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The Best Work Gloves To Keep Your Hands Protected

Best Work Gloves 00 Hero

Whether performing skilled labor or grunt work, those who work with their hands are abundantly aware of how crucial it is to protect these vital extremities, be it from impacts, cuts, vibrations, abrasions, or cold weather. And when it comes to fortifying your fingers, knuckles, and palms, nothing beats a proper set of work gloves. Having been utilized by countless generations across a host of different industries ranging from heavy-machinery mechanics to ranch hands to dockworkers, there’s a diverse array of different types of work gloves currently on the market, all varying in their intended application and overall quality.

So, in order to help you sort through the multitude of today’s work gloves, we’ve scoured numerous segments within the sector to help bring you a comprehensive guide to the finest work gloves money can currently buy. So, whether you’re looking for a highly-cut-resistant pair for metalworking, a dexterous pair for fine-tactile work, a warm set of work mitts for readying an arctic base-camp, or anything in-between, this list of the best work gloves has got you covered.

The Best Work Gloves

The Merits Of Hardwearing Wearables

The Most Important Factors To Consider When Buying Work Gloves

Though work gloves are admittedly a fairly straight forward product space, it’s still crucial that you’re privy to at least a key few areas when shopping — the most important of which we’ve broken down directly below. 

Materials & Build Quality: Unlike most regular or winter gloves that simply protect your paws from dirt, grime, and cold-weather, work gloves have to be able to perform these feats while simultaneously standing up to the rigors and stresses of daily use. For this reason, the quality of the materials and construction used in a work glove is of extreme importance, as this is what largely determines their overall lifespan and how well they withstand daily wear and tear.

Work Glove Type &Intended Use: There are numerous types of work gloves, each differing in their intended application. A glove’s application is what determines which amenities and features it has, such as cold-weather gloves that boast insulation and/or weatherproof membranes, or reinforced palms and stitching for repeated daily lifting. 

Tactile Feel: While work gloves need to be extremely durable and robust, they can’t overly inhibit tactile feel and dexterity to the point where it becomes difficult to work with your hands and perform your necessary tasks. As such you’ll want to consider a pair of glove’s tactile feel — which can often be compromised by insulation, membranes, and other elements in more robust constructions. 

Protection & Safety Certifications: Certain applications require specific degrees of protection, and while terms like “abrasion-resistant” are helpful, it’s far more useful getting an objective metric such as an EN 388 or ANSI cut, abrasion, or impact rating. These certifications explain the exact strengths and limits of these aforementioned protective areas. 

Extras & Supplementary Features: There are also some modern work gloves that offer supplementary amenities, such as increased grip, or added support/ wrist protection when lifting heavy objects. It’s also well worth keeping an eye out for ultra-rugged materials like Dyneema and Kevlar.

Versatility: Versatility is another area that should be taken into consideration when shopping for a work glove. While this purchase should primarily be guided by your intended application, it never hurts to consider a work glove’s potential secondary uses, as the right model will also easily double as a mechanic glove, camping glove, winter hiking glove, or even motorcycle gloves when in a pinch or in need of a second pair for a pillion.

Carhartt Synthetic Suede Safety Cuff Work Glove

Photo: Amazon
  • Classic work gloves made from Carhartt’s signature cotton duck fabric
  • Palms overlaid w/ synthetic suede patches
  • Equipped w/ safety cuff & side vent
  • Features wrist protection & knuckle guard
  • Poor knuckle protection

Best Classic Work Gloves: There are some timeless winter workwear items with such efficient designs, that they’ve gone largely unchanged for generations, with one such example being Carhartt’s Insulated Suede Work Glove. The American outfit’s take on a classic ranch-style work glove, these manual labor mitts sport a classic silhouette but are made from the Carhartt’s signature duck cotton canvas, supplemented by suede reinforced palms, fingers, and knuckles, and a polyester lining. 100-grams of 3M Thinsulate insulation enable these gloves to stand up to cold-weather work conditions while reinforced stitching and stripe-designed backs and safety cuffs complete the package.

