If you do cold-weather running, then you need running gloves that’ll keep your hands warm and dry. Wear the right pair for your needs and the conditions, ahem, at hand, and you won’t even notice them. In reality, most of us need only a pair or two of everyday running gloves that work for the majority of conditions in which we run. After that and depending on what kind of weather extremes you experience, you’ll want another pair or two of burlier gloves to stand up to that weather.
Below are our favorite running gloves of 2021, from light everyday gloves to those that’ll get you through whatever weather comes your way. For more background information, see our buying advice and frequently asked questions below the picks.
Use these links to skip quickly to the kinds of gloves you’d like to learn more about:
- Best Everyday Running Gloves: The North Face Etip Recycled Glove
- Best Everyday Running Gloves Runner-Up: Black Diamond Mont Blanc Gloves
- Best Everyday Running Gloves Honorable Mention: Nike Accelerate Gloves
- Best Medium Weight Everyday Running Gloves: Black Diamond MidWeight GridTech Fleece Gloves
- Best Convertible Running Gloves: Ultimate Direction Ultra Flip Glove
- Best Convertible Running Gloves Runner-Up: Outdoor Research Helium Wind Convertible Liners
- Best Convertible Running Gloves Honorable Mention: Black Diamond Wind Hood GridTech Gloves
- Best Bad Weather Running Gloves: DexShell Waterproof Primaloft Gold Ultra Weather Gloves
- Best Cold Weather Running Gloves: Black Diamond Stance Mitts
- Best Budget Running Gloves: REI Co-Op Liner Gloves 2.0
- Best Budget Running Gloves Runner-Up: Knit Stretch Gloves
Best Everyday Running Gloves: The North Face Etip Recycled Glove ($45)
Touchscreen capability is changing the running glove world as you read this. While pretty much every company making running gloves has a model with touchscreen capability, some companies are doing it better than others. We’ve worn versions of The North Face gloves containing this technology for several years now and have observed marked functional improvements over time. In our opinion, these running gloves are about the best there currently are for functional touchscreen use — when correctly sized.
These gloves have the look and feel of your standard lightweight gloves made of fleece. We appreciate the recycled polyester and its soft feel. The silicone gripper dots on the thumbs, two fingers, and part of the palm allow us to hold dog leashes and water bottles easily. A final nice touch is the glove-keeper clip for storing the gloves clipped together.
- Material: Most of the glove is 93% recycled polyester and 7% elastane lightweight fleece
- Pros: Very soft feeling, use of recycled materials, the best touchscreen capability of all the gloves we tested
- Cons: High price point
Best Everyday Running Gloves Runner-Up: Black Diamond Mont Blanc Gloves ($25)
Named after the famous 100-mile ultramarathon called the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, these gloves are designed for high-aerobic-output activities like ultrarunning, ridgeline rambling, and cross-country skiing — wild and adventurous stuff. They work well as an everyday running glove too, mostly because their silicone grippers are best in class right now. The glove is single-layer polyester on the inner side and double-layered with a softshell overlay on the outer side, which makes them the warmest among our best everyday running gloves.
We’re not sure we’d regularly use them to scramble or similar, but they’re durable enough to do so occasionally. When sized correctly, the touchscreen capability works okay. One last detail is the glove-keeper clip which allows you to store the gloves clipped together.
- Material: Polyester softshell exterior, polyester tricot lining, silicone grippers on palm and inner fingers, and touchscreen-compatible material on inner thumb- and index-finger tips
- Pros: Breathes well, holds in heat generated by your hands, the grippiest glove we tested, excellent price point considering the specs
- Cons: Touchscreen capability needs improvement, gloves feel less warm if used for non-heat-generating activities
Best Everyday Running Gloves Honorable Mention: Nike Accelerate Gloves ($20)
Members of the iRunFar team have worn lightweight Nike running gloves for over two decades. What we’ve liked most about them is they achieve excellent functionality through simplicity. For most of our runs in light conditions, we don’t need much more than gloves that keep our hands warm, and these do just that.
