From lightweight liners to extra-warm options, we found the best winter gloves to meet every budget, temperature, and snow-covered sport.
Keeping your hands warm can make the difference between a memorable time outdoors and a miserable one. Whether you suffer from Raynaud’s and need more hand heat than your body can generate, or you’re looking for a light layer to keep your fingers warm when you set out for a run, there’s a glove out there that’s perfect for you.
To find the best gloves, we put these winter warmers to the test. We alpine, backcountry, and nordic skied, hiked, fat biked, snowshoed, skated, sledded, dog walked, and had snowball fights in more than 30 pairs of gloves in the American Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest as well as the Rockies, Canada, and Iceland. Temperatures ranged from -20 degrees to so warm we could take them off.
We considered waterproofness, breathability, durability, and how well they kept the weather out, as well as ease of on and off, taking a phone photo, gripping a ski pole, or packing a snowball while wearing them.
And while there isn’t a single glove that suits everyone, we broke them into categories so you can find the best gloves for you. For more help finding the right fit, be sure to check out the buyer’s guide at the end of this article. This article focuses on gloves; if you’re looking for mitts, check out our guide to the World’s Best Winter Mittens.
Scroll through to see all of our recommended buys or jump to the category you’re looking for:
- Best Overall
- Best Budget Glove
- Best for Fat Biking
- Best Winter Work Glove
- Best Heated Glove
- Best Glove for Ice Climbing
- Best Snowboarding Glove
- Best Alpine Ski Glove
- Best Women’s Glove
- Best Running Glove
- Best for Nordic Skiing
The Best Winter Gloves of 2021
Best Overall: Norrøna trollveggen GTX
If you want warm hands this winter regardless of what you’re doing, Norrøna’s trollveggen GORE-TEX ($130 on sale) can’t be beat. It’s made for mountaineering with a mid-length cuff and goat leather palm. But you don’t need to have big-mountain summits on your bucket list to wear them. These gloves are significantly lighter and more supple than other big mitts, with a tough cuff that’s light, flexible, and trim, which makes them easy to slip on.
On blustery days, keep the warmth in with the low-profile, one-hand tighten-and-release wrist strap, or seal your hands inside with a pull tab on the cuff. A wool liner under the synthetic-insulated shell wasn’t as fuzzy as fleece but gave the gloves dexterity for gripping a ski pole, gripping a mountaineering axe, or holding onto a sled handle.
It also kept the inside from ever feeling sweaty. Use the stretchy, removable wrist straps to prevent dropping them in the snow when you take these off to send a text or snap a pic.
- Shell/Material: GORE-TEX fabric, goat leather, PrimaLoft, Oeko-Tex-certified fabric, PFC-free DWR, Bluesign-certified fabric
- Reinforced with leather in high-wear areas
- Lighter and less bulky than most other gloves in the category
- Not touchscreen-compatible
Best Budget Glove: Jeniulet Winter Gloves
For less than a bowl of chili and a hot chocolate at the ski resort, these winter gloves ($19) from Jeniulet provide exceptional warmth, quality materials, and touchscreen compatibility.
Made from six layers of wind-resistant and high-density fabrics, these gloves kept many users’ fingers warm and comfortable in temperatures down to -30 degrees. The surface of the palm area is leather, which improves grip and dexterity whether you’re riding a bike, skiing, or working with a snow shovel.
Though they do run quite large, the Jeniulet Winter Gloves simply don’t have many flaws, especially considering they cost less than half of most of their competitors.
- Shell/Material: Cotton and waterproof nylon shell with fleece lining
- Sizing is tricky
- Run very large
Best for Fat Biking: Pearl Izumi AmFIB Lobster Cycling Gloves
Cycling in winter conditions exposes your hands and fingers to the harsh bite of frigid air. These cycling gloves ($85) from Pearl have been designed specifically with cold-weather riding in mind. Insulated with 170 g of PrimaLoft Gold insulation and incorporated aerogel particles, these split-finger, lobster-style gloves offer top-notch warmth without sacrificing dexterity.
Gripping handlebars with cold hands is painful. In addition to ample insulation, these gloves also include 3D-shaped gel palm pads which reduce bulk and improve grip comfort. Palm patches of Ax Suede Laredo synthetic leather help to ensure reliable grip when steering and braking, even in wet conditions.
