Lets face it, playing platform tennis can get a bit cold, which is a problem when you need to hold your paddle firmly and adjust your grip for different shots. That is where gloves and mittens come in. Gloves were never really needed in a traditional tennis match, so you have probably never seen a pro using them, but when it comes to platform tennis, they are a must on those cold damp evenings.
One of the other benefits of playing in gloves is that they can prevent injuries to your hands should you slip or dive for a ball, which I know for me personally, tends to make me go that extra mile to win a point.
However, you can’t just use any old gloves to play, otherwise you run the risk of your paddle slipping out of your hand or not having enough finger movement to play effectively. So there are key things you should look for when choosing a pair of gloves or mittens for this winter season.
- Padding – keeping your hands warm is the real reason you are buying them, so your gloves need decent padding, but also to be breathable!
- Made from durable materials
- Shell – so they can take repeated impacts from the deck.
- Palm – again, made from durable materials that is also supportive and can actually improve your grip on the paddle.
- Flexible – your gloves or mittens need to be flexible enough so your fingers have good movement and can grip your paddle.
- Fit – it sounds obvious, but getting the right fitting gloves or mittens is crucial to your game play, so don’t settle for just any old pair, get some that fit you, well like a glove!
Some players use golf gloves, others swear by racquetball gloves, whilst others will only play with platform tennis gloves. With so much choice, it can be confusing as to which pair is right for you. So to make it a little easier, I have listed the best gloves available so you quickly get yourself ready for this winter season.
- Best Platform Tennis Gloves
- Best Platform Tennis Mitts
- Best Racquetball Gloves
- Platform Tennis & Paddle Gloves Buyers Guide
Best Platform Tennis Gloves
Platform tennis gloves are designed specifically for use with paddles and should always give you a good grip, whilst allowing for plenty of finger movement and keeping your hands warm.
- Thin, fitted liner gloves can be worn on their own or as a first layer under heavier gloves in harsher conditions
- UA Storm finish repels rain & snow without sacrificing breathability
- Ultra soft knit fabric with a smooth exterior & a plush interior for just the right amount of warmth
- PolarTec Power stretch provide ultimate comfort and form fit
- Out Touch Tip design allows you to use your smart phones and still keep warm
- Control Trax on the palm provide extra grip and control
Best Platform Tennis Mitts
If you do not like to wear gloves but still want to keep your hands warm, then you should take a look at the platform tennis mitts. Mitts allow you to grip your paddle naturally whilst a warm Polartec fleece surrounds your hand keeping the winter cold at bay.
- Ultimate feel in any weather
- Design makes two-handed backhand easier
- Waterproof outer
- Keeps your hand warm on the coldest of days
- The Tourna Hot Glove Mitt has openings on both sides
- Just slip your hand into one side of the mitt and insert the racquet handle or paddle handle through the narrow opening at the top. Easy to put on, easy to take off.
Best Racquetball Gloves
- Left Hand Glove
- Backing Material: New Lycra backing material & Neoprene Knuckle Padding
- Palm Material: Goatskin
- Elasticized network back for a snug fit and cool comfort
- Supported 1 inch wide wrist elastic to prevent riding up
- Durable synthetic leather for a long lasting grip
- HEAD PERFORMANCE: Born out of revolutionizing how we ski and play tennis, HEAD has constantly pushed athletic equipment into the modern era. Pairing decades of experience with modern tech; HEAD offers...
- DURABLE DESIGN: Made of tough synthetic leather for lightweight comfort and dynamic flexibility.
- UNMATCHED GRIP: Silicone webbing is fitted across the palm and fingers for ultimate grip where you need it most.
Platform Tennis & Paddle Gloves Buyers Guide
Regardless of if you are buying platform tennis gloves for a friend, family member or yourself, you still need to consider several points before finding the perfect fit.
3 Simple Questions
Knowing the answer to these three questions will help you work out which glove is best for you.
Do you dive to win a point?
If you have a tendency to dive to make shots, you are going to want to get some padded gloves to save the skin on your hands and knuckles. So no mesh gloves for you. If you don’t dive, then you can choose from any of the gloves.
Does your hand sweat a lot?
If you find that your had gets sweaty when you are wearing gloves, you should consider gloves which are breathable and wick the sweat away. If your hands do not sweat too much, then you can choose from any of the above gloves.
Do you like to wear gloves when playing platform tennis?
