All You Need is… Gloves?

In my last post, I alluded to my “infernal” running gloves. Ever since I started running, I’ve struggled to find a good pair of gloves… I feel like it really shouldn’t be this hard, but apparently I’ve yet to see the light when it comes to keeping my hands warm while running.

The first pair I bought were Nike Women’s Lightweight Tech gloves:

I hadn’t spent very long shopping around, and grabbed these because they fit, they looked cool, and they were reasonably priced. They weren’t particularly warm, as I found out during my very first race (I didn’t think to look for thermal gloves… I just figured that gloves, as a rule, would be warm. Not necessarily!) but they were green, and my first race was St. Patrick’s Day themed, so it worked. Plus all the adrenaline pumping through my body during that race kept me from feeling the cold, and it ended up being a non-issue.

After the Ras, it seemed like every other time I ran it was about 90 degrees out, so the thought of gloves escaped from my mind until November. Then came my coldest race so far… low-20s with wind-chill in the single digits. I might as well have not been wearing gloves at all.

My glove thumbs are actually empty here... my hands were clenched into freezing white fists for this whole race.

My hands were so unbelievably cold during that race. In an attempt to keep them warm while I ran, I balled them into fists inside my gloves and kept flexing and flapping them around to encourage circulation, apparently to no avail. Several fingers turned white and it took me over an hour post-race to get them flesh-colored again. That’s when I decided that I needed to invest in warmer gloves.

With a gift card to a sporting goods store firmly in hand (thanks Dad!) I started researching. For every pair of gloves this store had to offer (online), I trawled the internet for customer reviews. I was determined to find the holy grail of warm gloves. I ended up settling on the Nike Women’s Thermal Tech gloves:

The vast majority of reviews for these puppies said they were indeed warm… though the e-tip fingers tended to fall apart rather quickly. I don’t care about the e-tip bits, I told myself, I’ll just be wearing these while running, and will only use that feature rarely. I ordered them and waited excitedly for the [surprisingly many] weeks it took them to arrive at my door.

They seemed worth the wait. I took them on a run and they kept my hands nice and toasty. So nice and toasty, in fact, that I started wearing them anytime I was outside, not just while I was running. The warm gloves I wore while waiting for the bus in the morning didn’t have e-tips, and I found it was quite nice to be able to while away the boring wait by playing on my phone. These running gloves let me stave off boredom while also keeping my hands warm. It was glorious.

It soon became clear, however, that all the reviews about the shoddy e-tips weren’t exaggerated. I had owned the gloves for less than a month when they all started fraying, and less than 2 months when a hole appeared in one of them:

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The fraying didn’t bother me too much… sure, it was annoying, but the e-tips still worked and my hands were still warm. That hole in the right pointer finger though, that’s a problem. The tip of my finger that pokes through that hole gets so cold from being exposed that it sometimes starts to go numb, and I find myself constantly tugging at the fabric to keep whatever material I can wrapped around my finger so it’s not exposed.

Back to the drawing board, I suppose. I am now on a renewed quest to find warm running gloves (or mittens) that a) keep my hands warm, and b) don’t fall apart after 2 months of moderate wear. (Seriously, it’s not like I used that one e-tip so much that I wore a hole in it… I actually use the thumb on that hand more. Nor did I tug at the fraying or do anything else to create a hole. LAME.) One thing’s for sure… I won’t be buying Nike gloves again!

Do you have a pair of gloves/mitts that you love and that you’d recommend?

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