Below you’ll find our review on the Grivel Star Crack Gloves. We tested every crack glove we could get our hands on and compare the pros and cons against all the other glove options out there. (Future reference, you can see every model of crack gloves on WeighMyRack.com/crackglove).

Grivel Star Crack Glove in a fist
Showing the partial thumb coverage and back of glove deformation of the Grivel Star Crack Gloves

Fit Overview

Fit Overview for Grivel Star Crack Gloves

Brand Sizing – Run a bit small. Sizing as recommended means a very snug glove.

  • These gloves can be worn as recommended though most of our testing found that people preferred to size them up, especially if they were near the top of the size range or had thick fingers. When worn at the brand recommended size, the rubber finger loops are usually in constant stretch and pull more on the webbing between the fingers, though they do feel more like a second skin than a glove when worn small.

Hand coverage – Sized up, they are average for hand and wrist and have good partial thumb coverage. Worn as recommended they are undersized for most knuckles.

  • The Star Crack Gloves have an extended piece of rubber that adds coverage for the lower knuckle of the thumb. This coverage is great for flaring cracks, but we found it doesn’t help a ton for a wide fist jam that requires more thumb contact with the rock.
  • The outer wrist coverage is ok, and sits at or slightly above the wrist bone of most folks who we have tested these with; when worn a size up, this coverage gets better. Because this rubber is fairly thick, Grivel have designed a curved cutout in the back of the glove to allow for better articulation. We haven’t found these openings to be a problem for coverage, and they do make movement easier.
  • When worn at the recommended size, these are the second narrowest gloves at the knuckles out of all the gloves we’ve tried. When worn up one size they increase roughly 5mm in width across the knuckles and are more in line with the other gloves we’ve measured.

Jamming Performance – We recommend using these for wide hands, medium to large fists and thin stacks. For flaring fists, this is your new friend.

  • These gloves performed fairly poorly in thinner hand jamming situations. We often found them a bit too chunky to force into the narrow hands and sometimes the knuckle plates can bump into crack edges, making it harder to get deep fingers. The sticky rubber on the back of the glove can be a hinderance when reaching into wider cracks with narrow constrictions in the back and when coupled with the stiffness of the glove, can create a fight to get your hand into deeper fissures.
  • For thinner hands the star crack is a bit thick. Unless you have very thin hands and are looking to beef up for a #1-#2 hand jam, we found it tough to be able to get our hands in. Wider, rattly hands start to feel like more of a promise thanks to the XS Grip Vibram rubber on the back.
  • For narrow to mid size fists the Star Crack Gloves are ok to good. The stiffness of the glove coupled with the aforementioned sticky rubber can sometime make wriggling into a thin fist a bit more difficult, but when performing palm-up fist jams in flaring cracks, there is absolutely no comparison– the Star Crack Glove takes the cake and then some. The partial thumb coverage also offers some nice padding and we found it particularly helpful in smaller stacks where the thumb knuckle needs to be against rock, a place we’ve often needed to add tape with other gloves in the same scenario.

Grivel Star Crack Glove Jamming Comparison
We found the sticky rubber to be a bit of a hinderance getting into thinner hands. Narrow fists can take a bit of wrangling, but flaring wide fists make your hand feel like a rubber offset nut.

READ MORE
An entire blog post dedicated to how to fit crack gloves.
How To Fit Crack Gloves

Comfort & Feel

Crack Glove Review - Grivel Star Crack2 1

Finger Comfort – Ok for some, intolerable for others. Tall hands will struggle with constant pulling on fingers if glove is undersized.

  • This is a bit of a divider in folks we’ve tested these gloves with. Because the finger holes are made from die cut rubber sheeting, they have 90º edges which some reported are very uncomfortable on the webbing between the fingers. A fair few have had no issue with this, and don’t find the flexible yellow rubber to be a problem. If you’ve got sensitivity between your fingers, you may want to consider trying these on before you buy them; they definitely have a feel that is particular to this glove alone.
  • Sizing up doesn’t see much of a change in finger hole sizes, but does make for a taller glove, which does alleviate a bit of the strain on the finger webbing. Sausage fingers beware.

