I run almost every day and, for the most part, I don’t mind doing so through the winter. Layering up with one of the best running jackets usually keeps me warm and dry enough to enjoy my run, but if there’s one part of me I find very hard to protect, it’s my hands.
I’ve been testing the best running gloves for several years but even so I struggle to make it through winter without getting chilblains or very dry hands from running in the cold weather, and I have had runs marred by freezing hands when I didn’t wear warm enough gloves.
As a result, I often look for thicker gloves that are typically aimed at cyclists or hikers rather than runners, and choose waterproof or at least water-repellent gloves for extra protection. Sealskinz has a wide range of excellent gloves for sports and general use, and there are options for runners to suit all weathers.
I’ve been testing five different pairs of Sealskinz gloves on the run this winter, ranging from lightweight gloves to fully waterproof mitts. Here’s what I made of them.
The Best Sealskinz Gloves For Running
For each of the five sets of gloves I tested, I’ll recommend the best use for them, and highlight any areas where they didn’t work for me. I used each set of gloves for several runs in varied conditions and temperatures. The coldest temperature I ran in was around -3°C/27°F.
This is the lightest set of gloves I tested and the only pair that aren’t fully waterproof. The Acle gloves are still water-repellent though, and my hands stayed dry on a short run in light rain wearing them. They were not quite warm enough for long runs in the cold—my fourth and pinkie fingers went numb while using the gloves—and I would definitely use a thicker set as soon as the temperatures neared freezing.
However, there are advantages to the thinner design, with the main one being dexterity. I was able to use my phone while wearing the Acle gloves pretty easily while running, and the silicone pattern on the palm helps to keep a firm grip of your phone. They are also machine washable and comfortably soft, which isn’t always the case with thicker waterproof gloves.
I’ve had the Gissing gloves for a couple of years and they are a great option for winter running thanks to their fairly lightweight but waterproof design. They are warmer than the Acle gloves without being too hot, and still allow for some dexterity, though using a phone for anything beyond a couple of taps is tricky.
There are a couple of downsides, though. I found they were a bit too breathable for really cold days. I still get cold hands wearing these on the run, and certainly do when cycling. They are also quite tight and hard to get on and off, which is a bit annoying, and they are more expensive than some thicker gloves in SealSkinz’s range.
For those who like a knitted glove but don’t want to give up on waterproofing, there are the Anmer gloves. They’re warm and cozy thanks to the soft, knitted design, but still kept any rain I encountered at bay. The outer knit does absorb more water than a non-knitted glove though, which means the Anmer gloves need more time to dry after a wet run.
I didn’t love the fit of the Anmer gloves though. The fingers were too short for me, which created “webbing” between my fingers from the palm section on the glove. This reduced my dexterity, and even though they have touch panels it wasn’t easy to use a phone with them on. They were also not warm enough for really cold days during my testing, partly because the knit would absorb some cold rain and hold on to it.
Although they are designed as cycling gloves, these were my favorite gloves for running of all those I tested. The Bodham gloves are quite thick and fully waterproof, with a cozy inner liner. They kept my hands warm enough throughout my testing, and while it’s not easy to use a phone with them, they do have touch panels.
There’s a nice suede section on the thumb for wiping your nose too, which is more comfortable than doing it on the stiff fabric used on other parts of the glove. Even with the Velcro fastening to open up the gloves, they’re not the easiest to get on and off, but the extra thickness you get here makes the Bodham gloves a better pick than the Gissing for those with really cold hands.
The nuclear option for freezing days, the Swaffham waterproof mittens will keep your hands warm and dry on runs in wintry weather, although they can get too hot and sweaty if you take them out on milder days. I really appreciated the extra warmth on a long run in freezing conditions in the Pentland Hills in Scotland, and also when doing runs with a running stroller, when my hands are fixed in an exposed position throughout the run.
The Swaffham gloves are expensive and will be too warm for many runners, but if you need the highest level of protection from the cold they are worth it—and they also double up as great winter gloves for general use because they are so warm.
Which SealSkinz gloves are best for running?
The Acle gloves are the best lightweight set of running gloves from Sealskinz. They are still warm and water-repellent and are the softest option as well as allowing the most dexterity. They also won’t overheat on hard runs.
If you need something warmer, like I do, then the Bodham cycling gloves are a great pick. These were my favorites for running from the five I tested. They are cheaper and warmer than the Gissing, and have a better fit than the Anmer knit gloves, while also offering more protection.
For any fellow stroller runners, or those who just want the max level of protection and might also use the gloves for cycling, the Swaffham gloves are excellent.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.