Fat bike enthusiasts rejoice — the Pearl Izumi AmFIB Lobster Cycling gloves are the perfect tool for the job.
- Shell/Material: AmFIB soft-shell main body fabric with synthetic leather palms and PrimaLoft Gold insulation
- Grippy on the handlebars and brakes
Best Winter Work Glove: Mechanix Winter Work Gloves
In cold and damp conditions, a good pair of winter work gloves should provide reliable warmth, grip, and protection. This pair of affordable work gloves ($30) from Mechanix is the real deal. With a wild-resistant outer layer, a Thinsulate fleece lining, and Armortex reinforcement in the palms, these gloves are perfect for any cold season job.
Thanks to built-in touchscreen compatibility, you won’t need to remove these gloves to answer a call or send an urgent text. Though they’re primarily made for working, many users report these gloves also perform well for skiing, cycling, and other forms of winter recreation.
- Shell/Material: Wind-resistant outer softshell and fleece lining
- High dexterity
- Easy on and off
- Requires some break-in time
Best Heated Glove: Black Diamond Solano
Cold hands and feet can interfere with winter fun. When you’re wearing the battery-powered Solanos ($400), even arctic temperatures won’t keep you inside. For a bog glove, the Solano is relatively low-profile, with a rechargeable battery pack in the cuff and heating elements that wrap around the inside of your wrist, where blood is close to the surface and can best absorb the heat.
The new Solano has more synthetic insulation in the back of the hand and the palm than previous versions, but not so much it’s hard to grip a ski pole. And you get to pick how warm you want your hands to be.
A switch on the back of this GORE-TEX-lined goat leather glove lets you choose from three settings. We wore these gloves in the deepest freeze Vermont could muster, alpine skiing, and fat biking down to -20 degrees. And our hands were toasty warm.
- Shell/Material: Full goat leather with two-layer Pertex Shield Nylon gauntlet cuff and GORE-TEX liner
- Warm hands in any weather
- Excellent battery life
- Batteries in the cuff can feel bulky
- They’re a little stiff
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Best Glove for Ice Climbing: Outdoor Research Mixalot Gloves
When you need to feel everything but also need a barrier against winter weather, the Mixalot ($69) delivers. An ultra-tactile, close-fit, single-layer glove, the Mixalot has a no-slip Pittards Gripster sheep leather palm — the same leather used in golf gloves — that covers all the parts of your hand that touch a tool.
The superb grip paired with gusseted fingers for unrestricted movement gave us total confidence in our tool placements while climbing frozen waterfalls and as well as during mixed climbing. A new neoprene cuff and GORE WINDSTOPPER softshell on the back kept biting wind out and warmth in. And the fuzzy thumb absorbed nose drips.
- Shell/Material: GORE INFINIUM with WINDSTOPPER softshell; nylon/spandex face fabric with polyester backer; Pittards Gripster sheep leather palm and overlay
- High sensitivity makes it easy to grip
- Easy to get these on and off
- Not super warm
Best Snowboarding Glove: Hestra Vertical Cut CZone Gloves
Snowboarders usually prefer mitts because they’re typically warmer than gloves. But mitts sacrifice the use of your fingers until you take them off. These short-cuffed and fully waterproof hybrids give riders the best of both worlds. Choose from a single-finger glove, a three-finger lobster-style glove, or a full glove. All individually insulate five fingers inside.
The Vertical Cut C-Zone ($170) is padded with shock-absorbing foam on the back to protect your hand from bumps and bruises whether you’re in the backcountry or on the halfpipe. Seams stitched on the outside, not the inside, reduce pressure points if you’re poling while splitboarding and give better grip whether it’s for a grab or ratcheting your binding.
- Shell/Material: Goat leather with a three-layer dobby polyester that’s windproof, water-resistant, and breathable; polyester insulation and a waterproof membrane
- Available in a variety of finger configurations
- Good dexterity for a thicker glove
- Back of the hand padding is protective
- Velcro-close cuff can catch if not closed properly
Best Alpine Ski Glove: Astis Short Cuff Glove
Slipping your hand into handmade Astis Short Cuff gloves ($165) is like putting on your favorite sweater. The silicone-treated suede shell is soft and molds to your hand over time. It’s also highly water-resistant but breathes better than any other glove with a membrane.