The DRIfit material is quite thin, meaning it’s best worn in mild weather or when you’re running hard and generating lots of heat – this is the thinnest of our best everyday running gloves. Their touchscreen capability, located at the top of the index finger via embedded silicone works okay, but the glove must fit snugly for this to work.
- Material: Nike’s DRIfit material, which is 88% polyester and 12% spandex, with a bit of silicone embedded in the inner index finger for touchscreen use
- Pros: Thin and wicks sweat well which makes them good for heavy sweaters, great durability, low price
- Cons: No silicone gripper material, most won’t be able to wear below 35 degrees Fahrenheit, touchscreen capability is okay if sized correctly
Best Medium Weight Everyday Running Gloves: Black Diamond MidWeight GridTech Fleece Gloves ($40)
These are a great bet if you “run cold” and want a medium weight everyday running glove. Members of the iRunFar team have used these gloves for over four years, and we love them. Silicone gripper dots are located all over the palms, thumbs, and two fingers, and touchscreen capability is available through goat-leather patches on the tips of the index finger and thumb. The technology works okay when you wear the correct size.
The grid fleece is oh-so-snuggly and soft both on the inside and out. But with fleece comes bulk, so look elsewhere if you seek sleek, finger-hugging gloves with lots of dexterity. Take note that, while the outer fleece does develop signs of use over time if you are gripping things like trekking poles, dog leashes, and the occasional rock, we’ve found these gloves to be super durable overall.
- Material: Polartec Power Grid fleece
- Pros: Warmth for the cold-handed people, super durable
- Cons: A bit bulky which takes away dexterity, touchscreen capability needs improvement
Best Convertible Running Gloves: Ultimate Direction Ultra Flip Glove ($50)
Several years ago, Ultimate Direction made one of the first running-specific convertible gloves with their Ultra Flip Glove, and iRunFar’s been using them ever since. These gloves have evolved through the years to be warmer, more durable, and more able to ward off the weather. What we have in the current iteration is a grid fleece glove, which is soft on the inside. The tips of the thumbs and index fingers have a faux-suede patch meant to provide touchscreen capability, but it doesn’t work for us. The gloves extend a fair distance down the wrist for protection.
The overmitt stows atop the wrist and can be deployed over the glove to add protection. We’ve found the waterproof claim of the mitten cover to be true for pretty robust weather conditions. Do note that the overmitt doesn’t fully cover the inner glove, so your hands won’t stay totally dry if you’re in really foul weather.
We’ve found the inner gloves less durable than gloves which have some silicone grippers on their palms and fingers, as the silicone takes on some of the friction created when grabbing things. But that’s a small complaint for a wickedly awesome and versatile convertible running glove.
Check out our in-depth review of the Ultra Flip Glove.
- Material: Inner glove is grid fleece, overmitt is silicone-coated Cordura ripstop, and there are faux-seude patches on the thumb and index-finger tips of the inner glove for touchscreen capability
- Pros: Highly versatile, overmitt is waterproof, inner glove is warmer than expected for thickness
- Cons: No silicone grippers on inner glove, touchscreen capability on inner glove needs improvement
Best Convertible Running Gloves Runner-Up: Outdoor Research Helium Wind Convertible Liners ($32)
For runners who like adventurous conditions, it’s hard to go wrong with anything in Outdoor Research’s Helium line, these convertible gloves included. The inner gloves are a very thin polyester liner-style glove with lots of stretch. There are silicone triangles overlaid on the material for gripping, and they work great. The top of the index finger and thumbs have touchscreen-capable material, which kind of works. A bonus is the soft material on the back of the thumbs made for wiping your nose. Be aware that the inner glove is a bit more delicate than other convertible running gloves. We would avoid putting our hands on rocks to scramble, but they do stand up to trekking-pole use, we think in part because the silicone grippers mitigate some friction.
Where the inner glove might be a little delicate, the overmitt is positively bomber. The mitten cover stows in a pocket on the back of the hand when not needed. It’s advertised as windproof and water-resistant, and it is! Almost no wind will get through this mitt, and it will ward off significant precipitation for several hours before becoming soaked. This is a really durable material, and you’ll have no trouble carrying hiking poles or putting your hands on rocks with the overmitt deployed.
