Finding the right glove can be difficult – especially a good all-around glove. Depending on your cold tolerance, dexterity needs and a variety of other complicating factors, simply waltzing into a store and grabbing a pair of versatile gloves may not be straightforward.
Recently, a friend mentioned his discovery of a nice all-purpose glove at CostCo, the Head Digital Sport Running Glove with Sensatec (meaning the index fingers are touch screen compatible). Priced at approximately $10-$15 at CostCo, testing out a pair was too enticing to pass up when compared to gloves three or four times the price at other retailers.
A Good All-Purpose Glove
Ruin Your Knees has field tested a variety of gloves and has identified qualities generally desirable in a good all-purpose glove:
- Medium weight insulation (especially on the tops of fingers which are exposed to wind while running, skiing, riding…)
- Good grip in the fingers and palm
- Long cuffs which are thin enough to accommodate a watch band easily
- Comfort: Flexible enough to make a fist easily
- Precisely fitted allowing reasonable dexterity (ie: the ability to fiddle with a gadget, fish keys out of pockets, tie a shoe, work on a tire, etc. without needing to remove the gloves)
Head Digital Sport Running Glove Specifications
- SensaTec interacts with touch screen devices
- Stretch Shell for Maximum Dexterity
- Silicone Rubber Palm for Improved Grip
- Ribbed Cuff, Gusseted Fingers
Thusfar, Ruin Your Knees has tested these gloves from mundane tasks (Colorado winter commuting) to real adventures (hiking on 13,500′ Mt. Horn near Westcliffe, CO, running mountain trails near Colorado Springs). Not only have the gloves performed acceptably, they have excelled. Of particular note is the silicon grip on the palms and fingers. On one occasion a hiking friend was unable to adjust his trekking poles while wearing his gloves – due to poor grip. This problem was not encountered with the Head running gloves, adjusting trekking poles was easy – as were other tasks requiring some amount of finesse (fiddling with keys, using running watch buttons).
The gloves also do an admirable job of providing insulation and soft-shell style wind resistance. Comfort levels may vary, but anything above 15-20 degrees fahrenheit seems acceptable. Below that point some people may be comfortable, but most will probably want a full on winter glove and/or shell.
Manipulating a watch, tying a shoe and other precision dependent tasks are generally doable with some exceptions for very fine tasks. Retrieving keys from a pocket or operating a camera without needing to remove a glove is also a welcome benefit.
The only possible con is stitching which starts to give out along the outside of the index finger after a lot of use.
If you are looking for a good all-purpose glove, get these gloves. They are versatile, warm, flexible and affordable. If/when CostCo runs out of stock, they only seem to stock them in late Fall, pay some extra and buy them on Amazon – the increased cost is still worth it.