Glove Stiffness – Fairly flexible considering its thick rubber backing. The wrist articulation could be better, but it isn’t the worst we’ve tried.

  • Because the rubber backing on the Star Crack Gloves is made of Vibram XS grip (the same is found on many climbing shoes) they have a medium to stiff feel when compared to other gloves. As mentioned above, Grivel have added a cutout in the rubber to allow for better articulation and it performs relatively well (both models of crack glove from Ocun have this too), but still doesn’t allow for full articulation of the hand.
  • As you can see the first image in this post, once the limit is reached, the glove starts to deform and the stiff rubber makes it tough to twist the hand in this position.

Padding – A fair amount. This glove should be on your list if jagged painful jamming in in your future.

  • Grivel have chosen a pretty good thickness of rubber to put on this glove that offers a bit of squish without feeling like a boxing glove.
  • The body of the glove under the rubber is suede which adds a bit more protection under the Vibram, giving these a fairly supple feel even when jamming into craggy crystalline cracks.
  • The construction of the back involves a die cut rubber actually stitched to the soft suede, with the Vibram glued down over that. The result is a glove that looks and handles like a shoe for your hand, and when you can put the right pressure on it, performs that way.

Glove Height – Below average, especially if you aren’t sizing up. If you have long hands/fingers, you definitely should try these on before purchasing.

  • When worn at the brands recommended size, these gloves can often feel short and even extremely so on folks with taller hands.
  • A too short glove means more pulling on the finger webbing, and in the case of the Star crack glove, this is already a concern. If you have long fingers and tall hands, sizing up may not be enough to make this glove tall enough to fit you comfortably, and if it does, there is a possibility that other parts of the glove would fit poorly.
  • Care in correct sizing should be taken if the length of your hands is on the extreme end.

Build Features

Build Features of the Grivel Star Crack Gloves

Notable Features – Things that are only found on the Grivel Star Crack Glove

  • The construction of these gloves makes them feel like tailored armor. A low durometer rubber (a little stiffer than a thick rubber band) is machine-sewn onto a microsuede backing, both of which are then glued down to the XS Grip Vibram rubber. This construction method shows some pretty specific care went into the fit and feel of these gloves, and when wearing them the thickness and resulting shape makes them feel like a soft armor rather than a combination of their parts.
  • The opening in the rubber backing allows for some articulation and bending, though not quite as much as some other models we’ve tested.
  • The wrist strap is also partially covered in suede at the part where it contacts the meat of the hand below the thumb. The hook and loop closure on the back of the wrist sits between the suede and rubber, hiding it from peeling open while climbing, and making it a glove with a very small amount of hand-strap contact once the glove is closed.

Performance on Rock

General Rock Experience for the Grivel Star Crack Gloves

We’ve found the performance of the Grivel Star Crack Gloves to be fairly good in most areas we’ve tested them. They do struggle from an ironic twist that their very sticky rubber backing makes them difficult to use in thinner scenarios, but we have found ourselves reaching for them often when climbing in areas of heavy travel where jams can be more polished. These gloves feel very different on the hand than every other glove we’ve tried and we think that is because they are not made to be a glove, but rather a shoe for your hand. Anywhere where you’d be reluctant to jam a hand because it it too sharp, too glassy, or too flaring, you probably wouldn’t think twice about jamming your foot; this is the way your hand feels in this glove. This glove has been found to perform the best in jagged, craggy, flaring cracks– especially in the palm up fist jam when you can really put a lot of weight on it and let the Vibram rubber do its job. If you are climbing thin, grippy cracks like sandstone splitter fingers, you should probably opt for something with a lower profile.

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