Best winter cycling gloves 2022, and how to keeping hands warm in the coldest months

An essential piece of cycling kit once the thermometer heads south, finding the right blend of warmth, dexterity and breathability for your hands for even the coldest rides is vital.

Best winter cycling gloves
(Image credit: Future)

As all cyclists know, in winter it’s the extremities that get chilly first. No matter how warm the rest of your body, if your hands become too cold, it's very difficult to continue enjoying your ride. Getting a pair of the best winter cycling gloves to keep your fingers functioning, will make a world of difference in the colder months.

Much like owning one of the best winter cycling jacket, once you've made the investment, you'll wonder how you survived for so long without a pair of perfect handwarmers. 

Does owning a pair of the best cycling gloves make a difference?

Unlike ski gloves, the best winter cycling gloves cannot depend on super-thick padding because we need to retain sensitivity so that brakes, shifters or any electronic road bike groupsets can be operated efficiently. 

With more cyclists using one of the best cycling computers, or even just even one of the best cycling apps, the best cycling winter gloves will also have touch screen sensitivity integrated in to the fingers, preventing you from having to remove one in order to swipe the screen or navigate controls. 

Keeping out the wind is crucial: fabrics such as Gore Windstopper and similar will do this, and feature on the best winter cycling gloves, as well as offering water repellence and breathability. The inner padding and/or membrane varies from glove to glove and on what sort of temperature the glove is aimed at, whether deep winter or chilly and wet.

Cuff design is also a key element of the best winter cycling glove design. A high functioning cuff is vital to performance, and the sort you go for depends on personal preference. Some have zips, others have Velcro, some have an elastic gathering . Some gloves opt for no mechanism at all, relying on the stretch of the cuff fabric.

In some ways, this can be the most user-friendly method. After all, you don't have to try and operate a strap or zip with a gloved hand. But if you wear a watch or have one of the best smartwatches for cycling the basic cuff can make it awkward to wear and use.

If you're still fortunate to be riding in the warmer weather, but are still looking for some hand protection, check out our buyer's guide to the best summer cycling gloves here.

There are many winter gloves to choose from. There are plenty with a particular quality. This does invariably mean that some will favour one feature, or weather condition, over another. So we've broken this guide down in to sections, which allows you to navigate quickly to the best winter cycling gloves for you.  

Best winter cycling gloves - allrounders

Best winter cycling gloves - allrounders

A pair of the best winter cycling gloves are the Castelli Perfetto RoS gloves as shown in the image,

Castelli Perfetto RoS gloves

(Image credit: Wiggle)

Almost the best winter cycling gloves you'll ever own

Specifications
Temperature range : 42 - 50ºF/ 6-10ºC
Fabric : Gore Windstopper
Colours : Black only
Sizes : XS - XXL
Reasons to buy
+Great close fit+Lack of bulk allows good levels of dexterity+Wind and water protection+Breathability prevents sweaty hands
Reasons to avoid
-Will eventually let in water

On test we absolutely loved the Castelli Perfetto RoS gloves, finding them so close to being the best winter cycling gloves that we gave them a covered Cycling Weekly Editor's Choice award.  

Using the latest Gore Infinium Windstopper fabric, the Castelli Perfetto RoS gloves manage that difficult balance between adequate insulation, water repellence and windproofing on the one hand and bar feel and ride comfort on the other. It's something that the Altura Firestorm Reflective Gloves and Santini 365 Origine Long Finger Gloves also do well, but when on and riding, it's clear that these are the elite winter cycling gloves. 

With a light fleece lining, there's enough warmth to keep the hands warm and even after hours of light rain, they stay dry. Once the water does make it in, your hands stay warm and there's enough dexterity to work the controls and keep yourself fed as you ride.

