Don’t get us wrong, hands are fantastic. Couldn’t have gotten this far without them. But take on a slight chill and evolution is reversed; they become useless paws unable to even tie your boot laces. They need a bit of extra protection.
People tend to forget about their hands when they prepare for a hike. Your first thought is always about the weather, which leads you to your footwear. Moving on from there, you decide how many and what kind of layers you need. Next is pants, then maybe a hat and shades.
But a good pair of hiking gloves can be the difference between an exhilarating, soul strengthening experience and an awfully uncomfortable mistake. They can save you from the cold, blisters, wounds, and falls. It just makes sense to gear up your grabbers before your next expedition
So, we’re going to be reviewing five of the best hiking gloves around at various price points and with different applications. We’re even going to discuss what to look for in your hiking gloves with a buyer’s guide and FAQ section.
In a Hurry?
No problem, intrepid wanderer. Here’s our top pick right here.
Top 5 Best Hiking Gloves
OUR TOP PICK
Our top pick are basically the Ferrari of hiking gloves. They’re a little pricey, but when you consider how cozy they keep your hands when they’re out there sparring with mother nature, you won’t be let down.
Let’s start with the flashy stuff. These squishy gauntlets have an ALTI heat function. This is a long-lasting battery-powered mobile heating system that’ll keep your hands highly functional in the coldest of weather.
The battery is rechargeable and, moderating your use, you should get at least three whole hours of heat from these gloves.
Now, let’s discuss materials. On the inside, GoreTex inserts make them completely weatherproof. Lightweight EnduroLoft material pads them out to keep them as warm as possible before you even turn the heating on.
This is a specialized polyester with great insulating properties. To make matters even cozier, they have a soft fleece palm lining.
Externally you have a 100% nylon shell with reinforced finger, knuckle, and thumb tips. Another luxury feature is the incredibly grippy and durable goat leather palm.
These gloves were designed for incredibly cold weather. They’re not your typical hiking accessory, so they’re not going to be for everyone.
- Built-in heating system with 3 hours running time
- Weatherproof GoreTex inserts keep the wet out
- Fleece palm lining will stop the formation of blisters
- Lightweight polyester insulation will keep you warm
- Nylon keeps them breathable
- Goat leather palms for extra grip
- Vulnerable areas are reinforced
- Not very versatile
Our second pair of palm protectors are perfect for any outdoor activity. They’re affordable, functional, and come highly recommended.
With an incredibly comfortable and breathable polyester blend lining, your hands will stay nice and warm without getting too sweaty.
This kind of material is absorbent and fast-drying so no waiting days on end after a wash. They’re also treated with an antibacterial substance to prevent the build-up of odors.
On the outside, functionality is key. The small spandex content makes them feel like a second skin. They won’t impede movement at all, which is great if you’re hiking over more challenging terrain. The zip closure makes for a really snug and secure fit too.
The grips are made from PVC rubber perfect for giving you a strong hold on your hiking stick(s). PVC rubber isn’t the most durable material in the world, but there’s no reason these gloves won’t last you a really long time.
The last great thing about these gloves is that you won’t have to take them off to use your smartphone. The thumb and index finger have a slightly shortened grip, freeing up the tips for screen compatibility.
These are great gloves for dry but cold weather hikes. They’re a great insulator, yet their flexible composite material keeps them highly functional. These might just be the tools you need to conquer mountains.
- Spandex content keeps them highly flexible
- Zip closure keeps them secure
- PVC rubber offers plenty of grip
- Breathable and fast-drying lining
- Not waterproof
- PVC rubber isn’t as durable as some substances
Our third pick is another affordable yet fantastic option for adding a bit of durability to your digits.
Insulated with specialized cotton, these gloves should keep a really good temperature in cold weather. Cotton is an awesome insulator, so this is a really nice touch. Combine that with the TPU water-resistant layer and you’ve got yourself some formidable fingers.
The outside is made from a wind-resistant polyester which is another wise fabric choice. Polyester can handle a lot of wear and tear and it can be made out of recycled plastic bottles, so it’s got an eco edge too.
The grip on the Ozero gloves isn’t as advanced as our Mountain Made second choice. It’s composed of little textured squares that form an attractive ‘Z’ across the palm. That’s great for brand recognition, but a fully gripped palm would be more practical.
These gloves are also designed to work on a touch screen, so you can do a bit of admin in the Alps or sort through your friend requests in the forest.
You may be wondering why these weatherproof wonders didn’t get the coveted second spot. The problem for us is that although the materials are weatherproof, the stitching isn’t.
In heavy rain, they’re definitely going to suck in a bit of water. This seepage leads to further problems.
Cotton is a really good insulator as we said, but only if it’s dry. Once cotton gets wet, it’s actually a terrible insulator.
- Very effective cotton insulation
- Waterproof TPU layer should keep you dry in light rain
- Windproof polyester coating will stop chills
- Textures palm should provide some extra grip
- Stitching will let in water in heavy rain or if submerged
- Cotton is a bad insulator once wet
- Grip could be better
The next pair of punchers are a little different from the others. They’re not really for keeping you warm. They’re designed to keep your hands as safe as possible in rugged terrain and challenging situations.
What makes these gloves special is the external design. Your knuckles are reinforced with a tough composite PVC padding, and your fingers are protected with thermo-plastic plates. At first, we weren’t sure if these were for climbing rocks or boxing them.
These gloves aren’t just bruisers though. Even though they’re are a fairly heavy-duty design, the finger vents, elastic breathable mesh construction, and Korean micro-fiber interior make them really comfortable and flexible. You can think of these as half hiking gloves, half motorcycle gloves.
