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Anyone who has done CrossFit for a considerable amount of time has the scars and stories of bloodied palms. It’s almost like a rite of passage for some. “Oh, you ripped your hands on those pull-ups? Now you’re a real CrossFitter!”
Basic hand care and right-hand protection can prevent you from losing days of training (and painful showers). In fact, I think grips are one of the best CrossFit equipment pieces you can own. That’s why I dove into researching the best CrossFit grips and compiled the list below.
Why You Should Trust Us
I have been doing CrossFit for years, and we have two other people on the Garage Gym Reviews team – Kate Meier and Amanda Capritto – who are both avid CrossFitters as well as certified CrossFit L1 Trainers.
We researched around 25 gymnastic grips and legitimately tested almost a dozen of them over the course of 35 workouts. We performed kip pull-ups and other rig work and checked out their ease of use in making transitions between the bar and other movements. Also, we reached out to companies to talk to them about how they made their grips.
Best CrossFit Grips
- Best CrossFit Grips Overall: Bear Komplex 3 Hole Hand Grips – Carbon Fiber
- Runner-Up: Victory Grips 3-Hole Leather Gymnastics Grips
- Best Budget CrossFit Grips: Rogue V2 Gymnastics Grips
- Best CrossFit Grips with Wrist Wraps: JerkFit WODies
- Best Single-Use Grips: WOD N DONE
- Best Minimalist Grips: RawGear Barehand Minimalist Gloves
Best CrossFit Grips Overall: Bear Komplex Carbon Fiber Gymnastics Grips
Best CrossFit Grips Overall
This unique, patented Carbon Comp design from Bear KompleX offers athletes a 3-Hole Hand Grip specifically suited to slick and powder-coated bars and handles. Even without chalk, these triple-stitched carbon fiber grips create a consistent stick, helping prevent slipping while also protecting your hands/palms during pull-ups, muscle-ups, kettlebell swings, deadlifts, snatches, and just about any other movement known to cause rips and abrasions.Like all BKX Grips, the Carbon Fiber design also includes a custom wrist strap, positioned beneath the buckle, that provides ample support without digging uncomfortably into your wrist.
Good for: People looking for a very sticky pair of gymnastics grips
- Three-hole finger design
- Very sticky grip
- Lightweight carbon fiber
- Extremely durable
- Not as great with barbell work as leather grips
- Circular finger holes stretch out and are slightly uncomfortable
- Designed to go over the index finger, which is a little odd to us
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. The Bear Komplex Carbon Fiber Grips are a clear front-runner when it comes to gymnastic grips. We like the three-hole finger design (though there is also a two-finger option) and highly recommend them over the two-hole style.
However, the best part about the Bear Komplex Grips is the carbon fiber that is both lightweight and sticky. 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 Bear Komplex Carbon Fiber Grips are also well built and will last longer than many of the cheaper options on the market.
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, 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 were designed in this way. You can adjust, but it is a bit awkward.
Runner Up: Victory Grips 3-Hole Leather Gymnastics Grips
The leather 3 finger and 4 finger grips provide protection to vulnerable areas with a soft hand feel while still providing some bare skin on the bar for a mental connection.The grips fit onto the middle, ring and little finger with a protective covering around the wrist, which is vulnerable in the use of the false grip The design leaves the hook grip open for barbell work and allows for seamless transitions between exercise elements. The leather is carefully chosen to have proper texture and thickness to ensure comfort, protection, and performance from the first use. Its one-piece construction ensures maximum durability during high intensity gymnastics skills. The grips will stretch about a half inch during its lifecycle and should last up to 6 months dependent on intensity and volume of training.
Good for: CrossFitters who want a comfortable, reliable pair of grips
- Soft, comfortable leather
- Three holes instead of two
- Holes have a curved rectangular shape for a better feel
- Gives protection in false grip movements
- Very comfortable wrist strap
- On the expensive side
- Doesn’t have the best grip (though still has a good grip)
The 3-Finger Leather Victory Grips are typically at or near the top of popular gymnastic grips in the world of CrossFit today. The founder, Victor Pellegrino, has spent more time than anyone else in the world refining and creating the best possible gymnastic grips available. He is a gymnast who competed in his sport as well as in CrossFit and Grid League.
