Things To Look Out For
Breathability or Insulation (Winter or Summer Gloves)
Riding gloves are typically designed with either the summer or winter months in mind and so it’s rare a pair will cater for the opposing climates those seasons provide.
You need to, therefore, pay special attention to the features your riding gloves offer to determine which pair you need.
Summer gloves tend to focus on providing a lightweight, breathable fabric that’s easily washable. This stops things getting clammy too quickly and prevents the gloves from getting too dirty between uses.
Winter gloves, on the other hand, offer much more waterproof and weather-strong materials and tend to be either thick and fleeced or just contain thermal lining to help keep your digits warm!.
Whether a winter or summer glove, you’ll want your finger coverings to have some protection from the elements to ensure you always have full control even in the wettest and windiest of weathers.
Waterproof material and wind-proof coverings help you stay focused while riding and prevents the reins from getting slippery and dangerous while riding.
If you wanna hold onto your horses a little better, it can be helpful for the palms of your glove to feature small gripping textures such as rubberised dots, pimples or shapes.
This reduces friction between the reins and your hand, allowing you a firmer grasp and tighter control.
Choosing good material for your riding gloves but can be tricky, as each type of fabric has its positives and negatives. It’s often up to you to weigh up these good and bad points and then decide for yourself which gloves are going to give you the most personal benefits.
Strong and hard-wearing materials tend to be leather and lycra, and any added rubber or silicone grips help to increase control on the reins.
Nylon and polyester materials often provide weatherproof qualities and also give more dexterity and a lightweight feel.
Cotton and woollen gloves are also popular for warmth and are incredibly easy to wash and maintain. They tend not to be as strong or weatherproof though.
Strength & Durability
Holding and manipulating the reins of a horse is wearing work, both for yourself and your gloves!
The whole reason we wear gloves while riding is to give ourselves better grip and to prevent burns and injuries to our hands and so your chosen pair need to be able to withstand that kind of friction and stress without becoming worn and torn within weeks.
Good quality riding gloves will often feature added reinforcements to the area between the thumb and the palm as well as double stitching at the seams for added longevity and strength.
Of course, the material has the most impact on a glove’s durability and so if you’re looking for something hard-wearing, try and go for leather or spandex/lycra materials as opposed to soft-touch cotton options!
When you’re riding hard and fast or in the middle of tense and heated competition, the last thing you need is a glove falling off!
It’s important to find a pair which provide quick fastening functions such as either velcro or studs to ensure the item can be securely put on and taken off with ease.
Style & Colour
Although this isn’t going to be the most important factor in what makes a glove great, let’s be honest, it’s probably going to have a huge impact on whether you purchase it or not.
While most brands stick to black, white and navy colours, some riding glove collections can feature a whole range of colours to help you make a statement on your steed.
Style is, of course, important too, but this can often depend more on the material used as opposed to the design of the glove itself.
Easy To Clean
Given horse riding is a form of exercise, you can fully expect your hands to work up a sweat in your gloves and overtime they can become quite smelly!
So, like with any item of clothing, you’re going to need to wash them from time to time! Try and find gloves which are machine washable to make your life easier or at least ones that can be easily wiped down.
And whatever you do, don’t go ignoring a troublesome whiff, because you’ll likely end up picking up a nickname to forget around the stables!
The most important factor of all when buying riding gloves is, of course, making sure you have purchased the right size, so you can have a secure and snug fit!
Confusingly though many gloves manufacturers list their sizes in centimetres, traditional numbered glove sizes or XS to XL sizes.
It’s therefore important to know what glove size you are personally in all three of these categories so that no matter what size increment a glove throws at you, you’ll know where you fall in that particular range.