Layout Ultimate Glove Review
Ultimate gloves are a sensitive subject among most Ultimate players. Some will swear by the efficiency of their gloves while others refuse to use anything but bare hands. Over the past few years the number of those who wear gloves has been slowly outgrowing the number of those who don’t. All it takes is a little bit of rain and boom, everyone is digging through their bags looking for anything to help catch that wet disc. But what if there was a glove that dramatically improved your catching game whether it’s a sunny day or rainy sleet. Layout Ultimate has come forward to create a glove that will vastly improve your catching across all weather conditions.
I have put these new gloves through the ringer. I played in the rain, I rubbed them in the dry sandy dirt and wet mud, I sweat in them, and patty-caked my teammates once or twice. Below, I have personally ranked Layout’s Ultimate Frisbee Gloves on 4 categories I see most important; Catching, Throwing, Fit, and Quality.
Catching – 5 out of 5
gotten used to catching the disc a few hundred million times. Between practices, scrimmages, tournaments, and just tossing with friends between classes you know what it feels like to stop the disc between your fingers. Using these gloves for the first time felt like a whole new type of catching. The disc stopped rotating almost instantly upon contact with the palm. The tacky synthetic leather palm sticks to the disc like glue. Every single catch felt like I was ripping the disc out of the air.Layout’s gloves performed the same even in the rain. H20 does not affect their catching ability whatsoever. In fact, I am confident that even if it was raining butter and cooking grease I would have no issues catching the disc. The gloves did lose a little of the stick when rubbed in the dirt but overall catching ability was still improved compared to bare hands. After hand washing the gloves with soap and water stick of the gloves came back like it never even happened. Bottom line, if you want to improve your catching then this is the glove for you. This category deserves nothing less than a solid 5 out of 5.
Throwing – 3.7 out of 5
As I have mentioned in previous reviews, this category is the most important to me. I say this because gloves can be fantastic for catching but if they seriously hinder the throw afterwards than what’s the point? Out of all the categories I will dig into this one the most.
A score of 3.7 out of 5 may seem a bit harsh but let me explain. These gloves are very sticky which is fantastic for catching the disc. As far as throwing they take a little more getting used to. They did not vastly affect my throwing to the point where I was turfing every throw or blading it to every teammate, I don’t want you to think that. For the majority of my Ultimate career I have played bare-handed. As I built my skill and earned my ranks to top handler on my team my throws got more and more precise. With all of the extra traction that Layout’s gloves offer I noticed a difference in my throws.
Layout advertises “Flick-Grip Technology” to help provide more power, control, and accuracy to your flick. I agree that it adds more power. I can feel the gloves giving the disc more spin when hucking down field. Commonly you lose power due to a slight slippage of your fingers under the disc, with these gloves 100% of your wrist-flick is being converted into the energy needed to spin the disc and propel it forward. I also agree with the “control” part of that statement. When holding the disc in hand I feel a tremendous grip on it. It does not slip even a millimeter when faking throws or just trying to get around that lanky player stalling you. However, the accuracy statement I will have to disagree with slightly. I noticed my long throws bending more inward than anticipated because of either the extra spin from the traction or from the few less milliseconds of slippage that I have gotten so used to over the years. My Short throws were not affected as much, but I did notice a slight impact in overall precision.
So if they improve power and control why just a 3.7? Well, they take some getting used to. I am not an avid glove wearer, but I do keep them in my bag at all times and use them when I’m in the mood (about 50% of the time). Every time I put them on I have to adjust to my new throws which takes some time. Although after using these gloves for almost 6 months I have noticed my muscle memory has gotten better. The time it takes to “adjust” is getting shorter. My biggest beef is that there is an adjustment period.
The overall fit of a glove is very important. That’s probably why nobody has created Ultimate-specific mittens yet. Layout’s gloves fit pretty nicely over my hand. The webbing in between the fingers fit snug and there is no extra material on the tips of the fingers. There is spandex in between each finger (except the middle for increased throwing grip) which help the gloves tighten to the contours of your hand. The sizing chart that Layout supplies is accurate to the actual glove which is very important for online ordering.
Perhaps my favorite part is the fastener on the wrist. The 1 by 3 inch of velcro securely fastens the glove to my hand and offers a 0% chance of the glove slipping up or down while playing. The flexible fabric under the velcro also makes for very comfortable wrist movement.
The only thing from keeping this category a 5 out of 5 is the palm. The tacky palm is fantastic for catching but offers little flexibility. When bending my fingers or cupping my palm the material crunches up a little more than expected. However, I did not notice this affecting catching or throwing ability. The material chosen for the palm obviously has far more benefits than not.
Quality / Materials – 4 out of 5
The $23.99 price point at which these gloves sell is more than fair. The tacky palm of the gloves is made of synthetic leather which typically maintains consistent grip over an extended period of time. The leather chosen seems to be pretty durable. I took the gloves off and put a decent amount of force to try to rip the palm and the seam between the thumb and palm, they hold up very well. All of the seams on the gloves are double stitched for added durability.
My favorite material on the gloves is the mesh backing. It is made of a flexible/breathable mesh that kind of looks like Spiderman’s suit. The leather palm gets a little hot when playing so the mesh was a great choice in material to ventilate the glove. There is also a toweled thumb to wipe sweat from the face.
As said earlier there is a very comfortable spandex wristband to secure the glove to your hand. The wrist uses a large piece of velcro to keep the glove on and to adjust tightness. There is also spandex in between the fingers to help the glove form to your hand. Overall quality is a 4 out of 5.
As I have stated in past reviews, Ultimate Frisbee gloves are an interesting topic. We play a sport that requires extremely limited equipment. Pretty much just a Disc and friends is all you need to get a competitive game going. Now, the game is getting a bit more serious across the world. Players are starting to realize that the Cleats they wear, and the Apparel they buy can give them an edge on the game. If you want to know what it feels like to surgically attach a disc to your hand in mid-air than I would 100% recommend trying out Layout Ultimate’s gloves.
For a modest price of $24.99 you can vastly improve the way you play the game.