- Material: Inner glove is 86% polyester and 14% spandex stretch knit, and overmitt is 30-denier ripstop nylon with Pertex’s Diamond Fuse technology
- Pros: Highly versatile, inner glove has great grip, overmitt is both protective and durable, nose-wipe panel on inner glove
- Cons: Inner glove is thin and seems less durable than overmitt, touchscreen capability on inner glove needs improvement
Best Convertible Running Gloves Honorable Mention: Black Diamond Wind Hood GridTech Gloves ($50)
You might have noticed by now that there are a lot of Black Diamond gloves in this buyer’s guide, because they just plain make great gloves. These Black Diamond Wind Hood GridTech Gloves are basically identical to the Black Diamond MidWeight GridTech Fleece Gloves reviewed above, but with a stowable overmitt. Scroll up to read in depth about the inner glove.
The overmitt is advertised as windproof and water-resistant, and it covers all your fingers and thumbs. Inside the mitten cover in a ferocious wind is a calm and warm haven. We have found the overmitt to wet out in under an hour of rain or wet snow, though. Interestingly, the overmitt covers the back wrist cuff for extra protection, but in doing so trades away an official mitt storage compartment. Instead, you roll the mitt into itself to be stored atop the wrist.
- Material: Inner glove is Polartec Power Grid fleece, overmitt is 20-denier Pertex Quantum Pro
- Pros: Highly versatile, very warm, inner glove is super durable
- Cons: Inner glove a bit bulky which takes away dexterity, touchscreen capability of inner glove needs development, overmitt wets out fairly quickly
Best Bad Weather Running Gloves: DexShell Waterproof Primaloft Gold Ultra Weather Gloves ($46)
May we present to you the best bad weather running gloves the iRunFar team has ever tried. DexShell has been quietly making these and other bomber hand covers for years, and we learned about them in 2019. These gloves will allow you to run in almost any weather, from totally sideways rain to a blizzard, and from very cold temperatures to crazy wind.
Though these are really thick gloves, their flexibility and articulated fingers allow you to hold water bottles, phones, dog leashes, and more. A variety of plastic materials on the palm side of the gloves keep them nonslip on all surfaces. They have a super long cuff to go over your jacket and seal in your wrists and a Velcro adjuster on each cuff allows for further fit customization. Finally, a glove-keeper clip allows you to stow the gloves clipped together. These gloves are among the warmest running gloves available and should last for a lifetime of running.
Be sure to read our in-depth review of this glove.
- Material: Back of the hand is stretch polyester, palm is several plastics, inner cuff has some neoprene, Porelle Ski-Dri is the waterproof membrane, PrimaLoft Gold with CrossCore technology is the insulation, and the lining is a thin fleece
- Pros: Absolutely waterproof, excellent price point for advanced specs, nose-wipe panel, lifetime durability
- Cons: Limited dexterity
Best Cold Weather Running Gloves: Black Diamond Stance Mitts ($70)
If you run when temperatures are below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, then these running mittens are for you. While Black Diamond also makes this mitt in a glove, we’ve found the mitt to work better for keeping hands warm on cold runs.
Take note, these aren’t polar-ready gloves made for hyper-cold conditions and aren’t fully waterproof, but they will keep you toasty warm in all but the coldest weather. The fabric is water-resistant not waterproof, but we’ve found if it’s cold enough to wear these gloves, the precipitation landing on them is dry snow that bounces off. Hot tip (pun intended): add a chemical handwarmer, extend their range to about 0 degrees Fahrenheit, and turn them into some of the warmest running gloves out there.
- Material: Mitten is Pertex Endurance, palm has goat-leather patch, insulation is PrimaLoft Gold, and the wrist cuff is stretch polyester
- Pros: Very warm, lightweight, decent grip
- Cons: Limited durability
Best Budget Running Gloves: REI Co-Op Liner Gloves 2.0 ($23)
If you’re looking for an everyday running glove that has a technical feature or two and won’t break the budget, then we recommend the REI Co-Op Liner Gloves 2.0. This glove is stretchy, soft on the inside, and flat-facing and tightly woven on the outside. This combination creates a glove that feels nice against the hand, allows you to open gels and bar wrappers, and blocks some wind in the process.