Inside, high-pile Polartec fleece is deliciously cozy and warm but not bulky. Wear them out, and the fleece is replaceable. And they let you express your style. Choose from a dozen beaded designs sewn with Kevlar thread that won’t break or cut, even if you accidentally swipe it with a ski edge.
- Shell/Material: Water-repellent leather with Polartec high-pile fleece lining
- You’ll make new friends in the lift line
- Beautiful beading
- Leather repels water but is fully breathable so hands don’t get sweaty
- No wrist straps
- Not touchscreen-compatible
Best Women’s Glove: The North Face Etip Recycled Glove
Though they aren’t ideal for the coldest of winter days, the Etip Recycled Gloves ($45) from The North Face are perfect for wintertime active use. From trail running to skiing, these lightweight yet warm gloves are highly versatile and can serve as a glove liner when you need a little extra insulation.
It’s difficult to strike a balance between insulating and breathable, but the Etip Recycled Gloves are up to the challenge. During high-intensity winter activity, these gloves allow ample airflow and prevent sweating. Silicone texture added to the palms provides solid holding power on ski and trekking poles.
Of all the touchscreen-compatible gloves on the market, The North Face’s Etip technology is among the most consistent and reliable. Wearers of these gloves will appreciate frustration-free smartphone operation.
- Shell/Material: Polyester and elastane softshell
- Not ideal for sub-freezing conditions
Best Running Glove: Outdoor Essentials Touch Screen Running Gloves
For high-output activities when you’ll be sweating despite the winter temps, Outdoor Essentials’ Touch Screen Running Gloves ($11) keep your hands warm but let the sweat out. Wind-repelling, air-permeable polyester offers lightweight warmth and protection.
And when you’re holding a flask, bottle, or phone, the silicone print on the palm and fingers gives an enhanced grip. A touchscreen-compatible patch on the pointer finger was one of the most effective we tested.
- Shell/Material: Polyester, spandex, and silicone
- Super packable
- Silicone gripper on the palms
- Easy to tear with hard use
Best for Nordic Skiing: Smartwool Merino Sport Training Gloves
For nordic skiing, less is more. We picked the Smartwool Merino Sport Training Gloves ($35 on sale) for their lightweight profile, grippy palm (that never got saturated with snowmelt or sweat), and perfectly balanced insulation to breathability.
The Smartwool Training Gloves are sewn to provide skiers with maximum dexterity and outfitted with grippy silicone to help with gripping a narrow nordic pole. Reflective piping also increases visibility in low light.
- Shell/Material: Polyester with merino wool and elastane
- Simple design
- Great dexterity
- Not the most wind-resistant
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose Winter Gloves
“Winter gloves” is a massive category that encompasses many different types and styles. The recommendations that we have included on this list represent a broad spectrum of options, and it can be tricky to identify the best pair for you. While some winter gloves are versatile enough for all sorts of applications, others are specifically designed for a singular purpose.
When choosing a pair of winter gloves, there are many important factors to consider. In this handy how-to-choose guide, we will break down each of these factors to help you streamline — and hopefully enjoy — the selection process.
Active vs. Passive Use
If you’ll be using your gloves as activewear — such as holding onto a ski pole, ice axe, or chainsaw — choose a glove that offers dexterity. The most dexterous gloves will allow you to articulate each finger independently for improved grip and active functionality. On this list, the North Face Recycled Etip Gloves and the Outdoor Research Mixalot gloves offer uninhibited dexterity.
If you’ll be using your gloves strictly to keep your hands warm while commuting or walking outside, dexterity and workability are less important. If this is the case for you, we recommend gloves that are warm and well-insulated.
If you don’t need dexterity, you may as well take advantage of maximum warmth. On this list, the Astris Short Cuff Gloves may not be the most dexterous, but they are impressively warm and stylish.
How Warm Is Too Warm?
Not every activity warrants the warmest glove. If your gloves are too hot, you’ll end up with hands somewhere between sweaty and swampy. Ultimately, you will want to pick gloves based on your body’s comfort level and temperature regulation. On this list, the Outdoor Essentials Touch Screen Running Gloves are protective and useful but not stiflingly warm.
