Some people put ankle socks on their hands, while others buy battery powered gloves to run in.
There are lots of options between those two extremes. Which pair of running gloves will be that best for you?
Read on to find out if you are a sock hand or a battery glove runner. This review will help you find the best running gloves for you.
Table of Contents
Quite a few factors to consider when buying your running gloves. You may not need the detail on all of them. But maybe two or three points will help you choose the best running gloves for you.
Running Gloves Appropriate For Your Winter
Not all winters are the same. If you are lucky enough to live in a part of the world where winters don’t go below freezing too many times. Your gloves will be significantly different to those you’d need if you live in the north pole or Colorado.
There are no official universal measurements for the warmth of gloves. Certainly none that will allow you to compare between brands. This article will help with that.
If you do buy the wrong gloves and you find your hands are still cold when you run. Consider buying another pair from the same company and make sure you go up a level in their guide on how warm their gloves are.
Temperature Regulating Running Gloves
Modern technical materials such as Gore-Tex are very good at helping your hands regulate their temperature. Certainly do not settle for the old pair of gloves you pull out from the back of a draw.
You may well be reading this you may have tried those gloves on a run already and concluded that a better pair are needed.
Using Technology While Wearing Running Gloves
It is possible to operate a smartphone or a fancy running watch with some running gloves. Gloves with finger tips compatible with capacitive screens are available.
I’m an avid user of technology when I’m running so this is an essential for me. This is a common feature now. There will be gloves with conductive finger tops suitable for your needs.
Sweat Wicking And Breathable Running Gloves
Good old Gore-Tex for the win here. Or of course another type of technical material that will allow you to run with gloves on, without the gloves filling up with your sweat.
Breathability is an important consideration. Materials that allow sweat to move away from the skin will also allow some heat to escape. This is process imitates the way the body regulates the way your body regulates its temperature.
The gloves should be snug but not tight, they should fit like a, well you know..
Operating technology with a pair of lose fitting gloves will make that operation more challenging than it would otherwise be.
Cold And Windy
During the course of a long run the weather can change. You could experience four seasons in one day. That’s certainly the case here in England and because of that I purchased a versatile pair of gloves, and here they are.
They are relatively light in terms of thermal insulation. But as you can see they can be converted into mittens, wind proof mittens at that. There are some runs when I spend 90% of the time with them in the mitten configuration. However most of the time the ‘mit bit’ stays tucked away. These gloves are great, they deserve an article of their own.
Modern insulating materials such as Thinsulate mean we not longer need big bulky 1970’s style gloves to keep our hands warm.
Thin gloves can be packed away in a pocket or running pack are better for runners. An obvious statement but worthy of note.
Three more nice to have points to consider. Have you considered how good your running shoes are for winter conditions? There are running shoes out there that will help you in the colder months. Take a look at this article for more information winter running shoes.
Luckily I’ve never been on a run and thought to myself that I needed battery heated gloves. I have to make sure my head torch and headphones are charged at the moment. Adding another device to that list doesn’t sound like much fun.
However they are worthy of mention to make you aware of their existence.
Some of the best running gloves have reflective surfaces, some do not. Choose the gloves with reflective surfaces. They might save your life.
I did a quick google and there are no reports of a driver taking last minute action to avoid a runner after catching sight of their gloves in their headlights. But you don’t want to be in first place on this statistic.
Running gloves should not be chosen on aesthetics.
Luckily most running gloves look quite cool (in my middle aged opinion). There are shapes and styles to suit all tastes that have the characteristics detailed in this article.
Final Thoughts: Best Running Gloves
Different runners will need different characteristics in their running gloves. Some of the points mentioned will be vital to all but others less so.
I don’t enjoy spending money so I like my versatile gloves that I can adjust to get the warmth I need at any given moment. However I am aware that my gloves are quite light and would not be of use to someone in Colorado who runs up 14ers in the middle of winter.
I haven’t mentioned running mittens in this article. They are for more extreme running conditions. I plan on writing about those soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it worth investing in a pair of running gloves?
We all lose heat through our heads and hands. If you wear a hat to keep your head warm, it makes sense to wear gloves to keep your hands warm.
Why do elite runners wear gloves?
To keep their hands warm. There are no performance gains to be had beyond not having cold hands distracting you from your performance.
Should running gloves be loose?
They should feel like a second skin. Not tight but definitely snug.
What should the temperature be before I wear gloves on a run?
Unless its dangerously cold wear gloves to feel. If its dangerously cold outside consider investing in a treadmill.
Can I wear ankle socks as gloves when I run?
Some people do wear ankle socks as gloves. They will not keep your hands as warm as running gloves But they would work if you found yourself heading out for a cold run and you didn’t have any gloves with you.
Is running in the cold a bad idea?
Not if you have prepared correctly and you have dressed appropriately – including running gloves.
What are the best running gloves?
There are many different types of running gloves. Read the review to find out more information.
Do runners wear socks on their arms to keep warm?
The tube sleaves you see on marathon runners arms are compression sleeves. They help control the muscles and reduce fatigue.
How can I keep my hands warm when I run in winter?
Some long sleave running tops have hand warmers built in. However these do not replace a good pair of running gloves when the temperate start to plummet.
Do inov8 make running gloves?
Yes. Inov8 make a good range of running gloves at for the more extreme end of the cold running market.