The Adidas Pro Combi Fencing Glove is Adidas’s first foray into the world of more specialized fencing equipment. Historically, Adidas made its name in the Fencing world from their shoes. For many years, they were the only real player in that space. They also got involved in uniforms, though it was mostly through re-branding AllStar/Uhlmann gear. Lately, though, they’ve launched a line of fencing uniforms that went beyond simple re-branding. And the Adidas Fencing Glove represents the start of that move into more complete product ownership.
The glove is produced by AllStar and generally resembles a number of other gloves that AllStar carries. However, its construction and features are notably different. Some of the more notable differences in particular:
- Like most gloves, it has a well-padded back of the hand and padding behind all fingers, except for the back of the thumb itself. However, there is some additional padding around the base of the thumb, where it joins at the wrist. This might be intended to be more structural reinforcement, but it also serves as padding in a spot where not many other gloves have similar.
- Similarly, the material from the back of the glove wraps around to the heel of the hand, adding a bit of padding and extra structural integrity to the area where most pistol grips rest on the wrist. How well you like this might be personal preference, but it certainly does result in a much more durable area. If you burn through gloves due to holes here, this will certainly help.
- Like a number of other more recent iterations on the fencing glove, the wrist enclosure velcro seals with the seam facing upwards. Presumably this is to prevent blades from coming up and finding their way through the velcro to skin. Similarly, there is no dedicated hole for the body cord, increasing safety, but is also different in a way that some fencers might have strong opinions about.
- The material in the palm of the hand is durable and grippy. It has some sort of plastic appliques similar to the checkered palm of the AllStar/Uhlmann GripStars, but it seems to last significantly longer. In our testing, after a year of regular-but-not-heavy usage, there is minimal wear on the palm of the hand. The plastic applique is still quite grippy and hasn’t worn away much.
- As is also becoming more standard, the cuff is made of thinner, looser, slicker material. For epeeists in particular, this results in a more difficult target to land a point on. The tradeoff is less padding, so take that into consideration if padding is important to you.
The durability of the glove seems to be outstanding. We’ve included a short gallery of photos of our test glove. After 1 year of roughly 3 days a week usage in both foil and epee, the glove is still structurally intact and fully functional to approximately the same level of quality as when it was acquired. It looks a little rough for wear, but its worth noting that the appliques are still mostly intact and there are no major holes or heavy wear spots forming. It feels like it will go another year.
Most of the downsides with the glove are going to be personal preference related. Will you like the velcro enclosure closing up, which results in your body cord exiting the glove upwards? Will you like the palm heel padding? Will you like the other padding choices on the glove? We found that all of these were initially slightly annoying, but that over time, they became non-issues when compared to all of the other things that were done objectively well on this glove.
The only objective major functional issue that we had with the glove is the tag. Its positioned in a way that it will always get in the way of the velcro sealing of the glove. Annoying, but we solved it quickly by just cutting the tag off.
And of course, the price. It’s certainly a little more expensive than your standard starter glove. As with most of Adidas’s offerings, the Adidas fencing glove is positioned at the top of its class.