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13 Cold-Busting Work Gloves For Men and Their Winter Labors

Trying to finish a job or accomplish basic tasks when the temperature drops is a whole new challenge. Reduced efficiency in the fingers, poorer mobility in your joints, and the fact that every mistake is 250 times more painful in the cold all mean that getting a set of gloves that can give you protection, warmth, and still provide you with enough dexterity to grip a troublesome nailhead or bolt is imperative.

Winter Work Gloves for Men

Whether doing light construction, scraping off the frosted windows, turning a wrench on your old beater, or taking down the holiday lights you left up for three months too long, you need work gloves that can get the job done.


Choosing your winter work gloves is all about finding a happy medium.

  • They need to be thin enough that you can get a tactile feel for what is under your fingertips, but not so thin they let all the heat seep away, reducing your paws to icy sausages with no sensation.
  • They need to have specialized grips for grapping metal that is below freezing without slipping, and provide a level of compression that will help keep circulation going out to your digits.
  • Strong enough for the tough jobs, but soft enough that they won’t abrade dry, weathered skin, here’s how to keep your hands in the game and on task.

Best Winter Work Gloves for Warmth and Mobility

Though anything on here will give you a solid season worth of work, the ideal set of work gloves for cold weather isn’t a single glove at all, but a combination of a soft liner glove that feels good on your hand, and a thicker shell glove – usually leather, deerskin, or something equally durable.

This combination is warmth layering for your hands and gives you both a soft interior and a rugged exterior. Then you can mix and match bargain gloves until you find the combination that works for your hands.

Otherwise, there’s always our research with the 13 best winter work gloves that give you great warmth.

#1 – Mechanix Wear – Wind Resistant Winter Touchscreen Gloves 

Mechanix Wear - Wind Resistant Winter Touchscreen Gloves

Mechanix managed to make simple work gloves an artform, and thus have multiple appearances on this list. As one of their most basic winter option, those on a serious budget who still long for rubber grips, a soft feel, and easy on/off action should begin their Mechanix love affair here.

#2 – Kinco 1927KW Lined Premium Grain (Pigskin)

An oldie but a goodie, the 1927KW is a timeless classic for a reason. Often emulated, the warmth, flex, longevity, and easy fit make these a must grab. That’s pigskin, not standard leather, meaning more water fighting power, and it’s backed by the same thermal lining favored by snowboarders for holding warmth while providing range of motion. Don’t let the price put you off: they’re incredible, and usually all you need.

#3 – Kinco 94HK-L-1 Premium Grain & Suede (Pigskin)

Kincos are the platinum standard when it comes to winter work gloves. Basic, grained pigskin with warmth backing seems like a simple enough recipe, but these do it so well that it reinvents the glove. Built strong enough to last, yet cheap enough to discard, everyone should have these, just in case.

#4 – Ironclad Ranchworx Work Gloves RWG2

Ironclad is a hit or miss brand, so while we can’t vouch for everything in their lineup, we can say with great authority that their Ranchworx are worthy of mention. Much of the leather is rough bullwhip, making it harder than boot camp and backed up by exo-guard construction that adds safety without inhibiting finger motion. Kevlar reinforcement should tell you all you need to know about survivability, and the terry cloth wipe on the back of the thumb should sing a song of smart design.

#5 – Carhartt Men’s TS Flip It

Carhartt might have the market cornered when it comes to overalls and work coats, but they’re only part of the glove game. You won’t go wrong with any of their work glove options, but we like the choice of switching from fingerless to mitten mode that the Flip It provides. These go from gripping and ripping to just plain gripping and holding with ease, then bring the warmth when it counts.

#6 – GEMPLER’S Waterproof Insulated Pigskin Leather Work Gloves

Since leather is nearly impossible to water and weatherproof, Gempler went with pigskin instead, which also adds in flex where it counts for less stiffness and more movement before you even break them in. Three layers of waterproofing and weather-resistance might not allow you to feel every texture, but will keep hard-working hands warm and mostly dexterous while you while away the hours.

#7 – GliderGloves Copper Infused Touch Screen Gloves

GliderGloves Copper Infused Touch Screen Gloves

Not every job requires tough leather, pigskin, and miles of insulation. The modest GliderGloves make a decent liner for a larger piece, and are at the top of the heap when it comes to operating a touchscreen. They aren’t going to survive much abuse by themselves, but their intense degree of facility when used alone, their capacity to seamlessly work high-tech gadgets without exposing your skin, and their overall low-profile fit and feel make these ideal for ordinary wear, small tasks, or wearing as a liner to a beefier mitten.

#8 – Schaefer Ragg Wool Fingerless Ranchhands

Woodworkers who have shops or garages will find these most to their liking. Comfortable for long wear despite the itchy appearance, and giving your fingers the freedom they need without allowing drafts to drift in, framers and anyone who needs their fingerprints out and proud while they toil will be hard-pressed to find complaint here.

#9 – Mechanix Wear Original Insulated

When Mechanix says “Original” it’s like when Buck knives says it; it doesn’t mean old, it means tried, tested, and true. Fleece all around with seamless palms, these are a warm, soft upgrade from the Fleece Utility choice that will go far more than three times longer than their marginally cheaper cousins.

