The aim of any sim-racer is to have the best possible setup for incredible lap times, whatever the discipline. We’ve all been there, and many runners are still on their way to achieving their setup.
It has to be said that things are sometimes difficult. Between bases Direct Drive, steering wheels specific, cranksets with Load Cell on one or more pedals, or even hydraulics, and the rest of the peripherals (cockpitWhether you’re a sailor new to sim-racing or a warrior of the seas, it’s easy to get lost in this sea of products.
As far as I’m concerned, I’m looking for total immersion. And to get that, I have to feel like a racing driver, get under his skin. That means a discipline-specific steering wheel, a powerful DD base, a cockpit, a curved screen, high-performance pedals, and sometimes a shifter with the clutch pedal to go with it. But that’s not all. I push the envelope even further by taking gloves and sim-racing shoes. All that’s left is the racing suit and helmet, and I’ve got all the racing gear. And speaking of sim-racing gloves, I’m going to present the 3 best, in my opinion, currently available on the market.
Sparco Meca 3
Sparco is a famous automotive supplier of seats, steering wheels, shoes, overalls and more. The brand is present in virtually all motor sports, and also makes products for gaming, in this case, gloves.
The Meca 3 are not sim-racing gloves in the strict sense of the word, but rather gloves to protect your hands when doing mechanical work. Nonetheless, Meca 3s are very practical for setting fast times at Monza. Made from 47% polyester, 35% suede and 18% elastane, Meca 3 are very comfortable to wear, with a rather sober design.
In terms of grip, it grips well on the steering wheels thanks to synthetic leather. What’s more, you have reinforcements between the thumb and forefinger, and breathability throughout the glove. There are 4 sizes ( S to XL), and the Meca 3s sell for around €34 on Amazon, with a choice of colors. It’s not really expensive as far as I’m concerned.
We now move on to a pair of gloves specifically designed for sim-racing by Sparco, the Hypergrip. The design, as far as I’m concerned, is better than that of the Meca 3. The Hypergrip material is extremely breathable, so your hands will hardly sweat at all during sim-racing sessions. This is made possible by micro-perforations on almost the entire surface of the gloves, which greatly facilitate evaporation of perspiration and air circulation.
For grip, Hypergrip has a rubber coating that offers a very high level of grip. What’s more, the material on the thumb and forefinger makes them touchable on a smartphone or tablet, which is very practical.
Hypergrip are available for around €48 from most retailers, and in a range of sizes too. For pro sim-racers or experienced riders, I highly recommend these gloves.
The Fox Racing brand covers just about everything in the world of 2-wheelers, whether motorcycles or bicycles. You’ve got helmets, gloves, pants, protective gear, you name it. Fox Racing really does have a wide catalog of products for men, women and kids.
Among the manufacturer’s products we have the Dirtpaw, gloves technically designed for motocross and mountain biking, but which do the trick for sim-racing. These gloves are designed to protect your hands from the hazards of mountain biking in wooded areas, but also to considerably increase grip on the handlebars.
For sim-racing, this means you’ll have plenty of grip on the wheel, without it being unpleasant. The material is comfortable, durable and will allow you to enjoy long hours of sim-racing, whatever your setup.
Dirtpaw is available in 7 colors, including all-black, and in sizes ranging from S to 4XL. Expect to pay around €40 for these gloves, either from the manufacturer’s website or from an online retailer.
Which ones to choose?
As with virtually all sim-racing peripherals, gloves are a personal choice, made to suit your specific needs. However, there are a few things to bear in mind when you’re looking for a pair of gloves that’ll help you beat the clock in front of your screen.
- Comfort. Although most pairs of gloves on the market are quite comfortable, some are not. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to do a lot of sim-racing, you can choose a pair that’s not very comfortable if the price is attractive. But if you spend hours on end in front of your simulator, make comfort your top priority.
- Grip. This too is important, as it gives you total control over your steering wheel. Preferably, choose gloves with a coating offering maximum grip, such as rubber, leather, etc., to prevent your hands from slipping on the steering wheel.
- Size. I have to say that virtually all sim-racing gloves come in several sizes. The problem is that sometimes this size differs from one brand to another. So I suggest you go to the manufacturer’s website and follow their guide to determine the right glove size.
- The price. Don’t buy premium gloves if you’re only going to use them for a few hours a week. Take gloves depending on how much time you spend in front of your simu.
- Durability. The reinforced gloves are designed to better withstand the vagaries of sim-racing, especially high-torque Direct Drive bases. Choose gloves with reinforcements between the fingers and on the palms.
Why use sim-racing gloves?
Apart from the immersion provided by gloves, this element is considered purely aesthetic by many riders, but its usefulness is undeniable. sim-racing gloves allow your hands to breathe thanks to materials that control perspiration, giving you grip at the wheel while extending their lifespan. What’s more, some steering wheels are uncomfortable when used without gloves for long periods, as is the case with the Thrustmaster SF1000 .
Nevertheless, sim-racing gloves are not essential, especially if you’re new to the discipline. But you’ll need it once you’ve reached a certain driving level, especially if you’re doing a lot of sim-racing a week.