 

The best winter cycling gloves feature these Altura Firestorm Reflective Gloves in the image

Altura Firestorm Reflective Gloves 

(Image credit: Altura)

Best winter cycling gloves on a budget

Specifications
Temperature range : 46+ºF/ 8+ºC
Fabric : Softshell
Colours : Grey, Black
Sizes: XS - XXL
Reasons to buy
+Wind and water resistant +Quick drying+Great at keeping hands warm in milder winters+Impressive reflectivity +Great price point option
Reasons to avoid
-Can become a little sweaty when riding hard on milder days.-Screen compatibility could be better-Larger sizes as unisex cut

Softshell main body fabric, and an Amara suede palm, the Altura Firestorm gloves provide plenty of protection from the elements. They're not quite as robust at keeping out the elements as the Castelli Perfetto RoS gloves, and they're not a total barrier in downpour, but they will keep the worst off and ditto for wind-chill and the ‘Altura Dry Technology’ fabric is true to its word in being quick wicking.

On test these gloves have kept hands warm and mostly dry throughout the harsh winter months, especially when teamed with a glove liner to help extend the temperature range, and they've remained in good condition proving their durability.

We found the Amara suede was a great choice for a low bulk palm, allowing for great secure radial grip on the bars, it did however get a little sweaty once up to full gas riding temperature.

The finger touch screen compatibility worked well for unlocking a smart phone or basic cycle computer functionality. However, anything that requires more detail finger dexterity, such as typing, wasn't really a goer with smaller hands, due to the oversized unisex cut of these cycling gloves.  

It's a minor point, as otherwise these are a great choice bike glove, especially for city night riders as their amazing reflective nature does make these a stand out pair in traffic, especially when signalling at junctions. 

The Altura Firestorm Reflective Gloves are a great winter cycling gloves for the money, but just watch the sizing on this unisex pair.

A single Santini 365 Origine Long Finger Glove is shown in this image and it is one of the best winter cycling gloves

Santini 365 Origine Long Finger Gloves

(Image credit: Santini)

The best winter cycling gloves for long armed riders.

Specifications
Temperature range : 32+ºF / 0+ºC
Material : Windstopper X-Free 300 fabric
Colours: Black only
Sizes : S - 2XL
Reasons to buy
+Windproof and water resistant+Warmer than many lightweight winter gloves+High cuffs to prevent glove to jersey gaps+Competitive price. especially considering they are make in Italy. 
Reasons to avoid
-Thumb gets chilly first-No touchscreen sensitivity

The Italian made Santini365 Origine Long Finger cycling gloves aren't quite at the deep winter level, but even with a sufferer of cold hands tester, we found them good to around zero on the thermometer. 

The classy looking Italian made Santini 365 Origine Long Finger Gloves get the balance exactly right between low bulk, warmth, light weight and good dexterity, although we did miss the touch screen capability. 

The tall cuff was great at preventing cold glove to jersey gaps - ideal for any long armed riders who often suffer from this when at full stretch. We've also found them to be one of the best winter cycling glove pair at keeping out the wet stuff thanks to the lack of synthetic suede, which on test we've found can be the week patch in gloves, although it's worth remembering that Windstopper fabric does eventually wet out in heavy rain.

The  Windstopper X-Free 300 fabric is impressively stretchy and performs well in keeping out the wind. The design team at Santini have been clever at reversing the fabric on the thumb in order to create a thumb wipe, something that the more expensive Rapha Pro Team Winter Gloves and Assos Assosoires Winter Gloves don't even have. But while it is handy when the eventual nose drip occurs on a cold ride, it is a the slight sacrifice of thumb warmth. 

A good price for a pair of great winter cycling gloves that will get you through all but the coldest days on the bike. 

Lusso Windtex Thermo Stealth Gloves are shown in the image being worn by someone holding up their hands. They are considered a pair of the best winter cycling gloves.

