Running Gloves & Mittens: 9 Picks to Keep Your Digits Warm

Looking for running gloves or mittens to keep your hands and digits warm, toasty and dry for miles?
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Running gloves and mittens are a tricky accessory in the runner’s wardrobe...

  • Too warm, and the hands sweat too much and ultimately get cold. 
  • Not warm enough, and the hands become stiff, useless and possibly immobile and painful. 

What’s the secret to keeping the hands warm and dry while on the run?
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I have some suggestions! I’ve tried LOTS of running gloves and mittens over the years, and have narrowed it down to the nine reviewed in this article.

Tired of frozen hands and fingers when the temps drop? Check out these 9 cold-weather tested running gloves and mittens.

Say 'buh-bye' to frozen hands and fingers with these 9 running gloves & mittens

How the gloves and mittens were tested: 

  • Through three seasons (fall, winter and spring), in southwestern Pennsylvania 
  • For at least one year and up to 10 years
  • In temperatures ranging from negative 10 to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • In all precipitation - snow, rain, sleet, hail and wintry mixes
  • Mostly on trails, sometimes on dirt roads and less often on roads 
  • On double-digit long runs and lots of single digit runs, lasting from 30 minutes to five hours
  • During speed sessions and races
  • And, as an added bonus, while skiing, mountain biking and backpacking 

Female test wearer’s hand size: 

  • From wrist crease to tip of middle finger: 6.5 inches
  • Palm width: 3 inches
Salomon MTN Wool Base Gloves

Because it’s often humid and wet, with a chance of any sort of precipitation in the Appalachian mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania, the properties of merino wool work well for active outdoor pursuits such as running.
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That’s why I chose the Salomon MTN Wool Base Gloves as a go-to for temperatures in the 30s to high 40s.

Pros: 

Cons: 

  • They’re missing! Probably my sons’ doing.
Trailheads Power Stretch Running Gloves

These are a basic, stretchy fleece glove for daily training runs in 40-degrees Fahrenheit days. 

Pros: 

  • 4-way stretch
  • Touchscreen
  • Thermal
  • Water resistant
  • Soft, cozy interior 
  • Moisture wicking 
  • Durable - have been running in these for about seven years
Mountain Hardwear WindLab Gore-tex Infinium Stretch Gloves

The Mountain Hardwear WindLab Gore-tex Infinium Stretch Gloves are my go-tos for warming up then stashing in my running vest on light to moderately cool, rainy, windy days ranging in the 30s to low 50s.

Pros:

  • Super stretchy
  • Windproof Gore-Tex Infinium™ 3-layer fabric 
  • Clip at the wrist keeps them together when not in use
  • Lightweight
  • Great for backpacking 
  • Repels water effectively - great for trail runs when the hands may get wet from climbing over downed trees or scrambling on wet rocks 
(Mitten/Hood)Black Diamond Wind Hood GridTech Gloves
(Glove) Black Diamond Wind Hood GridTech Gloves

The Black Diamond Wind Hood GridTech Gloves are a game changer. 
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With the wind hood, I can adjust them to prevent my hands from getting sweaty and to protect them when temperatures dip. 
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They are excellent for fluctuating conditions, like:

  • Starting a run at dawn in 20-degrees Fahrenheit
  • And finishing four hours later in the high 40s
  • Or when climbing and descending to various altitudes. 

After all, Black Diamond, excelling in rock climbing gear, makes some of the best gloves and mittens on the market.

Pros:

  • Silicone grip palm
  • Stowable hood 
  • 20D Pertex® Quantum Pro windproof and water resistant stowable mitt transforms them into reliable and flexible cold-weather hand protection 
  • Built for temperatures from 21 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, I usually begin a run with the hood covering the gloves, made of 224 grams of Polartec® Power Grid fabric fleece, and remove the hood once the hands are almost breaking a sweat
  • Alternating between hood on and hood off equals superior moisture management
  • Cuff length is perfect, not too long, not too tight, and pairs well with all of my jackets and tops. It’s not so long that it covers my watch, leaving that coverage to my tops and jackets. 
  • For the 20-degree range, I put a hand warmer inside the hood 
Brooks Shield Lobster Gloves

The Brooks Shield Lobster Gloves are great for high 20s to 40-degree Fahrenheit days, depending on pace and location of the run.

