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Top OCR Gloves | Obstacle Course Racing Gloves Guide

Grip strength is one of the most important aspects of obstacle course racing. Ask any professional, and they will tell you that much of their training and prep focuses on ensuring that they have reliable and consistent grip for the duration of the race. And while many athletes opt to rely on their natural hand surface when traversing the racecourse, some turn to obstacle course racing gloves to help them get that extra edge.

Obstacle course racing gloves are worn by OCR athletes for a variety of reasons. Some like the added protection and insulation while others believe gloves can help improve grip and keep hands dry in rainy conditions. No matter what the motivation is, we want to help find the right glove for you.

At OCRWC, we’re always looking to find the best gear, and with so many new options hitting the market every year, we’ve done our homework. Here are the best OCR glove options and most important features to look for while you shop for your next pair.

Key Considerations When Choosing a Glove

6 Best OCR Gloves

How to Find the Best OCR Gloves [Buyer’s Guide]

Key Considerations When Choosing a Glove

OCR athletes use gloves for a few primary reasons: improved grip, protection from obstacles and the elements, and insulation from the cold. To find a glove that checks all of those boxes – or the boxes that you’re looking for – there are four particular considerations and technical specs to review.

1. Material considerations

Any obstacle course racing glove has to be flexible enough to allow you to still perform at your best. When searching for a glove option, look for materials that will move with you while still providing snug fit. We recommend gloves with spandex, polyester, or nylon, as those materials will perform throughout the duration of a race without stiffening up or weighing racers down.

2. Race climate

The type of OCR glove you need will depend largely on the climate you’re racing in and the weather forecast for race day. For colder climates or wet conditions, you’ll want a glove made of neoprene as it will keep your hands warm and dry. In hotter weather, lightweight gloves are more appropriate, so your hands don’t get too sweaty and impede your grip.

3. Sizing

As with any piece of OCR equipment, you must be sure you’re wearing the appropriate size. Too big or too small, and you’ll pay the price by the time you cross the finish line. Each glove will likely have its own sizing, so be sure you consult the manufacturer’s size guide to ensure that you get a proper fit for your obstacle course racing glove.

The Best OCR Gloves in 2021

Mad Grip Pro Palm

This glove is a great starter glove for obstacle course racers who are considering using gloves on race day. The Mad Grip Pro Palm is a full-hand glove option made of rubber and polyester, making it more ideal for cold training and racing conditions. The full rubber grip covers the entire hand surface and wraps around the fingers, giving wearers dependable and durable grip.

Key Features:

  • Rubber/polyester construction
  • Grip pattern helps move water and dirt off the glove
  • Machine washable

Pros:

  • Full rubber grip surface
  • Very durable
  • Cost effective

Cons:

  • Less breathable, can cause excess sweating
  • Thick glove cushioning can impede grip strength

Purchase Options:

MudGear

Amazon

Mad Grip Knuckler

The Mad Grip Knuckler is another full-hand glove option, but compared to the Mad Grip Pro Palm option, this obstacle course racing glove has more hand protection and enhanced rubber grip features. Made up of a blend of nylon and spandex, this glove will keep any athlete warm and dry during inclement weather races. The full rubber grip application is pre-curved in the natural shape of your hand, which helps with comfort and ease of use.

Key Features:

  • Rubber protection on the knuckles
  • Rubber pattern helps disperse water and dirt off the grip surface
  • Machine washable

Pros:

  • Improved ventilation properties
  • Highly durable
  • Cost effective

Cons:

  • Full-hand gloves can accumulate sweat
  • Added cushioning can impede grip

Purchase Options:

Amazon

Under Armour Flux

For athletes who still want a natural grip but prefer the protection of OCR racing gloves, the Under Armour Flux is a great option. These gloves are ideal for summer competitions or any races held in warm climates, due to their specialized CoolSwitch technology – the lining of the gloves pulls heat away from the skin, helping to reduce sweat and enhance comfort.

