The importance of a great pair of winter gloves should not be underestimated. They may not be the first piece of attire that you purchase, but keeping your hands warm is important, especially when the temperature drops below freezing. Many types of winter gloves are not the most attractive pieces of clothing that you will ever own, but without them handling items in sub-zero temperatures can not only be awkward but can be downright dangerous.
Before purchasing your winter gloves, there are some factors you will need to take into account.
The first of these is the environment. Where will you be using those gloves and what is the weather like? Of course, it’ll be chilly – or downright freezing in some instances – but will also be raining? Will you be operating machinery or are you looking for men’s driving gloves? Will you be using electronic equipment such as a mobile phone? Keep these factors in mind when choosing your gloves.
The Various Types of Winter Gloves
Fleece Type Gloves
These gloves are manufactured from man-made fibres and the close weave can offer superior warmth. Importantly, just how warm they will be is usually a function of how heavy the gloves are. Remember: too heavy and dexterity suffers. Heavy gloves mean that your hands will be warm but in extreme circumstances, your fingers can be next to useless. The key is balance. Select the right thickness and compare that with your need to perform complex tasks.
Leather and Lined Gloves
These gloves are classics and can be very attractive. They are thinner than fleece gloves and fit more snugly. That can mean that your fingers can handle tasks that require fine movement. They are perfect for outdoor activities that require high levels of energy and coordination. Many models are water and wind-resistant.
Liner and Leather Gloves
Liner gloves tend to much thinner and much tighter fitting. These styles of gloves are much better for moderate and high energy activities as they allow your fingers more movement while also being wind and water-resistant. Because these gloves are much thinner than other types it is possible to wear a second pair of gloves over the top of the first for double the warmth – easy enough to remove when you need that extra dexterity. They’re not suitable for industrial use or in tasks which require an ultra-tough option, but they’re a good all-round choice when it comes to weather that is cold – but not life-threateningly so.
Soft Shell Style Gloves
These gloves are incredibly light and are perfect for tasks that take place out of doors in very cold environments. They offer a great balance between water resistance and wind protection. They will keep hands warm in the most challenging of weather. While they are not tough enough for really heavy work, they’re equal to most tasks that require moderate exertion.
The many synthetic layers that are used in the manufacture of these gloves mean that they boast great heat retention characteristics. They are also waterproof due to the impermeable outer layer – although there are styles that are more water-resistant than waterproof.
Other Things to keep in Mind
For medium cold temperatures, fingerless gloves can be a great choice. They will not offer the same level of warmth as gloves which cover the entire hand but on the plus side finger movement is unimpeded. The added padding in the palm area makes them suitable for a wide variety of tasks, including those tasks that require medium levels of exertion.
Fingerless gloves may not provide that incredible warming experience that full hand gloves will. but there are other positives – for instance, even the most finicky of tasks can be completed with ease when wearing fingerless gloves. This is in part due to most having well-padded palm support.
A style that has been increasing in popularity are touch-screen gloves. These enable you to use a smartphone (or other mobile devices) easily.
So, What’s Best?
It’s all about the balance between warmth and functionality. Some of the best choices are those gloves with multiple layers: an outer layer, an insulating layer and an inner lining closest to your skin.
Take the time you try on the gloves before purchase. The right fit can mean the difference between a pair of gloves that perform and a pair that is simply a waste of money. You will usually be faced with four choices as far as size is concerned – small, medium, large, and extra-large. The gloves should fit snugly, comfortably and provide warmth, but allow for a full range of movement (within reason). Remember the golden rule: functionality and warmth need to be balanced.
Winter poses many challenges – and opportunities for fun. Whether you are skiing, sledging, hunting or just heading out to collect the post at the end of the drive, make sure that your hands stay warm. With a bit of research, you’ll find the perfect pair of gloves for your unique needs.