Primary Construction: Cotton Duck & Synthetic Leather
Armor: Yes
Waterproof: No

Mechanix Wear The Original Insulated

Mechanix Wear The Original Insulated
Photo: Amazon
  • Winterized version of legendary work/mechanic glove
  • Offers fantastic bang for your buck
  • Insulation & membrane don’t compromise tactile feel
  • Extremely versatile
  • Lacks long-term durability of more expensive gloves

Best Value Gloves: Utilized by everyone from elite mechanics to active-duty Navy SEALs, the Mechanic Wear The Original gloves are widely considered some of the all-time best-work mitts ever made, offering solid quality and durability at an affordable price. The winter version of this glove maintains the properties that make the regular version so revered while gaining a full SoftShell water-resistant and wind-resistant stretch fabric outer mated to fleece-lined palms. Packed with a thin layer of insulation, these gloves also feature rugged synthetic leather-infused touchscreen-friendly fingers and a TPR wrist closure that provides a snug yet comfortable fit while also helping to trap in heat. 

Primary Construction: SoftShell & Synthetic Leather
Armor: No
Waterproof: Semi

MCR Safety MC503 Ultratech Mechanics Gloves

Photo: Full Source
  • Full Dyneema liner offers stellar cut-resistance
  • Thumb crotch reinforced w/ coated Kevlar
  • Palms overlaid w/ goatskin leather
  • Offers amazing protection all around
  • Very end of fingertips offer limited dexterity & tactile feel

Best Cut-Proof Gloves: In certain applications such as metal fabrication or when working with rusty cars, boats, or buildings, cut protection can be of extreme importance, and when it comes to a contemporary work glove that offers unrivaled slash resistance without coming at the cost of precise tactile feel, it truly is hard to beat MCR Safety’s MC503 UltraTech. The open-cuff glove features a pull-tab, wing thumb, premium goatskin palm, and an ultra-cut-resistant lining that calls on DSM Dyneema Diamond Technology. The entire glove also boasts TPR protection on the knuckle and finger backs, and DuPont Kevlar reinforcements in the glove’s high-stress areas.

Primary Construction: TPR, Goatskin, & Dyneema
Armor: Yes
Waterproof: N/A

Danner Bison Unlined Roper Glove

Photo: Danner
  • Simple yet rugged unlined USA-made work glove
  • Born out of collab w/ Washington’s Geier Glove Company
  • Crafted from American ranch-raised bison leather
  • Will form unique patina w/ use
  • Not waterproof or armored

Best Minimalist Gloves: When Danner Boots set out to create a line of hardwearing American work gloves, rather than starting from scratch, the company joined forces with Centralia, Washington’s Geier Glove Company, calling on the fabled glove brand’s more than nine decades of experience to deliver a heritage brand-quality work mitt. Made in America from American ranch-raised bison leather, the construction’s material is soft, yet extremely durable, lending itself particularly well to vigorous daily use. Danner also offers a handful of additional gloves, including lined models, as well.

Primary Construction: Bison Leather
Armor: No
Waterproof: No

Black Diamond Kingpin Gloves

Black Diamond Kingpin
Photo: Black Diamond
  • Made from goatskin leather & suede
  • Fantastic build quality
  • Fitted w/ 190-gram fixed fleece liner
  • Weighs only 4.7oz per pair
  • Super versatile
  • Not rated for use in weather below 20°F

Best Outdoor Gloves: Weighing only 4.7oz per pair, the Black Diamond Kingpin is a high-end, mountaineering-grade pair of winter work gloves engineered for alpine chores. Using a shortcuff design, the Kingpin gloves sport a full goat-skin leather construction that’s been supplemented via goat leather palm patches and suede thumb nose-wipe overlays. Beneath the goatskin surface, the gloves pack a generous 190 grams of insulated fleece liner material. What’s more, on top of being sold in two colors, these gloves are also produced across five different sizes, practically guaranteeing a precise fit. In typical Black Diamond fashion, a huge part of what makes these gloves so noteworthy is their generally rugged and top-shelf build quality. 

