I cannot walk barehanded when I’m using the stick. However, with the weather getting warmer, I sometimes can’t stand the feeling of fabric against my skin that closely. For all that the Bionic is a great arthritis glove for walking, it’s a little bit much in really warm weather. I tried to find partial-finger Bionics, but they weren’t padded at the heel of the palm, and I need that because that’s where my weight goes. I tried a wheelchair glove, but it slipped around too much and didn’t fit quite right.
The only other thing I could think of was a fitness glove. Those are padded quite well so that people can get a good grip on whatever they’re lifting. After a bit of looking, I found a Schiek three-quarter-finger glove that is not only padded on the entire palm surface, but was practically made for fastening and removing with one’s teeth (though it’s not marketed that way, of course). Like the Bionic, it has a thick Velcro tab at the wrist that aids in pulling on and fastening. But it also has “fins” on the fingers — folds of cloth that stick up on purpose, which you can pull with your teeth to get your fingers out of the glove and remove it. I like that feature. I’m pretty good at biting gloves without nipping my own fingers, but it’s nice not to have to worry about that. Once the glove was broken in around the shape of the crutch grip, it was comfortable and didn’t interfere with my grasp at all. However, there is the drawback of its not being an arthritis glove. There’s not the same kind of compression and my finger joints are more exposed. (Despite being marketed as three-quarter length, it feels more like half.)
So, for walking in cooler or really rainy weather, I have the Bionic, and for hot weather the Schiek. When I’m not walking I wear a Thermoskin, which is a three-quarter-finger glove meant to warm the joints and relax the tendons and so on. It works. Only my fingertips show, which is enough to go about my day, control the trackball, and so forth. I can also walk short distances with it. I put it on by pulling the tab and remove it by peeling it inside out. The IMAK is flimsy in comparison, but it’s good for wearing to bed under my splint if I have to.
It’s funny — I have more gloves than shoes.