During our exercises, we often overlook the sheer amount of stress our wrists have to deal with at any given time. It is one part of the body that is under near constant load in the gym.
This is especially true during weight training. There are several accessories out there to help your wrists deal with excessive strain and stress.
Chief among them are wrist wraps. They offer a lot of benefits but also come with a few minor disadvantages.
They do get some stick from many fitness enthusiasts, and users are often looked down upon in the gym. But veteran trainers and experts all agree that when used correctly and in moderation, wrist wraps can offer a lot of positive benefits.
So if you are into high intensity and high load weight training you should consider including the best wrist wraps in your gym bag. Check out our buyer’s guide to learn more about these simple fitness accessories.
If you want to know about the top products in this category at the moment, head straight to out in-depth reviews below. And if you are in a hurry, you can learn all the essential features from our comparison table!
Best Wrist Wraps of 2018
|Grip Power Pads Deluxe Wrist Wraps (Editor's Choice)||13”, 18”||Stretching material with high-quality stitching and strong closures||Yes, 2 size||Black; Gray; Pink; Yellow; Orange|
|Rip Toned Wrist Wraps||18”, stiff or less stiff versions||Stiff material with premium stitching & high end durable extra wide velcro||Yes||Black; Blue; Gray Camo; green; Green Camo; Red|
|DMoose Fitness Wrist Wraps||12”, 18”||Velcro design, double stitching and a Super Heavy Duty material||Yes||Variety|
|Bear Grips II-band Wrist Wraps||12”, 18”, 24”||Velcro closure; elastic material||Yes||American Flag: Red and White Stripes; Green; Green with Black Stripes; Pink|
|WOD Wear Wrist Wraps||33"||Cotton with double sided tear resistant stitching||No||Variety|
1. Grip Power Pads Deluxe Wrist Wraps – Best All Rounder Wraps
The Deluxe wrist wraps are 13-inch wraps made from stretchable fabric. They are also available in longer 18” variants. They have velcro fasteners that are quite thick when wrapped around your wrist. These wraps are sold in pairs. They come with thumb loops. The wraps have a striped design with a black body. There are at least four or five different color options, including, white, blue, orange and yellow.
Many stretchable wraps suffer from durability issues. The elastic tends to loosen up, reducing the snug fit and support over months or even weeks of use. The Deluxe wrist wraps do not suffer from this issue. They are stretchable, but not by much. This allows them to retain their shape for a much longer period.
These are unisex wraps. Both men and women can use them. The sheer amount of choice when it comes to colors allow you to match them to your gym wear if you are keen on such things. The stripes design keep things pretty basic and sober, which is always good as well.
As for the performance aspect, these wraps offer the right amount of support for your wrist during regular CrossFit and weight training. They are not too thin, and the 13-18” length makes them easy to wear. You don’t have to go on endlessly wrapping them around the wrist. The thumb loop also makes it easier to wrap them. And thanks to the stretch fabric, the wraps will suit wrists of all sizes. Easy maintenance is another great feature of these wraps. They can be cleaned using just cold water and detergent.
The Grip Power Pads are not without some minor flaws either. For starters, they are a tad too wide for some folks. They just might be too wide to offer comfortable support for some users. If you belong to this category, you might feel the wraps obstructing your mobility during exercises.
The thumb loops are generally considered a useful feature on wrist wraps. But the ones on these are quite disappointing. They are not very durable and do not help much in keeping the wraps adequately positioned on your wrist. In some instances, the velcro also showed minor durability issues.
The Deluxe wraps from Grip Power are genuine all-rounders. They offer excellent reliability and support for a wide range of exercises and fitness routines. The wraps are available at a very affordable price point. The special package where you get two pairs of wraps is particularly attractive. We have no problem in recommending these wrist wraps for CrossFit and regular weight training.
2. Rip Toned Wrist Wraps – Best For Weightlifting And Powerlifting
These are elastic wrist wraps from Rip Toned, available in a wide range of colors and designs. They have velcro pads for safe and secure fit on the wrists. The length is uniform across the range, at 18”. The designs include plain, striped, and various shades of camo. Multiple stiffness levels are available, with “Stiff” denoting extra stiff, and “Less Stiff” being the label for medium stiffness. The Stiff variant is for maximum support, while Less Stiff is for users who want more mobility and flexibility.
These are heavy duty wraps (the Stiff variant) ideal for serious weightlifting. Their size is large enough to accommodate the wrists of even the biggest and most dedicated lifters out there. And if you want something more flexible, the Rip Toned range has something for you as well.
Unlike really flexible wraps, these tend to stay close to your skin without affecting the circulation in the wrists. Other wraps can cut off the blood flow during weight training. You will not have that problem with these heavy duty wraps from Rip Toned.
Overall build quality is also top notch. The materials feel and look premium, and the stitching is also quite long lasting. The thumb loops on these actually work and help you keep the wraps in place.
The numerous color and design choices also work in favor of Rip Toned wraps. The dual flex options also make these wraps quite versatile. You can choose one based on whether you want more flexibility/mobility, or extra support for weight training.
