Specialized Grail Gloves review

I don’t want to sound ridiculous but these are the best gloves I’ve ever used. The Specialized Grail gloves are somehow made of magic and sunshine. They have drastically reduced hand and arm pain for me. It’s love.

Words - James Raison

I wanted a glove for endurance. Long endurance. I’ve done long rides before with very good gloves that still left me with numb fingers, and sore triceps. I’ve found my triceps and palms have been getting extra sore since switching to the slender Shimano RS785 shifters. I was worried about my hands for the upcoming Indian Pacific Wheel Race. Then I bought these and my worries disappeared.


These gloves defy logic with barely any padding that’s placed where very few other gloves bother to put any. It’s a tear-drop shape right in the middle of your palm. It’s a far cry from most gloves that focus on the base of your fingers and the heels of your hands.

The brains behind the idea is hand specialist Dr Kyle Bickel M.D. These gloves have been designed, according to Specialized, to: “fill the recesses of the palm in order to create an even surface over the hand. This comes with the positive result of unrestricted bloodflow, which will greatly reduce numbness and tremendously enhance overall comfort.” My natural cynicism towards marketing claims caused a bit of an eye-roll when reading that. Then I rode with them.


The Grail gloves immediately caused me to soften my grip on the bars and shifters. That padding the centre of your hand softens the main pressure point when holding on. Immediately I noticed less pain the my triceps, and less stress in the palm of my hands. Again, it totally defies logic, but the results are there.

They’re a downright comfortable glove to wear generally. They have a small elastic section that stretches when pulling them on and off. There’s small loops on the fingers to grip onto when pulling them on and off. There’s no straps or velcro to wrestle with. They just slide on and off with ease. Only time will tell how long they will last with the stretching every time I take them off but they’re not showing any signs of wear yet.

All I can really say against them is the hand pad does get sweaty and smelly quite fast. Most gloves have smaller bits of padding but these have one large piece. That means it will draw quite a lot of sweat in. But I’ll take the slight stink if it means all that comfort.


These gloves have improved my ride enjoyment for only $50. My hands feel better, and my triceps are more relaxed due to gripping more softly. I looked at them with skepticism and then I wore them. Do yourself a favour and wear them too.