Pros: 

  • 30 grams of insulation 
  • The separation of the pointer finger and thumb from the other digits keeps the hands warmer than gloves 
  • Provides more dexterity than mittens 

Cons:

  • The smallest size available is small, which is too long. 
  • About a one to one and a half inch of loose fabric comes past the tips of my pinkie and ring fingers. 
  • For this reason, my husband borrows them, though it’s a bit of a squeeze for him to get his wider hand through the cuff. Once he’s in them, the hand area fits him perfectly. 
  • I wish Brooks would offer size XS. Regardless, I still wear them.
Flylow Oven Mitt

In 2017, I bought these in size small as lifestyle gloves and had to return them for mediums, preferring ample wiggle room and space for hand warmers.
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While they are wonderful daily winter gloves, I began to turn to them for my very coldest, snowiest runs…
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On January 6, 2018, I won first female in the West Virginia Mountain Trail Runner’s Frozen Sasquatch 25k trail race in the Flylow Oven Mitt.
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For reference: 

  • It was five degrees Fahrenheit 
  • A half inch to two inches of light, dry snow covered the ground
  • Hint of wind
  • 15.8 miles 
  • Finish time: 2:34:34 (9:47/mile pace)
  • Hands stayed warm and dry   

Pros:

  • Classic leather coated with waterproof seal 
  • 200 grams of insulation on the back of the hand 
  • 100 grams on the front
  • Roomy enough to fit a hand warmer if necessary  
  • Works well for easy backcountry skiing 
  • Cute!
Trailheads Running Mittens - Quilted

A few Christmases ago, my husband gave me the Trailheads Running Mittens - Quilted.
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He was concerned because I was experiencing Raynauld’s syndrome-like symptoms, a common condition where the hands lose blood flow quickly, which included: 

  • Loss of movement
  • Stiffness
  • Immobile fingers
  • Extreme sensations of cold to the point of sending waves of nausea down the arms
  • Lightheadedness 
  • Inability to unlock my vehicle post-run

The Trailheads Running Mittens are warm, but they are only good for so long, especially on the trails, because they are not waterproof.
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Today, I’ve resolved the circulation issue in my hands with cold showers and cold water plunges.
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Pros: 

  • Very warm
  • Long wrist cuff
  • Light water repellent 
  • Good for short road or gravel runs 

Cons: 

  • The interior fabric of the thumb does not stay put when you pull your hands out, which means that you have to find the thumb hole and finagle it back into place. 
  • I’ve taken up to five minutes trying to do this while my hands froze in the cold air, with the help of three or four running friends. Maybe the newer version has fixed this.
  • If they get wet, they stay wet for a long time.
  • The many seams are fraying, after about five years of wear.
Salomon Bonatti Waterproof Convertible Mitten

Any runner living in a heavy precipitation area could benefit from the Salomon Bonatti Waterproof Convertible Mitten.
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Pros:

  • Because they can be worn by themselves or can act as an outer shell for gloves or mittens, runners can adjust the level of warmth desired by the liner worn underneath, or by not wearing a liner at all.
  • They flip up, so the entire finger area can be peeled back during intermittent rain showers or wintry mixes, without having to remove them altogether. 
  • Roomy enough to put a thick pair of gloves underneath
  • Accommodates hand warmers 
  • Pairs well with the Salomon MTN Wool Base Gloves during cloudy, wet and blustery 40-degree days
  • Also work well with the Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather Ultra Grip Knitted Gloves (reviewed below)
Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather Ultra Grip Knitted Gloves

The Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather Ultra Grip Knitted Gloves are a cyclist’s and runner’s dream come true. 
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Originally I purchased these for mountain biking and gravel riding, but they get just as much trail running time. 
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I’ve even used them underneath my pogies when white water kayaking, and they keep the hands super dry. 

Pros: 

  • Waterproof 
  • Windproof
  • Knitted and form fitting, which makes them feel almost like a second hand
  • The extra-long cuff does double to keep out the rain and cover exposed wrists or arms
  • Silicone grip palm and fingers 
  • Stretchy
  • Reflective neon yellow 

If you’re looking for more warmth, Sealskinz also makes:

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Brynn Cunningham
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Trail runner, ultrarunner, white water boater, cyclist (mostly MTB), swimmer, triathlete, cross country and backcountry skier...

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