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The Best Driving Gloves to Buy Right Now

Bolster your grip on the wheel and look cooler in one fell swoop.

driving gloves
Gear Patrol Studios

We'll be the first to admit that driving gloves are an anachronism. They stem from a bygone era of motoring — scarcely imaginable to someone driving a modern Lexus — when virtually all vehicular travel was an adventure and you needed specialized clothing and gear for the task.

If you were operating a vehicle back then, you were completely exposed to the elements. There was a high probability of having to perform some serious roadside maintenance to get yourself home. And driving over rutted roads for extended periods could leave your hands feeling exhausted. Driving gloves made a lot of sense.

Modern luxury cars are a revelation by comparison. Vehicles are climate-controlled and comparatively robust. Driving a Volvo XC90 to work can feel like spending time in a Scandinavian minimalist spa. Few people will really need driving gloves. But a pair of the best driving gloves can still be useful — even if much of that use case is trying to look like Ryan Gosling in Drive.

What are Driving Gloves for?

Appearance

Driving gloves can be a stylish accessory, especially if you're driving a vintage British automobile — or a Morgan — that may also necessitate wearing a flat cap.

Better Grip

Your driving is only as good as your wheel manipulation. A good pair of driving gloves will be grippier than your bare hands, especially if perspiration gets involved on a hot day.

Cold Weather

Winter is coming. Not everyone has a fancy heated steering wheel. A good pair of lined driving gloves can keep the blood flowing to the extremities.

Prevent Hand Fatigue

Driving gloves can ease tension on the hands over long drives, especially in older cars with a vibrating wheel or without power steering.

Types of Driving Gloves

Lined

Lined driving gloves are — as the name suggests — lined with wool, cashmere or some other insulating material. They keep your hands warm while driving. Though that will come at the expense of grip, precision and steering feel.

Unlined

Unlined driving gloves are thinner and lighter than lined gloves. They aim to provide a more precise fit and offer the driver a better grip and feel. Stitching is typically done outside the glove for better comfort and feel.

Full-fingered

These driving gloves are a classic, fashionable style with full-length fingers, circular openings at the knuckles and a clasp at the wrist. Fingers are often perforated for ventilation.

Finger-less

These driving gloves leave the fingers open and may have some form of mesh backing. They offer less protection than full-fingered gloves but a better grip and steering feel.

What to Look for When Buying Driving Gloves?

Materials

Most driving gloves will be made of leather for a fashionable look. The finer and more supple the leather, the greater the price. More modern interpretations may incorporate Neoprene or other materials.

Design

The major choices are lined or unlined and full-fingered and fingerless. Factor in what sort of driving you’ll be doing and the weather you’ll be doing it in. Ultimately, driving gloves are more fashionable than functional. So, there’s no shame in looks being the overriding factor.

Size/fit

Driving gloves should fit tightly and snugly to start. Leather gloves will expand with use. Driving gloves are often sized according to hand size, which can be measured by wrapping tape around the palm of your hand, thumb excluded.

Touchscreen Compatibility

If you’re driving a modern vehicle, it likely has a touchscreen with vital vehicle functions. If you’re not driving a modern vehicle, you may still use your phone for navigation. It’s better to have a touchscreen-compatible glove than have to remove them.

The Best Driving Gloves You Can Buy

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The Best Winter Gloves for Every Activity
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Before you go climbing a mountain, biking through slush or slashing powder, make sure you’ve got the proper mitts.

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