Training gloves for climbing?


Original Post
Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 265

The gym i climb at to try and keep in shape, is AC challenged. As a consequence, my hands get sweaty and I start sliding off holds. I don't much like chalk, either on my hands, or stopping to try and chalk up when I'm trying to climb.

So, I was thinking about fingerless gloves. There are tons of inexpensive, grippy gloves for weight training. Seem like they'd be great on plastic. Are they any good for climbing?

This is only a problem at my bikram-like gym, outside is fine.

Thanks!

Phil Sakievich · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 105

IMHO can't imagine gloves would be too helpful for reducing sweaty palm syndrome. Your still going to sweat between your gloves and your hands. Probably more so. They might help a little with jug hauling but crimps, pinches and slopers will probably be much harder.

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 265
psakievich wrote:IMHO can't imagine gloves would be too helpful for reducing sweaty palm syndrome. Your still going to sweat between your gloves and your hands. Probably more so. They might help a little with jug hauling but crimps, pinches and slopers will probably be much harder.
What I was looking at are tight fitting, stretchy things with nubby palms, and almost no fingers. They're meant for weight lifting, which I would think would be a pretty critical grip.

And it's not sweaty palm syndrome, it's too stinkin' hot. Everything's sweating! I'm just hoping for grip without chalk.
Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 549

You could try iontophoresis.

https://rockclimberstrainingmanual.com/2016/09/08/witchcraft-for-perfect-skin/

Phil Sakievich · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 105

I hear what you're saying. I guess the big difference is in weigh lifting you are almost always grabbing the same diameter bar where in climbing the holds and grip positions vary dramatically. When I used weight training gloves in high school it was mainly to prevent flappers, but I guess grip is more important in Olympic style stuff which has become so popular so maybe the gloves are different now. Try it and let us know how it turns out.

Clint White aka Faulted Geologist · · Lawrence, KS · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 158

Have u tried the new Unicorn Dandruff? (Unicorn Dust). Expensive super chalk, way overpriced. Use it in a chalk sock to avoid chalking the backs of your hands. Gloves suck for climbing, and may only prevent u from drying off the whole hand. Add a big industrial fan at the base and cool off between climbs.

Aaron Nash · · North Bend, WA · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 216

Gloves probably won't work well, but go ahead and try it; what do you have to lose?

I know you said you don't like chalk, but if the glove thing doesn't work out, I'd recommend liquid chalk. Easy/cheap to make yourself, and it keeps your hands SUPER dry for multiple climbs. I get sweaty hands inside on hot days, and I find that it works well.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 478

I was trying to find a solution for climbing outside, I have a bit of hyperhidrosis and mid summer it can make holding slopers impossible. I didn't want to try antihydral because of reports of split fingers, glassy skin, etc..

I tried rhino skin "dry" spray and "performance" cream. Supposedly the same active ingredient as antihydral, but with lower concentration. It took a while to figure out a method, but it does work. I still have to use chalk, but in quantities that normal people do (instead of refilling my bag every day).
I found that if I use the spray more than once a week I'll end up with glassy non pliable skin though, not ideal for the gym. Using the spray a few days before and then the cream daily seems to work perfect though.

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 265
Mark E Dixon wrote:You could try iontophoresis. rockclimberstrainingmanual....
If you hooked it up to a car battery, you could just blow your skin off. No problemo!
Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 265

Thanks for all the thoughtful replies. If I get some gloves, I'll let you know how it goes. I need to do some belay gloves shopping, anyway, so I'll try to get out and poke around soon.

@Aaron, I've heard of liquid chalk, but never seen anyone using it. So, I always assumed it was just a way to convert a relatively cheap material into an expensive one. How do you go about it?

I considered tape, briefly, but I'd hate to roll through a ton of the stuff every time I do anything.

Thanks, everyone. Best solution by far, is if they'd tumble to the fact that it's a rec center, and the temp should assume activity, not lattes and chit chat!

Helen

cyclestupor · · Woodland Park, Colorado · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 93

I concur that liquid chalk works very well, but if you can't stand the feel of regular chalk you definitely won't like the liquid version. This is going to sound rediculous, but i seem to recall someone who didn't like chalk carying a hand towel clipped to their harness.

greggle · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0
Nick Drake wrote:I didn't want to try antihydral because of reports of split fingers, glassy skin, etc..
In the hot months, I use one of the prescription-only antihydrals as a supplement to chalk. And you're absolutely right! Overuse of the stuff can result in all of those things. I way overdid it at first. Using a prescription strength antihydral, can a climber get his or her hands and such to the point where they don't sweat? Yes. Is it a good methodology? Probably not. Counterproductive, even, as you've heard.