Depending on your needs, waterproofing may be a non-negotiable priority. If your primary winter pursuit is manual labor or snowball fights, definitely choose a glove with a waterproof membrane such as the Norrøna trollveggen. If you’ll be actively generating heat while running or nordic skiing, consider a glove without a waterproof membrane, such as the Smartwool Merino Sport Training Gloves.
If you seem to always have cold hands regardless of how thick your gloves are, we recommend that you try a battery-powered self-warming option. They can be a game-changer for people who have Raynaud’s or chronically cold hands. On this list, the Black Diamond Solano are high-quality self-warming gloves with plush comfort and impressive battery life.
Not all winter gloves are touchscreen-compatible. If you will need to access your phone or tablet in cold conditions, look for a pair with “e-tips,” which are conductive fabrics that transfer your body’s electric current into the device.
Constantly taking your gloves on and off gets old (and cold) fast, and being able to text your buddy from the chairlift comfortably is a welcome asset. On this list, the Outdoor Essentials Touch Screen Running Gloves are a quality option with touchscreen compatibility.
Durability and Materials
Durability is an important consideration when choosing winter gloves. Our hands make contact with surfaces more than any other part of our body, and the constant movement and action can cause gloves to wear rapidly. Ultimately, a glove’s durability comes down to its construction and materials. The longest-lasting gloves tend to be made of high-quality leather.
On this list, the Norrøna trollveggen leather gloves are among the most durable we’ve ever tested. The downside of leather gloves is that they require regular maintenance. A waterproofing treatment such as Sno-Seal or Nikwax can significantly help maintain the waterproofing ability and general quality of a pair of leather gloves.
Nylon outer shells can also offer long-lasting durability. Though not as supple as leather, nylon is hardy and requires less maintenance. On this list, the Jeniulet Winter Gloves are quality and affordable nylon options.
Aside from nylon and leather, many thinner winter gloves are made from wool, fleece, and cotton. Generally, cotton is not ideal as it takes a long time to dry and tars easily.
Lobster Claws and Mittens
For those who regularly suffer from uncomfortably cold hands, mittens are the warmest form of hand protection. When encased in a mitten, your fingers are able to keep each other warm by proximity.
The major downside to mittens is loss of dexterity. When you need the use of your fingers while walking or snowboarding, for example, mittens are great, but for manual labor or gripping a ski pole, mittens aren’t ideal.
Lobster claws are the middle ground between gloves and mittens. Usually, one or two fingers are isolated from the other 3 or 4, resulting in two separate “claws” that can move independently. This style may be a good option for those who have chronically cold hands but still need some dexterity.
Still, lobster claws are significantly less dexterous than traditional gloves. Winter mountain bikers commonly choose to wear lobster-style gloves. On this list, the Pearl Izumi AmFIB Lobster gloves are excellent.
It is important to choose properly sized gloves. As always, we recommend trying gear on before purchase to ensure a good fit.
Extra space inside an oversized glove is just more air that your hands have to heat before they feel warm. When gloves are too tight, they may restrict blood flow, worsen circulation issues, and cause pain.
What Are the Warmest Winter Gloves?
On this list, the Norrøna trollveggen are extremely warm and highly durable gloves. If you suffer from Raynaud’s disease or simply deal with chronically cold hands, it may be worth considering upgrading to battery-powered self-warming gloves.
On this list, the Black Diamond Solano gloves are exceptionally warm, well made, and offer impressively long battery life.
Are Gloves Better Than Mittens?
Choosing between gloves and mittens is a matter of personal preference. Each option has pros and cons, and it is important to understand these before choosing.
Gloves offer improved dexterity but reduced warmth. Because every finger can move independently while wearing gloves, this option is better for gripping ski poles, swinging ice axes, or performing manual labor.
Mittens are very warm, but they seriously reduce dexterity. We don’t recommend mittens for activities that require you to use your hands to grip or squeeze.
What Are the Cheapest Winter Gloves?
On this list, we have included many high-quality winter gloves with a broad range of price tags. Some of the cheaper options include the Jeniulet Winter Gloves and the Mechanix Winter Work Gloves.
Though affordable winter gloves do exist, cheaper options tend to be less effective and durable. Premium materials and construction cost more, but they also add up to a higher quality product. It is worth considering making a greater initial investment in your winter gloves so that you won’t have to replace your new pair in just a season or two.
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