Lusso Windtex Thermo Stealth Gloves

(Image credit: Lusso)

Best winter cycling gloves for affordable performance

Specifications
Temperature range: 32 - 57º F/ 0-14º C
Material : Windtex Membrane Thermal Fabric
Colours : Black only
Sizes : XS - XXL
Reasons to buy
+Warm gloves in single digit temperatures+Great breathability for a bulky glove+Impressive value for money
Reasons to avoid
-A lot of padding on the palm.

The Lusso Windtex Theremal Stealth Gloves look, feel and perform in a way that's very much on par with some of the best winter cycling gloves at twice the price. 

On these we found these warm, breathable and comfortable to wear. The primary material is a Windtex Membrane Thermal fabric, which extends from the high cuff all the way to the fingers on the outside. It’s stretchy and the high elasticity means this fit close to the skin without needing to be so tight they’re hard to remove.

The windproof gloves are water repellent and come with a snuggly fleecy liner for great warmth. The padding might be a little excessive for some, but then riders who struggle with numb hands - via cold or pressure on the handlebar - will take this as a plus. Without this the design would feel very similar to the higher end, and double the price Castelli Perfetto RoS gloves. 

An impressive pair of winter cycling gloves for the money, but you often need to buy direct from Lusso

DeFeet E-Touch Dura Gloves are pictured in black but are one of the best winter cycling gloves for adding colour to your ride.

DeFeet E-Touch Dura Gloves

(Image credit: DeFeet)

Best winter cycling glove for adding colour to your ride

Specifications
Temperature range : 40F to 60F (4C to 16C)
Material : 60% Nylon, 32% Recycled Polyester, 7% Lycra, 1% Silver Ag
Colours: Black, white, blue, orange, pink
Sizes: XS - XL
Reasons to buy
+Wide range of colours+Very comfortable when riding+Takes the edge of cold temperatures+Touchscreen-friendly design
Reasons to avoid
-Vulnerable to cold winds

There can't be many cyclist that don't own a piece of DeFeet kit. The brand seem to have a winning concept, where they nail a design and simply repeat. 

The classic lightweight DeFeet Duragloves ET are perfect for fall/ autumn and early spring and have been a mainstay for the brand since forever. This version however gains a technical upgrade with the E-Touch mean using your touchscreen device no longer require glove removal.

They aren't the most slimline pair, but are far from bulky, and it has been know to ride a them under a pair of really deep winter gloves such as the Giro 100 Proof winter gloves for total winter protection, and allowing you to keep a layer on when removing to use a touchscreen. 

The thing we love most about these however is the fact that they are the best winter cycling gloves for adding a pop of colour to your ride, with five distinctive options to choose from. 

Best waterproof winter cycling gloves

Best waterproof winter cycling gloves 

Sealskinz Waterproof Cold Weather Gloves with Fusion Control is shown in the image as on of the best waterproof winter cycling gloves

Sealskinz Waterproof Cold Weather Gloves with Fusion Control

(Image credit: Sealskinz)

Best winter cycling glove for wet weather

Specifications
Temperature range: 39 - 50ºF/ 4-10ºC,
Material: Goatskin Leather and Softshell outer, 100% Hydrophilic Membrane middle, erino wool inner
Colours: Black, Grey/Black
Sizes: S - XL
Reasons to buy
+Merino wool lining keeps hands very warm+Goatskin palms allows for good grip of handlebars
Reasons to avoid
-Slightly bulky-Cannot be machine washed

The trademarked SealSkinz Waterproof Cold Weather Gloves with Fusion Control technology as revolutionary. It consists of three layers: a merino wool inner layer, a hydrophilic waterproof membrane, and a durable goatskin with soft-shell outer layer.

On test these provided very good protection on a cold wet days in the saddle, with very little if any water ingress. We also noticed the great wind proofing capabilities on these secure fitting gloves.

We found these great at keeping hand warm at milder winter temperatures of between 39 - 50 degrees Fahrenheit/ four and ten degrees Celsius. 

