Review: I bought these gloves at Dirty Girl Mud Run for Polar Bear. I had zero intentions of wearing them until winter. Well, after running Shale Hill on a hot sunny day, I realized when the heat got high for Shale Hell, I wanted something to protect my hands from burns on the metal. These worked awesome for that. They also helped protect me from the ropes that I find hurt my hands. Overall, I want to get a fingerless pair for summer events and highly recommend the full finger for winter events to avoid frost burns from the metal when the temperatures dip scary close to 0F.
Review: I’ve been wearing these for dry, cooler weather races for a while now, but wanted to wait until I wore them through some mud/water to write a review. I’ve now worn them to Warrior Dash, Bonefrog, Barre Spartan Sprint, and Samurai Sprint, and couldn’t be happier with their performance.
I tried on a few pairs at Sports Authority (R.I.P) and got a medium, then went back after a few races to get a small (the extra room was uncomfortable on hanging obstacles because my hand would feel like it was falling out of the glove). The small fits me perfectly, and I usually don’t even notice I have them on during races. There are small holes in the palms that help with drainage and make them a bit more breathable. They are also easy to clean – after rinsing I put them in a mesh bag and throw them in the washer (watch out for the velcro – it can ruin other clothes). The gloves start with a tacky layer on the palms which eventually wears off, but the grip is still fine.
For me, the performance of the gloves during races has been fantastic. At Samurai Sprint, with its oddly placed rope climb immediately after the slip and slide, I had no problem gripping the rope while my companions found it too slippery. Same with the thin, mud-covered ropes at Barre. The one downside is that they can actually a bit too grippy for widely spaced monkey bars since they don’t let your hand rotate around the bar at all. But I’m happy to have them on for the majority of obstacles.
It should be clear by now that I’m very happy with these gloves. The price is high (~$30) but for me it’s been worth it.
Review: DISCLAIMER: I am notorious for being a ‘tweener w/ respect to clothes. My feet, hands, and everything else always sits between two standard sizes.
When I ordered these, I bought the large and found them slightly too big, but the medium was far too small. After some serious swaptronics over USPS, I ended up holding on to the large.
How they fit:
Despite my disclaimer, these are really awkward fitting. The rubber is very stiff, which keeps your hands in an unnatural position while running. I ended up pulling them off and tucking them into my socks while I was running.
Do they work when dry?
Not really. I found the fit and feel of the gloves very awkward. I was slipping and struggling with my grip even when dry. To be honest, the rubber is somewhat sleek, so I don’t think it is getting the friction it needs on metal/plastic when dry.
Do they work when wet?
Not at all.
This was my second and last attempt at using gloves for grip assistance. I have a pair of fingerless mechanix that worked ok at BoneFrog, but I think I’m going to stick to gloves as “weather protection” only for those late-fall OCRs.
If anyone has any recommendations, I’d love to hear them!
I love finding local companies in our space. These guys are based in Vermont.
dGearOG make gloves for OCR. They’re a spin off of Damascus Protective Gear, and have been making protective equipment for military, police and corrective use since the 50s – think gloves, knee/elbow pads, riot suits – during last years Baltimore riots, they were shipping gear in for the officers. They also make archery gloves too. These guys know what they’re doing!
For OCR gloves can be controversial, of course.
Should you wear them? Do you need them? Do they hinder, or help?
I’ve never really bothered, to be honest, unless it’s purely for warmth in a winter event – so when I heard about dGearOG and their OCR specific glove, I was interested in learning more.
I stumbled across them in a weird way. They were posting photos on Twitter of the small team they sent to the VT Beast in 2015 – and lots of photos of gloves in different patterns being used on obstacles. I messaged them through Facebook and they offered to ship me a couple of pairs of gloves to check out. They weren’t quite ready for production yet, and didn’t have them for sale in stores or through their website – so I jumped on the chance to check out a pre-production set.
They shipped me an XL and M in their fingerless style – both with slightly different patterns, but the same features – fingerless gloves with super grippy palms, pull loops, velcro closures.
The first race I tried them at was Shale Hill – and if you know Shale Hill, you know grip and grip strength are key to many of their obstacles. I wore the XL and offered the M up to Chris “Flux” Hoey, who also isn’t typically a glove guy – we wore for the whole course, and tried them out on everything from traverse pipes, walls, ropes and more.
What we found:
The grippy palm was excellent – in dry conditions it was glued to pipes and ropes. In wet conditions, it was less useful, but the quick pull tabs meant you could get it off quickly, and it would stay right side out, so its easy to pull back on again after a wet rope obstacle.
“They definitely help protect your hands from extensive wear and tear on a long course. The grip surface is great until it gets wet. It would be no extra benefit in a rope water climb though.” – Flux
The velcro held tight, and is of a type that won’t get gunged up mid-race – contructed of a plastic, more than a fabric, this isn’t going to be a point of failure.
We both found that the gloves moved around on our hands more than we’d like – it has so much grip, that when hanging from the Zig Zag of Awesomeness at Shale Hill, the glove held tight and our hands slid inside – a testament to proper fitting (remember, neither of us picked our sizes!). In fact, dGearOG have said they reduced the overall sizing of the gloves as a result of that feedback, so they should be fitting snugger from the vendor than before – which will be perfect.
“You never know what race day conditions bring, these gloves are a must have in your Arsenal to be ready for whatever may be thrown at you. Built to perform and last there are no seams in the grips to get caught on and provides protection for race torn hands!” – Flux
Those quick pull tabs are WAY more useful and functional than I initially gave them credit for. How often have you dug through your bag after a race and found socks or gloves or sleeves inside out and gunky – and had the unpleasant experience of turning them back around? The pull tabs keep the gloves right way out, and mid-race? Perfect.
Ultimately, gloves will always be a personal preference. Maybe you want to protect your hands, maybe you have rough and tough skin already and don’t want to lose “feel” mid-race – but if you DO want to protect your hands, these are a fantastic way to go, not too expensive, and the brand is local, and focused on OCR. The have new styles coming, including a full finger, and a pink option for the ladies – so keep your eye on them!