One of the debates raging among parkour practitioners is whether or not to use gloves during training sessions. This is not a minor issue considering how many sharp edges and rough surfaces in urban environments have that can be tough on your hands. Parkour athletes routinely come home after a hard day of training with blistered and bleeding hands. Gloves can help alleviate some of the damage that doing free running does in the hands.
Why You Shoud Wear A Good Parkour Gloves ?
On the other hand, some would argue that gloves rob your hands of the sensitivity needed for parkour. When your hands are encased in gloves you might not feel the subtle change in a surface that would require you to adjust your technique. And gloves might prevent you from getting a tight grip if they don’t fit properly. They might even pose a safety hazard if you should grip a surface and then your hand suddenly falls out of the glove.
One serious argument that has been made against the use of gloves is that they might give you a false sense of confidence that you can handle something that you are not yet trained for. This is why it is important to keep in mind that the gloves are just a training tool that are designed to help keep you safe, but will not guarantee to protect you. So it is important that you take your training seriously and not think that just because you are wearing a good pair of gloves that you will automatically be able to get a good grip on a particular surface.
That being said, there are many advantages to using gloves for parkour. One of them is, obviously, that it saves your hands from being hurt. When you’re injured, you cannot train until your hands recover. Gloves can prevent injury and thus, ensure that your training continues unimpeded.
Another reason is that; simply, parkour can be brutal. When you’re performing the same technique over and over again in an attempt to get it right, it can be hell on your hands. Wearing gloves can take the edge of this beating your hands are getting, thus serving as a useful training tool.
There might also be reasons why you don’t want your hands injured. If you work with your hands at your day job, you obviously don’t want them to be hurt during training since it might force you to take time off and lose income.
Finally, there are simply some environments in which you have to wear gloves. If you are training in a very cold climate, your hands are going to get numb very quickly. Wearing them can help prevent that and ensure that you continue training during harsh weather. So you might as well get used to wearing them.
What to Look for in Parkour Gloves
What are some of the features that you have to look for when you are choosing a pair of parkour or free running gloves?
- Your hands should still retain their sensitivity while they are in the gloves: this is a very important consideration since you should be able to feel the different surfaces that you are traversing in order to learn technique. At the same time, they should still be able to provide the protection that you are looking for.
- They should be made of material that provides a good grip: when you are wearing them, you should be able to get a tight grip on the surfaces you are climbing.
- They should be made from durable materials: your gloves are going to get a lot of punishment so you want ones that don’t wear out easily so you don’t have to spend a lot of money buying replacements.
- Fit securely on your hands: we already discussed why loose-fitting gloves can be a safety hazard. In order to determine the size of glove that you should buy, measure the length of your hand from the tip of your middle finger to your wrist and the width of the palm from the level of the knuckles. Then buy the smallest size glove that fits both the width and the length.
Top 3 Recommended Gloves For Parkour & Free Running
Now that you know what to look for, here are some of my recommendations:
Fluescent bills their products as the first and only gloves that are specially designed for free-running and parkour. Their distinctive dark blue gloves have red piping in the shape of their corporate logo on the top, which provides an attractive design. But these gloves don’t just look good; they are highly functional as well.
The top of the glove is made with 3D polyester mesh to ensure that the glove is breathable. This means that sweat won’t get trapped inside the glove and make it uncomfortable to wear. In addition, polyester is also waterproof so that you can use the glove during rainy conditions to minimize the slipperiness of your. The palm of the glove is made with silicone-coated leather to ensure a good grip on different surfaces. The remaining parts of the glove are made with high quality leather to ensure durability over long use. The base of the glove features a vinyl molded tab to keep the glove securely in place and prevent it from slipping.
But the most unique feature of the Precisions gloves is that the tips of your thumb, ring and little fingers are exposed. This addresses one of the most pressing arguments against wearing gloves since it allows you to use the tips of these fingers to feel the surfaces you are climbing and provides dexterity, while still protecting the so-called power fingers, which are the middle and index fingers. Thus, a compromise is achieved between protection and sensitivity.
This unique design has won favor with many parkour practitioners, and helped many others get into the sport who might otherwise have been deterred due to the fear of damaging their hands. One parkour practitioner talked in a review about how the gloves prevented wires and rope from digging into his hands while on a climb, which saved him from rope burns that might have made it painful to continue training. Another reviewer said that they greatly helped him start up with parkour since not only did the gloves provide protection, but also helped him get a more natural grip.
If you can’t get Precisions gloves, the Harbinger 143 makes an effective alternative. Although these gloves were designed for weight lifters, many parkour practitioners have recommended them. What makes the Harbinger 143 good as a parkour glove is that it is fingerless, which gives parkour users the dexterity and sensitivity they need while still protecting the majority of their hands from injury. The half-finger length of the glove’s fingers helps improve grip by increasing contact with the grip surface.
The gloves are made with a double layer of abrasion-resistant leather to protect the palms as well as open cell foam to provide additional cushioning. To provide additional protection to the thumb, one of the key fingers for parkour stunts, there is extra wrap-around thumb protection.
The 143 Pro incorporates Harbinger’s Ventilation Mesh technology to ensure that your hands are cooled while you are working out. In addition, the gloves feature a thermodynamic design that means that your hands can move freely inside the glove without the heat buildup that would make them uncomfortable to wear. And the fully-adjustable wrist closure prevents your hands from slipping out of the gloves during training and workouts. The Harbinger 134 Pro come in brown and black (natural) as well as plain brown.
If you need more protection for your hands, then you can get the Bionic Stable Grip. The lightweight RelaxGrip full-fingered glove is designed for golf but can also be used for parkour. The palm of the glove is made with high-quality cabretta leather to enhance comfort as well as durability, while the back of the glove is made with synthetic fabric that features a pad system that gives you a lighter grip that is more relaxed. The double-row finger grip increases your gripping power so that you can grab surfaces more tightly while still being comfortable to wear. To further enhance your grip, the glove also features a pre-rotated finger design that compliments the way your hand naturally closes.
Of course, the Bionic gloves are not the ideal ones for parkour use but if you are willing to compromise on the sensitivity in exchange for enhanced protection, then these might be a good enough choice. They have been given good ratings by some parkour practitioners who have used them, who say that they are good enough to get the job you want done.
The ultimate way to choose a parkour glove, however, should be for you to try out a pair during a training session to see how they feel. But be careful and don’t do anything too risky while wearing a new pair of gloves, since you are still getting used to them and the unfamiliar feel of them on your hands might pose a safety hazard.