We like the dual-surface finish of Race Face's Sniper grips a lot. The ribbed sections provide just enough cushioning to be kind on your hands yet the profile is still narrow enough for you to maintain perfect control.
They’re grippy from the get-go, and if you don’t love wearing gloves they won’t shred your hands to bits. If you like to colour-match different bits of your bike they come in all the colours of the rainbow too. They’re expensive, though, and we’d prefer some beefier 3mm clamp bolts to the 2.5mm ones they come with.