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 some of the best that are currently on the market.
Looking at the brand’s products, specifically the three-hole versions, they are a great illustration of how excellent a piece of home gym equipment can be when someone disregards preconceived notions and concentrates on making the best product possible.
Related: Victory Grips made our Best Fitness Gifts list!
The first thing you notice is how soft the textured leather is compared to others. 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 the Bear Komplex Carbon Fiber Gymnastic Grips, but they weren’t far off.
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 versus 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.
The holes 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. 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 possibly 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 then 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.
Best Budget Crossfit Grips: Rogue V2 Gymnastics Grips
Best Budget CrossFit Grips
Rogue’s Gymnastics Grips are the proven accessory for protecting your hands during high-rep pull-ups, kettlebell swings, toes-to-bar, and dozens of other palm punishing movements. With this second generation design, we’ve included textured American leather on both sides to eliminate slippage, and a convenient hook-and-loop strap for a custom, comfortable fit. The new grips are gray in color and embossed with the Rogue Barbell Club logo. Choose from one of three sizes using the simple sizing chart below.
Good for: The budget-conscious shopper who needs hand protection
- Affordably priced (about half of leading brands)
- Longer grips fold over bars for better grip
- Suede covering is comfortable on the hands
- Can get a little slippery after a lot of use/chalk
- Strap is uncomfortable
- Two-finger design
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. I’m a fan of budget-friendly equipment when the product doesn’t sacrifice too much for the price. I’d say these grips fall into that category.
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 keeps them in place but 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.
Best CrossFit Grips With Wrist Wraps: JerkFit WODies
Best CrossFit Grips With Wrist Wraps
The Original 3 Finger Glove with added Wrist Support by JerkFitCreated for athletes, by athletes, WODies are specifically designed to reduce hand tearing while adding crucial wrist support during those killer workouts. Hand-made in the USA from high-quality, hypo-allergenic latex-free woven neoprene like elastic, these powerful palm protectors provide an extra barrier on the bar for extra comfort.Specially designed to have a "natural glide" on the bar to absorb friction and lays flat to prevent bunching and pinching. Made with GRIP-RIDGE TECHNOLOGY of tiny grooves that hold more chalk for even more grip than ever before, less break in time, increased comfort & durability!You'll never want to attempt a workout without a pair again.
Good for: People who need wrist support as well as hand protection
- Thick, supportive wrist wrap
- Affordably priced
- Three finger holes
- Washer/dryer safe
- You have to have the wrist wraps on to use
- Padded grip may be great for some but too much for others
- Tight fit means getting the right size is paramount
JerkFit claims the WODies to be the first neoprene grips, as well as the first on the market to feature three finger holes. I can’t confirm or deny it, but I’m thankful someone introduced it because that’s definitely the way to go. The WODies combine wristbands with gymnastic grips. In all reality, they do a pretty good job of protecting the hand while also providing support for the wrist.
The palm covering on the WODies is slightly padded, which creates a kind of a love-or-hate situation. Some people prefer a thinner grip because it potentially creates a better hold on the bar. Others like the padding because the hand feels more protected. That’s a personal preference that you really only discover through experimentation.
The material on the grip is a hypoallergenic latex-free elastic. One upside to the construction of the WODies is that you can throw them in the washing machine. However, these come in four different sizes, and you have to cut the finger holes into the size you need. So you’ll have to view the brand’s sizing chart to get the right fit.
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.
Best Single-Use Grips: WOD N DONE
Best Single-Use Grips
CONVENIENT HAND PROTECTION - These single-use grips were made to keep your hands protected while doing high-intensity training, practice, or workout. Each pair was also individually packaged so you can easily apply one on your hand or thumb. REMARKABLY FLEXIBLE - These grips feature a top-quality, special kinesiology material for a more natural movement when lifting, gripping and balancing. It also provides the hand and thumb with utmost comfort when in use. SKIN TIGHT - The composition and construction of Grips and Hook Grips give the feeling of oneness with your hand and thumb, translating to a better grip and feel on your workout, training, or fitness equipment. EXCELLENT SIZE - The grips measure 3'' wide, while the hook grip is 2'' by 6',' allowing greater coverage to prevent serious skin injuries, such as tears and rips, that are painful and usually take a long time to heal. MORE FOCUS DURING TRAINING - Both grips are self-adhesive, and chalk and sweat-friendly so you can worry less about accidental slips and other related incidents and focus more on completing your workout and training routines properly.
