These durable workout gloves are my 'holy grail' fitness item—here's why I'm obsessed
From lifting weights to riding a bike, these training gloves do it all.
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Finding a stylish and durable pair of workout gloves has long been my "holy grail" quest. Whether at home or at the gym, I work out every day for one- to two-hour sessions and will wear the gloves while doing everything from stretches to being on a cardio machine to lifting free weights. As I use them for a spectrum of activities, most models don’t stand a chance—in terms of longevity—and quickly fall apart. Every time I'd buy a new pair, I’d look at them and think to myself, Well, how long will these ones last this time?
How I discovered Lululemon’s License to Train Training Gloves
My training glove drama reached fever pitch when, in a mere three months, my Nike workout gloves disintegrated before my eyes, unraveling at the seams. Before I knew it, with the loose threads, the spongy pads in the gloves poked out, rendering them useless. More frustrating was that these were my second pair, with the first lasting me less than a month. I guess I should've known better the second time, but to this athlete and former cross-country runner, this experience especially stung because I’ve long been a devotee to Nike.
So I pivoted away from my once-unwavering brand loyalty and decided to try a pair of License to Train Training Gloves from Lululemon, which are jet black with a silver reflective trim, offer ample protective cushioning, and retail at $42. After six months of proven reliability, I won't be going back.
What I love about Lululemon’s training gloves
These gloves have many great qualities, but I've identified five main areas where they excel.
The gloves are comfortable, lightweight, and breathable.
There’s a marked difference in the comfort level between these and previous training gloves I’ve owned. I once believed that the slip-on glove style (sans velcro) was superior. However, while my old pair offered a snug fit, they weren’t breathable and it would often be a struggle to pull them off sweaty hands. These Lululemon gloves feel silky, soft, and akin to a second skin, yet are a cinch to remove.
Their composition makes them stay comfortable for hours.
The Lululemon workout gloves are made of a combination of soft, flexible, and durable materials that include nylon (strong yet lightweight), Lycra (elastane, which makes them smooth and stretchy), polyester (which dries quickly and results in less wrinkles), and polyurethane (for the foam cushion pads). Even after wearing them for intensive workouts up to two hours, they easily slipped on and off, thanks to their sweat-wicking and quick-drying fabric. My favorite feature is the perforations on the cushioned palms, which not only protect but offer ample ventilation to keep my hands feeling drier rather than that sticky, sweaty sensation. This material also makes them easy to wash—Lululemon recommends washing them in cold water and laying them flat to dry.
They allow great movement and security.
Although they aren’t technically made for cardio machines, I’m pretty adamant about preventing my hands from getting ragged and dry, so for me, I use them as multi-purpose fitness gloves. This means the range of motion I ask of these gloves varies from gripping free weights to pushing and pulling handles on machines (such as an elliptical), and even to stretches and push-ups on the mat. Considering my bandwidth of activities, these have proven to be a terrific and dexterous pair of workout gloves.
They’re multipurpose even outside of the gym.
While they're advertised as weight-training gloves, I have used the Lululemon gloves for plenty of other activities outside of the gym ecosystem. For instance, I’m not an avid golfer or softball player, but when I’ve found myself playing these activities and don’t want to invest in the cost of those sport-specific gloves, I don these Lululemons and have found them to be just as effective as if I’d bought sport-specific gloves. Additionally, I’ve worn the gloves while riding my bike to and from the gym and they’re great for protecting my hands while gripping my handlebars, too.
For my own purposes, I wouldn’t care if these were hot pink or neon yellow—however, my husband cares about color. On occasion, he’s forgotten his gloves, so in a pinch, he’s borrowed mine. They not only fit him equally well (they come in S/M and M/L sizes), but offer an inconspicuous and sophisticated design that doesn’t look out of place on his hands while he weight-trains or does body-pump classes.
What I don’t like about the Lululemon workout gloves
At first, the cost gave me pause. These were $42, which seemed high compared with my Nike gloves that I bought from Marshalls for only $10. Ultimately, I took the plunge because the cheaper options were not, er, working out for me.
I also wasn’t initially a fan of the design. On account of the velcro wrist strap, I felt that the gloves were unnecessarily longer than that of the motorcycle-cut training gloves I preferred and that I find more stylish. What’s more, the location of the velcro straps and the fact that some of the “hook” part is exposed made it hard for me to re-do a ponytail in my hair mid-workout without getting strands snarled—a minor but annoying issue. The gloves’ velcro can also be problematic when you’re not wearing the gloves and not vigilant about slapping the fasteners back together before putting them in your gym bag; they tend to latch on like burrs to whatever else is in there—e.g., extra face masks, random elastic bands, loose threads, and clothing. And not only do they cling to debris, but when lint gets caught in the micro-hooks of the velcro, it can be difficult to extract. If I’m not mindful about this, eventually the velcro will stop sticking to itself.
A last curiosity: There’s a small elastic tab feature on the middle digit on each of the gloves. When making my initial purchase, there was no explanation on the care card or online as to what this does. While most of Lululemon’s designs are intuitive, this isn’t one of them. I did eventually figure out that this feature is supposed to allow you to grip the glove (from the fingers) for ease of taking them off—a kind of pinch-and-pull motion. But as a rather impatient person who is just keen to just yank these off after a sweaty session, I defer to gripping the fabric from my wrist and slide them off that way.
Are Lululemon’s License to Train gloves worth it?
I purchased these gloves about six months ago and they’re still in fantastic working condition. Although they are on the pricier side of fitness accessories, they’re durable, comfortable, and versatile enough that I use them in and outside of a gym setting. If you want a pair of training gloves that will last you a while, this is a great pair to try.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.