Their low profile also makes them a great option for pairing with a second layer. They have a glove-keeper clip that allows you to stow the gloves clipped together, but the ribbons to which you attach the clip are tiny and not awesome for using in the field. REI says these have touchscreen capability in the palms and fingers, but we’ve found this feature still needs work.
- Material: Polyester stretch twill
- Pros: Long and protective wrist cuff, good windproofing
- Cons: No silicone grippers, touchscreen capability needs improvement
Best Budget Running Gloves Runner-Up: Knit Stretch Gloves ($2 to $8)
Generic knit stretch gloves can be found at pretty much any box store or on Amazon, and many people keep several pairs hanging around in the winter — in our jacket pockets, in the car’s glove box, and in a drawer at work. Single pairs run around $3, while a bulk buy makes them under $2 each. These gloves are meant for taking the edge off of mildly cold conditions, not for extended use in true winter.
We tested several varieties of inexpensive gloves and like these the best because their tight weave keeps them a little warmer than others, their high stretch factor allows great hand dexterity, and their one-size-fits-most sizing accommodates most hands without worry of getting the correct size.
- Material: Variable stretch polyester
- Pros: So inexpensive, material actually holds in heat and blocks wind, great dexterity
- Cons: Wrist cuff is usually short, limited durability, no grippers
How to Choose: A Buyer’s Guide for Running Gloves
Comfort and Fit
Running glove comfort is a matter of personal preference, but it begins with correctly fitting gloves. Getting the right size gloves can be tricky, as the shapes and sizes of our hands vary, as do the sizing guides of different brands. The best way to get the right fit is to try them on and purchase from a local retailer. If you buy online, be sure to use a specific brand’s glove sizing guide.
What else yields a comfortable glove? One that provides your hands the right amount of insulation for the temperatures in which you’re running, breathes well to wick away sweat generated by your hands as you run, and protects you from the weather.
Generally speaking, runners start wearing gloves when temperatures are in the forties Fahrenheit and all the way down to some really cold temperatures. Choose a glove that provides enough insulation for the temperatures in which you’re running. Many brands offer a temperature rating or range for their gloves. If provided, it should be your first point of reference for choosing the right glove for the conditions in which you’ll run. That said, we all experience cold differently, so apply your real-life experience to suggested temperature ratings. For example, if you generally find your hands get colder sooner than your running partner’s, then you might need warmer gloves than them.
Like many areas of our body, our hands have sweat glands that produce moisture as we run. While we all differ in how much we sweat, keeping our hands dry, warm, and comfortable means choosing moisture-wicking gloves. Use breathable running gloves that wick sweat away from your hands and either into the outer layers of the gloves or into the air beyond. Some gloves do this better than others, and it’s usually based on a combination of the glove’s materials and thickness.
Waterproofing and Windproofing
Waterproof gloves are created using fabrics that prevent water from transferring into the glove or applying substances to fabric surfaces which achieve the same mission. Creating a glove that is windproof is about using fabrics and technologies that prevent air from moving outside of them to the inside. A running glove that is waterproof or water-resistant will also be windproof. There are other non-water-tight fabrics out there that protect from the wind, and it comes down to how tightly the fibers of the fabric are woven together.
No one wants to drop their phone when taking that summit selfie. You might consider running gloves that grip things like your phone, keys, water bottle, dog leash, and trekking poles well. Most companies use silicone overlays on the palm and inner fingers of their gloves to achieve good grip. The downside to silicone grippers is they make gloves heavier and they can wear off with use.
We live in a connected world, and sometimes we want to answer a call, reply to a text message, or take a photo on the run. Enter running gloves with touchscreen capability. Buyer beware, this technology is relatively new and is often imperfect at best. A lot of companies claim their running gloves have touchscreen capability when the functionality is marginal. Our best advice for now is to stay skeptical and read real-life reviews before buying. Oh, and stay tuned because this technology advances each year.
Convertible gloves contain an inner glove and an overmitt that’s stored on the glove and that can be deployed when conditions warrant. Convertible gloves have long been a tool for mountaineers, Arctic explorers, and climbers. More recently, this style has been co-opted into running gloves, and we are stoked. We love these running gloves and running mittens combination for their versatility and how you can adapt your hand protection so easily on the move.
