A lot of beginners to the beautiful art and discipline of parkour wonder at some point if it would be worth it to invest in gloves to wear while training. This idea comes pretty naturally after the first several scratches and scrapes. Our hands are just not used to gripping brick and concrete in the ways that parkour requires. But does that mean training gloves are a good investment?
Simply put, I do not recommend them for most traceurs. There are however, exceptions which I will cover after I tell you why bare hand is suggested strongly.
Why You Should Not Train in Gloves
Training parkour without gloves allows your hands to develop beautiful callouses that will harden and become more and more functional as time goes on. Hard callouses may sound nasty, but they’re wonderful. After several training sessions you won’t feel the burn and pain of scraped up and blistered hands. Yeah your precious hands won’t look so good initially with the developing callouses, but as they harden, a soft layer of skin will grow on the outer surface, allowing your hands to be somewhat soft again.
With those rock hard callouses you’ll be able to do things you never though possible. You’ll have super hero hands. Splinters will not be a problem, fumbled knives won’t draw blood, and metal bottle caps will be a twist away to liquid bliss.
You will also experienced increased grip with bare hand training. Most gloves will impede you from gripping objects and surfaces well and may even cause slipping due to the material.
But here’s the big thing: you can feel everything so much better when training with bare hands. Gloves will disable you from being able to feel everything you touch and give you a false sense of preparedness. When you want to do parkour without gloves when you typically do have them on, your inexperienced hands will not recognize the materials you come in contact with. Nor will the spacial awareness be the same. The padding and room between the hands, glove and surface will all be different.
I strongly recommend to train bare handed. You’ll experience better grip, spacial awareness, and you’ll have awesome strong hands.
Why You Should Train in Gloves
If you’re passionate about the softness of your hands, gloves are going to be great for you. I know of several women practitioners who prefer to wear gloves and keep their palms and fingers silky smooth. Without gloves, your hands are going to get roughed up a bit and will be sore every once in a while.
Conditioning is also a great time to wear gloves. Trust me, twenty pull ups on a bar rubs your hands ran and creates blisters. That’s just one example of a time when I wish I had gloves for conditioning. If I had saved my hands for the conditioning, I could have trained the parkour harder.
It would be acceptable to use parkour gloves if the weather requires it. Training when the temperature is low can be downright painful to the fingers. Gloves would lessen this problem.
If you’re going to buy parkour gloves, I have a few recommendations:
High Dexterity Pro
Grease Monkey’s High Dexterity Pro gloves are good because they are meant for precision tool use. No, parkour doesn’t involve heavy machinery, but these gloves transfer over very well. A tight fit, good grip, and remarkable durability make these $12 gloves a solid investment.
Youngstone Carpenter Plus
The other glove I recommend is the Youngstone Carpenter Plus. This glove is full of grip and boasts a tight fit as well. Originally meant for carpentry use, these gloves will protect your hand for a long time. For $15, that’s hard to beat!
No matter if you buy gloves or not, it does not determine the seriousness of your training. Do not let people look down on you because you use gloves or don’t use them. Embrace whatever decision you choose and run with it!
Good luck and be safe!