Whether you’re grabbing a pole on the G train or on a ski vacation, cold fingers are never pleasant. As many different types of gloves as there are (touchscreen or shearling or leather), there are even more brands and styles to choose from within those categories. To find the best versions no matter what you’re looking for, we talked with gear experts, stylists, and professional snowboarders. Below, the 18 best pairs that you can wear whether you’re commuting to the office or skiing on Bear Mountain.
The best leather gloves
Taylor Manson, visual specialist at REI, says that leather is an excellent choice because it is “naturally waterproof, super durable, and is going to give you really good wind protection.” This pair from Hestra has a slightly longer length and a convenient zipper “allowing the gloves to easily go over a jacket or be zipped under a coat. You can also unzip and roll the cuff for an extra styling option,” says designer, stylist, and creative consultant Megan Ann Wilson.
In fact, several of our experts recommended gloves from Hestra, a Swedish company founded in 1936. Ari Gefen, a buyer at Westerlind, says they are “exceedingly well-made, warm, and look amazing. They’re dressy but not too fussy, the perfect city glove.” The Elisabeth glove is made of hair sheep leather and is wool-lined. “Good-quality leather ages beautifully when properly cared for, and the linings ensure your hands stay warm and cozy.” Manson recommends washing your leather gloves with soap and water and treating them with wax or polish to keep them in top condition.
Gefen also recommends Geier Gloves. They are made in Centralia, Washington from high-quality deerskin and elk leathers and “the contrast piping detail gives them a bit more visual interest than your typical winter glove, as well.” Manson says that leather gloves are “going to be really thick, so if you’re working outside it offers good protection.”
Celebrity stylist Jasmine Caccamo also suggests these sheepskin and shearling gloves from UGG. The water-resistant leather and super-cozy cuff will help keep your hands warm and dry.
The best touchscreen-friendly gloves
“Polartec is basically a durable, synthetic lining,” explains Manson. This pair of liner gloves from REI are lightweight, breathable, and touchscreen-compatible. “I’m a mountain hiker, so I need to have everything within reach on a second’s notice, so the touchscreen compatibility is always going to be a great feature.” Manson also recommends these gloves for runners or anyone who engages in a lot of outdoor activity.
The best merino wool-lined gloves
According to Manson, wool is an excellent day-to-day choice. “Wool is anti-odor, it’s quick-drying, and, even if it gets wet, it will keep you warm. You don’t even need a thick layer of wool to stay warm, so if you want a glove option that isn’t super bulky, wool is a good choice.” REI’s product media manager Courtney Gearhart says this pair of liner gloves, layered under her REI Co-op Minimalist GTX Mittens, keeps her hands dry and warm during “the cold weather we’ve been having in the Pacific Northwest lately.”
The best all-weather gloves
“I will swear by these gloves on my life,” Manson says, after “I got stuck in a storm in the White Mountains. There were 80-mph winds, it was 30 degrees, I wore these for 8 hours straight during an emergency escape, and they kept me warm.” These gloves are form-fitting and thin, but offer a lot of protection because they have a double layer of polyester and polyurethane that form a breathable water- and wind-resistant barrier.
The best ski gloves
When it comes to ski gloves, “the most important thing is that they have to be waterproof, windproof, and breathable,” says Liz Lamanna, manager and buyer at Brooklyn-based outdoor shop Panda Sport. “Just like in the gym, you want materials that will wick away sweat and are breathable so that you stay dry and warm,” she explains. Olympic snowboarder Aimee Fuller says that these are her favorite gloves because they are “lightweight yet versatile, keep your hands warm, and have good movement for holding and grabbing items.”
“I use the Volcom Peep Gore-Tex Glove as my everyday glove. They are Gore-Tex, so they always stay dry, and I utilize my fingers a lot more than in typical gloves because of how well they fit!” says professional snowboarder and Olympian Elena Hight. According to Jake Allison, gear expert at Park City-based outdoor store Backcountry, Gore-Tex is the “industry standard” for waterproofing gloves and is a reliable choice for skiing and snowboarding.
The REI Gauntlet Gore-Tex Glove is windproof, waterproof, and super insulated and padded. “Ski gloves are also lined with insulators, sometimes they have down or they have synthetic fill (like a microfiber lining). Which is ideal, because your hands will sweat in something that is wind- and waterproof, but the synthetic material is quick-drying,” says Manson.
And if you’re looking for a well-fitting glove, she recommends the Swany line. This pair, in particular, is made from goatskin leather and a removable merino wool liner. However, Manson advises that even with form-fitting gloves, “you still want there to be a little bit of space so the warmth can circulate.”
Allison’s top pick are these Black Diamond Guide Ski Glove for its durability and thoughtful design. These gloves have a Gore-Tex insert, goat-leather palm, and foam padding to protect fingers during impact. They even have a suede leather nose-wipe on the thumb to help deal with runny noses on the slopes when tissues are nowhere to be found. Gross, but also genius.
“Fleece is super comfy, super cozy, and it will keep you warm,” says Manson. Allison was our third expert to recommend Hestra, which also makes more heavy-duty glove options. This pair has a fleece lining and a leather strap around the wrist that seals out snow. However, Manson cautions, “If you sweat a lot then the fleece will absorb the sweat and you’ll get cold.” She recommends adding a wool liner to your fleece gloves to prevent that from happening.
The best heated gloves
According to Allison, heated gloves are the best option “if you really don’t want to have cold fingers.” Heated gloves have an internal battery and a heating element to keep you warm on the go.
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