What sort of running glove is best for winter?
Well, The North Face know the cold better than anyone, and so when we were asked to try out their latest Runners Glove, our hands began to warm up with anticipation. Running in the UK in winter can be a challenge unless you have the best kit you can get, and keeping hands warm and dry can be challenge.
These North Face Runners’ Gloves ft the bill nicely. Made from many separate man-made fibre panels, they hug the contours of your hands but have plenty of stretch, so you don’t feel in any way restricted. If you are looking for a guide as to what size you’ll need, I used the Medium sized version – I’m about 5’8″ tall, and these were probably at the larger end of what I’d need.
Before we talk about performance on runs, let’s just go through a few clever features. Firstly, there’s no velcro round the wrist: the fit of the glove tapers beautifully and doesn’t require to be tightened.
Secondly, there’s a really neat key pocket in the palm of the left-hand glove: it’s got a deep flap that you just slide your door key into, and it really won’t come out by accident. It might struggle with a chunky car key, though, and become a bit uncomfortable.
Thirdly, the gloves feature ‘X-Static’ touch-screen compatible panels on the thumbs and forefingers. These work really well and are massively convenient when you’re using your smartphone for training or music.
So, what are they like on the road? Very good indeed. The fit was great, with no slippage at all. Using zips and fasteners on my coat and shorts (while fishing out energy tabs and my iPhone on the move) was no problem at all – despite the touch-screen panels, you can still feel everything at your fingertips.
They were certainly warm. On one 10-mile run, even though the temperature was dropping at sunset to about 7C these gloves worked hard and I had to take them off on the uphill sections. Although there’s a little bit of residual damp in there from sweat, it’s at a very minimal level and doesn’t exceed a comfort zone. This is thanks to two different fabrics on the back of your hand and on your palm: the back features The North Face’s Apex ClimateBlock fabric. This is the most protective of their own-brand Apex fabric technology: virtually wind and waterproof while still breathable. Because it’s only the back of your hands that would really benefit, they’ve kept this heavier fabric to the back panel only.
So, small gloves that make a big difference to your comfort while you’re running. If you’re covering a short distance, say, 5K, these would be great for keeping your mitts warm as your body might not get a good chance to heat up your extremities. For longer distances of 10K and more, gloves are great to keep you at a comfortable level of warmth for the whole distance, and when you can enjoy a really long run in the British winter, you can enjoy virtually everything life can throw at you.
RRP £19 from www.thenorthface.com/eu