There's a lot of wrist wraps on the market today. They vary in style from the traditional powerlifting elastic, to the newer long constriction style wrist wraps popularized in CrossFit. With so many options how do you decide which to purchase? Well, let me help.
Wrist wraps much like other training accessories vary depending on their use. If you're looking to max out on bench, I would recommend an elastic pair, like these from Rogue: ROGUE WRIST WRAPS.
However, for the all around nature of CrossFit, I would highly recommend the long constriction style of wrist wraps.
These wraps work so much better for CrossFit, than the standard elastic, velcro version because you simply twist them to make them tighter, or twist them the other way to make them looser. This allows you to go from one movement such as power snatches where having a strong wrist is important to pullups, where you want your wrist to move freely.
With a simple design consisting of a couple layers of fabric stitched together and a string attached, you'd wonder why there are so many companies producing them. Well, they all have slight variances that some find to their liking and others do not. I will review the most popular options and give you the definitive “Best Wrist Wraps for CrossFit.”
Strength wraps were my first wrist wrap in this style. The reason I bought them was purely because they had a cool camo color, and I like camo. That's really all it came down to. Most of the wrist wraps are priced right around the same, and I figured I would just go for the one that looked the coolest to me.
Since purchasing a pair of Strength wraps, every other company has come out with camo, so really choosing based on looks is somewhat of a non-issue because pretty much every company has similar color offerings.
When I ordered my Strength Wraps, I didn't look at what material they were made of. Come to find out, they were made of a 50/50 nylon and cotton blend rip-stop material. This is by far my favorite material for this type of application and I have put them through quite a bit and they still work like the day I got them.
As much as I like them however, they can be an absolute pain to put on. Because they're so long, and you have to wrap them a bunch, the ends can end up folding and falling off your wrist when you initially put them on. My thought was why didn't they just put a thumb loop at the end to keep them secure when you're putting them on like the traditional elastic velcro pairs have.
Well, that's where Tuff Wraps comes in.
So I've been going along using my Strength Wraps, really enjoying when they're on, but constantly getting frustrated when I put them on. That's when Tuff Wraps reached out and asked if I would like to give an honest review of their wraps. I said sure, thinking could they really be different from the ones I already own?
Well, in reality they aren't much different. In fact, they're almost identical except for a few key features that I really like.
- The Thumb Loop – Finally a company decided to throw a $.01 piece of elastic on the end of their wraps to make them easier to put on. Also, this loop help keeps them in place when you're tightening or loosening them. Something I didn't think of when I first got them.
- The Material – I contacted to find out what combination of material Tuff Wraps uses to make their wraps and due to it being a proprietary blend, all they could tell me was it wasn't 100% cotton. The material is sweat-wicking and stretches very little.
The combination of a thumb loop and the proprietary material they use to create the wraps won me over. I can't say enough good things about the material they use. It's soft enough to feel comfortable, yet firm enough to provide the support and wicking capabilities needed.
They also come in a variety of colors, much like other wrist wraps on the market, however, Tuff Wraps also has a cool logo which is a plus.
PR Wraps are very similar to Strength Wraps, except for the fact that they are stitched on both sides and are 100% cotton. 100% cotton material would not be my top choice for wrist wraps due to the amount they stretch over time as well as their not very great sweat-wicking properties..
I found them to be okay, I honestly didn't like the fact that they were stitched on both sides of the wrap as it seemed unnecessary. That being said, they do have a glow in the dark pair for you peacocks out there.
Gym Rat Wrist Wraps
Caveat here, I have not personally used the Gym Rat Wrist Wraps, however I can tell you what I see. First off, they look to be the least durable, mainly due to the stitching. They also have a color design selection that I'm not a big fan of. They appear to be 100% cotton which would mean they have the same negative properties as the PR Wraps.
All in all, they have a good price point and if you don't want to buck up a few more bucks they may be a good choice for you.
In all honesty, most of these wrist wraps are similar. They will all do their job to some sort of degree, however, since they're all priced pretty similar my suggestion is to always go for the one product that is the most durable and best performing. In my experience, both the Strength Wraps and Tuff Wraps are top of the line and I'd only give an edge to Tuff Wraps because of their thumb loop and a preference towards the material they use.