Best Winter Work Gloves

How to Choose the Best Winter Work Gloves

For the hardest workers in the coldest environments, the gloves you choose can be your best friend or a nuisance. Comfort and protection are key to getting the job done while in the cold, and you’re not scared of doing some digging to find the gear that makes the difference. But with so many options, some questions need answering: 

What work gloves are best for shoveling snow? Are leather gloves good for cold weather? What insulation is best for gloves? What is Thinsulate®?

Here, we’ll answer your questions and help you pick the right pair.

Should winter gloves be tight or loose?

When choosing winter work gloves, think like Goldilocks. If they are too loose, even the best winter work gloves can let heat escape around the wrist and make grabbing tools, operating machinery, or even zipping jackets difficult. If they are too tight, they can restrict movement and even blood flow. Additionally, a smaller, tighter-fitting glove can leave the skin around the wrist exposed to the elements. 

You want a fit between hockey gloves (so loose you can shake them off) and boxing gloves (wrapped so tight you need a pair of scissors to get them off). The optimal fit is snug but comfortable — with enough of a wrist cuff to tuck into the sleeves of your jacket. That seal helps you stay dry and warm.

Do leather gloves work in snow?

Many people opt for leather winter work gloves in the snow because they stay flexible in lower temps, have waterproof properties, and are puncture/abrasion resistant. But that doesn’t mean any leather glove will do the trick. Opt for a weather-treated, fleece, wool, or cotton-lined leather glove for tundra-tough conditions.

Considerations when finding the warmest winter work gloves.

Bob Vila, a 30-year expert on home improvement and star of This Old House, has a lot of experience working in frigid conditions. These are his top three features for warm winter work gloves as found on his site

  1. Insulated — They need to have some fabric that traps enough heat to keep the hands warm, but not so much that they start sweating (Thinsulate™ is a great option).
  2. Waterproof — A good winter glove must keep the snow, sleet, and water out. Treated leather on the palms, alongside water-resistant materials on the back of the hand, works well.
  3. Durable — If you’re making Detroit-bound deliveries in December, you might only need some light protection. If you’re offshore on an oil rig, you’re going to need more than that. Heavy-duty winter work gloves have thicker leather, a wrist closure band to keep them secure, and more extended cuffs for additional protection.

Mittens vs. Gloves: Which is warmer?

Mittens are warmer than gloves — but there’s a trade-off. In mittens, your fingers get to huddle together for warmth, but you sacrifice dexterity. This is fine if you’re shoveling snow or unloading a truck, but things get tricky when you need to use power tools or perform other tasks requiring greater dexterity. With the proper insulation and fit, the best winter work gloves for the job will keep your hands toasty without the limitations of mittens

How to pick the right glove insulation

Based on your age, gender, and job type, there are a few variables to consider. People in their 20s generate more heat than people in their 30s and up. In general, men generate more heat than women. The activity level of work also determines when you’ll start to sweat. 

Considering those factors,  you can find the best winter glove insulation by comparing the options below.

Warm: Foam Fleece: Fleece is a cozy, fuzzy cloth that dries rapidly and is excellent at retaining heat. Many people like foam fleece as a comfortable substitute for pure wool. Wool and synthetic fibers are combined to create a fleece with microscopic air pockets to trap heat.

Warmer: 3M Thinsulate™ (50-70 Grams): If you want dexterity and warmth, the ideal is 3M™ Thinsulate™. 3M’s creation can hold in more heat while taking up less space by using a 15-micrometer (really, really thin) fiber with a higher density than polyester, cotton, or fleece. 50-70 strikes a good balance between offering warmth and not adding bulk. 

Warmest: 3M Thinsulate™ (80-400 Grams): Built into the lining of the best winter work gloves, synthetic or leather, is a full, water-resistant, dense lining of 3M Thinsulate. When temperatures reach below-freezing, there’s no better way to keep the heat focused on the task at hand.

Gloves for extreme cold

What heavy-duty winter work gloves can hold up to temperatures below 15℉? More importantly, what gloves can hold up without limiting mobility and agility? Our top picks feature 150g Thinsulate™ lining, waterproof properties, and extended cuffs to layer into jackets for added coverage. The main difference is personal preference: synthetic or cowhide.

Best Leather Winter Gloves

Men’s HydraHyde Split Leather Winter Work Gloves

Men’s HydraHyde Cowhide Leather Outdoor Winter Gloves

Offer superior comfort and wear over the life of the glove, with leather that stays drier, softer, and more breathable.

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White Mule Insulated Cowhide Leather Glove

Come with 100 Gram 3M Type G Thinsulate® Insulation, Palomino grain cowhide for abrasion and punch resistance, and a soft fleece lining for comfort.

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Gloves for snowy conditions

When the weather pulls out all the stops, choosing the right work glove is more crucial than ever. In snowy, below-freezing temperatures, you need water-resistant materials, a good seal around your wrist, and heavy-duty insulation to protect your hands.

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Men’s HydraHyde Full Leather Adjustable Work Gloves

The HydraHyde technology keeps moisture out while still staying breathable, keeping hands dry and safe in damp environments. These full-leather winter work gloves lock in warmth with 100-gram Thinsulate® and fleece lining so you can work comfortably on even the coldest days. These are excellent for winter warehouse work, construction, or shoveling in the cold. The extra wear palm patch improves durability, and the knit wrist keeps out snow and other debris while allowing for a snug, comfortable fit.

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Men’s Latex Winter Grip Gloves with Waterproof Coating

If you’re looking for the most maneuverable, easiest-to-work-with gloves that still offer water resistance and warmth, this is your best bet. The waterproof nitrile covering resists punctures, cuts, snags, and abrasion. With a 13-gauge nylon knit outer shell and a warm brushed hi-bulk acrylic liner, these work gloves are ideal for farming, gardening, landscaping, industrial painting, cleaning, and automotive use.

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Gloves for fall and early winter (also early spring)

When you wake up, you see a bit of frost in the morning, and the forecast is a couple dozen degrees from beach weather. No gloves at all is not an option. So the best work gloves for those last (or first!) bits of yard work are on the lighter end and will help avoid cold or blistered hands while chopping wood.

The best work gloves for fall or early winter can be hard to pick. You can use this guide to find the right pair based on average temperatures in three states with brisk, cold, and harsh climates. 

Brisk Temperatures

When you need protection more than you need warmth (but still need to hold in some heat), there’s the Model: 526N. With fingers and palms coated in premium textured latex, you get supreme grip, making them great gloves for chopping wood.  A brushed winter knit shell keeps you comfortable until the job’s done.

Colder Temperatures

In the just-above-freezing range, we recommend Model: 7878/7809. These gloves combine the flexibility of water-resistant spandex with the hardiness of synthetic leather, all while offering a warm lining. The adjustable wrist can be tightened to ensure the best protection from snow and cold air.

Even Colder Temperatures

If the climate is getting even colder, check out Model: 7794. It’s a beefier version of the 7878 with a 70-gram 3M Thinsulate® lining instead of fleece insulation. When things get a bit icy, you get the same abrasion resistance and strength of synthetic leather with water-resistant spandex and PVC palm patching for extra grip, making them great gloves for shoveling snow. 

What do your best winter work gloves look like?

There isn’t one perfect glove for every job, just like there’s not one glove that fits every hand size. For any job, in any environment, people continue to trust Wells LamontⓇ decade after decade because of the quality, consistency, and integrity we offer our customers. No matter what project you’re tackling, we’re sure you’ll find the right fit. Explore your new favorite pair of men’s or women’s winter work gloves today.