How To Choose Ski Gloves | The Ski Workshop

Find that perfect fit with our ski glove buyers' guide

Slipping your hand into a plush dexterous set of well fitting ski gloves is one of life’s simple pleasures. Conversely cold wet and numb hands on the mountain can be miserable at best, easily ruining a day. Thankfully choosing a well fitting pair of ski gloves is far easier than, say, ski boots, so it should be pain free and fairly quick.

Ski Glove Fit

First up is the fit and, well… it should fit like a glove. But what does this mean in reality? In terms of the correct length, there shouldn’t be excess space in the tips, a sign they are too long. There also shouldn’t be space around the join between finger and palm – a sign they are too short.

As for the width and depth there shouldn’t be excess space around the palm and back of the hand and you should be able to get your hand in and out without it being a tight wrestle. When you get the correct length and volume it should be snug without being constrained, allowing you maximum range or motion and dexterity.

Gloves or Mitts?

The choice between mitts and gloves often will come down to warmth and comfort desires. The benefits of mittens is that they keep your fingers friendly with each other, which in turn will retain heat and keep you warmer for longer.

The downside of this is in the lack of dexterity even simple tasks such as fastening a jacket can be cumbersome with mitts on. Gloves on the other hand will be more dexterous, though this depends on the material, whilst being generally not as warm.


The insulation level that you will choose depends upon weather conditions, activity levels and personal warmth. If you know you are heading to the Alps in January you will after a different glove than say a spring week in Easter.

The warmest gloves will tend to be bulky and less nimble, though, with careful fit, they can still be capable of most tasks. The thinnest gloves offer very little insulation or even none in some areas.

The key for any piece of clothing is staying warm enough whilst not sweating. This comes down to your own physiology in warmth and circulation and also the activity you are doing. If you’re always charging around you’ll be running a lot hotter than someone cruising between the restaurants.

Material and Membrane

The final part of the equation is what material and membrane to go for. In terms of the exterior you have to main categories: leather or synthetic.

Leather outers tend to offer benefits of added dexterity, waterproofing and durability. But they come with added maintenance and care such as not drying them out on the radiators and keeping them waxed up.

Synthetic can give you similar performance but without the maintenance, however the overall feeling often won’t be as plush.

No matter which outer you choose it will include a membrane in them. This is the waterproofing component that keeps you dry whilst allowing sweat to evaporate. Every manufacturer will claim to have the best figures when it comes to breathability and waterproofing.

Generally it is worth looking for the leading membranes such as Gore Tex, Futurelight and eVent if you are expecting wet conditions. If you are expecting to be out in drier conditions this is less important and a softshell material can work better.

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