Should I Wear Gloves While Climbing? – (Is It Safe?)

New climbers have a tendency to ask if they should wear gloves while climbing, and there are some good reasons for that. The biggest reason for asking this question is that we can often see a climber wearing gloves in movies or games, especially those based on action. We will talk about it later on, but for now, we have to tell you that we did the research for you and here you will find the most accurate answers related to wearing gloves while climbing so stay with us!

A person who has never been in a climbing gym couldn’t really tell if gloves are necessary for climbers, but here we are with the answer for you. You should not wear gloves while climbing, especially as a beginner climber but there are some exceptions to this rule, but first let’s focus on the reason why you should not wear them.

Why I should not wear gloves for climbing?

Using hands while climbing is very important, because they are leading your whole body in the right direction, and your legs are often used mainly to support your body weight.

Why I should not wear gloves for climbing?
Why I should not wear gloves for climbing?

So climber’s hands must be well prepared to generate friction on the handholds, and unfortunately, with normal gloves, you won’t be able to generate that much friction on the holds. Your best option is to use your raw skin.

As you can see on your palms there is a texture, that can let you hold very strong to any object. Using your raw hands is the best option, especially if you are going to use chalk to keep them dry.

The biggest weakness of your hands is your own sweat, but why is that? When your hands are dry they can generate a lot more friction than hands that are wet, and our bodies are leaking a substance called sweat, which can make our hands wet very quickly.

Chalk absorbs your sweat very quickly and will let your hands be dry for the whole route that you are going to climb, but you will have to do this many times on your way up top.

When I should wear gloves for climbing?
When I should wear gloves for climbing?

There are some people who have a tendency of sweating a lot on their hands, which for climbers is something bad, that’s why climbers have chalk bags pinned to their belts to chalk their hands once every few moves.

Your skin can also wear out due to the texture of the handholds, that’s why it is important to take care of your hands every time you finish your climbing session, and for that, we have recently created an article “How To Take Care Of My Hands After Climbing?” so make sure to read it if you want to be better at climbing!

We previously said that there are some cases when you can wear gloves for climbing, but after everything we have said, isn’t that going to make it harder for us to climb? Not necessarily!

When I should wear gloves for climbing?

There are some gloves designed for climbers, but those are used for something called “crack climbing”. Crack climbing is a special type of climbing where on our route to the top we have to use cracks that are not meant to be held, but rather you should put your hand in between and jam it.

So in this type of climbing, you are not using only your fingers but the whole hand structure. You slide your hand to the crack with your fingers straight and then close it and rotate until you will start to feel like this fist could hold you.

Should I wear gloves while climbing?
Should I wear gloves while climbing?

For crack climbing, you can use gloves to not hurt your hand, because it can be painful. It’s not an easy technique and it is mostly used by experienced climbers. You can also crack climbing with your feet by rotating them directly inside the crack.

Final thoughts – Should I wear gloves while climbing?

There are gloves designed for climbers but you as a beginner won’t need them, because they are only used for crack climbing which is far above the intermediate level. It is also a painful technique, So forget about them for now and let’s focus on important things like what is your favorite type of holds in climbing, for that we have recently added an article about “What Are The Easiest Holds In Bouldering? – (For Beginners)“.

Also if you struggle to make a choice between a normal gym or a climbing gym, which many beginners do then you should check out this article “Is Climbing Better Than A Normal Gym? (What Should I Pick?)“.