Key Features:

  • CoolSwitch ventilating technology
  • Terry cloth thumb swatch to wipe away sweat
  • Machine washable

Pros:

  • Silicone palm surface provides enhanced grip
  • Fingerless design gives athletes a natural grip
  • Highly durable

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Non-insulated material

Purchasing Options:

Under Armour

Amazon

BleggMit

The BleggMit is one of, if not the only, obstacle course racing glove designed by an active OCR athlete. The founder and inventor of BleggMit is Deanna Blegg, a former Toughest Mudder Champion, current OCR competitor, and cancer survivor beloved in the OCR community! She was a fervent supporter during the 2018 24-hour Enduro event in Australia and competed on the televised Eco Challenge in Fiji in 2020.

The BleggMit is designed to keep your hands warm between obstacles, where it can then be pulled down to allow racers to use their natural grip surface. Made of neoprene, these gloves will keep your hands warm no matter the conditions. They are used by some of the top OCR racers around the world.

Key Features:

  • Keeps hands warm in wet and dry conditions
  • Lightweight and versatile
  • Can be peeled back to allow natural grip on surfaces

Pros:

  • Don’t impede racer’s grip
  • Keep hands extremely warm
  • Durable enough for repeat use

Cons:

  • Don’t provide enhanced grip surface
  • Can be costly

Purchasing Options:

BleggMit

NeoSport Wetsuit Glove

If the forecast calls for rain, then look no further than the NeoSport Wetsuit glove. This ¾ finger glove is made of neoprene, which will dry quickly and still provide athletes with excellent grip. The palm of the NeoSport Wetsuit glove is also ventilated, helping to wick away sweat throughout the race. And because many obstacles incorporate some combination of mud or dirt, keeping dry hands becomes all the more difficult.

Key Features:

  • Neoprene construction
  • High-quality ventilation
  • Cushioned palm for comfort

Pros:

  • Versatile multi-sport gloves
  • Near-waterproof construction
  • ¾ finger glove allows natural grip

Cons:

  • No enhanced grip surface

Purchasing Options:

NeoSport

Amazon

Mechanix Wear M Pact

The Mechanix M Pact gloves are hard core gloves for hard core obstacle course racers. Made of synthetic leather with thermoplastic rubber impact protection, these gloves are suited for all-weather racing. The M Pacts are also lined with specialized TrekDry material that helps keep hands cool and comfortable throughout the entire competition.

Key Features:

  • Reinforced palm for durability
  • Thermoplastic protection for knuckles and fingers
  • Available in full finger and ¾ finger options

Pros:

  • Rugged, but breathable
  • Superior hand protection
  • Machine washable

Cons:

  • Heavier than other glove options
  • Full finger construction can cause excess sweating

Purchasing Options:

Mechanix

Amazon

No matter what style of gloves you choose — or even no gloves at all — always compete in the gear that makes you the most comfortable and gives you the best grip/grip strength possible. As we know, an OCR race can be won or lost based on an athlete’s gripping ability.

Francesca Chiorando
Written By
Francesca Chiorando

Francesca started running OCR in 2013, and after devouring all the information she could find on the sport, she began writing about it herself. With OCR quickly gaining traction in the UK where she lives, she launched her own site, Mud Is My Makeup, in 2014.

Since then she has gone on to produce content for publications including OCR Europe, Mud Run Guide, Mudstacle, Obstacle Race Magazine, and Obstacle Mud Runner Magazine, as well as OCRWC.

Francesca loves exploring every aspect of the sport as much as she loves to explore the courses themselves. Very much an average athlete, her goal has always been to encourage the everyday person to get muddy and active and discover how much joy suffering out on a course can bring.

Her first experience of OCRWC was the epic Blue Mountain in 2016, although she’d been following the event from the early days. The whole atmosphere, set up, and experience had her hooked and she knew that this was an organization that she not only wanted to support, but be involved with, and to help bring the spirit of OCRWC to a wider audience.

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