Winter is once again just around the corner, and in some areas, thermometers and forecasts already have runners eyeing their treadmills and trying to figure out how to stomach a winter of indoor running.
But the hardy and hale runners among us, undaunted by a little snow and some brisk temperatures, are breaking out the winter running gear and figuring out how to keep some feeling in the fingertips throughout their long run. So if you are planning on lowering your pace this winter while the temperature is lowering the mercury, you’ll need a good pair of running gloves. Keeping your vulnerable extremities warm without adding much weight to your running gear can make a cold winter run seem, dare we say it, almost enjoyable!
Any pair of gloves will do, right? Not exactly.
Running gloves are different from normal gloves because they wick moisture away from your skin while preventing any other moisture from soaking your palms. The best running gloves are technological marvels in comparison to other gloves you might use to keep warm.
In this article, we’ll look at a handful — no pun intended — of the best running gloves on the market so that you can stay warm when the weather is chilly.
Here are a few ideas about which runner’s gloves might work for you.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
Nike Sphere 360 Gloves
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Smartwool Merino 150
Under Armour Liner 2.0 Gloves
1. Nike Sphere 360 Gloves
The Sphere 360 Gloves by Nike are intended for keeping you warm during the coldest and nastiest weather.
Because they have Dri-FIT fabric, these gloves stay warm when they’re wet. They will also wick moisture away from you, allowing these gloves to dry quickly.
The silicone grip in the palm and fingertips allows you to access your phone without removing your gloves. A tight cuff keeps cold air from getting into the gloves.
Overall, the Nike Sphere 360 gloves are lightweight, breathable, with plenty of warmth for using on cold days.
- Extremely warm
- Warm when wet
- Waterproofing and windproofing where it matters
- Great range of motion on thumb
- Must be hand washed
2. Under Armour Liner 2.0 Gloves
Under Armour’s Liner 2.0 Gloves are notable for their ability to keep you warm on cool days while being thin enough as a base layer on really cold runs.
These ultrasoft gloves are made with a unique finish that helps keep out rain and snow while still maintaining their breathability.
The Liner 2.0 is made out of polyester and elastane, both wicking materials that allow for a stretch but snug fit. Rubber fabric on the fingers allows you to use a phone without removing the gloves.
Final protection against the cold is a tight-fitting cuff to keep cold air from seeping inside.
- Thin and lightweight
- Simple design
- Easy fit
- Can’t be worn alone on really cold days
Best Lightweight Merino Gloves
3. Smartwool Merino 150 Gloves
The Smartwool Merino 150 wool glove is ready for serious runners to use in the fall or winter.
Wool is warm even when it’s wet, which makes this glove perform great in the snow. You’ll still feel the wetness from snow that melts on the gloves, but your hands won’t get cold as a result.
In the rain, these gloves aren’t as strong. The coldness of the rain will end up piercing the glove, as will the wind. High wind-chill factors may leave you feeling cold.
On the other hand, these gloves are more or less perfect as far as good-weather running is concerned. The only point of improvement would be to add a reflective surface to make the runner more visible at night.
- Touchscreen compatible
- Warm when wet
- Great for people who get sweaty hands
- Easy to fit
- Only thumb and one finger on each glove is touchscreen compatible
- No reflective surfaces
Best Budget Gloves
4. New Balance Lightweight Running Gloves
These New Balance Lightweight Running Gloves are a great set of all-around running gloves. They’re easy to fit, stretchable, easy to wash, and stay odor-free with heavy usage.
As a nice touch, these gloves have gripping traction on the palms, so you can handle things like your water bottle without worrying about fumbling it while running.
The gloves have a few reflective surfaces for safety during night runs, touchscreen compatible fingertips, and a thin layer of material to keep your fingers warm during cool days.
While these gloves aren’t very warm, they do offer a measure of protection against the wind. Furthermore, they resist water until they become fully soaked. This means that they are suitable for jogs during light rain.
Heavier rains or winds will leave you feeling colder than if you weren’t wearing the gloves, however.
- Gripping traction on palms
- Stretchy material for added comfort
- Longer wrist material for covering watches or Fitbit
- Articulated thumb for better range of motion
- Spandex and polyester materials
- Not as warm as other gloves
Top Touchscreen Compatible Gloves
5. Zensah Smart Running Gloves
The Zensah Smart Running Gloves are a substantially warm pair of gloves, thanks to their polyamide and elastane construction.
The Zensah gloves combine high breathability with warmth, reflective stripes, and a few unique features.
Among these unique features is the suede swatch on the thumb of each glove, allegedly to wipe your nose. While it might be odd for a running glove to include such a feature, most runners struggle with runny noses at some point or another–and even more so in the cold.
The gloves also have a good gripping swatch on the palm and touchscreen-compatible points on the fingertips.
Overall, the Zensah gloves are a little bit bulky, a trade-off for their added warmth. Furthermore, while somewhat windproof, they aren’t entirely waterproof.
- Nose-wipe-friendly fabric swatch
- Has most features running gloves should have
- Roomy interior
- Not aesthetically pleasing
- Not waterproof
Best Reflective Gloves
6. Brooks Carbonite Gloves
The Brooks Carbonite Gloves are lightweight, highly reflective, and touchscreen-friendly. They’re also made out of polyester and spandex, making for an easy fit, streamlined appearance, and wind and water-resistance.
These gloves have an extended cuff, which is great for covering any running tech that you wear on your wrist. On the other hand, the cuff isn’t as roomy as the rest of the glove, which means that you might struggle to fit your device.
