If you’re tired of your hands getting torn up after a solid CrossFit workout, you probably already know the value of CrossFit grips.
But which one to choose?
As a gym owner and personal trainer, I know a lot about CrossFit grips and wrote this article to share that knowledge with you.
In the article below, you’ll find the 3 best CrossFit grips on the market, as well as the 6 criteria I look at when ranking CrossFit grips (and you should, too).
If you’re in a hurry, here’s my top three CrossFit grip picks…
For me the number one CrossFit grip available right now is the JerkFit WODies from Rogue. These are unique because they’re actually two products in one–they’re full wrist wraps AND hand grips.
This is unique in the space and caters PERFECTLY for CrossFitters (like you). While other grips may have a wrist wrap, they typically are thin, which isn’t what you want. Instead, these are thick, for optimal support and protection.
In a WOD, you’ll regularly go between weightlifting movements, muscle ups, pull ups, and others, and the WODies will stand up to everything.
The in-built wrist wrap provides support for the wrists during weightlifting and the grips look after the hands in the lifting and gymnastic elements of the sport.
The hypo-allergenic, latex-free woven elastic gives excellent flexibility and movement are great for weightlifting and gymnastics. They have generous padding that protects the hands and the three-finger model means they don’t leave much uncovered.
Being woven they’re breathable, meaning sweating and smells are less of an issue. You’ll also have full freedom of movement in your hands.
The grip element can be aided by adding chalk to the grips, although a lot of people don’t find this necessary.
Another feature I like is the fact that they’re machine washable – sweat, chalk and gym grime can add up, but they won’t be a problem here.
Finally, you can cut the holes to the exact size you need, making them suit you perfectly. Other types of grip can be less comfortable because the finger holes are pre-cut and if they don’t fit, it’s a problem. That’s not the case here.
With over 100 reviews and a 4.8 average rating at the time of writing, I’m not alone in my love of this option from Rogue.
The big selling point for me for these ones is the versatility – they’re both grips and wraps in one, so they’re perfect for CrossFit. They’re also a good price, in the middle of the price range. The soft, yet hard wearing construction gives you all the grip and protection you need, with the flexibility to back it up. They’re the best all round CrossFit grip on the market, in my opinion, and are perfect for those who do a lot of various types of lifting and gymnastic work.
The Bear Komplex grips are arguably the best known grips in the sport.
They’re used by Rich Froning, Tia-Clair Toomey and Noah Ohlsen to name three Crossfit legends.
The Bear Komplex grip USP is made of carbon fibre – perfect for balancing strength and grip.
The carbon fibre takes some ‘breaking in’ before the grip maximizes, so you have to be patient with them.
Once you’ve done that though–add some chalk–and they’ll help you grip anything, including barbells, kettlebells, and rings.
They’re strong and robust, so they’ll protect you on even the highest rep workouts. I picked the three finger grips over the two because they offer more protection than the two, but the flexible nature of them means they don’t restrict movement.
The wrist wrap element of them is a nice touch; while they are not as thick and supportive as the JerkFit WODies at our #1 option, but they are definitely a legit wrist support and more than suitable for CrossFit.
A common complaint with them is that they are on the smaller side size-wise, so go one size bigger than normal.
The Bear Komplex came second in my review because I think the wrist wraps in the JerkFit WODies are better, plus the machine washable element is a good feature.
They’re also slightly cheaper than the Bear Komplex grips at our #3 option while the quality is similar, if not better in my opinion–so the #2 spot on the list makes sense.
With that being said, you can’t go wrong with these. They’re great quality, used by CrossFitters all around the world, and get the job done. I highly recommend these.
It’s hard to criticize the Bear Komplex Grips because they’re tried and trusted by some of the greats of the sport. They’re an excellent grip–versatile, hard wearing and grippy. You’d be buying a great product; just bear in mind you need time to break them in and they’re slightly thicker than you’d expect. Other than that, they’re excellent; they are solid all-around grips for whatever you need, for both CrossFit or a great home workout consisting of barbells and pullups.
If you want something more hard wearing, the RooGrips are the one for you. The kangaroo leather is tough and durable, meaning it’ll take whatever you can throw at it, but still offer your hands an excellent level of protection.
The leather is thinner than the carbon fibre, so allows you to hold the bar tighter.
The main criticism of leather CrossFit grips is that they take a long time to break in.
Whilst this is generally true, the kangaroo leather is thinner and has a light oil coating, so doesn’t take as long as cow leather.
Still longer than the elastic webbing of the JerkFit WODies and the Bear Komplex grips, but not much longer. They also offer (arguably) the best level of hand protection, so there’s a trade off–they take longer to break in, but the level of protection is better.
The pebble effect of the leather is grippy, and when you add chalk to the grips it takes them up another level.
I know a few guys who wear these and not a single one complains about the grip from them. Like other grips, they contain an in-built wrist strap with a strap and loop closure to make them secure.
Another downside of these and why it knocked them down to the #3 option is that they’re not nearly as easy to clean as the machine washable JerkFit WODies.
Bear in mind that leather isn’t quite as flexible as the woven elastic either.
If you can get over those points (and you should, they’re not a big deal), they’re excellent CrossFit grips.
I opted for the two hole hand grips because in this case, the three hole hand grips can be a little too stiff and not as comfortable as the two.
Despite the downsides, I do think these are a great option and you wouldn’t go wrong with these.
The RooGrips have a unique set of properties – they’re the hardest wearing and (possibly) the grippiest of all the different types of CrossFit grip. They’re also the longest to break in and least flexible. If you’re hitting lots and lots of high rep work instead of outright strength work, these are perfect for you. Just be aware of their limitations – cleaning and flexibility. Also, be patient – they won’t be amazing fresh out of the box, but they’ll get there.
When choosing CrossFit grips, you should look for two things:
Other features are nice, but if they don’t fulfill these basic needs, they’re not going to be of any use to you and wouldn’t be worth your time and money.
All three options above fit the above criteria or I wouldn’t have included them.
CrossFit grips are made from different materials, all with different properties–so you have to make a judgement call on what you’re looking for from your grips.
Some people prefer a more flexible grip made from carbon fibre or elastic, while others prefer the rigidity of leather.
There are pros and cons to all, so it depends on how you plan on using them; ultimately, the type of training you do will inform your choices.
Here’s an overview of the qualities of each material…
Leather grips are tough and durable and excellent for high rep work, but they don’t breathe (therefore can get sweaty). They aren’t easy to wash either.
Carbon fibre grips are flexible, tough and grippy. They can be thick though, which some people don’t like. They can rip easier than other types, too.
Elastic is less grippy than the other two (adding chalk helps), but they breathe more and are machine washable, helping the hygiene and lifespan.
Fingerless grips allow the grip to be used or not very quickly. If you like a grip for pull ups, but not for lifting, you can move it out of the way in a split second. These are ideal if you program lots of varied workouts.
Two finger grips provide a level of protection on the middle section of the hand. They are ideal for those who like a little protective help, without the whole hand being covered. They allow for a lot of hand flexibility with decent support.
Three finger grips are the maximum protection and grip. They’re ideal for those who do a lot of muscle ups, pull ups and high rep weightlifting, where the risk of a callus tear is high. They can get sweaty if you pick a leather three finger grip though!
The marketplace is becoming saturated with CrossFit grips, but a lot of them are poorly made and don’t offer much in the way of both protection and grip – it’s usually one or the other.
In this case, I’ve gone for the grips I think serve both purposes. They’re all excellent products and I’d happily recommend all three, but I hope I’ve pointed you in the direction you’ll need based on the type of training you do. Here’s a summary again…