Which leather driving gloves are best?
Driving gloves are about more than just looks. They can help provide a better grip on the steering wheel, especially in hot climates where your palms are likely to sweat. They can also provide a bit of extra warmth on chilly winter days and reduce hand fatigue by cutting down on vibrations. Driving gloves can also help keep your steering wheel in good condition by safeguarding them from the oils in your skin, which can cause deterioration.
There are several things to consider when choosing a pair of driving gloves, including style, what type of leather they are made from, how breathable they are and what kind of closure they have. The Riparo Reverse Stitched Driving Gloves stand out in many of these regards. Not only that, they are available in men’s and women’s models, fingerless and full-finger options and a wide variety of colors.
What to know before you buy leather driving gloves
Best leathers for driving gloves
Gloves can be made from many different types of leather, including cowhide, buffalo hide, calfskin, deerskin, goatskin, sheepskin and lambskin. When it comes to driving gloves, they should be made from a leather that is soft and supple so you get a nice feel for the steering wheel. This means cow and buffalo hides should be avoided, as both of these tend to be thick and stiff. Deerskin is slightly softer and thinner but can be a bit coarse.
This leaves calfskin, goatskin, sheepskin and lambskin as the best options. Of these, goatskin is the most affordable but isn’t as buttery smooth as the others. Lambskin is the most luxurious but also generally the most expensive. Calfskin and sheepskin tend to offer an ideal balance of these two aspects for many people.
Driving gloves should be snug so they don’t slip around on your hands, which can interfere with your grip. At the same time, they should not be so tight that they hinder your ability to make a fist or move your fingers around. Keep in mind that leather has a tendency to stretch and conform to your body with use. It is best to choose a pair that feels a little too tight at first; this way, they will fit perfectly once they get broken in.
What to look for in quality leather driving gloves
Driving gloves come in full-finger and fingerless options. Full-finger driving gloves are better for cooler climates. They also provide a complete barrier between your hands and the wheel, which is better for reducing hand fatigue and preserving the materials on your steering wheel. In hot climates, though, some may find full-finger gloves to be too hot, making fingerless gloves a better choice. Fingerless options also won’t interfere with your dexterity as much when fiddling with your radio or operating your phone either.
Most leather driving gloves have some kind of closure at the wrist that secures them in place and makes them easier to remove. Snaps are popular because they have a classy look and are easy to operate. Velcro doesn’t look as classy but is even easier to operate with one hand. Button and loop closures are equally as attractive as snaps but are notably more difficult to secure with one hand.
Ventilation is important for keeping your hands from sweating inside your driving gloves. Leather is naturally breathable, but that breathability can be further increased by perforations or well-placed slits. Some may also feature holes over the knuckles that make it easier to close your hands tightly around the steering wheel without having to strain the material.
Though we definitely don’t recommend operating your phone while driving or even when stopped at a traffic light, it can still be a good idea to purchase leather driving gloves that are touch-screen compatible. This way, you don’t need to remove them every time you try to answer your telephone or change your radio station.
How much you can expect to spend on leather driving gloves
The most budget-friendly leather driving gloves cost $15-$20. For a pair of decent quality though, expect to spend at least $25. Premium options can easily cost $50-$100 or more.
Leather driving gloves FAQ
How do you clean leather driving gloves?
A. Leather driving gloves should be hand-washed with saddle soap or another purpose-made leather cleaner by following the directions on the label. This usually includes lathering them up a small amount of soap and then briefly rinsing them under cold running water. Afterward, hang them to dry, ideally in a breezy, non-sunny location.
How do you remove leather gloves without stretching them?
A. To remove leather gloves, gently pull the tip of each finger and then the thumb. This should loosen the glove enough that you can easily slide it off the hand. The trick is not to pull too hard on any individual finger until the glove is already a bit loose; otherwise, you risk stretching them out.
What are the best leather driving gloves to buy?
Top leather driving gloves
What you need to know: As sporty as they are stylish, the Riparo Full-Finger Driving Gloves are ideal for the refined gentleman who wants to look good when behind the wheel.
What you’ll love: The heavily perforated design offers a lot of breathability to help keep your hands cool. These gloves also come in a variety of solid and two-tone options, so you can easily match them to your favorite outfit or your vehicle’s interior.
What you should consider: Some buyers complained of the fingers being overly long.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top leather driving gloves for the money
What you need to know: Despite being affordably priced, these driving gloves are made from a quality, fine-grained sheepskin that feels very supple while still being durable.
What you’ll love: The combination of a snap-button closure and elasticized wrist keeps them securely in place at all times. Plus, the unlined, fingerless design complete with perforations makes them an ideal choice for warm weather use.
What you should consider: The sizing runs small. Also, they have a shiny finish some may not like.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Made from buttery smooth lambskin, these driving gloves offer an excellent feel for the wheel and fit like a second skin.
What you’ll love: They are touchscreen compatible, so you won’t need to take them off to answer your phone or operate modern touch-based radios. There are plenty of colors to choose from as well, including an eye-catching tan and an attractive deep navy blue.
What you should consider: The darker colors can bleed some dye onto your hands when new.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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