounded corners to feel comfortable when you hold the barbell in the front rack or during handstand pushups that keep the pressure off the fingers. The design of the grips uses a curvilinear shape on the palm that allows for natural articulation and provides protection during false grip movements (something no other grips we tested had.)
Victory Grips offers their grips both with a plastic ring buckle and without. In our testing, we didn't really find one to be better than the other, but if the plastic ring bothers your, they are one of the only companies producing grips without the plastic ring. The wrist strap that goes through the plastic ring is made of the same leather used on the palm along with some stitched on velcro. This is by far the most comfortable strap we used as practically all other competitors use just velcro, or velcro and cloth.
The final advantage of the Victory Grips is that they are designed to be used with a fold going over the pull-up bar or rings. Few CrossFitters I talk to understand that you want your grips to not only protect from ripping, but also to help with grip, and the fold over the bar allows the grips to act as a dowel of sorts for support during pull-ups and other movements. Whenever you purchase traditional gymnastic grips with the two hole design, we suggest buying extra-large ones so you can have this effect, however, since the Victory Grips are designed to be used in this way, purchasing an extra-large par is unnecessary.
The Victory Grips were easy to break in due to the soft leather and have lasted without much stretching or wear since we started testing them. There are many gymnastic grips available, but in our opinion, the Victory Grips are the absolute best.
Runner-up: Bear Komplex Carbon Fiber Gymnastic Grips
If you want a pair of gymnastic grips that are lighter and grippier than our top pick, we also like the Bear Komplex Carbon Fiber Gymnastic Grips. Unlike our top pick, the Bear Komplex Grips use a thin piece of carbon fiber material that is not only very light, but also the grippiest pair of grips we tested.
If you're on social media, you've likely seen many CrossFit Games athletes repping the Bear Komplex Carbons. Sure, Bear Komplex sponsors a lot of athletes, but many of them use them because they also like them. Although we preferred the Victory Grips, the Bear Komplex Carbon Grips are an outstanding choice, and if it weren't for Victory Grips, they would hold our top spot.
Following the trend of using a 3-finger design (we're not sure who came up with it first) Bear Komplex offers the Carbon Grips in both a 2-finger and 3-finger design, although we'd recommend you stick with the 3-finger pair. 3-finger gymnastic grips protect the areas of the hand in which calluses are most likely to form and also rip; after using the 3-finger design, you'll have a hard time going back to the older style.
The carbon fiber material that Bear Komplex uses is pretty unique. These are the first and only gymnastic grips we've seen using this material, and although we were skeptical at first, the carbon fiber sticks to the pull-up bar better than any material we've used. The carbon fiber material is also extremely light. However, we didn't have an issue with the weight of any of the grips, so the weight of something like this isn't all that important.
The last benefit of the carbon fiber material Bear Komplex uses is its durability. We used the Carbon Grips quite a bit, and they showed very little wear at the end of testing. That said, the downside to the carbon fiber material was how it felt while using a barbell. Although we enjoyed them during all bar work, when it came to things off the bar or rings, they fell short in comparison to leather.
One improvement we'd like to see with the Carbon Grips is making the finger holes more of a rectangle shape. The circular cutouts dug into our fingers until they began stretching out during the break-in period. Although we didn't like the cutout holes, we did like the wrist strap.
Most of the cheaper gymnastic grips are very uncomfortable around the wrist. However, the Bear Komplex Grips wrap the carbon fiber material around the wrist which keeps the velcro from digging in.
The aggressive angled design of the grips kept the material on the calluses, however, rather than the holes corresponding to the pinky, ring, and middle fingers like the Victory Grips, they are meant to be on the index, middle, and ring fingers. We've experienced very little wear under our index finger over the years and were a bit confused why they designed in this way instead of the way Victory Grips has. You can adjust the grips to fit kind of like Victory Grips, but it is a bit awkward.
All in all, the Bear Komplex Carbon Grips are an excellent pair of Gymnastic Grips for CrossFit, especially if you're using a slick bar.
Budget pick: Rogue V2 Gymnastic Grips
If you want a decent pair of gymnastic grips that are less comfortable, durable, and grippy, but also less expensive, the Rogue v2 Gymnastic Grips will more than get the job done.
