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Style and Substance: Gloves Are the New Ironic T-Shirt or Heavy-Rimmed Glasses

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There’s a reason some gloves are designed for work and some are designed for skiing. But why do the former cash in around $20 and the latter around $120?

A few years back, some smarty pants in the ski world picked up a pair of $20 work gloves, slapped some Nikwax (we’re assuming) on them, and forever changed the face of the glove industry. This one audacious act created the perfect glove: comfortable, affordable, durable and now…waterproof.

It didn’t take long for ski glove makers to catch on to the style statement. Check out these beauties from Hestra, a work-inspired design of fine leather, or these Swany mitts that are marketed directly to skiers who are tough on gear.

Without a doubt, the quality of a Hestra or Swany is worth every penny. With an annual application of Waterproofing Wax for Leather, a pair of these gloves will keep your paws warm and dry for years.

Even the finest gloves can’t withstand forever, especially if you’re doing more than just sliding downhill. If your daily winter activity is particularly grueling, you may need a glove whose first name is “work.” This is where we step in.

A work glove may be built for tough conditions, but not necessarily designed to keep you warm in cold, wet conditions. Seeing as that’s the type of weather we live for, Nikwax makes a fabric/leather waterproofer (Nikwax Glove Proof) and two full leather waterproofers (Waterproofing Wax for Leather, Cream and Liquid). As anyone who has spent time in the big, snowy world knows, drier equals warmer. And warmer equals safer.

If you’re digging ditches, loading chairlifts or just appreciate the unexpected in hand fashion, check out something like the Insulated Leather Duck Gloves or Insulated Leather Gloves, from Carhartt. These gloves aren’t your go-to for a day of powder skiing, but they sure are for a day of hard on-snow work or carefree spring skiing. At $20-28, they are affordable and tough. With the proper Nikwax formula, they’ll also stay good and dry.

Far be it from us to drop the “H” word, but as an added bonus for those inclined to style, waterproofed work gloves may just be the gateway drug to on-snow hipster-dom. At minimum, sporting a pair of these bad boys on the hill gives off just enough insouciance to keep your cool vibe. Ski safe and dry, my friends.

**We’re happy to give a shout out to all of the esteemed glove brands mentioned in this post. We’re not directly affiliated with any of them; we’re just outdoors people who know what fits us. The best glove is one that fits you well (and one that’s treated with Nikwax, naturally!).

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Author: Craig Randall

Integrated Services Director

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