Will working gloves work?

This post is not sponsored or paid by Snickers Workwear, even though they have sent me this pair to be for testing with out charge.

I have been racing with a Thrustmaster T300 and Logitech G920 ever since I started racing with a wheel. In all 3 years, I have never felt the need to use gloves for those. Recently though I upgraded to a Fanatec Club Sport V2 and although some of you may not think of it as a huge upgrade, for me it was an eye opener. I also realised that increased power of the base and the rough surface of the alcantara on the F1 Carbon wheel, were giving me blisters and calluses on my hands.

Why Gloves?

I quickly figured out that I needed gloves for my new wheel, partly to protect my hands, and partly to protect my wheel.

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After a month or so, I started getting blisters on the top part of my palm and calluses on the inside of my thumb. They were not painful as such, but I could feel that this would happen at some point if I kept on without protection. Besides the effect the wheel had on my hands, I also noticed that the wheel was getting dirty and worn. The Alcantara surface absorbs a lot of sweat, from my hands, making it sticky and hard to clean. The surface will also start wearing off eventually, so I wanted to protect that too, by using gloves.

What Gloves?

I had some rubber dipped garden gloves lying around but they were very thin, and didn’t really do the job for me. Also the rubber layer wore out quite fast so I needed to look for some proper gloves.

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There are two popular and main stream choices when it comes to sim-racing gloves. One of them is real racing gloves, like the ones being used in racing series and go cart circuits. These are very warm, expensive and unnecessary protective against fire hazards. They also need to live up to certain standards, regulations, and specifications that honestly don’t apply to sim racing. The other popular solution is sim-racing gloves. Yes there are gloves made specifically for sim racing. Although I haven’t tried these, the look thinner, cheaper and not quite as sturdy. They do look very cool in both style and temperature though. The seem to be great for keeping your hands dry and avoid them getting too warm. From what I hear though, they wear out very fast and are considered a wear-part that needs somewhat regular replacement

Alternatives

I have had a look at alternatives to the solutions mentioned above because I like doing things different and preferably cheaper, if possible. My first try was bicycle gloves. They seem to work well, but they have padding at the wrong places. Although the do give some protection to the top part of the palm they add a clumsy pad to the lower inside part and offer no protection to the inside of the thumb.

I then bought some (very) cheap gloves from an ATV store near by. They seemed to offer some protection, but even though they looked thin, they got very very hot, so my hands were soaking wetg even after just half an hour of racing.

This was when I started looking into professional working gloves. I had seen the huge range available in the local warehouse and I was confident that I could find something that would work well. In my research I fell across Snickers Workwear. They have an impressive range of highlyu specialised gloves that looked promising. They were very kind to send me a pair of my choice, to try out, because they had no real experience with them being used for racing.

Working Gloves

Snickers Workwear have a huge range of working gloves, specialised for very different situations. I had a talk with them, to ask for their expertise but they have no experience with racing and especially not sim racing. This made it hard for them to suggest a good pair, even though it really felt like they knew their product range very well! They initially suggested a pair that is made to protect against vibrations, and they did look very good, but also very thick, warm and maybe too bulky. After some talks, we eventually settled on a pair called Precision Protect (9574). They are made to protect, but also to allow for maximum precision and agility.

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I used their size guide to chose the right size. I usually need a size 9 but just to make sure, i consulted their size chart. The gloves have a very tight fit so If you are between two sizes, go with the larger one. Mine feel like a tight squeeze, but they do grow on you and like a good pair of shoes, they will adjust to your hand and use.

For me, these gloves are the perfect balance of sturdyness and lightweight. They seem to offer a good and tight fit, that will not give while i race, and have good protection exactly where i need it. They also have protection places where I don’t need it, but unlike cycling gloves, this does not get in the way.

I was initially a bit concerned about the knuckle protection on the thumbs. On the description they looked very bulky and hard. This, I was afraid could get in the way of the F1 style rim that I use, and I was nervous that I might not be able to move my thumb freely, especially in tight corners. It turned out that this didn’t even come close to being an issue.

A small feature that i had not noticed, but that I really love, is the small square rubber stamp in the cuff of the glove. I hadn’t even noticed it, until I put the gloves on for the first time and I accidentally used it for what it is for. It is an intuitive strap to pull them up, without tearing on the actual cuff. This is such a nice detail that i have never seen on other gloves and that I am sure will prolong the lifetime of the gloves.

The gloves also come with a dedicated are on the index finger that allows you to use touch screens while having them on. This I have had very mixed results with. It works really well when I hold the phone in my hand, but not really when the phone is mounted on a stand. This means that I still need to get the glove off, to adjust the phone dashboard and my tablet realltives that I use. Luckily, I only need to do this once every time that I race so for me it is not big deal. I have been told that these LCD friendly gloves very rarely work well anyway, but for use when the phone is in your hand, these seem to be ok!

The rubber lining of the fingers, and palm give a great grip, and seem to be very well made. They give a very good protection and has eventually stopped my thumbs from getting those calluses on the inside of the first digit. Even though these gloves seem thicker than most sim racing gloves, i have not had issues with them getting too warm or sweaty. Unlike the thinner gloves that I have tried, these seem to allow the sweat to evaporate, making them comfortable even for longer runs.

All in all, I am very happy for these gloves and although I have no experience with the wide range of real driver gloves, or even sim racing gloves, I think these hit the sweet spot, offering a very sturdy, long lasting and affordable glove for sim racing.

Where to get them

Snickers Workwear is an international company with worldwide coverage. You can track down your local distributor through their website.

I live in Denmark, where the deistributor has a show room in Ballerup. Everyone can visit them there, try their gloves out and buy them. Alternatively they have an extensive network of resellers nationwide, that will offer them in real shops or online. If you do live in Denmark, you can find your local reseller here.

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