The goatskin palms not only helped with keeping the elements at bay, they perform excellently in terms of control of the handlebars or operating the brakes, a real plus point for anyone who struggles when hand motor control in the cold, or the slippery sensation in the rain.   

The triple layers are however quite bulky, so if you're a rider who enjoys frequent gear changing, fiddling with minor bike adjustments on the move, you may find them too bulky. 

The only other consideration is the fact that you can't just shove them in the washing machine. In theory the natural fabrics shouldn't built up the odours that synthetic ones do, but probably not the pair for an off-road muddy adventure. 

GripGrab Ride Waterproof Winter gloves in the image are the best winter cycling glove for being seen in poor weather

GripGrab Ride Waterproof Winter gloves

(Image credit: Wiggle)

Best winter cycling gloves for being seen in poor weather

Specifications
Temperature range : 32+ºF/ 0+ºC
Material : Waterproof and breathable membrane
Colours : Black/Hi-Vis
Sizes : XS - XXL
Reasons to buy
+Large reflective details+Good insulation even on wet days+Grippy palms+Comfortably waterproof
Reasons to avoid
-Come up quite small

The gloves from Danish company are well suited to UK conditions. The GripGrab Ride Waterproof Winter gloves feature a breathable membrane, and retain heat when it's cold. Balancing out the requirement for thermal insulation while maintaining dexterity can be hard to master for glove, but we found these managed the task admirably, maintaining their warmth on even wet days, thanks to effective waterproofing. 

GribGrab's own DoctorGel pad is feature at the heel of the palm, which we found on test is in just the right place when riding on the hoods. The palm, forefinger and middle fingertips use silicone for grip and there's a touch screen tip on the thumb as well as a terry back. There's a reflective dot pattern on the bottom half of the back.

The long cuff extends some way over the wrist and uses a Velcro tab to close, much like the Specialized Prime Series Thermal Gloves, although this time a it's not quite as slimline, so will have to fasten up over your winter jacket sleeve.

The area where the GripGrab Ride Waterproof Winter gloves excel however, despite their name, is the volume of reflective detailing, making these the best winter cycling gloves to wear on night ride in all weather, with stand out hand signalling that other road users can't help but see. 

The only thing to note is that we found these come up small, so you might need to size up. 

Best windproof winter cycling gloves

Best windproof winter cycling gloves 

Rapha Pro Team Winter Gloves in the image are the best winter glove for racing in cold weather

Rapha Pro Team Winter Gloves

(Image credit: Rapha)

Best winter cycling glove for winter league racing

Specifications
Temperature range : 32+ºF/ 0+ºC
Material : Windproof, DWR-coated. synthetic suede
Colours : Black only
Sizes : XS - XL
Reasons to buy
+A really comfortable fit+Low bulk and low profile design+Grippy, unpadded palm+Good dexterity/lever feel
Reasons to avoid
-High price-Suede palm lets water in-Shortish cuffs require long jacket sleeves

The Rapha Pro Team Winter Gloves stand out feature is their lack of bulk. On test we were really impressed at how this low profile package was capable of keeping hands warm, performing exceptionally well at really low temperatures.

We loved the minimal padding on these, and found them the perfect winter cycling glove for it's excellent grip in all weather. with zero dexterity compromises, including both navigating a touch screen and unwrapping a mid ride energy bar. They're certainly a performance pair and we found them to be the best winter cycling glove to pull on for winter league racing. 

The windproof back of the gloves does a really good at blocking the cold, but it's worth noting that these are water resistant, not proof. So in the rain, the backs of the gloves does keep out the water thanks to a DWR coating (which will need reapplying at some point) that makes raindrops bead off, but we did find that the synthetic suede palms absorb it.

There is no denying the high price tag that the Rapha Pro Team Winter Gloves command, more than both the other 'elite' brands winter offerings, such as the Assos Assosoires Winter Gloves or Castelli Perfetto RoS gloves. However, if you want the perfect winter cycling glove for racing, then these are spot on.  

