Cold Weather Running Gloves Review

When you’re out exploring the wintery trails [or even the chilly spring and fall trails] you’ll want to keep your hands warm and dry. Tucking your fingers up into your jacket sleeves does not cut it, so let’s take a look at the cold weather running gloves that are currently on the market.

First, we want to point out that these gloves were used in a variety of conditions during this review process. This includes sunny, but windy days along the a mountain lake as well as white out snow days on wooded trails. The temperatures ranged from low teens to mid-30s in the central Colorado Rockies during the months of December and January.

Second, let’s chat about sizing gloves. If you’re buying online it can be hard to decide what size you should be getting, especially if you fall right smack dab in the middle of the sizing charts. Each glove reviewed below was worn on hands that measured a 7.5” length [from the base of the palm to the tip of the longest finger], a 3” width [horizontal across the knuckles], and a 6.5” girth [around the knuckles of the palm]. This is how most online sizing charts are laid out. We mention the size of the glove we sized to as well as the our thoughts on the fit.

The Hybrid Weather glove comes with a 2-in-1 system that allows you the individual mobility of your fingers with the option to add a mitten that provides wind and water protection. The palm of the glove has a silicone print that allows for a better grip and touch screen compatibility [about 75% success with touch screens].

The Craft Hybrid Weather glove is a great choice if you know you’ll be hitting the trails in a variety of temperatures and want to versatility of gloves or mitts through out your run. Just be aware that the mitts are waterproof but the gloves are not. If you’re using these to pull yourself up a technical trail in the rain you may get a wet palm.

Sizing + Fit: Measured between and xx-small and x-small, reviewed a size small. The small fit, but an x-small would have been more snug, pulling away the bulk of the seams. The fingers of the glove fit great and the mitt is made of a flexible material that keeps your fingers close, but also allows you to spread them wide which gives you a lot of play in using zippers or digging in your pack in “mitt mode”.

The Salomon Fast Wing glove is designed with a light, breathable glove and a windproof protective mitt that stashes into the wrist of the glove. The thumb and index finger of each glove also has a conductive layer for better touch screen compatibility [about 60% success with touch screens].

The windproof mitts proved to be very useful when we followed the trail away from the protective cocoon of trees and into an open meadow. Rather than allowing our fingers to go frigid we simply pulled the mitts out of the wrist and over our fingertips. The mitts are windproof, not waterproof [or resistant] so you will get wet fingers if you’re running in the rain.

Sizing + Fit: Measured between a size small and large [small for width, large for length], reviewed a size medium. The medium was acceptable but a small would have probably fit better at the fingertips. The mitts are made of the same material you find in wind jackets, so it doesn’t have much give or stretch. This will not cause your fingers to be constricted, as the mitts are a good size, but it may have an affect on the range of motion if you’re using your hands a lot [ie: trekking poles, cycling, etc].

The Icebreaker Quantum gloves are made of 98% merino wool, making them toasty and quick drying. They also have an extra layer of material on each index finger and thumb. This gives you touch screen compatibility [about 85% success with touch screens] as well as a little extra warmth while you type.

These gloves are very warm, but they do not offer any true wind or water protection. This makes them great for cold, calms days when you know you’ll need extra warmth. The Icebreaker Quantum gloves also have longer wristbands. If you put your gloves on before your finally long sleeve layer your wrists are sure to be protected as well.

Sizing + Fit: Measured between an x-small and medium [x-small for girth, medium for length], reviewed a medium. A small or even x-small would have been a better fit. You’ll find that the Quantum gloves offer a lot of flexibility, so don’t be afraid to opt for the smaller size if your fingers fall in the middle of a sizing chart.

The Saucony Ulti-Mitt is a 2-in-1 combo that offers you soft, warm gloves with a convertible protective mitt. The mitt is both wind and water resistant and can easily be tucked into a wristband pocket when not needed. The thumb and index fingers have conductive thread to allow for touch screen compatibility [about 85% success with touch screen].

These gloves also come with a soft fleece on the outside of each thumb…designed for whipping runny noses! A genius addition, well done Saucony! They also have little magnets on the wrist to keep the gloves attached when not in use.

Sizing + Fit: Measured at a small, reviewed a small. The glove is very true to size. The mitt is made with a flexible material so you’ll have plenty of give when the weather forces you into “mitt mode”. Also, the wrist pocket for the mitt is deep enough that it doesn’t bunch up on your hand.

The Zensah Smart Running Gloves are slim fitting gloves with silicone grips across the palm and conductive material on each thumb/index finger for touch screen compatibility [about 90% success with touch screens]. They also have broad strips of reflective material across the fingers for better visibility at night and a micro-suede layer on the thumb for runny noses.

We found these gloves to be a great lightweight option for those days when the wind is calm but the temperatures low. Without a wind or water protective layer you’ll need to be conscious of the forecast when you head out. The Smart Running gloves are also slim enough to be a great inner layer for any extreme sport mittens, such as ski/snowboard mittens.

Sizing + Fit: Measured just below a small, reviewed a small. The sizing chart is accurate, although it would be nice to have an extra small option. Each finger fits really well, without leaving a bulk of seams at the tip of each finger.

The Smartwool Merino 150 Glove is made of mid-weight merino wool, as their name implies. This makes them lightweight, yet very warm. They do not offer any water resistance, but if you do get them wet they are quite quick to dry out. Each index finger and thumb has a few strips of conductive material for touch screen compatibility [about 75% success on touch screens].

If you’re in search of a pair of gloves to keep on hand for cold days, these may be a great option for you. They are also a solid choice if you’re looking to layer them with a heavy duty outer mitten. The longer wristband makes them great for layering up in cold weather as your wrist will be protected well into your long sleeve layers.

Sizing + Fit: Measured as an x-small, reviewed an x-small. The glove felt tight at first but was a great fit for warmth and dexterity. Designed with a stretchy wool these gloves have a lot of flexibility so do not be afraid to drop down a size if your hand measures at the edge of a sizing chart.

As you can see, you have a handful [ha. ha.] of gloves to choose from when you’re seeking a way to keep your fingertips toasty. We’ve discovered that it is helpful to have two pairs of run gloves to pick between — one pair focused on warmth alone and another with wind/water protection for the more adverse weather days.

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Heidi Berghammer

Heidi Berghammer

Heidi Berghammer is a trail runner, world traveler, mountain climber, and all around adventure enthusiast. As a trail runner she has covered thousands of miles in the Colorado Rockies and beyond training for and running races from the half marathon distance to the one hundred mile ultra. Heidi is so stoked about finding adventure on trails that she has made it her career as the owner of Adventure Feet First, a travel company that focuses on getting people outside to explore the world as they travel. Over the past years Heidi has spent months living abroad, volunteering around the world, living out of a van/car/truck, and finding new ways to explore on foot, by bike or with a backpack. She has learned the ins and outs of self propelled exploration the hard way, so she’s here to help us learn from her mistakes and to help us become more informed on how to make your own mistakes…safely.


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