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Our top pick? The Climbing Gloves by Intra-FIT

Whether you're wanting to climb Half Dome, or needing to scale a menacing-looking ladder (...or anything in between for that matter...), a handy (pun *very* much intended) pair of climbing gloves will be your best friend. Offering everything from skin protection and additional grip for the more daunting of endeavours, to a modicum of warmth and comfortability on the chillier winter expeditions, they are - in our opinion - the #1 essential for any outdoor climber's arsenal.

Now, obviously not every climb is the same, and different situations will call for different hand-related needs (e.g. additional protection, or extra grip), so rather intuitively you might be wondering whether this means there are different types of gloves addressing these differing needs, and you would be absolutely correct. For example, half-finger gloves trade protection for extra dexterity and grip whereas thick, leather gloves trade dexterity for additional protection.

Deciding which is best for you doesn't have to be as tricky as some people make it out to be, though. Allow us to guide you through the best of the best with our curated list of the best climbing gloves for every situation at varying price points. Enjoy!

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Climbing Gloves by Intra-FIT , The best overall climbing gloves for rock or wall climbing.

#1 — Climbing Gloves by Intra-FIT

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

The best overall climbing gloves for rock or wall climbing.

What makes it special? Perfect for rappelling, rock climbing, and wall climbing, these soft-yet-durable gloves offer a happy medium between protection and dexterity. Premium grain goat skin reinforces the palm and fingers, and elastic fabric 'made with spandex' on the low-wear areas offers a mightily refreshing breathability that isn't always available with protective gloves. The simple velcro strap makes them easy to take off and put on, and the simple addition of a carabiner hole means you can easily attach them to a harness or belt.

Our only qualm with them (which appears to be echoed by a lot of other customers), is that they suck when they get wet, and not for the reasons you might think. When they get wet, they have a tendency to stain your skin with a suspicious black dye that is difficult to wash off, so they're not exactly ideal for sporting activities such as skiing where you are likely to work up a sweat. Otherwise, though, a great all-round pair of climbing gloves that we thoroughly recommend!

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Crag Climbing Gloves by Black Diamond, The best value rock climbing gloves.

#2 — Crag Climbing Gloves by Black Diamond

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

The best value rock climbing gloves.

What makes it special? The Crag Climbing Gloves are my personal favourites, and with Black Diamond swapping in synthetic leather over the real stuff for the high-wear areas, they are able to offer it for a price that truly is a sight for sore eyes. Much like the Intra-FIT Climbing Gloves, the low-wear areas are covered in a mesh fabric for extra ventilation to prevent sweating, except with extra padding for the knuckles, and there is also a handy carabiner hole on the cuffs. The excellent grip, fit, and protection unironically makes these some of the best gloves for climbing Half Dome with - and any other climb involving cables or rope for that matter. All in all, they are the perfect pair of climbing gloves for beginners and experts alike.

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Rock Climbing Gloves by Ocun, The best gloves for crack climbing.

#3 — Rock Climbing Gloves by Ocun

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

The best gloves for crack climbing.

What makes it special? As discussed in the intro, some climbs can be *very* different to others, with one such instance being crack climbing - a type of rock climbing in which the climber follows a crack in the rock and uses specialized climbing techniques and holds. Crack climbing requires a very different set of gloves, such as these ones by Ocun, offering maximum sensitivity and friction while simultaneously delivering perfect hand protection. It is engineered with a microfiber stretch suede and a unique adhesive rubber known as CAT Rubber 1.1 for maximum friction, and the anatomical shape offers great protection without compromising sensitivity. The velcro closure also tucks away so they stay nice and secure while climbing for that extra peace of mind.

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Crag Half Finger Gloves by Black Diamond, Best half finger gloves for rock climbing.

#4 — Crag Half Finger Gloves by Black Diamond

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Best half finger gloves for rock climbing.

What makes it special? You might be thinking that you've seen these before already, and well, yes *and* no. Fundamentally they are exactly the same as the Crag Climbing Gloves by Black Diamond - made with a synthetic leather palm and a breathable stretch mesh fabric and knuckle padding - except this version offers far superior dexterity and sensitivity for climbing activities such as belaying, handling rope, and via ferratas thanks to their half finger design. They are easy to slip on, and very high quality for the price. We would recommend thinking about ordering a size up from usual, though, as we found that a 'medium' felt an awful lot more like a 'small'.

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Winter Thermal Gloves by OZERO, The best sporting gloves for winter.

#5 — Winter Thermal Gloves by OZERO

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

The best sporting gloves for winter.

What makes it special? For the less abrasive climbs and activities, you may well be able to get away with not wearing gloves, but in the middle of the winter I reckon your opinion on that might change. Although primarily intended for cyclists, we found Ozero's Winter Thermal Gloves to be fantastic for light climbing during the colder seasons thanks in large part to its soft, lightweight design allowing for great dexterity and sensitivity. The palm and fingertips are also covered in silica gel particles to enhance grip, and the fingertip pads allow you to easily use touchscreen devices without needing to take them off. The bulk of their thousands of rave reviews stem from their stylishness as well as excellence in keeping hands warm - definitely an important quality for winter gloves!

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Full Finger Padded Rock Climbing Gloves by Seibertron, Some of the best padded gloves for rock climbing.

#6 — Full Finger Padded Rock Climbing Gloves by Seibertron

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Some of the best padded gloves for rock climbing.

What makes it special? Reinforced synthetic leather with double-threaded kevlar and SBR padding on the palm makes these climbing gloves some of the most durable that we've come across (that aren't work gloves). They provide excellent resistance against abrasion and vibration, and offer excellent isolation of heat that gets generated when handling ropes. They aren't the most flexible that we've used, but gaps around the finger joints offer a reasonable amount of dexterity. A solid entry into our top 9 list!

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Half-Finger Climbing Gloves by Intra-FIT , Some of the best half finger gloves for rock climbing.

#7 — Half-Finger Climbing Gloves by Intra-FIT

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Some of the best half finger gloves for rock climbing.

What makes it special? Okay, I'll admit that reading through this comparison list might be causing some serious cases of deja vu, but we promise its for a reason! Intra-FIT *also* happen to offer amazing half-finger versions of their climbing gloves that in their own right are more than deserving of a place in this comparison list. As far as features go, they're virtually the same as their full-fingered opposites, but the extra-firm-fitting and open-finger design makes this a perfect addition to any climber's arsenal for the climbs requiring some extra dexterity.

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3/4 Climbing Glove by Metolius, The best three quarter finger climbing gloves.

#8 — 3/4 Climbing Glove by Metolius

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

The best three quarter finger climbing gloves.

What makes it special? Continuing the trend of open-finger design, Metolius enters the fray with a reinforced cowhide 3/4 finger version. Relative to the ones we've covered so far, these are easily some of the most sturdy, durable, and protective on the market, making them perfect for bouldering and canyoning while still offering a degree of dexterity. That said, they're really not all that great for handling rope and belaying, we would highly recommend a full-fingered pair of gloves for that.

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Kids Climbing Gloves by Boyiexin, The best climbing gloves for kids.

#9 — Kids Climbing Gloves by Boyiexin

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

The best climbing gloves for kids.

What makes it special? These skin-friendly, cute, and surprisingly sturdy climbing gloves for kids offer the perfect hand protection for any sporting-enthused kid. They are ideal for preventing blisters from activities such as climbing, monkey bars, cycling, and gymnastics. The sizing seems to be the most common point of contention in the reviews, though, so it may be worth grabbing a tape measure and triple-checking your child's palm-size before ordering.

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