Assos Assosoires Winter Gloves in the image are the best winter cycling gloves for blocking the wind

Assos Assosoires Winter Gloves

(Image credit: Assos)

Best winter cycling gloves for wind blocking

Specifications
Temperature range: 41+ºF/ 5+ºC
Material : Assos windBlock
Colours : Black only
Sizes : XS - XLG
Reasons to buy
+Excellent wind proofing +Comfortable fit+Long cuffs for preventing chilly jersey to glove gaps+Good dexterity with low bulk+Lightweight compared to other winter gloves 
Reasons to avoid
-Palms absorb water easily-Padded palm inserts might not be for everyone

The Assos Assosoires Winter Gloves have all the quality and style you'd expect at this price and from this brand. 

On test we found the wind blocking properties on this pair was excellent, and they really impressed in their warmth for such a low bulk glove. They're great all rounders thanks to the great dexterity, meaning there wasn't a lot that isn't possible when wearing them, including zipping up jackets and locking the front door. 

The sweetspot weather wise for these great winter cycling gloves is probably around the  44°F/ 7°C  in the dry mark, as they aren't the best on the rainiest of days,  with the  microfiber palm breaching water very quickly. 

Like most gloves these days, there isn't an adjustable Velcro wrist closure, and while not quite as long as the Santini 365 Origine Long Finger Gloves, it's still plenty long enough to sit under your winter jacket or jersey sleeve without gaps appearing. 

The only real marmite issue is the palm foam and gel paddling arrangement might not be to everyone's taste. If you're the kind of rider who liked the sound of the minimalist Rapha Pro Team Winter Gloves, these really aren't for you. However, for anyone tackling a winter Roubaix, these could be just what you want. 

Just one Specialized Prime Series Thermal Glove is show in the image pointing down and it is the best winter cycling glove for milder weather

Specialized Prime Series Thermal Gloves

(Image credit: Specialized)

Best winter cycling cycling glove for milder weather

Specifications
Temperature range : 41+ºF/ 5+ºC
Material : Polartec® Neoshell® /hydrophobic AX Suede palm
Colours: Black
Sizes: S - XXL
Reasons to buy
+Windproof with low bulk+Comfortable fit +Lightweight for winter glove+Accurate sizing with a good cuff design
Reasons to avoid
-For under 41+ºF/ 5°C you may need a heavier glove

We really rated these Specialized Prime Series Thermal gloves for a more of a mild winter option, ideal for the late autumn and early spring riding in changeable conditions.

The Polartec Neoshell backs are as totally waterproof as Polartec claims, the AX suede palms are ‘hydrophobic’, they're not waterproof, so badged as water resistant. On test we found them one of the best winter cycling glove to happily withstand a light shower or drizzle no problem,  but as we've said with the likes of the Assos Assosoires Winter Gloves and the Rapha Pro Team Winter Gloves, this style of microfibre it will always get wet, so it's a matter of when not if. 

On test we found the cuff really well done, with it's Velcro adjustable closure a break from the current trend of just stretchy. It allows you to fine tune the fit, without adding additional bulk, allowing the cuff to be over or under your jacket/ jersey sleeve.

Their lightweight nature affords great breathability, especially on the days when it's a colder start and then warms up (or vice versa), although if your hands do get hot the Specialized Prime Series Thermal Gloves are light and packable enough to stash in a pocket.

The only real down side is their lower temperature range limitation, meaning that it's likely that you'll have to invest in something like the Rapha Pro Team Winter Gloves, or even the Rapha Deep Winter gloves for real freezing rides. 

