Sim racing gloves are an incredibly useful yet often overlooked piece of equipment. Having a good pair of gloves can boost your performance levels, as well as keep your hands comfortable and your hardware clean. But with so many options, it can be hard to find the right pair of sim racing gloves.
The 7 best sim racing gloves are:
- OMP Tecnica MY21
- Alpinestars Tech 1-K V2
- Sparco Hypergrip
- IMB LSG-1 Long
- Sparco Rush Kart Gloves
- Sim Hound Gloves
- F33L SR2
In sim racing, gloves aren’t a one-size-fits-all product, with different gloves having different shapes, sizes and features. In this article we will discuss what you should look out for when buying a pair of sim racing gloves, as well as listing the best options currently on the market.
Do You Need Gloves For Sim Racing?
You don’t need gloves for sim racing, and you will be able to race without them and do perfectly well. However, having a pair of sim racing gloves can offer you both performance and hygiene benefits, as well as helping to add more immersion and realism to your sim racing experience.
Sim racing gloves are designed to help you maintain your grip of the steering wheel, meaning you won’t feel your hands slipping around sharp corners. They are especially useful during longer sessions, when things start to get a little sweaty and the force feedback of the wheel becomes tougher to control. Having gloves on will eliminate all these inevitable defects.
As well as providing you with excellent grip, sim racing gloves will prevent your hands from blistering after long sessions. Using a force feedback wheel creates a lot of friction between the wheel and your hands, especially around tracks with multiple corners. Sim racing gloves are made with stretchable fabrics, reducing the risk of hand fatigue over long periods of time.
You can also find sim racing gloves with a good amount of wrist support, which will protect you from strains and aches, and even long-term damage.
As we all know, long sim racing sessions can be a sweaty affair. Wearing sim racing gloves will guard your wheel from sweat stains, as well as reducing the amount of bacteria lingering on the surface of your wheel. The importance of gloves can’t be understated if you use a suede/Alcantara covered wheel, as high levels of moisture can cause irreparable damage to the coating.
Immersion And Realism
When you see racing drivers get into their cars, they’re kitted out in full fireproof protective gear as well as a pair of racing gloves. While you won’t need your gloves to be fireproof (unless something is seriously wrong with your setup), they will help you to feel even more immersed in the action. As realism is such a major aspect of sim racing, gloves are an easy way to boost immersion.
If you want to take sim racing seriously, and improve your performance levels, then sim racing gloves are a must have. If you race casually then you may not find you need them, especially if you don’t tend to take part in long sessions. Likewise, if you race with a controller, gloves will likely be more of a hindrance than a help!
How To Choose Sim Racing Gloves
Grip And Materials Used
When buying a pair of sim racing gloves, it is important you look out for the type of grip used on the palm. Leather, rubber and suede are the most common materials, with gloves occasionally having a silicone-based grip. The grip you go for will depend on the wheel that you use. Leather and rubber wheels allow for a broader range of glove types, whereas plastic wheels work best with a rubber grip.
As well as a good grip, you’ll want to look out for gloves with plenty of breathability. This will help keep your hands cool, reducing sweating and discomfort. Breathability usually comes in the form of meshing between the fingers or on the back of the hand. Certain materials are also more breathable than others, such as polyester or nylon, due to the way in which they are made.
Less breathable materials include leather and suede, as their main purpose is to keep heat in rather than letting it out. The thickness and weight of the glove should also have a bearing on which pair you choose. Plenty of sim racing gloves are branded as lightweight, which will remain comfortable during long sessions, and are generally more suited to track racing.
Those who enjoy rougher disciplines such as rally or dirt racing may opt for a heavier, more durable glove that can withstand constant heavy turning. You’ll also need a bit more padding on the glove to eradicate the risk of any friction burns from a force feedback wheel.
Sim racing gloves tend to come with either a shorter cut, fitting just below your wrist, or a longer cut, coming to around halfway down your forearm. The type you choose will depend on personal preference, as well as the tightness of the fit that you want to achieve. Longer gloves tend to favor elasticated fastening over the traditional Velcro strap, making them slightly looser around the wrist.
This removes the risk of irritation from the strap, as well as keeping the gloves comfortable during long sessions. However, a looser fit may not feel as accurate and precise as a tighter fitting glove. One of the benefits to having an adjustable strap is that you can determine how tight you want the glove to fit on your hand, leaving you with more control over the glove’s overall feel.
