Best Gloves for Winter Running Reviewed
Running in the winter can be a challenge, but it can also be extremely rewarding and can feel like an accomplishment to be proud of. But if you are going to go for a jog in the cold, you need the right equipment, one of which is a good, warm pair of the best winter running gloves. These are usually thin and lightweight so that they keep out the cold but do not add a lot of bulk and weight. Often they have some cool features like touchscreen compatibility so you can use your phone without taking them off—convenience and necessity in low temperatures. We are going to look at what you need to know before making an informed buying decision.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
For tough conditions
Top 10 Gloves for Winter Running
1. Arc'teryx Venta
For tough conditions
Possibly not warm enough
The Venta running winter gloves come from a top name brand. It is a high-quality product that is built to keep out wind and rain, and it is tough enough for both running and other activities like hiking, backpacking, trail running, and trekking. The stretchy fabric provides both comfort and great mobility.
The Arc'teryx Venta is made out of materials that allow it to dry quickly whether it comes in contact with sweat or the elements. The material is highly breathable and helps regulate the temperature of your hands. This is good since our hands tend to be one of the coldest parts of our bodies when we are out in the cold since all the warmth is drawn to our organs. Although some users have said these winter running gloves are pretty thin and would not keep you all that warm in extreme conditions. You will want to keep this in mind when deciding how warm of a product you need for your climate. The product's coating allows it to repel snow. It is coated with a material called DWR which stands for Durable Water Repellant. It repels water, as well, although it is not necessarily completely waterproof.
The Venta is designed to be tough and to protect your hands which is good for running in case of a fall. The palm is laminated and reinforced which is what makes it so tough. The Venta is made partially out of leather, and partially out of a stretchier material. The product comes in four sizes from extra small to large. The fit is designed to be very flexible and to allow you a good range of movement. This product is both warm and fairly thick while avoiding feeling like it is a boxing glove that you are wearing.
The product does not weight much. It has a pad on both the thumb and the index finger which is compatible with touch screens so you can still use your device or phone when wearing these. The fingertips do not have seams in them which makes the product more comfortable but also gives you better dexterity and makes it easier to use a device screen. The Venta has a loop that allows you to clip the product to your clothing or belt. The cuff is designed to make it easier to put on and take off the product, and the entire product is anatomically shaped so it fits tightly to your hand.
2. The North Face Etip
Seven color choices
Keeps hands relaxed
Four way stretch
May not be durable
The North Face Etip is touchscreen compatible on all the fingertips. It has a power button decal on the back of the index finger which indicates that it is a touchscreen compatible product. Part of the palm features a grippy material to help ensure your phone does not slip out of your hand.
The North Face offers seven color choices. Most of them are neutral grays and blacks and one of them is a cherry brown. Each glove has a clip on its side which allows you to clip them together. That solves the problem of only being able to find one glove when you are ready to go out for a run. The fit has a four-way stretch which helps it fit accurately to the shape of your hand. The fit is also five dimensional which makes it mold to your hand. The design of the fit is made in such a way as to allow your hand to remain in a natural, relaxed position. It uses something called Radiametric Articulation to accomplish this. These are not stiff gloves that will restrict your movements. Instead, they let you relax your hands when running which helps prevent expending extra energy.
These are machine washable. Although you might not want to wash them in your washing machine if you are concerned about the Etip not working anymore or the grippy coating coming off. Some users have had trouble with this. Washing them by hand might help solve this problem. Another thing users had trouble with was the durability. The product began wearing out, growing thin, and the seams started coming apart. Keep in mind that these are not built for rugged work wear or extreme sports. These are a good, basic pair for running, and if that is all you use them for, they should last pretty well.
3. New Balance Lightweight
Polyester and spandex
Light yet warm
Trouble with touchscreen compatibility
The New Balance winter running gloves have a really good gripper design. The entire palm and fingers are covered with a zig-zag pattern of grippy material for maximum non-slip capability. The product has a reflective print on it, as well, which greatly increases your safety when running on a road.
