Lookfly Ultimate has produced the only gloves specifically catered to the needs of Ultimate players, designed to keep your hands warm and sticky all season long. The company, which started around 2001, is based out of Derbyshire, UK, and has been rocking the European Ultimate scene for the past decade.
The gloves perform exceptionally well in dry or even slightly wet conditions. The V-shaped rubber grip design is super sticky right out of the package, allowing for some excellent disc snagability and solid handling skills.
The level of grip does deteriorate over time, losing that initial honeymoon, tar-paper feeling. Still, while wearing the gloves in colder weather, some hand dexterity is retained through heat retention, as the gloves certainly help keep the blood flowing.
When playing in 50 or below weather fingers often stop doing what they’re told and act like they’ve been on valium all morning. Keeping the blood flowing is certainly an added benefit to wearing gloves, even if they do get slick when super wet. Warm hands and slippery throws net a neutral gain in the absolute worst wet conditions. In light but cold weather, they are definitely an advantage.
Mud is another story. As stated before, the gloves perform great when dry, and fairly decently when wet. Adding mud changes the whole equation. Wet + Mud + Gloves = You, playing like a one armed midget with an eye patch.
The grit and muck can completely cover the rubber V-grips and can hinder reaching out and grabbing an errant disc, such that you may be better off wearing two sticks of butter dipped in KY jelly. So, keep the gloves in any rainy conditions, but ditch the gloves in any adversely wet and muddy conditions. However, this is only in the most pigpen style mud. If you’re able to wipe the gloves clean on your jerseys you should be just fine. If your entire jersey is mud-bogged, then you might have bigger problems than just slippery gloves and might also want to check to see if your cleats haven’t been sucked off.
The glove design is excellent. They’re made with a performance wicking fabric so they won’t soak up excess water like your token teammate who always borrows your Nalgene at practice. Their thin construction insulates your hands without having to make any change to how you would normally grip and release a disc. In other words, you won’t have to relearn how to throw with a glove on. Warm up throwing with the gloves on for ten minutes or less and you’ll be totally comfortable playing in them.
The gloves are lightweight and designed to retain as much of the tactile experience of play as possible, while at the same time working to improve grip in adverse conditions and keep hands warmer than they would normally be. The cut off index and middle finger are great for flicks. Plus, they don’t get in the way when you’re out
sighting your new .30-06 Springfield.
But what if you’re out playing Ultimate in October instead of resting your
ill body for Midterms and need a spot to wipe your drippy, flu-filled nose? No problem. The super soft patch of terry cloth fabric on the back will take care of you all game long.
While the hands of the gloves do loose some stick after a few months of, the gloves themselves hold up quite well.
…after a few seasons of playing in the rain I started to see other players wearing anything from golf gloves to cycling gloves to keep the hands working during adverse weather conditions. Nothing really did the job right.
We needed a glove that would help catch but would not impede throwing… We eventually met the guys at a Rugby company based nearby in Birmingham who had already developed a glove that was closest to what we wanted. We worked together to make changes to tailor the glove to the sport of Ultimate. – Stephen Giguere, Lookfly Founder
Sizing on the gloves runs a tad smaller than you might imagine, with a large glove usable on a medium sized hand and a medium usable on a small hand. For the most part, the sizes work out well.
Style? Oh hell yes.
Okay, you might get heckled in the showcase game for being the only player on the field wearing gloves. Don’t get yourself down if you hear such jeers as: “Michael Jackson drops another disc!” “Nice idiot mittens. Where’s your scarf, earmuffs, and pacifier?” or “Hey glove-hands, you suck!” Screw those guys. You know you look good and Bender knows it too. If these dudes can wear gloves and ball it up, anyone can.
Don’t believe it? Check out these glove wearing bad-asses known as the Bunka Shutter Buzz Bullets.
Also, the one glove look is coming back. Just saying.
I’m not sure I even know what 9 pounds means. I do know that I liked them enough that when I lost my first pair I bought another and paid the ridiculously high cost of shipping them from England. Total, the price of the order set me back around $29 good ol’ American dollars.
However, when compared to a pair of $40 Nike Vapor Jet football gloves, the Lookfly option is a bit better. Plus, these are designed specifically with I/O flicks in mind.
Worth every penny, or pence, or piece of eight…whatever it is they use over there.
Lookfly Ultimate Gloves – £9.00 or ~$29.00 (including international shipping costs)
If you’ve ever thought of trying out some Ultimate gloves or constantly have trouble with cold, slow fingers, the Lookfly Ultimate gloves should definitely be given a chance. This advice is doubled for people who live in colder climates. Ultimate must have had a hard time existing above the 47th parallel before the advent of these babies.
Besides, the cut off index and middle finger holes make you feel like Solid Snake.