Gloves | Alpine Skiing


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More Glove Facts

Ski gloves are another inherent part of the winter gear that must be included in everyone’s bag before going on any winter adventure. 


Everyone during winter has experienced at least once a bad day in the mountains due to cold hands and numb fingers. Either on a long hikes or skiing in a resort. This is why picking the right pair of gloves that will provide warmth and comfort could be challenging if you don’t know what to look for. Therefore, here are few hints to make decision making process easier on you in order to improve on safety as well as on warmth.

The oldest dispute: Gloves vs Mittens

The generalization goes quite back in days when mittens were considered to be warmer than gloves but on other hand provided less dexterity. And while this comparison is still sometimes true, don’t hold on to it because on several occasions there are types of gloves which may be marginally warmer than mittens and also mittens which offer similar dexterity as the super warm gloves.

Get a proper fit

1. Make sure your finger tips are barely touching the glove’s end. Same thing applies to width of palms. People tend to size up for example if fingers fit but palm is too small and vice versa. But if this is the case just move on and try from a wide range of different models and brands

2. When trying a pair of gloves, try to push down between your thumb and index finger (also middle finger). Should you feel too much of a pressure or resistance, this generally would mean the glove is too small.

3. Keep in mind leather gloves are a bit stiffer at the very beginning, and their dexterity will be compromised. However, after couple days of wearing them, they will soften up. Of course, depending on the gloves manufacturer and type of skin used.

Insulation and materials

Majority of the gloves and mittens come with some sort of insulation to keep our hands and fingers from being cold and numb. The most used material for insulation is synthetic fiber (e.g., PrimaLoft), which is followed by fleece (i.e., Polartec, Thinsulate) or merino wool, however in some cases you will also find a pair with a down fill. Even though some material might work better than the other, it always come down to the volume of insulation. For example, manufacturers tend to label the weight of insulation they put in the gloves or label temperature ratings. But since it’s not standardized within the industry and everyone’s body runs on different temperature it’s difficult to determine what temperature rating is the right one for you.

Regular cuff vs gauntlet glove style

Even though it all comes down to a personal preference when choosing regular cuff vs gauntlet style, there are some things worth pointing out. Since gauntlet cuff extends beyond the wrist as opposed to regular cuff gloves, they also contain a lot more insulation and on top it’s much easier to pull on and off the glove, especially over the sleeve of the jacket. On a flip side, if it gets stormy, rainy and wet, the water may come down between your glove and sleeve and make your day miserable. So, in this kind of weather would be better to opt for a regular cuff gloves, even though they are being harder to put on since they are to tucked away under the jacket sleeve which makes the water run over and not into the gloves.


Waterproofness and outer materials

While on the market there’s plenty of glove options, brands tend to stick to materials and fabrics, which provide the best longevity and protection from outer elements. 

It’s arguable, which materials are better than the others but certainly we all want that promised warmth throughout the day.   

Nowadays, only few brands make full on leather gloves while, majority of brands make only synthetic or with combination of leather material (usually leather palms and synthetic backhand) for their winter collections due to its durability and longevity.  

Nonetheless, leather is more expensive, it has proved its agility. Keep in mind leather needs to be well treated for, otherwise it may lose its color, durability and elasticity.

Many manufacturers use either their own waterproof membrane or they partner up with a 3rd party supplier such as Gore-tex for example. Since it is really hard to protect hands from wind, snow and sometime rain, remember not even the best insulation could help us if the waterproof membrane fails. 

Features and usability

Most gloves are there to achieve goal of keeping snow and rain out. And eternally to keep hands warm enough to have fun on the mountain. However, don’t forget dexterity of gloves is as important as warmth because not being able to buckle ski boots, open zippers or switch to ski mode is a bit frustrating. The ease of use would cover how well they are able to tighten or loosen around the wrist area as well as taking them on and off the hands. Gloves or mittens may also feature goggle wipe or wrist leashes, which give you piece of mind when on a chairlift. And if you have to surf the internet, having a touch screen sensitive index and thumb is a nice bonus. Lastly, if it gets super cold, some gloves even come with zippered pockets where you can put your handwarmers.