One really cool feature of the New Balance is that one of the color options also has the names of the five New York City boroughs printed on the backs of the fingers. They are printed in bright colors and are a great choice for if you plan to run in the New York City Marathon, or simply if you like the city. The product is made out of 95% polyester and 5% spandex. Inside is a fleece that is smooth and soft. The product has been engineered to have antimicrobial properties which is what helps reduce odors.
Some users have had trouble with the touchscreen compatible tips working properly. They have reported that they have to tap or press hard on the screen and try several times to get it to work. Other users have said that the fit of these gloves for winter running is a little baggy, but does shrink a little after being washed. Some users recommend using the size chart on the brand's website to help you get the perfect fit.
4. Nike Thermal Tech
Micro fleece thumb
Placement of key pocket
This thermal gloves for winter running provide a lot of warmth and also protect you from both wind and rain since the product is wind resistant and water resistant. The cuff is made for a tight fit to keep cold out and warmth in.
Nike Thermal Tech has high visibility graphics on it as a reflective feature. There is a small pocket in the palm of this product which can be used to store a key or other small items. Some users did not like the placement of the pocket, but at least there is a pocket. That is a helpful feature and one that is not common in these products. If you use these only for running, then having the pocket in the palm should not pose too much of a problem since you probably will not be gripping anything like you would if you were biking.
Users have said that these are very warm, soft, and comfortable. They are made out of 93% polyester, 4% elastane, 2% rubber, and 1% nylon. The thumb is made out of a microfleece material which you can use to wipe away sweat. The thumb is also the only part of the glove that is touchscreen compatible. Users have reported that these are some of the most durable on the market. They withstand regular and constant use for years without getting thin or getting holes in them. Most users say that these fit just as expected and do not tend to be too big or too small.
5. Outdoor Research Versaliner
Highly water resistant
Silicone palm print
Pull on loop
Must be hand washed
The Outdoor Research product has some great features like a pull on loop which helps you put on the product since it is made to be tight. Both the trim and the logo are made out of reflective material, and the palm and fingers feature a silicone print for grip.
This product from Outdoor Research features a zippered pocket in the back of the glove. This pocket can be used for storing small items, like the feature in previously listed Nike product, or it can be used for a heat pack to keep your hands extra warm on those really cold days. This is a great feature because this product, like most on the list, is made out of thin material. Being able to add a heat pack means that you can use it both in cool weather and in freezing cold weather. The material is water resistant, almost waterproof. It is highly breathable and is sweat wicking and quick drying. The Outdoor Research product has good quality insulation. It has an insulating liner that is 100 weight radiant fleece. The shell is waterproof and is made out of ripstop fabric. The shell is actually removable so you can wear just the liner or the liner plus the shell. Users have said that the water-resistant/waterproof feature did not work quite as well as expected. Some said that it would only keep out light rain, but not heavy rain.
One downside is that these winter running gloves are not machine washable. Another is that the fingers tend to be too long for some users. If you have small hands, you might need to order a smaller size than you are used to. Users have confirmed that these are very durable and can withstand more extreme outdoor activities.
6. Smartwool Merino 150
87% merino wool
For sensitive skin
Touchscreen material wears away
There are a lot of benefits to merino wool. It is soft, warm, durable, water-resistant, and lightweight. It is an ideal material for making these kinds of products. Another great thing about the Smartwool winter running gloves is that it is machine washable, which is not what you would expect when it comes to a luxury-style wool product.
Smartwool is great at regulating your body temperature. It can wick away sweat and help keep you cool, but it can also hold in heat and keep you warm. This is one of the greatest benefits of using a natural material like merino wool. This product is very soft, and users have said that it is ideal for sensitive skin since it does not cause any chafing or skin irritation. The design of the product does not have a cuff which makes the fit more versatile. If you have large wrists, these will still fit you and you do not have to worry about a tight and uncomfortable cuff cutting off circulation.