But the real show stopper with these gloves is their 3M Scotchlite reflective detailing. From the knuckles to fingertips, these gloves are 100% reflective. The Brooks logo near the wrist is also reflective. Together, these gloves offer the most reflectivity on the market.
A few other features help these gloves stand out. DriLayer fabric is stretchy for comfort but also wicks sweat and moisture from the gloves. Small magnets built into the wrist keep these gloves together when you store them at home or in a running bag.
- Highly reflective
- Stretchy and moisture-wicking
- Magnetic button to keep gloves paired when not in use
- Extra wrist material doesn’t help to preserve warmth
Top Basic, No Frills Gloves
7. New Balance Unisex Running Gloves
The New Balance Unisex Running Gloves are standard running gloves which work somewhat well in most running conditions.
With these gloves, you’ll get a decently-fitted but basic garment that is touchscreen-compatible and moisture-wicking. The problem is that the way these gloves are designed, these two features clash. Moisture can be wicked from your finger directly onto your touchscreen.
These gloves are fairly bulky, considering that they aren’t very warm. The appeal of the bulk is that it provides a measure of wind resistance rain resistance.
Unfortunately, the polyester materials make the gloves much colder once they are soaked in rain or sweat. For marathons, these gloves are probably not the right choice.
- Reflective swatch
- Average warmth
- Comfortable wrist fabric joint
- Touchscreen capability clashes with moisture wicking
- No gripping traction
- Bulky but not resistant to the elements
Most Breathable Gloves
8. TrailHeads Running Gloves
The TrailHeads Running Gloves are ultra-lightweight and tightly fitted gloves which are perfect for serious runners looking for something to protect them during the long hauls.
With several visibility swatches, these gloves help you stand out even in a blizzard. Furthermore, the tightness and lightness of the gloves mean that they will help you maintain efficiency, even when you are running a marathon.
The mesh inserts on the gloves are another great feature because they allow your hand to vent directly to the outside once it has warmed up. At the start of your run, you may be a little chilly, but by the end of the run, you will be grateful for the mesh.
The tight fit of these gloves helps to wick moisture more effectively. These gloves are also rain-resistant, though not wind-resistant.
- Tight fit and light material
- Mesh inserts help to vent heat
- Tight wrists keep you warm where it matters
- Great moisture wicking ability
- May not be warm enough for runs in the extreme cold
- Not wind resistant
Best Convertible Glove
9. Salomon Fast Wing Winter Glove
The Salomon Fast Wing Winter Gloves are made to keep you warm on extremely cold days. These gloves have a mitten mitt that can be pulled out and extended over your fingers for added warmth.
This windproof and water-resistant protective cover can be tucked inside the top of the glove when not needed. When it gets cold and windy, pull it out and shield your four fingers (not your thumb) from the elements.
The polyester fabric is made with Salomon’s AdvancedSkin Warm. This material helps regulate your hand temperature. It retains heat to keep you comfortable while staying breathable and wicking moisture.
These lightweight gloves lack visibility features, but they do have a stretchy design and soft feel when you put them on. Like many of our other top choices, you can use a touchscreen phone with added material on the finger and thumb.
- Wind and water-resistant stow-able mitten cover
- Soft and warm
- Touchscreen-capable areas
- May be too warm on mildy cold days
Best Medium-weight Merino Gloves
10. Smartwool Merino Sport Fleece Wind Training Glove
The Smartwool Sport Fleece Wind Training gloves, made from nylon, merino wool, and elastane blend, bring all of the core features of a running glove together in one model.
With a windproof front and moisture-wicking back, these gloves keep the cold away. The gloves have a merino wool lining to keep your hands toasty and warm. They wick sweat and moisture while still keeping your hands warm when wet.
The Smartwool Sport Fleece gloves aren’t the lightest, but they’re far from bulky. The important thing to remember is that these gloves aren’t intended for the warmer end of the cold-weather spectrum – these are true cold weather gloves.
Furthermore, thanks to their touchscreen-capable fingertips, you won’t need to worry about missing out on any updates while you run. Reflective details add some visibility when running in the dark.
- Triple-material blend for superior weather characteristics
- Room to spare in most fittings
- Comfortable palm areas
- Short cuff
- Can become too hot very quickly
- No flaring on cuff
Top Stretchy Gloves
11. Gore R3 Gloves
This lightweight pair of running gloves is a great option for cool days. The stretchy, moisture-wicking fabric combined with reflective detailing make them a nice option for early-morning or late-evening runs.
The Gore R3 gloves have a stretchy fit that’s true to size. They are somewhat thin, but heavy enough to keep your hands warm on days when the temperature sits between 40-60 degrees.
Unlike some of the other gloves we’ve reviewed, these have a long cuff that covers your wrist and part of your arms. This ensures there’s no gap between the gloves and your sleeves – a problem we’ve seen with other running gloves.
The reflective detail is good for low light conditions. We always recommend a reflective vest and/or a headlamp, but you can never have enough reflective material when running in the dark.
The R3 gloves are also priced right. At $30, they are a good value.
The gloves don’t have added material on the fingertips for touchscreen on a phone. But we’re ok with that, knowing that this feature typically doesn’t work too well on gloves that do have it. Since you’ll be using these on cool but not cold days, it’s not a big deal to take the gloves off if you need to use your phone.
Despite being made by Gore Wear, a company known for incorporating water-proof gore-tex into their products, these gloves are not waterproof. They do wick moisture, so they should dry fairly quickly if they get wet.
- Good value
- Reflective detailing
- True to size fit
- Perfect for cool days
- Have to remove gloves when using a phone
- Not waterproof