Though these look like unisex wraps, their extra long length does not help in this regard. Women with thinner wrists will find these too large for their requirements. They will end up feeling too heavy and bulky. And they are not very stretchy either, which also detracts from the overall comfort and fit levels.
Stiffness levels are essential for wrist support, no doubt about that. But we feel that Rip Toned has gone overboard with the stiffness levels on their wraps. The “Stiff” variant might is too rigid for many beginners and amateur buyers. That extra stiffness also reduces the overall support on offer for your wrists. For maximum support, the wrap needs to flex to follow the contours of your wrist closely. In some instances, these wraps fail to do that.
Should you buy the Rip Toned wraps? Well, that depends on your exercise routines. If you are into CrossFit and stuff like that, the less stiff wraps might be a decent choice. The Stiff versions are far too unyielding for the average user to get any joy out of. They are best left in the hands of veteran powerlifters.
3. DMoose Fitness Wrist Wraps – Best For Crossfit
Bright and vibrant is what you get when you buy your wraps from DMoose. These multipurpose wrist wraps are made from heavy duty synthetic fabric. There are numerous colors and patterns on offer. There are two size options: a 12-inch wrap, and a longer 18-inch one for users with bigger wrists. The straps are available in marked pairs for each hand.
We have to give them credit for creating some of the best looking wrist wraps out there in the market. The designs available include Hawaiian flowers, different camo patterns, skulls, Confederate flags, and the good old stripes. If you want something different from the drab wraps you get elsewhere, DMoose the best option for you, period. And by the way, these are unisex wraps, and there are some neat designs for women, like pink camo and tropical flowers.
The fastening system on these wraps have an adjustable setting. This enables the wraps to snugly fit virtually all wrist sizes out there, without having to use stretchy spandex. So even if you have smaller wrists, these should fit just fine.
The fabric used is really thick and feels quite durable. The stitching looks quite robust, with double the lines. These DMoose Fitness wraps look capable of staying true for the long haul. And thanks to the thumb loops, they are easy to put on. Once fastened, they do not slip at all, and tends to stay in place with a minimal need for adjustments.
As already mentioned this is not any kind of spandex. But the fabric has enough flex to stay close to your wrist and provide enough support to the joint. These wraps can be used for weight training and any other gym exercise.
There are a few minor niggles with these wraps though. The thick fabric does have the potential to chafe your skin with prolonged use. And for thinner, more petite users, these heavy duty wraps might feel a bit too thick. For some users, these are far too stiff and tends to restrict smooth movement.
We really liked the level of attention to detail DMoose has given to these wrist wraps. They get the job done for the most part and also look very cool in the bargain. Unless your wrists are really petite/thin, you will find plenty to love with these wraps. They are highly recommended!
4. Bear Grips II-band Wrist Wraps – Best Fabric Wraps For Pain
Bear Grips wraps are available in three size options. Along with the usual 12 and 18-inch versions, they also offer a longer 24” wrap for athletes who need maximum support. Design options are somewhat limited, with basic stripes being the leading choice. But for true patriots, they also have a colorful Stars-n-Stripes variant! The wraps are made of durable synthetic fabric, with velcro closure, elastics, and thumb loops.
Okay, we love the American flag version of these wraps. They are really striking and look amazing on our wrists! Now that we have got that out of the way let’s get down to the actual pros. Build quality is the main advantage of Bear Grips wraps. They look and feel premium, with sturdy materials.
The fastening system is highly adjustable with velcro closure offering a very snug fit on wrists. For maximum support and safety, the wrist wraps should stay as close to the skin as possible without constricting the blood circulation. And the Bear Grips wraps achieve just that with the elastic fabric and closure system. These wrist wraps should offer enough support for full load weight training.
These wraps have a prominent Bear Grips logo on a piece of tough leather. They look quite premium and also adds to the rugged feel of these wraps. We are pretty sure that they contribute to the wrist support as well. And the fact that they are available in three different size options also makes them more attractive than other brands out there.
The main flaw in these wraps is the quality of stitching, especially along the line that attaches the velcro to the fabric. It is not long lasting and can come off within a month or two. On an otherwise solidly put together product, this is a disappointing feature indeed. The thumb loop design causes another minor inconvenience. They tend to blow hot or cold. At times they feel too loose, while in other instances, they feel too tight on your thumb.
These are really capable wrist wraps from Bear Grips. A few minor stitching issues aside, they are also quite durable. If you want a great fitting wrist wrap with solid support for powerlifting, rowing, and CrossFit, this is quite a decent option. Buy the Captain America version for the cool looks!
5. WOD Wear Wrist Wraps – Best Cotton Wraps For CrossFit Without Velcro
Wod wrist wraps are made from durable double layer cotton fabric. As these are thinner than the other wraps we featured so far, they are also longer at around 33” in length. They use a very convenient string closure system. These unisex wraps are available in different patterns like camo, stitch, and diamonds. The plain stitch variants are available in various color combos.
These are very flexible wraps. Since they use a simple knot-based fastening system, you have a lot more freedom to set the tightness levels. The strings also make it easy to the adjust the fit of these wraps during your workout session. The cotton material is cool on the skin and does not cause any chafing, itching, or irritation.
