As much as I disliked the XDs platform grip from the factory, Talon Grips has a solution. They make a grip wrap that helps tone done the aggressiveness of the factory system while still providing excellent retention all at a reasonable price and an easy to install package. They come in two varieties, a rubber compound and a granular (aka skateboard tape). I chose the rubber version for this application. The main grip retails for $17.99. Talon Grips also offer wraps for the XDs extended magazine and another for the Pearce magazine extender. Those can be had for a mere $1.99 each. All of these products offer a 90 day return period.
These are well made and even include cut outs around the XDs logo, which I thought was a nice touch.
The big question is, “do they work?” So far, my answer is yes. They were effective at creating a barrier between the hard polymer lugs embedded in the XDs grip and my hand. They didn’t necessarily dampen the felt recoil, that was certainly still there, but the uncomfortable digging sensation was gone. I was able to fire the gun without gloves for a longer period of time.
It seems to me that this is a small investment for something that seems to really help, at least in this application.
See video below for installation procedure.