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 the 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.
Why Would You Wear Driving Gloves?
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.
Cleanliness: We live in interesting times.You don't know who the last person to drive that rental car was, where their hands were and how thorough the cleaning process was.
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.
Hand Fatigue: Driving gloves can ease tension on the hands over long drives, especially in a car with a steering wheel that vibrates.
The Best All-Around Driving Glove
Dents, established in 1777, is one of the oldest fashion manufacturers in England. They hold a Royal Warrant and made driving gloves for James Bond. These gloves have a classic look but with modern touches like elasticized trims and touchscreen-friendly fingertips.
The Driving Glove Splurge
These gloves from Parisian fashion house Christophe Fenwick use a vintage cotton crochet and vintage lambskin for a patina that is unique to each pair of gloves.
The Best Value Driving Gloves
These great value driving gloves from Riparo are handmade from real leather, and provide the look for less with reverse stitching for added comfort.
These Autodromo driving gloves have a leather palm for a firm grip and a crocheted cotton back for ventilation. A split cuff gives you better visibility of that awesome watch you bought to go with them.
These Italian-made half-finger driving gloves are made from supple brown leather and a cotton mesh and come with a two-year warranty.
These Hungarian-made gloves use fine Italian Nappa leather and are unlined and perforated for extra breathability in warm weather.
These Nappa leather gloves are lined with a cashmere and wool blend for warm weather and transition seamlessly to non-driving activities.
These Porsche Design gloves are made from a mix of Nappa leather and neoprene. Oily tec leather enhances steering wheel grip and Touch Tec on the thumbs and index fingers allow the driver to use the car's infotainment screen.
These driving gloves are handsewn from supple deerskin and left unlined and perforated for optimal ventilation.
These driving gloves are made from a merino terry fabric that is soft, stretchy and order resistant. The fingers are designed for use with touchscreens. They are also machine washable.
These driving gloves are made from durable goatskin and feature a pre-rotated finger design that curves naturally with your hand for a more comfortable grip on the wheel.
When it comes time to hit the road for a long drive, make sure you have all of these in your car.