#10 – Wells Lamont Synthetic Leather Work Gloves

via wellslamont.com

60-gram thinsulate begins the story of these working champions from Wells Lamont, as fleece lining provides comfort. Built with dexterity at the forefront, these won’t give you supreme heat should you be going into sub-zero temperatures with wind chills, but will stand up to your average cold and wet without wearing down or slipping up.

#11 – Outdoor Research Men’s Flurry Sensor Gloves

Outdoor Research Men's Flurry Sensor Gloves

A dandy set of hand-holders that look good anywhere, the Flurry Gloves bear a simple loop for being hung on a belt, along with lots of moisture wicking properties and the ability to dry fast. Minor texture spots provide enough grip for a basic hammer swing or wrench turn, though these won’t be up to building that winter deck you’ve been dreaming about. Excellent for camp chores and nippy days when anything more would be too much. Purchase: $39

#12 – Mechanix Wear Polar Pro Winter Gloves

Mechanix Wear - Polar Pro Winter Gloves

Waterproof and built with a full-blown knuckle guard, cold weather is just the start of what the Polar Pro wants to save you from. Made for those who are out in the extreme conditions with tool in hand should have a set of these on. They are just as deft as most Mechanix gloves, but for the warmth and safety they provide, they’re given all the pliability you could hope for.

#13 – HexArmor GGT5 Series 4021X High Vis Work Gloves

HexArmor GGT5 Series 4021X High Vis Work Gloves

Ugly as sin for super high visibility, the HexArmor GGT5 Series 4021X High Vis Work Gloves do it all. Impact fighting plates, cut resistance on the palm, thinsulate lining, wicked waterproofing, and lots of clever finesse make these a go-to choice for those who don’t mind the price.

8 comments

  1. Thanks so much for sharing! I really like your post because it showed the information about all the best products. This is useful and helps me easier to choose a suitable one for me.

  2. OutdoorEssentials gloves are very light weight and would work best in >45 degree winter climate. I use them under my short-finger biking gloves and remove them as it warms up. Great price for gloves that work well for touch screen uses and fit nicely inside my other winter gloves for added warmth.

  3. I’ve have some of these gloves, and others similar. There is no one pair does it all and never will be. Pull a motor or head in 30 degree temps with 2″ of sleet on the ground has different needs than reassembling the same after you dragged that piece of junk into an unheated garage averaging 45 degrees. Mechanics gloves are suitable in those conditions, keeping in mind they will soak up oil like a sponge, and after a week your hands will get more on them wearing them than from the parts. You have to wash them periodically, and don’t expect any water resistance from the stretch knits. Before mechanics gloves we all wore cheap jersey knits – even in the 1970’s they were from offshore, not Made In America. Japan and Taiwan were predominant, with India trying to break into the market. We bought them cheap and after a few days discarded them. garage owners and franchise shop supervisors had to keep a lid on costs even then.

    Leather gloves for dry cold work are pretty common, we used a lot of canvas with no leather reinforcement. Again, avoid water. I have tried neoprene wet suit type gloves, which are actually too compressive, tend to restrict blood flow, and after extended periods pick up a stink that cannot be washed out. Sweat builds up and pew! They aren’t merchandised much except for hunting and fishing now.

    I’ve also learned thru years of experience that we often wear too heavy a glove, and it’s mostly for comfort. Same as boots, we struggle to get them on and secure, then find we can’t grip or handle anything – including the expensive hunting rifle we bought. And as the early morning dew rises and the sun comes out, things sometime improve, leaving you with either taking them off to expose your hands to 40’s, or you slip into your OTHER pair of lighter gloves with some grip. I’ve found we have pockets for a reason, and when hunting it’s not quite the tactical exercise I might try to make it. If I can stand the few hours in the early morning I leave the heavy gloves at home.

    For the most part synthetics make up modern glove construction, the importers are focusing on retailing the older leather types as their sources are cheaper, and they can play games with labeling. What they call leather from farm raised animals some in America would consider cuddly pets, along with the use of prison labor or forced sweatshops in fabricating them. But – cheap is cheap, and Americans if anything, are cheap. Keep in mind that there are now a host of noxious chemicals we can be exposed to, I have found things like brake fluid will dissolve the bonding adhesive of some leathers and it causes a new pair of mechanic’s gloves to literally dissolve exposing your fingertips. If you are handling automotive chemicals, be aware.

    Choose gloves that will keep your hands clean and dry, keeping them warm is still something you have to work at. Long term exposure outdoors in below freezing conditions means not sitting still, not handling high BTU absorbing materials (dont stick your tongue on the flagpole) and knowing you have to layer even your hands for specific sets of conditions. And at a certain point, you simply should not be out there.

  4. Personnaly, i would NEVER buy anything made in Communist China, like kinco and wells lamont. American made for Americans, doggone it!

  5. This is a joke right? I find it hard to believe that any of these reviews, while eloquent and worthy of space in a print mail order catalog, are actually backed by any sort of actual field work. There’s alot of fluff here and no facts.
    Have you ever tried to pick up and work with nuts, bolts, screws or really any hardware in pigskin gloves? And who would buy fingerless gloves to go work iron in a lift 40 feet in the air, in subzero temps. No one. This is more of a sales ad than it is a source of honest review and common sense, on the job practical feedback.

    1. Hi Richie, sorry you feel that way.

      Not everyone works on nuts and bolts. Not everyone needs fingers precision.

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