The Tactical gloves are double stitched to make sure they can survive the rigors of any adventure. They have a polyurethane-coated leather palm grip, and heat resistant fingers add an extra layer of defense.
They also have shock-absorbing qualities so falling on hard surfaces won’t take as much of a toll on your wrists and shoulders.
- PVC and mesh knuckle protection
- Thermoplastic finger plates
- Shock-resistant helps ease a fall
- Double-stitched for durability
- PU coated leather grip
- Heat resistant fingers
- Velcro fastener
- Not water or windproof
- Not designed to keep you warm
Coming into our last spot is a pretty traditional design. These are highly affordable, best selling, and perfect for a challenging hike in chilly weather.
They have an incredibly soft wool lining which we love. Wool is another outstanding insulator, so you know Achiou have done their research. The fibers mesh to form hundreds of tiny air pockets that act as a barrier against cold.
The acrylic fiber knit is a four-way stretch design, so you’ll have really good mobility in these things. Acrylic fiber is a complicated fabric.
It’s great for absorbing sweat, which is ideal, but it is one of the least breathable materials available. This means that you’re likely to sweat more in these gloves.
They have a classic elastic fit wrist, and a rudimentary silicone grip pattern across the palm. They, too, are detectable on a smartphone screen, so you can contact your friends and arrange chills without catching one.
These are an advanced take on a normal glove that make them perfect for mild to fairly advanced hikes. They are not exactly weather-resistant, but for the price, you can’t beat them.
- Super affordable
- Warm wool lining
- Silicone grip for holding phones are hiking sticks
- Work with your smartphone
- Acrylic will absorb sweat
- Not weatherproof
- Acrylic fiber isn’t that breathable
- No advanced fastening system
Best Hiking Gloves Buying Guide
Shopping for gloves seems a simple enough process, but once you realize how vastly different material properties are, it becomes a little more complex.
Here’s our brief buyer’s guide so you don’t end up with a pair of duds on your digits. Your hands deserve the best.
Setting a budget for yourself is a good idea.
Gloves suitable for hiking can run anywhere between $5 and $400.
This is the most important question to ask yourself. How are you going to use your gloves? This will help you determine everything else about your gloves, from lining to shell.
What hikes do you enjoy? If you only ever go out when it’s dry, you don’t have to waste money on highly weather-resistant gloves. If you often get caught in the rain, you’ll need to look for some gloves that can handle it.
What kind of terrain do you see yourself on? If you plan on conquering some pretty varied and tough terrain you might need a glove with a stronger stitching or extra grip.
Perhaps you want a glove that’s a bit of an all-rounder. The more specific you can be about the application the easier it will be to find the perfect pair for you.
No matter how you plan on using your gloves, they should always have a soft, comfortable lining that is or is surrounded by a good insulator. The lining also needs to be highly breathable to reduce the accumulation of sweat.
It’s the breathability that’s going to keep them comfortable over long periods of time. Good linings include silk, polyester, wool, and twill. Good insulators in gloves include wool, Boa acrylic, cotton flannel, and Thinsulate.
More expensive gloves may have a material between your lining/insulation and your shell. This will normally be an extra layer of weather protection. It can be a really effective way to fend off the elements but it’s going to be a bulkier design.
GoreTex is the perfect material here. It’s lightweight, highly breathable, and almost entirely waterproof.
The outside of your glove should be made of materials that suit its intended purpose.
In particularly cold weather, you’ll need highly wind-resistant coating like kevlar, or again GoreTex. If you love a walk in the rain, you’ll need a highly water-resistant coating like neoprene.
Grip is one of the main things that separate a good hiking glove from just a glove. Whether you’re climbing boulders on your trek or holding a hiking stick, a bit of extra help doesn’t go amiss.
Leather is a particularly good material for grip but will bump the price up quite a bit. Other materials to look for are rubber, nitrile, latex, polyurethane, and synthetic leathers. It’s also a good idea to have a look at the grip patterns. Different designs will work better than others.
The bulkier the glove, the more you’re going to sacrifice your flexibility. If you need full mobility for your hikes, you’re best off going for a glove with elastic qualities.
If it’s more important that you have the maximum amount of protection from the weather and other risks, a mitten design will help keep your movement quite free.
You obviously want your gloves to last a while, so researching durable materials isn’t a bad idea.
Durability also relies on craft quality. It’s no good having awesome materials if they’re put together poorly.
The last thing you should think about is whether all these materials work well together.
Does their combination make sense and do they suit your needs?
Getting the right fit is vital when it comes to hiking gloves. They should be relatively secure at the wrist, but not so tight as to cut off circulation. In regards to the fit, you need should be able to make a fist without feeling too much tension.
Flexibility is important. If the glove is too tight, you’ll lose mobility and cause unnecessary muscle strain.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are hiking gloves?
Hiking gloves are really any glove that keeps your hands in good condition during your hike.
A lot of outdoor companies do design gloves specifically for different kinds of hiking, but as long as it does what you need it to, it can be considered a hiking glove.
Generally speaking, a hiking glove will have good grip, good insulation, and good weatherproofing.
Why do my fingers still get cold in gloves?
Probably one of three reasons. The most likely answer is that the gloves are too tight.
Restrictions to your movement will reduce blood flow to the fingers. The second possibility is that you aren’t wearing enough clothes in general. Your body will automatically reduce circulation to your fingers to focus on keeping your core warm.
The third reason may be that your gloves are made out of poor quality or ill-fitting materials.
So, there you have it.
Five of the very best hiking gloves for your viewing pleasure and a buyer’s guide and FAQ section to help you find the perfect pair for your paws.
Your next hike is going to be the best one yet!