It might be the racer in me that’s been cultivated for years, but it almost felt wrong to immerse myself in rapid laps around Spa without a pair of familiar gloves on my hands. In this article, I’ll be looking at sim racing gloves and the benefits they provide!
So, what are the benefits of using sim racing gloves? Here are a few benefits of using sim racing gloves:
- Better, more natural-feeling control of the wheel
- Gloves will protect the racer’s hands from fatigue
- Overall drive will be smoother
With the above providing the grounding of why these specially designed gloves will improve your performance, you might already be sold. But with the full course of this piece, you’ll find yourself browsing for your own pair after this, so don’t go anywhere!
The Drive: Glove Features
Probably one of the biggest benefits to sim racing gloves is simply this: they afford better grip and allow for a smoother drive.
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There’s a reason why gloves are so important in motorsport worldwide, after all! Although glove types differ depending on the sport specifically, they’re all designed for that wider competitive edge that’s afforded by a better handle on the steering wheel.
In terms of sim racing, they are not only designed to increase a driver’s grip on the wheel or to provide a more authentic race feel; their primary function is to lessen hand fatigue and ensure that you can keep racing for longer.
For that reason, most brands will offer specialized rubber-like pads on the palms of their gloves that will allow for better grip without the trade-off of tired hands by the end of a hard race.
Similarly, go-karting gloves are designed with the same goal in mind. They protect the driver’s hands from blisters and provide better grip so that you don’t have to apply extra force to keep the kart under control, and as such, I can definitely see why sim racing sites offer the sale of go-kart gloves alongside the specific sim spec gloves.
Different companies will offer various types of glove to suit driver preference.
For example, some sim racing gloves are secured with a Velcro strap around the wrist, something which can increase the stability of the driver’s wrists, and lessen the risk of strain.
On the other side of this, some drivers find that the Velcro strap interferes with their drive, so there are all-elasticated variations of sim racing gloves on offer, too, which makes the gloves feel more like a second skin in terms of extra comfort.
The kind of glove you choose is absolutely up to you, and I’ll go into more detail about the big sim racing brands and what they offer down below so you can get a bigger picture on the subject.
Purely and simply, sim racing gloves not only make everything more authentic and exciting, they provide benefits to the racer that can’t be disputed. What’s better than smashing that previous lap record you set, all because you have a better handle on your steering wheel? And what’ll probably feel even nicer is how much better your hands feel after four straight hours of racing!
The Investment: Why Sim Racing Gloves Are Competitive
Think for a minute about how much you likely spent on your full sim racing rig. It was probably a pretty penny, wasn’t it? After all, once you start racing, all you want is to see further progression and get more competitive.
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Even as a more casual sim racer, I can totally see why! And I can apply the same mode of thought to go-karting, too.
Nothing felt cooler to me than buying a brand-new engine and blitzing around the track for the first time, similar to investing in a new set of pedals for a sim racing rig and seeing your times improve through the roof.
So, considering how much was spent on a rig which you spend a solid chunk of time enjoying, I’d definitely argue that spending a little extra to give yourself even more of an edge is totally worth the cash.
As with anything, sim racing gloves can perform to the level of money you’re willing to invest into them. I’d personally recommend searching for something a little on the cheap side to begin with just to practice and see a difference before looking at more professional-level gloves.
Go-kart gloves, as I mentioned previously, are often sold in tandem with sim racing-specific brands, and you’ll find the go-kart variety is often cheaper. After you’ve put on a pair of decent gloves and raced with them, I’m pretty sure that you’ll be convinced of the value in them.
Brands like F33L IT, Custom-Cockpits and Fast Track Sims can rack up a pretty penny, but you’ll be gaining so much and will have a lot of wear from those specialized gloves. You’ll stop coming away from sim racing sessions where your hands and wrists feel strung-out and pained, and you’ll see how much more competitive you’ve become in races.
With so much variety in this ever-growing market for sim racing products, you can either look for a super-specialized pair of gloves, or something to be used for a wider variety of activities. I can bet money on the fact that you’ll find a great glove to enhance your edge!
If you’re also a video gamer like me, you’d probably find the Sparco Hypergrip to be an attractive glove for purchase because of how multi-purpose this pair is. They have controller compatibility and are great to combat hand/wrist fatigue in PC gaming, also.
In spite of how some pairs of gloves can fetch a high price, there remains a plethora of other brands that are affordable and still provide all of the same benefits!
Final Thoughts: Why You Should Buy A Pair
It goes without saying that the benefits of sim racing gloves are far-reaching in every direction, netting all kinds of positives for you as a racer. You’ll not only see an improvement in your driving due to the better grip, but you’ll be increasing your comfort and allowing for more practice thanks to decreased hand/wrist fatigue.
And with so many amazing brands out on the market for all price points, I don’t think there’s any reason not to nab yourself a pair.
Even if you aren’t seeking a competitive edge, you can’t deny how much more authentic sim racing will become when you have a slick new pair of racing gloves gripping the wheel! All of these factors make this an investment that will give you fantastic returns, time and time again going forward.
I’ve known people wear their gloves out with how much they were used, and they immediately went online to pick out a brand-new pair! Jump on Amazon, or even stop by the makers’ websites like Sparco, North World Sim and so many others. You can thank me after you’ve thrashed your old lap records!