Most high-quality items are specific in their function. You don’t use the claw of a hammer to dig in the dirt, or punch holes in your leather belt with the points of a multimeter. And the things that aren’t, like a 3-in-1 gaming table (pool air, air hockey, and ping-pong?!), well, they don’t do anything well. One big exception is the Give’r unlined glove (and maybe Kyler Murray).
These gloves look basic, like typical leather work gloves. They’re so versatile, however, that what used to be a choice — which glove from a big stack to use for a particular job — is no choice at all. Give’rs are as good in the snow as they are in the oppressive heat. It’s unsurprising then that the company grew from a garage in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, a town as familiar with waist-deep powder as it is rodeos, ranching, and downhill mountain-bike runs.
The gloves are made of supple cow leather with double-stitched seams and leather overlays for added durability where the thumb meets the palm. They’re soft and flexible to the touch, and they move with your hand. Even your pinky can bend easily. Plus, like a baseball glove, the fit improves as you wear them, sweat in them, let the leather stretch and shrink around the bump of your knuckles and the folds of your palm. Eventually they settle on your hand like a dog flopping into the favorite corner of its bed.
I came across these gloves when I was in Jackson Hole, and since then I’ve worn them for everything. Mountain biking for seven hours in the desert heat of Moab? The unlined leather let any sweat I had evaporate. My hands never felt warm, even in the direct desert sun. And when I took the wrong line and got tossed over the handlebars, the gloves protected my hands as I slid directly into a bunch of sharp-edged desert rocks. The Give’rs weren’t even scuffed, and neither was my face.
Manipulating the tiny dials of a camp stove in early season snow around Lake Tahoe? As half-dollar-sized snowflakes dotted my campsite, I had the dexterity I needed to set the burner at a simmer, without having to take off my gloves and expose my skin to the freezing metal of the stove.
And their durability is unreal. Give’r says you can use these gloves to move burning logs in a campfire. I didn’t do that, but I did use them on the steep descent from the top of Half Dome in Yosemite, where I squeezed onto a one-inch cable, using the leather grip as a rudimentary brake for more than 200 feet. At the bottom, I wiped off a bit of grime to reveal no wear at all. A lesser glove would have burned right through.
Give’r has a whole line of gloves, many of them insulated for the colder months. Those work great too. But for me, I’ll always prefer these unlined gloves. I want that dexterity, even if it means I have to keep my hands moving a bit to stay warm.