Fingerless gloves are used in a number of work and recreation scenarios where dexterity is desired. They come in various setups, such as an inner glove that lacks the tops of the gloves’ fingers with a protective mitt that can go over the fingers or a glove where the tops of the fingers are gone altogether. The greatest benefit is unparalleled dexterity. But wearing fingerless gloves can be a problem when the weather is bad because their construction may make them less protective.
Price and Durability
As you can see in this article, the best running gloves vary in price from just a few dollars to $70. It’s totally possible to use a low-cost glove for the majority of your everyday running. When conditions get bad, you’ll need a burlier set of gloves containing more protective materials and technologies. And that usually comes at an increased cost. Sometimes you can get away with layering two pairs of more inexpensive gloves to protect your hands, but some weather warrants heavy-duty gloves to stay safe.
Good news! We’ve found most running gloves to be highly durable when used for just running and when laundered correctly. Many members of the iRunFar team run in the same gloves today they got five to 10 years ago! Some running gloves will wear out faster if you use them for other purposes besides running, such as holding trekking poles or grabbing rocks and trees in technical terrain.
Why You Should Trust Us
The iRunFar team is composed of road runners, trail runners, and ultrarunners with a collective 150-plus years of running experience. We began this running gloves buyer’s guide by polling our team’s extensive knowledge to pare down to our favorites and those we see other runners frequently wear. In 2020 and 2021, author Meghan Hicks took that shorter list of potential best running gloves into the field and tested them in all kinds of conditions where she lives and plays in Utah, Colorado, and Arizona. From raging snowstorms in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains to super-windy days in the Utah desert, she chose what you find here.
Frequently Asked Questions About Running Gloves
What are the best running gloves?
Most runners say there is one kind of running glove that meets their personal needs for the majority of light conditions in which they run. We call these everyday running gloves, and we think The North Face Etip Recycled Glove is the best on the market right now.
Some of us venture into more extreme conditions when we run, be it for winter early mornings or during summer thunderstorms in the mountains. When you need more insulation to stay warm or waterproof and windproof materials which keep the elements off your hands, check out our best bad weather running gloves, the DexShell Waterproof Primaloft Gold Ultra Weather Gloves, and our best cold weather running gloves, the Black Diamond Stance Mitts.
The best running gloves don’t have to cost a fortune! Our best budget running gloves, the REI Co-Op Liner Gloves 2.0, serve their purpose without costing much.
What should I look for when choosing running gloves?
First, consider the conditions in which you regularly run, including temperature, precipitation, and wind. This will help you determine the basic kind of glove you need to stay warm. Next, consider your personal thermal comfort level. Do your hands seem to get hot sooner than others, or do your hands always seem a little cold? Take your individual needs into consideration. Once you’ve found the right glove for you, be sure to size them correctly according to the company’s sizing guide. Gloves that are too big or too small won’t work as well.
What are the best waterproof and windproof running gloves?
When it’s wet and windy, you’ll want a pair of gloves made with materials and technologies that keep moisture and wind away from your hands. Be sure to check out the DexShell Waterproof Primaloft Gold Ultra Weather Gloves, which ward off truly terrible weather best.
How do convertible running gloves work?
Convertible running gloves are among the best running gloves offered today! They are made up of both inner gloves and stowable running mittens in a lightweight and sleek package. When conditions are relatively benign, you’ll need just the inner glove to feel comfortable. But when the weather breaks bad, deploy the overmitt to add a second layer of warmth and protection. Check out our pick for best convertible running gloves, the Ultimate Direction Ultra Flip Glove.
Fingerless gloves versus full finger gloves: which is better?
Fingerless gloves have some benefits and drawbacks. While they might let you type that text message really quickly, you may have to trade cold fingers in doing so with a less protective running glove. It’s up to you to decide what’s right for you in the conditions in which you run.
Call for Comments
It’s time for you to weigh in on your favorite running gloves! Leave a comment to share what gloves you love to run in, and be sure to tell us in what conditions they perform best for you.