Gore C3 Gore-Tex Infinium glove in the image on a hand is the best winter cycling glove for grip

Gore C3 Gore-Tex Infinium glove

(Image credit: Gore)

Best winter cycing glove for grip and protection

Specifications
Temperature range : 46+ºF/ 8+ºC
Material : GORE-TEX INFINIUM™
Colours : Black, Black/Yellow, Black/ Red
Sizes: XS - 3XL
Reasons to buy
+Excellent wind protection+Palm balances grip and Ulnar nerve protection
Reasons to avoid
-Fit across the knuckles

As the purveyors of the gold standard weather protection fabrics, no best winter cycling glove round up would be complete without the inclusion of Gore itself. 

The Gore C3 Gore-Tex Infinium glove utilises a couple of variations of this material for its construction in order to provide protection without packing on the bulk of a ‘typical’ winter glove.

The all-encompassing ‘Gore-Tex Infinium’ is a direct replacement for Gore’s venerable Windstopper range of fabrics, creating a weather proof and breathable technical kit.

On test we found there was no denying that the Gore C3 Gore-Tex Infinium glove is completely windproof, with its fleece backing able to help your hands cope with even the most biting winter winds, giving even the wind blocking kings Assos Assosoires Winter Gloves a run for their money. 

Specifically designed for Ulnar nerve protection, we found these one of the best winter cycling glove pairing to balance secure grip, thanks to silicone strips across the base of all fingers and, hand protection, due to the small gel pad close to the heel of your palm. A nice touch finish of adding the silicon to the thumb and index fingers also assist in gear and brake control in the wet, along with the usual touch screen navigation requirements.  

The only downer for us was that the fit wasn't perfect, finding it too tight across the knuckles, but that is a pretty subjective complaint and these might fit you like a glove. .

A pair of bright blue Endura FS260-Pro Nemo Gloves is pictured, and are the best winter cycling gloves for simplicity

Endura FS260-Pro Nemo Gloves

(Image credit: Endura)

Best winter cycling gloves for simplicity

Specifications
Temperature range : 41+ºF/ 5+ºC
Material : Neoprene
Colours : Black, Blue
Sizes : XS - XXL
Reasons to buy
+Simple design and functionality+Keep your hands warm at low temperatures +Supple and flexible+Competitively priced
Reasons to avoid
-Lack of breathability-Extra padding wouldn't go amiss. 

We saw these a while ago now, but the Endura FS260-Pro Nemo Gloves are still a popular choice for their simple but effective design. 

Constructed from neoprene, these winter cycling gloves act in the exact way a regular wetsuit would. So unlike Sealskinz Waterproof Cold Weather Gloves, which are one of the best winter cycling gloves  for keeping the wet out,  the Endura FS260-Pro Nemo Gloves don't stop the water reaching your skin, they slow it down and warm it up, so your hands stay warm despite being wet. 

The downside is that if it's not raining, you have a slim temperature range before your hands get a bit sweat as neoprene isn't the most most breathable fabric. 

Doing away with all padding to a silicone print on the palm, delivers a true minimalist construction, and the unhindered malleability makes these are a great grab and go winter glove, but some might like a touch of extra palm padding. 

A pair of Endura Strike gloves are shown on hands held up against a brick wall and are a great winter cycling glove for affordability

Endura Strike gloves

(Image credit: Hannah Bussey)

Best winter cycling gloves for affordable water and wind proofing

Specifications
Temperature range: 32+ºF/ 0+ºC
Material : Stretch outer fabrics with eco-friendly PFC free DWR finish
Colours : Black, yellow, red/brown
Sizes : S - XXL
Reasons to buy
+Water and wind proofing+Surprising levels of dexterity and radial grip+Reflective details+Good size nose wipe+Great price point
Reasons to avoid
-Short cuffs can create gaps to jacket or jersey sleeve -Lack of effective touch screen compatibility. 

We couldn't help but highly rate these brilliant winter cycling gloves from Endura. They aren't quite as finessed as the higher end brands, but with both impressive wind and water proof characteristics, they could easily fit in to both categories.  

Much like the GripGrab Ride Waterproof Winter gloves, the Endura Strike gloves have a gel palm as well as silicone making them great at grip on the bars and controls in all weather, although this time loosing out on the tall cuff, which longer armed riders might find creates a glove to jacket/ jersey gap. 