Good for: People who just want to try grips or don’t use them often
- Three finger holes
- Gives you a glimpse of what it’s like to use grips
- Stay in place well
- Not meant for long-term use
- Fairly expensive for what amounts to being tape
- Can be slick
So, let’s get one thing straight: I’m not a fan of single-use grips for people who need grips on a regular basis. That isn’t environmentally friendly, it’s chaos on your budget, and it’s flat-out impractical.
However, single-use grips aren’t a terrible thing for a last-minute fix for people who maybe have a rip and need some protection, or just want to see what it’s like to use grips.
The WOD N Done Grips are basically kinesiology tape in pre-cut packs. They come with three finger holes, which is nice because as we have covered exhaustively, we prefer three holes to two. Also, they are long enough to fit just about any hand; we have seen them on young athletes and on athletes with very big hands.
The bottom of WOD N Dones splits in half to wrap around your wrist to secure the tape in place. To prevent ripping, these actually hold up pretty well. They stay in place and definitely cover the parts of your hand susceptible to ripping.
However, these are pretty expensive for being single-use. Also, we have found them to be a little slick on the pull-up bar but perform better on wood rings.
Best Minimalist Grips: RawGear BAREHAND Gloves
Best Minimalist Grips
Good for: People who want workout gloves without wearing bulky hand gear
- Thin enough for great contact with the bar
- Comfortable and breathable
- Effective against tears
- Seamless use with weightlifting
- Can move/shift during workouts
- Do not provide full palm protection
- There is a break-in period of around 5-10 workouts
As of this publishing, we haven’t personally gotten to try out the Barehand Gloves. However, we see them in gyms all the time and have trusted friends who swear by them.
The people we know who have used Barehand Gloves say they are comfortable and highly effective. They are thin. Like, super thin at just 1.3mm. This is why the people we know who love these say they get a great grip on both the bar and the barbell. In fact, we are told it feels like they almost have direct contact with the bar.
Unlike other CrossFit gloves, one drawback to these is that they don’t cover the palm. Most people rip right under the fingers, which is where the Barehand Gloves cover. However, these are really like half-gloves and the palm isn’t covered. People who use a full grip on the bar and expose their palms may not get as much from these.
Also, one user reported to us that she experienced rips when the glove slid up on her hand during a workout. One good part of the gloves is that they can fold over to give you a better grip. However, this can also happen during high-rep workouts, which is what this user experienced and reported back to us.
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. When it comes to grips, like with other training equipment such as Olympic barbells or squat racks, you typically get what you paid 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 list have various features that we found to be excellent.
We evaluated the overall construction, materials used, durability, warranty, and pricepoint of each of the grips.
During testing, we performed many different movements in and out of CrossFit workouts, 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 and skin the cats.
In addition to traditional gymnastic-type movements found in CrossFit, we did movements featured in metcons such as handstand pushups, burpees, and dumbbell snatches.
Finally, we asked the opinion of others on which grips they preferred.
Benefits of CrossFit Grips
While CrossFit recently may have popularized the use of gymnastics grips, the truth is that they have been around for decades. Competitive male and female gymnasts use dowel grips all the time, in training and in competitions. This protects a gymnast’s hands against blisters as they flip and turn around bars.
We all want to move like Simone Biles, right? So if she is using gymnastics hand grips, you might also want to consider it if you are doing cross training that involves bar work.
By and large, we wear grips to keep our hands from suffering an injury. Simply hanging from a gymnastics bar or rings can give you calluses, but spinning around them when performing kipping movements and muscle-ups can actually cause the skin to tear. Grips shield your hands against that friction. Though be warned – you can still tear even when wearing grips. However, they do minimize those odds.
