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Wrist Support and Closures: Lace-up vs. Hook and Loop

hook and loop vs lace up

If you have ever seen or dealt with boxing gloves, you must have realized that some of them use a lace-up wrist system, while the others, in most cases new and modern boxing gloves use the hook and loop system. Also, in some cases, there is also a combination of a lace-up system that attaches itself to a small part of the hook and loop, but that is rarely seen in regard to boxing gloves.

However, we will not talk just about the difference between these two in the world of gloves, but rather their difference and pros and cons in general.

The Origins: How Did We Get Here?

Before we can engage in a battle royale between lace-up and hook and loop wrist supports, it’s important to understand their humble beginnings.

  1. Lace-up: This closure style has its roots in the footwear industry. Yes, that’s right – the same method that has kept your shoes snugly on your feet for all these years is now supporting wrists everywhere. Groundbreaking? Not quite. But we can’t argue with its effectiveness.
  2. Hook and Loop: This particular system was invented in the late 1950s by a Swiss engineer named George de Mestral, the hook and loop system (more commonly known as Velcro) is an adjustable, reusable, and downright magical fastening technology. Its wrist support applications came later, but it’s safe to say that the hook and loop has firmly secured its place in the world of wrist closures.

The Competitors: Lace-up vs. Hook and Loop

Now that we are familiar with the origins of these systems, let’s take a closer look at their respective pros and cons.

Lace-up: The Classic Approach


  • Customizable fit: With a lace-up closure, you can channel your inner Goldilocks and find the fit that’s “just right” for your wrist. Tighten or loosen the laces to achieve the perfect level of support and comfort.
  • Secure: Lace-up closures are known for their ability to hold tight. Once you’ve laced up, you can rest assured that your wrist support won’t be going anywhere (unless you want it to).


  • Time-consuming: Let’s be honest, lacing up your wrist support is like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube – it takes time and patience. If you’re in a rush, this may not be the ideal choice.
  • Difficult one-handed: If you’re trying to lace up a wrist support on your dominant hand, good luck! You’ll need the dexterity of a master pianist to get those laces just right.

Hook and Loop: The Modern Marvel


  • Quick and easy: Hook and loop closures make securing your wrist support a breeze. No PhD in knot-tying required here.
  • Adjustable: Just like its lace-up counterpart, hook and loop closures allow for easy adjustments to the fit. Find your ideal level of snugness in seconds.


  • Limited lifespan: Over time, the “hook” part of the hook and loop closure can lose its grip, rendering your wrist support as useful as a chocolate teapot.
  • Less precise fit: While still adjustable, hook and loop closures might not offer the same level of precision as lace-up support. It’s a small trade-off for the ease of use.

Quick Comparison Table

Lace-upHook and Loop
  • Customizable fit
  • Secure
  • Quick and easy
  • Adjustable
  • Time-consuming
  • Difficult one-handed
  • Limited lifespan
  • Less precise fit

The Verdict: Which One Is Better?

As you can see, both systems have their merits. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the hook-n-loop that comes with my 16 Oz boxing gloves – it saves so much time and the tightness is quite ok and holds its own.

On the other hand, when I’m on a hunt for new boots or shoes, Velcro simply isn’t enough for me, not even for summer sneakers. This is where the tightness and precision of laces show their true power.

But, since the article is mainly about the use of these systems for wrist support, my winner is hook and loop – I think it does the job just fine and saves a lot of time.

But of course, the choice is ultimately yours.

Jake Dennon

I am an avid sports enthusiast who has been fortunate enough to train with some of the best athletes and coaches in the world.

As a child, I had a keen interest in martial arts (karate). I've trained with one of the best trainers in my home country.

Moving into my teenage years I tried everything from calisthenics to weight lifting to Taekwondo and everything in between. While I do love all kinds of sports, my passion still lies in martial arts.

The combat sport coaches I have been trained by have also trained some of the top fighters in the industry. All of these brilliant trainers (and all the ones in between) have shown me just how rewarding keeping fit and healthy can be.

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