The stretch windproof panel across the back of the gloves managed the tightrope balance of providing bitter wind protection without loosing breathability. While they wouldn't keep your hands dry indefinitely in a downpour, the waterproofing also punched well above the price bracket assumption, and we found that as long as you didn't remove your gloves, even when they are wet, will keep your hands warm, again thanks to their impressive wind blocking qualities. 

Having a test of the e-touch features, we fund that in low temperatures they really didn't work well with swiping and some touch screen navigations, with their bulk didn't allow for the finesse required for typing. 

Best deep winter cycling gloves

Best deep winter cycling gloves

Giro 100 proof winter gloves are shown in the image are semi-mitten in design and are the best deep winter cycling gloves

Giro 100 proof winter gloves

(Image credit: Giro)

Best winter cycling gloves for deep winter

Specifications
Temperature range: Deep winter - SubZero
Material : HIGH-LOFT POLARTEC POWER FILL 135G INSULATION (80% POST-CONSUMER RECYCLED)
Colours : Black only
Sizes: S - 2XL
Reasons to buy
+Great fit when riding +Excellent thermal properties +High functionality 
Reasons to avoid
-Small nose wipe

The pincer like offering from Giro were a total ride saver when we tested these during an freezing coldsnap, which seemed to go on for the entire winter season. 

Their high volume lofty insulation does mean that the Giro 100 proof winter gloves are one of the biggest packages in this best winter cycling glove buyers guide, but as soon as the thermometer really drops below freezing, you'll be glad of their high thermal properties. 

At first glance it might seem that all the warmth is at the total sacrifice of dexterity, but on test we were amazed at how much control and grip these offered in all weather. 

Large enough to get a thermal liner underneath, or even a pair of the DeFeet Duragloves ET gloves, there winter temperature range is pretty endless. The only snag for us was the rather small nose wipe, which is a must have when riding winter conditions. 

The price tag may seem a lot for a pair of gloves that will probably, hopefully, get the least use of all your cycling gear, but they are probably the only pair of deep winter cycling gloves that you'll ever need, and it's far cheaper than a indoor set up. 

What are the best gloves for cycling?

Finding a pair of the best winter cycling gloves with good protection against the cold is essential. There's nothing worse than finding yourself in the middle of a long ride in the depths of winter, miles from home, with blocks of ice on the end of your arms where your hands used to be, making it all but impossible to brake, let alone change gears.

The best winter cycling gloves are crucial in order to maintain warmth and keep the dexterity required to ride a bike safely.

Here's what to look for in the best winter cycling gloves.

best winter cycling gloves

(Image credit: Wiggle)

The first layer of protection on the best winter cycling gloves should be an impermeable windproof layer designed, as you can guess from the name, to keep cold air and wind away from your hands.

One of the most popular fabrics for this is Gore's Windstopper fabric, or Infinium as it's also known as. It's used in lots of the best winter cycling gloves across many brands aside from Gore itself. There are other options made by different manufactures too that can work just as well.

Regardless of the brand, the fabrics should work to keep the elements out while still being breathable enough to prevent your hands from overheating and getting sweaty.

best winter cycling gloves

You'll want gloves with a good layer of thermal protection to keep warm air in

(Image credit: Wiggle)

The second line of protection in the best winter cycling gloves is a thermal layer designed not only to keep the cold air away from your skin, but also to make sure that any warm air generated by your hands is maintained and not allowed to escape.

What's important with the thermal layer is that, unlike with skiing gloves for example, it can't be too thick, as you need to maintain your dexterity to be able to feel which lever your finger is on to change gear and to be able to manipulate the brake lever.

