R unning in the winter months has its own special set of challenges. Dressing appropriately, being prepared for biting wind, and choosing shoes and socks that can handle snow and ice are just a few. Having the right gear can help you embrace harsh weather, not fear it. One key accessory you shouldn't leave home without? A warm pair of running gloves.
Why do our hands get cold?
From a biological standpoint, your body works hardest to keep your core and internal organs warm when the temperature drops by sending blood to that area. This is largely the reason our hands and feet get cold during the winter. When you're moving faster and holding your hands away from your body while running, your hands are especially exposed to the elements. The easy solution? Gloves.
Why are running gloves different?
Running gloves are specifically designed to keep a runner's hands warm and dry. Depending on the glove, there are some key components that differentiate it from your ski gloves or the fuzzy mittens Grandma made you.
- Safety: Running gloves are often designed with reflective features on high visibility areas of the hand. Consider the swinging motion of your arms while you're running — a car's headlights can catch the reflective portion of your gloves and light you up on a dark road.
- Comfort and warmth: Running gloves are thinner to keep you warm and dry while still allowing mobility and dexterity. They are commonly made with an insulated layer that traps heat from your body.
- Staying dry: The outer layer of this piece of gear is commonly made with a wind and waterproof material that will not allow chilly weather to penetrate the glove. Have you ever been out in the cold while wet? Not fun. Dryness is key!
Some gloves are even designed for very cold weather in a "lobster claw" design that keeps 3-4 fingers together, almost like a mitten. This snuggly pocket creates more heat within the glove. Whatever you choose, a good pair of running gloves can help keep your fingers toasty on a wintry run.
Our writer's advice is intended for informational or general educational purposes only. We always encourage you to speak with your physician or healthcare provider before making any adjustments to your running, nutrition, or fitness routines.