How To Choose Your Gloves?

Choosing your gloves

In the mountains, for winter sports, while traveling in the Nordic countries, we find gloves for all uses: ordinary or extreme, here are some tips to help choose your gloves.

Types of gloves

Before knowing what type of gloves to adopt, it is wise to know the different models existing in the market as well as their different manufactures:
The mitten gloves: these gloves are very breathable and light, they have fingers cut. Mittens have 2 advantages, they are more breathable than conventional gloves and allow more precision to handle objects.
Mitten mitts: these are chic mittens with the possibility of enclosing fingers in a bonnet, very practical in cold weather where it is necessary to have a little dexterity at times (take a picture, re-make his laces …)
Fine gloves or gloves: these gloves are rather used in rando and trail. They provide a moderate heat supply and are compact. Often, they can be used as glove gloves for thermal complement.
 Windproof ” gloves  : variable in thickness (and thus of variable thermicity), they will insulate you from the cold wind while maintaining good breathability.
They are very interesting for endurance sports.
Reinforced gloves: these are very resistant gloves that are used in sports or hands scrub on many different surfaces. Their goal is not to bring warmth.
Thermal gloves: these gloves, which are used in alpine skiing, are also suitable for mountain sports where there is a risk of cold hands. The great challenge of these gloves is to be thin enough not to hinder the grip while remaining warm. They can be strengthened.
Mittens: this is what will be most effective from the point of view of heat, on the other hand the
dexterity is clearly shaken. Under extreme conditions the right trick will be to use undercoat gloves in the first layer to be able to handle easily when
they are cold on the finger when the hand of the mitt is taken out.

The outer material

There are hundreds of materials used in the manufacture of gloves, here are the most common bulk and their advantages and disadvantages:

Synthetic fiber

It is present on almost all gloves whatever their type. It is strong enough for the back of the hand and very breathable but deteriorates rapidly on the palm. This is why it is almost always lined on the palm (except for very fine gloves).

The leather

Leather is found on all the gloves that will be rubbed on rough surfaces because this natural material remains the best resistant to abrasion. Mountaineering gloves are especially particularly reinforced in leather because they often rub on the rock. The leather throat is easily watered and on the gloves of good quality it is treated to resist water.

Synthetic leather

Synthetic leathers are inexpensive, light, as resistant as natural leathers (if they are of quality) and they resist very well to water. It does not breathe, however, in most cases and that is why it is used only for the palm.

Resistant synthetic fibers

Some synthetic fibers exhibit superior abrasion resistance properties to nylon. These fibers include kevlar, dyneema and cordura (which is a treated nylon). These fibers are used in gloves because it provides superior abrasion resistance to nylon (and lower than leather) and is breathable.

The membranes

Water-resistant gloves have a waterproof breathable membrane. This membrane is often of the gore-tex brand but can be of another brand and be just as effective. It is important, however, to be careful because the gloves are subjected to a lot of pressure and movements which quickly deteriorate the membrane and it is rare for gloves to remain truly impermeable in molten snow for example.

The lining of the gloves

The polar lining

The fleece lining is very light, efficient and dries quickly (everything is relative for gloves). It is widely used as it is particularly suitable for gloves. High-loft polar fleece is commonly found in gloves, this fur-like fleece is very hot and compressible.

Synthetic liners

Gloves often use synthetic lining. These synthetic liners are even warmer, more breathable and more compressible than polar linings. On the other hand, they are only suitable for gloves that are warm and voluminous. Primaloft lined gloves are commonly found, and this is a very effective synthetic liner.

The wool lining

The wool is not as hot as the synthetic liners but it has the advantage of remaining insulating even when wet. It is rare as a glove liner but can be very effective as a glove.

Differences between gloves

Choosing your gloves is not an easy choice, it is important to know the characteristics of your next gloves. Here are the main things that can make you choose one glove rather than another.


After all it is the goal number 1 of the glove. To realize the capacities of insulation of the glove the marks often give a recommended temperature of use. If you are a bit chilly hands add at least 6 degrees. The sensation of warmth by passing the glove is also a good indicator.
The presence of long sleeves also makes a difference in terms of insulation but protection against snow.


This is the second point that is very important for gloves. For some gloves the resistance to abrasion is not important because they are not subjected to it (especially in trail) but in mountaineering or in climbing this one is primordial.
In order to evaluate the resistance in time of the gloves one has to look at the proportion of leather (natural or synthetic) on the inner face. Gloves wear particularly at the fingertips and the area between the thumb and index finger. On the gloves really resistant the entire fingertip is lined with seamless leather at the tip (same side nail).

Flexibility and dexterity

The longer a glove is warm the more you lose in dexterity by wearing it but all the gloves are not equal and it is important to pass them to realize the rigidity of the gloves you are eyeing.

The feeling

There are a lot of very different hand shapes and some gloves will not suit you at all (this is especially true for fine gloves). It is also to the feeling that you will determine if you have found the pair of your dreams.

Examples of gloves

Here are some examples of gloves depending on how you can use them.

Choose your gloves for trail, hiking and Nordic walking

  • The north face e-tip glove, lightweight gloves, nylon, compatible Smartphones
  • Marmot fleece gloves, fleece gloves , light, warm

Choose your gloves for climbing and via ferrata

  • Petzl cordex plus, very tough leather glove.
  • Black diamond Crag half finger, Stretch synthetic glove, synthetic leather palm, lightweight and durable.

Choose your gloves for mountaineering in snow and ski touring or alpine

  • Black diamond pursuit, warm gloves, gore-tex, fleece lining, long sleeve.
  • Black Diamond Arc, precise gloves perfect for ice cascade or dry.

Choosing your gloves for technical mountaineering

  • Arcteryx Beta glove, warm and precise gloves.
  • Millet Expert 3 fingers, one is halfway between the muffle and the gloves, it is a mitt with index separating and free to improve the freedom of manipulation. Perfect for technical mountaineering in very cold conditions.