Whether you’ve been practicing yoga for a few days or a few years as a hot yoga teacher, gloves can be a great addition to your yoga workout gear. The best yoga gloves help improve your poses while reducing yoga wrist pain.
Yoga gloves are still relatively uncommon—you won’t see them in too many studios or videos—but they offer myriad benefits and are worth checking out!
What are yoga gloves?
Yoga gloves are supportive coverings that provide extra grip, made for both the hands and feet and are designed to be an incredibly snug fit. The gloves are most frequently made of a lightweight, breathable fiber such as cotton or Lycra. Yoga gloves come in different styles: Some cover the fingers, while others just cover the palms and leave the fingers free.
Yoga gloves for the feet, commonly known as yoga socks, are often designed with a cutout for the big toe while others provide more minimal coverage while adding extra grip over the balls of the feet.
The benefits of yoga gloves
While yoga gloves may bring a whole host of benefits to your practice, these are the most widely recognized:
They provide extra traction.
The main function of yoga gloves is to prevent your hands or feet (or both) from slipping during practice. They are specially formulated to grip your mat or other materials such as the floor or carpet. They can be particularly useful for individuals who sweat a lot or do not like the feel of a sticky yoga mat but like to have the added traction.
They enable you to practice yoga without a mat when needed.
Yoga gloves, if worn on both the hands and feet, can enable you to ditch your yoga mat on occasion. This can be especially useful for traveling if you don’t want to invest in a travel yoga mat, or if you have extremely limited space for gear.
Gloves can provide extra support for the wrist.
Some types of yoga gloves are ergonomically designed to provide proper support to your wrists during practice. These gloves can also help to remind you to use correct alignment in poses that place a lot of pressure on your hands and wrists such as Tabletop, Plank, and Downward Facing Dog.
You may find that yoga gloves benefit you in other ways. They can be particularly useful in the winter months when the cold air might otherwise deter you from stepping onto your mat. Gloves and socks help to provide warmth without compromising your ability to practice. Other people use gloves and socks because they can help to minimize direct contact with bacteria in public spaces.
The best yoga gloves to try in 2017
While these gloves can be used without a mat, they were specifically designed to improve the experience of your yoga practice on the mat. This is important to note because the number one goal in their design is to provide stability without reducing connection to your mat—and feature a nice open-fingered design in order to achieve this.
The grippy dots on the palms go a long way towards helping you maintain those difficult poses for longer periods of time. Non-slip socks and gloves are definitely the way to go! Price point: Very affordable
These gloves and socks provide slip protection, but they take the cake for comfort and wear-ability. Ideal for keeping warm in winter months, this cozy option is made from a mostly cotton blend that provides plenty of warmth plus moisture wicking for maximum comfort. Price point: Average
This package offers yoga gloves for the hands and feet with one-stop shopping. This provides the additional benefit of having an equal amount of traction on both your hands and feet! At just 5 ounces, they’re lighter than even the lightest travel mats. They also provide 5 mm of built in padding to cushion the wrists and other joints. These thick pads also serve to encourage correct posture throughout your practice. Price point: High-end
These gloves are specially formulated to provide you with a non-slip, stable surface that you can take with you anywhere! They also work well with a mat to provide extra traction and stability. The matching socks, Gaiam Yoga Socks, are sold separately but recommended for practicing without a mat. Price point: Average
This is a pair of gloves specially-designed to protect the wrist. They contain a patented gel design to relieve both wrist and thumb pain and to help guide your hands and wrists into the correct position. The added warmth provided also helps to increase blood flow to the region, while the grip-padded palm prevents slippage. Price point: High-end
This compression sleeve is not specifically formulated for yoga, and as a multi-use glove, it lacks the grippy textured palm of most yoga gloves. That said, if you’re interested in a glove due to wrist pain and a need for support, this compression sleeve offers protection and compression without limiting your range of movement. That said, please be sure to check with your doctor before practicing yoga with an injury or other condition. Price point: Average
Things to keep in mind when making a yoga glove purchase
No matter which style you opt for or your reason for purchasing, remember that the key to yoga gloves is getting the fit right. Your gloves should fit snugly without restricting your range of motion. You should also take the breathability of the fabric into consideration and opt for moisture-wicking fabric blends that will keep you dry and comfortable. When maximizing for coziness and warmth, you may choose to forsake breathability in exchange for easy machine washing.
Practicing with yoga gloves and socks may take some time to get used to. Remember to be mindful of your transitions between poses and take your time as you adjust to the added grip!