To anyone considering a prescription antihydral, I've found that using the antihydral sparingly as a supplement to chalk, and not the other way, works well for me. I still sweat from my palms, fingers, and wrists (often overlooked as a source of much sweat), but it's a fair bit better. And now that it's starting to cool off, I'll put away the prescription stuff until next year.
Aaron Nash · · North Bend, WA · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 216
Old lady H wrote:I've heard of liquid chalk, but never seen anyone using it. So, I always assumed it was just a way to convert a relatively cheap material into an expensive one. How do you go about it?
You're right, it's quite expensive if you buy it pre-made, but luckily it's super cheap to make it yourself, and you likely already have all of the materials anyhow!

There are some tutorials online about how to make it, with exact measurements of each ingredient and scientific instructions; a google search will pull those up. Climbing isn't scientific, so I just wing it. Here's what I do:

Take a bag of regular ol' loose climbing chalk and break up the chunks as best you can. Grab a sifter and sift the chalk through into a big mixing bowl. You just want the real fine stuff for this, and the sifter allows you to put the chunks back into the bag and crush them up some more without making a mess. Add some isopropyl alcohol to the chalk and stir. Your goal is to get a consistency of a thick, creamy soup; add chalk or alcohol accordingly until it's right.
I store mine in one of those little nalgene squirt bottles you can get at REI or wherever for a buck. Shake before use, coat palms, let dry, then go send. It feels a little weird at first, but you'll forget it's there once it drys and you start climbing.

If you don't have any of the materials, it should cost about $6 and will make a TON. I do small batches; a little goes a long way.

Side note: Make sure you use at least the 70% isopropyl stuff. The 90%+ is better (drys faster), but if you have 70 on hand it'll work too.

I also hear you on the gym temp thing. My gym has GIANT heaters that are on full blast the minute it gets below 60F outside. Really sucks when you're working hard, especially at the top of the lead cave. All those 0% body fat sissies can go put a coat on while they chat...
Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 265

Thanks a bunch, Aaron! I'll try it when I get time. Maybe I'll start a trend! I'll hunt around for the gloves, too.

The towel is actually one I saw online somewhere, as well as a damp cloth in your chalk bag. Apparently washing/wiping the sweat off can be better than chalk, and too much chalk is worse than none. Who knew?

Anyway, I have tough skin and plenty of callouses, hands that actually work for a living, so I'm staying away from the other stuff.

Thanks, everyone!

Helen

Jon Nelson · · Bellingham, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 4,670

Has anyone tried putting antiperspirant on the hands, followed by chalk?

A long time ago, a friend and I found an aluminum compound in one of the university's labs. It was the same compound that they put in some antiperspirants, so we tried it on our hands.

We found that the stuff first made our hands feel a little moist and greasy. But after rubbing some chalk on our hands a few times, the hands seemed to stay dry for a long time, even though the conditions were hot and humid.

It very well could have been our minds playing tricks on us, but I wonder if anyone else has tried it.

Since then, I have used the same method to keep my feet dry in rock shoes.

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 549

FWIW, I've been using antihydral about once a week (tips only) and have been really happy with the callus it creates.

I don't have much trouble with sweaty hands, but my tips get soft pretty easily, so keeping them tough is really helpful for comfort on small crimpers.

Chad Miller · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 150

Try a product called an Eco Ball. They're a non chalk alternstive that doesn't produce as much dust dust or coat your hands like chalk dose. I used them for years in norther MN where there is a no chalk ethic, they work pretty well too.

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 265
Mark E Dixon wrote:FWIW, I've been using antihydral about once a week (tips only) and have been really happy with the callus it creates. I don't have much trouble with sweaty hands, but my tips get soft pretty easily, so keeping them tough is really helpful for comfort on small crimpers.
The only thing that helps me on small crimpers is to consider them footholds and cop a hand hold offa something else!

I actually almost bought the gloves I was thinking of this week, but the other stuff I wanted wasn't there, and I didn't want to stand in line.

Sorta irrelevant. I haven't climbed anywhere, in or out, for too long. Finally got out today, managed to make it up a 5.5ish-5.7 (with a minimal bit of cheating), on top rope no less. So grateful I cried. :-)

So, she's not out of the game yet! Yay.

H.
Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 265
Chad Miller wrote:Try a product called an Eco Ball. They're a non chalk alternstive that doesn't produce as much dust dust or coat your hands like chalk dose. I used them for years in norther MN where there is a no chalk ethic, they work pretty well too.
Thanks, Chad!
Noah Yetter · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 105

No one who lifts weights with any seriousness wears gloves. Powerlifters and Olympic lifters use chalk, just like climbers.

Dirt Squirrel · · Golden , co · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 50

Antihydral. Skin gets thick and glassy. Sand skin. Texture plus tough and thin skin that is still sensitive to touch. Goal is tough but thin skin.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply