While it may seem like a glove is a glove is a glove, there's actually a lot to be considered when it comes to deciding what you're going to wrap your hands in to protect them from the elements on the hill. First off, are you a glove person or mitten-wearer? Leather or softshell? Do you need Goretex-level protection? If your hands tend to run cold, you may want something with an inner liner or glove. If you run hot, you need something moisture-wicking and breathable...
All things considered, ski gloves can get technical. But don't worry, to help you find a glove that fits we've gone ahead and preselected the best options from this season.and outlined their tech specs in plain English. Happy hunting.
Black Diamond Women's Spark Pro
Wanted: Pow-crushing ripper chicks. Do you eat bone-chilling ski days for breakfast?
Do you ski bell to bell, treacherous conditions be damned? Meet your match in the women’s Spark Pro, which boasts a durable goat-leather shell, internal EVA padding, and a waterproof-breathable Gore-Tex insert constructed with Kevlar stitching. These gloves are almost tougher than you. Almost. [$130, Buy Now]
Astis Foraker Glove
Astis proves once again that your gloves really can make your outfit. The Foraker is hand- stitched and made from durable suede leather injected with silicon and lined with Polartec Thermal Pro High Loft insulation, so these beauties will look great and keep your paws toasty. Bonus: These little beauties make a great chairlift conversation starter every time we take them out for a spin. [$165, Buy Now]
Black Diamond Women's Renegade Pro
Debuting for the fairer sex this season, the Renegade Pro is her four-season go-to that keeps paws warm in the dead of winter thanks to a 150-gram fleece liner—and lets them air out on spring-corn afternoons with a Gore-Tex waterproof-breathable insert. Versatility in a glove? Priceless. What’s more, these are Black Diamond’s best value Gore-Tex ski glove. [$100]
Gordini Camber Glove
For anyone who’s having trouble choosing between having the warmest hands or donning the best-looking gloves, now you don’t have to. The Camber’s goatskin outer shell looks good enough to walk the runway, but the inside is all business: Megaloft insulation and a waterproof/breathable insert for a very attractive price proves you can have it all. [$80]
Hestra Army Leather Couloir Glove
You can grasp your après beer with confidence in the Army Leather Couloir, Hestra’s newest offering featuring Ergo Grip technology for incredible grip and dexterity. The glove is made with cow and goat leather and offers up a C Zone insert for all your weatherproofing needs. In other words, ski all day in this workhorse then pass around beers at the bar without spilling a drop. You’ll be everyone’s new best friend. [$150, Buy Now]
Leki Progressive Tune S Boa and S Spitfire Pole
This season, the game-changing Trigger glove design gets even more revolutionary: Leki partnered with Boa to add an easy-to-use closure that adjusts via a dial on the wrist, leading strong, lightweight laces through low-friction lace guides for a perfect fit. Leki debuted two Boa gloves this season, the alpine-styled Trigger S Boa and the cross-country-intended NordicTune Shark Boa, ushering in a new, exciting era in glove closure. (It’s not every day we get to say that.) Like all Leki Trigger handwear, both gloves are designed to be used with the brand’s Trigger lines of poles, including the adjustable and super-lightweight Spitfire S, which weigh in at a scant 8.4 ounces. The poles sport Leki’s Trigger grip and strap, aimed to provide a closer connection to the pole—and to release in case you catch it on something. Pretty clever. [Gloves $179, poles $120]
Ortovox Tour Light Glove
These ultralight water-resistant gloves are the ultimate companion for long walks in the backcountry, spring touring, or even end-of-season shreds en route to the pond skim. With a convenient pull-on tab, smartphone touchscreen compatibility in the fingers, and a cozy but breathable Merino lining, these are likely to become your go-to touring glove. [$150]
Outdoor Research Bitter Blaze
NASA uses Aerogel in space suits, so you can rest assured that this burly glove designed
to retain warmth without sacrificing dexterity will do right by your hands. The Bitter Blaze features Primaloft Gold Insulation Aerogel in the palm, thumb, and a fingertip, ensuring bulletproof warmth from the sting of cold metal on chairlifts. There is also a women’s version, the Ouray Ice Glove. [$135]
Oyuki The Sencho Glove
With soft goatskin leather and a Gore-Tex membrane, this mitten is waterproof, windproof, durable, breathable, and super comfortable. Plus, its Primaloft Gold insulation will keep your fingers toasty without unnecessary bulk. This technical mitten also has a touchscreen tip, wrist loops, and adjustable double-layer cuffs that tuck into any kind of jacket. An ideal companion on cold ski days. [$135, Buy Now]
POW Gloves Women's Empress GTX
Yes, they’re water-repellent, warm, and breathable thanks to a Gore-Tex insert
and grade A leather on the palm, but the Empress GTX really stands out thanks to her unique colorways. Offered in jade, auburn, angora, and black, the Empress is no mere accessory. Indeed, with an ultra-plush polyester microfleece lining, the Empress makes a play for leading lady in your outfit. [$100]
Seirus Ascent Mitt
The Ascent is like a well-baked chocolate-chip cookie: tough and crunchy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside. A waterproof leather shell keeps moisture out while the Neofleece insert retains heat, keeping your digits happy and warm. There’s also an Ascent Glove version with same technology, including a touchscreen-compatible shell for your texting-while-lift-riding needs. [$110]
POW Gloves Sniper GTX Trigger
This glove/mitt hybrid—or trigger—combines Primaloft Gold with a Gore-Tex insert for a lightweight, windproof, waterproof, breath- able glove for everyday shredding in all conditions. Bonus: Take temperature control into your own hands (pun intended) with the Sniper’s back-hand venting/heater pocket. We also dig the camo print—understated yet stylishly on-point. [$90]
Swany TS-20i Legend II
If it ain’t broke... Swany reminds us there’s nothing classier than a sleek single-tone leather mitt, reliable and competent throughout the season. Available in classic black or white, the Legend II proves the simplest solution might still be the best solution. Factor in quick-release straps, 80 grams of Insuloft lining, and a touch-screen compatible inner glove, and what more do you need? [$154, Buy Now]
Ski Gloves FAQ
Are gloves or mittens better for skiing?
It's mostly a matter of personal preference, though generally speaking, a pair of well-fitting mittens made of the same materials as a pair of well-fitting gloves will be warmer. Mittens keep your fingers together, which generates more warmth than when fingers are separated in gloves. But gloves generally provide better dexterity.
Are leather gloves better than other gloves?
Leather is a durable material that is treated to withstand wear, tear, and weather. A pair of leather gloves or mittens will almost always last longer than gloves or mittens made of synthetic materials.
How should a ski glove fit?
A ski glove should fit snugly around your whole hand, with just a little bit of space at the end of your fingers to keep your fingertips from being jammed up against the end of the glove. The cuff of the glove should also cover your entire wrist.
Should ski gloves be waterproof?
When skiing, it's inevitable to come into contact with snow, so ski gloves should be waterproof. Most gloves and mittens designed for snowsports are made with a waterproof, breathable barrier that prevents moisture from getting in while allowing sweat to escape. Gloves that are waterproof are also windproof.
More of the best skiing accessories from the 2019 Gear Guide:
This article was originally published in the September 2018 print edition of SKI Magazine.
2018's Best Gloves
Hestra Ergo Grip Incline Glove
Sweden-based Hestra consistently produces some of the most handsome gloves on snow. But don’t let the Incline’s good looks fool you. These are legit alpine and mountaineering work gloves. With its pre-curved finger construction (that’s the Ergo Grip part) and premium cowhide outer, the Incline offers top-shelf dexterity—perfect for everything from setting a race course to picking up the après bar tab. [$150, hestragloves.com]
Women's Arc'Teryx Fission Mitten
Arc’teryx builds its women’s handwear on the pillars of performance and style. Beautiful craftsmanship combines a waterproof softshell Gore-Tex outer for a stretchy comfortable fit with leather-reinforced palms and fingers for 100-day-season durability. Extra credit for the easy gauntlet closure. [$169, arcteryx.com]
Men's Seirus Hellfire Glove
You get what you pay for with the aptly named Hellfire heated glove, which crosses cold hands off your worry list. The upgraded battery powers the flexible heat panels up to eight hours on the medium setting and four hours on high heat. The leather construction makes it a buy-and-hold investment. [$425, seirus.com]
Men's Black Diamond Spark Pro Gloves
We like the new Spark Pro’s minimalist ethic. What more do you need beyond an all leather outer, a snug wrist closure, and a waterproof and breathable insert, all wrapped up in a low-profile glove? Nothing really. This is one of those cases where less really is more. [$130, blackdiamondequpiment.com]
Men's Scott Vertic Premium GTX
New to Scott’s Vertic line, the GTX is happiest when hard-charging on the hill. It combines the blizzard-beating, and lightweight, performance of a gauntlet Gore-Tex shell with the blue-collar attitude of a leather work glove. Pre-shaped fingers help you get a firm grip on your ski day. [$110, scott-sports.com]
Men's Ortovox Swisswool Freeride Gloves
Slip your hands into the new Swisswool Freeride at first chair, and you just might sleep in ’em. The Swiss Merino wool lining pampers your digits while the feather-light softshell gauntlet outer keeps the blower where it belongs: under your skis. A well-designed wrist leash keeps the glove handy. [$140, ortovox.com]
Women's Gordini Aerie Mitt
In this age of daily KickStarter launches, classic brands, such as Gordini, can get lost in the shuffle. Big mistake. The warm and comfy goose-down-filled women’s Aerie Mitt is new this season as part of the premium Empyrean line, but shows Gordini’s continuing attention to detail since the 1950s. [$100, gordini.com]