Besides the merino wool, this product also includes 13% nylon. The touchscreen tips are made out of 96% acrylic, 3% nylon, and 1% elastane. The touchscreen tips are on the index finger and the thumb, but users have said that it quickly wears off especially after being washed. After this, these are just basic gloves for winter running with no capability to use a device. This is unfortunate and could be a hassle because you will have to take them off every time you need to take a call or change a song on your running playlist.
7. Columbia Thermarator
Six stylish colors
Thermal reflective lining
Good wrist mobility
Uncomfortable sewn pieces
The Columbia Thermarator comes in six stylish colors including black, chalk (which is more of a cream color), blue macaw, bluebell (a light blueberry color), pond (which is a light fern green), and quill (a shade of violet).
What makes these Columbia Thermarators so warm is the thermal reflective lining which reflects your own body heat back to your hand and then traps in that heat. This is a very effective way of staying warm. The product has a technology called Omni-Heat. There are a bunch of tiny silver metallic dots in a pattern on the inside of the product. This helps hold in the heat by reflecting it back to you just like they would reflect light. The lining is breathable which helps ensure that you do not get too hot, and it helps dissipate moisture. The design of the product allows you to have good wrist and finger mobility. Whereas many products are best for mildly cold weather, these are a good option for running in extreme cold. The Columbia Thermarator is made entirely out of polyester, and it features extended wrist fabric for extra coverage and to help hold in the heat. You can tuck the cuffs under your sleeves this way so that no air can get in.
These are somewhat bulkier than many running winter gloves, but that is because they are warmer. Something users have pointed out is the fact that for some, parts of the sewn pieces can cause irritation and can poke parts of your hands and fingers.
Four way stretch
Double layer cuffs
Lightweight material blend
Not extremely warm
This TrailHeads product is made out of a lightweight, breathable fabric blend. It features four-way stretching for a tight fit, and it also has knitted mesh-like inserts on the sides of the palm and fingers which helps make the product more breathable. This is a great way to both stay warm but also prevent overheating as you run.
Since the product is very breathable, it sacrifices a little bit of warmth. It might not be good for use in extreme cold, but in cool weather, it would keep you warm enough. These TrailHeads are fitted like a second skin, and you will probably not notice they are there. They are designed to be functional yet minimal. The cuffs are double layered and extremely stretchy. They block out the wind and cold and hold in warmth. The fabric is quick drying, and the brand offers a money back guarantee or a replacement if something is wrong with the purchase. These running winter gloves are a good, versatile option for if you tend to start out cold at the beginning of the run and then get too warm later on, or if you live in an area where the temperature fluctuates a lot. Some users have had trouble with seams coming apart, and others have said that the sizing runs a little big.
9. Saucony Ulti-Mitt
For extreme weather
Touchscreen compatibility doesn't work
Although this product is designed specifically to fit women, users have said that they fit men just as well. as long as you order a size or two up. The Saucony is available as all black, or as black with an orange mitt. Both options have a little reflective stripe on the back of the mitt.
The Saucony features some very practical design elements. It can be used as mittens, or it can be converted to winter running gloves. All you have to do is fold back the top part of the mitt and fold it back into a little stretchy pouch. This way you can customize how warm the product is. At the bottom of the product is a little round magnet which holds the two gloves together. It functions much like a clip, except is a much more convenient magnet and allows you to quickly pull apart or put together the gloves. Although the thumbs and index fingers do have material for using electronic devices, users have said that it does not really work at all. The materials include drylete, polyester, and spandex, and the size of the product is extra big for more warmth, but users have said that it does not seem bulky at all. The outer mitt is made out of a slick material that is wind and water resistant, but the inner glove is not.
10. Marmot Power Stretch
Doubles as a liner
Three dimensional wicking
Grippy finger tips
Includes lifetime warranty
Tend to wear out
The Marmot is a good, lightweight and extremely thin pair. Users were sometimes surprised at how thin these are. The material and design ensure that they still keep you warm without adding bulk.
