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Get a Grip: Deciding Whether to Wear a Pickleball Glove or Not

Pickleball is a fast-paced and dynamic sport that requires precision, agility, and quick reflexes. A player’s grip on the paddle is crucial to hitting accurate shots and winning points. The question arises whether players should wear gloves for pickleball play or not. Let’s explore the pros and cons of wearing gloves and provide guidance on making an informed decision.

Pros and Cons of Wearing Gloves


  1. Better Grip: Wearing gloves can improve a player’s grip on the paddle. This can be particularly helpful in humid or sweaty conditions, where the paddle may become slippery and difficult to handle. A glove can provide a tacky surface that enhances the grip and prevents the paddle from slipping out of the player’s hand.
  2. Protection: Gloves can also provide protection against blisters, calluses, and other skin irritations that can develop on the hand from holding the paddle for extended periods. This is especially relevant for beginners or players who are prone to developing these issues.
  3. Comfort: Some players find gloves more comfortable to play with, especially those with sensitive skin or hand injuries.


  1. Reduced Feel: Some players feel that gloves reduce the tactile feedback and feel of the paddle, making it more challenging to control the ball’s spin and placement. This can be particularly relevant for advanced players who rely on finesse shots and precise ball control.
  2. Cost: Gloves can be an additional expense, especially if they need to be replaced frequently due to wear and tear.
  3. Personal Preference: Ultimately, whether or not to wear gloves is a matter of personal preference. Some players find gloves uncomfortable and unnecessary, while others swear by them.
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Making an Informed Decision

Players should consider their playing style, level of experience, and personal comfort when deciding whether or not to wear gloves. It is recommended that beginners and players prone to skin irritations should try gloves to protect their hands. Advanced players may want to experiment with gloves to see if they improve their grip or negatively affect their feel for the paddle. Ultimately, players should choose the option that feels most comfortable and enables them to perform at their best on the court.

Types of Gloves

There are various types of gloves available in the market that cater to different needs. For instance, some gloves are designed specifically for pickleball, while others are general-purpose gloves that can be used for different sports. Some gloves are fingerless, while others cover the entire hand. It is important to choose a glove that is comfortable, fits well, and provides the necessary grip and protection.

Choosing the Right Material

Gloves are made from different materials such as leather, synthetic, or mesh. Leather gloves are durable and provide a good grip, but they can be expensive and may not be suitable for humid conditions. Synthetic gloves are more affordable and offer good breathability, but they may not provide the same level of grip as leather gloves. Mesh gloves are lightweight and breathable, but they may not offer as much protection as other materials.

Maintaining Gloves

It is important to maintain gloves to prolong their lifespan and ensure they remain effective. Gloves should be washed regularly to remove sweat and dirt buildup, and they should be allowed to dry completely before use. Gloves should also be replaced when they become worn out or lose their grip.

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Alternatives to Gloves

Some players prefer to use grip-enhancing products such as grip pads or grip-enhancing sprays instead of gloves. These products can provide a similar level of grip as gloves without the added expense or reduced feel.

Glove Etiquette

If a player chooses to wear gloves, they should follow proper glove etiquette. This includes not touching other players’ paddles or balls with the gloved hand, removing the gloves when shaking hands or high-fiving, and not using the gloves to wipe sweat from the face.


Whether to wear gloves for pickleball play or not is a personal choice. While gloves can provide better grip, protection, and comfort, they may also reduce feel and come at an additional cost. Players should consider their individual needs and preferences to make an informed decision. Regardless of whether a player chooses to wear gloves or not, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the game.


Wearing a glove is not a requirement to play pickleball. It is a personal preference and depends on the player’s comfort level and playing style. While gloves can provide benefits, such as better grip and protection, they can also have drawbacks, such as reduced feel and additional cost. Ultimately, the decision to wear gloves or not is up to the individual player.


Wearing gloves for pickleball is a matter of personal preference. Some players prefer to wear gloves for added grip, protection, and comfort, while others prefer to play without gloves. If you have a history of hand injuries or sweat excessively, wearing gloves may be beneficial. However, if you feel more comfortable without gloves and can maintain a good grip on your paddle, you may choose to play without them.

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You should wear comfortable, athletic clothing that allows for ease of movement while playing pickleball. Shorts, skirts, or athletic pants are all suitable options. A moisture-wicking shirt or tank top will help keep you cool and dry during gameplay. Additionally, you should wear supportive, non-slip athletic shoes designed for court sports to provide the necessary traction and stability.

When choosing a pickleball glove, consider the fit, material, and grip. The glove should fit snugly but not be too tight, as this can restrict your movement and cause discomfort. The material should be breathable and moisture-wicking to keep your hands cool and dry. Look for gloves with good grip that will help you maintain control over your paddle. Try on several different gloves and test them out to find the one that works best for you.

Dustin DeTorres

Dustin has been a Pickleball enthusiast for years and dedicated this blog to providing the best information out there about this fun game.