Harbinger weightlifting gloves

A pair of lifting gloves is one of the most personal and lasting things a person will ever have in her gymbag. They are truly indispensable - fitting the roles of necessity, ritual, and enhancement. The right pair of gloves is an extension of the self.

I've only had four pairs in my lifting life. The first pair appealed to a younger friend so much that they disappeared with him. The second pair wore out. The third - oh, the third - have been with me almost ten years now, and they're performing beautifully. See below for the fourth.

When I faced the rows of gloves in the sports store for my third pair, I reached for the cheapest ones on the rack. My husband, being the fantastic partner he is, urged me to invest in a good pair. So I got the Harbingers. They were $30, and I about choked when I handed all that cash over. Heh. Talk about money well-spent.

Harbinger makes several different weightlifting gloves. I own their "classic wristwrap gloves."

They're tough. The grip is excellent. The leather is solid, the velcro secure without clotting every piece of fuzz and hair they come across. They're comfortable enough that I often mow the lawn with them, or after a work out, leave them on while I pick up the mail or give the kitties a scratch.

The patented wristwrap is the kicker. It's a cinch to snug up for bicep curls, chest press, whatever exercises call for some wrist stabilization. When you don't need it, you just loosen it up and forget it's there. While a few other companies feature wristwraps in their gloves, what sets Harbinger's design apart is that wrap goes across the hand, for full, effective stabilization. It's also handy as a skin guard when you want to do something creative that involves wrapping rubber bands or something around your wrist or forearm.

They're easy to take on and off during a work out, and while I'm not a sweater, I've never had a problem with wet palms in these. After all these years, the only thing that's changed is the palms are getting smooth and shiny. So they've got a bit of wear to show for all their years of work. Just like I do. And I like seeing that.

No wristwrap

But you don't always need or want wrist protection. I'm using the 154 women's power glove most frequently these days. They're fast and easy to take on and off, lightweight and comfortable. Lycra backs give them stretch, leather palms give them grip. The coverage is minimal. They're the fastest ones to grab for a quick set of pull-ups or impromptu hoeing in the garden (that's right). And at ten bucks, they're such a great deal that I sprang for two pair, one for the gym bag and one for home.


The new women's 1255 is marketed as the fancy-schmancy end-all of women's gloves, with high-tech fabrics and a gel palm. They look a lot like the classic. The main difference between this design and the men's is the length of the fingers. Interesting that some Harbinger gloves marketing copy boasts shorter fingers allow for free movement (on the 154, for example - "short finger length for a natural feel, and increased contact with the lifting surface") yet for this model, copy boasts longer fingers for better protection. I can't stand the longer fingers; they make my hands feel claustrophobic.

Harbinger sells to retailers, who then set their own prices. Here's a list of online retailers, and here's a locator for brick-and-mortar retailers. Or get them at Amazon.

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