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The Importance of Running Gloves

Written by Joaquim Anjos


Posted on March 14 2024

In the realm of running gear, some accessories may seem optional, but when it comes to running gloves, they are a critical element that all runners should consider. Whether you're running on pavement in cold weather or on rough outdoor trails, investing in a quality pair of running gloves can make all the difference in your comfort, performance, and overall enjoyment of your run.

Want to learn more about essential winter running gear? Check out our blog article.


How are They Different from Regular Gloves?

Running gloves differ from regular gloves primarily in their sport-specific design and functionality. While regular gloves can be designed to provide warmth and general hand protection for everyday activities, running gloves are designed with specific features to meet the needs of runners.

One of the main differences is the construction and materials used. Running gloves are often made from lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying fabrics that allow for greater comfort and mobility while running. In addition, many running gloves have features such as silicone inserts in the palm to improve grip.

Another important distinction is fit and ergonomics. Running gloves are designed to fit the runner's hands more closely, providing a tighter, more aerodynamic fit that minimizes friction and irritation while running.


Man wearing running gloves with woman behind




Why Running Gloves are Important

Running gloves may seem like a minor addition to your running gear, but they serve several important purposes that can greatly enhance your running experience. During cold weather, it is common for your hands to get colder than other parts of your body because your body prioritizes keeping your core temperature and internal organs warm. This results in less blood flow to the extremities, sometimes causing the palms to turn white.

Having said that, let's take a look at the main benefits and reasons why every runner should have a pair of thermal gloves in their winter running gear:


1. Protection from Storms


One of the main functions of running gloves is to provide protection from the elements, especially in cold or adverse weather conditions. When temperatures drop, your hands are often one of the first parts of your body to feel the cold. Exposing your hands to cold temperatures for long periods of time can be uncomfortable and increase the risk of burns and other cold-related injuries. Running gloves act as a barrier to protect your hands from the cold, wind, and rain, keeping you warm and comfortable during your run.

Find out how to trail run in wet conditions here.



2. Maintain Comfort and Dexterity


Running with cold, numb hands can be an unsettling and uncomfortable experience. Not only does it take away from the enjoyment of running, but it can also affect performance and coordination. Running gloves help maintain optimal hand temperature, preventing numbness and stiffness and allowing you to maintain dexterity and control over your movements. Whether you're setting your pace, grabbing water bottles, or using your smartphone or GPS, running gloves keep your hands warm and agile so you can focus on your run without distractions.



3. Prevent Chafing and Irritation


Long-distance runners know all too well the pain and discomfort that can be caused by friction and irritation, especially in sensitive areas like the hands. Constant friction between hands and running gear, such as water bottles or hydration packs, can cause painful blisters and abrasions. Running gloves provide a protective barrier that minimizes the risk of chafing and irritation. Their soft, moisture-wicking fabrics help keep your hands dry and comfortable, even during long runs.



4. Improving Grip and Performance


Maintaining a secure grip is essential for runners, especially when navigating uneven terrain or tackling difficult trails. Running gloves with special grip enhancements, such as silicone or textured palm surfaces, provide better traction and stability, reducing the risk of slips and falls. Whether you're climbing rocky inclines or tackling slippery surfaces, the added grip of running gloves can give you the confidence to push your limits and perform at your best. 



5. Protection from Falls


In addition to providing warmth and grip, running gloves also play a critical role in protecting you from injury in the event of a fall. During a race, especially on rough or unstable terrain, it is always possible to trip or slip, resulting in an unexpected fall. In these situations, your hands are often the first to hit the ground to cushion the impact. Protecting your hands with running gloves can significantly reduce the risk of scrapes, scratches, and bruises on your palms and fingers.




How to Find the Right Pair of Gloves

To choose the best pair of gloves, it's important to consider the characteristics that are fundamental to your racing. Here are five key aspects that we highlight:

  • Adequate Thermal Insulation: Make sure the gloves provide enough insulation to keep your hands warm during cold weather runs, while maintaining balance to prevent overheating.


  • Breathability: Choose gloves that allow air to circulate to prevent sweat build-up and keep you comfortable throughout your run.


  • Lightweight: Look for lightweight gloves that don't compromise mobility and comfort or increase the load on your arms.


  • Fit: Make sure the gloves are neither too tight, which can restrict blood flow, nor too loose to ensure a comfortable and ergonomic fit.


  • Fast Drying/Wicking: Look for gloves with quick-drying fabrics and moisture wicking capabilities to keep your hands dry and comfortable, even in the most sweaty conditions.


Of course, if you need to use your phone a lot during your runs, it's important to consider touchscreen-compatible gloves, or if you often run in low-light conditions, gloves with reflective elements can be a smart choice. For more tips on trail running in low light, check out our blog post. But as we said, the key is to focus on the features that really matter for your individual needs.


When considering these aspects, some materials stand out for combining all of these essential characteristics, making them an option to seriously consider. One such material is merino wool, which has the ability to retain body heat extremely effectively. Compared to synthetic fibers or even regular wool, merino wool provides superior warmth for the same weight, making it a highly efficient choice for keeping your hands warm during runs in bitterly cold conditions.


However, with the athlete's comfort in mind, Fyke offers Merino Running Gloves made from high quality Merino wool. These gloves are specifically designed to provide maximum comfort and performance while running, combining the exceptional thermal insulation of merino wool with superior breathability.


Features of the Fyke Merino Running Gloves




Warm Hands, Comfortable Running!

More than just an accessory, running gloves are a practical and essential piece of equipment for all runners. From protecting your hands from the elements to improving comfort, performance and safety, the benefits of running gloves are undeniable. So the next time you put on your running shoes on a bitterly cold day, don't forget to put on your running gloves so you can hit the streets or trails with confidence. 


And remember the incredible capabilities of Fyke's Merino Running Gloves. Your hands will thank you!


Fyke Merino Running Gloves




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