Wheelchair Gloves Alternative

The method of propelling the manual wheelchair has not changed for the last 100 years. This is achieved through pushing the handrims that are attached to the large wheels. Wheelchair users expends the most energy in this act of pushing to move around in the course of a day. Anodised aluminium handrims are common these days because it is light and cost-effective. This is what I have for my current wheelchair.

Alternative to wheelchair gloves
Nike Alpha Training Men’s Grip.
Photo taken with the Samsung Galaxy S III.

The surface of the handrims is smooth. I have weak grips. My hands tends to slip. This makes pushing tiring. I have previously used leather gloves with latex pads which worked very well. However, the latex pads wear out and tear within six months. I have used up two pairs of these which I bought from Japan for ¥7,000 (RM270) per pair. This is expensive for something that lasts six months only.

Alternative to wheelchair gloves
My hands are rather large but the “Small” size fits nicely.
Photo taken with the Samsung Galaxy S III.

While shopping at Mid Valley Megamall last year, I found these Nike Alpha Training Men’s Grip at the Nike Shop for RM79 per pair. They are not gloves but are gripping pads for weightlifting but worked as well on wheelchair handrims. Unfortunately, I dropped one side a few months later. The shop where I bought them and the other Nike Shops that I went to enquire were out of stock for my size. I placed an order for three pairs with the Nike Shop at The Gardens Mall which arrived nearly two months later.

Alternative to wheelchair gloves
This is how I push the wheelchair.
Photo taken with the Samsung Galaxy S III.

My thumbs and fingers are too weak for a good grip of the handrims. I push the rims by pressing my palms against the handrims. The non-slip surface of the pads helps in maintaining a good traction. They are cheaper than the leather gloves with latex padding and are very durable. Needless to say, I am happy to have found these pads.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Minion to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. Columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. Principal Trainer at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.