We had the beast from the east last year and now the big chill is back and looks set to continue until the later days of February. Numb fingers are a common undesirable side effect without the right gloves, and can stop you enjoying your ride. We look at some of the best winter cycling gloves to keep your fingers toasty throughout.
Thankfully, we’ve got a wide range of finger shields designed to keep you warm.
When looking for winter gloves, key features to consider are:
Warmth – The degree of protection you need will depend upon your riding style, intensity and natural body temperature. Buy with your riding and body in mind, as the ‘perfect glove’ varies between individuals.
Waterproofing – Waterproof gloves, which often use neoprene or water resistant polyester, will be valuable in a downpour, but they are often less breathable. Waterproof gloves should have adjustable cuffs, or extended cuffs that disappear beneath your jacket, to prevent drips infiltrating.
Breathability – If you ride for fitness, and are often pushing yourself, you’ll want a breathable pair of gloves to prevent sweaty hands.
Flexibility – You should be able to grip the handlebars and change gears. Thicker gloves will make this more difficult, but will keep you warm – commuters looking for warmth, who don’t expect to need to quickly change gear, can opt for thicker gloves. If you ride for sport, you might want to sacrifice some warmth for close connection to your handlebars and gears.
Grip – Make sure your gloves have some form of grip – often this is provided through silicone sections on the palms and fingers.
Sweat wipe – Quality gloves usually have a ‘Terry Wipe’ or ‘Sweat Wipe’ – it isn’t uncommon to find your nose dribbles a bit in the cold, and this reinforced, soft patch on the thumb is mainly designed for wiping a drippy nose.
Fit – Gloves that are too tight will cut circulation, making your hands colder, and restricting movement. Gloves that are too big can let cold air in, and lead to an inadequate grip on the handlebar. Where possible, try a few pairs of gloves on in store to get the fit right, if that’s not an option, use the sizing guide provided. Remember that your hands will swell during exercise, but less so in winter than the hotter months.
Here are our top picks:
The Lightweight windproof glove – Kalf FIVE Windproof Glove
This lightweight packable glove uses C40 Thinsulate insulation with a windproof membrane to keep the chill out. With a low profile design to keep them as sleek and flexible as possible they’re a great option for the majority of riding styles. They keep a good level of dexterity whilst maintaining warmth – we’ve worn these quite comfortably down to freezing conditions despite the Five degree name – and they even offer a decent amount of water resistance. Their finished off with silicone gripper palms, and highly reflective detailing across the knuckles and cuff to kep you visible whilst signalling in low light.
The flexible warmer – Endura FS260-Pro Nemo glove
These gloves are made from Neoprene – they’re completely sealed, and they don’t let the wind or cold in, or the heat out. This means they are not breathable – instead your body heat is used to maintain warmth.
These Endura gloves aren’t for everybody – the wetsuit style means that if it does rain, they hold on to a layer of water, but this quickly warms up with your body heat, so you’ll never get frozen fingers. The style means in wet or dry weather you get a lot of warmth, in a soft, flexible glove – the sacrifice being sweaty hands, but they’re a firm office favourite here at Evans Cycles.
An extended neoprene cuff adds further protection, and the palm has added no-slip grippers.
If you’re after total waterproofing then SealSkinz, known for their waterproof socks, have got you covered.
The All Weather XP gloves are made from water resistant Polyester, and PU Micropourous Membrane – allowing a degree of breathability as well as wind and rain protection.
The polyester inner layer has a technical moisture management layer to prevent sweating, whilst an elastic cuff means easy pulling on and off, and silicone grippers provide confidence in grip. These gloves even come with touchscreen compatible thumb and index finger.
The warm glove – FWE Coldharbour+ Glove
These gloves are made for cold and wet days, insulation comes from thick Thinsulate fabric and a soft, quick-dry fleece liner, with a waterproof membrane to keep the rain and snow at bay. These gloves have had an overhaul from previous years; maintaining and improving their performance whilst improving on ergonomic fit. They also come with the signature Coldharbour+ reflective detailing on the back of the hand in cammo print. This fabric whilst looking cool during the day reflects a huge amount of light from headlights at night.
The super warm glove – Gore M Gore Windstopper Insulated Glove
If you find you get very cold hands, these are for you. Engineered for sub-zero conditions without affecting dexterity these gloves use PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation with soft and versatile Gore Windstopper® to keep the cold out whilst maintaining breathability. The extended cuff on these gloves also makes them ideal for those colder days where even the merest hint of exposed skin can spell disaster for enjoying your ride.
If you’re still suffering from chilly hands, there are still more options. We have a very wide range of gloves available, and we can offer more advice in store or via our contact centre If you want to opt for a quick fix, sometimes adding a glove liner to an existing glove can help to trap an extra layer of air to act as an insulator. These liners from Altura are thin enough to slide under most types of gloves – doing this will decrease mobility so make sure to keep your hands moving in colder conditions as much as you can to keep blood flow up.
Looking for something else? We also have high viz options, and plenty of women’s gloves – see all our winter gloves.