How To Buy Running Gloves

There’s no need for frozen fin­gers to get in the way of a good work­out. With a pair of run­ning gloves, you can keep the burn where it belongs: your legs. This guide will help you learn how to choose the best run­ning gloves for your needs.

Mate­ri­als: Run­ning gloves are gen­er­al­ly made from syn­thet­ic blends. The four most com­mon­ly used fab­rics, Poly­ester, acrylic, fleece and polypropy­lene have dif­fer­ent sweat-wick­ing, breatha­bil­i­ty, warmth, and wind and water­proof­ing fea­tures that are worth con­sid­er­ing when mak­ing an informed buy­ing deci­sion.

Poly­ester: A glove with poly­ester will typ­i­cal­ly have high breatha­bil­i­ty and sweat-wick­ing poten­tial while still keep­ing hands dry and com­fort­able to main­tain warmth. It won’t, how­ev­er, offer any sort of wind or water­proof­ing.

Acrylic: An acrylic-elas­tane glove will be breath­able, stretchy and decent­ly warm, but it won’t offer much in the way of wind or water­proof­ing.

Fleece: Putting on a fleece glove is like putting on a nice fleece pullover—it’s super cozy. But they don’t do as great of a job as some of the oth­er fab­rics when it comes to sweat-wick­ing and breathability—unless the glove fea­tures pan­els of dif­fer­ent fab­rics. Some gloves will fea­ture a fleece pan­el on the out­side (though this is also com­mon­ly ter­ry cloth) for wip­ing away fore­head sweat.

Polypropy­lene: A glove with polypropy­lene will typ­i­cal­ly pro­vide great wind and water­proof­ing to keep the run­ner’s hands dry and warm, though it does sac­ri­fice some of the breatha­bil­i­ty and inter­nal mois­ture-man­age­ment in the process.

Fit: Run­ning gloves should fit snug to the hands. They should feel like almost like a sec­ond, much warmer, lay­er of skin. Gloves that are too big will flop around, which isn’t only obnox­ious, but can lead to chaf­ing. Gloves that are too small will cut off cir­cu­la­tion to the fin­gers and lead to uncom­fort­able numb­ness in the hands.

Thick­ness: Run­ning gloves are thick­er on the back side of the hands to pro­vide the most warmth and wind pro­tec­tion, while the palm of the hand and insides of the fin­gers will gen­er­al­ly fea­ture a thin­ner mesh fab­ric for max­i­mum breatha­bil­i­ty. How­ev­er, some gloves are thick­er than oth­ers because of fab­ric type or because they fea­ture a lin­er for extra warmth.

Warmth: Whether a glove is warm enough for a run­ner is high­ly depen­dent on the runner’s tem­per­a­ture and cir­cu­la­tion. Some run­ners will need to wear a glove through­out the entire length of a run, while oth­ers might reach a point where they can take them off and stuff them in a pock­et. Some fab­rics are warmer than oth­ers, as well, and gloves with lin­ers pro­vide the most warmth.

Sea­son­al­i­ty: Gloves can typ­i­cal­ly be worn year-round, though are not rec­om­mend­ed for warmer weath­er. In the fall and win­ter, a glove with a lin­er and a wind-proof­ing fab­ric can help keep fin­gers warm and com­fort­able. In the spring, run­ners can typ­i­cal­ly skip the lin­er and go for a water­proof­ing fab­ric on rainy runs.

Weight: Fab­ric will dic­tate the weight of the glove. Most gloves are light­weight enough they don’t inter­rupt the com­fort or flow of a run.