Edit: Links to Thermoskin and IMAK inserted. Over the past few years, I’ve tried different arthritis gloves for different purposes. I ended up with two: the Thermoskin and the IMAK. Both work well for their intended uses, but not as well for walking, it turns out.
I’ve been using the forearm crutch moderately for the past few weeks, and I’ll have to make heavier use of it soon. The Port Authority crisis is eliminating stops and routes (more on that later), including the only bus route I can walk to easily, and my Access application isn’t going to be approved in time (if it’s approved at all). I will have to try to walk to the remaining stop. So I’ll need to protect my hand – sometimes it slips a little on the handle, which means I tighten my grip, which isn’t good for the joints. I can’t put a gel cover over the handle, because gel covers don’t fit anatomical grips. So I had to bring the padding to my hand. My criteria: full fingers to compress all joints, padding to absorb impact and help grip, and friction to avoid slipping.
The closest I found was the Bionic multitask arthritis glove. On the site, it’s under Gardening in both the Men’s and Women’s sections. As a result, it’s decently heavy duty, but not immobilizing. The Velcro tab is broad and thick, so I can fasten and unfasten it with my teeth easily and remove it with a good tug. The glove is very soft, with padded compression rings sewn at the major joints and snug fits at the fingertips. The palm leather is textured, with silicone padding on the center. Since it’s meant to be for gardening, there are silicone pads on the fingertips as well. These made my fingertips feel heavy at first, but it passed. The back is mesh, which helps when the weather is warmer.
As a walking glove, it’s reduced some of the aches I got in my joints when I tried to walk long distances (for me) barehanded or with the Thermoskin. (I didn’t even bother with the IMAK.) I still have to grip the crutch, of course, but not so much. My hand doesn’t slip forward anymore when I swing my arm. I still feel the pressure on the heel side of my palm when I take a step and compress the spring, but not as badly because of the padding. I realize I’ll still feel some pain just because, but I think the glove is probably beneficial for the distance I’ll have to walk. Your mileage may vary.
The only thing about the glove I dislike somewhat is that the colors are gendered — the Men’s gloves are gray and black, and the Women’s are bright yellow and black. What if you’re a man who likes yellow or a woman who likes gray? But that’s minor. Function is much more important than form here, and the Bionic is going to help me make the best of a bad, indefinite situation.