It might be the racer in me that’s been cultivated for years, but it almost feels wrong to immerse myself in virtual laps around Spa without a pair of sim racing gloves on my hands! But you may wonder why sim racers wear gloves and what benefits they provide.
Sim racers wear gloves as they offer better grip, more natural-feeling control of the wheel, and they protect your hands from fatigue as well. They provide a more immersive, realistic racing experience, and they also help protect your wheel rim from damage from sweaty hands.
With the above providing the grounding of why sim racing gloves will improve your performance, you might already be sold. However, we go into more detail about these benefits below, and we’ll also point out a few of our favorite pairs of sim racing gloves too.
The 3 Key Benefits Of Wearing Sim Racing Gloves
1. Better Grip
Probably one of the biggest benefits of wearing sim racing gloves is simply that they offer better grip and allow for a smoother drive. Although glove types differ depending on the motorsport, they’re all designed for that wider competitive edge that’s afforded by having a better handle on the steering wheel.
2. Reduced Fatigue
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, as they also help 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.
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.
3. They Protect Your Wheel
Sim racing gloves also offer protection for your wheel, not just your hands. Fabrics like Alcantara that are found on more premium sim racing wheels look and feel great. But a few hours of sweaty palms in tense racing situations can do some damage to this finish.
Wearing gloves provides better grip on the wheel (so there’s less sliding around), but they also eliminate the risk of sweat breaking down the fabric or other material on your wheel rim. So, sim racing gloves can help keep your wheel looking as good as new!
Why Sim Racing Gloves Are Worth It
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. The same line of thought can be applied to karting as well.
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.
Cheap vs Expensive
As with any peripheral, be it a wheel, pedals, or shiny new gear shifter, sim racing gloves will perform to the level of money you’re willing to invest into them – to an extent at least. 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.
Lots Of Variety
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, 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.
They’re Worth Trying
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 get a lot of use from these gloves before even thinking about replacing them. 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. Below are some of the best sim racing gloves you can use as a starting point for your search.
The Best Sim Racing Gloves
- • Lots of grip
- • Excellent racing look and feel
- • Elasticated wrist for extra comfort
- • Very comfortable
- • Reasonably priced
- • Breathable materials
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 and wrist fatigue.