The origin of driving gloves, as you’d expect, is closely tied to the beginnings of the motor industry itself. You see, in the 1890s, driving was a little different – there was no power steering, steering wheels were made out of wood or metal, and there was certainly no central heating. All of these made driving gloves essential if you wanted to still be able to feel your hands while having a decent grip on the wheel.
Fast-forward to today and while they’re no longer essential due to technological advancements, driving gloves have become a stylish fashion accessory for motorists who take their driving seriously and love spending the time in their car. If that sounds like you (let’s face it, would you be here if it didn’t?), we're here to help you find the best ones!
Before we race on down to our recommendations, we’d like to cruise through some of the subtle differences you might find in a pair of driving gloves. That way, you can make an informed decision taking both style and functionality into consideration.
The first, and perhaps the most obvious choice to make, is whether to opt for full-cover or fingerless gloves. Here, we’ll take a look at each separately to understand their pros and cons.
Want full coverage? Go for a traditional full-cover glove. As you’d expect, this style completely covers the fingers and usually the full part of hand too, although sometimes you will find a small gap where the closure is. These provide a decent amount of grip and usually have a comfy lining that'll keep your hands warm.
The issue with these, as with a lot of other styles of gloves, is that they make it difficult to access everyday objects, especially touchscreen radios and smartphones - not that you'll be using your mobile while driving anyway!
While the name suggests that fingerless gloves have no fingers, this isn’t the case - they typically cover half of the finger. The main advantage of this style is that your fingertips are free and have a tactile response, whether this is on the steering wheel, radio, or sat-nav. The fact there is less material means they have better ventilation too, which can be handy if you’re prone to sweating.
The downside is that this style lets air in, so they’re not going to be as warm or cosy on frosty mornings. This style is also less likely to have a lining, whether that be for warmth or comfort.
As we previously mentioned, finding a lining is rare when it comes to fingerless gloves - so if you already know that’s the style you'd prefer then you can skip this section. For those who fancy full-cover gloves, let’s take a look at your options.
Generally speaking, you can pick a lining that goes one of two ways: comfort or warmth. For comfort, pick fabrics such as cashmere, merino, or polyester. Need warmth? Think fleece, fur (or faux fur), and wool.
The decision is largely down to personal preference, as most cars nowadays come with fully-functioning heating, so it’s not like warmth is the necessity it once was.
Another feature to consider is the type of closure on the driving gloves. Again, you tend to have two options. The most traditional is a classic clasp button which will simply pop into place and should be easy enough to undo, even when you're wearing the gloves.
Alternatively, you have the Velcro strap option. This too should be easy enough to undo with a simple motion. However, Velcro tends to wear down faster than buttons and is more difficult to replace.
Finally, you should think about the inclusion of knuckle cut-outs. While this primarily seems to be an aesthetic choice, gloves with these are known to provide a little bit more flexibility and ventilation too. They can therefore be slightly more comfortable to wear, especially when driving long distances.
However, a lot of companies struggle to create knuckle cut-outs that align precisely with the wearer's hands, which can lead to chafing on the odd occasion. Like many of the other features we've mentioned, it all comes down to preference - as long as you like the knuckle-less look and the gloves are comfy, we say go for it!
Now that we’ve reached the finish line of features, it's time to share our recommendations. With options that range from the classic to the contemporary, you can rest assured there’ll be something for you here.
|Lining||Yes - sheepskin|
|Lining||Yes - cashmere|
John Lewis & Partners
Make or Break
Leather Driving Gloves
Leather Driving Gloves
Winter Warm Driving Gloves
Net Driving Gloves
Fingerless Driving Gloves
Cashmere Lined Leather Gloves
Fingerless Driving Gloves
Summer Mesh Driving Gloves
Delta Leather Driving Gloves
Simple, Sleek Driving Gloves at an Amazing Price
Helping You to Stay Safe in Style
Waterproof, With Plenty of Grip
Get the Retro Look (and Some Ventilation!)
Colorful Gloves That Mould to Your Hand Over Time
Treat Yourself to a Touch of Luxury
An Absolute Bargain and Very Flexible
Making It Easy to Access Touchscreens
A Step Away From the Traditional Style
Gloves Good Enough for Bond
|Lining||No||No||Yes, fleece||No||No||Yes - cashmere||No||Yes - sheepskin||No||No|
|Closure||Button||Button||Velcro straps||Button||Button||Button||Velcro strap||Velcro strap||Elasticated||Button|
Fancy sprucing up your car with a new accessory or two? We've got some great suggestions for products that'll make driving as comfortable, convenient, and pleasant as possible!
While the actual necessity of driving gloves may have changed over the years, the fact that they're a quality driving accessory definitely hasn't! We hope you've found the advice in the buying guide informative and fingers crossed you've managed to discover your perfect pair of gloves in our list of recommendations.
Author: Lewis Clark
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