Not many people enjoy riding in the rain, but if you're going to keep your training up through the winter, then you're going to want the best winter cycling glove to handle even the wettest weather.

best winter cycling gloves

Neoprene gloves, such as these GripGrab ones, are good options for wet but mild weather

(Image credit: Wiggle)

In milder weather it's not actually necessary to have completely waterproof gloves. Your skin is waterproof after all, so as long as you have gloves that keep your hands warm, they don't necessarily need to keep you dry.

That said, the dryer you can keep your body, the warmer you'll stay all-round, so it's worth investing in one of the best waterproof cycling jackets in order to do so. 

best winter cycling gloves

If you're heading out in really grim weather, you'll want some winter cycling gloves to keep you dry as well as warm

(Image credit: Wiggle)

However when the temperature drops a bit more, and the rain (and even snow) begins to fall, then you're going to want some more serious winter cycling gloves with an outer layer that will keep the precipitation at bay.

Like any windproof outer layer, a waterproof layer on the best winter cycling gloves should be impermeable to the outside elements to keep your hands dry, but should also be breathable to prevent your hands overheating, particularly over the course of long rides.

It's also important not to forget about your extremities at the other end by prioritising a pair of the  best cycling overshoes to protect your feet against the elements too. 

If you're heading out in breezy conditions, the best winter cycling gloves will have long cuffs to help keep that chilly north easterly out of your sleeves.

However it's not always just a case of the longer the better. Your gloves, and the cuffs attached, need to work well in unison with your choice of jersey or jacket. Sealing in the heat, and keeping out the drafts, is crucial if you're going to stay nice and cosy while putting in those long winter miles.

best winter cycling gloves

(Image credit: Wiggle)

This means you've got a decision to make as to whether you wear the cuff of the gloves over the top or underneath the cuff of your jacket.

If your jacket has loose sleeves then it's worth getting a pair of gloves with a tight cuff, over which you can pull the sleeves of your jacket. This is also the case when it's raining. If your jacket is waterproof, then the rain beads off the arms and will end up filling the gloves from the top like a bucket. Velcro straps or zips will help mitigate this slightly, but tucking in is the best form of rain defense.

When the weather is dry, then running cuffs over sleeves is by far an easier option, especially if you have to remove your gloves to use a touchscreen.

best winter cycling gloves

(Image credit: Wiggle)

If you do find yourself running hot in the middle of a winter club run, pulling down cuffs can be a good way to cool off. Your blood runs so close to the skin at the wrist, this can be an excellent place to control your body temperature.

Riding on wet or even icy roads can be treacherous, so being completely in control of your bike is more essential than ever. Even holding on to the handlebars in the wet can be difficult, particularly if you're using smooth bar tape.

best winter cycling gloves

(Image credit: Wiggle)

With this in mind the best winter cycling glove will have a slightly tacky surfaces on the palm to make sure you can maintain a secure grip on both the bars and the brake levers.

If you feel the need to upload a gritty Instagram selfie to show your mates just how hard you are for heading out when it's blowing a gale and hammering it down with rain, then you're going to need to be able to prod away at your smartphone screen.

With this in mind some of the best winter cycling gloves now come with fingertips specially designed to be used with touchscreens.

best winter cycling gloves

(Image credit: Wiggle)

The best winter cycling gloves will also have an absorbent patch, usually located on the thumb with which to wipe a running nose. This area is also useful for wiping rain and road grime off your cycling glasses.

Another important element the best winter cycling gloves will have, or not have in some cases, is seams. After all, the last thing you want is raised seams on the inside of the gloves that will dig into your hands or between fingers, which could prove to be irritating after a few hours in the saddle.

Luke Friend

Luke Friend has worked as a writer, editor and copywriter for the past twenty years. Working across books, magazines and websites, he's covered a broad range of topics for a range of clients including Major League Baseball, the National Trust and the NHS. He has an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University and is a qualified bicycle mechanic. He fell in love with cycling at an early age, partly due to watching the Tour de France on TV. He's a passionate follower of bike racing to this day as well an avid road and gravel rider.