When you’re using a manual wheelchair a good pair of gloves is essential to protect your hands against dirt, sharp debris trapped in the tyres and general abrasion which can cause blisters. Wheelchair gloves are designed to help grip the wheelchair hand rim, most are fingerless but some are available with full fingers for extra protection and warmth.
Fingerless gloves with reinforced palms made for weightlifters, golfers or cyclists are available from sports shops on the high street as well as online. These are a good alternative to specialist wheelchair gloves and are great for those who want to try gloves on before they buy.
Chartwell, the specialist insurance broker for those with disabilities, takes a look at five of the most popular wheelchair gloves available online.
Better Life from Lloyds Pharmacy has leather and mesh fingerless gloves for around £21, however they often offer a 10% discount and can guarantee delivery in 24 hours if necessary. The padded leather palm provides comfort and strength, while the mesh backing keeps the hands cool. They are available in small, medium, large and extra large.
Active Mobility Centre has a good selection of gloves for all users, including a full-fingered winter glove with padded palms for grip and a neoprene and leather back. There is also a junior glove with gel padding and Amara palms for comfort. These gloves have a full thumb. Another alternative from this site is the wheelchair wrap-type glove, which simply wraps around the palm making them very easy to put on. Prices here start at around £17 and delivery is free.
The Complete Care Shop has a huge selection from wraps, through gel palm, padded mesh, super grip full-fingered glovers and wet waterproof gloves. The latter are designed to ensure a sure grip in wet weather. They have open fingers and an enclosed thumb for safety and prices start around £16 plus £3.95 delivery.
Entering the search term ‘wheelchair gloves’ into Amazon brings up a range of gloves, basic models start at only £2.99 with more sturdy-looking designs at the £18 – £20 mark. As your gloves will take a lot of wear it is probably wise to choose something from a reputable manufacturer that you know will stand up to the sort of punishment you mete out.
Ebay is another source for a massive selection of gloves, and to help you choose, it has produced its own guide to buying wheelchair gloves. It also details how to narrow down your search to find the right style and colour.
Other tips from wheelchair users on this topic include carrying a bottle of hand gel or wipes, as with fingerless gloves your fingers can get dirty, and remembering the old adage of ‘you get what you pay for’. Cheap gloves tend to wear out quickly and don’t give the protection of more expensive specialist versions.