Primary Construction: Goatskin Leather
Armor: No
Waterproof: N/A

Red Wing Heritage Lined Buckskin Leather Glove

Photo: Red Wing
  • Timeless work glove design upgraded w/ modern Thinsulate insulation
  • Made by iconic American heritage brand
  • Cut from 3.25oz buckskin leather
  • Reinforced w/ double-stitching in all high-stress areas
  • Pinched fingertips bolster dexterity
  • Not waterproof or armored

Best Heritage Gloves: Exuding the same craftsmanship and heritage quality as the American brand’s legendary footwear lineup, Red Wing Boots’ Lined Buckskin glove is a premium winter work glove with 40-grams of Thinsulate lining. Available in four colors, the glove is made from chrome-tanned 3.25oz buckskin leather with reinforced palms with dual buckskin overlays. Pinched fingertips for added dexterity and durability and double-stitching in the glove’s high-stress areas round out this impressive made-in-America offering.

Primary Construction: Chrome-Tanned Deerskin Leather
Armor: No
Waterproof: No

Vermont Glove Chopper’s Mitt

Vermont Glove Choppers Mitt
Photo: Vermont Glove
  • Made by in Vermont from goat leather
  • Sewn entirely by hand
  • Offered w/ or w/o sewn-in recycled poly liner
  • Engineered to keep hands warm while allowing for ample finger movement
  • Also great for skiing & snowboarding
  • Mitt-style layout lacks individual fingers, making fine tasks markedly harder

Best Work Mittens: Taking their name from their popularity amongst wood choppers and northern fishermen, the Vermont Glove Chopper’s Mitt was originally popularized by U. S. Calvary soldiers and are touted for their ability to keep their wearer’s hands warm while still affording their fingers the necessary movement for performing winter chores. Engineered with a focus on versatility, lending itself to both cold-weather work and play, this glove is a high-end mitt-style glove designed for everyday use during the winter months. Made by hand in Vermont, these gloves are crafted from goat leather and are offered with or without a sewn-in recycled poly liner. Constructed using heavy-duty nylon threading, these heavily-reinforced and double-stitched made-in-America gloves also feature external seams that massively increase comfort.  In addition to being sold in four sizes, Vermont Glove also offers these mitts with available leather conditioner and beeswax waterproofing upgrades. 

Primary Construction: Goat Leather
Armor: No
Waterproof: Upgradable

Give’r 4 Season Glove W/ Wax Coating

Giver 4 Season Glove w Wax Coating
Photo: Huckberry
  • Waterproof, windproof, & heavily-fire-resistant
  • Forms unique patina over time
  • Has poly-fleece lining & waterproof & breathable Hipora membrane
  • Lined with 40 grams of Thinsulate insulation
  • Hand-waxed, branded, and quality checked in Jackson, Wyoming
  • Engineered for a lifetime of use
  • Robust construction & insulation mitigate tactile feel
  • Expensive price

Best Fire-Resistant Gloves: Thoroughly modern gloves with an old-school work glove aesthetic, the Give’r 4 Season Gloves W/ Wax Coating use a unique blend of premium leather and synthetic technologies to produce a multi-layered wearable that can insulate its user from 300-degree heat and sub-zero temperatures alike. Tested and developed in some of the world’s toughest locales before being manufactured by hand in America, this glove’s protective abilities are made possible thanks to a Thinsulate liner, synthetic insulation, and a cowhide leather exterior that’s tanned for weather-resistance before being given a Hipora membrane, collectively making them windproof, waterproof, and even impervious to hot coals. Exclusively available via Huckberry, this special edition wax-coated version of these already rugged gloves are offered in three unique waxed-spec color options. 

Primary Construction: Waxed Leather
Armor: No
Waterproof: Yes

Our Favorite Work Boots For The Job Site

Best Work Boots 00 Hero

With your glove situation sorted, you’re going to want to start building out the rest of your workwear wardrobe. Dive into our guide of the best work boots to ensure your feet stay comfortable and protected.