There’s nothing worse than having cold hands. Whether you’re working outdoors, enjoying winter sports, or simply going for a stroll in the city, gloves are a must. With so many styles and features to choose from, it can be time-consuming and overwhelming finding the right pair.

So we’ve made it simple. Using our guide to the best winter gloves and mitts in 2021, you’ll discover this year’s best, while learning all you need to know about choosing a pair. For their incredible versatility, durability, warmth, and style, we’ve named Smartwool’s Ridgeway Glove as the best gloves in 2021.

The Best Winter Gloves and Mitts Reviewed

Best All-Around Winter Gloves

Smartwool’s Ridgeway Gloves are our pick for best winter gloves in 2021. Their design is both rugged and chic, while the construction is top-notch. The durable leather body features a reinforced thumb and index for added toughness. Inside, the insulating wool-nylon lining is soft and warm. They perform equally well as workwear and fashion accessory. Plus, they won’t break the bank.

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Pros

  • Versatile
  • Handsome
  • Durable
  • Well-insulated
  • Price

Cons

  • Run small
Product Type

Best Winter Gloves for Men

Looking for a glove that works and plays as hard as you do? Look no further than the Black Diamond Guide GTX Gloves. These things stand up to wet, freezing, and alpine conditions. The exterior is tough, waterproof, and snowproof. The insulating liner is made from PrimaLoft Gold and features a wool palm. Liners are removable for easy cleaning and fast drying.

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Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Padded
  • Removable liners
  • Long

Cons

  • Price
  • Run small
Product Type

Best Winter Gloves for Women

Whether you’re hitting the slopes or just heading to the local cafe, the Kombi Patroller Gloves do double-duty, thanks to their sleek design and robust technology. Features a waterproof GORE-TEX outer membrane and down-insulated liners. The long bell cuffs offer extended protection in extreme cold, while a vent pocket increases airflow.

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Pros

  • Sleek
  • Insulated
  • Ventilated
  • Durable
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Limited colours
Product Type

Best Winter Mitts

For mittens, consider the Black Diamond Mercury Mitts (women’s; men’s). They’re the best of both worlds, as they feature split-finger glove liners, which are waterproof and removable. Outside, the Pertex shell features a reinforced goat-leather palm and Kevlar stitching. PrimaLoft Gold and high-loft fleece insulate throughout.

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Pros

  • Insulated
  • Glove liners included
  • Waterproof
  • Price

Cons

  • Limited dexterity
Product Type

Best Winter Gloves for Dexterity

For winter climbing, you need a well-insulated glove that’s both durable and offers plenty of dexterity. We recommend the Arc’teryx Alpha SL Glove. They feature a Gore Windstopper shell, reinforced with leather. The insulating fleece keeps your hands warm while minimizing bulk. Best of all, the flexible construction offers near-zero resistance.

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Pros

  • Dexterous
  • Low-volume
  • Low-resistance
  • Durable

Cons

  • Not for freezing temps
Product Type

Best Touchscreen Compatible Gloves

There’s nothing worse than having to answer a text in sub-zero temps. If you frequently find yourself in this situation, it’s time to get some touchscreen-compatible gloves. The North Face Apex + Etip Gloves (women’s; men’s) offer seamless five-finger touchscreen capability.

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Touch-screen compatible
  • Comfortable
  • Price

Cons

  • Not super warm
Product Type

Best Dress Winter Gloves

Hestra Sport has created the quintessential dress glove. The Megan Glove for women and the Jake Glove for men are perfect for shoulder-season temps and mild winter days. Made with genuine hairsheep leather and insulated with Italian wool, they’re perfect for both daily use and formal occasions.

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Pros

  • Classy
  • Handsewn
  • Wool insulation
  • Leather shell

Cons

  • Not super warm
Product Type

Best Winter Work Gloves

Whether you’re setting routes on a big wall or simply stacking firewood, the Mountain Hardwear Route Setter Alpine Work Glove can help. They’re highly tactile without being flimsy. The PrimaLoft Gold insulation keeps your hands warm, while the construction ensures flexibility and dexterity.

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Pros

  • Tactile
  • Tough
  • Dexterous
  • Flexible
  • Insulated

Cons

  • Not super warm
Product Type

Best Extreme Cold Winter Gloves

The Outdoor Research Lucent Heated Sensor Mitts come equipped with everything you’d want from an extreme cold weather glove: durable leather and a poly shell with touchscreen-compatibility, Enduraloft insulation, GORE-TEX inserts, and battery-powered heating. Case closed.

