Hand Holders: The 7 Best Winter Gloves

One of the first investments you should make this season is a good pair of winter gloves. While winter boots will help keep all your toes in place, for those frosty, frigid mornings gripping a freezing steering wheel because you were late and forgot to warm up your car requires excellent protection lest you find your joints too stiff and cold to flip the bird to the guy who just cut you off on the freeway. We shudder to think of what the world would come to if everyone were too frostbitten to gesture obscenely and we want to help.

A pair of cold weather gloves must be specifically geared toward the use for which they are intended. Yes, they must be warm, but they must be more than that depending on whether you are talking about warm enough to ride the subway or warm enough to ride in a helicopter for a ski jump. Do you need flexibility for climbing or supreme padding to ensure that sub-zero temperatures don’t leave your fingers iced over. For every man in every manly pursuit, we offer the 7 best winter gloves.

The North Face Steep Saiku 1

The North Face Steep Saiku

Pro: Comfortable for daily use
Con: Not very flexible

Hot Toddy: These are your general use, wear everyday, stay warm in any condition classic winter gloves. The waterproof and breathable insert keeps your hands warm but not too hot as you go about shoveling snow, scraping off your car, or just checking the mail when it’s 20 below. The exterior finger seams help keep more heat in just where you need it, around your poor abused phalanges. The low profile cuff can be worn under a jacket to prevent letting in the cold around your wrist while the general exterior is cowhide leather that is meant to be tough, warm, and long-lasting. The style is sleek and attractive so you can stay warm without being gauche. They aren’t really flexible enough for sports or climbing, but for basic daily tasks they hold up and are exceptionally warm. [Purchase: $140]

Glider Gloves Winter

Glider Gloves Winter

Pro: Copper body interacts easily with touchscreens
Con: Can be tight on larger users

Touchability: Just because the weather is freezing and the wind is blowing is no reason for you to stop tweeting out pictures of your favorite foods. Rather than keeping your hands in your pockets, you’ll need a pair of gloves that work with all your touchscreen devices so that even during serious cold snaps you’ll never be without your iPod touch, favorite tablet, or smartphone. Touchscreen gloves have to strike a balance between being able to keep your fingers warm and being able to capture every “WTF!” on your screen accurately. The only good choice that can handle both things are the Gliders. They can hit keystrokes with accuracy, are tight enough to fit most hands snugly without feeling too flimsy to stand up to the cold. They have a double-layered knit design with a body that is spandex, nylon, acrylic, and even copper, which is what adds their flare for the touchscreen. They won’t leave your hands miles beneath the surface and can easily be layered with an outer shell. [Purchase: $21+]

Outdoor Research Lodestar Gloves

Outdoor Research Lodestar Gloves

Pro: Leather palm provides superior grip
Con: Limited warmth for skiing

Rocky Mountain High: These aren’t the warmest gloves you can find, but they are great for those fanatics who don’t let a little thing like biting chills and potential avalanches keep them from attacking the nearest mountain. These are for climbers and mountaineers who know that just because they can’t strap on their favorite rock climbing shoes, doesn’t mean there are not still rocks to ascend. The Polartec Power Shield on the outside gives a breathable layer that is also waterproof while the vertical palms give outstanding grip, great weather protection, and also won’t cause your hands to sweat and slip. Backpackers and alpine hikers will enjoy their dexterity and ability to work with trekking poles or other climbing equipment for scaling tough cliffs to kiss the sky. They are better for dry environments like those you find at higher altitudes while lower regions can make them feel a little muggy. [Purchase: $89]

Duluth Trading Winter Work Gloves

Duluth Trading Winter Work Gloves

Pro: Smooth gripping fingertips
Con: Spandex and nylon backing can cause hands to get cold

Working Out: Projects don’t stop just because winter has fallen. There’s still leaky roofs to fix, treehouses to build, and catapults to prepare for the Punkin Chunkin. That means you need man-sized gloves that can keep out the cold and hold a nail. Duluth originally drew our attention with their carpenter’s work gloves that could keep your hands warm while also allowing you to grip by feel, but their winter gloves are a dazzling cold weather glove. The three layered design leaves a breathable layer to wick away hand sweat while a waterproof layer keeps out the snow. The seamless Rolltop fingertips give you the ability to keep a screw steady and grip finishing nails without getting in the way. The nylon and spandex backing allow your hand to move without getting fatigued and adding too much weight. The thumb is padded so even if you do slip, you might be able to avoid breaking any brittle bones, though it is still going to hurt like hell in the cold. [Purchase: $29+]

Arcteryx Alpha SV

Arc’teryx Alpha SV

Pro: Practically perfect in every way
Con: Price

Resort Time: Forget about laboring in the cold, winter means one thing to many people and that is a chance to hit the slopes and go whizzing down a hill on slick hunks of fiberglass. The Alpha SV might cost you a small fortune, but they are so damn good that you’ll never regret that you had to live on Ramen noodles for a month to afford them. The articulation and dexterity are ideal for holding ski poles but you can also ice climb in them with ease, making them doubly effective if a black diamond trail just isn’t challenging enough for you and its time to go off the beaten path. The hard exterior is complemented by a Gore-Tex insert that will keep your digits toasty whatever mother nature throws at you. The fingers and palms are covered in goatskin which is coarser than leather so you won’t drop a pole as you head down the hill. They are durable enough to go through several rough seasons, which also helps when you’re forking out the cash to buy them. [Purchase: $275+]

Under Armour Blackout

Under Armour Blackout

Pro: Extremely textured grip
Con: Will fall apart with heavy use

The Huntsman: The quiet woods can be peaceful, but if you want to break the silence with a little gunplay, the Blackouts are the gloves you should be wearing. They are tactically designed and feel very much like they belong to the sturdiest Black Ops bastard ever to snap a neck on an illegal nuclear base deep in Siberia. They are especially adept at handling windy conditions and allowing your fingers to find the trigger every time. The grip is printed silicone with enough tread to hold slick gun metal while the Velcro wrist strap gives you a tight fit whenever you put them on. They aren’t meant to last for years, but rather just for a couple of missions, so you’ll find they will begin to degrade if put to the test over and over again. The slim design is meant to be layered when you aren’t going for the kill or ready to loose a crossbow bolt at your prey. [Purchase: $25]

Luxury Lane Classic

Luxury Lane Classic

Pro: Classically stylish
Con: Do not work touchscreens well

Trendsetter: Everything about these dress gloves is opulent, except for the meager price tag. The outside is lambskin that is buttery soft to the touch while the inside is a warm cashmere that makes you hands feel like they’ve taken a spa day. The combination is plenty warm for riding in your car or walking along the streets of New York. The simple design is stylish and timeless so you’ll never be behind the current fashion since black is the new black. The skin is capable of holding a steering wheel, but they won’t necessarily allow you to operate your phone, which is their only real loss for the urban gentleman. [Purchase: $40]

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