Before we set out to test the best gymnastic grips available, these are the only grips I had ever really used. I started with a short pair and then realized after watching videos of Rich Froning and Annie Thorisdottir that a majority of the top CrossFit Games athletes use extra long grips so they can put a fold over the bar. Once you use a longer pair of gymnastic grips, it's hard to go back to a shorter pair, which is one reason Jaw Grips and Natural Grips didn't rank higher on our list.
The Rogue V2 Grips feature a 2.5″ wide piece of leather that has suede texture on both sides for hand comfort, as well as extra grip on the pull-up bar. In our testing, the Rogue V2 Grips proved to be a durable pair of gymnastic grips, however, after a while and lots of chalk, the grips did begin to get slippery.
The way the grips fasten to your wrist is through a velcro strap that holds well, however, is also very uncomfortable on the wrist and can dig in rather easily. The plastic buckle also tends to dig into the skin and is on the same side of both grips. What this means is, Rogue is not making grips that correspond to your hand, but rather the same design that causes the buckle to sit on different sides of the wrist due to them being the same. Although this is probably great for Rogue in regards to their cost, it's a less than ideal design and should be addressed.
Although the Rogue v2 Gymnastic Grips are worth their price, we would suggest most people purchase a bit more expensive pair that will be more comfortable and likely last longer as well as lead to greater enjoyment during use. But, if you're on a budget and need a pair of gymnastic grips, we suggest the Rogue V2 Grips and also advise you to avoid any of the lower cost offerings.
JAW Pullup Grips: Although JAW Pullup Grips are a popular option, there's a reason you see very few CrossFit Games Athletes use them and that's because they simply don't perform as well as more traditional style gymnastic grips. The JAW Pullup Grips are comfortable, in fact, they're one of the most comfortable pairs of grips we tested, but due to their use of stretchy clot, they don't wrap around the bar like we like to see grips used. The JAW Grips did not require any break in time as advertised and they will help prevent your hands from ripping if that's a large concern. The JAW Grips were also comfortable during barbell work due to their short and stretchy nature. For these reasons, we like the JAW Grips to avoid ripping, but prefer the traditional style for most bar and ring work.
JerkFit WODies: The JerkFit WODies combine wrist wraps with gymnastic grips. In all reality, they do a pretty good job of protecting the hand while also providing support for the wrist. Although we are fans of the JerkFit WODies, we didn't like the fact that you had to use the wrist wraps to be able to use the gymnastic grips. Most people, in our opinion, would be better served to build up the muscles in the wrist to support the hand rather than having excess material do that job. All in all, the JerkFit WODies are comfortable and do a good job of preventing hand tears in a package that combines wrist wraps with gymnastic grips at a pretty great price.
Natural Grips: Natural Grips have been a popular option since their appearance on Shark Tank. Although the Natural Grips provide an incredible grip on the pull-up bar and rings, they rip very quickly. Although we got by with a couple of sessions using the Natural Grips, they didn't last nearly as long as they were stated to last, and they're pretty expensive for how quickly you'll have to replace them. If you don't mind spending a ton of money on grips, then the Natural Grips are a decent option, otherwise, simply make your own out of tape.
HumanX Palm Grips: This design will protect your hands, but simply isn't as effective as the more traditional style of gymnastic grips. The wrist is somewhat comfortable, but the big leather pad simply doesn't work very well.
RooGrips: We didn't get a chance to test these ones out, however, based on their design and price we have a good feeling that they aren't to the level of our picks, although we can't say for certain without using them. They feature a thin piece of Kangaroo Leather, but for what they are, they seem to be overpriced at $50.
WOD & Done Grips: The WOD & Done Grips are basically Kinesiology Tape in pre-cut packs. To prevent ripping, they actually hold up pretty well. However, they're pretty expensive for being single use, and we much prefer traditional gymnastic grips in pretty much every regard.
Fit Four F4G Gymnastic Grips: For the same reasons we don't recommend WODies, these did not make our top picks.
Victory Grips Stealth Grips: The Stealth Victory Grips take all of the things we really liked about the leather versions and instead uses a very lightweight microfiber material. The Stealth's are an awesome pair of gymnastic grips and give an almost barehanded type of feel. We preferred the leather grips in use, but have talked to many who prefer these. You can't go wrong with either.