Going on treks and traveling requires a lot of preparation, from planning the schedule to getting gear and training for the long walks. If you are especially planning to go on trips that require climbing or scaling cliffs, there is one essential item you’ll need, a pair of climbing gloves.
While shoes and rope are also quite important, gloves help you get a good grip on rocks and give you the confidence to climb wherever you wish. Like all apparel, there are a few things to look out for when buying gloves for climbing – from material to type, color, etc.
Since these gloves help you hold onto the wall, the material must be sturdy and durable, able to withstand sharp edges of rocks to avoid scrapes and cuts. Don’t go for cotton or polyester material gloves as they won’t last very long. The best type of material is leather, as it’s highly durable. But, it has to be broken in as it’s not very flexible at the get-go.
If you get leather gloves, use them in practice climbs before taking them for your big climb. The more you wear them, they will soften and become adjusted to the shape of your hand. Leather gloves give the best grip and durability for any climb.
Holding onto cracks in the wall and scaling faster, it’s better to get rubber gloves as they give a better grip.
Climbing gloves shouldn’t be too small or tight because they can restrict your movements while climbing, it should fit snugly. If the gloves are continuously slipping from your hands, they are too loose and must be tightened or returned.
Whether you’re going to the store or shopping online, check the size charts before making the purchases. Another great insight is to read the customer reviews online, where they can give you advice if the size is true to fit or you need a bigger one than your actual size.
Types of Gloves
There are two types of climbing gloves that are used – rappelling or crack gloves. Rappelling gloves will protect you from rope burn when you are coming down from a climb. These should have extra padding on the palms to give better support.
Crack gloves or rubber gloves protect the outside of your hands so that you can easily place your hands in cracks for balance. These don’t have to be a huge investment but must be practical. Those with little hoops to connect with your finger are more suitable as they won’t slip off your fingers.
Ensure that your gloves have a designated hole so that they can be attached to your harness, enabling you to carry multiple gloves per climb. This flexibility will let you breathe easy and be agile during climbs.
Full covering glove vs. fingerless gloves
While climbing, it’s essential to protect your hands, making full finger gloves a good choice. This is dependent on your preference in terms of mobility. Fingerless gloves will allow you to handle the rope well and give more dexterity.
An alternative to this would be to have medium-covered gloves that allow for more protection while allowing you mobility.