The Best Gloves for Winter Sports

By Trevor Onions , last updated December 29, 2011

Finding the best gloves for winter sports requires a delicate balancing act. The ideal set of gloves should be warm enough to keep your hands comfortable, but not so bulky that they disrupt your hand movements. Fortunately, locating the right gloves isn't as difficult as it sounds, and with this overview of the best brands for various sports, you can locate a pair that's right for your winter activities.

Best Thin Gloves

Sporting activities like winter golf, skiing, and snowboarding place high demands on the hands. It's important to keep your hands secure from snow and frigid temperatures, but being able to maintain strength and dexterity is vital. Brands like Kodiak realize this, and they have produced several excellent series of gloves for achieving success.

Kodiak's line of fleece gloves made with microfiber materials is perfect for partaking in winter sports where you need to use your fingers. Grip strength is just as important if you need to grab onto ski poles or handles from a snow mobile. Thankfully, Kodiak's thin gloves come with a digitized palm for grasping with ease. The large variety of sizes and adjustable Velcro wrist band finish singling out this brand's fleece gloves as top of the line winners.

As Kodiak understands, fleece woven with high tech means is an efficient way to preserve warmth, without removing flexibility. Polartec understands this important lesson as well, and their REI All Season gloves excel at striking this balance. The All Season line is thin enough to give you complete freedom of movement and nicely prepares your hands to weather all of winter's hazards. Polartec's fabrics are well known for high resistance to wind and water. If you're in a climate where temperatures and wind speeds vacillate a great deal, then the All Season gloves could be just what you're looking for.

Best Heavy Sports Gloves

For some sports where finger movement isn't as important, heavier gloves are required. This is mandatory for activities like snow mobiling or riding motorcycles in low temperatures and in places where below zero readings are common. Burton's Gore-Tex snowboarding gloves are made to handle tough wintery conditions, and don't let the name fool you.

Though they are marketed as snowboarding gloves, these thicker hand protectors are actually suitable for a host of winter activities. With heavy insulation from Gore-Tex materials, these gloves are able to handle regular winter weather and even blizzard conditions. Gore-Tex receives high marks as a material that's good for providing warmth, without being stifling. It allows your hands to breathe through the gloves while fighting back the cold, which is optimal for maintaining comfort in your hands over long periods.

The dexterity lost with Burton's gloves is clear since they are a thicker design, but it's minimal. The water resistant Gore-Tex lining isn't so large that it prevents you from bending your fingers or getting a tight grip on materials you need to enjoy sporting activities.

With the right pair of winter gloves, you can beat your opponents or squeeze greater enjoyment out of winter. Choose one of these brands for a set of gloves that won't let you down when you need it most.

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