Crack climbing gloves are an elegant solution to an elegant type of climb.
There’s something special about crack climbing. That’s probably because of its combination of being both pretty niche and one hell of a challenge at the same time.
The movements you have to make on a crack climb are completely different to those on a normal climb, and for that very reason, you’ll need some special equipment.
Namely, crack climbing gloves.
You see, unless your hands are made of steel, you’ll be tearing them to shreds every time you attempt a crack climb.
Then, when your hands toughen up, it’s simply a matter of how long your tape lasts until you hands inevitably get destroyed once again.
Like I said before, crack climbing gloves are an elegant solution. There’s no real trade-off that you make when wearing them. Well, good ones anyway.
This is why pros opt for a effective pair of crack climbing gloves to protect their hands, along with the definitive crack climbing shoes, the La Sportiva TC Pro, to protect their feet. If you want to see my review of the shoes, then here is the link.
Anyway, I’m going to be showing you that kind of pair of crack climbing gloves that I’ve been talking about. One that’ll straight up improve your whole crack climbing experience.
Non-specialized climbing gloves simply won’t cut it, because they’re too bulky and, surprisingly, not able to handle the stresses of crack climbing without falling apart. So, let’s instead look at a pair that is really going to step up your crack climbing game. Here are the top crack climbing gloves, beloved by pros such as Adam Ondra:
The Best Crack Climbing Gloves: The Ocun Crack Climbing Gloves
These crack climbing gloves blow the others out the water.
Many crack climbing gloves have cheap and nasty elastic finger loops, sub-par materials and no real design consideration to them.
These, however, have some pretty amazing features that make them an instant pick. After all, there’s a very good reason why Adam Ondra uses them. Let’s look at the materials first:
Great Choice of Materials
First of all, there’s:
The Highly Sensitive Adhesive Rubber
This stuff was chosen well, because it’s always difficult to get a balance on that fine line between durability, grip and tactile sensitivity.
They managed to achieve all three with this rubber.
It’s much more durable than the Outdoor Research Splitter Gloves, and the Singing Rock Chocky Jamming Gloves don’t provide the sensitivity you need because they’re too thick and heavy. Oh, and the singing rock ones have those uncomfortable elastic finger loops too.
Oh, and one last thing about the rubber. It conceals the quick “hook and loop” closure part of the glove now, compared to the older version.
This means that the gloves won’t become unfastened if you happen to put force on the closure strap while intense crack climbing, meaning you don’t have to be careful with these gloves. You just put them on and forget they’re there.
The Microfiber Suede
The microfiber suede stretches to fit your hand shape, which makes these gloves significantly more comfortable than the other ones out there.
After all, you don’t want your hand protection to actually worsen the damage your hands sustain while crack climbing. The huge pressure that your hands undergo during a crack climb mean that your gloves are going to be pressed in very close contact with your hands.
If a pair of crack climbing gloves aren’t comfortable to wear while not climbing, then they certainly won’t be comfortable when you’re jamming your hands in a crack and supporting your body weight with them.
The comfort that the microfiber suede provides, combined with the superior grip given by the adhesive rubber will actually improve your crack climbing ability. I kid you not, crack climbing actually gets easier with these gloves.
Then, of course, you’re able to toughen your hands up over time without just tearing them to shreds. Because you’ll be able to crack climb for much longer than ever before, you’ll be able to become accustomed to the forces that your hands need to withstand in crack climbing to become better at it naturally.
So, in the end, the Ocun Crack Climbing Gloves will both make crack climbing easier for you, and make you improve at crack climbing faster at the same time.
Think of it as like how you work your way up the climbing grades as you improve. You don’t start with the hardest climbs in the gym as a beginner and keep trying them over and over, because you’d never improve.
These gloves allow you to overcome that entry barrier into crack climbing. And not only that, but they also allow intermediate crack climbers to improve far faster, and allow pros such as Adam Odra to really push their limits.
Like I said before, there’s really no downside to a good pair of crack climbing gloves like these.
As for the sizing, you’ll simply need to measure your palm span with a tape measure.
You’ll need to measure from one side of your hand; between your index finger and your thumb, right from that webbed part where your thumb starts; to the other side which you’d use to karate chop a GriGri user with.
You can look at the little diagram on the right in the picture below if you’re at all unsure of how to do it.
Once you’ve gotten the measurement, you can use the chart above to find which size is right for you.
Just keep in mind, that Ocun recommend that if you’re between sizes, or somewhat close to the border between one size and the next, you should size up.
That way, you’ll get a size which is comfortable to use, because a size that’s slightly larger than your hands’ “true size” is much better than choosing one that’s too small and limits your finger movement.
Besides, the form-fitting nature of the microfiber suede will mean that the gloves shape themselves to your hands’ natural shape over time anyway.
You see, that’s something that makes these gloves truly special. There aren’t any other crack climbing gloves out there there that feel as premium as these do. With the other crack climbing gloves I’ve tried, I’ve always felt that they’re not quite as good as when you tape up properly, although I do admit that any kind of durable-enough climbing glove is still going to be more cost efficient than tape.
However, the Ocun Crack Climbing Gloves make me never want to go back to climbing tape. They’re just a straight up improvement as well as a cost saver.
You can click here to view them on Amazon.