As of right now, I think WODies might just be the best hand protection available for functional fitness. The one thing that I dislike about them is that you can’t use them without the wrist wraps. To know all that I like about the, go ahead and check out the dedicated review of WODies; I’ll probably be referencing them quite a bit throughout this face-off.
The market is starting to see more and more options when it comes to gymnastic grips. I think all of us at one point have tried using the standard leather grips. We’ll get to those a little later on with the “Again Faster Grips”. The next contender on the block is the “Just Another WOD” grips, and the newest kid on the block are “WOD Grips”. All offer the same ideology but they all accomplish this in different ways (materials). So, what do I think of all these offerings? Well, let’s see which one I dislike the least…
The Again Faster Grips are of standard leather fare. This is probably the most popular material of most of the grips on the market. There are a few issues with this type of grip that most everyone I’ve talked to agree on. They’re too thick, they hurt until you break them in, and they don’t offer enough grip. Using this kind of grip will definitely help you work on your grip strength; no matter how much I chalk them up, I can’t seem to hang on to the bar. Not to mention the break in period is a pain, the parts that go in between your fingers get pinched because the leather is too tough there. Finally, I don’t have the biggest hands, but I wear medium in the grips according to how you should size them and even the couple millimeters that these add on paired with the inflexibility of leather grips makes holding on to the bar difficult for me.
This review holds true for pretty much every leather grip out there.
Just Another WOD grips are definitely a step up over the leather grip type. The cloth material used here is kind of like thick medical bandage, I’m sure it isn’t but just the color alone reminds me of it. Like all the grips in this review, the grips go around your middle and ring finger and strap around your wrist. Make sure that when you cut the holes on these grips, you size them a little smaller because they will stretch out over time, more so than the leather grips will. You shouldn’t have any issues wearing these grips with your wrist wraps as the strap is long enough to go over your wraps. There really isn’t much of a break in to these other than them being a little tight when you first size them. Even still, you’ll be able to do all your movements unhindered since the material is more flexible than leather. It’s not recommended that you wash JAW Grips, since the dirt and sweat that accumulates on the grips will eventually lead to a better grip.
Personally, while these are (much) better than leather grips, I still couldn’t seem to get a sure grip on the bar like I could with WODies. I wouldn’t say the number of pull-ups I could do before I start to slip off is halved, but I’m definitely coming off the bar prematurely. You can think of this as a trade-off for having some kind of hand protection. Note that these are the most narrow grips of the bunch, but still offer adequate palm protection. I’ve seen plenty from people at my gym worn pretty badly in 4 months or so, but that’s to be expected from something being put through this kind of abuse.
A new offering to the market are WOD Grips. While styled very similarly to JAW Grips, the WOD Grips have a more traditional canvas cloth material that is used to cover your palms. While not the same coverage as WODies that fit over three fingers, WOD Grips offer a bit more protection than JAW Grips. The wrist strap also accommodates having wrist wraps under them like on JAW Grips. As with all the grips, size these a bit smaller since the material will stretch over time. The great thing is that these are the most flexible grip of this bunch, so break in isn’t a torturing process. You’ll be good to go immediately after sizing these. You can wash WOD Grips so they don’t get all funky and they won’t shrink on you; you can wash JAW Grips too, it’s just not recommended.
I was able to get the surest grip out of this bunch with WOD Grips. Make sure you chalk up thoroughly, you won’t have to that often since these hold chalk pretty well. The flexibility of the material makes WOD Grips the most unobtrusive grip of the pack. I won’t get rid of my WODies anytime soon, but for the workouts that I don’t need wrist wraps with, I wouldn’t have any problems going with my WOD Grips instead.