Longer cut gloves do add an extra layer of immersion into your sim racing experience as they are more prevalent in real life racing. However, for many sim racers, they will feel slightly overkill.
Durability And Price
Gloves made from durable materials are very much recommended, as they will last you longer without having to be replaced. They will also do a better job of preventing blistering and injury, as the materials won’t wear away as easily. Gloves with more durable materials do tend to be more expensive.
However, compared to a lot of other pieces of sim racing equipment, gloves are reasonably priced. A good starting point for a pair of sim racing gloves will be around $30, with mid-range gloves costing between $50-$70. It is important that you look out for the features that you want from the glove before looking at the price.
KEY POINTS• While you don’t need a pair of sim racing gloves, they can make for a better experience
• They’re usually not too expensive and there are lots of options to choose from
• The key things to look for are the materials used and the level of grip offered by the gloves
The 7 Best Sim Racing Gloves
1. OMP Tecnica MY21 Racing Gloves
Materials: Suede / Silicone / Rubber | Fastening: Elasticated / Velcro | Cut: Long
If you’re in the market for a serious racing glove and paying over $100 is no issue, then you may be swayed towards the Tecnica MY21 gloves from OMP. Designed for real life racers, this glove will help take your sim racing experience to the next level. The palm features suede, silicone and rubber inserts for maximum grip.
OMP have even doubled down on the fastening mechanism of this glove, with both elasticated wrists and a Velcro strap to ensure the glove will stay as tight as possible throughout your races. The design of the glove is authentic, with external seams allowing you to see the craftsmanship that has gone into making the glove.
The Tecnica MY21s are without a doubt aimed at serious and experienced sim racers, with an array of impressive features. If money is no object, then you should definitely consider buying a pair of these gloves!
- Extremely grippy
- Double-fastening mechanism
- Impressive looking
- Very expensive
2. Alpinestars Tech 1-K V2
Materials: Silicone / Suede | Fastening: Elastic | Cut: Long
Alpinestars are one of the biggest names in motorsport, supplying racewear for a variety of professional racing teams. Their commitment to quality shines through with these lightweight, long-fitting gloves. The gloves were originally designed for karting, but they work excellently for sim racing, with grippy silicone stripes mixed with suede on the palm ensuring you won’t lose hold of your wheel.
These are some of the best looking sim racing gloves on the market. They feel great too, and are clearly made for racing, with their grippy palms and breathable lining.
The gloves have a breathable mesh lining between the fingers to keep your hands cool and reduce sweating. The elasticated wrist means that the gloves will fit closely to your wrist, despite the long cut. The fingers are also pre-curved, which prevents the gloves from bunching when your hands are on the wheel. They come in a variety of sizes, with four colors to choose from.
The durability of the materials used and the quality of the stitching means you won’t need to replace the gloves any time soon. These gloves aren’t cheap, but they look and feel professional, and will offer you all of the performance benefits you’d expect from a pair of racing gloves.
- Grippy silicone/suede palms
- Elasticated wrist
- Great quality feel
3. Sparco Hypergrip
Materials: Rubber Coating | Fastening: Velcro | Cut: Short
The Sparco Hypergrip gaming gloves are some of the most popular cheap sim racing gloves on the market, and for good reason. They are lightweight and incredibly breathable, with mesh in between the fingers, and ventilation holes on the palm of the glove. Considering how light they are, they are well padded on the palm, making them very comfortable during long sessions.
These gloves are a fairly budget friendly choice, but they don't sacrifice any quality. They're incredibly comfortable, and they'll remain breathable during long racing sessions.
The gloves are designed with stretchy materials, allowing for a skintight fit around the hand without feeling too restrictive. The fit is so accurate that you’d have no issues using these gloves while racing with a controller (if you wanted to). Touch screen pads, as well as removable fingertips, mean you’ll have no trouble accessing external devices with these gloves on.
These gloves are fairly budget friendly, and they contain features that would rival gloves at a much higher price range. They are also visually attractive, with a nice mix of black and red ensuring you’ll look the part while racing.
- Comfortable tight fit
- Extra padding on the palm
- Well ventilated and breathable
- Materials susceptible to wear over time
4. IMB LSG-1 Long
Materials: Silicone | Fastening: N/A | Cut: Long
If you want a fully customizable sim racing glove, then this is the pair for you. You can easily adorn the LSG-1 long cut gloves with your name and flag, as well as change the design and color of the gloves themselves to suit your style. You can even add custom logos to the gloves, which is great for sim racing content creators.