The grip patches on the fingers are good for non-slip gripping, but not for using an electronic device. Users have said that the grips fall off eventually after use. Since this product is so thin, it can double as a glove liner if you want to wear it under something thicker. It would also work well for this since it is made with three-dimensional wicking for excellent sweat absorption. The palm is reinforced to make it extra tough, and the material is very flexible so it does not hinder your dexterity. The Marmot has two layers. The outer layer blocks the wind and protects you from abrasions, and the inner layer is soft for comfort and helps keep your hands dry. The Marmot winter running gloves are designed to be tight for compression which can help prevent some kinds of injuries.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
One thing we found out when researching was that a lot of runners tend to start out with cold hands, but as they get moving and run awhile, their hands start to get too hot and start to sweat. If you are wearing regular kinds of gloves, you will have to take them off and store them midway through the run. This is an inconvenience, but it is also impractical since a lot of running gear does not come with very big pockets for storing things like gloves. The solution is to find a product that is breathable, yet warm. That is a tough requirement to meet, and that is why only the best products made this list. It is difficult for a product to do a good job of both retaining heat and being breathable, and sometimes even keeping wind and water out. Those are all things that work against each other. Some products have found some good solutions.
When it comes to breathability, WalkJogRun knows that the material type is very important. A lot of these products are made out of a high percentage of polyester, which is great for breathability and staying dry. Others have a patented material that they designed for the product. Another way products have compromised between warmth and breathability is to have certain areas of the product that are breathable and other areas that are not. This allows the product to vent without making you feel like the wind is rushing right through the product.
The two most important factors related to comfort are flexibility and warmth. Some of these kinds of products are very stiff and bulky and do not allow you much range of movement. That severely cuts down on comfort and was something we tried to avoid when choosing products. Instead, we opted for products that are made out of flexible, lightweight materials and that are constructed in such a way as to give you free range of motion. These need to feel like a second skin, like an extension of your hand.
For warmth of winter running gloves, we looked at three different factors. One was material type. Another was layering. And the third was sweat-wicking capabilities. All of these affected the warmth. Material type is an obvious one. We found that some fabrics were more effective at holding in warmth than others were. Some products are designed to reflect your own body heat back to you which is an efficient way of keeping you warm. Others are made out of naturally warm materials like fleece or merino wool.
Layering is an excellent design element because it helps regulate temperature. It can hold in the heat but still feel breathable. Layering works just like a thermos which is often double walled to hold in heat. Finally, sweat-wicking properties were such a big thing because of the very nature of sweat—it is meant to cool us down. By drawing sweat away and then allowing it to evaporate, these running winter gloves help keep you dry, which in turn keeps you warm.
The good news is that since you will not be using your hands too much when running or jogging, these gloves for winter running do not have to be extremely tough and durable. That allows them to be more lightweight, soft, and comfortable. If you were going to be using them for lifting weights or doing yard work, for example, they would need to be much more reinforced and durable since they would be doing a lot of work. Their main job in this case, though, is to simply keep your hands warm and to protect you in case of a fall. We still tried to find products that were durable, however, but less in a tough, reinforced way and more in a well made, long lasting way. We wanted to make sure that the seams were strongly made and that they would not come apart after months of use or several trips through the washing machine.
We looked for products that are machine washable, whether or not actually doing that is really the best idea. As long as they are capable of being washed in a machine, that allows you to wash them by hand most of the time but if once in awhile you simply do not have time, you could toss them in the washing machine and it would work out okay. But for a lot of these products, washing them by hand most of the time might be a good idea to preserve durability.
Fit is so important with these kinds of products that it has to live up to the saying, "fits like a glove." Some of the factors involved in determining how well these products fit are stretchiness, design and construction, and placement of seams. Seams can make or break the fit. If they are not done right, they will take up too much room inside and will be both uncomfortable and tight. We researched how the seams were designed in these products in order to make sure that they would lay flat and would not cause you to notice them or be bothered by them.