Better Grip Strength
If you have ever used a slippery pull-up bar, you know how frustrating it is to hang on for a few more reps. Many high-quality gymnastics grips are constructed to actually give you a better hold on the bar. Maybe the grip provides some stickiness that your hands and chalk can’t create.
In some cases, grips help with how long you can hold onto a bar by helping to prevent grip fatigue. The strap around your wrist that holds the grip in place should take some of the pressure off your hand muscles, thus, conceivably, lengthening the amount of time you can hang onto a bar.
Lastly, some people feel a little safer with a grip in between their hands and a pull-up bar or set of rings where other people, possibly strangers, have been sweating or possibly ripping or bleeding. A grip is by no means intended to be a guardian against germs and shouldn’t replace sanitizing and hand washing. However, if it gives you a little bit of comfort, then rock on.
What To Look For inCrossFit Grips
There are a few key components of grips you should consider when looking at gymnastics equipment grips:
Construction and Finger Holes
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 product’s suggested lifetime. The quality of materials and workmanship of the company plays a large part not only in the performance of the grips but also in how long they will last.
One of the key things to look at is how many finger holes there are. We recommend you go with a three-finger pair of grips as opposed to grips with two finger holes. Three-finger gymnastic grips protect the areas of the hand in which calluses are most likely to form and, therefore, rip; after using the three-finger design, you’ll have a hard time going back to the older style.
Although we found that we preferred durable leather, there were other materials that worked great with varying abilities to withstand high volume workouts. Our runner-up pick features a carbon fiber material. Victory Grips Stealth Grips – which we also love – use a synthetic microfiber that was ultra-light and thin. Genuine leather tends to be extremely comfortable but has its drawbacks, like how to keep it clean. There are products that use silicone and other materials, but we prefer the materials in the products above.
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 them every 6 months. So while we wouldn’t say that there are many heavy-duty grips, there are grips that can last that long.
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 if you’re going to use grips long-term.
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.
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. We found that the ones we liked best fell between $20 to $50 for the pair.
OtherCrossFit Grips We Tried and Researched
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 clots, 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.
WOD Nation Leather Palm Grips: Priced at just $15 a pair, we don’t have much faith that these will be durable or comfortable. In truth, we haven’t worn them, as we have found with other grips that when the price dips below $20, quality suffers. These are two-hole grips, which we already don’t love. And while WOD Nation promotes that they are great for pull-ups, kettlebell work, and deadlifts, we can’t verify that.
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.
Fit Four F4G Gymnastic Grips: For the same reasons we don’t recommend WODies, these, which are available on Amazon, 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.
Crossfit Grips FAQs
What are the best gymnastics grips?
In our opinion, the Victory Grips 3-Hold Leather Grips are the way to go. The material used on these leather hand grips is among the best we have ever seen, and they perform exceptionally well in-home workouts, CrossFit workouts, and even as a replacement for weight lifting gloves.
What grips do CrossFit athletes use?
CrossFit athletes are a little all over the place when it comes to their preference for grips. In 2018, CrossFit announced a three-year deal with Bear Komplex to be the official grip of the Games, and athletes like Mat Fraser, Tia Clair-Toomey, and Samuel Kwant have worn them.
Katrin Davidsdottir has worn the Rogue V2 grips that made our list, and Kari Pearce has sported the Victory Grips.
It doesn’t surprise us that these top athletes are using the grips we found to be among the best.
Are two- or three-hole grips better?
As with anything else, there is generally personal preference here. However, we prefer the three-hole leather hand grips because they tend to better protect your hand where it is most likely to rip.
Ripped hands.Anyone who has done CrossFit for a considerable amount of time has the scars and stories of bloodied palms. It’s almost like a rite of passage for some. “Oh, you ripped your hands on those pull-ups? Now you’re a real CrossFitter!”Basic hand care and right-hand protection can prevent you from losing days of training (and painful showers). In fact, I think grips are one of the best CrossFit equipment pieces you can own. » Read more about: The Best CrossFit Grips for 2022 » Read more
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