More importantly, the gloves are great quality, crafted with breathable materials to keep your hands cool. The grip consists of silicone strips placed over the palm and fingers, so you won’t find your fingers slipping from the wheel. The glove features a gauntlet-style design, much like you’d see with real racing gloves. They have also been tapered around the wrist area to avoid looseness.
A nice detail which is often disregarded with sim racing gloves is the addition of touch-screen friendly tips on the fingers, allowing you to use your mobile devices without removing your gloves. This may not be the most important detail on the glove, but it is a nice, convenient addition. For around $50, this pair of gloves represents good value for money.
- Fully customizable designs
- Breathable materials
- Touch-screen friendly
- No adjustable fastening
5. Sparco Rush Kart Gloves
Materials: Synthetic Leather / Silicone | Fastening: Elasticated | Cut: Long
As you may have guessed, the Sparco Rush Kart Gloves were originally designed for karting, but their grippy silicone palms make them ideal for sim racing. The elasticated wrists make them feel secure and tight fitting, while remaining comfortable and soft when gripping the wheel. The fingers are also pre-curved, which reduces bunching, allowing you to always have maximum grip.
The palm is made of synthetic leather, which gives the gloves a professional, sturdy feel, with meshing in between the fingers ensuring they remain breathable during long sessions. They’re reasonably priced for the features that they have to offer. There are a variety of colors to choose from, as well as a range of sizes available.
- Variety of quality materials used
- Pre-curved fingers
- Comfortable fit
- Thumb sections may be a bit large
6. Sim Hound Gloves
Materials: Suede / Rubber | Fastening: Velcro | Cut: Short
Designed for sim racers, Sim Hound gloves are lightweight and grippy, and will allow you to get a really close and accurate feel of the wheel. Their looks are reminiscent of a golf glove, with a Velcro strap at the bottom of the glove helping to make them feel secure. The whole glove is made of breathable material, meaning your hands won’t get too hot while you’re racing.
With a mixture of suede and rubber strips on the palms, these gloves will provide you with more than enough grip. It also allows for use of touch-screen devices while wearing the gloves, with pads on the index fingers. There is also a fingerless version, which will allow for even more breathability at a slightly lower price.
- Great grip
- Fingerless version available
- Limited padding may be uncomfortable in long sessions
7. F33L SR2
Materials: Rubber | Fastening: Velcro | Cut: Short
Endorsed by popular sim racing personality Jimmy Broadbent, the F33L SR2 gloves are an impressive upgrade on the previous model, the SR1s. The gloves have been designed solely with sim racing in mind, and this shows with the modifications that have been made. The material used is breathable and light, and with a reinforced rubber grip, you’ll be able to race with full confidence and stability.
The strong grip on these gloves is especially useful if you use a wheel with strong force feedback. The overall fit isn’t as tight as the Sparco Hypergrips, although it is tight enough that you won’t feel any friction burns after long sessions. These sim racing gloves represent good value for money, with features outperforming their price.
- Strong grip, great for force feedback wheels
- Breathable material
- Fairly cheap
- Not the tightest fit
The Best Sim Racing Gloves For Alcantara
Alcantara wheels are extremely vulnerable to damage if used without gloves. Alcantara absorbs more sweat and moisture than other materials used on racing wheels, meaning the material will wear away very quickly if your hands aren’t protected. If you have an Alcantara wheel, it is advised that you use gloves with a similar material on the palm, such as the OMP New Rally Race Gloves.
OMP New Rally Race Gloves
These gloves have a fully suede palm, which will help to protect your Alcantara wheel. The gloves feature a medium length cut, with a simplistic vintage design and an elasticated wrist. The soft materials used to make these gloves will keep your hands comfortable throughout a racing session.
The gloves are Nomex backed, a fiber usually used for its fireproof capabilities. While fire may not be an issue in sim racing, Nomex is an extremely breathable material, meaning your hands should stay reasonably cool while racing. Nomex also dries very quickly, which will prevent moisture from getting to your Alcantara wheel.
While you may be able to enjoy sim racing without gloves, you’ll likely find that having a pair will greatly increase your comfort and performance levels. They eradicate the hindrance of sweaty hands on a slippery wheel, allowing you to be at your best for longer. The best sim racing gloves are the OMP Tecnica MY21 gloves, but the Alpinestars Tech 1-K V2s are another great option.
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