Stretchiness was another big thing. We looked to make sure that each product included some good quality stretchy material like elastane or spandex. This helps the product mold to the exact shape of your hand. Finally, the design and construction was a factor because it determines how the product will feel. You don't want a product that pinches and sticks up in some places. Some of the products we chose have a four way fit which is more precise. Many have a paneled design which works together with the stretchiness to fit to the shape of your hand.
This is a product that has the main purpose of protecting your hands. If it does not do that job right, it is not a product worth buying. When researching, we asked questions like: Does it completely cover the hand and wrist? Does it fit well enough to provide adequate coverage and protection? Are the fingers extra warm to protect you from cold fingers or even frostbite? Protection is inevitably related to fit and durability. Although many of these are quite thin and light, we wanted to make sure they could still protect you against possible scrapes if you were to fall on the pavement or the sidewalk. Another factor which is directly related to protection is reflective print. Not all products have this, but some do, and we tried to include at least some that did. This is a valuable feature that greatly increases protection. One final factor we considered was protection from the elements. We included some products that are wind resistant, water resistant, or both.
Many of these products come with clips, and for good reason. Losing one of the pair is a common mishap, but it can easily be avoided. Make sure you always clip the two together before storing them. This is an easy habit to develop and will prevent you from having to look for a lost glove which will save you a lot of time.
We are all told how we need to wear a hat to prevent heat from escaping from our heads. But what some of us neglect is our extremities which also suffer from the cold. When we are cold, our bodies draw heat away from all non-essential body parts (like our hands) and store it in our midsection to protect our organs and ensure survival. This is why on a heat map, you will notice that the hands are often the coldest part of the body. If you wear gloves to keep your hands warm, that reduces the strain put on your body as it tries to keep you warm. This will let you focus more on exercising and will keep you feeling great.
Other Factors to Consider
We have seen how these products can be anywhere from the very basic, to quite technologically advanced with some cool features. We have considered products good for a whole range of different temperatures. Some are good for warmer winters (hello, Southern California), while others would be right at home in the coldest, snowiest winters in the world. Some can even do both by offering some versatility whether it be through a convertible mitt or temperature regulating material like merino wool. Overall, we have looked at some great products with a wonderful range of features for all different kinds of needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why are there different winter running gloves for men and women?
The main difference is in the sizing. Both men and women have basically the same shape of hand, just usually different sizes. A medium men's product might correspond to a large women's product. Since this is really the only difference, men and women can easily wear either kind of product, just keep in mind the different sizing systems when you are choosing a product.
q: How does touchscreen compatibility work?
Electronic devices normally work with our bare fingers because the human body is conducive to electricity and the screen can detect that. Often times the touchscreen compatible products have something to conduct electricity in the fingertip. This could be tiny little metal fibers that help transfer the electricity from your finger to the screen.
q: What temperatures are these running winter gloves rated for?
Since by nature, these products are thin, a lot of them are best for cool weather, but not extremely cold temperatures. Some of them are good for extreme cold, and those are the ones that look a bit bulkier. The thin ones still might work in extreme cold, depending on your own individual tolerance for cold. Since you will be running and working up some heat, this will help keep your hands warm after you get going. So you might start out feeling cold, but eventually will feel warm enough.
q: What is merino wool?
Merino wool comes from a specific breed of sheep. It is an extremely soft wool, and it has some amazing natural properties. Merino is much different from normal wool which can be itchy. Merino is so much softer due to the fibers being much finer. It has the amazing two-fold ability to keep you warm when you need to be, and cool when you need to be. It is highly temperature regulating. It has to be able to do this to keep the sheep comfortable. It is also naturally moisture wicking and waterproof. It does not bother people with allergies or skin irritations, and it suppresses odors and resists staining.
q: How do I care for these?
Make sure to read the instructions and label that comes with the product. Most of these are machine washable, but a few aren't. Also, keep in mind that you might have better success with product durability if you wash them by hand and then line dry them.