Some people do not feel comfortable playing with gloves and prefer to have skin contact with the paddle handle. If this is you, consider a platform tennis mitt as it keeps the outside of your hand warm but allows skin contact with the paddle handle. If you do not mind wearing gloves, you can choose from any gloves.
The bottom line is that if your gloves are not made from breathable material they are going to smell as the sweat from your hand will buildup, very much like your platform tennis sneakers. Nice.
Breathable platform tennis gloves are designed to wick the sweat from inside the glove and have good breathability. However, it is also a good idea to choose a pair of gloves which you can throw in the washing machine to clean and deodorise.
Have you ever accidentally lost grip of your paddle because you were playing with gloves that did not have a good grip? Yeah, me too. The answer is pretty simple, choose a pair of gloves which have stickiness. Basically manufacturers will use specific materials which provide grip for your palm and fingers. Each manufacturer will use something different, but most of the recommendations in my list are as good as each other.
An example of this is the difference between leather that has been Tackified and synthetic leather. Tackified leather is extremely sticky, but the downside of this is that it is sometimes not so easy to change grips between forehand and backhand grips. Synthetic leather on the other hand (no pun intended!) offers a good level of stickiness and allows you to change grips between shots easily. The downside to synthetic leather is its feel, it does not feel like natural leather.
As discussed earlier, there are several materials that gloves are made of which will effect the stickiness of your grip.
- Tackified Leather – Pros, maximum stickiness. Cons, slows down changing between forehand and backhand grips.
- Synthetic Leather – Pros, decent amount of grip. Cons, do not feel quite as nice as real leather.
- Goatskin Leather – Pros, feel soft and are cheaper than sheepskin. Cons, not as durable as the other types of leather gloves.
- Sheepskin Leather – Pros, softest feeling gloves you can buy. Cons, tend to be more expensive compared to other types of leather.
Durability is one of the biggest factors when choosing a pair of platform tennis gloves. You can find the perfect style, fit and materials but then find the glove is not durable and deteriorates quickly. The best thing you can do before you buying any paddle, shoe or glove is to check out reviews on places like Amazon, or talk to other players and find out what works for them.
If you dive, you are going to scuff up any pair of gloves quite quickly, but then again, that is the point of wearing them, to save your hands! Sheepskin is a good choice when looking at durability.
If you are a diver, you are going to want gloves with padding. However, you need to keep in mind that padding will likely make your gloves less breathable. If you do dive quite a bit, then you will need to sacrifice breathability and get gloves with either airprene or foam padding.
Airprene padding is not quite as good as foam padding and it also limits breathability of the gloves but it is a lot lighter and less bulky, which a lot of players prefer. Foam padding is really good at protecting your knuckles and hands but it does add quite a bit of bulk and extra weight to you gloves.
The back of your gloves is just as important as the palms. However, the gloves you end up choosing may well be effected by the material used in the backing. If you want the gloves that offer the best breathability, then mess backing is a good choice, however, the downsides to mesh backing is it does not offer a lot of protection, is not as durable and will do a poor job of keeping out the cold.
Neoprene is a good choice if you want a bit of extra thickness and warmth, but the basic rule of thumb is that the more padding on the back of your gloves the warmer they will be and the more protection they will offer your hands.
How to buy the perfect paddle glove
In my mind, there are two major considerations to buying the perfect paddle gloves, how well it fits and the style or type of glove.
How well they fit
Ideally, you will want to find a pair of gloves that fit you snugly. Oversized gloves are simply too cumbersome to play with and will effect your game far more than they are worth.
So if possible buy a size smaller than your regular gloves as you will find that there is give in the material and they will stretch over time. If they are snug when you put them on, they are likely going to be a perfect fit after a few matches.
Paddle and platform tennis gloves come in a few different styles or types. As we have discussed, some gloves are made to provide maximum warmth and protection, whereas others are designed to give you more flexibility and control. Lastly, other gloves are more breathable and designed to allow your skin to breathe.
The gloves you choose depends very much on your style of play and personal preference.
Gloves are an essential piece of equipment for every platform tennis or paddle tennis player. The cold weather never stops a good paddle player, so making sure you have a decent pair of gloves will keep you playing at the top of your game.
The best platform tennis gloves for you will be dependant on your playing style and personal preference. However, if I were pushed to choose a pair, I would choose and do play with the Wilson Ultra Platform Tennis gloves. They offer me excellent protection, are fairly lightweight and keep the cold out all night, even between matches.