Are Leather Gloves Warm & Good for Winter Cold Weather? [Discussed]


As the temperatures start to drop, you’d naturally be looking for the warmest apparel to keep you feeling comfortable. Winter gloves will keep your hands warm, repel moisture, and improve your grip, but choosing the right material is key. What about leather? Are leather gloves warm?

Leather gloves, on their own, generally provide medium warmth and can handle moderate winter conditions. For more severe conditions, you’ll want to buy leather gloves that have a lining for extra insulation, or choose a material that is better suited for severe cold. To see the warmest lining materials for leather gloves, click here.

Another advantage leather has for winter conditions is most leather gloves are water-resistant. Leather is especially useful for workers who need durable gloves. Again, for colder conditions, a leather glove that also has a lining for extra insulation will be best.

In this article let’s take a closer look at why leather gloves make sense for winter conditions. Let’s discuss the strengths of leather gloves, but also discuss some alternatives that might make more sense for extreme conditions.

How Warm Are Leather Gloves?

As we discussed earlier, leather gloves are warm and durable, but if you will be spending extended time in extreme conditions, there will be warmer options.

Some types of leather are more expensive than others because of their rarity or the complexity of their cultivation and manufacturing process. The warmth can vary (slightly) depending on which type of leather you choose.

Cowhide and buffalo hide gloves are often considered to be warmer than other types of leather. They’re often more durable and puncture-resistant.

Are Faux Leather Gloves Warm?

In general, faux leather gloves usually are not warmer than real leather gloves. There can be exceptions, however, depending on the type of lining used.

Another drawback to faux leather is it is not as durable as real leather, which can be especially problematic if you will be using your leather gloves as work gloves. But faux leather is much cheaper, and does not require animal skin.

Best Lining For Leather Gloves

Synthetic 

There are several types of synthetic lining materials that are often the warmest linings you can buy. Synthetic insulation is popular because it is non-bulky, but still very good at trapping heat.

A popular type of synthetic insulation used in gloves (and other types of winter clothes) is 3M Thinsulate. If you need leather gloves for extreme cold, finding a pair of leather gloves that have 3M Thinsulate lining is a great option. 

Merino Wool

Some leather gloves have merino wool lining to improve their warmth level. The problem with regular wool is it can be a bit bulky (and itchy). That’s where merino wool comes in. Merino wool is much thinner than regular wool, so it can be used as a lining material and not affect the fit of the glove.

And even though merino wool is thinner than regular wool, it is still very good at trapping heat. It is also good at wicking away sweat.  

Silk

Silk feels smooth and comfy, so it can be worn for long hours. This fast-drying material will suit you as a lining material if leather feels scratchy or tough. It’s also thermal-regulating, so it will keep your hands warm in winter, although it’s not warmer than wool. 

This material is breathable and wicks moisture, but it’s incredibly delicate. You might accidentally tear the lining while wearing or taking off your gloves. 

Cotton

Cotton is a natural fiber that provides some warmth, although it’s not as warm as wool or synthetic insulation. Cotton lining material is breathable and won’t irritate your skin when you wear your gloves for long hours.

However, cotton doesn’t dry fast and if you have sweaty hands, the moisture will irritate you. Cotton lining is not the best choice.


Which Gloves Material are Warmer than Leather?

Wool

Wool gloves are made of natural fibers obtained from the fur of animals. There are different types of wool on the market, and the warmest types are the ones cultivated in Scotland or Iceland because the fibers are coarser. 

Some types of wool fibers are soft to touch, while others feel itchy. However, manufacturers can add other natural and synthetic fibers to improve the qualities of the wool, making wool gloves more comfortable to wear or softer.

For example, silk fibers are added to wool fibers to make them smoother and softer, while synthetic fibers can increase the waterproof properties of wool and make it more durable. 

Wool itself is naturally water-resistant and very good at insulating even when damp. Wool is also good at wicking away sweat while keeping heat trapped. There are several types of wool gloves on the market today.

  • Alpaca wool is durable, lightweight, warm, and comfortable to wear. It’s one of the most widely used types of wool and is popularly used to make winter gloves. 
  • Angora wool is fluffy, cozy, and highly delicate. This is why it’s often mixed with other types of natural and synthetic fibers to increase its durability. 
  • Merino wool is rather soft and feels comfortable to wear. In addition, it provides good dexterity and grip in extreme weather. It is also less bulky than regular wool.

Gore-Tex

Gore-Tex is a synthetic fabric made of polytetrafluoroethylene. It’s lightweight, waterproof, well-insulated, and comfortable to wear (leather gloves are not waterproof). 

The material is quite thin compared to the warmth it provides, so Gore-Tex gloves provide amazing dexterity in all weather conditions. Also, unlike thick leather, Gore-Tex doesn’t get affected by being exposed to different temperatures or getting submerged in water. 

Leather, however, is much more durable.

Polar Fleece

Polar fleece is an artificial fabric made of polyester. It’s light, soft, easy to wash, and comes in different colors. 

Gloves made of polar fleece are water-resistant and almost waterproof, so they can be a good alternative to wool and leather gloves. However, polar fleece doesn’t tolerate high temperatures and is prone to pilling. 

3M Thinsulate

We discussed 3M Thinsulate a bit earlier in the article. 3M Thinsulate is not a glove shell material – it is synthetic insulation that is very good at trapping heat while also being non-bulky.

The point is, many types of glove materials can be used in combination with 3M Thinsulate. Yes, you can find warm leather gloves that have 3M Thinsulate, but you can also find wool and fleece gloves that use 3M Thinsulate.

If you are shopping for warm winter gloves, and want to explore options, searching for gloves that are made with 3M Thinsulate as a lining will be a nice option.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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