These are unisex wraps. Due to their flexible design, even girls with thinner wrists should have no trouble in getting a snug fit. The numerous colors and designs on offer also make the Wod wraps an attractive choice.
There is a lot of flexibility and freedom of movement on offer here, in comparison to stiffer wraps from other brands. These cotton wraps are best suited for dynamic workout routines like CrossFit and other full-body workouts.
The rather unconventional fastening system is also the main Achilles’ Heel of these wraps. Velcro straps are popular because they are quick and convenient. The strings on these Wod wraps are a different story altogether, unfortunately. It is not very easy to get the perfect snug fit with them, especially if you are doing it on your own.
Folks who are used to the velcro wraps will end up feeling that they are getting less support from these cotton wraps. And due to the shoe-string closure, there is a chance that the wraps will come loose in the midst of your workout. The lack of thumb holes or loops further exacerbates this issue. The strings are not very durable either.
If you want maximum support for lifting weights, these Wod wraps will probably not do the job for you. But for more active and dynamic routines, they offer some excellent features. The breathable cotton fabric, easy tightness adjustments, and maximum snug fit all work in favor of these wraps. As long as you don’t use them for max load lifting, you should be fine.
Wrist Wraps FAQ/Buyer’s Guide
What are wrist wraps?
Wrist wraps are simply long pieces of cloth or leather that you wrap around your wrist. They are a kind of exercise and fitness accessory used by many at the gym. Power and Olympic lifters are the most common users of wrist wraps. Many CrossFit enthusiasts also use them.
Is wrist wraps the same as wrist straps?
No, these are different accessories. Though they are both used on your wrist, they serve wholly different purposes. Wraps are used to increase the stability of your wrist joint, and to give it more support when under heavy loads. These are generally used for pushing exercises, like the bench press with weights, shoulder press, and the military press.
A wrist strap, on the other hand, is used to improve your grip, or rather, provide for a weaker grip, while doing pulling exercises and lifts. They are more useful for shrugs, T bar rows, deadlifts, and pulldowns, just to name a few. They are usually used when you want to lift heavier weights that your grip strength cannot adequately handle.
What are the benefits of using wrist wraps?
Helps reduce the stress inflicted on the wrist joint during heavy load exercises.
Allows you to train using heavier weights more often.
Reduces the chance of discomfort during maximum effort lifts.
Helps you focus on specific muscle groups without worrying too much about the wrist.
Also helps reduce the risk of carpal tunnel, tendinitis, syndesmosis, and other stress injuries.
Is wrist wraps absolutely essential?
No, neither wrist wraps nor straps are considered essential gym equipment. In fact, you should use them sparingly for best results. Wrist wraps work like a crutch or support for your wrists. So if you use them often, your wrists may not be able to attain the maximum workout potential.
During weight training, you should ideally restrict the use of wraps to instances where you are pulling close to your maximum weight loads. A good rule of thumb is to never use wraps for any exercise where you are pulling less than 60% of your max loads.
When to use wrist wraps?
Wraps can be used for pretty much any kind of gripping, lifting and pulling of heavyweights. You can use them with both dumbbells and barbells. Here are some instances where you can make use of wrist wraps for maximum effect:
When using a straight wrist technique, like in back squats, you really don’t need to use wraps. The support for your wrist is already there, from the muscles in your body. But when using the bent wrist technique, you will find wrist wraps highly beneficial. So you can use these for overhead squats and front squats, which commonly use bent wrists.
You don’t use bent wrists during a bench press. But you might struggle to keep your wrists straight in this position, especially when pressing close to your max loads. So you can use wraps to keep those wrists as straight as possible during the movement.
Wrist wraps are also useful in movements like overhead squats, clean lifts, snatches, and most shoulder to overhead movements (jerk, push press, etc.).
What are the different features to look for when buying wrist wraps?
Wrist wraps are straightforward devices, basically long strips of fabric or leather. They don’t have many advanced features to be concerned about. But there are a few essential factors that you have to keep in mind to help you zero in on the best wrist wrap for you:
Wrist wrap lengths range between 12 to 36 inches maximum. The length you need to buy is primarily based on your wrist size and personal preference. Those with skinny wrists can make do with a 12-inch strap. Bigger and heavier athletes will need longer wraps.
There are basically two kinds of wraps based on thickness and weight.
The lighter, thinner wraps are usually made of cotton or similar stretch fabric. Thinner wraps are better for mobility and offer a more extensive range of motion at your wrists. These are better for rapid clean and jerk/snatch type movements.
The thicker wraps often have velcro and sacrifice mobility for superior support. For heavy load based bench press and shoulder press, a thicker wrap offers more support for your wrists.
The fabric is a lighter and cheaper option. But it also tends to be less durable. If you are buying a wrap for heavy lifting support, the thicker leather wraps might be the better option in the long run. For superior mobility, pick thin cotton wraps.
There are numerous wrist wrap options available for fitness enthusiasts these days. Some focus more on support for weight training, while others offer superior flexibility and mobility. You should be very careful when buying a new pair of wrist wraps. Check the reviews and do your research to ensure that the product you buy is suitable for the type of workouts you plan to do.