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Heated
  • Extremely warm
  • Insulated
  • Touchscreen-compatible

Cons

  • Price
Product Type

Best Winter Hiking Gloves

Can’t wait till spring to hit the hiking trails? Take along a pair of Kombi Explorer Gloves. The THINDOWN insulation keeps the aesthetic minimal and the touch tactile, while the wool-blend lining ensures toasty hands.

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Hiking essential
  • Insulated
  • Long cuff
  • Leather palm

Cons

  • No touchscreen-compatibility
Product Type

Best Winter Running Gloves

When braving the cold for winter run, you need to protect your hands. The SUGOi Zap SubZero Glove delivers with their lightweight, insulated design. These gloves also feature touchscreen-capable fingertips and reflective bands for increased visibility.

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Insulated
  • Lightweight
  • Reflective
  • Touchscreen-compatible

Cons

  • Sizing complaints
Product Type

Best Heated Winter Gloves

The Hestra Sport Heated Power Heater Mitts are made for those who can never seem to warm their hands, but refuse to give up. These waterproof, power-heated monsters have a three-step heating process, giving you maximum control. Includes travel case, international adapters, and USB-charger.

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Power-heated
  • Travel case
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Price
Product Type

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING WINTER GLOVES AND MITTS

Gloves VS Mittens

Gloves

Gloves follow the outline of your fingers, allowing for excellent dexterity, especially while working in cold weather. Because of their fitted shape, they’re also a better option for formal occasions.

Mitts

Though less dexterous, mittens are warmer than gloves. That’s because there’s less surface area, meaning less heat loss. Additionally, the empty space surrounding the fingers creates a warm air pocket.

What are they for?

Everyday Use

For this, most models will do. Avoid paying extra for unnecessary features and opt for something that’s warm—but not too warm—and looks great. Bonus for touchscreen-compatibility.

Sports & Performance

For outdoor activities like skiing and snowboarding, choose a glove with robust features: a long cuff, removable liner, and reinforced stitching among others. A power-heater is a very welcome addition.

Extreme Temperatures

In polar conditions, a mitten with a glove-like insert is best, as mittens maximize warmth by reducing surface area and increasing internal volume. A power-heater is essential. The Outdoor Research Lucent Heated Sensor Mitts are a good example.

Insulation

While there are many types of insulation available on the market, down and synthetic are the broad-stroke categories you’ll find. See the FAQ for more info.

Materials

Leather

While dress gloves are constructed entirely of leather for its timeless aesthetic, most sports/work gloves also incorporate leather. In those cases, it’s usually placed in high-friction areas to increase durability, like the palm.

Synthetic

While you likely won’t see synthetic gloves at a formal gathering, they’re actually superior in terms of warmth, waterproofing, and durability.

Ventilation

Many gloves feature adjustable vents. Ventilation keeps your hands cool on warmer days and expels perspiration before it becomes cold condensation.

Features

Cuffs

The cuff begins at the wrist. Running gloves tends not to have cuffs, while work/ski gloves have cuffs that extend several inches for added protection. Dress gloves have cuff lengths somewhere in between.

Liners

Glove liners optimize functionality by increasing wicking, insulation, and protection. Many are removable, making them easy to wash and fast to dry.

Touchscreen Compatibility

To mimic the natural conductance of a naked finger, touchscreen-compatible gloves incorporate a conductive material into the fingertips. This allows the glove to interact with the electrical signals produced by the capacitive screen.

Heated Gloves

Heated gloves are equipped with a rechargeable battery attached to a wire frame. Heat is generated through the wiring when you turn the battery on.

FAQs for winter gloves/mitts

How should a winter glove fit?

Too big and you’ll lose dexterity; too small and you’ll minimize warm air pockets. Aim for a quarter inch of space at the fingertips when your gloves are extended. With your hand in a fist, they shouldn’t feel constricting.

What is the best insulation for winter gloves?

Down is a natural insulating fiber that’s known for its excellent warmth-to-weight ratio. They also retain their loft longer. On the other hand, synthetics retain heat better when wet, dry faster, and are more affordable. For wetter climates, synthetics are better; for dry climates, use down.

Is fleece warmer than thermal?

Fleece is a synthetic-wool blend with an excellent track record (seriously—ask the astronauts who’ve worn it). Additionally, fleece is soft and breathable. But breathability comes at a cost. For wet and sweaty conditions, thermal performs better. Thermal is a blend of cotton, nylon, and wool. It wicks moisture and reduces chafing.

Conclusion

With so many styles and features available, there’s undoubtedly something that meets your needs. Our choice for the best winter gloves in 2021 goes to Smartwool’s Ridgeway Glove, a versatile glove that offers an excellent balance between insulation, waterproofing, style, and price!